Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Been spending

I've been doing more spending of money than work on the cars. Unfortunately, my Sprint didn't end up on the Triumph Dolomite Club stand at the Restoration Show at Stoneleigh so I wasn't able to do the wheels. I did manage to get hold of a replacement clock. I had to buy a dashboard for £5 (which turned out to be from a Triumph 2000 Mk2) which had a clock. I fitted the clock and it works. The clock is a tad too slow but they can be adjusted. I bought a handbook for the Sprint (£4), a data booklet for the Acclaim (£2.50 - never seen one before. It is smaller than the handbook), a chrome passenger door mirror for the Sprint (£16) and the top bit of the gear knob for the Sprint. (£6) I didn't really need it but a brand new one does look a whole lot better. On the drive down to Coventry I was averaging between 30-35mpg with a boot full of tools and the back seat full of regalia so I'm happy with fuel consumption.

The jobs remaining are:
Fit the mirror.
Clean up the wheels and repaint the segments.
Sort out the gearbox end of the speedo cable as it's held on with a cable tie and my speedometer flickers.
Adjust the clock.
Clean the engine bay.
Replace the rear gearbox mount.

Snowdrop is for sale to raise funds for putting Becky back on the road. Becky will need the following jobs doing for starters:

Fit some carbs. I've still got Projcet Blue's carb so I might give them a try.
Sort out the blowing exhaust.
Find that exhaust clamp.
A couple of areas will need a patch.
The nearside front wing needs replacing.
The CD player will have to be refitted. I took it out to fit in Project Blue but I'm loath to remove Project Blue's original radio/cassette.
The rear arches need rubbing down and respraying.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Getting ready to do more...

I've bought some wet-and-dry paper to do the alloys on the Sprint. I'll start off with some 220 grit and finish off with some 1000 grit then I can repaint the centre with some black Hammerite smooth and the job should be a good 'un.
I've had a call from the garage saying that Snowdrop will be ready to collect at 5.00 today witha fresh MoT. The final price was £400 which wasn't too bad and cheaper than last year. Once this car is sold then I can move on to getting Becky back on the road. This will be the subject for a Triumph World article and will also be documented here and in club publications.
I just don't have enough space for 5 Triumphs. I really should be getting rid of another Triumph but I won't scrap any (done that too many times!) or sell them as spares cars. If they're on the road when I sell then so much the better.

Shedding some light on the situation

I fixed a couple of more lights. I replaced the interior bulb and it is brighter than before. I still haven't got round to sorting out the front passenger door switch. I'm hoping to take a look at it before I set off to Stoneleigh for the forthcoming Restoration Show. Once again I'll be wearing my Triumph Dolomite Club hat and I'll be on the stand in some shape or form. The Sprint might be even on the club's stand as I fix the few remaining niggles and hopefully, smarten the alloy wheels. I also sorted out the left reversing light by robbing both a bulb and a bulb holder from Baby Blue. A pity I couldn't take that car to the Restoration Show. It would be ideal. Maybe next year?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Even more niggles fixed.

Well just a couple. I replaced a couple of bulbs. The one for the (non-working) clock and the boot light. After I got home I had a look at my interior light bulb and realized that the filament had become detached at one end and a gentle tap would make the bulb work so that's another bulb to replace. When I said that the clock wasn't working I can hear it ticking but the second hand doesn't move. I wish I could get inside and find out what's up with it. Looks like a replacement clock could be on the cards. I also moved the indicator/sidelight units so that the sidelights were on the outside. This may seem picky but I like to have the car in original spec but on the other hand I don't mind the odd mod or two (such as the electronic ignition or the stainless steel exhaust) if it improves the car without detracting too much from the originality.

Monday, October 22, 2007

More niggles fixed.

With the parts liberation I forgot to mention the Sprint.

Yesterday the Triumph Dolomite Club were having a Dolomite spares day at Rimmer Bros who were offering discounts on Dolomite parts. This was the ideal opportunity to obtain some bits for my Sprint. Once again my Sprint didn't miss a beat on the way there and back. On the way there I stopped at Doncaster services on the M18 and I replaced one of the door locking knobs which was damaged. When I got there I noticed a green Sprint with a familiar number plate. I was right. It was the one that belongs to Tony Wilkins who was my co-driver on the 2006 HCR and he knew about the event. His Sprint although an N registration like mine is a 1974 car and next to his mine was running quieter. There was a tour of the warehouse which gave us an insight to what goes on at Rimmer Bros. On the tour there was plenty of Rover SD1 stuff. They reckon that with their big purchase of SD1 parts from India they have enough parts to keep Rover SD1s on the road forever. (almost!) They don't just buy up stocks of parts but they also break cars and rescue as much as possible from them.
Anyway, I didn't buy much. I ended up getting a pair of secondhand grab handles for only £5. There are left and right handed one and they only had right handed ones but they can be cannibalised.
When I got back I fitted the grab handles. One of the window winders had the handle missing so I replaced it with a spare I had. Next job will be to move the sidelight/indicator units so that the sidelights are on the outside. I'll also be sorting out the interior light as it doesn't work on all the doors when they open. Probably just dodgy connections on the door switches.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

More parts liberated

I was surprised to find out that the garage where I was keeping some of my parts still had the parts there. I thought they'd been thrown out by the owner of the garage so I loaded what I could fit in my Dolomite Sprint. The doors wouldn't fit so I'll either have to use the roof bars or borrow a van from work. One way or another I'll get what I want out of there. So far I've got 2 bootlids, a rear exhaust section 2 gearboxes, a transmisson tunnel and a couple of sections of boot trim.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Another addition to the fleet

At last! I've finally got the Dolomite I've wanted. It is a 1975 Dolomite Sprint in Honeysuckle. Since getting my redundnacy money I knew I could afford to buy one. Better still the cost of adding it to my insurnace policy was just over £30. This means that I'll have to sell Snowdrop as I have too many Triumphs as it is but I'm grinning like the proverbial Cheshire Cat. The car isn't perfect but is structurally & mechanically sound. I drove it home from Coventry and it didn't miss a beat. It does have some minor niggles including:
Loose front passenger seat.
Missing pasenger head restraint.
Loose front bumper mountings.
Front passenger door not opening from the inside
Clock not working
Speedo needle wavering
Rear gearbox mounting needs replacing.
I was able to fix the first 4 items with a bit of help from the seller before setting off. The Triumph Dolomite Club are having a Dolomite Spares Day tomorrow at Rimmer Bros in Lincoln so I could be getting a few discounts on Sprint parts.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

MoT work neded

As expected Snowdrop failed the MoT. Apart from the front wheel bearings and a couple of front suspension bushes (I should've Polybushed the front suspension) it is mostly welding. I was given a figure of around £450 which is quite a bit less than last year. My initial reaction was to sell the car and buy another Dolomite but since sleeping on it I've decided to get the work done. I can afford it and as an enthusiast (idiot?) I'm doing it for love and not money. If it were a 10-15 year old Eurobox I'd get rid of it but it is a 30 year old Triumph and they do need preserving. Once the welding is done I'm gonna invest in some Waxoyl (or similar) to preserve the car. If I get a small compressor I can do the rest of my fleet as well. That would be money well spent. Once that's all out of the way I can then move on to Becky. She needs some welding and then when she's got another MoT she can be rustproofed as well.

Monday, October 15, 2007

MoT time.

I've booked Snowdrop in for the dreaded MoT at the same garage where Project Blue was tested. I'll probably just pay them to have whatever work needs doing to pass. I don't have anything else new to report until Snowdrop's been tested.


At last! Snowdrop is now useable and with a couple of days spare before the MoT runs out. In my last post I was thinking of selling this car but I'll see what in needs for the MoT before I make a decision.
Anyway, back to the story (in the words of Ronnie Corbett) I was able to borrow a van from work on Saturday and collect the axle from Liverpool. The guy wanted some Toledo parts so I was able to deliver them at the same time. I sold him the doors, a side window and the rear bumper making myself £35. Having made a bit more room in the shed I decided to paint the rear axle in there where it would be sheltered from the elements and be able to dry overnight. The next day I got the axle fitted. It was time consuming but I got there in the end. When I came to bleed the brakes the bleed nipple sheared off. I had come across a brand new brake cylinder when I was searching for my collection of nuts & bolts so I was able to turn it up fairly quickly and fit it. The electrical gremlins were traced to the fusebox so once again a root round my box of spares turned up the Toledo's fusebox and after a bit of wirebrushing it was fitted and all the electrics were working once again. I had also bought some exhaust putty to fill a hole in the exhaust but I can still hear it blowing somewhere. If I get Snowdrop throught the MoT I might invest in a stainless steel exhaust. I'm also thinking about getting some Dolomite Sprint alloys. One of my Dolomite friends called me and he's got some among his collection of Dolomite spares having recently sold his Dolomite Sprint. (I wanted that car!)
For the MoT I'll use the same garage I used for Project Blue. Hopefully the stuff it failed on last year won't fail this time round and I hope it will cost a lot less. We shall see...

Friday, October 12, 2007


I finally had something happen with Project Blue. The alternator belt had been squealingfor a few days and I was hoping to deal with it at the weekend (my tools are in Snowdrop's boot) but last night on my way to Anita's (where Snowdrop is parked) Project Blue, instrument lights were dimmer than normal and the wipers were slow. This pointed to a discharged battery. I made it to Anita's and when I popped the bonnet I saw that the alternator belt had worn and was slipping. This explained why the battery was discharging. It was because the alternator wasn't able to charge the battery enough. It was about 8.00pm and I knew of a motor factor that was still open so I got Snowdrop started with a bit of difficulty and managed to get a replacement belt. I had no indicators, wipers or heaters but the headlights were working so I was able to use the car. Because of the faults on this car (probably due to lack of recent use) and the fact that the MoT is almost due I think I'll probably sell this car. I've been wanting to get another Triumph since I got my redundancy money and I know of a decent Dolomite 1850HL that I want but something has to go and Snowdrop will be the one to go.

Watch this space.