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: Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:46 pm 
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Location: Bristol
After a good year and a half of hunting, I've finally both in a position and found the right Sprint! :)

Originally early last year I was hunting for a 1500HL or similar as a starter. Idea being to understand the cars and their bodies before spending a lot of money on a good Sprint. However I couldn't find anything right. Not long after I bought a very rotten Austin 1100 to learn to weld on. Rather long thread on another forum here:
https://autoshite.com/topic/32171-the-a ... eys-hands/

Cut a long story short, I ended up getting all the major metal work areas welded (sills, rear subframe mounts, floor, etc) and a previous owner from 15 years ago got in contact to buy it back to finish. He was also an 1100 enthusiast with plenty of collected spares over the years.

So it was moved on. I felt sad that I didn't get to finish it but then I saved a rare car that almost certainly would have gone to the scrapyard otherwise. Plus it taught me to metal work and weld. I'm still no pro for sure, but I can do acceptable amateur work now.

Anyway now had this new skill called welding, it opened a whole new opportunity up with old BL tat. Of course I wanted a Sprint still and so I went hunting. This one came up and I decided to go for it! It's MOT'd but it's in need a bit of love now. Welding and mechanicals. Perfect for me to get my teeth into.

Here are some pictures before I loose all sunlight. You'll probably recognise it from the for sale adverts here.
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I've just rejoined the club after letting it lapse earlier this year. Didn't think I'd be getting myself a Dolly this year, let alone a Sprint!

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Current Fleet: 1974 Dolomite Sprint, 1974 MGB GT, 2000 Porsche Boxster, 2002 Laguna II and a boring 2010 Audi A4 that keeps the wife happy


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:03 pm 
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Location: Bristol
Some thoughts after an hour's drive up the M5 from Bridgewater to North Bristol...

Body wise she's in pretty good nick really (for the money). Some the drivers floor and boot floor will need welding. Bubbling of the arches and door bottoms too. But they aren't as crunchy as they look. I'll get a video walk around at some point soon as it's easier to show. Nothing a bit of messy hard graft and club panels won't sort.

Interior is grubby but all there. Brinylon seats are thin and the drivers seat is torn on the front vinyl. Drivers seat needs padding sorting. All complete though. Has a Webasto!

Mechanically she needs attention. Now firstly please don't take these as moans - especially at anyone and including the previous owner. Usual caveat emptor when buying and now I've paid and it's mine, I take full responsibility for anything. I'm putting this here as it's part of the cars story and I'm hoping you guys will have tips on where to go and how to fix!

So what needs sorting on the mechanical side?
- Brakes stop the car but don't do it straight. I believe seized pot in the caliper are a common thing and refurbs aren't expensive from the club?
- Accelerator is very stiff. Probably just old cable and/or pedal bushing needs cleaning out.
- Clutch pedal is a bit binary. Last owner bled it recently and apparently that helped. I reckon either master or slave seals knackered. Or both?
- Diff whines. It's been doing it before the owner has owned it. I've got a replacement (unknown) diff and gearbox to collect from the seller which were part of the deal. Not overly concerned just yet as it's been doing it for a while.
- When you let off the power it goes all a bit squirrelly. Worse at speed. Probably/hopefully just bushings that are knackered. Or if the diff, then the replacement diff hopefully will help fix.
- Drivers side tyre is labeled "Remoulded Tyre - Made in Great Britain". Yeah it probably needs sorting! When the last owner stuck some new Kuhmo tyres on it a year or so ago, it was found that the drivers side had a weird insert on one of the holes. So instead of running on three bolts, he stuck the spare on. Fair enough really. Just need to find a replacement alloy and have a new tyre put on.

Now for the big one. Again, please please please don't take this as moaning.
When I went out with the PO and before I bought it, it was running ok. A bit missfirey but the dizzy cap is old. Very slight grumble, but just assumed it was the diff.

On the drive back, the grumble has got more severe the further I went. When I got back, I could feel thump, thump, thumping through the floor. No worry (oil) gauge so don't know what pressure it's reading. Oil light hasn't flickered though. However I'm a bit concerned it might be bottom end...

I have read repro mounts can cause issues too. Usual problem of repro manufacturers not being able to bond metal to rubber anymore. Thumping is at idle and stationary too.

Previous owner to the last did a restoration on the car. Part of this appears to be a mini rebuild. In the photo pack there is pictures of some knackered looking shells, so it's almost certainly had them replaced at some point. It's probably done around 10k since then.

I'll get an oil change done asap and go from there. I do have a brand new Smiths oil gauge in a box. Worth installing it and keeping an eye on it?

Hopefully it's nothing serious! I'm supposed to be buying a house, so I can't really pull the engine just yet and have a look/rebuild. It's a lot easier to move cars when they're one piece!

Any thoughts, ideas or help on these engines will be greatly appreciated. I've got a lot to learn on these lumps!

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Current Fleet: 1974 Dolomite Sprint, 1974 MGB GT, 2000 Porsche Boxster, 2002 Laguna II and a boring 2010 Audi A4 that keeps the wife happy


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:10 pm 
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County brand bearings lasted about 10.000km in my engines and I did try twice...

Jeroen

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:10 pm 
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Just to also add, from the seemly negative last post, that I'm pleased as punch with it. Really looking forward to get stuck in and working on it.

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Current Fleet: 1974 Dolomite Sprint, 1974 MGB GT, 2000 Porsche Boxster, 2002 Laguna II and a boring 2010 Audi A4 that keeps the wife happy


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:53 pm 
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Quote:
County brand bearings lasted about 10.000km in my engines and I did try twice...

Jeroen
Useful to know. Can the shells be replaced with the engine in-situ and just dropping the sump?

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Current Fleet: 1974 Dolomite Sprint, 1974 MGB GT, 2000 Porsche Boxster, 2002 Laguna II and a boring 2010 Audi A4 that keeps the wife happy


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:11 pm 
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Before I go headlong into getting bearing shells out and inspected, what are common rattle/grumble/knocking type noises to look for on these lumps?

Thoughts so far from searching through the forum:
- Check mounts. Especially the gearbox
- Check viscous fan for bearing wear

Anything else?

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Current Fleet: 1974 Dolomite Sprint, 1974 MGB GT, 2000 Porsche Boxster, 2002 Laguna II and a boring 2010 Audi A4 that keeps the wife happy


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:02 am 
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Location: Harrow Middlesex
Looking forward to your rebuild,before you start pulling the sump, check the prop centre bearings

Dave


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:27 am 
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Previous owner has had the centre bearing replaced. It also does it when idle and stationary, so I suspect it's something before the gearbox output shaft. Also changes with revs. I'm really hoping I don't have to go for a full rebuild - not just yet at least! I need to get the house move sorted before I start pulling engines.

I had another play around this morning before I went off to work. Fan and viscous coupling spins freely. There is an ever-so slight amount of play when pushing forwards and back though. I assume its normal to have a bit of movement on that? The next sensible thing will be to remove the aux belt and see if the noise goes away or changes.

I did start it up this morning too. Didn't seem as loud or severe as I remember last night. Engine doesn't rock about much seperate to the car body - I'm wondering if the mounts are a bit too hard and stiff? Interestingly it goes away at certain revs and sounds worse at others.

Oil is pretty black and probably due a change though, so changing that will be next on the asap todo list. Any recommendations on filters and oil? I assume usual 20w-50 classic stuff for oil and the filter is a canister one on mine, rather than spin-on. I've got a new dizzy cap and rotor arm coming. Probably change the plugs while I'm at it too. Did notice that the dash pot oil was pretty much empty, so I'm a bit surprised I managed to get it back running half decently. Carb mounts are pretty knackered and look like another thing on the todo list very soon. I believe the previous owner gave me a set of the alloy mounts in the spares boxes in the boot.

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Current Fleet: 1974 Dolomite Sprint, 1974 MGB GT, 2000 Porsche Boxster, 2002 Laguna II and a boring 2010 Audi A4 that keeps the wife happy


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:11 pm 
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My first thought is engine/gearbox mounts, most on this forum look at new rubber mounts suspiciously as it's often a repro made from bitumen (not really but you get the picture) and they transfer all sorts of noises, whines and knocks that you would never hear with correct shore value rubber. If your big ends have gone so badly that you can feel it through the floor, well, I think there may be some other more obvious signs if that was the case.

Check all mounts for condition, having gone soft as well as new far too hard ones, lack of movement is a bad sign as is feeling like you're stirring porridge. That's engine, front subframe and gearbox. I wouldn't bother worrying any further back if it does it when stationary. Have a check that there is an exhaust mounting bracket on the gearbox and that the exhaust is fixed to it. New hard mounts and an exhaust that's banging on the subframe can make a Sprint sound like an about to die bag of bolts, I know this from experience!

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Current fleet: Triumph Dolomite Sprint '75, Daihatsu Fourtrak, Honda CG125, Yamaha Fazer 600, Shetland 570

Disposal fleet: Golf GTi 16v MK3 Anniversary

Past fleet: Triumph 2000, Lancia Beta Coupe, BL Mini Clubman, Austin Metro, Vauxhall Cavalier MK1 & MK2, Renault 18 D, Rover 216 GSI, Honda Accord (most expensive car purchase, hated it on pickup from dealer, was made out of magnetic metal as only car I've ever been crashed into, 4 times), Golf GTi MK3 16v x 3


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:58 pm 
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That's useful to know. I'll probably jack it up tonight and have a good look and wobble underneath.

Went to Moss Motors today and picked up a few consumables. Was actually surprised the stocked the Sprint specific distributor cap and rotor arm. Even though they don't list Dolomite model officially, there is still a small stock of consumables that they do have.

Possibly useful to know for any Dolly owners that live near a Moss as even though they aren't the cheapest, being able to pick stuff up the same day is very useful.
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Plan is to drop the oil & filter and check it. Hopefully the oil is not grey and the filter isn't full of metal! Also want to run the engine with no belt and check to see if the noise changes.

_________________
Current Fleet: 1974 Dolomite Sprint, 1974 MGB GT, 2000 Porsche Boxster, 2002 Laguna II and a boring 2010 Audi A4 that keeps the wife happy


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:16 pm 
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Spent the first half hour tonight doing a walk around video. Currently uploading, so hopefully that'll be up by this morning.

Afterwards I decided to do a bit of fiddling. First up was fixing the drivers window winder.
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Thankfully the round handle bit was in the glove box, so I had something to work with.

First off was getting the handle off by knocking that beveled pin out. Once it goes, it seems to be the type of part that gets lost on the floor in a blink of an eye.
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I didn't have any circlips or such to fix the back on, so I got creative/bodged it with a flat washer and a spring washer. Worked surprisingly well! Only thing is that there is a bit of play and no doubt it'll rattle in use. I wish I put a flat rubber washer or similar the other side to take up the slack. Oh well it'll do for now and I'll keep a hunt out for a replacement at autojumbles next.
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Getting the handle on was a fiddly job with pilers and trying to push the pin down. Got there in the end.
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Next up was trying to remove this insert on the wheel.
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If I understand correctly, early Sprints had a narrower stud and later were larger. I guess for whatever reason, on one wheel a narrow one was used and not changed. Thus an insert put in the alloy. No idea which had it, but as the wheels seem happily attached, it must be ok. I'll no doubt find which one it is some point soon.

However it has to go as I want this wheel back on the front and remove that ancient remoulded tyre.

Tried bashing it through with a socket but didn't have much success.
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Ended up going vicious with a centre punch to knock out the side walls enough to cause it to loose it's bite into the metal.
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Tomorrow I'll put this week back on and should give me a chance to put stands on to get a good look underneath.

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Current Fleet: 1974 Dolomite Sprint, 1974 MGB GT, 2000 Porsche Boxster, 2002 Laguna II and a boring 2010 Audi A4 that keeps the wife happy


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:46 pm 
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Video of me jabbering on a bit giving an overview of it. Involves poking rusty lumps and engine starting.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTLzM4go3m4

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Current Fleet: 1974 Dolomite Sprint, 1974 MGB GT, 2000 Porsche Boxster, 2002 Laguna II and a boring 2010 Audi A4 that keeps the wife happy


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:05 pm 
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Look forward to following your posts 👍

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Murdo DA

RNK 957W, Triumph Dolomite Sprint.

Built 26/6/1980 (one of the last built), Auto, Porcelain White - Genuine Mileage 52,820 (warranted).

Only 3 previous owners, (2 within the same family).

Supplied by Lavender Hill Garage Ltd, Enfield, London, by garage owner Jimmy Metcalfe on 30th September 1980 to Geoffery Robinson, Enfield.

Club Membership No: 2017092


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:52 pm 
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Took the wheel off ready to swap on the alloy that I removed the insert on. While I was there I thought I'd go for a rusty tour and have a proper poke around underneath.

First off the shock. Someone has spent some money on this at some point! Spax shocks. The bushes seem to be a mix of polybush and rubber. Actually mostly seem in good nick. Only ones that may need attention is the antiroll bar bushes.
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Brake discs are all pitted.
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Brake fluid is also quite dark. I think I'm going to need new discs, pads, caliper rebuild and a master cylinder as a start. Maybe some stuff on the back too, depending how it looks. Flexis look reasonably recent though.

Front light area will need some attention at some point. I think this has degraded simply from dirt.
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Drivers floor we know about already
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Jacking point is crusty
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So I stuck my finger in it.
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And was left with a hole
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Looks easy enough to weld up. Might actually do it sooner rather than later.

Gearbox mount looked alright actually.
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Engine mounts you can tell have been replaced but the rubber is splitting already.
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Further towards the back of the body looks in decent nick. Undersealed but not like it has been chipped off.
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Clutch slave looks a bit suspect around that seal. Wondering if it's leaking or weeping slightly and causing the pedal and selection issues.
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Friggin oil everywhere though. Made it quite unpleasant to be at the engine end.
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Exhaust .... oh wait, what's that?
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Could that bit of metal on top be causing all the noise issues? Maybe...?

Tried ripping it off but it's attached to a backing piece. I was going to continue pulling but then I had a fear that backing piece may be full of asbestos. I'll probably pull the tunnel out and try removing it that way.
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What should I replace it with? I guess I ought to, otherwise it's going to get really rather hot on the other side of the floor.

Went to do an oil change but was stumped by the sump plug. I don't have any tool to remove this and mole grips/adjustable wrench/etc was just rounding it off. Anyone have any idea of a tool model number or similar to get this out?
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Worse case I can always use my Pela to suck out the oil. However I'd prefer to drop the oil out the bottom. Not least the Pela struggles with 20w-50.


Had a nose around the engine bay for anything suspect.

Wiring for the ignition was a bit messy. I insulated taped up the exposed spades and some of the crimps weren't holding the wire properly. Recrimped a few of the connectors. Especially useful thing to do, as a wire coming out on the ignition parts can give you a very bad day.
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Noticed this accident waiting to happen.
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Replaced those cracked petrol joining hoses with some genuine Gates petrol hose that is Ethanol compliant. I need to get some more but I'll replace all the other petrol hoses with it too. Other petrol hoses were a lot more modern but it's not clear if they are ethanol compliant. No point risking on this sort of stuff. Get it wrong and you'll have petrol leak all in the engine bay. A lot of fake Gates hose around too. It costs a bit more, but I get mine from Moss Motors as you get some certainty it's genuine and legit.

While I was on the carbs, I inspected the float bowls and float valves. Looks like someone has been in the float bowl before.
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Underneath the car I could see that someone has taken the waxstat jets out and replaced them with standard ones. Again, I think someone has spent a lot of money on this car in the not so distant past.

One final thing I noticed when putting the wheels on, is that the front wheel bearings have quite a bit of play in them. Either that, or they need tightening up a tad. This possibly is what was giving the wayward steering when I drove it back? There are some Daewoo branded bearings in the boot full of spares, in a Jiffy bag labeled front wheel bearings. I'll have a look tomorrow and see if they were old ones which had been replaced or if they were bought for the intention of getting them on but never did.

_________________
Current Fleet: 1974 Dolomite Sprint, 1974 MGB GT, 2000 Porsche Boxster, 2002 Laguna II and a boring 2010 Audi A4 that keeps the wife happy


Last edited by SiC on Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:53 pm 
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Quote:
Look forward to following your posts 👍
Thanks. I'll try keeping this thread updated as I go. I'm also part of a few other forums, so I tend to copy and paste the big updates. Then reply individually.

If anyone has got any tips, advice, criticism or anything else, feel free to chime in! More info the merrier.

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Current Fleet: 1974 Dolomite Sprint, 1974 MGB GT, 2000 Porsche Boxster, 2002 Laguna II and a boring 2010 Audi A4 that keeps the wife happy


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