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".

No comments:

Post a Comment