The Triumph Dolomite Club - Discussion Forum

The Number One Club for owners of Triumph's range of small saloons from the 1960s and 1970s.
It is currently Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:49 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 20 posts ]  Go to page 1 2 Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 8:53 pm 
Offline
Future Club member hopefully!
Future Club member hopefully!

Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:53 am
Posts: 7
Location: Hampshire
Hi everyone. New member from Hampshire. I am looking to buy a Dolly to use as a daily driver early next year. The reason I have to wait is because I have a VW campervan to shift first before I have the space and cash for another car!

My current daily is a ’91 Mini Mayfair 998 and while it has served me very well, I want something a bit bigger and more luxurious, practical while still being sporty. Any of you who know a Mini’s engine bay and have suffered the skinned knuckles and contorted limbs will understand my desire for something easier to work on!

Not one for moderns myself, I’ve owned many classics and rarely had problems using them daily (looked after of course!). So… I’ve done some research and settled on a Dolly. I read the Practical Classics buying guide a couple of months ago and parts availability, economy etc seem pretty good. Plus they look great and have a bit more of a rarity value than a Mini or MGB which I like as I enjoy going to shows.

So as well as saying hello at the very beginning of my search (even before it begins) I have a few questions…

1. I get the impression that a 1500 would be best for me as I do long distance every now and again so want overdrive, plus the fuel economy seems competitive. Mini does 45-50mpg on a run. An MGB or Capri would only manage half that so that’s a no go. How good is a sorted Dolly really?

2. I do almost all servicing and maintenance myself (not bodywork). Are parts still widely available, and if so from where?

3. I’ll shove electronic ignition in there if it isn’t in already. What dizzy do they have? 45d?

4. Doubtful that most Dolomites would have rear seatbelts. Are the mounting points present in all cars?

5. Do I bother using a lead additive? I so, should I just get the head converted first off?

6. Lastly, I’m a bit of an originality geek. Would my budget of up to £3k get me something sorted, original and complete? I don’t mind doing a bit of fettling as there is always something to do.

Thanks :D
Lew


Top
   
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:19 pm 
Offline
TDC West Yorks Area Organiser
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 4:52 pm
Posts: 7366
Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire
Welcome to the forum Lew.

It looks like you've been doing your homework. The 1500 engine should be suitable for your needs. The later 1500HL would be the one because it has the same trim level as the 1850 & Sprint. I would also recommend the 1850 even though it is a bit thirstier than the 1500. Your biggest problem is going to be rust so buy on body condition. Panels such as the front outer wings & front outer panel are hard to get hold of in steel but the Club does these in fibreglass. Other parts are more easily available because there is an overlap with the Herald, Spitfire, TR7 & Stag. The dizzy on the 1500 engine is indeed a Lucas 45D4 and there are plenty of electronic ignitions available. I'd recommend the Britpart kit which is about £20 and is a straight swap for the points and condenser and will work with the existing coil. This will make a big difference to reliability. You can retrofit rear seatbelts in a Dolly. Avoid the static seatbelts. I hate these with a passion. The 1500 engine will run on unleaded but being a cast iron head it will need hardened valve seats fitting at some point. You can use an additive such as Castrol Valvemaster or Millers VSP to avoid this. If you're going to be using the car regularly it might be with having the head converted. I'm sure your budget will get you something usable that doesn't need any major work. If you get a Dolomite with the twin headlights, I would recommend the halogen headlight conversion kit. The sealed beam headlights are replaced with units that have replaceable halogen bulbs (H1 & H4 bulbs). Relays will be required to avoid burning out the indicator stalk (a weak spot on Dolomites) and is worth doing even if you don't fit halogen headlights.

I suggest that you join the Club even though you don't have a car yet. I have parts catalogues & factory workshop manuals in PDF form which I've uploaded to my cloud storage. Let me know if you're interested and I'll post a download link.

Keep the questions coming and good luck in your search.

_________________
Toledo Man

West Yorkshire Area Organiser & forum moderator
Meetings take place on the 1st Wednesday of every month at The Hollies Sports & Social Club, 12 Hough Lane, Bramley, Leeds, LS13 3NE
1972 Dolomite 1850 auto (NYE 751L - The rolling restoration)
2008 Citroën C4 Grand Picasso 2.0 HDi Exclusive (MA08 WCL - the modern)
Former stable of SAY 414M (1974 Toledo), GRH 244D (1966 1300fwd), CDB 324L (1973 1500fwd), GGN 573J (1971 1500fwd), DCP 625S (1977 Dolomite 1300) & LCG 367N (1975 Dolomite Sprint) plus 5 Acclaims and that's just the Triumphs!

Check my blog at http://triumphtoledo.blogspot.com

"I can help you stop smoking in bed. Buy a water bed and fill it with petrol." - Bob Monkhouse OBE (1928-2003)


Top
   
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:25 pm 
Offline
TDC N Ireland Area Organiser

Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:44 pm
Posts: 31
Yes ,,, join the club mate


Top
   
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 6:12 am 
Offline
Future Club member hopefully!
Future Club member hopefully!

Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:53 am
Posts: 7
Location: Hampshire
Thanks for the very helpful response! I will keep my eye out for a Dolly which fits my needs.

How different are the 1500 and 1850 fuel consumption wise? I could cope with 35mpg but much less and I question the cost of that extra space and luxury... I guess also the only other consideration would be that, depending on age, the latter would have higher road tax for a while.

I'll take your advice and join the club in due course :)


Top
   
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 8:32 am 
Offline
TDC Member

Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:52 pm
Posts: 1834
My 1850 daily driver returns 30mpg round town, 35mpg on a run. That's compared with 26 mpg from my Sprint and 25mpg from the MGB just to give an idea. A 1500 should be rather better. Go for an overdrive model if possible. Most mechanical parts are readily available. I use Rimmers, Fitchetts, Moss, and Wins.
Tony.


Top
   
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 12:00 pm 
Offline
TDC West Yorks Area Organiser
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 4:52 pm
Posts: 7366
Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire
I've never got more the 30mpg from my 1850 but it is an auto! Overdrive will be handy for the occasional motorway driving. I forgot about the higher road tax for the 1850 unless the car qualifies for free road tax. A rust free 1500HL with overdrive would therefore be the perfect choice. Another thing I forgot to mention with the 1500 engine is to keep up with the engine oil & filter changes, use a decent brand of oil and use a decent quality oil filter with a non-return valve. Something to watch out for on the 1500 engine is worn thrust washers and worn engine bearings. To check for thrust washer problems you will need to check the endfloat on the crankshaft pulley. Get an assistant to operate the clutch while you watch the crankshaft pulley for any visible movement. If you see any movement there is a problem. Worn bearings will be either a knocking sound for big end bearings or a rumble with main bearings. Big end bearings can be replaced in situ (just drop the oil sump) but main bearings will require the engine to be taken out of the car because the crankshaft will have to be removed to get to the main bearings.

I echo what Tony has already said. Other suppliers I will also recommend are James Paddock and Chris Witor. The Club can also supply parts so they should be your first port of call.

_________________
Toledo Man

West Yorkshire Area Organiser & forum moderator
Meetings take place on the 1st Wednesday of every month at The Hollies Sports & Social Club, 12 Hough Lane, Bramley, Leeds, LS13 3NE
1972 Dolomite 1850 auto (NYE 751L - The rolling restoration)
2008 Citroën C4 Grand Picasso 2.0 HDi Exclusive (MA08 WCL - the modern)
Former stable of SAY 414M (1974 Toledo), GRH 244D (1966 1300fwd), CDB 324L (1973 1500fwd), GGN 573J (1971 1500fwd), DCP 625S (1977 Dolomite 1300) & LCG 367N (1975 Dolomite Sprint) plus 5 Acclaims and that's just the Triumphs!

Check my blog at http://triumphtoledo.blogspot.com

"I can help you stop smoking in bed. Buy a water bed and fill it with petrol." - Bob Monkhouse OBE (1928-2003)


Top
   
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 6:43 pm 
Offline
TDC Shropshire Area Organiser

Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:12 pm
Posts: 4268
Location: Highley, Shropshire
Personally I'd go for the 1850, its much better on the road, especially motorway use use where the 1500 is thrashy, noisy and the weak bottom end really doesn't like it. Real world fuel consumption is not all that different between 1500 and 1850 models since the 1500 has to be thrashed to get decent performance whereas the 1850 is a much more effortless performer. The ally head on the 1850 is also already unleaded compatible so that saves time and a couple of hundred quid! This will compensate for having to pay a bit extra road tax for a year or two before it becomes tax free, but with 75 cars being VED free from next April, all but the last HL models are in striking distance and many are tax free already.

My two pennorth! Steve

_________________
2 door '73 Toledo with Vauxhall Carlton engine OWF 797M (The Carledo)
Vermillion (and Rust) Sprint Auto EGP 247T (The Dolomega)
'91 Cavalier 2ltr 8v auto
'95 Cavalier 2ltr 16v auto
Spectrum Auto Services, Servicing, Repairs, MOT prep. Apprentice served Triumph Specialist for 40 years and home of Maverick Triumph.PM for more info or quotes.


Top
   
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 7:53 pm 
Offline
TDC Member
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:49 pm
Posts: 2395
Location: Edinburgh. Occasionally Dundee.
As Steve said.
An 1850 will still perform better than a lot of moderns, a 1500 will keep up. Up to about 25mph. :)

_________________
White Dolomite 1850 HWM 572P

Bill.


Top
   
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:06 am 
Offline
Future Club member hopefully!
Future Club member hopefully!
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 5:40 am
Posts: 304
Location: Dalgety Bay, Fife, Scotland
Have to echo alls thoughts on the 1850: it's a wonderful machine. Whatever you choose we wish you well and hope to see you joining the club: it's a fantastic, friendly,mine of information run by people that genuinely care. Good Luck! Kind Regards, Russell

_________________
Russell A Macfarlane
Dalgety Bay, Fife, Scotland
1973 (L) Triumph Dolomite 1850 Manual (Non OD), Old English White
2012 (12) Vauxhall Insignia 1800 Exclusiv, Manual (Non OD!!), Technical Grey


Top
   
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:30 pm 
Offline
Future Club member hopefully!
Future Club member hopefully!

Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:53 am
Posts: 7
Location: Hampshire
Thanks again everyone for the useful info! Perhaps an 1850 is the way forward...... I expect there are more of them around as well. I will keep my eyes peeled as really do want one of these wonderful machines asap.


Top
   
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:38 pm 
Offline
TDC West Yorks Area Organiser
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 4:52 pm
Posts: 7366
Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire
As I've said before, buy on body condition. The autos are worth considering so don't rule them out. I only bought mine because it was cheap (it was a non-runner when I bought it) and the road tax was (and still is) free.

_________________
Toledo Man

West Yorkshire Area Organiser & forum moderator
Meetings take place on the 1st Wednesday of every month at The Hollies Sports & Social Club, 12 Hough Lane, Bramley, Leeds, LS13 3NE
1972 Dolomite 1850 auto (NYE 751L - The rolling restoration)
2008 Citroën C4 Grand Picasso 2.0 HDi Exclusive (MA08 WCL - the modern)
Former stable of SAY 414M (1974 Toledo), GRH 244D (1966 1300fwd), CDB 324L (1973 1500fwd), GGN 573J (1971 1500fwd), DCP 625S (1977 Dolomite 1300) & LCG 367N (1975 Dolomite Sprint) plus 5 Acclaims and that's just the Triumphs!

Check my blog at http://triumphtoledo.blogspot.com

"I can help you stop smoking in bed. Buy a water bed and fill it with petrol." - Bob Monkhouse OBE (1928-2003)


Top
   
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:48 pm 
Offline
Future Club member hopefully!
Future Club member hopefully!

Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:53 am
Posts: 7
Location: Hampshire
Quote:
As I've said before, buy on body condition. The autos are worth considering so don't rule them out. I only bought mine because it was cheap (it was a non-runner when I bought it) and the road tax was (and still is) free.
Of course. Bodywork isn't something I want to take on with this one. Interesting and good news to hear that the 1850 is unleaded compliant. One less thing to think about if I go down that route :D


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:39 pm 
Offline
Future Club member hopefully!
Future Club member hopefully!

Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:45 pm
Posts: 11461
Location: Middlesex
Your budget gets you a pretty nice 1850 but they seem to be few and far between these days...

You will get 30-37 mpg depending on how its driven. I'd try and get overdrive too...

Engine life versus 1500's is an interesting debate. I think the 1500 is thrashy and weak of bottom end. Too long of stroke for its 3 bearing crank.
Others hate the slant 4's silly head studs and water pump.

An MGB GT is about the same fuel economy wise but is agricultural in the ride quality. GT's can be had with rubber bumpers for similar money and I wouldnt rule one out, but the dolly has a much better heater.

Jonners

_________________
If I haven't done it in or to a dolomite, I know somebody who has....


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 12:16 pm 
Offline
Future Club member hopefully!
Future Club member hopefully!

Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:53 am
Posts: 7
Location: Hampshire
Quote:
Your budget gets you a pretty nice 1850 but they seem to be few and far between these days...

You will get 30-37 mpg depending on how its driven. I'd try and get overdrive too...

Engine life versus 1500's is an interesting debate. I think the 1500 is thrashy and weak of bottom end. Too long of stroke for its 3 bearing crank.
Others hate the slant 4's silly head studs and water pump.

An MGB GT is about the same fuel economy wise but is agricultural in the ride quality. GT's can be had with rubber bumpers for similar money and I wouldnt rule one out, but the dolly has a much better heater.

Jonners
Hi Jonners

I get what you say, and do have a BIG soft spot for MGBs. But is the fuel economy really that good? Perhaps there are simple mods to improve this?

Having a mini I'm fine with agricultural ride quality :wink: B's are also very easy to find. I'm having trouble finding any Dollys local to me at the moment and in the right condition, price etc... Still top of my list though.

A left-field possibility is a Rover P6. Can be had for 2 grand in ok condition. But I expect size too big for my garage and fuel economy may be terrible.

Search continues...!


Top
   
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:58 pm 
Offline
Future Club member hopefully!
Future Club member hopefully!
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 5:40 am
Posts: 304
Location: Dalgety Bay, Fife, Scotland
As Jon says 1850s are thin on the ground these days, Dollys certainly don't seem as plentiful as they were just a few years ago, it make it all the more refreshing when you see one mind you!! Im sure you will come up with something interesting anyway and if you do get one one things for sure you love it: id say its worth holding out for one...but then I'm biased!!

Kind Regards

Russell.

_________________
Russell A Macfarlane
Dalgety Bay, Fife, Scotland
1973 (L) Triumph Dolomite 1850 Manual (Non OD), Old English White
2012 (12) Vauxhall Insignia 1800 Exclusiv, Manual (Non OD!!), Technical Grey


Top
   
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 20 posts ]  Go to page 1 2 Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Limited