Saturday, February 25, 2006

Finally got it!

At last! My local Motosave have got my air filter. They've done their best even taking off the old one to get a part number but the result is what counts. I'll be going over to Anita's to fit it later on today. Snowdrop has served me well in daily use in the past week. Becky will be going back to weekday duties on Monday but Snowdrop will be used at the weekends and when there's a meeting on.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


I did a basic service on Snowdrop last night. I changed the spark plugs, (the v-grooved NGKs which cost just under £10 from Halfords for a set of 4) engine oil and oil filter. The oil filter didn't look right and before taking the plunge I went down to the garage and tried it out on a 1300 engine that I keep there. It was the wrong one so I went to a motor factor that was still open (it was about 8pm at the time) and got the right oil filter. The oil I used was a £4.99 own brand 20W/50 from my local Motosave which is perfect for a 1977 Dolomite 1300. The old oil was WAY past its best. I don't know when the last oil change was done as the previous owner had not done any servicing on the car in the 8 months he owned it and prior to that it had been left in a garage for 5 years. I'm surprised that Snowdrop was in such good condition considering her recent history. I'd noticed a Dinitrol sticker in the back window and thought it was fuel related but when I saw another Dinitrol sticker on the inside of the bonnet saying that the car had been rust-proofed it made sense to me. The rust-proofing had obviously done its job preserving Snowdrop. I took the oil filter back to where I got it from and got an air filter ordered. When I went back to pick up the oil filter it was the wrong one so I'll have to go back again when they've got the right one.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

A bit more work

The brakes seemed fine or so I thought. WRONG! On the way to the pub where I work the pedal sank. When I'd finished at the pub I went straight over to Anita's and on the way I called in at an Esso petrol station to get some more brake fluid as I'd used most of what I already had. It cost mw just over a fiver for 500ml, a tad expensive but safety is paramount and you can't put a price on that. I bled some more fluid through and I wasn't surprised when more crap came out. Since I've done it my handiwork seems to be holding. I've had a fuse blow on me again so I really need to investigate. I may have to re-wire my CD player as it's connected direct to the battery and was the only electrical mod I've done on Snowdrop. There should be a radio feed that I can use to power the CD player. I can't think what else it could be.

Did a bit of work

The brakes on Snowdrop didn't feel too clever so I decided the chenge the fluid. With my trusty one man brake bleeding tube (it had a non-return velve at the end) I got the job done without much trouble. I don't think the fluid has been changed in YEARS as the stuff that came out was dark, cloudy, full of air and didn't look like brake fluid! At the same time I checked the engine oil which was below the minimum mark on the dipstick so I immediately topped it up with some Castrol GTX which I had to hand. (for Becky's next oil change) I also checked the dashopt level in the carburettor and topped it up. Snowdrop has been blowing fuses so I had to rob the fuses out of the Toledo. (there'll be nothing left of that car when I get round to putting it back on the road!) I also fitted the wheel trims I got at Stoneleigh on to Baby Blue. The next thing planned will be to service Snowdrop. (engine oil, oil filter, air filter and spark plugs)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Stoneleigh bargain

I got a pair of wheel trims for Baby Blue costing me only £10 from the Club Triumph spares stand. They were priced at £8 each but I negotiated a discount. Being an area organiser has its advantages! Somebody suggested that I check the oil level in Sonwdrop's rear axle before I start taking anything apart so I bought a litre of gearbox oil from my trusty local motor factor and tonight I managed to get just under half of it in. I'll be going to my local TSSC meeting tonight so it will be the ideal opportunity to road-test Snowdrop.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

And here is what Snowdrop looks like. I've managed to cure an exhaust knock (although it is still there when reversing) I forgot to mention that this car came with a CD player and it has a tape input so I could hook up my MP3 player. The Toledo has become a spares car donating a gearbox, starter motor, temperature sender and clutch slave cylinder. Posted by Picasa

I've got a Dolomite

Last week I saw a Dolomite 1300 on eBay. As this one was local to me I thought I'd take a look in case anyone was interested. (I'd no intention of buying the car at the time) The car was exactly as described and the only major thing wrong was a whining which both the seller and me thought was the gearbox. As I had a spare gearbox that I knew would fit and that I had the money to buy the car I made the seller an offer and bought the car privately. The first thing I did was replace a piece of chrome trim that was missing from the rear wing (as donated by the spares 1500) and then I set about swapping the gearbox. After a major struggle I completed the job but the whining was still there. At the moment I suspect the differential. Then another problem cropped up. The clutch wouldn't engage making it almost impossible to select a gear and the biting point was very low. The problem turned out to be the slave cylinder on the clutch so I ended up using the slave cylinder out of the Toledo and it was fine after that. I'm hoping to do a service on the Dolomite. (now known as Snowdrop because she's white)