Thursday, 27 February 2014

More Sprint work

Started today with another easy job, replaced the aftermarket driver's door seal with another NOS one

Then it was time to replace the seat belts for new ones that work correctly - even though they don't have the seat belt warning wiring, I'd prefer to have good seat belts.

The final job was more work on the brakes, I stripped the rear brakes, and found out the auto brake adjuster wasn't working because the hand brake cables were too tight - not allowing the adjuster arm to go back to the start.

Then it was time to strip the siezed up brake balance valve at the rear - luckily the bores were all good, it was just rust where the actuator piston exits the valve

Here are all the bits

All put back together with a seal kit thanks to the Dolomite Owners club. When I was bleeding the brakes I noticed the servo was moving about - surprise surprise it wasn't bolted in correctly, 2 fixing nuts missing, one inside the car one in the plenum

I still need to adjust the brake balance valve, but on test there's far more "bite" at the front and the rear brakes aren't so keen to lock up, so I guess its nearly correct. Its a bit of a dog to adjust correctly, as you really need the car on a ramp, emulating its stance on the road, then you apply pressure to the brake pedal 60 lbs, and according to a loading chart set a varying clearance on the valve of a few thou, I will adjust this bit by bit for now a few thou at a time and note the difference - essentially you want it set so the rear brakes will not lock, but still have effective braking.

A few more jobs to do yet before Stoneleigh, but its getting there.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Baffling Work

Real work got in the way of Triumph work today but still spent an afternoon on the Sprint.

Job number one, replace the aftermarket door seal on a rear passenger door with a NOS one that I had. As usual its pushed the door out a little when closed, but that normally settles down as the rubber gets used to its new shape.

Next job, drill out and retap the 3 holes in each inner wing to which the baffle plates are atttached, not enjoyable, and very fiddly, but at last all 6 holes remade,  a few broken small drill bits in the process though!

and the offside baffle plate fixed in place. I am still waitng for the other one to arrive, but when it does the car is ready!

Seems like Triumph had started to care about rust prevention when they made the Dolomite

Friday, 21 February 2014

Dangerous Bodge

First job of today was to fit a clevis pin to th brake pedal / servo pushrod.

This is what I removed - I wouldn't have minded if the nyloc threads were engaged, but the bolt was too short so it was only finger tight. Its bodges like this that kill people, I am glad I found this.

Got the rear shocks off, and the reason for the "kick" at the rear is obvious

Always fit dampers in pairs! and dont fit one thats shorter than the other, alters the spring rate as well in this case.

got the Gaz Dampers fitted at the rear

and the front.

I think the ride height is about right but I want to let the springs settle a little and I may then tweak it a little.

Other jobs that got done today were to fix the boot light, retorque the head down, and fit some bulkhead grommets.

The car drives a lot better now. There's an annoying squeak from one of the exhaust mounts to be sorted, I need to fit the inner wing baffles, then  the engine needs setting up. I have changed the needle valves for the ball type too. I want to try the engine without the viscous fan, and see if that is making all the noise, So still jobs to do.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

New Goodies Arrived Today

Had a nice surprise at work today - these turned up for the Sprint

That should sort the ride height and the funny "kick" from the rear

I also got a set of bulbs for the warning lamp cluster, and have replaced them all.

and the new ball type valves for the SU's turned up which should resolve the flooding problem, at least until it gets EFI.

Looks like its going to be a busy weekend.

Monday, 17 February 2014

More Sprint Work

I had a good two day session on the Sprint this weekend, and its still not finished !

First job was to remove the thermostat housing and helicoil the bolt holes in the manifold

That done, it was time to refit the newly painted wiper motor.

and now in place.

I then started work on the headlamps, the bowls are normally held in place by pop rivets (like the 2000s), but the self tappers fitted by the PO had made the holes too large, so I fitted rivnuts - at least I can remove the fittings now without having to drill out rivets

Both sides done, and headlamp bowls fitted on rubber gaskets.

I then finished my relay panel and fitted the new halogen headlamps. When I get these aligned I'll post pictures

My next job was to replace the rack mounting bushes as the rack had a LOT of play. When I started this job I found that the offside engine mount had been incorrectly assembled so that the engine was resting (via the oil pump) on the offside rack mount.

After jacking the engine up, I replaced the rack mounts and fitted a solid steering UJ (from Chris Witor) in place of the joint that employs rubber rings, and always ends up with lots of play. The new joint is longer than the original, so 10mm needed cutting off the intermediate shaft to get it to fit.

The engine mount was then replaced with a NOS rubber and all the bolts refitted with locking washers.  I have noticed that if there isn't a nyloc fitted, then the nuts don't have lockwashers fitted, so thats another little job, inspect the nuts and remove and replace if no lock washers - thats going to take a little time.

That done, I removed the steeering column, and replaced the wiper switch - as you cannot remove the wiring without the column out. So column replaced (and the self cancelling indicator actuator centred in the middle of the indicator switch) I thought I'd have no play in the steering. Not so, the wheel bearings were badly adjusted so that the drivers road wheel had about 10mm of rock, and the passenger one nearly as much.

I replaced the front wheel bearings then with some nice new Timken ones - as usual the supplied felt seals were too deep (probably why the bearings were incorrectly adjusted in the first place), so I cut these down.

After this I really had no steering play and I hoped the reduced pad knock off would fix the brakes.

Next item was to remove the gear leaver surround and fit the rubber gaiter and fixing ring.

Then under the car and fit proper bolts and nylocks to the propshaft, and a gearbox angle drive.

Test drive time. Its a lot quieter, not as good as it should be, but getting there. The steering is fine, but the brake pedal travel is still a little too much - I did notice that the pedal is affixed to the servo push rod with a nut and bolt - not a clevis pin - so there could be play there. But I now have parking wipers, headlamps that work and good steering.

I still need to fix the choke cable switch, and the warning lamp cluster (its got no high beam indication and thats an MOT fail) - also the rear end "kick" over bumps is more pronounced so I must change the dampers.

The exhaust is now rattling a bit too - thats because the angle of the engine has changed, and the front carb keeps leaking petrol from the overflow, so I have ordered some of the new ball valves for that.

But good progress another 2 or 3 days should see it sorted - I hope

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Time for an Update.

Unfortunately work has recently curtailed my Triumph Activities, but Anne and I have decided this must change, more about that shortly.

The FF Estate has not been idle, we took it to the Shelsley Walsh Breakfast Club last November, and got a great deal of interest in the car from the Ferrari and Porsche drivers who turned up. Walked the hill too, and the car got a write up in the Shelsly Walsh Mag too.

On the way home the car started to suffer from reduced accelerator travel and a reduction in power. It turned out to be the accelerator cable, which was a halfords Bike cable pulling through the fitment on the bulkhead. I had fitted this originally as a standard Stag or 2000 cable was too short due to the very large servo and other special fitments, a flash of inspiration then made me but a Stag left hand drive item which I have now fitted, its long, possibly a little too long, but it works and its genuine Stanpart.

Took it for a drive today, as the roads were dry and there was no rain, I had forgoten how quiet and nice it  is to drive, especially because of the other Triumph that I have just bought to do some of the CT driving events in.

The FF estate is simply too valuable and complex to thrash around every where in, and Anne wanted a car that was a tin top, as the Stag is a little noisy with the hood up, which we would have needed to do for the RBRR - I know driving with the hood up in November is soft but ........

So having had 2 Sprints in my youth, and I had loved driving them, I decided to buy another, but I didn't want one that needed lots of welding.

Eventually I found this one

( I know its a little high, more on that later). There's a long story behind it, its originally owner had it restored 20 years ago, but for various reasons it got locked away in a SteelStore until last year. It was then purchased by one of his staff who gave it a bare metal respray, and spent thousands of pounds on new parts for it. Circumstances then dictated that he needed to sell it in a hurry, and it was bought unseen by someone who decided he wanted a classic car. The drive from Derbyshire to London was enough to convince him that he didn't want the Sprint, and thats where I stepped in and bought it.

I like classics, I like Sprints, but the drive from London to home in Birmingham was dreadful, the car drove like a 3 legged dog, noisy, no brakes, vague steering and a nasty habit of the back kicking out over gentle bumps, no wonder the last owner wanted rid - thats why I took the estate for a drive today, I wanted to remember that not all Triumphs were this bad.

On the plus side, the engines had a full rebuild and is mainly good, gearbox is good, overdrive and syncro good, and the back axle is quiet - all these have been rebuilt at no expense spared, payen gaskets, vandervell shells, new camshaft etc etc, theres even a new fuel tank and nos fuel pump. The suspension has been rebuilt BUT, the rebuilder didn't know his Triumphs and a few items are wrong or incorrectly assembled. Niggles really, but there's quite a few of them. New brakes through out, fuel lines etc etc, new propshaft, starter motor, the list of new parts is almost endless

It certainly went up the motorway well, 3500 rpm in Overdrive top the whole way (not sure how fast this is as the speedo is not functional. :wink: )

However it did disgrace itself 1 mile from home by overheating - this was caused by coolant loss from the thermostat housing, because one of the retaining bolt threads is stripped, luckily I spotted the temp gauge rising and stopped quickly. I will helicoil this.

The chap I purchased it off, had already had a few jobs done on it, one of the NOS rear shockers was replaced, and the subframe and engine mounts were correctly fitted, with bushes (totally absent from the rear subframe so it floated about) . Amongst other new parts its had all the suspension replaced, but I suspect the dampers are shot as they are NOS, and the springs aren't quite as Triumph intended

It still has a few handling issues, going over bumps causes the rear to step out - I suspect the other rear damper is also shot (NOS from Rimmers), but I am going to fit Gaz adjustables, with adjustable spring pans to get the ride height correct.

The steering has a clunk and there's too much play, which turns out to be the rack mounts are shot (he replaced all the other bushes, why not these ?) and the locking plates from under the U bolts are missing.

The brakes, there's too much travel, although they do finally bite, but they don't inspire confidence. I'll check if they are plumbed correctly first, otherwise its servo or master cylinder, or something else

Headlamps will be changed for halogens via relays, and it turns out the original lamps haven't been fitted correctly. They have aftermarket plastic bowls, which mean you cannot align them correctly, and they have been fitted without gaskets.

Luckily my Stag / 2000 spares came to the rescue, and although I haven't got gaskets in stock I do have these rare items

The second high beam fitting will be using one of the existing Sprint ones after I have derusted it, and painted it, as apart from rust its in good condition. The lamp holders should be pop riveted in place, but I am going to use riv nuts to make lamp bowl removal easy.

The wipers aren't self parking, so I removed the wiper motor as I have a NOS parking switch for it, and I wanted to remove paint overspray from it anyway. After fitting the switch the fault persisted, so I stripped the column cowls and it was a bodged wiper switch. Stag / 2000 parts to the rescue, I happened to have a NOS unit which cured that problem, but fitment will need to wait as the column needs stripping to feed the wires down it, and it can come out when I do the rack mounts.

The indicators are intermittent too, which will be the flasher unit - I will change this for a solid state one as the new replacements seem to be made of cheese.

Its a very noisy car, I suppose the 4 or 5 missing bulhead grommets don't help, not the missing rubber gearlever gaiter and fixing ring - no where near as refined as a Sprint should be.

Door seals which were replaced need the corners cutting and a 90 degree joint making as theres a lot of wind noise from the corners, although I have a NOS rear door one in stock

Door cards need refitting with the water proof sheets behind the cards

Oh and the speedo needs to be made to work too, which isn't the cable, thats intact, there's no right angle drive at the gearbox, but again I already have a spare.

The instrument warning cluster has a few broken bulbs which I need to replace, there's no switch on the choke cable for the warning lamp.

The battery terminals were loose.

The propshaft flanges are secured to each other with bolts and standard nuts, which are too short to fit nylocs so theres a few more items  to add to the list of parts to get.

The centrifugal advanc in the dizzy is tight so this needs inspection.

Its got K&N pancake filters, so I need to source a proper airbox and pipes.

BUT the paint and shell are very good, the interior apart from the door cappings is near mint, although a little dirty. Door cappings and dash will get the Chapman and Cliffe treatment this winter I think.

The original shell was Ziebarted, and with 20 years dry storage and one owner the 73000 miles so on the clock are probably genuine, and there's little or no evidence of welding, even original rust free sills.

Once sorted its going to be a great car, its got a sound foundation, just needs some TLC

Where am I?