Wednesday, December 28, 2005

On the move

I've finally done it! The Toledo has now been moved to it's new resting place at Anita's next to Baby Blue. A large chunk of filler from the front end broke off so I think this car's fate is sealed unless I'm brave enough to fit that front end panel that I have in the garage. The engine still turns over and fires with a dose of Easystart. Becky is none the worse for towing the Toledo. I hope I don't need to do any more towing!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Doing something with the Toledo

Yes, she's now for sale on eBay and if she doesn't sell I will tow her over to Anita's house and break her there. (I can't do it at home)

Watch this space...

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Oh dear, this isn't good at all

I had somebody interested in the Toledo. When he came up to look he found some rust holes at the ends of the sills so it looks like it will get scrapped because there's too much work involved. As there's plenty of good parts to be had I won't get somebody to just take it away to be crushed. I will tow it to Anita's and strip it there. I don't feel I can really get the welding done so it might be better to concentrate on getting Baby Blue on the road.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Slow progress

I'm now a bit closer to starting the welding on Baby Blue. I went to a mate who has been restoring a Triumph Herald to help him get all his bits together in readiness for assembling it together. He gave me some degreaser, some offcuts of metal and some old gears on which I can prataice my welding.
Becky still keeps on going and performance is still good even though she's back on her regular diet of Morrisons unleaded.
The pressure is back on to move the Toledo. The word "scrap" has even been mentioned. There's no way I'll do that! That car is perectly saveable andf is more or less complete.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

She keeps right on going

Nothing new to report on Becky since I replaced the water pump. She's running as sweet as a nut and I'm sure performance has improved since I fed her some BP instead of the usual diet of Morrison's unleaded. I nearly used the BP Ultimate until I saw the price! I suppose they have to find the money for the radio adverts (that I've been haring on Virgin Radio) somehow. I went to Club Triumph's North Wales & Cheshire meeting last night and there's my North Yorkshire meeting tonight so Becky's done a few miles this week! Good practaice for my Peak District Run, the HCR and the RBRR. All I need is a co-driver for the HCR & RBRR!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Done it!

I've finally got the new water pump fitted and Becky runs a LOT quieter now but it was an absolute struggle. I managed to get the bolt loosened by the garage and last night I tried and gave up. After work today I went straight to Anita's and started working on Becky. The job took a couple of hours and apart from a small scare with one of the water pump bolts it went quite smoothly. Somebody suggested that I change the cambelt but it looked fine to me so I've left well alone. There's just some routine servicing which I can carry out once I've got everything I need. I'm even thinking about using Castrol GTX as it's a bit cheaper and Becky deserves the best. We shall see...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Got the water pump

I picked it up today but fitting it is gonna be a nightmare! I'll need to remove the cambelt cover and crankshaft pulley to get at all the bolts. I've there fore enlisted the help of the garage that did Becky's MoT and one of the lads there is gonna loosen the crankshaft pulley nut saving me a lot of grief. I'll get him to do the same with the water pump pulley and then I'll be laughing.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Squealing like a pig.

That was because the alternator drive belt was slipping so I left it until I fitted the repaired alternator and it has been fine since. While I was doing that I noticed that the water pump pulley seemed wobbly and when I spun it by hand it was making a rumbling noise similar to one I've heard when Becky is ticking over. I was going to leave it because the water pump is working and there are no leaks. A mate strongly suggested that it would fail so I've ordered a brand new water pump from my trusty local motor factor which is gonna cost just over 14 pounds so it is worth doing. I just hope I can get the water pump off to be able to do the job!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Alternator repaired

Got Becky's alternator back today from the auto electrician. It cost me 35 pounds to have it repaired and it looks as good as new. Well worth it and cheaper than buying a new one. As for Baby Blue's alternator, once I did get a new one I would have to take Baby Blue down to have her wired up for the alternator and that isn't possible at the moment unless I get her road legal and that seems quite far off.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Alternator update

I took the alternators in for repair today and the news is mixed.

First up, Becky's alternator just needed new brushes and bearings. The news on Baby Blue's isn't so good but a brand new alternator will cost 45 pounds and will have more output than the original. I've decided to have Becky's alternator repaired and I'll hold fire on Baby Blue's for the time being.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Exhausted part 2

I rung the guy up and he still had the exhaust. Better still, he lived local and when I went down to his house to look at it I realised that it had been taken off fully assembled (Aclaim exhausts are two-piece systems) so there was no way I could take it anywhere to get it fitted. He kindly offered me the use of his gargage so I went over to Anita's house (where I keep Baby Blue) to get my tools. Fitting the exhaust wasn't too much of a problem except for one of the manifold nuts which I managed to round off necessitating the use of the nut splitter. I managed to get the nut replaced at a local tyre fitter. (the same place where I had the puncture repair done) The exhaust cost me £50 and the guy even gave me a spare headlight with a bulb.
On a positive note, I'll be getting Becky's other alternator and Baby Blue's alternator repaired. Somebody at the last local TSSC meeting recommended a place the does these sort of repairs and I've arranged to take them in. Both alternators are in Baby Blue's boot so I'll have to go back up there again tonight but I'm glad I'm making a bit more progress with things. I'll have to get the Toledo alternator off Baby Blue and back on to the Toledo.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


Becky's exhaust has started to fall apart at the seams. (literally!) This is the first time I've come across this on an exhaust. I tried welding one of the brackets on the centre silencer that had split and it only improved things for a short while but I'm now back at square one. I was offered a complete exhaust which was almost brand new. Fortunately, I still have his number so I'll give him a call after I've finished working at the pub today. Hopefully, I won't have too much trouble fitting it as I'll have my Haynes to help and the experience of a few fellow Acclaim owners to draw upon.

Monday, October 31, 2005

And here is how the back seat looks. Those Dolomite Sprint seats were a real bargain at �1 on eBay and the seller lived local which was even better! A pity Sprint alloys don't fit... Posted by Picasa

I finally finished refitting the door cards and cleared everything out of the interior. Not perfect but a whole lot better than it was before as you can see from the pic. Once I've fitted the rebuilt steering column it will be fine. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I put on the third coat of varnish and it has done the trick. The pic is of the door cappings taken just before I fitted them back on Baby Blue. I even managed to fit the front door cards! It looks a lot better with the varnished door cappings. A job well done! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

More varnish

I put a second coat of varnish on and I'm still not happy with the finish so it looks like I'm gonna need at least 3 coats of the stuff. Hopefully, the third coat will be the last one so I'll five it a quick rub with some fine sandpaper and a wipe with some white spirit. (I bought some when I was at the local B&Q)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I've just been going through my pics of Baby Blue and this is the state of affairs under the bonnet. I reckon a good clean with some degreaser and a bit of Hammeriting will improve things no end! Posted by Picasa

The pic is of the door cappings all sanded and ready to varnish. I bought some Ronseal clear interior varnish from my local B&Q. I've already applied the first coat. They're ready for the next coat now. I'll be taking more pics when the job's done. I reckon it will need 3 coats but we shall see. The door cards came up clean so once I've vaccuumed the car out and fitted the varnished door cappings and refitted the door cards the interior should be more or less done. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Back to Baby Blue

At last! I've finally got back to working on Baby Blue! Its been too long. Fist I cleared all the remaining spares out and took them down to the garage where the spares car is kept. Before I went down to the garage I removed the door cards and the wood cappings off Baby Blue. The door cards had got a bit wet (it was raining when I removed them. Typical British weather and the forecast was going to be dry as well! You can't trust the Met Office!) so they're in the house drying out until I can get round to giving them a good clean. I got my knife and scraped the remaining varnish off the door caps in readiness for sanding and varnishing. I'm going to get some Ronseal (it does what is it says on the tin!) wood varnish from my local B&Q which should do the job. The dashboard seems to be fine so I'll be leaving it alone.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Something actually went wrong!

Yes, I had a problem with Becky last night. The ignition light came on when I was driving her. My thoughts immediately turned to the alternator as being the culprit. This suspicion was proved right when I got my multimeter out and took a voltage reading across the battery terminal when the engine was running. I got a reading of just over 12 volts and it should be 14 volts. As it happened I had an alternator among my colletion of spares so I dug it out today and swapped the alternator after work. Becuase all my tools are kept in Baby Blue's boot I had to go over to where she is kept to be able to do the job. The one thing I like about Acclaims is that they'll still keep on going even if something has gone wrong. Anyway, back to the story. (as Ronnie Corbett would say!) I swapped the alternator over and it has done the trick. I was talking about this to Brian (a work colleague and fellow Triumph enthusiast - He's restoring a Herald 13/60 covertible) who thinks that the brushes might need replacing. I'm going to have this alternator repaired and then I've got a spare once again. WHen I was over there I had a closer look at my new welder. The hand-held mask is absolutely pathetic! I've got a proper welding mask off Brian and that just needs a lens before I can use it. Unfortunately, the lens for the hand-held mask is too small. A trip to Machine Mart, Arco or Halfords is called for then I can get what I need to start welding.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

More stuff

I now also have a welding mask. All I need are the gauntlets and some pieces of steel plate and I'll be ready to start practaising my welding skills. Hopefully, I'll be able to get Baby Blue patched up and ready for the MoT

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I've finally got one!

In an act of great kindness Anita (at whose house I keep Baby Blue) has bought me a MIG welder. One of her daughters' boyfriends is a mechanic and can get this sort of stuff at trade price. Just need the protective gear, some steel and a pair of cutters and I can get started. My local Arco, Machine Mart and eBay are all beckoning..

Friday, October 07, 2005


Yep, I sorted out my slow punture. Following the advice of a work colleague I avoided Kwik-Fit and went to a local tyre place and got the puncture fixed for only 5 pounds (Why don't Blogs display the pound symbol? The British economy is the 4th richest!) Cheaper than a brand new tyre which is what probably happened if I'd gone to Kwi-Fit. All is well with Becky again and a good thing because I'm going to a Club Triumph meeting tonight.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Tyre problems

One of Becky's rear tyres has a slow puncture. Today I found out why. I jacked her up, put her into gear (to lock the front wheels. Becky's front wheel drive remember), released the handbrake and turned the wheel and found a nail in the tread. Looks like a job for Kwik-Fit. They do puncture repairs (if it can be repaired) but if the worst comes to the worst it will have to be a new tyre.

Other than that, she's still running fine.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Insurance problem solved!

Yes, I've solved the problem and saved myself a fortune! It just so happened that Baby Blue was still insured on my Lancaster classic car policy. I'd thought about cancelling it as Baby Blue isn't gonna be road legal for quite some time but I'd put it off. I can be really bad for putting things off! I ran Lancaster up to change it over to Becky and to up the annual mileage from 5000 to 12000 and it was only going to cost me an extra 30 pounds. Problem solved and I've saved over 1000 pounds. Sometimes it pays to procrastinate! Kwik Fit rang me back and I told them that I won't be renewing with them. Besides, it's not really a good idea to have a classic car on ordinary car insurance. Anyway, I'm pleased with the outcome and I will be a bit better off financially. I'm hoping to get the Toledo moved with the help of my mate Bob but I can't get hold of him. I know he'd help me out with these sort of things. I won't have to worry about the battery as it should be fully charged by now!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

I'm really hacked off (for want of a better word!) The insurance renewal for Becky has come through and the premium is going to be �1240! This is crazy! I know there was a claim made which was my fault (losing me 2 years off my no-claims) but upping my insurance that much is ridiculous! it's nearly doubled and I can't afford that. No wonder there's so many uninsured drivers on British roads these days! It's not all bad though. Baby Blue is still insured so I could swap that over to Becky and save over �1000 in the process. I'm still gonna get a few quotes though. I'm sure I can do better than Kwik Fit. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I took the battery out of the Toledo to get it charged in readiness for the move. Before the battery came out I took this shot of the engine bay. It will come up nice with a bit of a clean. With a fully charged battery I'm not restricted to daylight plus if it rains the wipers can be operated. Also, it gives me the opportunity to get the alternator off Baby Blue as I'll be charging the battery where she is kept. I can do some measuring while I'm up there to see if there's enough room for the Toledo. These things need planning with military precision! Becky just keeps on going. All I've had to do is fill her up with petrol and jetwash her every week. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Toledo on the move...

I'm under pressure to move the Toledo. I don't wanna get rid of it so I'm gonna keep it where Baby Blue is kept. I just need the help of another person who can drive and enough daylight to complete the job as the Toledo's battery is flat. This car is something of a nomad as I keep moving it from place to place. It might be better being kept next to Baby Blue as I can do some work on it. I've neglected this car lately and need to do something with it. Lack of money has brought things to a complete halt at the moment and the dark evenings and worsening weather (so much for summer!) don't help either!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Not much.

Don't really have much new to say. Becky just keeps on going. When I filled her up with petrol on Thursday at my local Morrisons I decided to check her tyre pressures. They were fine except for the rear right. Anyway, I inflated them to 29psi (I always go a bit over to allow for them being warm)

Due to lack of funds I can't do anything else at the moment.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Clean up

I cleared out some bedding that was in the Toledo. I kept the pillowcases and quilt cover and took the pillows and quilt to the local tip. Next up was to go up to Baby Blue and give her a wash. I also made a start on cleaning up the engine bay. Baby Blue's inner wings were covered in some sort of grime. I'll need to scrape the stuff off the way I've been going.

Friday, September 02, 2005

At last I'm going to do something with the Toledo! My plan is to use some of that rust killer/primer on the areas that have rusted and then use some fibreglass filler. Before I can do any of that I'll need to wash the car first. I'll also see about fitting the original propshaft and getting the alternator off Baby Blue. I also wanna give Baby Blue a clean so I'll be going back and forth between home and Baby Blue. The pic is a view out of the front bedroom window and you can also see my brother's Astra at the bottom left. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Been away

I've been to France for my brother's wedding so nothing really to add. I didn't see any Triumphs in France but the wedding car was 1933 Citroen. There were a few 80s cars (mostly Citroen BXs) and a few Renault 4s & 5s. On the way home yesterday I saw a yellow Spitfire 1500 on the M62. I didn't recognize the driver and he didn't let on to me. Becky made it to Stansted Airport without a single problem and she didn't miss a beat. When we got back she fired up on the button. Find me a 22 year old car that's as reliable as Becky. She did me proud although my mum complained about being hot and cramped in the back seat.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Nice and clean

I filled up Becky's petrol tank and washed her at the local jetwash. When I got home I polished her. I was going to use the vac but "rain stopped play". Typical British weather! She didn't need vaccing anyway so I turned my attention to the Toledo with the polish. Despite the rust some of the paintwork came up nice (the bits that I did!) It really needs a good wash as well. The car's been resparayed in places and underneath the faded paintwork is a half-decent Toledo. If only I had a welder I'd be busy getting all the welding done on the Toledo and Baby Blue.

See you when I get back from France next week...

Homeward bound

After 22 months the Toledo has finally come home. I managed to find somebody who can drive to steer the Toledo (a woman by the name of Dawn). I removed the propshaft (should have done it AGES ago) and found a battery with enough power to operate the headlights. It's been a while since I've towed but I took it slowly (Dawn's never been towed before! It was nerve-wracking for her!) and I got home without a single problem.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

One Triumph less...

I've just sold one of my Acclaims. YNW561X was sold to a young lad for £50 (what I paid for it) He seems happy enough with it and I'm glad it's going to a good home.
I'm thinking about bringing the Toledo home. The driveway will be empty when I go to France later on this week and having a car there when I'm gone might discourage any would-be intruders and keep the neighbours' kids at bay.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

I've got Becky back!

She now has a full 12 months' MoT. The welding wasn't as bad as first thought (only £30 worth) and it was the drivers' side floorpan where it meets the bulkhead and front inner wing close to a jacking point. Greg who is the garage's MoT tester showed me where it was and it looks good. The total cost including the test fee and VAT was £65.25 The cheapest MoT for as long as I care to remember.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

And have you seen what the garage have given me to run around in while they've got Becky? A Rover 214SEi Because of the welding that's needed they've had to keep her overnight until they can get the work done. I used to have one of these cars so I'm familiar with them. Posted by Picasa

I don't believe it!

This is really bad news! Becky failed the MoT! Only kidding, it wasn't all that bad. She only failed on a section of the floor where it meets the bulkhead. The garage reckon that it will take £50 worth of welding to make her pass so I've given then the go-ahead.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

I did it!

Got the radiator swap done losing a jubilee clip for one of the hoses so I robbed one off the other Acclaim so as not to immobilize Becky. I'm sure I've got a spare in the shed somewhere. It has worked because Becky is still running fine.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Radiator swap

I've decided to do the rad swap tonight as the rain has stopped and the forecast for tomorrow is more rain. As the saying goes, make hay while the sun shines. Only thing is: I'll have to go over to Anita's house to get my tools out of Baby Blue's boot so that cuts into what time I've got left before sunset.

Better get my skates on...

This isn't good...

Don't worry. Becky's fine! It was me. I committed my first motoring offence in her. I was driving through Halifax town centre when I got stopped by the police. It was one of the police vans obviously watching out for Thursday night drunken revellers. It turned out that I'd driven down a street that is prohibited to cars so I was given a fixed penalty of £30. I've got 28 days to pay it so I'll leave it until the last week. They can wait for their money the bar-stewards! This is legalised theft! The 2 police officers were quite impressed with Becky. I'm glad I polished her now. One of them scanned the tax disc with a barcode reader. When I got back into Becky, Smiley Culture's "Police Offcier" was playing on my MP3 player. Ironic or what? I immediately cracked out laughing.

"police officer no give me producer..." (if you know the song!)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Did a bit

I washed Becky after filling up at my local Morrisons. When I got home I swapped the ignition leads (recently fitted) off the other Acclaim. I also bought some wax polish and used it on Becky and she has come up nice. I tried to start up the other Acclaim and it fired up without any problems. It had been standing for a week so that shows how reliable they are. I sprayed some penetrating fluid on Becky's raditaor hose clips in readiness for the radiator swap at the weekend. Makes things a bit easier.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Found work to do

I didn't think I'd need to do any work on Becky but my mate Brian had a look under her bonnet and said straight away that the cooling system needs flushing so I might as well swap the radiator off the other Acclaim. Also, I'll swap the new leads and rotor arm as well. I wonder if the new dizzy cap might fit Becky. Worth a try. I'll be doing the rad swap at the weekend and I'll be able to swap the leads this evening. Brian also said that the brake fluid needs changing. I think that I might need new front discs and pads because I sometimes feel the brakes judder.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Keeping Becky on the road

I've booked Becky in for an MoT next Wednesday as her current MoT runs out the following week and I'll be going down to Stansted Airport in her to fly out to France for my brother's wedding. I've used this garage before. They're honest, trustworthy and they're Rover specialists so the Becky won't be a problem for them. I hope she passes first time.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

I had a look round and there were quite a few Triumphs about but this one caught my eye. The identical model to Baby Blue (1500FWD) and this one was a real beauty! The same age as the spares car. Posted by Picasa

I went to the Woodvale Rally yesterday. 22 months into Triumph ownership and this is my first show. My only regret is that I hadn't done this sooner because I really enjoyed myself. Becky was looking great as you can see in the pic. She attracted a bit of attention as well. She did Club Triumph proud! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 04, 2005

I went to Barrow-In- Furness to collect Becky. The train joruney wasn't too bad considering that I was stuck in Manchester for 45 minutes but I got there! She's a real beauty! A sight to behold and the eBay pics don't do her justice! Looks and drives just like new. Becky drives a bit differently to my other Acclaim. She has been well looked after. Even the rear bumper is perfect! Becky came with a lot of spares including a set of front wings and front passenger door glass. I'd have got more spares but there's so much you can get into an Acclaim!! During the drive back to Bradford Becky didn't miss a beat or put a foot wrong. The first thing I did when I reached Bradford was to pay Barry McGrath a visit and he was impressed with Becky. Apparently, she's the same colour as Rupert should be. I donated the front wings and door glass to his good cause. After all he's helped me in the past. It's the least I can do in return. Isn't this what being in a club is all about? I don't think I need to do anything to Becky at the moment! She's near enough perfect and will be ideal for the forthcoming Woodvale Show (my first show, whaey!) Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Here's one of the pics of Becky from the eBay item description and she looks a beauty! Posted by Picasa

I've got it!

I won the auction for this really nice Acclaim. I've arranged to collect her on Thursday 4th August. The car is in Barrow-In-Furness and I'm going by train then I can drive back down to Bradford. The insurance is timed to change over and by then I will have received my new insurance certifiate. I'll need it as the tax has just run out. When I found out the registration number (A846BEC) the name "Becky" sprang straight to mind and from now on the car will be known as Becky. I don't think I will have much trouble selling my current Acclaim once word gets round that I've got Becky.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

I finally managed to get the threaded rods of the battery clamp off the spares car. The nut splitter made short work of those nuts. I used my tap and die set to clean up the threads and the wing nuts. I got the front tyres inflated to the correct pressure and I managed to make a start on removing the steering rack (I just unbolted the track rod ends) I also fired Baby Blue up just to keep the engine freed up. Posted by Picasa

I'm still having problems with the overheating! I was driving this morning when I noticed the temperature gauge go past halfway and then the heater went cold which pointed to an air lock. When I got home and let it cool I took the radiator cap off and noticed that some coolant had been lost. I know that the radiator is definitely not leaking. (it was brand new!) This also goes to show that it should've been checked weekly! I've topped it up and it seems all right now. I haven't checked the coolant level since I fitted the radiator 4 weeks ago. I'm bidding for another Acclaim on eBay at the moment. This one is a real beauty, is more or less rust free and has been very well looked after. Well worth buying (if I win the auction! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Not done much

It's been raining for most of the week so I haven't been able to get much done. I fitted the ignition leads and rotor arm on the Acclaim but the distributor cap wouldn't fit! The windscreen was leaking with all this heavy rain (must've been the remnants of the Birmingham tornado) because my handbook got wet when it was in the car. I'm now bidding for another Acclaim on eBay. I just hope that I win this one because it is a real beauty! I've spoken to the seller and the car's been looked after.
I fell that things on Baby Blue are being held up buy the welding that's needed. I'm still looking at buying a welder but the Acclaims are my first priority. Once the boot floor's been done I can fit the petrol tank and connect the fuel lines. No more of that petrol can! And while I'm at it I should put the spares car back together once I've done the steering rack and column. I've too many spare parts all dumped on the back seat and in the boot of Baby Blue. I don't think I can rob much else off the spares car and it will be next once Baby Blue is on the road.
I'm thinking of selling the Toledo. Being stuck on a pub car park isn't the best place for it and I don't have the time with everything else that's going on.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

More stuff for the Acclaim

The ignition leads I bought on eBay came in the post today. I also bought a new rotor arm so I can fit the along with that distributor cap I've had kicking about for a while (another eBay purchase) I tried to fit them but I don't have the tools so that job will have to wait until I go up to Baby Blue because I keep most of my tools in her boot. I bought a nut splitter the other day in my local Halfords to remove the threaded rods for the battery clamp from the spares car. I can easily replace the nuts.

Monday, July 25, 2005

The steering column is now ready to go in the car. I shall leave it until I get round to changing the rack. I'm also thinking of replacing the coupling. Jigsaw do a coupling for the Dolomite which should fit Baby Blue and it is supposed to improve the steering. I also want to fit some poly steering rack bushes. I know that Chris Witor sells these for the Dolomite and I think that they'll fit as well. The wheel swap has been completed and I made sure that the tyres had enough air in them before I fitted the wheels. (I don't know why I didn't think of it when I swapped the fronts!)  Posted by Picasa

Indicator stalk

I'vw now got myself an indicator stalk but when I compared it to my original I found out that the wires and plug are different so I'll have to cannibalise my old wiring swapping the wires over one-by-one, a pig of a job but do-able and when done it will work. I think that Triumph changed things slightly during the prouction run of the Dolomite as my replacement stalk came out of a later Dolomite. Once it's fitted I can assemble the steering column and it will be ready to go back in once I've fitted the replacement steering rack. I'll also see if I can finish the wheel swap.

Monday, July 18, 2005

The front seat head restraints came in the post today and I fitted them straight away and I think it has improved the car. The latest eBay bargain at 99p (plus a tenner for postage & packing but good value anyway) Once I've got that cambelt change done that's more or less it for anything major. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 17, 2005

At last I did it! I've now got my indicator switch off. I managed to remove the adjustable clamp and it was plain sailing after that. I did a bit of sanding down on the paaintwork and went over it with the last of my aerosol primer. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Well I got the brake pipe sorted out. It only cost me a pound to have a new pipe made up at my local motor factor. After fitting the pipe I then fitted the wheels that came off the spares car. I noticed that one of them had a Firestone tyre. I knew the spares car had better tyres than Baby Blue. I also treated her to a paint job. Just an aerosol of blue paint to cover all the grey primer. I thought that Olympic Blue (that's what it said on the tin) would be a close match for French Blue but it wasn't. It doesn't matter because I can go over it again with the right colour and it's better to have too much paint than not enough. Anyway she looks better for it as you can see in the pic. Looks nice with those Sprint seats! Posted by Picasa

Wheel swap

Taken the front wheels off Baby Blue and put them on the spares car. The tyres on the front wheels off the spares car are better than the ones off Baby Blue and they're in the boot of the Acclaim at the moment. I've had to come home to write this and when I've done I'll got back to Baby Blue to fit the front wheels and then I can do it all over again with the back wheels. I'll also need to sort out that section of brake pipe as well.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Triumph addict!

I missed out on the silver Acclaim CD on eBay. I was outbid in the dying seconds but the limit I'd set myself had been exceeded so I let it go...
There was another nice HLS in metallic bronze which looks like a beauty. The pics didn't seem to do it justice and by the item description it seems to have been well looked after. I'm hoping to tempt the seller with cash as I have the money after being paid out for my Ford Mondeo when the insurnace wrote it off. I might not even get another Acclaim. I had a go in a Dolomite 1850HL and it was a beauty! I'd love one! (or a Sprint if I could afford it! The 1850HL is the next best thing.)
I wasted an hour last night trying to dismantle the steering column which I need to do if I'm to fit a replacement indicator switch. If only I could get that blasted adjustment bracket off! There's a pin which I can't get out. Once that's out I'm there. How frustrating!
I had a go at changing the timing belt on the Acclaim but soon gave up. It is an absolute pig of a job and beyond me at the moment. On the plus side I was able to tension the alternator drive belt as it would slip now and again. One of the number plate bulbs failed so I robbed one off Baby Blue to get it working again. Did you know that in the UK it is illegal to have bulbs that aren't working even in daylight? It is also an MoT failure point.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Mot much doing at the moment

I received my new cambelt in the post today. Yesterday I won a pair of front seat head restraints on eBay for only 99p! I'm thinking about replacing the Acclaim with a better one. There's 3 nice ones on eBay at the moment. I put in a bid for a Silver CD and was immediately outbid. I might put in a higher bid but I'd better get my skates on because the auction for this one ends in less than 2 hours (the the time of writing)
Baby Blue needs a new brake pipe from the flexi hose to the caliper as the thread on the caliper end of the pipe is stripped. Not a big job really. Still got the wheel swap to do and the cooling system to flush. I'd better start her up as well.
I don't think that there's much more I can rob off the spares car. The nuts at the bottom of the battery clamp threads won't budge so I'm thinking of using a nut splitter to get them out. I can easily replace nuts and its one thing less to fail the MoT!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

A bit of progress was made.

I went to the spares car and got the steering rack and brake caliper. I could only get the front section of the exhaust. I'd also noticed that the tyres on the spares car look to be in better condition than Baby Blue's. The middle and rear sections wouldn't separate despite my best efforts with the 2lb lump hammer and a couple of screwdrivers. I fitted the brake caliper on Baby Blue but the section of pipe that immediately joins to the caliper sheared. Fortunately I'd clamped the flexible hose with my Mole grips so there was virtually no fluid loss and the same part on the spares car is in good condition and can be used. I've not had to spend any money on any parts for Baby Blue but I'm sure that this state of affairs won't carry on for much longer.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Lovely day... get some more work done. Bent the key for the Acclaim so I'll have to get a new one cut. As it is now weakened it's only a matter of time before it breaks so I'll pop down town to the local Timpson and get a couple more cut. I'll be going back to the spares car to rob some more bits off it that I need. I'm debating over whether to just replace the gaiters and track rod ends on the steering rack on Baby Blue or swap the rack with the one off the spares car. I'll also be getting the exhaust and one of the front brake calipers as well. I'm planning on flushing the radiator and refilling with fresh coolant. (I've got some antifreeze left which I can put to good use)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Good news

I managed to get the radiator road tested when I went down to the South Yorkshire meeting last night. Even though I was doing speeds of up to 80mph (in the rain!) the temperature gauge remained constant at the 1/3 mark and the heaters were giving out heat so I believe that the cooling system is now 100% I've got my West Yorkshire meeting tonight. I hope the attendance is better than the last one and the weather had better be nice for my little 15 mile run.

Monday, July 04, 2005

And here's what it looks like in the car. I got round to fitting the new radiator in the Acclaim. I also took the opprotunity to flush the engine block. I also tried the get the heater matrix flushed but the hoses just wouldn't budge! Anyway she's running a lot better with the new radiator and Barry can have his "loan" radiator back. That was the best �25 I ever spent on a radiator. Yet another of my eBay bargains! Posted by Picasa

...and in with the new. Posted by Picasa

Out witrh the old... Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Got my finger out at last

I finally went down to the spares car and got some more much-needed bit off it. I removed the steering column, petrol tank, the number plate lights, the passenger door lock and er, that's it. I wish I'd brought my trolley jack and axle stands otherwise I'd have had the exhaust and the steering rack as well. I'll defintiely get them next time. I don't think there's much left for me to salvage apart from the doors, glass, bonnet and bootlid. I also noticed that one of the brake calipers looks brand new. Just what Baby Blue needs. Talking of which, I fitted the passenger door lock, number plate ligts (and associated wiring) and the cig lighter. Once I've fitted the steering column I will have keys for Baby Blue!

On the Acclaim front the new radiator has now arrived and will be fitted as soon as possible. I went out to the car to check where the fittings go and I noticed a slight leak which was confirmed when I took the cap off so I topped up with water. It will do until I fit the radiator. I wonder if that's why the Acclaim was running hot recently.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Not a lot

Fitted the new bulb on Baby Blue so all lights should now work (except for the number plate light which I've gotta look at) I really need to get some more bits off the spares car soon. Brian, my mate has recommended a decent MIG welder to get but I'm a bit loath to spend lots of money on a brand new welder at the moment. I shall make a careful choice before I commit myself.

On the Acclaim front I've won a brand new radiator on eBay for only £25 plus £10 P&P. What a bargain! I'm really pleased with that and Barry can now have his "loan" radiator back.

The Toledo remains on the pub car park until I decide what to do with it. I don't want to part with it and once I've finally got rid of the spares car I'll have somewhere to keep it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Here is a pic of Baby Blue's newly-painted rear end. Very Dolomite-esque and defintiely an improvement! I turned my attention to the electrics working on the fusebox first. I cleaned all the connections and got the wipers working (just need to replace the wiper blades) When it came to the lights I was scratching my head and gave up. When I was reading the Haynes manual an idea struck me (one of those "Eureka" moments) I decided the remove the outer headlights, test the plug to make sure electrical current was getting through (it was) then I did a continuity test on the light which turned out to be faulty and then I swapped it with one of my spare lights and it was working again. I did the same on the other headlight and now all my headlights are working. After a bit more head scratching with the rear lights I had another "Eureka" moment. I'd already tested for a live feed and did a continuity test on the bulb holders which left the earth as the source of the problem. A bit of rubbing with some emery paper which I found in the glovebox I managed to get the rear lights working except for one of the brake lights which had a broken filament. I didn't do anything with the number plate lights. Before the "Eureka" moments with the lights I managed to drive the car a short distance up the road (which I wouldn't have done before I'd got insurance on baby Blue) and yes I'm still using a petrol can as my temporary fuel tank! I feel that I'm getting to the stage where I need to get some more parts off the spares car if I'm to make any progress. This is the beauty of having an identical car for spares. I've not had to buy any parts so far except for the seats which was the best �1 I'd ever spent! One of the neighbours' kids commented on how the Sprint seats were more comfortable! Posted by Hello

Monday, June 27, 2005

Not much doing...

I've changed the Acclaim on to my everday car insurance (no point paying insurance on a car I no longer own) and Baby Blue is now on the classic car insurance so she can be legally driven to the MoT (whenever that happens!) My next job is to get all the electrics working and with the help of my Haynes manual that shouldn't be too difficult.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Painter man

I did the driver's side sill today and painted it with some more of the black Hammerite-type paint. I also did the rear panel and now from the rear Baby Blue looks just like a Dolomite 1850HL or a Sprint. Maybe I should fit some Sprint alloys, front grilles and a front spoiler as well. I've already got the seats! Anyway she's looking a lot better for having been painted and I've also found a few more holes to patch when I get going with the welder.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Ever since I found that hole on the boot floor it's dampened my enthusiasm a bit but I figured that I should just keep on going so as not to lose heart completely so I decided to do a bit of cosmetics. I'd bought a new wirebush attachment for my drill so I took the opportunity to test it out on the sills. I jacked up one side of the car and as I was jacking the rear end up part of the sill collapsed. Fortunately, I was able to bend it back into shape. More welding for me to do. Talking of which, somebody in the pub is going to lend me his MIG welder as he hardly uses it but I'll need to get my own wire, etc. This is gonna save me a fortune on buying one. I just need some steel plate for making up the patches. (and to practaice on) I'm surprised at the condition of the bodywork. It looks like it's never been welded before. Anyway, I wirebrushed the passenger side sill and then I sprayed it with some black Hammerite-type paint. I also did the Acclaim's front valence and the rear lip of Baby Blue's boot lid (a la Dolomite!) as you can see in the pic. I also put more primer on the bodywork where it had been primed before. Once I've applied the topcoat she will look a lot better. I started her up (must remember to get that exhaust off the spares car!) and I'm glad to report that the alternator is charging the battery as the voltmeter is reading about 13.5V so it is charging correctly. Manged to free the front passenger wheel a bit more and had a go at driving the car. It is moving a bit better but the clutch started to burn. I thought I'd burnt it out but it was better once it had cooled down a bit. If the worst comes to the worst I can always rob the clutch off the spare engine. I think it is a decent one. This is the beauty of having a spares car: I don't have to spend any money on parts! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Ups and downs

Tonight I connected up the fuel lines to the tank and lo and behold it started to leak petrol. On top of that there's a hole in the boot floor that I'll have to patch before I can do anything. Its times like these when I'm glad I've got the spares car to rob parts off. I believe that the petrol tank on the spares car is a decent one but I don't want to fit it until I've sorted out that hole. The sooner I get a welder the better then I can patch those other holes I've found. On a slightly more positive note, I've finished fitting the Sprint seats and while I was at it I swapped the rear parcel shelf as the existing one was in worse condition than the one that came with the Sprint seats. I also worked out where the side panels for the boot were supposed to fit. Like I've said before this car is just one big jigsaw puzzle with some of the pieces still to fit and I'm slowly completing the last few pieces of the puzzle

Monday, June 20, 2005

More progress

I finally got stage 2 of my oil change done. Apart from spilling a bit of oil it went quite well. The engine seems to run a bit better now for having some quality oil (Duckhams) in it. The cheapo 20W/50 was just a short-term measure to flush out the crap and it worked. I've received the registration documents for both of the 1500s and I got a call from Geoff the previous owner to say that his son had taken the VIN plate off the spares car and it was ready to collect. Saves me a job should I wish to change Baby Blue's identity. The guy who sold me the Sprint seats has quite a few Triumphs including a 1300FWD, and a TR7 convertible. A sight to behold! I might be getting more parts off him. He's got an indiactor stalk which would be of use to me. I won't be able to give Baby Blue any more attention until Tuesday night because I'm working tonight in the pub.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

I collected the seats this evening. The seller still has the Sprint that they came out of so I might be getting some more bits off him. When I got back to Baby Blue I couldn't resist the temptation to try and fit one of the seats. I had a go at doing the drivers' seat and it went quite smoothly as you can see in the pic. Posted by Hello