Ownership Verified: My Brooklands Green sports saloon...

captain_70s

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Glasgow, Scotland
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'77 Triumph Dolomite 1300 + '83 Triumph Acclaim
Milestone! 10,000 miles covered in my ownership.

To celebrate I AutoGlymed the shit out of the paintwork as it was fading quite badly. I also sanded down some of the rust on the wing tips and front panel and repainted it, it's shabby but it should do for now.




I also became slightly famous after appearing in the UK's best selling classic car magazine:



Actually quite handy as a chap messaged me on Facebook after reading it. He bought WAC 257S in 2008 after the first owner had been moved into a retirement home, he saw the car sitting in a garage while the house was being cleared and asked about it. Seemingly the family were just going to scrap it despite it being MOT'd but he stepped in and bought it and kept it for a year before selling it to buy a Morris Minor. He bought it with 20,000 miles on the clock and it had 24,000 when I bought it three years later and 7 previous owners noted on the V5C so it must have passed through quite a few hands but not been driven much in the interim. Probably why it rapidly fell apart when I started throwing regular 65mph jaunts at it! :lol:

Other than that the only problem I've had recently was the year old alternator died, it had rattled lose at the mount and started sitting at an angle which ruined the internals, got a new one fitted at 10pm in the rain.

 

public

Has been known to shou emousshiöns
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Awesome getting recognized like that! :cool:
 

captain_70s

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'77 Triumph Dolomite 1300 + '83 Triumph Acclaim
All of my pictures are dead. bad times. Also bad times was the fact that the car managed to shit itself immediately before the MOT was due in October of 2015 by dumping all it's clutch hydraulic fluid and the starter motor dying on the same day.



My supervisor at work push started the car, I drove to my parent's house with no clutch and parked it in their garage... I asked my parents if I could stay with them for a few days while the car was repaired and they said "no" and promptly bought me a Honda Civic. I started saving up money to have the Triumph fixed but it ended up going into the Civic which lost it's exhaust (?350 to replace) and snapped a halfshaft (?400 to replace) not long after purchase.

It stayed at my parent's place for a year. Then they moved house, I had ended up renting a garage for a Leyland Princess I failed to buy local to my house so I had the Doloshite moved there.





It stayed there for quite some time. I tinkered with the 1850 in the meanwhile, then shifted it to a shed belonging to a mate and finally swapped it with him for a Soviet record player and a clock radio... This left me with just the 1300, at which point I lost my job and moved 200 miles south to Glasgow, the car stayed in the garage in Moray. At this point working on the car became essentially impossible, the garage cost ?70 a month to rent and had no power, my parent's new house was an hour away and to get to the garage and back from my flat would use over ?60 worth of petrol and was 4 hours of driving each way.
I'd pop up an tinker for an evening every 3 months or so but never got anything of much worth done, progress would also be reset every new visit as several months storage in a damp garage does a car no favours.




Finally I got sick of paying for the garage and not having the car a practical distance away, did some maths and found that having it taxed and insured would be a fraction of it's current storage costs, it had to come south. I worked out several options:

A: Have it trailered south. This would cost ?400 and leave me with a car that can't legally be stored on the street and no money to have it repaired. Not practical.
B: Have it MOT'd up north a drive it home. Would take far too long, I'd have to get time off work to stay up there with the car and have assistance to drive me back from dropping it off at garages etc. Wasn't going to happen.
C: Book it in for an MOT in Glasgow and drive it all the way there from it's resting place in Moray. After it had been stood for 2 years, would barely run and had no clutch. It's technically not illegal as you can drive a car with no tax or MOT to a pre-booked MOT appointment and there is no maximum distance but it'd trigger ANPR cameras and a copper who thought you were taking this piss could probably do you for driving an un-roadworthy vehicle if he found any faults. Madness in the extreme.
D: Sell/Scrap it. Utterly unthinkable.

Naturally I decided that option C was the one to go for. After all, how hard could it be? It had to be done soon, before winter weather hit, and I'd end up renting the garage until the summer again. I dubbed the endeavour Operation Dolorescue.

When working backshift I get Fridays off so I booked a Monday as a holiday for a long weekend off, enlisted the help of a good mate to drive us up there and follow me back, invested in a new car jack and a variety of tools/parts, arranged insurance and booked WAC 257S in for an MOT on the Monday at my local garage. We set off at 8:30am on the Friday and hit snow in the Cairngorms, we didn't get to the garage until it was pitch black and freezing, we dumped our supplies and went back to my parent's place to sleep for the night.




After this point there is a distinct lack of pictures as I was rather busy!

We got back to the garage at about 10am the following morning (Saturday) and set about tinkering. Flushing the stale petrol from the fuel lines, putting 20L of fresh unleaded in the tank and a bit of tweaking to the ignition timing saw the car running again. It also transpired the lengthy stay in the garage in the damp coastal air had done the bodywork no favours with wheelarches practically peeling off and the lower rear panel behind the passenger side rear wheel simply disintegrating under prodding.
My mate who now has the 1850 came over for a while and we set about getting the clutch working. This was an utter pain in the arse as there was not enough access to the bleed nipple to tighten or loosen it with a spanner. Tightening it hand tight and quickly wacking a socket over it let air back into the system. We toiled until well after dark at which point we were very cold and disheartened, as a last ditch attempt we went back to my mate's farm and cut the appropriate spanner in half to allow it more movement, it only bloody worked! I gave the car a celebratory drive around the yard having to pre-set the throttle as the cable was sticking and stuck it back in the garage.

On Sunday we arrived at the garage at about 9:30am. I went to the local shop on the way and bought quite a bit of Isopon fibreglass and easy sand filler, some sandpaper, a rattle can of Brooklands Green and a tin of black Hammerite, my bodywork repair materials of choice.
We started bodging the various holes in the bodywork to make the car look slightly more presentable, we also pumped up the tyres using a 12v electric pump, fitted a new throttle cable (choke still has to be set under the bonnet), loaded all the other junk from the garage into our two cars. I gave the Triumph a few more spins around the yard to check the steering and brakes, topped all the fluids and declared it to be go time as it was midday and I really wanted to get over the mountains before it got dark.

We hit the road and the initial drive to get petrol at Huntly went well, it was clear the rear shocks were fucked as the car bounced like a trampoline but otherwise the car drove very well despite a complete lack of power. At this point the weather turned to shit with torrential rain and gale force winds battering the car, I added 30 litres of fuel to the tank at Huntly and set off for the next checkpoint at my parent's place in the Cairngorm National Park. We got there with no bother at all and I decided that we'd brave the trip to Glasgow, if the car had played up that would have been where I'd have left it but the thing was performing great.

We hit the road again ASAP as light was fading, I had a brief arse clench moment as a police car went by in the opposite direction just as we left Strathdon but they gave us no attention other than the usual "that's an old car" glance. I also had to stop at every junction to check the map which was a good opportunity for adjusting the ignition timing on the fly as I was doing it by ear and feel and it took a while to find a good balance. Despite uphill stretches being taken at 30mph in 3rd gear and some rather scary snowy/icy bits of road we cleared the Cairngorm mountains just as the sunlight faded entirely.
Once we hit Perth we were on to the dual carriageways and motorways which would be a big test on a car that's been sitting and rarely ventured over 55mph when it was running! Turns out I needn't have worried, aside from a few puffs of blue smoke from the exhaust suggesting the exhaust stem seals need attention I rapidly found myself blatting along quite happily at 65-70mph and overtaking lesser vehicles on a regular basis, not in the least because by this point I was knackered and wanted to get home quite badly.
Then I got home.



It really was that simple. Although driving around city traffic revealed the throttle wouldn't quite go back to a low idle unless you stomped on the pedal first which was a bit anti-social. The following morning I attacked yet more bodywork with Isopon and spray paint and sent it off to the garage for it's MOT.





The result was a fail although not a particularly bad one. It needs a bit of welding to the O/S/R sill, both rear shocks are shagged, handbrake does almost nothing and needs adjusting, exhaust is blowing at the manifold, number plate bulb is out, horn won't work, front brakes are slightly imbalanced and the sticky throttle cable issue.

It's currently at the garage having a quote for the welding and shock replacement made up, the other jobs I can easily do myself. The bloody thing will be MOT exempt as of next May anyway but I'll be having it checked over annually anyway. The bodywork still needs doing, but that'll require saving up for panels and also keeping an eye out for rare NOS rear wheel arches which could be hard to find...
 
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MWF

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You know something, Cap, while I still consider your refusal to let this thing go to be insanity in the extreme, I have to take my hat off to your determination (stubbornness?).

Way more important than that, the fact that you are showing such steely determination tells me that your trip to the doc's, regimen of medication and the changes you have made in your life are getting things moving in the right direction.

I may have had a few right royal pops at you over the years, and FSM knows if you had been within reasonable commuting distance I would have driven over and given you the good, old-fashioned slap you clearly needed, but that was all from a desire to see you get your obstinate little head sorted and on the road to recovery.

Welcome back to FG's "favourite" whiny little biatch. :tease: Stick around - the new and improved 70s ain't that bad! :hug:
 

Mitchi

give me shitty cars and I am happy.
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Honestly, I feel to happy for you. Best story I've read in a long, long time. Chapeau.
 

Conan

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I've been following your endeavour on Autoshite. Great to see update here as well (and with pictures!). :)
 

Dr_Grip

Made from concentrate
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Great to have you back and great that you did not give up on the... sporty... saloon!
 

captain_70s

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Joined
Aug 6, 2008
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6,171
Location
Glasgow, Scotland
Car(s)
'77 Triumph Dolomite 1300 + '83 Triumph Acclaim
Way more important than that, the fact that you are showing such steely determination tells me that your trip to the doc's, regimen of medication and the changes you have made in your life are getting things moving in the right direction.

I may have had a few right royal pops at you over the years, and FSM knows if you had been within reasonable commuting distance I would have driven over and given you the good, old-fashioned slap you clearly needed, but that was all from a desire to see you get your obstinate little head sorted and on the road to recovery.
Cheers! In the end I didn't make any sort of move until I'd left myself in a situation that was un-salvageable, stupid but it left me with no choice but to change things which badly needed doing a long time ago. I was too mentally fucked to realise how mentally fucked I was.

Is this a Northerners take on a Roadkill episode?
I'd need to fit some sort of outrageously sized V8 using nothing but a stick welder and an angle grinder first I think...

Great to have you back and great that you did not give up on the... sporty... saloon!
Same suspension as the Sprint, innit! Although with it's current shocks it bounces like a '59 Caddy... Got back into the habit of spirited cornering quite rapidly though, with something like 40bhp on tap speed conservation is the name of the game...

I have video footage of various stages of the trip but it needs retrieving from various phones/cameras and editing...
 
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captain_70s

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6,171
Location
Glasgow, Scotland
Car(s)
'77 Triumph Dolomite 1300 + '83 Triumph Acclaim
Still working on this thing, pretty sure I hate myself. My local garage replaced the rear shocks and welded up the sill that was holed and I took the car home to do the rest of the work required myself with the goal of getting it back within a week. Well, a deadly combo of weather, work, Christmas, New Year and my girlfriend delayed things slightly so the car is still sat outside! I am however slowly progressing with it despite only having the best working conditions:

[IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"https:\/\/imgur.com\/Iyj0HdZ.jpg"}[/IMG2]
[IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"https:\/\/imgur.com\/omFbQUD.jpg"}[/IMG2]

The throttle cable has been un-stuck with some wire brushing and Plus Gasing the return spring. The exhaust manifold/downpipe join now has 2/3 nuts and is sealed with Gun Gum, about as good as it's going to get as it's got a snapped stud. Fitted a new Lucas 9H horn, the old one was French and dead... Sorted out all the duff bulbs and earths for the reversing and numberplate lights. Currently in the process of adjusting the rear brakes and handbrake.

[IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"https:\/\/imgur.com\/xs2Y0Fw.jpg"}[/IMG2]

The rear brake shoes are now correctly adjusted and I've wound back a lot of slack on the handbrake cables but it looks like it'll be a case of maxing them out and adding new cables to the shopping list as I can currently get it to the point where the handbrake locks the wheels and I can't turn them by hand if it's jacked up but it won't quite hold the car on a slope but there is plenty of meat left on the shoes themselves. May have the drums machined to ensure they are perfectly round internally. Unfortunately today's work was once against halted by adverse weather conditions...

[IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"https:\/\/imgur.com\/i10k6cv.jpg"}[/IMG2]

Also after testing the handbrake at the end of my street it conked out and wouldn't restart as I was parking it back up, I ended up pushing the fucker into it's parking spot in the snow. I suspect the dizzy may have shifted and the ignition timing is now out as I was adjusting it on the fly during the Cairngorm adventure and I don't think it's any more than hand tight.

I've been running it around the block occasionally to stop it from seizing up and the battery going flat so here is a jolly picture from Christmas time:

[IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"https:\/\/i.imgur.com\/JJqCtUQ.jpg"}[/IMG2]
 
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captain_70s

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Glasgow, Scotland
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'77 Triumph Dolomite 1300 + '83 Triumph Acclaim
So an update.

I got very tired of fucking about with the car in the rain/snow/wind/etc so I sent it off to the garage for them to look at the rear brakes. To be fair I did say I was in no real rush for the job to be done but I really didn't expect the car to sit in their yard for 2 months. I'd phone up, they'd say they'd been to busy to look at it and ask if I wanted to leave it with them, I'd say yes and that'd be that, 'cause free secure storage is free secure storage...

However with spring in the air and the weather being quite a bit better I was really missing the Doloshite's general crapness. With the Acclaim failing it's MOT I swapped the cars and left that at the garage and took the Dolly home as I need some sort of automotive disaster to play with. The garage did actually suggest they didn't have space to store all my cars for me but if they'd actually looked at it they'd not have had to...



I was dreading starting it after the thing had been sat for months out doors but on full choke with quite a bit of starter churning she eventually spluttered in to life firing on... Some cylinders, the rest joined in soon enough. She also shat all over an RX8 which was rustier than both my cars combined...



So now it was cluttering up the limited parking on my street with it's faded paint and rusty demeanour generally lowering local property values.



Firstly I fucked about with the ignition timing which was all over the place and made the car run even more like arse than usual, the distributor clamp is bent and won't tighten which will need seeing to but it's running fine for now. I also pulled all the plugs which were sooted up from constant running on the choke and did a cold compression test, results being 120, 110, 115, 120, which I don't think is too bad for a car that's probably done 130,000 miles. The I rewired the radio 'cause it wouldn't stop raining, it really irked me that somebody had butchered the door cards to fit a modern stereo but it was still fucking dire and unreliable, I found the following problems with it:

The front right speaker was wired in as the front left.
The front left speaker was wired in as the rear left.
(Resulting in mono sound despite two speakers)
Both speakers were wired in reverse polarity.
The radio is locally earthed to the underside of the dash, namely through the vinyl.
(Resulting in terrible earthing).
The front right speaker's cabling inside the door card was all frayed and the joins were rusty.

I rectified these issues and ended the day with a working stereo radio! I also have a cheapo face plate to hide the modern head unit...




Today with the weather looking much nicer I set about refurbishing the rear brakes a bit. Fitted new shoes and freed up all the seized handbrake linkages but my drums are badly scored and no longer round so will be getting replaced. Not much point in adjusting the brakes/handbrake properly if I'm fitting new drums... I also cleared a metric fuck ton of dried mud out of the wheel tubs.



Once the new drums are fitted I just need to investigate the imbalance across the front discs and that should be it ready for it's MOT.


 

captain_70s

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'77 Triumph Dolomite 1300 + '83 Triumph Acclaim
It's taken so long to actually get this thing fixed it became MOT/tax exempt in the interim. Oh well, saves me £45 I guess!

I can't get rid of the dent in the back panel without stripping the whole thing so I got the bumper sitting straight be adding washers to the bolts and spacing it out a few cm away from the bodywork. It now looks far less shit.



I also fitted new brake drums and brush painted all the wheels satin black 'cause I like the contrast against the chrome hubcaps.



I still suspect the front brakes are binding and the oil light flickers when it gets hot. I reckon the oil/filter is something silly like 3 years old so they're probably not terribly good at being oil/filtering. Will need to sort that before using the car... The 1970s never end in Glasgow...

 
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