Saturday, December 09, 2006

Not much lately...

Snowdrop and Becky have been fine just lately. I've noticed that Snowdrop tends to cut out when idling. I've just had a look and the points look like they need cleaning up.

I went down to the garage and stripped some more parts off the spares 1500. I removed the rear lights, some chrome trim, the dashboard, the heater box, the expansion tank, a pracel shelf bracket (for Snowdrop) and an accelerator pedal rubber. (also for Snowdrop) The only thing left that I do need is the rear section of exhaust which will be for Baby Blue.

Monday, November 27, 2006

More stuff has happened!

I finally fixed Snowdrop's headlight problem. I ended up replacing the bulb with a brand new on from my trusty local motor factor. I went down to the garage where I keep my spares 1500 and liberated more parts off it. First up were the rear light units. Next was the rear number plate followed by some chrom trim, the dashboard and the heater. I also robbed a parcel shelf bracket and accelerator pedal rubber for Snowdrop.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Something new has happened!

I've not had much to report lately but as I was about to set off this morning I noticed the one of the front headlights on Snowdrop had failed. The only thing for me to do was to jump into Becky (she had a run out the night before) and put her back into use. I reckon that I can rob one of the Toledo's headlight bulbs to save me a bit of money.

I will be losing the garage where I keep my spares 1500 so I'm planning on breking it for parts. I won't be losing the garage completely because the owner wants to put a chest freezer in so I may still be able to keep some parts there.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Shedding some light on the subject

I'd noticed that one of my number plate lights was a bit dimmer than the other so it was replaced at a cost of 59p from my local Motosave. I'm surprised that it got through the MoT (I think number plate lights are now part of the test these days) and even more surprised that the police haven't stopped me because from a distance it looks like the bulb has failed. Anyway, all is well again.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Another slight fuel problem

Yes, I found another one. Snowdrop was leaking petrol so I bought a couple of worm-drive clips & and a junior hacksaw, removed the rear section of fuel pipe and upon finding a pinhole I hacksawed the offending section off and joined the 2 remaining parts with what I had left of my fuel hose when I replaced the section that came out of the tank. The clips secured my new flexible section of fuel hose and it did the trick! I went to Blackpool and my handiwork is holding. Job done!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Slight fuel problem

As you may know I've put Snowdrop into daily use since she got her MoT. After I fill up with petrol there's a smell of fuel which I traced to the fuel tank sender so I ordered a new seal from Rimmer's and it has arrived today. I'd better fit it before I fill up tomorrow so that's a little job I can do tonight.

Monday, October 23, 2006

More fun and games

I finally got Snowdrop's front wheel alignment properly adjusted costing me £10. After that it was fresh oil and a filter. This was followed by a run along Snake Pass. All was well until after some 80mph motorway cruising when she wasn't quite running right for a while. Snowdrop performed perfectly after this little "hiccup". She obviously doesn't like motorways. Perhaps a carb rebuild could be on the cards at some point. The exhaust sounded like it was blowing again and when I started up this morning I decided to have a quick look. It was a good job I did because I noticed some liquid underneath the car. I couldn't tell what it was because it was before sunrise and it was raining so I touched it with my finger. It was engine oil so I immediately turned the engine off noting that the oil pressure light had come on. Had the sump nut come off? It turned out that the new oil filter had worked loose causing oil to eascape. I tightened up the filter and put what was left of my oil into the sump and started up. Fortunately the oil light went out so I carefully made my way to the nearest 24-hour petrol station and bought 5 litres of 20W/50 engine oil and topped up. I was lucky I didn't damage the engine and Snowdrop seems to be none the worse for it. Getting back to the exhaust, it turned out that it was blowing at the downpipe-to-centre section joint so after work I went to my local trusty tyre fitter who fixed it for only £2 which included a new clamp.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The end at last.

The saga is finally over. I've got Snowdrop back and it has cost me over £600 in addition to what I spent on parts. The problems didn't end there. When I left the garage I ran out of petrol at the first set of traffic lights. I was able to freewheel to somewhere and park her up and go fetch Becky to get some petrol. Priming the fuel system took some doing but I get Snowdrop running again and I left her and got my mate to take me back down after I'd dropped Becky off and all was fine once again. The tracking will need adjusting but it will be fine until I can get it set properly.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Testing times part 14

The brakes are done on Snowdrop. Unfortunately, Greg didn't have time to do the tracking. Once that's done she will be ready to roll with that elusive MoT certificate. I will be putting that car into more regular use.

The end is in sight...

Friday, October 13, 2006

Testing times part 13

The saga continues...

It turns out that the master cylinder I robbed off the Toledo leaks where the brake line screws in. That means it is useless. My next plan of action is to rob the one off the spares 1500 which is even older! If that doesn't work then I'm gonna have to take advantage of Rimmer's 14.89% off sale (equivalent to them paying the VAT) and order a brand new one for £60. I've also enquired about fixing the my mate's Laguna which I damaged in an accident last week. I've ended up having to buy it off him. If the inner wing can be repaired then I can just replace the rest of the parts because they all bolt on. There are plenty of Lagunas in the scrapyards at this time so I reckon it can be worth repairing.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Testing times part 12

I went back to the garage on Monday to be told that the brake master cylinder was still leaking. Aparently the bore is too worn and replacement is the only option. After a bit of ringing round and getting a few prices I ended up taking the master cylinder off the Toledo. I think that the money I've saved by robbing bits off it has covered the cost of that car! All being well, Snowdrop should be ready to roll with a fresh MoT. It isn't all bad though!

Mileage has been kept down.
Wear and tear is minimal.
It has cost me nothing in petrol.
Plenty of new parts, hard work and TLC has been lavished on her.
I've had 5 weeks of free dry warm storage.
The next MoT will be October 2007 instead of September 2007.

Greg commented on how good a starter she was. This is testament to my regular servicing and tuning. (as well as a new battery and reconditioned alternator)

Hopefully the end is now in sight. We shall see...

Watch this space!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Testing times part 11

I went to the garage and Snowdrop still isn't ready. Greg did show me where he'd done the welding which was just on the sills. Both front jacking points had to be plated and he said that the front wings at the bottom had just rusted away but he's done a good job and if the quality of the welding he did on Becky last year is any thing to go by it should last for a long time to come. There's just the brakes to finish off and the front wheel tracking to adjust and she'll be done. He's promised me he'll have Snowdrop ready for Monday. This meant I had to go to my RBRR stop in Becky. Apart from the wind it was a great night and things went quite well. It was good to put faces to names and to catch up with others who I already knew and met. The next best thing to doing the run itself and I was doing the Club Triumph a service.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Testing times part 10

I paid Viking Service Centre where Snowdrop is and Greg the lad who has been working on her has said that he will get her ready for Friday so she will be good to go for the Round Britain Reliability Run this coming weekend. I'm not doing the run itself but I'm manning one of the controls. These are like checkpoints in strategic places along the route where the participating crews have to get their roadbooks signed as proof the they've completed the run. The control I'm manning is in Corbridge which is up Newcastle way and at 110 miles each way is a 2 hour drive. I plan to be there 2-3 hours before the control is due to open to get settled in and ready. I've already been up so I know where it is and the layout of the control. I've got copies of the roadbook, hi-vis vests and a list of crews. I feel the the list could've done with the registration numbers of the cars to make them easier to identify.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Testing times part 9

I went up to the garage to check on Snowdrop's progress. There's just the welding to do now and the lad that's been working on Snowdrop said he'd crack on with it on Monday so all being well this little saga is reaching its conclusion.

On a slightly more positive note I took Becky to my trusty local independent tyre fitter to have the slow puncture repaired costing me only a fiver.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Locking up...

Becky's nearside rear door wouldn't open. The locking plunger had been playing up for a while put when I pulled it up to unlock the door today it went right down into the door cavity. When I got home from work I dug out my dad's screwdriver set (all my tools are kept at Anita's house), removed the door card and got the door unlocked and opened. The problem was the locking mechanism which had partly come away. Once it was reassembled it was working as it should be. Another job done that didn't cost me any money! The nearside front tyre has been losing some pressure so I'll be going round to my trusty local tyre fitter (no more fast-fit places unless I really have to) to get that sorted out.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Job done! One problem cropped up afterwards. I wasn't able to wind the window down fully. This was because the control cable was fouling the glass and had to be rerouted which meant removing the door card again but once it was done all was fine. Posted by Picasa

On with the new. Posted by Picasa

Off with the old. Posted by Picasa

Once this was done I could remove the mirror... Posted by Picasa

First, I had to remove the door card... Posted by Picasa

An oncoming car struck Becky's door mirror breaking the glass and damaging the plastic surround. Fortunately, I had a complete mirror assembly in my box of spares so I dug it out. Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 22, 2006

Testing times part 8

I went to the garage after work to check on progress. The parts had arrived but they haven't been fitted yet and there was just the welding to do. On top of that the guy who does the welding is off for a week so I'll be another week without Snowdrop or an MoT. The main man apologised for not keeping me in the picture. I can live without Snowdrop for another week. As long as I know what's going on I'm not too bothered. I've still got Becky and my mate's Eurobox to run around in.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Testing times part 7

I got another call from the garage to say that Snowdrop needs a new steering column bush and they found out why the brakes had failed AFTER the test was done. The master cylinder was leaking so it was straight on the 'phone to T.D. Fitchett and the parts have now been ordered and will be at the garage the next day. I hope that this will be the end of this little saga!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Giving Becky a brake

I think Becky was jealous of all the attention lavished on Snowdrop so she decided she needed some new front brake pads. Not only were they cheap at £8.45 they were very easy to fit. I've never know the job to be so trouble free and the copper grease certainly helped things along. I rewarded her with £20 worth of the cheapest petrol for a long time. The local Adsa is doing it for 85.9p per litre. Now that's what I call cheap!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Testing times part 6

I managed to get the bolts I needed for Snowdrop off the Toledo. They wouldn't budge at first but with a bit of gentle presuasion with my lump hammer they came off. Tomorrow is the TDCIR and I've got quite a few parts to sell so hopefully I can make a bit of money.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Testing times part 5

Snowdrop is almost ready. She needs a couple of bolts for the offside bottom balljoint where it attaches to the vertical link. The Toledo has identical bolts so I can rob a couple of bolts off that car. New brake pads are also needed so I'll get them done as well. This is turning into a mini-restoration and all just to keep this car road legal!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Testing times part 4

The parts I'd ordered arrived and they were the correct ones. Unfortunately when the garage was fitting the offside bottom ball joint the vertical link bolts sheared off. Making slow progress and it is gonna cost me! Hopefully, Snowdrop will be ready for the TDCIR. We shall see...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Testing times part 3

Got a phone call from the garage today to say that the front shock absorbers, the coil spring and the steering UJ were the wrong ones so I've ordered new parts from T.D. Fitchett (costing me around £137) and arranged for them to be delivered to the garage. I've taken away the offending parts and I'll get a refund fron the Triumph Dolomite Club when I go down to the TDCIR this weekend. Hopefully, Snowdrop will be ready for the weekend. I've a good mind to put her into daily use considering the money I've put into that car.
Becky is still performing quite well on her diet of Morrisons unleaded. Daily use keeps her in peak condition.

Not much more for now.

I compared the steering coupling UG against one of my 1500fwd items and it is shorter so it is the right one for Snowdrop so I dropped it in at the garage. I'm still waiting for them to tell me when the car will be ready. Hopefully she will be ready for the Triumph Dolomite Club International Rally (TDCIR) this coming Sunday.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Got the parts

I've now got all the parts I need. The whole lot cost me £120 courtesy of Steve Waldenberg who is chairman of the Triumph Dolomite Club and has a stock of club spares. He was able to supply everything I needed. I'll need to check the steering UJ to make sure it is for the Dolomite and not the 1500fwd. I can compare it to the one that came off the spares 1500fwd before I hand it over to the garage.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Testing times part 2

Oh, dear! Snowdrop has failed her MoT. This is what she failed on:

Nearside front headlamp ain too low.

(Manifold flange) exhaust system has a major leak of exhaust gasses.

Lower steering column universal joint has excessive play.

Nearside front suspension joint has excessive play in a lower suspension ball joint.

Steering system has excessive free play detected at the steering wheel (steering rack fitted)

Nearside front track rod end ball joint has excessive play.

Nearside front shock absorber has a serious fluid leak.

Offside front coil spring cracked.

Offside front wheel bearing has excessive play.

(both front chassis legs) body has a projection cuased by corrosion

Nearside rear (outer sill) body has a projection caused by corrosion.

Nearside front (outer sill) body has a projection cuased by cossosion.

Offside rear (inner wheel arch) body has a projection cuased by corrosion.

So it is mostly wear-and-tear items that have caused her to fail. I've asked the garage to price up the job and I'm in the process of getting all the necessary parts together. The Triumph Dolomite Club has been my saviour as they're the cheapest source of parts. Rimmer Bros are currently offering a 10% discount and free delivery on orders over £50 (excluding VAT) so I might be able to take advantage of that offer.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Progress with Snowdrop

Yesterday evening was dry and sunny so I took the opportunity to fit the new flexible brake hose. An hour later, job done! It seemed to be fine when I drove her afterwards and this morning when I checked the brake fluid level it was fine. Brakes were fine today and I'm now running around in her and all seems to be well. I was hoping to clean her but the rain seems to have put paid to that.

I managed to get a couple of my engines weighed in at a local scrap metal merchant. The engine that was in the Toledo when I bought it and a 1200 Herald engine that I'd rescued made me £15. Money for nothing!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Testing times

I've booked Snowdrop in for the MoT next Thursday so I'll have to try to sort out the brakes before then. She'll be in daily use that week as I've got 3 meetings on Mon, Tues & Weds. I hope she wil pass...

Give me a brake Part 3

Unfortunately this little saga continues...

I checked Snowdrop's brake fluid reservoir and it was empty! The fluid must be going somewhere even though I can't see any telltale evidence on the drive. As I mentioned the only parts of the system I've disturbed are the bleed nipple on one of the rear wheels and the rear flexible hose when I fitted the Toledo's rear axle. I suspect that the rear flexible hose is leaking and the fluid is leaking on the top of the axle and getting soaked into the muck & grease. That would explain the absence of brake fluid on the drive. I'll have to dig out that new flexible hose and fit it soon before Snowdrop goes in for her MoT.

As you can see in this pic the paintwork is looking a bit better now and it didn't cost me any money. Always pays to hang on to stuff because it will come in useful later on. Posted by Picasa

Becky's bootlid had some faded paint as you can see so I decided to revive it. It just so happened that I had a bottle of T-Cut in the right colour so I put it to good use. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Exhausted part 3

I've now cured the blowing exhaust.

I removed the downpipe, wirebrushed the downpipe and manifold. Used lots of exhaust assembly paste (Holts Firegum) put it back together and it doesn't leak any more. Next up will be the downpipe-to middle section joint as that's leaking. I'm still losing brake fluid and I don't know where it is going. The only part of the system I've disturbed was the rear flexible hose so I might fit the new one I bought.

Friday, August 25, 2006

I'm gonna be clearing out some of my rubbish (old clutches, etc) out of my cars and I'll be clearing the garage out so I've borrowed this Renault Laguna estate from my mate. He's just had some work done by a local Renault dealer and they've MoTd it as well so she's road legal. Not bad for 10 years old and ideal for taking lots of rubbish down to the local tip!
 Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 24, 2006

She runs!

Snowdrop is now running fine again. I bled the air out of the brakes (still don't know where its getting in!), went down to get some petrol and added some Redex. I then had a drive round the area (a bit further afield than round the block!) and she was fine. I then took her for a run along the M62 towards Goole which was 50 miles each way. She was a bit hesitant when setting off in first gear but on they way back she was fine. The exhaust was blowing at the manifold again so I'll have to get that sorted out. I've got a spare gasket and I've bought some exhaust assembly paste from my local Halfords to do the job. Becky's been out of action because I'm running around in my mate's Renault Laguna estate which I'll be needing when I have a sort out at the garage where my spares 1500 is kept.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Service & cleanup

After the successful MoT pass I treated Becky to a service. She's had new oil, oil filter, spark plugs and an air filter. While changing the spark plugs I damaged one of the HT leads so I replaced all the HT leads keeping the remaining old ones for emergency spares.

On a more positive note I removed Snowdrop's fuel tank, washed it out and then I flushed the fuel line with clean warm water. I'm having to replace a section of flexible hose as well and once that's done Snowdrop should be sugar-free. We shall see...

Friday, August 11, 2006

Some good news!

Becky has passed her MoT with flying colours. Not even any advisories so I'm well chuffed! Better than last year and the first time I've ever had a car pass the first time! A far cry from the days when my Ford Mondeo would need £500 worth of work to get through the test!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I've faced the inevitable

Yes, I've had to face up to the fact that Snowdrop's fuel tank will have to come out to be cleaned. I've already drained it in readiness for this task and I'll also have to clean the fuel lines out as well. Shouldn't be too difficult to do.
Becky's been booked in for her MoT tomorrow. It was the same guys who did it last year (local independent Rover specialists) so they know the car and they're a good bunch of lads whom I know I can trust.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Got stuff done

Got plenty done with Snowdrop.

The fuel filter's been fitted, I put some Redex & a tenner's worth of Sainsbury's super unleaded in the tank, I've replaced the broken engine mounting and I've bled the brakes which are now working fine. Snowdrop still isn't running right. There must still be sugar in the fuel line. I wish I could clear it. Anyway, the filter will catch it all.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Becky's exhaust problem is now cured. I took it to the local independent tyre place I use and they fitted and restudded a replacement exhaust manifold which I supplied courtesy of my local Acclaim guru. A new gasket for the downpipe was fitted and job done! Well worth it for £35.

Turning my attention to Snowdrop, I went down to the garage where the spares 1500 is kept and I took the engine mounts off the Toledo's original engine. I've fitted a fuel filter and with it fitted I can now see why Snowdrop keeps on cutting out. There's a blockage in the fuel line somewhere no doubt caused by the sugar contamination. I've got it all out now so I'll just put in some additive that should hopefully clear the blockage.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Becky's turn

Becky's now having her turn for some attention. I replaced the rear tyres and I've also made a start on curing a blowing exhaust (at the manifold) which started when I replaced the gearbox. It turns out that the manifold will need replacing because one of the blind studs is just turning. I've managed to source a replaement manifold which I can't get until tomorrow.

Going back to Snowdrop, I think I've cured the running problem, the clutch seems fine but the brakes are playing up again so I'll have to bleed them yet again and possibly fit that new brake hose which I was going to save for the axle rebuild.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Fuel problem

A mate had suggested that my fuel problem with Snowdrop might be a blocked vent or a vapour lock so when I took Snowdrop out on a run. As soon as she cut out I got out an removed the fuel cap. Nothing. I noticed some fine white crystals around the filler neck so I suspected fuel contamination. When I got Snowdrop back to her resting place I removed the fuel sender to get access to the tank's contents and my suspicions were confirmed. Somebody has been putting sugar, salt or some similar substance into the tank. I dug out my siphon and drained about 6 litres out of the tank getting most of the contamination out. I was able to separate the petrol from the sugar/salt/watever and put it back in the tank. (the petrol that is!) I also checked the fuel pump and found that the gauze filter had been blocked with rust so I cleaned it out. I hope I can get this car sorted out for a local classic show this coming Saturday.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Still clutching part 2

I bought a clutch kit for £39 from my trusty local motor factor and set aside a whole Sunday to do the job fitting it. I started at 11.30am and it was nearly 10pm when I'd finished! I was interrupted several times and bolts that refused to budge didn't help. Fitting the gearbox was a struggle so I enlisted another pair of hands to make it comply! Also I used my tap and die set to clean up the threads on the bolts. When I reassembled things I used copper grease to make things easier next time. Unfortunately, I've found another couple of problems along the way. An engine mount is broken so it is either raid my spare parts or buy a new one. The other problem appeared when I was road testing. The engine would lose power and cut out. A couple of minutes later the car would start up and run fine and then it would start hapenning again so that's another thing to sort out. I suspect a fuel problem as the ignition timing was set the previous week.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Still clutching

Still having problems with the clutch. I also found out that the master cylinder was leaking so I ordered a rebuild kit and when I rebuilt the master cylinder and tried it out it wasn't much better. Having got back home and checked the parts catalogue I've realised that I've not fitted the rubber boot correctly. It should fit under the washer and circlip. That's easy enough to sort out though. If that doesn't work it might have to be a gearbox out job to check the fulcrum and maybe replace the clutch.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Clutching at straws

No sooner do I solve Snowdrop's running problems then the clutch starts to play up! It turned out to be a loss of fluid so I bought some flid and a slave cylinder repair kit when I was down at the TSSC International yesterday. When I got back I rebuilt Snowdrop's original slave cylinder and fitted it. I did a test run before I put everything back together and it seemed to be fine. When I'd finished refitting everything I took Snowdrop for anothe road test and it was like it was before I'd started. These cars can be so frustrating!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

I hope I've solved it.

Last night I started working on Snowdrop. I adjusted the valve clearances, (tried to) put Redex down the bores, ditched the NGK spark plugs for Champion ones and fitted the downpipe-to-manifold gasket and it seems to have done the trick. I also adjusted the idling and the ignition timing which were both out. Today I've also bought some Holts Flexiwrap for the rear section of the exhaust as the exhaust bandage I'd fitted hadn't worked. Fitting it wasn't too bad and it has cured the problem. The exhaust is a lot quieter now! Snowdrop is running like a dream and since I did all the work she hasn't missed a beat. I'm thinking of going to the TSSC International at Stafford tomorrow and this would be an ideal long-distance road test for Snowdrop.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Oh dear, Snowdrop isn't running right. I took her down to Hollycombe and on the way down she started suffering loss of power from Leicestershire. The problem keeps on coming and going. Also, Snowdrop was running a bit hot so I've sourced a replacement radiator via eBay. (the rad needs to be replaced) My plan of action is to start from scratch and redo the ignition settings. I'll be putting Redex down the bores, checking the valve clearances, ditching the NGK spark plugs for Champion ones, resetting the ignition timing, checking the points and the dwell angle. Hopefully, that will solve the problem. I'm going to remove the exhaust and refit it making sure all the joints are leak free. To this end, I've ordered a new manifold-to-downpipe gasket as Snowdrop didn't have one!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Give me a brake Part 2

I fitted Becky's brake shoes without any difficulty and the handbrake now holds! The old brake shoes were smooth. No wonder the handbrake wouldn't hold! I've had the brake pedal sink a couple of times but at the moment it seems to be fine. The brake fluid looks like it needs changing so I've bought some more brake fluid. I'm going to do the job on Friday evening before I go down to Club Triumph's National Day at the weekend.
I took the Sprint seats out of Baby Blue and they're now in Snowdrop. Driving comfort is vastly improved and after a 50 mile trip from Halifax to Goole I was feeling fine and without any discomfort. Snowdrop's original seats are now in Baby Blue. I'll be glad of the comfort when I take Snowdrop with me at the weekend to the above mentioned event. It will be over 200 miles each way so comfortable seats are of paramount importance. This could be the first step to making Snowdrop look like a Dolomite Sprint. She's already got the vinyl roof! Anybody got any spare Sprint alloys?

Friday, June 23, 2006

Give me a brake!

Got some new brake shoes from my trusty local motor factor costing me only £8.50. I'm also wondering if I've not reassembled everything correctly when I cleaned up the rear brakes last Saturday. I'll have my Haynes and parts catalogue to hand this time. I've also got Barry's hotline number just in case I'm seriously stuck!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Snowdrop attended the "Northern Dolly Day" on Sunday 18th June at Harewood House in Leeds. This was my first show I've done under the Triumph Dolomite Club banner. It is nice to actually enjoy the car rather than having to work on it. This brings me to Becky. I took her brake drums off, cleaned the brakes, tightened the handbrake cable and it hasn't worked. In fact, I think I've made the handbrake worse because it doesn't hold on even the slightest incline. I've also found out that there are two possible sizes of brake shoes when I rang my trusty local motor factor for a price. According to my local Acclaim guru (I'll call him Barry) he reckons the smaller size ones will fit Becky. I will measure up just to be on the safe side. Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 09, 2006

I took the alternator in for repair and a couple of days later it was ready. It needed new bearings and a regulator. When I picked it up it had been cleaned and painted as you can see. Well worth the �38.50 it cost me and is as good as new. I used the same guy who did Becky's alternator because he did a good job with it. I'll also be sorting out the hole in the rear section of Snowdrop's exhaust. I've decided to try exhaust bandage as the exhaust putty I'd used before didn't work. Becky's rear brakes need looking at as the handbrake isn't working to well so there's a bit to keep me occupied. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Problems with Snowdrop

This car has been giving me a bit of grief this week. First of all the indicators wouldn't work properly (they'd come on and stay on without flashing) then the ignition light wouldn't light up when the ignition was turned on. The problem went away and came back again. I suspected either the battery or the alternator so I did some voltage readings with my multimeter and they were below normal so I took the car to a local independent tyre fitter for a free battery check and a faulty battery was diagnosed so I had it replaced (costing me just short of £40) and all seemed to we well again and then the problem came back. Once again the voltage readings were a bit down on what they should have been. I also did voltage readings along the circuit for the ignition light and I was getting voltage all the way along it. (it earths through the alternator) I then robbed the alternator that was on Baby Blue (which had originally came from the Toledo) and it has been fine ever since. The battery may not have needed to be replaced but knowing Snowdrop's recent history it my have been overdue for replacement as the average car battery has a lifespan of 5 years.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Worked on 3 of my cars today...

First up, Becky had her drivebelt retensioned again and hopefully she won't squeal any more.

Second, I cleaned Snowdrop's engine bay and it looks a bit cleaner now.

Last but not least, I fitted the steering column on Baby Blue. I think some of my handiwork is causing a short circuit as one of the fuses keeps on blowing. Probably one of the wires on the indicator stalk so it looks like I'll have to investigate and sort it out. At least that car can be started on the key now.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A bit more to do...

I got round to retensioning Becky's new belt. It was squealing whenever I fired her up. I did fit it at home with an adjustable spanner. I also topped up the radiator and this time I made sure I got all the air out. Today's commute to and from work will tell if I've cured that little problem. Snowdrop doesn't need anything major doing. She is now good to go which is a good thing because there's a few local shows and meetings coming up and she'll be the car of choice.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Another small job

The alternator drive belt was replaced last night as the old one was beginning to fray. It was a simple enough job but I'll need to retension it as it squeals when I start her up. Something to do when I'm over at Anita's next.

The "1500 Stretch" idea is beginning to take shape. I'm hoping to use the original 1500fwd running gear so I'll need to keep weight down. A couple of things that will help are a Webasto sunroof (I'd like this car to have one) and the use of fibreglass panels where possible. The Toledo would be a good source of body parts for the centre section.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I've had one of those madcap ideas. The idea is to stretch my spares 1500. First the car would be cut in half down the B-posts and then a middle section would be welded in between to create a longer car. The rear section of my Toledo would provide that middle section of the stretched car. The only other problem is to which engine would be suitable. I've been told the standard 1500 drivetrain (front wheel drive) would do the job but I've also been told that the 6-cylinder engine would fit. I've done a mock-up using a photo of a Dolomite 1500HL (the bodyshell is exactly the same) so it should give some idea of what it would look like... Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 15, 2006

It wasn't just classic cars. There was other vintage macchinery including this traction engine. If Fred Dibnah was still alive he would be in his element! Posted by Picasa

Now this is one of my dream cars. (the Triumph Stag) This one is local and I got to know the owner through Snowdrop's previous owner. If I ever get the chance I'd have one of these. Posted by Picasa

I quite liked this car and I knew the previous owner as I'd sold him one of these (a Triumph 1300fwd) This car has appeared on "Heartbeat" so she is a star. This is one of the nicest examples I have seen. Posted by Picasa

I went to a local show at the weekend and showed Snowdrop. It was the first show I took her to and the previous owner was there (he lives nearby) with his MGB GT Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A bit of light work on Snowdrop!

Last night just before the local TSSC meeting I removed the reversing light switch from Snowdrop and resoldered the wire that had broken off so I now have reversing lights again. Well, I had just one at first because the bulb for the other one was missing so I robbed one from Baby Blue. At the meeting I was told that one of my brake lights was out (the filament had broken) so when I got back I robbed another bulb off Baby Blue and all was well again.

Monday, May 08, 2006

The replacement gearbox in place after much struggling. Rain and bad light wasn't going to stop play for me! Posted by Picasa

New clutch fitted and ready to receive the replacement gearbox. Posted by Picasa

The old and the new... Posted by Picasa

A well-deserved break for a cup of tea. Posted by Picasa

The old gearbox is off... Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 06, 2006

I made a start on removing Becky's gearbox last night but I had to stop part way through as it was getting dark. This morning I went over to see my local Acclaim guru to pick up the replacement gearbox. It was still attached to the engine so I spent an hour separating the gearbox from the engine. That done, I then went to pick up the clutch kit whichb I'd ordered and atbthe same time I bought some suitable oil for the gearbox. As you can see from the pic I managed to get the gearbox into Snowdrop's boot. I will be giving it a good clean before I fit it. As I've quit my pub job I can keep on going until if finished fitting the gearbox and I can then give Becky some extensive road testing. Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 05, 2006

Gearbox replacement

I've decided to replace Becky's gearbox so I've manage to source one from my local Acclaim guru's extensive collection of Acclaim spares and I've ordered a new clutch kit from my local motor factor for just under £40. It makes sense when Becky's done just under 119,000 miles amd I've got the gearbox off. The plan is to remove the gearbox tonight. Pick up the replacement, pick up the clutch kit (if it has arrived) and then fit the whole lot. The clutch kit might not come until Monday so the job might be delayed. it doesn't really matter because I've still got Snowdrop to run around in so I'm not totally without transport. I shall be taking photos and posting them on this Blog.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

More gearbox woes

I fitted the torque rod bush and it made no difference so it looks like a replacement gearbox. Mind you, with 119,000 miles it has lasted well. I've also been advised to change the gearbox oil before I do any major work. I would've done it by now but I've got a couple of meetings this week which is why I've been running round in Snowdrop since I did the HCR.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Gear problem

Becky made it on the HCR. The one thing I (and my co-driver) noticed that she would sometimes drop out of 5th and into neutral. I consulted my local Acclaim guru who thinks that it is a worn engine torque rod bush. When I got back to Anita's I checked it and sure enough there was lots of play so I'll be getting a replacement from said Acclaim guru. It would also explain the judder I've experienced when setting off in 1st gear.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Good to go

Becky's now ready for the HCR. I checked all the fluids and topped up where necessary. I even found a couple of jobs to do on Becky. Last night I repositioned the steering wheel as it wasn't aligned when the front wheels were straight and I don't want Tony (my co-driver on the HCR) to be caught out by it. I think I know why Becky lost all that coolant. The top hose wasn't fully in at the thermostat cover so I loosened the clip, pushed the hose all the way in and tightened up the clip. Hopefully, it should be watertight now.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Hot stuff!

The past few days I've noticed that Becky's been oveheating whiile standing in traffic. Just what I needed a few days before Club Triumph's Historic Counties Run. When I got home from work yesterday I let Becky cool down, took the radiator cap off and topped up the radiator. I reckon I put about a litre of water in and ever since she's been fine. I will be rechecking on Saturday morning before I set off. I'll be checking the tyre pressures when I fill up with pertol today after work.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


I've now refitted the steering column bracket and the dash has been refitted. I'm hoping to have another go at getting the old rack out once I can remove the coupling. After that it should be plain sailing fitting the rack from the spares car and then fitting the rebuilt steering column.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Back to Baby Blue yet again!

Work is now progressing on removing all the steering components. The steering column came out with some difficulty. I had to remove the bracket which involved taking the dash off. The real breakthrough came when I removed the top bolt from the coupling and the steering column then came out. The rack is nearly ready to come out once I've removed the coupling which won't come out for me at the moment. At last I was able to fit my new steering column bush. I've also found out that the 1500fwd has solid rack mountings so the poly bushes I've bought are useless but I can use them with Snowdrop.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


The insurance renewal for Becky is coming up so I phoned Lancaster to see how much it would cost to renew with then and they quoted me the best part of £400! As Snowdrop was insured with Footman James I thought I'd try them and they were able to add Becky to the policy for an extra £89 and better still both cars now have unlimited mileage! Well worth it. Becky's front bumper is now creased so I'll be straightening it tonight.

Friday, April 14, 2006

At long last!

I've finally done some more work on Baby Blue. I fitted the petrol tank that was in the spares car. I've also fitted the filler pipe and vent hose. I just need to connect up the fuel line and I can then put some petrol in the tank and fire up the car once again. I was able to fit everything back in the boot that I'd taken out! Just shows how much space you can save by being organised!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Back to Baby Blue (again!)

I was hoping to trial fit Baby Blue's petrol tank but I've just looked out of the window and it's raining so it's probably not a goer. I was reading the workshop manual and the steering rack seems easy enough to remove. None of this "raising the engine a few inches". Just undo the track rod end balljoints, remove the mounting bolts, undo the bottom pinch bolt, separate from the steering column and it should come out from the driver's side. We shall see...
I've not had chance to do anything with Snowdrop's rear axle and Toledo's axle is giving good service so no rush just yet. I've still gotta sort out the reversing light switch as well.
I seem to be doing less mileage in Becky recently. Since I filled up last Thursday I've only done 100 miles. in the space of 6 days)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Did some work on Becky

I bought a Sony CD player from a mate for £30 and I fitted it into Becky yesterday after work. I removed the original radio and the cassette deck and after an hour it was all done. The radio even has RDS and it will play MP3s as well so I'm quite pleased with it.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Parts arrived today.

The gaskets, oil seals, brake drum screws and flexible brake hose that I'd ordered from Rimmer's arrived in the post today. I filled Snowdrop's petrol tank and put some STP fuel treatment in. I've also bought some degreaser and some more brake fluid. I'll be having a relaxing night at home tonight. I still can't get over how quiet the diff is!

Done it!

The axle swap on Snowdrop is complete. It took me just over four hours from start to finish and it has transformed the car. I can't get over how much quieter it is. I can now refurbish the original axle at my leisure.

Monday, March 27, 2006

At last I've got the rear axle off the Toledo. It took a bit of struggling but I got there in the end! Hopefully, it will be a bit easier when I do Sonwdrop's. We shall see... Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Taxing stuff

The road tax for Snowdrop is due at the end of this month and the reminder from DVLA duly arrived through the post this morning. As Snowdrop had one of the computer generated MoT certificate I decided to apply for the tax disc online. It was easier than I expected & I didn't even need to supply any insurance or MoT details.
Tonight, I'm hoping to finish removing the Toledo's rear axle. Hopefully when I do Snowdrop's it will be much quicker.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Other stuff done

I've now covered the Toledo so things look a bit better now. Last night I went round the exhaust system undoing the manifold joint and reconnecting it with some exhaust putty. I also did the downpipe-to-centre section and now my exhaust is totally leak-free. I'm not 100% happy with the tappets so I'll have to recheck them and then I can recheck the timing. As to the diff problem, I'm now thinking about doing the axle swap from the Toledo. It appears to be less work than a diff swap and seems easy enough. We shall see...

Friday, March 17, 2006


I had a go at setting the tappets on Snowdrop last night (for the first time ever!) and it made things worse so I left it until I went back after work today armed with my Haynes and a Gunsons Clickadjust. Job done and Snowdrop is running a bit better now! Well worth it! I also bought a new rocker gasket and I used some sealant when I refitted the rocker cover being careful not to tighten it up too tightly! When driving I noticed that the temperature gauge wasn't registering. It turned out that I' forgotten to reconnect the wire which I'd taken off to avoid it fouling the rocker cover when I was refitting it. The indicator problem has now mysteriously disappered and when I was jet washing Snowdrop one of the number plate lamps came apart so I had to spend a few minutes putting it back together. I've also gotta sort out the reversing lamp switch. One of the wires needs to be soldered back on. There's always something that needs doing on these cars!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Just a bit more

My mate Brian told me that I'll need to adjust the valve clearances on Snowdrop before I recheck my ignition timing. She'll be running even better after this. At least I don't have to spend any more money!

Cooking on gas!

I cleaned the timing marks and when I checked with the timing light the timing was way out so I set it statically then I checked it with the engine running. I gave the carburettor a clean with some carburettor cleaner. I took the plugs out and regapped them, (should've done it when I fitted them) increased the points gap to get the dwell angle down and it has done the trick! Snowdrop is running even better than ever. I checked the RPM and it was a bit high but at least she's idling. I took Snowdrop on a road test and she perfomred quite well but I discovered another problem. Whenever I indicated left the light would stay on constantly. I soon found out the cause. The left front indicator bulb wasn't working. That particular lens is broken so I might as well replace it at the same time.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Not good

I thought Snowdrop would run better but now she's running worse. I've just fitted new points and condenser. I've bought an automotive multimeter and a timing light. The dwell angle is 62 deg which is more than it should be. (according to the data sticker on the inside of the bonnet) Worse still, I think the timing is way out but the timing marks need a good clean before I'm sure about that one.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

And here is the engine bay after I'd cleaned it up a bit and done the rocker cover. A big improvement. I've also replaced the distributor cap, rotor arm and spark plug leads so hopefully, Snowdrop will run a bit better. They were overdue for replacement! Posted by Picasa

I managed to get everything done that needed doing. First I jacked up the rear of Snowdrop and put her on axle stands to refit the rear section of exhaust. While the back end was up I started her up and put her in gear to trace the whining noise. It was defintely the diff. I've already arranged to have the pinion bearing and oil seal fitted at my mate's a week on Monday. The boot light was easily fixed. The switch just needed connecting and it worked. I removed the rocker cover, cleaned it up (inside and out) repainted it, fitted a new gasket and put it back on. The pic is the engine before I started on the rocker cover. Posted by Picasa