The Triumph Dolomite Club - Discussion Forum

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:10 pm 
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More progress..

I haven't been to the car for a couple of months, so it was about time I had another shot at it.

Annoyingly, I found that the front centre section of the roof had come unstuck, so the inside of the car had been getting wet. Luckily I think this had only just happened, as the interior wasn't very wet! The roof is now securely glued back to the header rail - the roof will be getting replaced at some point, as the current one has been fitted completely incorrectly.

Firstly, the brakes - despite all being new they were rather spongy - I thought I had some air trapped in the system. Despite a couple of attempts at bleeding the system, they were still rubbish. However, today they seemed to have fixed themselves! They're still not brilliant, but just about acceptable. Weird! I might give it another go at bleeding and see what happens. Or I might let the MoT station have a go instead - "if it works, don't mess with it" :lol:

Passenger-front upper balljoint fitted, the old one came out easily enough and the new one went back in without fuss. Cleaned up the area and sprayed the joint casing black.

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Also cleaned up the chassis and gave it a good coat of chassis black, so that is now looking respectable, rather than covered in surface rust.

Couldn't get it started, and it wasn't even firing.. but after a spray of Easy Start into the air filter, it fired right up! Idle seems fast, but it drove rather well. Annoyingly, the speedo needle made a bid for freedom, so now needs gluing back on :lol:

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The hand brake also fell off, turns out the circlip holding the pivot in place was missing. I'm just going to remove it (it is a 1500 brake) and fit my MKIV item.

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Rev counter has stopped working, can't be bothered to fix that at the moment as it's not an MoT failure.

Also fitted the new front badge and a steering wheel cover, which of course are both very important for the MoT :lol:

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I think all the car needs for the MoT is the handbrake reconnecting and adjusting! Oh and the front numberplate fixing to the car. Then wondering how long the "fail" list is going to be :lol:

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_________________
1978 Triumph Dolomite Sprint (project thread)
1970 Triumph Spitfire IV (project thread)
1966 VW Beetle 1300 (project thread)
1962 Austin Mini
1962 MGA MKII
1965 Mobylette SP50
1985 Sinclair C5


Last edited by Howard81 on Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:06 am 
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Not too long I hope.

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2011 Hyundai i10, 2001, Cowley built Rover 75 1.8, Dolomite 1850HL auto, the LWT,
Ford Galaxy 2.0


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:03 am 
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MKIV handbrake fitted and adjusted, also fitted the speedo I bought at the Resto show (which I reset to zero - that's a 5-hour job I NEVER want to do again :roll: ).

Front number-plate drilled and bolted in place, lovely new heavy-duty battery fitted, along with a "Dis-Car-Nect" cutoff switch. 8)

Had a slight panic moment when none of the gauges or radio worked, but after 20 minutes of head-scratching it turned out a wire had come off the voltage stabiliser behind the dash.. which of course resulted in most of the dashboard having to be taken apart as it had been relocated somewhere impossible to get to thanks to a previous owner :roll: :lol: I've now moved it somewhere much more accessible :)

Rev counter seems to have died though, probably due to the fact that the loom seems to be bits from about 10 different cars, none of which were Spitfires.. Ah well, that can wait until next time, need to find out why the heater doesn't work too.

Went for a quick spin around some Battersea back streets, and it's horrible! Mainly due to the hideous wire wheels rattling and handling like crap due to low tyre pressures, but they're soon to be replaced with a nice set of powdercoated steels with new tyres. I reckon that those, along with a new set of suspension bushes will improve things dramatically :) I need to replace the wheel studs, as the ones on the car have been cut short for the wire wheel hubs :roll:

I was rather impressed with the turning circle, it's almost like a London taxi!

Car now has two miles on the clock :mrgreen:

It's now insured.. £180 - result!

MoT booked for tomorrow :shock:

Let's hope it survives the 30-mile journey to tinweevil's for pre-MoT fettling :thumbsup:

Image

_________________
1978 Triumph Dolomite Sprint (project thread)
1970 Triumph Spitfire IV (project thread)
1966 VW Beetle 1300 (project thread)
1962 Austin Mini
1962 MGA MKII
1965 Mobylette SP50
1985 Sinclair C5


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 10:46 pm
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Quote:
...fitted the speedo I bought at the Resto show (which I reset to zero - that's a 5-hour job I NEVER want to do again ).
5 hours! :shock: How did you do it? If it is anything like the Dolomite ones, you can twist off the bezel and glass (gently levering up the metal tabs before hand) then turn the spools by gently separating them - they are located by springs at each end of the drum which make them interlock, once you have separated the spools, they will spin freely. Should be a 10 minute job tops even accounting for fiddle-factor

(ahem, not that I was doing anything illegal like "clocking" my car, m'lud. It read 97000, I had just completed a resto, and was merely winding the clock FORWARD to reflect it's actual mileage :wink:)


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 4:06 pm 
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And......... the outcome?

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2011 Hyundai i10, 2001, Cowley built Rover 75 1.8, Dolomite 1850HL auto, the LWT,
Ford Galaxy 2.0


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:47 pm 
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It got to the MOT but I won't steal Howards thunder. Mean time have a guess - was is red paper, green, yellow or a combination that Howard went home with :?:

_________________
1978 Pageant Sprint - the rustomite, 1972 Spitfire IV - sprintfire project, 1968 Valencia GT6 II - little Blue, 1980 Vermillion 1500HL - resting. 1974 Sienna 1500TC, Mrs Weevils big brown.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:29 pm 
Ooh, a guessing game, I'll have me some of that......

One green sheet and one yellow with some incredibly anal advisory on it; something silly like "horn emits a slightly poor tone**" or "minor oil leak from chaincase oil seal."

:D

**- Not so silly as it may appear, that very expression was present on the advisory sheet that came with the Vario Volvo I owned, briefly, earlier this year.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:26 pm 
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As you can guess with me and Triumphs, nothing is ever as straight-forward as it should be :lol:

MoT was booked for 3pm, so after an hour delay I left London at 10am. My first impressions of the car were not good, it drives horribly! The wire wheels rattle, the rear end clonks and the car generally feels like it has scaffolding poles fitted instead of shock absorbers. The engine was lumpy, had no power and smelt really bad. The drivers seat foam was soggy too, which was not pleasant :lol:

First stop was the petrol station just down the road for a refuel. Tyre pressures were down to under 10psi each, so this did improve the dodgy handling somewhat! Once the new petrol had worked it's way through the car ran much better too. With the roof down, the general crapness of the car was soon forgotten :mrgreen:

Managed to get up to 60mph on the way, but it started to smell really hot. So dropped back down to 30 for the rest of the journey.

Not far from Julian's, I got pulled over by the police for having no MoT or tax, but after explaining the situation they let me continue :)

Once I arrived, I felt like I had driven a million miles :lol:

First job was to adjust the handbrake again, as the journey down had bedded the rear shoes in nicely. After that we bled the brakes, which did improve them dramatically. We had a bit of a nightmare trying to get the rear reversing lights to work, but after spending an age tracing and testing the wiring (which has been bodged beyond belief) we've come to the conclusion that it's the gearbox switch - or that the wiring has come off the switch. Anyway, they're not testable on a 1970 car, and even if they complained I was armed with a roll of black electrical tape to make them magically disappear :mrgreen:

Julian recommended this particular MoT station as they regularly test classics. Once the car was on the ramp, the most miserable MoT tester I've ever encountered appeared, opened the bonnet, immediately took the rubber boot off the master cylinder and pointed out that it was leaking. Bugger! It was a brand new cylinder too. :(

After that, he took a bit of a dislike to my car and seemed to be on a bit of a mission to find every fault with it. Now, the underside is covered in the worlds thickest underseal. It's 5mm thick in places! It does have a fair few patches, but it's all solid. The testers first comment to me was "that's thick, you've put that on to hide the rust haven't you?" :lol: He then got his little MoT pick hammer out and spent the next 20 minutes hitting and poking the chassis and floorpan with some force, he was determined to find something to fail it on. And I'm not exaggerating, I've never seen anyone spend so long trying to find a fault! Eventually he couldn't, so reluctantly gave up on his quest.

So, it was a fail. Master cylinder leaking, rear indicator not working, and both wiper blades inefficient. Considering that it hasn't had a legitimate MoT since 1979, I don't think that's half bad - especially when you consider that the only main fail was a NEW part! Annoying about the indicator though, as that was working when we left. Oh well.

Advisories were:

O/S/F wheel bearing has slight play
N/S/F wheel bearing has slight play
Parking brake lever is near the end of it's travel

and one for JPB.. (as quoted off the sheet)

The whole of the underside of the car is coated in thick underseal - suspect this is hiding poor quality repairs :lol:

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We rushed back to Julians in the Spitfire, then hopped in his 1500TC Auto for a blast over to Wins before they shut to pick up a master cylinder seal kit. Back home, the cylinder was removed, stripped and resealed, but by this time it was really late, so called it a night and celebrated with fish, chips and beer :mrgreen:

The next day, the master cylinder was refitted, but something wasn't right. The fluid being pumped through was FULL of air, like the fizz and bubbles in lemonade. No idea why. The easiest solution was to cancel the 10am retest and take another blast over to Wins and buy a new master cylinder. With that fitted, everything was perfect! New wiper blades fitted, checked the indicators, and retest booked for 3pm...

Quite a bit of time to kill in the meantime, so I helped Julian with his cars. Fitted his new indicator stalk (I've got column stripdown for stalk replacement down to about 35-40 minutes now :D ) and after quite a bit of headscratching the battery drain turned out to be due to the boot lamp switch coming loose which meant it was constantly on!

Back to the MoT station. Tester seemed to like the repairs, and I got very good brake %'s on the rollers. Pass! Woohoo! :D Unfortunately, as the last tax disc expired in March 1980, the car is still registered as PLG on the logbook, so I had to buy a tax disc. I'll get over to the DVLA office next week to get them to change it to Historic 8)

Julian took Mrs. Tinweevil out for a spin in it, and has given it his approval :D

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BIG THANKS to Julian for this, firstly for helping me with the car, and secondly for all the mad dashes across town to pick up seal kits, etc :D

As a result, I'm next going to Juilans in hope to turn several boxes of freshly powedercoated mystery into something that will hopefully resemble his old GT6 :mrgreen:

Image

_________________
1978 Triumph Dolomite Sprint (project thread)
1970 Triumph Spitfire IV (project thread)
1966 VW Beetle 1300 (project thread)
1962 Austin Mini
1962 MGA MKII
1965 Mobylette SP50
1985 Sinclair C5


Last edited by Howard81 on Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:57 pm 
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On the way back to London, I decided to go for a blast along the M25 Eastbound, then up the A6. By this time, the Spitfire was running SO MUCH BETTER than it was when I left London the day before. I guess as the poor thing had generally been standing for so long, all the grease had gummed up. It was screaming a bit at 70mph, but 50-60 was a nice speed. I did put the roof up before I left as it was raining, but as soon as it stopped it went straight down again!

Almost home, and the O/S front wheel started clonking. Tok, tok, tok, tok.. that got faster and slower with road noise and stopped whilst braking. Luckily I was only a mile from home, so after checking that the wheel wasn't immanently going to fall off, I took the rest of the journey with care.

The next day I stripped the hub off. The reason for the noise? The split pin had fallen out and the castle nut was slowly unwinding!! I thought I had forgotten to fit it, but it was inside the grease cap in about 4 bits! I have a feeling I reused the original pin a while back, so lesson learnt... Castle nut done finger tight the backed off to the next flat, with a NEW split pin fitted, so all is now well. I checked the other side, which is all good.

Julian has given me the hubs off his MKIV project, so I'm getting the new wheel studs pressed in and I've ordered a bearing kit to arrive next week, so two more things crossed off this list! And finally I can put the steel wheels on the front.

_________________
1978 Triumph Dolomite Sprint (project thread)
1970 Triumph Spitfire IV (project thread)
1966 VW Beetle 1300 (project thread)
1962 Austin Mini
1962 MGA MKII
1965 Mobylette SP50
1985 Sinclair C5


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:39 pm 
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So, what are my plans for the car now?

Basically, this is a car that will never be up to my perfectionist standard, so it would be impossible to do a rolling resto, as I did on KSF. The only way for XOE to look as good as that would be to strip it down and find a new chassis and build it up from a bare tub, in which case I would return it to the original Leyland White. So my aim for this project is to a CHEAP, but fun car. However, I do have basic standards, so my plans are to gradually do the following:

It has an exhaust leak on the downpipe to centre section join, this isn't helped by the fact that the gearbox tunnel looks like has been made out of compressed Weetabix. This has gone all soggy and no longer seals the engine out and has been desperately trying to kill me with carbon monoxide poisoning whenever I have the hood up. Exhaust is leaking at the downpipe to centre section join. I have a new fibreglass gearbox tunnel to fit, along with a new seal. Need some nice sound deadening to smother it in first! So for the time being, it really only best if I drive it with the hood down. On dear, that's terrible, how awful, etc, etc.. etc :lol:

Windscreen wipers park in the upright position, so need to faff about with that.

Heater doesn't work.

Temp gauge only just registers on the "cold" end of the scale. When the wiring is earthed, the needle shoots off the hot end of the scale, so I must have a faulty thermo switch.

The sills need looking at too, the front end on the drives side has rusted through, but the rest look rock solid! Both the outer sills were replaced in the '70s, but this seems to be about the only welding the body tub has ever needed!

Suspension overhaul. It's never been done before, so is a big mess. The car rides and handles awfully. Probably not helped by the rear diff having one (short) driveshaft from a MKIV, and one (long) driveshaft from a 1500.. One corner at a time I'll strip and paint the components, fit new bushes and shocks. The back will get new driveshaft joints too

Need a new passenger window as it's not physically attached to the window winder, due to the support bar at the bottom being made up of rust :lol: Both the doors need to come apart for a sort out too, as the locks are a bit temperamental.

The roll bar is going, it looks crap, gets in the way and is generally nasty. Likewise with the hideous wire wheels. Going on eBay to help balance out the project costs!

The interior is crap - brand new carpets that are the worst fitting repros I've ever seen, the seat foams are crumbing away. The back trim panel has been badly home made and doesn't fit, and the boot is missing everything. My plan is to visit some of the Spitfire breakers, and make up an interior out of original, but used parts that would be in keeping with the way the car looks.

I have a brand new hood to fit, and also a tatty hard-top. The hard top will probably get fitted before Christmas, and I'll leave the hood until better weather.

The engine is a 1500, original out of a MG Midget. The gearbox is a Triumph one out of who-knows-what, (reverse is left then up). I'll see how I get on with the engine, but so far it seems to run well, so for now the engine, gearbox and diff will be getting complete oil changes.

Wiring - it's horrible! A kingdom of bodges. Part MKIV, part 1500, part home-made, and mostly bundles of mystery. No idea why it works at all to be honest, it needs ripping out and starting again. New looms are £200, which is too much, so am quite tempted to make one myself.. but I need an unbutchered one out of a 1971/1972 MKIV to copy.

_________________
1978 Triumph Dolomite Sprint (project thread)
1970 Triumph Spitfire IV (project thread)
1966 VW Beetle 1300 (project thread)
1962 Austin Mini
1962 MGA MKII
1965 Mobylette SP50
1985 Sinclair C5


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:37 am 
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My recomendation would be to go for the later loom and column from a 77-79 era one cos that has the more common dip/indicator/horn and wiper washer switch combo and the better plugs. You also get useful bits like the seat belt warning light and hazards...
You have the 1500 engine after all so its not that original. Sounds like you have the earlier 3 rail box though.

Jonners

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Note from Admin: sadly Jon passed away in February 2018 but his humour and wealth of knowledge will be fondly remembered by all. RIP Jonners.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:37 am 
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My recomendation would be to go for the later loom and column from a 77-79 era one cos that has the more common dip/indicator/horn and wiper washer switch combo and the better plugs. You also get useful bits like the seat belt warning light and hazards...
You have the 1500 engine after all so its not that original. Sounds like you have the earlier 3 rail box though.

Jonners

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Note from Admin: sadly Jon passed away in February 2018 but his humour and wealth of knowledge will be fondly remembered by all. RIP Jonners.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 7:21 pm 
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It has the later gearbox too (reverse is left then forward), so likely someone has simply dropped in the whole assembly out of a 1500. The engine block is FP, so was out of a midget originally. Rear diff appears original though. Luckily, the engine seems to run rather nicely, so will get left alone for now, other than a good service :)

I'm going to keep the earlier column, I rather like the slim stalks and oddly placed ignition!

Next project is to replace the gearbox tunnel, the cardboard one is beyond repair and letting fumes into the cabin, so I have a fibreglass one to replace it. The quality of the fibreglass one looks dire, so I'm not looking forward to that job..

Exhaust leak at the downpipe to centre section join needs to be fixed, so hopefully will just need removing, resealing and refitting. If not, a new centre pipe should sort it, but I'd rather not buy one if I can help it! The rear box was new courtesy of the previous owner.

_________________
1978 Triumph Dolomite Sprint (project thread)
1970 Triumph Spitfire IV (project thread)
1966 VW Beetle 1300 (project thread)
1962 Austin Mini
1962 MGA MKII
1965 Mobylette SP50
1985 Sinclair C5


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:12 pm 
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Howard your "wiper park" problem is probably the drive attached to the motor 180 Deg out.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:56 am 
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Thanks Mike, I will investigate the wiper internals as soon as I get a chance!

One problem with my Spitfire was the interior - or more so the lack of it. A new interior would cost way more than is worth spending on the car, so secondhand is my only option. I also prefer that, as an original but previously enjoyed interior is always going to look way better than a sterile new one as my car isn't immaculate. It also gives me chance to faff about and clean up all the manky looking panels, and end up with a lovely interior. Bit of secondhand trim are also a million times cheaper than a new one - the prices from Newton Commercial :shock:

So yesterday, I went to Spit Bitz in Wokingham and came back with what my friend described to his flatmate as a boot of scrap :lol: :mrgreen:

I ended up with:

Rear cockpit panel
Rear quarter panels
Boot tank panel
Boot matt
Boot wheel board
Boot wheel cover
Tonneau dashboard studs
Glovebox rails (both sides)
"Horseshoe" chrome trims for the back panel
Knee pads

Reconditioned o/s/r "short" axle
Front o/s/f suspension unit (complete :shock: )

Annoyingly, when I got home, I realised that the two rear quarter trims were both for the drivers-side! Oh well, one wasn't so good anyway, so it'll get flipped over and recovered :lol:

Image

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_________________
1978 Triumph Dolomite Sprint (project thread)
1970 Triumph Spitfire IV (project thread)
1966 VW Beetle 1300 (project thread)
1962 Austin Mini
1962 MGA MKII
1965 Mobylette SP50
1985 Sinclair C5


Last edited by Howard81 on Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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