Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Insurance claim

I rang Footman James to put in my claim. They were helpful and said an assessor would be round to look at the car in a few days. Meanwhile I went round to the recovery place to clear out the rest of my stuff. A couple of the guys in the yard were helpful. I gave the recovery firm my insurance details so I won't have to worry about storage costs. One of my Dolomite friends has offered me a bodily sound Sprint so I may be able to ressurect the car in some shape or form but I'm getting too far ahead of myself at this point. I'll have to wait and see if the car's a total loss (highly likely) and what the insurance will offer me.

I think I've killed it...

Last night on my way to Anita's house I lost control of the Sprint on a dry straight road which was well lit. The back end broke away to the right so I steered to the right to straighten up then it went the other way and ended up going sideways and hit a cable box. The nearside has been pushed in with the rear door taking the most damage. The B post is bent and the rear of the car is misaligned. Fortunately, I was just a bit shaken up but otherwise uninjured. Amazingly, the car was still drivable so I was able to park up and call the recovery service. The Sprint is now stored at the recovery company's yard (they have storage facilities) and Project Blue has been put back into use. I can't understand how I lost control. I've been up and down this same stretch of road in all weathers (especially during the recent rain) on a daily basis and I've never had it slide out of control. The only explanation I can think of is that there was some diesel on the road (this has killed many a Triumph through no fault of the driver) causing me to lose all grip. I'm glad that I didn't hit any other cars. I suspect that this car is beyond repair due to the distortion of the bodyshell. I'll have to see what the insurance says. A sad end to such a fine car...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Starter motor troubles

This problem has been coming on gradually and now it is getting to the point where I need to address it. What happens is when I turn the key the starter will click. It takes several tries until the starter spins. I've asked the question on the Triumph Dolomite Club forum and it looks like that either the connections are dirty or the starter needs to be reconditioned. I'm hoping to remove the starter tomorrow if the weather stays dry.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


I've got my renewal quote from Footman James. Just short of £400 so I've gone ahead with the renewal. Over for another 12 months and not bad considering I've got 4 of my cars on the policy. One more thing out of the way! The next thing will be the road tax on the Sprint.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Yesterday I went over to S&S to pick up the fan assembly. It was complete with the fan blades and at £25+VAT it was well worth it. Simon & Steve are great guys - true enthusiasts. I spent more time chatting with them. The place is an Aladdin's cave of TR7 parts. I wouldn't mind a TR7 myself but I've too many Triumphs!

The weather was dry so when I got home I got down to the spannering. The old assembly came off quite easily but the bolts were awkward to get at. Fitting the replacement wasn't too difficult but once again the bolts were awkward to get back in but with the help of my 1/2" spanners (no room for a socket & ratchet) I got there in the end. I also fitted the new fan belt I'd bought from Rimmer Bros and tensioned it up. The old one is now in the boot as an emeergency spare. While I was at it I removed and refitted the bracket for the air cleaner trunking as it was held on by only one bolt. It is fitted to the right of the radiator sharing it's mounting bolts. I'd fitted it in a bit of a rush using only the top bolt. I repositioned the battery clamp as it wasn't quite in the right place and I finally fitted the loose exhaust clamp. It had been like that since before my Irish jaunt! The result - it works a treat! I found out why the battery clamp had been moved. When the car was ticking over the air cleaner would come into contact with the battery clamp. I suspect that an engine/gearbox mounting is the root cause. I'll have to dig out the list that Carl (who owned the Sprint before Mark) had done.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The sh*t really has hit the fan!

It's finally happened. The fan has decided to let go just as I was setting off tonight. Fortunately, it hasn't done much damage. When I took a look I noticed that the tolerance ring had broken so I'm wondering if that was the cause. I'd spoken to S&S Preparations who have a second hand viscous coupling for £25 which now has my name on it. Snowdrop's going be put into service if she will start. I haven't used that car since last Saturday. I'm now forced into action if I want to get the Sprint useable again. I'm down to one useable car now. It's at times like this when I'm glad I've got a fleet. I'd have been stuffed if I hadn't sold Snowdrop!

Monday, January 14, 2008

The sh*t has hit the fan

Well not quite...

A noise has appeared and I've traced it to the viscous coupling on the fan. I've already ordered a new fanbelt and a tolerance ring from Rimmer Bros and I've sourced a good secondhand viscous coupling from a known fellow TDC member. I just wish this bad weather would let up so's I can get some spannering done. I've got an exhaust clamp that needs doing up and the wet cold weather is stopping me from doing anything.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Luck of the Irish

My trip to the Emrald Isle went without a hitch and the Sprint didn't let me down even though I went all over Ireland. The car just kept right on going. I'm in no doubt that it will finish the forthcoming RBRR which will be taking place in October. Thursday saw us going to Waterford. Friday was a trip to Belfast to the Ulster Transport Museum. Unfortunately, there were no Triumphs there but there was an Amphicar. (which had the Herald engine) On Saturday we went to Athlone which is right in the middle of Ireland. On Sunday we ended up in Dun Laoghaire (where the Boomtown Rats originally came from) before getting the ferry back. A few hours before I got on the ferry I saw a French blue Stag in Dublin. As he overtook me the driver waved at me. I didn't expect to see another Triumph in Dublin let alone a Stag!