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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:22 am 
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Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
I asked for advice recently on the size and shape of the exhaust heat shield which is fitted onto the engine side of the firewall of a Dolomite Sprint. One very prompt and positive response came from straylight – Stu who followed up and encouraged me to read his two restoration threads. He suggested after seeing photos of the car which I am restoring that I too should start a thread and post some pictures.

I was initially reluctant to do this but in reading through Stu’s threads and noting that not only was there a wealth of advice and support offered to him but that it also gave information which others like me need to complete my restoration. Perhaps this thread might give some encouragement to others too.

This restoration started back in 1988 and stalled in the early 1990’s because of various domestic matters and was only recommenced a couple of years ago when I had both the time and the desire to complete the job. The photos shown in this posting will show a sequence of what happened in the early part of the restoration, when as a then member of the DSR register some of what is repeated below will have been covered in the DSR News. So this may jog memories in some of the current membership.

I purchased the car from the second owner Alan after it had been badly damaged in a rather unusual accident which wrote off a number of cars. A retaining wall up which this and the other cars had been parked collapsed crushing the back of the Sprint. I had seen this car long before the accident and had suggested to the then owner that if he ever wanted to sell then I would like first option to purchase. This first photo comes courtesy of the Dominion Post newspaper.
Attachment:
1987 100330ew Sprint Wellington.jpg
1987 100330ew Sprint Wellington.jpg [ 144.58 KiB | Viewed 5395 times ]
One of the disadvantages of living so far from the UK is that the restoration of any car – in any condition, is compounded by the distance and inaccessibility to parts. Oh how things have changed with the internet revolution!

The trim on this car was in first class order for even when I purchased it in the state you see it here, the protective coverings that covered the doors and which were usually removed at the pre-delivery check were still in place.

The second photo should show the car as received and delivered back here.
Attachment:
198811-23Pw Dolomite Sprint on arrival.jpg
198811-23Pw Dolomite Sprint on arrival.jpg [ 109.66 KiB | Viewed 5395 times ]
The next step was to find a donor car for it was my initial intention to simply strip all the Sprint parts from this car and move them across to the donor car. A donor was found and purchased and then I was introduced to an outstanding tradesman. Brian acquired his skills in England before emigrating to New Zealand and working for Autorestorations, http://www.autorestorations.co.nz one of the premier restoration companies in this part of the world. He had all but retired when he viewed my project but he stipulated that if he was to be involved it would have to be done his way.

He proposed to carry out what they call in the trade, a cut and shut. He said he would cut the back end of the damaged Sprint and graft on the good back end of the donor. In that way the chassis plate would remain where it rightfully belonged. He knew exactly where to undertake the cutting of the two bodies for once I had removed items like trim, brake and fuel lines, and prop shafts he returned to the house and following another inspection, borrowed my circular saw, removed the guards and fitted a cut-off wheel and within a matter of hours the various body parts had been separated, the good halves welded back together and the shut operation had been completed.

It is fortunate that in this part of the world that rust is not the problem which others restoring their cars have had to cope with. During the body restoration process Brian was able, to demonstrate the true art of a craftsman by, for instance, using various techniques such as using a polishing buff to gently warm areas of the body and so shrink the metal and remove minor creases and dents.

This last photo shows Brian separating the body across the body seam and cutting through the sills.
Attachment:
198903-15Pew Brian cutting the donor floor.jpg
198903-15Pew Brian cutting the donor floor.jpg [ 115.76 KiB | Viewed 5393 times ]


Last edited by Robert 352 on Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:31 am 
nice work robert, thanks for starting the thread. Dolomite Candy as it were.

funny to see Brian inside the vehicle chopping it up, a bit like sitting on the limb of a tree !

Heat shrinking must be the black art of panel beating.

The fastback dolomite is still a jawdropper, now everyone is going to want more pics !

good luck with the resto, I'll be following it like I follow a Mad mart resto :D

stu


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:14 am 
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Welcome to the forum.

There's plenty of advice to be found on here. Brian sounds like he knows what he's doing. Everyone should have a Brian. He's a brave man for doing a "cut & shut". Unfortunately it has a bad reputation over here due to the bodge artists. It needs to be perfect down to the last millimetre for it to be done properly. Keep us posted and let's see some more photos. It would be better if you put your photos on a hosting site such as Photobucket, Picassa or Flickr. I think most people would've just reshelled the car but good on you for saving part of the original shell.

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Toledo Man

West Yorkshire Area Organiser & forum moderator
Meetings take place on the first Wednesday of the month at 8.00pm at The Old Brickworks, Wakefield Road, Drighlington, Bradford, BD11 1EA
1972 Dolomite 1850 auto (NYE 751L - Waiting for me to give it some love)
2008 Citroën C4 Grand Picasso 2.0 HDi Exclusive (MA08 WCL - the workhorse)
1995 BMW 318i (M265 PNC - Project Bimmer, the 2nd car)
1991 Toyota Celica GT (J481 ONB - the current project car)
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

"There is only one way to avoid criticsm: do nothing, say nothing and BE nothing." Aristotle


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 Post subject: Hi again Robert......
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:55 pm 
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:D I too am pleased you have decided to detail your project on here.

As it happens I have relations in Christchurch but I don't think they own any Triumphs.
Two years ago my brother and his family emigrated to Whangarei in the north island. He tells me he has seen a few Triumphs
(one Toledo(?) and some 2000s) that appear to be in everyday use.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:24 pm 
I'm heading to nz next year, hopefully with my dolly so good to know enthusiasts are already there!


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 Post subject: Cuts and Shuts!
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:50 pm 
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Cut and shuts have a bad reputation in this part of the world too for as Brian was able to demonstrate it can be done very quickly and had the two halves matched colour, is a relatively cheap way of making one good car out of two damaged wrecks.

Perhaps it is worth noting that this project was started way back in the late 1980’s and the rules and regulations have changed here in New Zealand. Had the car sustained a similar amount of damage today then I am sure that the insurance company (the owner) would be obliged to write the car off and in doing so, if the car was restored in the manner which Brian has shown can be done, then it would have been necessary to go through quite an elaborate inspection process which has been adopted here in the last twenty years. It would have involved registered and certified engineers inspecting the work as it was being done to ensure that the completed repair was sound. And only then would a new set of registration plates have been issued.

What prompted Brian though to opt for this solution in this case was that the car had not been shunted in any way so there would not be any distortion through the front of the car. The wall had collapsed quite slowly and squeezed the back of the car into the shape you can see in the first sequence of photos. That is evident by the way that the rear left hand passenger window did not break as the wall lay down over the car.

Brian could see where all the factory joins were in the pillars and very carefully cut across the floor of both cars – on the good Sprint front half, immediately behind the seam on the floor well and ahead of the same seam on the donor car. Peeled the spot welded strips remaining, off both and then wheeled the two halves together. He brazed that seam joint together so it is stronger than it ever was.

This sequence of photos shows the separated bits of the two cars. It is hard to believe that at this point Brian would make one good one out of what is shown here.
Attachment:
198904-01Pew Brian with separated parts.jpg
198904-01Pew Brian with separated parts.jpg [ 118.44 KiB | Viewed 5393 times ]
This second picture shows Brian supporting the back end of the second car and as you can see the body section is pretty balanced around the back wheels.
Attachment:
198903-24Ptew Brian donor Dolomite separated.jpg
198903-24Ptew Brian donor Dolomite separated.jpg [ 108.1 KiB | Viewed 5392 times ]
This last picture shows the car joined together, with the doors and front windscreen sat in place, all the shut lines are what they should be.
Attachment:
198904-14Pew Dolomite complete.jpg
198904-14Pew Dolomite complete.jpg [ 106.24 KiB | Viewed 5391 times ]
Some donor Triumph Herald wheels have been fitted in order to move the car around.

And the measurements when he finished? Wheel centre to wheel centre on both sides? Exactly what the book said it should read. But that is the mark of a craftsman, I would call him an artist.

Well after all these photos were taken, a proper workshop was set up in the farm shed seen in the back of the middle photo. Space for 5 cars, a 30 foot bench and storage in the room above.

These Photobuckets, and Picassas and Flickr programmes! I am an aging engineer and struggle with this modern computer stuff. I keep all my photos in a library on an external drive.

The purpose of this is really to encourage others, not to be put off by what might seem an impossible task. Hence I put the photo up of the car in the as received condition. The next posting will describe the treatment prior to painting.


Last edited by Robert 352 on Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:51 pm 
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Top work there, they weren't built that well in Coventry!

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:52 pm 
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Quote:
Top work there, they weren't built that well in Coventry!
And a wheelbase by the book is alsmost scary. 8)

Jeroen

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:09 am 
excellent.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 5:17 am 
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Like all projects of this nature once the panel beating had been done then the real hard work began when I had to prepare the car for painting and for the final panel work by Brian. He removed practically on the dents and creases as I stripped the paint off by various techniques so that the painter had little work to do in taking out the blemishes left.

The first step was to strip off all the existing paint. Some have suggested in the threads which I have read that it may have been advisable to have left the original paintwork in place but although there was little rust evident either on the external bodywork and certainly none visible in the sills, there were little spider like patterns evident underneath the paintwork when it was stripped from the exterior body.
And because the two halves were different colours we felt it was best to take it right back to bare metal to ensure consistency.

It took some time to strip the paint using a proprietary stripper and once that was done the bare metal was given a phosphoric acid based wash to passivate the metal. Then the car was taken a shot blasting company where the paint around the door shuts and the like was removed.
Attachment:
198911-21Pew Dolomite Sprint sandblasted and primed.jpg
198911-21Pew Dolomite Sprint sandblasted and primed.jpg [ 108.02 KiB | Viewed 5383 times ]

Following which the car was taken to a specialist painter who returned the car in the condition shown.
Attachment:
199003-20Pew painted Dolomite Sprint.jpg
199003-20Pew painted Dolomite Sprint.jpg [ 105.22 KiB | Viewed 5381 times ]
At about the same time many of the items which had been cad plated originally were sent away for replating and much time was spent to stripping back and repainting smaller items such as the various components which make up the front and rear suspension.

Letters were sent away to various addresses all over the world looking for components which would be required. The engine was reconditioned and returned as an assembled short block. All this took time and with the car now resembling a giant meccano set, domestic pressures forced a halt to the project.


Last edited by Robert 352 on Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:44 pm 
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Brian has done a top job there. He even knew where to make the cuts and got it absolutely spot on. The decision to take it back to bare metal was the right one. How long ago was all this work done?

On the subject of Photbucket, etc, they are websites that host photos online and once uploaded the photos can be linked in forum posts and Blogs. It saves uploading photos to the forum server which can slow down the forum. One advantage is if you post on more than one forum you only need to upload your photos once to the hosting site. It isn't difficult to learn how to use a photo hosting website. You just open an account, upload your photos and then put your links in your posts.

_________________
Toledo Man

West Yorkshire Area Organiser & forum moderator
Meetings take place on the first Wednesday of the month at 8.00pm at The Old Brickworks, Wakefield Road, Drighlington, Bradford, BD11 1EA
1972 Dolomite 1850 auto (NYE 751L - Waiting for me to give it some love)
2008 Citroën C4 Grand Picasso 2.0 HDi Exclusive (MA08 WCL - the workhorse)
1995 BMW 318i (M265 PNC - Project Bimmer, the 2nd car)
1991 Toyota Celica GT (J481 ONB - the current project car)
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

"There is only one way to avoid criticsm: do nothing, say nothing and BE nothing." Aristotle


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:58 am 
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How long ago was this work done? The paintwork, early 1990's.

Photobucket - does that mean I have invent another password which I know I will promptly forget and then loose my photos somewhere in the ether? I know I am loosing my marbles but loosing my photos too, I am not sure I could cope!!

Anyway back to the project for I am trying to bring things up to date.

Some work did continue in the 1990's period.

The family visited Sydney, Australia in 1994 and i met with the Philip and Mark of Sprintparts. Very helpful lads who continue to support Dolomite owners down under here. Some parts were purchased and added to the now growing meccano like collection. Correspondence was maintained with those running the Dolomite Sprint Register which merged into the TDC as it is now today. Sometime about then I had a visitor from the UK who had picked up my details from magazine. He was out here on business. It was a delight to host someone with a common interest.

And I met with others locally who owned or who had previously owned a Sprint. This was often to my advantage for invariably the conversation would lead to a point where a comment would be made along the lines of “in fact I think that I still have some spare parts somewhere……” A visit to the garage would be made and a spare taillight assembly or clutch would be purchased.

I was given the name of a fellow, Alwin, living south from here, in Oamaru who had rallied cars some years before and who had purchased a Sprint which had been rallied. I contacted him, the car had gone, but there were a whole lot of parts sitting “somewhere”. A visit was made and a whole hoard of parts emerged. I remember scratching my head and wondering out loud where I would put the spare block and the new crankshaft and all the other bits and pieces when he pointed me towards a 2.5PI station wagon sitting in the back of his shed. I had owned two PI’s previously and recognised that this station wagon, a manual overdrive model, was a rare beast in its own right.
Attachment:
199211-02Pew Triumph PI 2500 SW.jpg
199211-02Pew Triumph PI 2500 SW.jpg [ 103.18 KiB | Viewed 5379 times ]

It was purchased along with the spares.

There was a small problem, the starter motor was not fitted and nor was it registered to be driven on the road. But such matters back then were trivial and the car was tow started and I set off home. It was clear though that while this rather tired but quite rare car in its own right, was eminently restorable and possibly worth a great deal more than a restored Sprint, it would be unlikely that I would ever have both the time and the patience to do so. So once back here with all the Dolomite spares stashed away it was passed onto another Triumph enthusiast.

Then as the domestic situation changed and improved, the assembly of the car was moved out of the garage attached to the house across into a workshop which had been created in the farm shed. Now with 30 feet of clear bench space it was possible to continue with the fettling of some of the smaller items. However with the move some items were misplaced which has only become evident in the last few weeks.

Perhaps though the biggest shock was felt when the first in the series of the 13,000 earthquakes was felt here in the Canterbury region, in the early morning of the 4th of September 2010. In the series of aftershocks that day that shook the living daylights out of us all here, and which continue even as I write this, caused my restored and painted brake servo to tumble to the floor bending the rod that links to the brake pedal and breaking the Bakelite nose.
Attachment:
20110205-1130ew damaged Sprint servo.jpg
20110205-1130ew damaged Sprint servo.jpg [ 100.9 KiB | Viewed 5379 times ]
Worse I was to discover that car spares are specifically excluded from the farm and household insurance policies.

I am still on a search to find the bits necessary to restore this servo. I managed to get it apart this week but have not yet figured out how to pull all the internals apart.

That in a way has been one of the reasons to encourage me to finish the restoration for it is impossible to insure the vast meccano set it was, on that day. So those of you holding caches of spares, wherever you are, it may pay to check to ensure that your own spares (treasures??) are covered in the event of fire, flood, earthquake etc.

So to conclude, a photo of a broken brake servo, a rather rare PI wagon and a shot taken after the later February 2011 earthquake. This is to demonstrate to a certain group of UK TV presenters that even Toyota Landcruisers cannot cope with some of what nature dishes up to us. No matter that they think they might be indestructible – or can go anywhere.
Attachment:
Christchurch-February-2011-Earthquake w.jpg
Christchurch-February-2011-Earthquake w.jpg [ 108.63 KiB | Viewed 5376 times ]
Drive it out of this hole lads!


Last edited by Robert 352 on Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:47 am 
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Robert, if you were referring to the Top Gear presenters, it was the Hilux not the Landcruiser.
Image
It was crashed into a tree, swept out to sea, set on fire, had a caravan dropped on it, hit by a demolition ball and put on top of a block of flats which were demolished by explosives. After all this it was still running. If that Landcruiser had a winch on the front it would have been a matter of hooking the cable to the nearest tree and winching it out. Job done. The 2.5PI estate is rare especially in MK1 form. I have only ever seen one MK1 PI estate which had been restored. I think Canley Classics had one for sale which needed restoring.

On the subject of photo hosting sites, yes your account will need a password. I wouldn't worry about losing your photos because you will still have your originals on your external hard drive. If you do forget your password you can get it sent to the e-mail address you give when you sign up. On some sites you can log in with you Facebook or Twitter account (if you have either) so fewer passwords to remember.

Getting back on topic, as you may know (or not) Mark and Phillip post on this forum so you can get in touch with them without too much trouble. I suspect that you'll have to replace your servo. If that's the case then your damaged one will yield some usable spares. If you're stuck on what parts you're missing then a parts catalogue will help. It is too easy to forget what goes where within 12 months never mind a couple of decades! I recommend reading a few of the "resto" threads on here (including mine!) to give you some pointers. As always, please feel free to pick our collective brains.

_________________
Toledo Man

West Yorkshire Area Organiser & forum moderator
Meetings take place on the first Wednesday of the month at 8.00pm at The Old Brickworks, Wakefield Road, Drighlington, Bradford, BD11 1EA
1972 Dolomite 1850 auto (NYE 751L - Waiting for me to give it some love)
2008 Citroën C4 Grand Picasso 2.0 HDi Exclusive (MA08 WCL - the workhorse)
1995 BMW 318i (M265 PNC - Project Bimmer, the 2nd car)
1991 Toyota Celica GT (J481 ONB - the current project car)
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

"There is only one way to avoid criticsm: do nothing, say nothing and BE nothing." Aristotle


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:15 pm 
I wonder if that bakelite servo nose thing is common to the larger servos fitted to the 2500/stag ?

If it is, then you are welcome to the spare one I've got.

I should go out and measure it, but I don't have an off-vehicle dolomite servo. Anyone know ?

stu


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 Post subject: Drop cover hold
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:18 pm 
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Yes I remember now it was a Hilux and not a Landcruiser that the Topgear team drove. However when the two vehicles seen in the photo were heaved up off the ground by the force of the earthquake and in the area where this was taken that upward force was measured at 2.2g you are not going to be looking for a tree to tie a winch to. If you look at the power pole behind you will see it has a bit of a lean on. It would have been “waving in the breeze” – like a branch on a tree and the conductors all but touching as the high voltage lines did on the transmission towers that cross the fields adjacent to this house. There was a display here of lightning, arcing, the likes of which I have never seen before.

Several of the mature trees on this property simply fell over. Saved me a job for I was going to drop them for next year’s firewood anyway.

When the earthquake hits you drop, cover and hold and hope for the best. It becomes automatic, as I discovered to my embarrassment when I met some folk at Kings Cross station last year. Someone remarked later that it was only the Eurostar train arriving - nothing to worry about!! The sound though – and you do hear an earthquake before it arrives, sounded very similar. So I picked myself up off the floor……..! And the meeting continued.

Yes I am well aware that Mark and Philip post on this forum for I have been watching the forum for some years. Although I confess that I felt a bit like a voyeur in doing so. There must be some costs associated with hosting this forum, just as there is a huge amount of voluntary effort which goes into running a club like this and acting as the moderators on this forum itself.

That was the reason I rejoined, paid my subscription and registered for the forum. So a big vote of thanks to all those who are involved.

And you are right, it’s difficult to remember 20 years on from when the car was dismantled exactly where things went.

For instance where does the brake pedal return spring go?

The workshop manual sort of suggests that it sits behind the pedal and as I see, picks up the slot in the back of the pedal.
Attachment:
20121015Pw-brake pedal.jpg
20121015Pw-brake pedal.jpg [ 71.61 KiB | Viewed 5372 times ]
There is a hole in the side of the pedal between the numbers 2 and 5 in the illustration but if you pop the tail of the spring in there and use the hole in the back of the steering column mount it does not pull the pedal back onto the brake light switch and the pedal hangs below the clutch pedal. In that position it sits, rubs up, against the side of the switch itself. I have hooked it behind the pedal as the second photo shows but even then it sits very close to the switch.
Attachment:
20121014-3601Pew brake pedal spring.jpg
20121014-3601Pew brake pedal spring.jpg [ 113.12 KiB | Viewed 5366 times ]


Note the wires are not yet connected for I am still trying to figure out exactly where the wiring harness sits to the right of the brake servo actuating rod. All the P clips are in position but it needs to “sit” in some tidy manner so that it never gets hooked up in my boots when I am driving.

Stu, there may be some commonality with some of the parts in the brake servos across the Triumph range. There are some brake reconditioning outfits in the city here to whom I shall be taking my now dismantled servo to see what they say. Thanks for your offer, I shall come back to you if I need anything.

Robert


Last edited by Robert 352 on Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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