Sunday, 27 October 2013

Clutch fixed at last, but.......

After 3 long sessions of trying to bleed the clutch on the flying log and passing over a litre of fluid through the hydraulic system trying to get the air out, it is at last sorted. I was away a couple of days and I think leaving it to itself for a couple of days allowed the air to work its way to the remote bleed nipple which is the highest point in the system and this afternoon with one manual bleed the pedal pressure came good.

I do have an issue though, whilst bleeding it on Friday, my bottle of hydraulic fluid slipped while trying to top up the master cylinder and I spilt a fair amount of brake fluid on the exhaust. The previous owner had fitted the down pipe with heat reflective exhaust tape which soaked up the spillage and when I started the car there were plumes of steamy smoke as the fluid burnt off. I left the car ticking over for about 20 minutes with the bonnet open to try and burn it all off. That was on Friday. Today I've found that where the steam laden with brake fluid had condensed it had splattered the tops of the wings. I hadn't noticed it at the time as it was raining and there were rain water droplets on the wings beaded by the wax polish, anyway the bad news it has marked the paint on the top of the front wings and a couple of marks below the windscreen too. The bonnet top need a re-paint anyway so looks like I'll have to paint the wing tops and lower screen surround at the same time....
Marks Caused by condensed brake fluid on the wing top. The offside one shown is the worst of the two as it's nearer the exhaust so had more of the fluidy steam condense there.

Friday, 25 October 2013

GT6 Bodywork back to how it should be

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while may remember the little off road excursion that my GT6 had during the 2010 RBRR due to having to take avoiding action against a Stag Deer that ran out in front of us on the A9 in the middle of the night south of Inverness.  This left the rear valance dented and split, the front valances dented and pebble dashed and the front of the sill pebbled dash, not to mention the suspension damage. Add to this the fact that my tailgate, the rear deck below the tail gate and the boot floor had some corrosion the car was in need of a little bodywork repair.

Well 3 years later I've got around to it! The car was last resprayed and had some extensive bodywork back in 2006 and the rest of the body is still in good order so now the car body is back to great condition....

Here's before and after pictures of some of the repaired areas. The photos of the before don't really show the extent of the issues that well, it was worse than it looked...

Rear Valance Before, split and Corroded, Boot Floor behind was also corroded.

Rear Valance Panel replaced, boot Floor Behind has welded repairs.
Rear Deck Before Corrosion Bubbling through

Bottom of Tailgate Had corrosion bubbling through

Bottom of Tailgate and Rear Deck, Corrosion cut out, steel repairs welded in place and sprayed.

Inside bottom of tailgate had rotted through

Repair Welded in and sprayed.


Offside Front Valance Before, Dented and Scuffed

Repaired and Sprayed

Offside Front Valance Dented and Scuffed

Offside Front Valance Repaired and Sprayed
Sill Front was chipped by Pebbles from Roadside Gully

Sill front re-sprayed
Rear end of car and roof panel  re-sprayed to match existing
So the GT6 is now in very good order. I'm struggling a little with the Dolomite Clutch Hydraulics though they are proving a pig the bleed. Still the clutch works if you pump it so I'm sure it's just a case persevering to get the air out of the system.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Clutch Hydraulics Assembled

Had another productive evening in the Garage tonight. The Dolly Clutch Hydraulics are all assembled, it was getting late though so I'll bleed the clutch tomorrow night.

I made up a Goodridge hose with a remote bleed valve to extend the slave cylinder bleed port to the bulkhead inside the engine bay which will save having to bleed the clutch from under the car. This is the first time I've made up my own Goodridge Hose but it wasn't at all difficult and there are a few helpful web pages to explain how to do it.

Making up the Goodridge Hose

Assembling a straight swivel female connector

Completed Connector

Assembling the remote Bleed nipple bulkhead Connector
I bolted the two Goodridge Hoses (the one from the master Cylinder and the one to the remote bleed valve) to the Slave Cylinder before passing it down through the transmission tunnel from the engine bay. I left the feed from the master cylinder slightly loose so it could be swivelled and tightened after the slave cylinder was mounted in place to allow me to find a good way of routing the hose to use up the excess length of the Triumph 2000 Hose. I ended up putting a loop in the hose.

Hoses connected to the slave cylinder before passing down into the transmission tunnel.

Slave Cylinder in place with the hoses tightened, note the loop in the larger hose from the master cylinder to use up the additional length.
Finally I mounted the remote bleed nipple on the bulkhead with an angled bracket. All ready for bleeding the clutch now.

Remote Clutch Bleed Nipple mounted on the bulkhead

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Clutchless Log

The Flying Log let me down a bit on Friday. Took it into work and stopped to do some shopping on the way home, when I went to drive off I found I had no clutch as all the hydraulic fluid had gone... It was bit of a painful drive home through rush hour traffic with no clutch but I made it with out too much graunching by stopping the engine when stationary, putting it in gear and then jumping forward on the starter to pull away.

Have now taken the Master, Slave and Pipe off the car. Looks like it was the Slave cylinder that had a leaky seal. The bores and pistons were good in both so I've rebuilt them with new seals.

Rebuilding the Slave Cylinder

Components stripped and Cleaned

With the new seal kit

Piston with new seal being put back into Cylinder

Replacing the circlip

Gently Peining over the retaining Ring to hold the outer dust shield in place.

Adaptors added to the Slave Cylinder for Aeroquip hoses with copper crush washers.

Rebuilding the Master Cylinder

Components Stripped

Removing the Spring clip from the piston

Piston Assembly Stripped and Cleaned

Piston assembly together with new seals

Replacing the Circlip

Adding Rubber Grease behind the Dust Shroud

Rebuilt with new Cap and adaptor for Aeroquip hose.

I'm also doing away with the crappy plastic clutch pipe that Triumph fitted from new and putting in a Goodridge Aeroquip braided hose. I was going to make up my own hose but the components were no cheaper than buying a ready made hose, although it doesn't seem like anyone does one for a Dolly 1500 so I've got a Triumph 2000 one which has the right threads (7/16 unf) but is a bit longer. The elbow joint is a bit of a tight fit at the master cylinder, I had to cut away the sound deadening and move the brake pipes slightly to make room.

Old Plastic Pipe and new Goodridge Aeroquip Pipe from a 2000 Saloon. A bit longer but there should be plenty of room in the Engine Bay and Transmission Tunnel to route the pipe using the excess.
Master Cylinder refitted with Aeroquip hose connected.
I'm also going to put an Aeroquip hose from the bleed port on the Slave Cylinder with a remotely mounted bleed nipple in the engine bay so I don't need to crawl under the car to bleed the clutch in the future. I'm making up the pipe myself. I already have the end fittings but am waiting for a metre of -3 Aeroquip pipe to arrive courtesy of ebay before I finish the plumbing, fit the slave cylinder and bleed the clutch.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Nice & Quiet

Finished off replacing the exhaust manifold on the Dolly, it's sounding much better now without a blowing flange gasket.

One thing that should help reduce the frequency of blowing flange gaskets is a decent support for the exhaust down pipe as although there is a bracket fitted to the gearbox the downpipe had been left unsupported by the previous owner. As the exhaust clamp I had was a different design the original Triumph one I had to make up and adaptor bracket out of some steel angle. Once fitted the exhaust seems very stable.

Clamp and adaptor Bracket
Exhaust Downpipe now fully supported from the gearbox.
The heatshield was replaced with a new one as the old one had the centre section missing. The Carbs, all the heater hoses and air hoses were all replaced, I treated the car to a new set of air filters, the others were pretty dirty and the filter box had several dead insects in it which were cleaned out.

New heatshield fitted

heater and Air Hoses all connected up

Air box, throttle and choke linkages all back in place,

Finally the coolant was refilled with a fresh antifreeze mix. Job done and a much quieter car.

The refill of coolant is via a plug in the top of the radiator.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Replacing the Dolomite Manifold

Got my nice reconditioned exhaust manifold from Chic Doig and am now part way through replacement. As usual with working on a Triumph I've had a few pitfalls on the way. Also working in a Dolomite Engine bay makes you appreciate just how easy the small chassis Triumphs such as Spitfire's GT6s and heralds are to work on with the nice open access to the engine. Many more bruised knuckles, having to feel your way because things aren't visible and more swearing take place when working under a Dolly bonnet!

Anyway, stripped out the old manifold. One thing that became apparent was that the heatshield for the Carburettors has the centre piece missing/removed and the previous owner has come up with an interesting bodge to shield the heat by covering the underside of the float chambers and waxstat jets with silver foil! needless to say I've decided to order a new heatshield and put this right. having owned a 1500 Spitfire before I know how these 1500 4 pot engines struggle with vapour lock in hot weather without a heatshield.

Head with Manifolds and Carbs etc removed

Old manifold, the flange and studs are pretty ropey as well as the rear stud thread being stripped.
Carbs note centre part of heatshield missing and float chambers/waxstats covered in silver foil!

As I had to send off for a heatshield I also decided to order a nice new set of studs for fixing the manifold to the head, plus new nuts. Fitted the studs using two nuts locked together to tighten them into the head with threadlock added to the stud to try and ensure they stay in the head as the old studs mostly came undone with the nuts.
Fitting new studs to the head.
Next I refitted the manifolds. Sods law I dropped one of the little butterfly clamps that fit between the two manifolds. Spent ages trying to find it to no avail so have had to order a replacement which will waste a day waiting for the part to turn up in the post.

New studs and gasket fitted

Manifolds in place
Lost Clamp
The other issue I found was that the exhaust downpipe wasn't secured to the gearbox support bracket, this puts an extra strain on the flange gasket. the bracket on the gearbox is in place but I think I'll need to make up an adaptor bracket to mount a standard exhaust clamp in place, job for tomorrow.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Frustrating "Exhausting" Evening

The Dolomite had a slightly blowing exhaust manifold gasket when I picked it up and it got much worse on the journey home so this evenings job was going to be changing the manifold to exhaust downpipe gasket. These are a known weak point of Dolomite and Spitfire 1500s, which both use the same manifold.

Even better, Spitfire 1500 owner Paul "Bodders" Bodiam who lives around the corner from me offered me a spare gasket that he had lying around in his workshop.

Ought to have been a reasonably easy job especially as the 3 nuts all seemed to be free. The rear nut came out complete with the stud, which wouldn't normally have been a problem, however when I went to reassemble the joint I found that the thread was stripped, what's more it had already been tapped out larger than original.

Rather than come up with another bodge to try and fix it I decided that bearing in mind that this is a weak point on these cars it would be best to do a proper job. I noticed yesterday that Chic Doig had a couple of nicely reconditioned manifolds, not cheap but  they had been ,blasted, crack tested and painted , fitted with new studs and supplied with a new copper gasket, new Washers and Brass Nuts. Paul had also let me have a head to manifold gasket. I therefore bit the bullet and ordered the manifold from Chic Doig this evening. It means the car will be off the road a few days while I wait for it but at least it should be a proper permanent repair.

Proper way to fix it!