The Triumph Dolomite Club - Discussion Forum

OBJ977M 73 Sprint restoration
Page 1 of 3

Author:  OBJ [ Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:26 pm ]
Post subject:  OBJ977M 73 Sprint restoration

Hi Everyone,
This is my first post, although I have been browsing for quite a while. A couple of months ago I took the plunge and bought a project car. I've been hankering for a Dolomite for ages. My father had a couple of 1850s when I was growing up, then in the 80's I had a couple of my own - both rust heaps! Luckily my project actually looks less rusty than them, despite being 42 years old. Anyway, I seem to have become hooked on Dolomites so here I am :-)

My car (a '73 Sprint) is currently in bits (as I bought it) at Robsport, awaiting blasting, welding and painting. After that I plan to take my time rebuilding it. I am hoping no one is going to say "oh no you bought that one"!

Meanwhile I am starting to go through the 'bits'. Most look in decent condition, especially the interior. I thought I'd start on something simple such as the rear lights, and immediately came up with a question for the forum. I've posted pictures of two rear lights, one came with the car, the other I picked up for a fiver at Beaulieu. The original has plastic reflectors that were shiny silver but most of that has peeled away. The other one has reflectors that look like they are just painted silver, and are not at all shiny. The silver paint may or may not be original, but would be easy to redo, whereas the shiny silver is not a simple process and costs a fortune. Can anyone say what their car has, and any suggestions welcome!

I will post more as progress is made, although not expecting much until early in the new year when I hope to get the body back!
By the way, sorry for the large pics, I think they are supposed to be resized, but I couldn't find an option for that - or is that something we have to do before uploading?


IMG_0259.JPG [ 283.65 KiB | Viewed 2508 times ]
IMG_0260.JPG [ 289.19 KiB | Viewed 2508 times ]
OBJ.JPG [ 380.75 KiB | Viewed 2508 times ]

Author:  Toledo Man [ Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: OBJ977M

Welcome to the forum.

I've resized the photos. You should be resizing them before you upload them or better still, host them on a site such as Photobucket or Flickr. You could try some chrome paint on the reflectors. I think you would be better off finding some better condition light units. I have a couple of spare light units you can have. I don't know what condition the reflectors are but I'm sure they're better than what you've got. The single best thing you can do is to join the Club. The membership fee is worth every penny.

Let us know how you get on.

Author:  Mahesh [ Tue Sep 15, 2015 6:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: OBJ977M

Hi Simon

Welcome, and getting hooked on a Triumph is too easy, especially a Dolly.

I'm glad your working on the rear lights as that is on of the first things on my list as soon as my car returns. Even though most of my car is original, I'll be looking at led upgrades and will post on the forum as I go along.

Kind regards


Author:  PollyB [ Tue Sep 15, 2015 6:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: OBJ977M

All us early Dolly peeps are wandering..... What is the VIN number?
Looks mimosa painted vermillion so could be very early.

Author:  Pippin [ Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: OBJ977M

Hi Simon,

I have a few questions for you:
Are you happy to refurbish the reflectors on lights where the metal surround is pitted (which I believe can't be remedied)?
Are you looking for originality? If so, you'll need to establish whether your car should have chromed or painted reflectors and repair or replace them as appropriate.
Are you concerned about lighting efficiency? If so, you may wish to consider converting to LEDs, and I believe another thread suggested that gloss white works better as a reflector, better even than the chrome finish.

As an aside, does anyone know whether replacement seals are available for fitting the back lights (and the front indicators) to the body, as these often compress, harden, crack or otherwise deteriorate with age? Alternatively, does anyone know whether suitable material (closed cell foam?) is available to cut replacements from?


Author:  Mahesh [ Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: OBJ977M

I will also be in the market for replacement seals, however I have a couple of small high density foam sheets, enough to make 2 sets.

The sheets do not compress easily, but do conform to a shape after a while if pressured for a while.

I may experiment with them if I can't find replacements, if anyone has tried, please do tell.

Author:  Toledo Man [ Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: OBJ977M

Jeremy, you're right in that LED bulbs work better with white reflectors. Also, it is better to used coloured bulbs with stop/tail lights and indicators unless you use warm white LEDs which have a similar light to filament bulbs. If you use bright white LEDs the colours through the lenses look a bit washed out. Also, you will either need to fit a suitable indicator relay or use load resistors if you're going to use LED indicator bulbs.

Author:  OBJ [ Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: OBJ977M

Thanks for the replies!

Toledo man - Thanks, I would certainly be interested if the reflectors are good condition and the shiny silver type. The rest of the lights are not bad. I hope to refurbish as much as possible rather than replace - that's my thing really! Unfortunately I have been quoted £80 per reflector(!!) to re-silver them!
By the way, I joined the club a couple of months ago, not sure how to change my 'status' on here to reflect that.

Mahesh - I have been following your thread with great interest. I am a little envious that your Sprint is so much nearer being driveable! Southern Triumph is not a million miles from me. I believe Rimmers sell the seals:

Polly B - Well the V5 says VA1114DL. The chassis plate is a bit unclear - it could say 1114 or it could say 114. The previous owner got a heritage certificate for 114, but I'm not convinced. Unfortunately the engine doesn't appear to have a number on it (I'm told this is not unusual) so I can't compare that with the V5 or the heritage certificate. There is some reason to believe the mileage of 28K, so I'd hope it's the original engine. I know about mimosa and the first 2000 cars - not sure about vermillion though?

Pippin - See links above for seals. I do want to keep t as original as possible, but I am willing to compromise if necessary. I don't want to spend £80 per reflector! What you say confirms my suspicion that the extra lights I bought must be from a later car and they had changed to (probably cheaper) reflectors. The lamp bodies are also different, they are diecast but to my untrained eye the earlier ones look steel. Might consider LEDs if it's a straight swap. Interesting about white paint, I'll look into that. I also read a suggestion about using silver leaf glued on!



Author:  Jon Tilson [ Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: OBJ977M


You have one of the golden 1st 1500 or so that were all painted mimosa yellow for homologation purposes.

Rear lights are two a penny. Almost all dollie owners have several spares and there was a time when you couldnt give them away. If yours are crap dont worry, some better ones will soon turn up. Quite possibly the single most common dolomite spare part....but beware, passenger pigeon syndrome could set in soon...if people start binning them.

( a Bird so numerous it was eaten to extinction )


Author:  Toledo Man [ Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: OBJ977M

Simon, ask Andy P. (aka "triumphdolomiteuk") to update your status if you're already a member. I'll have to take a look at my rear light units. I think they're later ones. Are you going to have it resprayed in the original Mimosa? There were a couple of early Mimosa Sprints at this year's TDCIR

Author:  OBJ [ Wed Sep 16, 2015 5:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: OBJ977M

Hi Toledoman,
Absolutely it will be in mimosa. Luckily I love the colour so it's not a difficult decision :) I will try to keep things as original as possible but I am fairly pragmatic, eg later rear lights not really a problem as they look the same from the outside. Also am considering the LED option as they will last longer. My aim is to end up with a car I can use as a daily driver, not one I have to keep only for special occasions when it's dry.


Author:  OBJ [ Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: OBJ977M

Jonners, PollyB

Here's a pic of the chassis number, the second 1 looks like an afterthought, but must be deliberate, so I'm inclined to go with 1114. That's still early enough!
OBJ22s.jpg [ 152.02 KiB | Viewed 2438 times ]

Author:  OBJ [ Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: OBJ977M

Toledo man, interestingly, I picked up the June 23 1973 copy of 'Motor' at Beaulieu autojumble. It has a yellow sprint on the front cover. I recognised the 'FRW' and thought it might be the same as the one in your pic, but I just checked and it's FRW816L. Close!


Author:  Howard81 [ Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: OBJ977M

Regarding the rear lamp reflectors, paint them a bright gloss white as white reflects light something like 60% better than painted silver.

I painted the reflectors on my Spitfire in Plasticote Appliance White which worked a treat!

Author:  OBJ [ Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: OBJ977M

Thanks Howard. I may well do that. Toledo man also said white works well, especially with LEDs. I've decided to go with LEDs for the rear lights at least.

I'm amazed how well the chrome on the later lights (second picture) has polished up - not quite like new but with a lovely period look. The original ones look better to start with but have corrosion that can't be polished away.


Page 1 of 3 All times are UTC
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Limited