Saturday, December 20, 2014

Carb breather hoses.

The carb breather hoses cam in the post today.
I wasted no time in getting them fitted. The photos are before and after they were fitted.
I also tidied up the hose that goes from the cam cover (not visible in the above photos). One more job ticked off the list.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Some more stuff done.

Today's main job was to tune the carburettors and to this end I put some fresh petrol in. I was pleasantly surprised to see that unleaded has gone down yet again to 110.7p per litre at my local Asda. When I got back the engine had reached working temperature so I was able to start on the tuning. I screwed the jet adjusters all the way to the top and then back down 12 flats. It isn't perfect but it is a good starting point. Next I unscrewed the throttle adjustment screws. The choke linkage was adjusted and the fast idle screws were unscrewed as far as possible (this was the cause of my fast idling). I then started the engine but it wouldn't run so I screwed the idle screws in a bit until the engine would run. Next was to balance the carburettors. I have a balancer for this very job. It is a metal one I bought from my local Moss and has served me well. Once the carbs were balanced, I adjusted the idle, refitted the air cleaner and adjusted the idle again. The car is now running much better. I've just the fast idle to sort out but that can be done another time. The car is still not quite 100%. The breather pipes are perished so I've ordered a pair from Robsport. The carb mounts are past their best so I'll order a pair of the solid carb mounts from the TDC. I've considered fitting Stromberg CD150s as per original spec (I've even got the correct inlet manifold) but if it ain't broke...

Another brake problem has come up. The brake lights have stopped working and despite swapping with some spares that came off the Astra when I upgraded to LEDs, I still had no joy. A trip to the local Halfords saw a brand new pair of bulbs fitted which has fixed the problem. I'll be fitting LED bulbs but this is WAY down on the priorities. I need to fix that subframe mount. The steering doesn't feel right especially on full lock.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Subframe bushes.

The subframe bushes arrived the day after I'd placed the order.
It wasn't cheap at just a shade over £85 but they should outlast the car and won't need changing for a long time. I'm still awaiting the inner wing. Once that arrives, I can get the car in for it to be welded into place.

I've got a few jobs to do once that job is out of the way. In no particular order:

Fit solid carb mounts.
Replace the car breather hoses.
Fit a club stainless exhaust.
Replace the alloys with the correct spec steel wheels.
Get the car resprayed.

Monday, December 15, 2014

That subframe mount...

I've decided to bite the bullet and get this subframe mount sorted out once and for all. This is what it looks like at the moment.
To get proper access to it, the engine will have to come out for the subframe to be unbolted. Because there have been patches around this area previously, they will have to be unpicked and fresh metal welded in. I was offered an inner wing from a scrap Dolomite so I've taken up this offer. I'm assured that it is rot free in this vital area so that has saved me a few quid on the repair kit that the TDC sells. I'm going to renew the subframe bushes as well (makes sense to do it while the subframe is coming off) so I've ordered a full set of Super Flex subframe bushes from Chris Witor taking advantage of the 10% discount he gives to TDC members. I've found a local garage round the corner from where I live who seems to be classic friendly (they had a Stag in recently). I've had a chat with the owner about the subframe mounting and he has convinced me that I should get it done properly the first time round. Another advantage of using this garage is that I can keep a close eye on proceedings. I've also got a steering rack bush to replace (I've already replaced the other one) so that can get done at the same time. There's also the carb mounts to replace but that can wait until this subframe mount is done.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Brakes sorted.

Unfortunately, the TDC didn't have any seal kits in stock so I ended up getting one on ebay. It came in the post yesterday and I fitted it without any problems. Once the brakes were bled they were working once again.

The subframe mount will need to be sorted out. This means that the engine will have to come out. If I had an engine crane this would make it possible to do the job. I'm also considering replacing the subframe bushes at the same time.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Brake problems - Again!

At this month's local TDC area meeting I lost the brakes. Fortunately, I was able to get home without any problems. Air was getting in the system and the fluid looked dark which pointed to the seals in the master cylinder failing (they were last done in March 2012). Tonight, I managed to unbolt the brake master cylinder an my suspicions were confirmed. The last seal kit was bought from Rimmer Bros so I've decided to order a seal kit from the Club this time. I've got the TSSC meeting next Tuesday so I'll most likely be going in the Astra.

I really need to sort out the steering problem. I know the problem is down to the front subframe being out of line because the driver's side has been tightened up too much and the front mount on that side needs some welding doing. The only way to do the job properly is the remove the subframe to get access to it. I was considering getting an engine steady bar to keep the engine in place and drop the subframe from below. That way, I don't have to remove the engine, drain the cooling system.or disturb the brake hydraulics.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

More jobs done.

I forgot to mention that I had one of my sealed beam headlights fail. This prompted me to carry out the halogen conversion. I borrowed a sealed beam unit from a Sprint owner whose car is in the throes of a weldathon. I bought a couple of fused relays from the local Halfords and fitted them close to the battery and wiring loom to keep the cable runs as short as possible to avoid introducing any further problems.
As soon as I'd done the relays, another sealed beam unit failed so I ordered the halogen conversion kit from James Paddock which included the halogen bulbs.
I fitted them to the car without too much trouble and the headlights are looking much brighter now.
Getting back to the brakes, after much discussion on the TDC forum I decided that the best way was to stick with standard brakes (I considered Jon Jackson's "trackerjack" conversion which uses VW Golf vented discs and Ford Sierra calipers). To this end I bought a pair of reconditioned calipers. TDC Spares had none I stock so I ordered a pair from Wins International and they came in the post the next day.
I wasted no time in fitting them. The job went without a single hitch. The old pads had plenty of meat left on them so they were reused making sure they went back in exactly the same place as before. Once I'd bled the air out of the system braking was restored. I've also changed the transmission fluid and renewed the road tax.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Ups and downs

I've managed to iron out some of the problems caused by the garage during the MoT. The non-working speedometer just needed a new cable, the non-working temperature gauge needed a new sender, I've done the halogen conversion, I've had a look at the horn, I've made some progress with the door switches for the interior light and I've fixed the loose dashboard. A run out to Bramley highlighted how bad the brakes really were so the first thing I decided to try was to bleed them. I soon discovered that the bleed nipple had sheared on the nearside caliper and the one on the offside leaks as soon as it is loosened allowing air to get in the system. I also had the front wheel alignment done in the hope of sorting out a handling problem (a skittish front end) but the problem is still there. The only remaining suspect is a collapsed subframe mount. The only way of investigating will be to remove the subframe from the car. The best way of achieving this will be to lift the front end of the car off the subframe. I can also check the other mounting points at the same time and get everything rectified properly.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Bradford Classic

I finally made it to a show for the first time in over 12 months.
Despite being cosmetically challenged, the car got many positive comments and even got the attention of the news editor of Classic Car Weekly who interviewed both me and the owner of the only other Dolomite that was there. Keep a look out for a write-up within those pages. This is the other Dolomite.
This car was one of the last Dolomites built but wasn't registered until 1982 just over 2 years since it was built. The car is in original unrestored condition, a complete contrast to my not-so-original rolling restoration. The winner of the show was this Jensen Interceptor in a fetching shade of yellow.

There were also a couple of locally built Jowetts. This is an unrestored Javelin which is still in regular use.
The other Jowett was this Jupiter which won the Lord Mayor's choice. This was the only photo I got of the car with the bonnet up showing the flat four engine.
The only other Triumphs there were a couple of Stags, a TR3 and an Acclaim in the same Opaline Green as Becky II

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Road legal once again.

The Dolomite now has an MoT but it wasn't plain sailing. One of the areas that needed welding (the chassis rail) had been patched up before when I first put the car on the road 6 years ago so it had to be done properly this time. With the help of a fellow TDC member, I got a chassis rail delivered to the garage so they could sort this out properly. The engine had to be removed so that the subframe could be lowered. This took longer than expected and when I got the car back it was worse than before. It was running badly, the steering column bush had disappeared (I've had to buy a new one), the speedo has stopped working (suspected broken cable) and a couple of fuel pipes have perished. I won't be using that particular garage again. I've sorted out the running problems and the perished fuel pipes are a cheap and easy fix. The road tax is due at the end of this month so that will get renewed nearer the time.

I know that I don't update this Blog much. I'm too busy on the TDC forum and I have a resto thread on there that is dedicated to my Dolomite.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

MoT failure.

I finally took the car in for an MoT.

Unsurprisingly, it failed. The handbrake efficiency was below the requirements and there were a few areas of corrosion so not bad for a 42 year old car. I've cleaned, adjusted and greased the rear brake shoes and the handbrake is better. The garage is going to do the welding so that will take care of everything and it will have a fresh MoT (and an empty bank account).

Monday, May 19, 2014

Just about ready for MoT

Since my last post I've done quite a bit to the car. I ended up getting brand new headlight retaining panels from the Triumph Dolomite Club. At £35 each, it was an absolute no-brainer and when I came to fit them I was vindicated because the remants were staring to rot. I changed the engine oil, oil filter, air filters and spark plugs. All the lights have been fitted and they're fully working. I've also fitted the bumpers and the front grilles. I also replaced all 4 tyres. Replacement dust covers for the top balljoints were sourced from the TDC.
One problem I had to address was the hazard lights. The car is a mixture of early 1850 and 1850HL and had the later type push/pull hazard switch. I had fitted the early type dashboard and the early type hazard switch (which is just a big rocker switch) needed to be wired up. With the help of a guide to diagnosing indicator problems (found in the Dolly Wiki), I was able to get my head round it. I tested the various connections for voltage and continuity as and where necessary and then I connected everything up and it is fully working.

Just need to get that MoT booked...

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A slight change of direction.

I have come to the conclusion that it would be better to get the car fully road legal again (Just needs an MoT) which will make life much easier when I do get the car painted. With the car being road legal, I can take it to somewhere more suitable. To this end I've already replaced the track rod ends and the spark plugs. There's the engine oil, oil filter and the air filters to replace. The front tyres need replacing as do the dust covers on the top balljoints. To have the headlights fully working, I need to sort out the front headlight panels as parts of them have rusted away. I'll probably get replacements from the Triumph Dolomite Club as they work out cheaper and are probably a better fit. The car will start and run given fuel and enough power in the battery. The automatic transission fluid also needs reaplcing by that's a post-MoT job. Fortunately, I won't have to refit every single thing that I've removed and the fact that I kept the interor secure and the car in a drivable state has paid off.