Ownership Verified: Cpt.70's NotAHonda - 1983 Triumph Acclaim L

JTuhka

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I found some mk2 Civic paneIs like all 4 door skins and rear valance as new repair panels. All of them in Finland and same store. They also list one "80-83 2 door rear arch right".

For example here's the rear valance panel: https://www.mc-scatter.com/autotarv...c/95784-honda-civic-82-83-korjauspala-t-helma

I also came across this:
Action from this made-for-TV event, held at Donington Park. Featuring four racing drivers - Keke Rosberg, John Watson, Nigel Mansell and Derek Daly - competing against four rally drivers: Tony Pond, Pentti Airikkala, Stig Blomqvist and Terry Kaby. The action comprises a rally stage, an autotest in Triumph Acclaims, and a circuit race in MG Metros. Originally broadcast on BBC Grandstand, with commentary by Murray Walker. Converted from VHS TV recording.
 

captain_70s

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'77 Triumph Dolomite 1300 + '83 Triumph Acclaim
I found some mk2 Civic paneIs like all 4 door skins and rear valance as new repair panels. All of them in Finland and same store. They also list one "80-83 2 door rear arch right".

For example here's the rear valance panel: https://www.mc-scatter.com/autotarv...c/95784-honda-civic-82-83-korjauspala-t-helma
The funny thing is that, despite being based on the same platform and looking very similar, the Honda Ballade/Triumph Acclaim has hardly any panels in common with the Civic saloon/sedan! I guess Honda really wanted to differentiate the Ballade as a more upmarket car than the Civic, it must have been too expensive though because by the time the Mk2 Ballade arrived in 1983 it shared many more parts with the new mk3 Civic.

Even the arches aren't identical as there is a crease in them but I reckon they're close enough I could cut off the bits I need...

That video is great, I don't drive my car quite as hard! The Metro race looked like great fun. :LOL:
 

Matt2000

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Lockdown conditions are working in your favour for MOTs with the free 6 month grace period. Do you think there will be anything left when it eventually comes around?

The MOT on the Smart was due to expire at the end of this month, thankful for the extension as I might be able to get it sold before then.
 

captain_70s

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'77 Triumph Dolomite 1300 + '83 Triumph Acclaim
Lockdown conditions are working in your favour for MOTs with the free 6 month grace period. Do you think there will be anything left when it eventually comes around?
Currently the Acclaim is still due to expire in late May. Apparently they are rolling out the 6 month extensions 7 days before they are due to avoid swamping the system.
Knowing my luck they'll stop dolling them out 8 days before my MOT expires and I'll be left with 7 days to weld it up and find a garage to MOT it...

Speaking of my luck, here is a bonus mini-video!

 

captain_70s

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'77 Triumph Dolomite 1300 + '83 Triumph Acclaim
Did the cam belt today. A fella about 30 mins away offered me use of his garage to do the job which made things about 12 billion times easier. It's also the same location the Dolomite is going to be finally repaired properly...

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It was a bit of a fucker so no video or pictures but here is the sequence:

Jack up car and remove passenger front wheel
Support the engine with another jack
Slacken the alternator bracket and remove aux belt
Zip off the crank pullet nut with an impact wrench, Remove the pulley, try not to loose to tiny woodruff key
Undo the passenger side engine mount and shuffle it out of the way
Undo the rocker cover and remove the upper cam belt cover
Take off the water pump pulley as it get's in the way of some bolts for the...
Lower cam belt cover, un-bolt and remove
Now you can slide the old belt off.
If you're like use you didn't bother to set TDC before this point, so refit the lower cover and a the crank pulley so you can align it properly. Then remove them again.
Un-bolt one of the tensioner bolts to allow for fitting the new belt, remove the funny little spring that doesn't seem to do anything.
Align the markings on the cam pulley to be in line with the surface of the cylinder head
Fit the new belt
Wrestle for a thousand years with refitting the tiny spring that doesn't seem to do anything
Bolt up the tensioner
Put the water pump pulley back on
Go to fit the lower cam cover and realise one bolt hole is behind the water pump pulley, elect to pretend it doesn't exist and fit it anyway. You now have one spare bolt.
Put the crank pulley back on - This is a faff due to the tiny woodruff key
Fit upper cam belt cover
Refit engine mount
Replace aux belt and tension with alternator bracket
Start car, run up to temp and set ignition timing with strobe light
Readjust idle speed and notice your airbox is full of oil. Great, that's new
Realise car is running way too rich and vow to fix it another day

The best bit is that the belt was 2 teeth out and presumably has been for as long as I've owned the car, I know it was changed about 4 years ago. The car has always had a slight misfire (as @Dr_Grip can attest when he saw it) and has never pulled smoothly, I'd always assumed it was carb related. Seemingly it was that the GDPO had cocked it up when he replaced the cam belt, I really shouldn't be surprised as the work done to the car prior to my ownership has been seriously shabby even by my own low standards.

The chap helping me also has some Triumph tinkering credentials:

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That's a Herald 13/60 chassis which has had a nut and bolt resto from being a rotten out basket case, complete with a freshly rebuilt and lightly breathed on 1296cc engine running bike carbs (Ironically descendants of the ones on my Acclaim, because Honda!). He's hoping to have it done by the end of the year.
 

Matt2000

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The thread chucked me to the bottom when it loaded and the first thing I saw was a stripped car, I though you went a bit mad once you got your hands on some ugga dugga. Sounds like a taste of the smell of seeing progress though now the belt is done, while of course uncovering two other issues. At least they're fairly home-friendly.
 

captain_70s

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'77 Triumph Dolomite 1300 + '83 Triumph Acclaim
So I bought a Volvo 740 estate to replace the Acclaim as daily hack, in a bizarre turn of events the Swede with it's 2mm box section chassis was rustier than the 0.8mm Honda-built-in-Coventry. It also managed a giddy 15mpg on my commute compared to the Tronda's 38mpg.

So when one had to go on the chopping block I sacked off the Volvo. It was too rusty, too common and too low in value to be worth repairing... However this meant that logically I should plough all the effort/time/money I was going to spend on the Volvo in the Acclaim...

So in June I was asked if my car could be borrowed for a YouTube video. I said yes and promptly looked at the thing and realised it looked like a big bag of shit. So operation "no money spruce up" was instigated and I set at the car with a wire brush, some duct tape and an aerosol can of paint.

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Boom. The by the magic of video it'd probably look half presentable for a 35+ year old daily driver.


Inexplicably the tape based repairs have lasted so well they're still on the car now although we're rapidly approaching the point where the rear quarters and valance are going to be properly welded up. On which note...


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The leading edges of the front inner wings, the headlight mounting panel and the splash guards underneath were all rotten.

So the front of the car was removed, and work commenced.

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The same PO who had the car painted a couple of years ago had coated the front valance and lower sections of the front wings in rubbery stone-chip/bed lining stuff. Naturally he'd done it over rusty metal and some areas of the front of the car were just this rubbery stuff holding together rusty flakes... It was also very flammable.

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This thin U profile panel that goes between the bumper and the grille didn't exist. It was just rubber coating, the remaining metal was like tinfoil and just crumbled if you looked at it too hard.

This front wing was also shagged, it was all packed with filler which had rotted out and the lower section was just held together with the rubbery coating and flapped in the wind...

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So the NOS wing I bought ages ago was also stonechipped on the under side and fitted, although it'll have to be painted next weekend.

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There is also this extra speed hole because that U shaped panel was FUBAR so we just lopped it out, as a result there are no fixings for the plastic trim that fills the gap between the bumper and front of the car. This is another job for next weekend... Such is the issue with the project car also being the daily driver, it needs to leave the workshop everyday in a functional state!
 

captain_70s

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'77 Triumph Dolomite 1300 + '83 Triumph Acclaim
A Japanese car built by BL that's lived in Scotland for nearly 40 years, how could it possibly be rusty?

Driver side chassis leg, jacking point and floor:

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Rear wheel arches and seatbelt mounts:

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Rear floors:

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Rear outer/inner sills:

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Rear wheel arches and strut towers:

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So. Uh... Turns out the daily is way rustier than the project car. If we hadn't have already spent a few weekends doing the front end I'd probably have scrapped it. Too late now...

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I only did the patches on the floors and wheel tubs in the cabin. The car is stuck at the workshop and with the nation now in varying degrees of lockdown travel out there is a struggle. I'm borrowing a Saab 9-5 Aero so I can still get to work.

The Acclaim is the rustiest car I've ever seen that was still on the road and MOT'd. A mixture of thin steel, loads of seams in it's construction and copious levels of underseal gluing wafer thing metal together. I'm 100% sure this is the largest amount of repair work ever done to an Acclaim...

I still suspect the Volvo was worse...
 
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