The Triumph Dolomite Club - Discussion Forum

The Number One Club for owners of Triumph's range of small saloons from the 1960s and 1970s.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:47 pm 
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Future Club member hopefully!
Future Club member hopefully!

Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2016 8:39 pm
Posts: 6
New member here, so Hi! :bluewave:
Quick introduction; I'm a Mechatronics student at Leeds Uni, with a relatively long-standing interest in classic cars (Hence why I've registered on a site for classic car enthusiasts... that statement was kind of redundant, wasn't it?). I learnt to drive a few years ago, but, thanks to the cost of getting insured, getting a car hasn't really been an option. I've been looking around, however, and it looks like getting a classic as a first car wouldn't be a bad idea, as A; I don't have to take up bank robbery as a hobby to afford the insurance, and B; I don't end up driving a generic beige econobox. Looking around, I've vaguely settled on getting either a 70's MGB (Less practical, but more available), or a Dolomite, Toledo, or other Ajax saloon (Wow, I bet you weren't expecting that on a forum dedicated to the Dolomite, Toledo, and other Ajax saloons!). As stands, I've never done any work on cars before, beyond fitting a stereo to my mum's Saxo; I know a reasonable amount of general theory, and I'm mechanically minded, but I don't know how to do stuff like welding (although I feel it's a skill I ought to learn), so I'm rekoning on getting something of rolling restoration-grade or better, depending on what's affordable/available. I'm reckoning on a budget of ~£2500 to get something usable.
So, basic questions;
A; Am I being stupid? No, scratch that; I know the answer to that already. New question; How stupid am I being?
B; Is there anyone nearby who'd be willing to let me have a look at their car? I feel it'd be a good idea for me to have a look round one in person before travelling anywhere too far to buy one, so if there's anyone near either Leeds or Preston who'd be willing to show me round their car, and point out things to keep an eye out for, it'd be a great help.
C; What sort of work do you reckon I'd be able to tackle, and hence, what sort of issues etc. should I take as reasons to leave a car alone? As stands, I've got a moderate degree of both theoretical and practical mechanical and electrical/electronic knowledge, but no experience working on a car. I've kind of got to start somewhere, but I don't want to bite off more than I can chew.

Sorry if I'm being a moron about anything, or asking questions that have already been answered elsewhere, and thanks in advance.
Also, perks of being a student involve acess to pricy CAD software, tools etc. so if there's anything that I can help anyone else out with, I'd be more than happy to do what I can.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 6:32 pm 
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TDC West Yorks Area Organiser
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Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 4:52 pm
Posts: 7366
Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire
Welcome to the forum.

As the local (to Leeds) Area Organiser, I may well be your man. You've missed the last meeting but you're more than welcome to come to the next one where there might be the odd Dolly or two. Mine is in the throes of a respray and then it will need an MoT. There's also the Bradford Classic this coming Saturday where one of my local members (RobSun) will be displaying his original unrestored Dolomite 1300. You've certainly come to the right place and if you want to own one of the Dolomite range joining the Club will give you access to the various benefits. You don't have to be a club member to come to the meetings. I suggest that you check out some of the restoration threads to get an idea of what sort of problems we come across when repairs are undertaken. Should you decide to get a project car my man can do welding and other bodywork at "mates rates". We've already got another local member's project lined up once mine has been painted so you will have to join the queue.

Your biggest problem is going to be rust. As a 1960s/1970s car they're prone to it. Being handy with a MIG does help and my man (Adam) is a welder by trade so car bodywork is no problem for him. Mechanically the vehicles are quite simple. Another problem area is electrics but most problems are due to corrosion from lack of use. When my 1850 was out of action last year there were a few electrical issues due to lack of use which were easily rectified.

Hope this helps any.

_________________
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)


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 5:38 pm
Posts: 425
Location: Aberdeenshire, Scotland
In fairness £2500 should get a very nice example of any Ajax body car, other than a Sprint. Not so much rolling resto as "good car that need kept up" I'd think. One thing I would say is you'd probably get a nicer Dolly for your budget than a MGB GT which would probably also be lumbered with the naff "rubber" bumpers...

I paid £850 for my shambles of an 1850HL and that had a year's MOT, even if the underseal was structural, and it served me well for a couple of years. My 1300 was £1400 and has done over 10,000 miles in my ownership over the last three years despite being mechanically knackered and only needs a bit of bodywork now after several Scottish winters due to previous bodgery.

Mechanical work is easy on OHV cars, I've had the head off my 1300 on numerous occasions, replaced starters, ignition bits, brake system parts etc with no prior mechanical knowledge and just a Haynes manual, BL service manual and this forum (+ help from Dad)! Ancillaries on the OHC motor are just as easy but I'd not want to tear into the engine in all honesty and the concept of timing chain/water pump work scares me! :lol:
Engines will happily rock up 100,000 miles between rebuilds, if well looked after than can and will do more. OHV lumps tend to be more resilient to abuse although I hear 1500s don't much like high revs, my 1300 used to sit at 70mph just fine but 55mph felt much kinder!

Bodywork is a pain, all the panels are welded rather than bolted on so any replacement is going to be a cut and weld job. Sills, jacking points, subframe and chassis legs are really easy to check when viewing, beware super fresh underseal, might be hiding problems (ask how I know...)! Might be worth a check of the floorpan if you can lift the front carpets, the top of the A-pillar (open the door and check around the same level as the base of the windscreen) and the boot floor right at the back where the wheel arch is.

Other obvious bits are the front valance, wheel arches , bootlid and door bottoms although none of that is structural so I'd just stuff it full of fiberglass and filler like a cock. :wink:

Also to consider is where the car will live. I've kept my Dolomites outside and garaged and they deteriorate much faster when open to the elements (especially on the Scottish coast...), also working on the things at the side of the street at 11pm when it's freezing cold and raining is a miserable if character building experience which can't be avoided if it's your only form of transport. Also, OHV heaters are utterly crap, driving in snow is like driving a giant bar of soap, the whole car has two fuses that ruin your day if you don't keep spares, the quad round sealed beam headlights are rubbish, wipers only have two speeds (too fast and too slow), every other motorist will feel the need to pass you regardless of how fast you are going and the handbrake will need adjusting constantly if you want it to do anything other than look nice in the cabin.

As a final word of warning, once you buy one you'll likely feel the compulsion to buy more and then they will ruin your life. Here are mine:

Image

_________________
1976 Triumph Dolomite 1850HL "Trevor, 50 Shades of Yellow" - Off the road for 2 years, currently being fixed.
1977 Triumph Dolomite 1300 "Daisy, the Dilapidated Dolomite of Disaster" - Off the road for 1 year, also currently being fixed.
2005 Honda Civic 1.6i Exec "The Honda" - ON THE ROAD, actual functioning car in the fleet...


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:55 pm 
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Future Club member hopefully!
Future Club member hopefully!

Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2016 8:39 pm
Posts: 6
Hi; Another plea for help: Is there anyone in the vague vicinity of St Helen's who'd be willing to give a possible car a look-over with me? I'm having a look at a 1300 on friday afternoon, and it'll be the first prospective one I've had a look at, so a set of eyes with some knowledge attached to the back would be of great help.
Also, thanks for all the help so far.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:50 am 
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TDC West Yorks Area Organiser
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Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 4:52 pm
Posts: 7366
Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire
The main rot spots are the sills, door bottoms rear arches, front wings and front panel. Don't be put off my any mechanical problems as these are easy to fix in comparison to bodywork. Even if there is some bodywork needed me and Adam can sort it out for you at "mates rates". If you can, get yourself over to look at the car.

Let us know how you get on.

_________________
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)


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