Monday, 26 May 2014

Bank Holiday weekend, Sunshine and rain with a bit of light

Bank Holiday Sunday was a nice sunny day and the turn out at the local classic car breakfast meet at White Lion Antiques was nice and busy with a few nice cars that I hadn't seen there before.

MK1 Escort tastefully updated with a  modern Ford Duratec Engine.

Under the bonnet

You don't see many of the Citroen DSs nowadays. Cool Numberplate, Oui 71 = yes 71, I'm presuming it must be a 1971 b car!

Historic Rally Car, Gold Block MK1 Cortina GT

Gilbern Invader, haven't seen one of these for a while.

Ford Pop Hot Rod with a Maserati engine

Close up of the Maserati power

Renault Caravele, another rare car

Really nice 2002 Convertible, and another cool numberplate which is probably worth as much as the car!

Who'd have thought that a Sierra would have been a classic car when they were building them in the 80s? Unmolested Sierra Cossie's like this are certainly a classic now though and not seen that often.

|Mini Moke, give me fond memories of holidays in Barbados in the early 90s where we used these to roar around the Island

This Mk5 Jaguar drophead was gorgeous

Nice tidy Daimler Dart

This Reliant with the exposed engine certainly made me chuckle!

What a car! A 1911 Cadilac, a historical, rare and valuable beast

Wooden coach type wheels on the Caddie

Love the umbrella holder

Bank holiday Monday was a wash out so a good chance to work on the Dolly and fit the Halogen headlamps to replace the blown sealed beam unit and improve the lighting ready for the Round Britain Run later this year.

I fitted separate relays for right dip, left dip, right mainbeams and left mainbeams all fed from separate fuses in a new blade fusebox. Fusebox and relays all mounted on the inner wings with cable and fuses large enough to take uprated headlights up to 100w for mainbeams.

Fusebox and relays for left dip and left mainbeams on the left handside inner wing.

Relays for right dip and right maimbeams mounted on the right handside inner wing

I used crimp connectors with heatshrink sleeving over the top to improve insulation and durability. Where I joined cables I used crimp bullets and sockets with heat shrink over the top, to stop the joint pulling apart and ensure sound insulation.

Applying heatshrink sleeving, using my daughters hairdryer!

Nice Bright lights

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Time to upgrade

One of the high beam sealed beam units has blown on the Dolomite. I was going to upgrade to Halogen headlamps before the Round Britain Run anyway but this brings it forward somewhat as I have an MOT coming up in a few weeks and it's not worth spending out on a 5 3/4 inch sealed beam unit just to rip it out. Amazingly a sealed beam unit costs more than a single halogen conversion, however  by the time you start looking at changing out all 4 headlamps and adding cable, relays etc it starts to get a bit more involved and expensive.

I designed out how I wanted to install the wiring with a separate fuse and relay for left dip, left main beam, right dip and right main beam. I actually found some blue/white and blue/red cable on ebay so I'll even be able to wire out in the original harness colours.

Here's my design, the fuses and cable are large enough to take 100w H1 bulbs for the main beam inners and 80/100w H4 bulbs for the dip/main outers so I can upgrade the bulbs if I want to.

I then sorted out my shopping list.

1 Halogen Conversion kit complete with Bulbs
1 x 4 way blade fuse box with common bus feed
4 x 40A relays
2 x H4 wiring looms
5M 25A Blue/White cable
5M 25A Blue/Red cable
1M 50A Red cable

The electrical parts apart from the conversion kit all came from the same supplier on ebay and totalled up to £39. The Halogen kit complete with bulbs was £50 so by the time I add crimp terminals' fuses etc (which should exist in my garage "stash")  it's going to be over £90 to do the job. Not cheap but I'm doing a proper job.

I'll probably change out for the more powerful bulbs for the RBRR.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

SEM, Bargains, Trophie's and of Course Beer

I went along to the SEM Triumph Show this weekend. No Kids this weekend so I was able to take the GT6 and had and enjoyable drive over the Hogs back and along the A247 from Guildford to Leatherhead, much nicer than using the motorways. I arrived on Saturday afternoon and got my tent up in between the rain showers. Then it was into Leatherhead for grub and lots of beers in the Weatherspoons with Andy, Mark & Mark, Wendy, Nev, Shawn, Nigel, Dai and Jonathan. Jonathan disappeared about 8pm though and sneaked off to bed, I think he had overdone it on Friday night....

Sunday was the day of the car show, lots of autojumble. I picked up a few bits and bobs, 4 cans of Poo brown spray paint for the Flying Log for a mere £1.50, a new number plate lamp unit for a fiver and a job lot of several Rotoflex inner and outer halfshafts for a tenner as Martin was having aclear out before moving house.

Shawn's Daimler, unrestored honest Classic, well as honest as a "Blaggers" car can be, all that was missing was a couple of sawn off Purdey's on the back seat for that period look!



Vitesse Line up

James' Track Day Spitfire

Some of the Trophy Winners

The weather was a bit hit and miss in the morning with the odd shower, freezing cold and very window. However later in the afternoon it brightened up somewhat. As usual though SEM was a good chance to catchg up with old friends. My sister Lizzy popped along as did Colin in his Cossie Turbo GT6. I'll be doing an article on Colin's car in my TSSC club magazine column soon so it was a good chance to get some photos of the latest incarnation of his car. I also got some pictures of other GT6s to feature in my column soon.

Colin's Cossie Turbo GT6
Under the bonnet of Colin's Cossie GT6

A selection of GT6s

Then there was a bit of a surprise, my car has been selected for a proze by the judges. To be honest there were some nice GT6s there that arrived after the judging had finished but I'm not going to complain and I got the runners up trophy for best GT6.

Me and my Trophy with the GT6 in the background

The white MK1 won best GT6

Getting presented with my trophy by Jane.
After getting home I set about fitting one of my autojumble bargains to the flying log. The Log has an older version of rear bumper centre section fitted with the newer number plate lamps, The lamp units don't fit properly and had been glued in place by the previous owner. Also the earlier number plate lamp has mounting holes in the bumper that had been blanked off with screws. I like the earlier number plate lamp assembly better anyway, it looks classier with the Triumph Badge. So having got hold of one for a fiver, I fitted it to the Log. Looks better in my opinion.

Separate later type number plate lamps as fitted, note the screws to blank off the additional holes.
Older type number plate lamp fitted.  A real bargain for a fiver and looks much classier as well as using and covering the holes in the bumper.

Friday, 9 May 2014

An exhausting few evenings in the garage

This week I've been out in the garage in the evenings replacing the rusty, bodged up exhaust system on the Dolomite with a shiny new stainless steel system purchased from the Triumph Dolomite Club.

There seems to be only two places to buy a 1500HL Dolomite exhaust, either through the Club or from Rimmers. Rimmers have them in stock whereas the club get them made to order, needles to say the club works out cheaper and I saved more than the annual membership fee over the Rimmers price. However I was quoted 3-4 weeks leadtime and it took 6 1/2 weeks to come. In hindsight if I'd known this I would have paid the extra and got it straight away from Rimmers.

Anyway, first task was to remove the old exhaust. As the joint between the downpipe and centre section fell apart the week before this bit was easy to get apart. I removed the airbox to improve access to the downpipe/manifold flange, undid the nuts and freed the downpipe from the manifold and removed the support by the gearbox. Then I tried to remove the down pipe. It's supposed to exit from under the car but the flange wouldn't fit between the bellhousing/gearbox, subframe and body, it wouldn't come out of the engine bay either and I thought I might need to remove the carbs and possibly the manifolds.

Airbox removed
Downpipe wouldn't come out either downwards under the car or upwards through the engine bay.
However having asked for advice on both the Dolomite Forum and facebook group it was suggested that I disconnect the engine mounting on the exhaust side and jack the engine up a couple of inches. I therefore took the advice (also releasing the radiator mounts) and jacked the engine up. The exhaust still wouldn't fit downwards as it states in Mr Haynes book but it was possible to pull it up and out of the engine bay.
Removing the downpipe upwards and out of the engine bay after releasing the engine and radiator mounts and jacking the drivers side of the engine up 2 inches.
Next it was time to remove the centre and rear sections. I removed the rubber hangers on both sections and soaked the joint between these in penetrating oil overnight but it wouldn't free up. I tried peeling back the outer pipe by using a cold chisel and big hammer but to no avail so I ended up taking an angle grinder to the joint to separate the two sections. It was a bit of a fiddle to get the rear section out. It loops over the rear ale on the left hand side but I found it needed wriggling over the to right side of the car to twist it over the axle and out.

Seized joint between centre and rear section.

Complete exhaust removed from the car, a bit of a rusty and bodged up mess!
Next I cleaned up the manifold flange with a Dremmel to ensure the flange gasket has a chance of making a good seal.

Cleaning up the manifold flange with a Dremmel.
Next I started fitting the exhaust with the downpipe bolted up loosely to the manifold. I then fitted a new original type D clamp bolted to the gearbox bracket to ensure the down pipe was fully supported and tightened everything up.

Downpipe rear support arrangement with new D-type clamp as original.
The centre pipe and rear pipe were then fitted with new rubber hangers, new exhaust clamps and a smear of jointing compound.

New Clamp on Joint between downpipe and centre section

New Clamp on joint between centre and rear section and new rubber hanger at the rear of the centre pipe.

New rubber hanger on the rear section
After tightening everything up I started the car to check that the system was leak free with success!

However I was not at all happy with the angle of the rear pipe which was too low at the back.

Rear Pipe too low for my liking at the back
I sought advice on the Dolomite Forum, suggestion was to slacken off the clamps and move the joints top get a better fit. I tried this but it didn't make much difference so I left the clamps slack and jacked up the rear pipe (until it touched the body) the  re-tightened the clamps. The pipe still dropped own but not quite as badly. There was some discussion on the Dolomite forum about others experiencing similar issues with recently manufactured exhausts supplied by both the club and Rimmers, no doubt the same supplier is used. So I think the rear pipe is as good as it gets.

Pipe a bit better at the back but still not perfect but as good as it's going to get.
Anyway, took the car for a drive and apart from the usual burning smells from a new system it's much quieter now so "job done".