Ownership Verified: My Brooklands Green sports saloon...

MXM;n3551169 said:
Front tyres are mounted wrong way round on latest photos and videos ;)
Swap the wheels left to right.


Must have mixed them up when I painted the wheels!

Not a whole lot to report, the car keeps conking out when it gets hot in traffic, is fine when it is running on the road, also now the cold weather has hit it's less of an issue... Swapped the ignition coil to no avail, ignition timing is correct, spark seems to be strong. I'm leaning towards vapour lock or something in the carb sticking. It also seems to run lean when hot as it won't pull on hills unless you pull the choke but I've not had a chance to properly look at it.


I'm always impressed with how helpful people are when I break down, pushing my obviously broken car off the road while also trying to steer it is much easier with several people behind you blaring their horns.

I also replaced a headlight bulb:


Doing this prompted my neighbour to ask if I was running an unlicensed car dealership... Clearly I've got a fantastic business model given I've had the car for 6 years and spent several grand on it which I've no hope of ever recouping.

Other than that I've largely used the car for local trips out and the odd run to work.


Me and Girlfriend_70s also went for a daytrip out to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs in it.


My latest endeavour was a 470 mile trip up north as the Dolomite wasn't seeing as much use as I'd like and the Acclaim is running out of miles on it's insurance policy. I videoed this for prosperity.

I also encountered a horizontal tree, found you can fit a wheeled zimmer frame type thing in the boot with a bit of imagination and reuinted the Doloshite and the Yellow Peril.


Since getting back I've taken off the alternator and reattached it with more washers and it no longer rattles. Also checked the rocker gear and found it to be largely fine, one rocker won't slide horizontally on the shaft but I seem to recall that being the case when I fitted it anyway so I've elected to ignore it. Also checked the valve timings and they were all fine.

I've sourced a NOS wheelarch repair panel as well, which will be well needed...


Eventually got tired of the car's intermittent hot running issues and set about going about things in a slightly less haphazard manner.

Pulled the carb off and gave it a good clean as it was covered in crud, also replaced the waxstat with two period correct "New Pennies". The waxstat is supposed to lean off the mixture slightly when the car is hot to improve fuel economy but they can go funny with age and it's just another potential failure point, two pennies is exactly the correct depth and diameter to replace it so it's literally a 2p fix...






Took the car out for a test run to collect a parcel and it died outside the collection office and wouldn't restart. I pushed it off the main road and walked home.



I was then informed that another friend's car (Merc 190) had broken down a few streets away and when the locals found they couldn't steal it they just set it on fire, so I set about rescuing my car asap. A local friend aided with the rescue and I towed the car home.



Some diagnosis quickly revealed that the oil I'd put in the carb dash pot was too thin and had all vanished and as a result the piston had jammed closed. I filled it up with 20w50 which I use in the engine and the problem was instantly resolved...

I then replaced all four spark plugs and the HT leads, the rotor arm, dizzy cap, re-set the ignition timing with a strobe light, set the valve clearances, re-routed the fuel line as far from the engine as possible with new hose, tuned the carb as per the factory manual and fiddled about with the throttle and choke cables.
As the car HAD been set up it was slightly too lean and the choke wasn't operating properly.

The car STILL struggled when hot.

I then pulled the electronic ignition dizzy (built as one unit) and swapped in the original Lucas points system, gapped the points to the book figure aaaaand... Sorted. The car ran perfectly. It'd pretty much fire on the first turn of the key with a touch of choke and pulled really well. The only minor issue was that the car would only fire just as you released the key as the starter was drawing enough to current to make a weak spark, most likely due to a bad earth somewhere.

I started using the car largely as an around town runabout, with the odd trip to work on the motorway.


In early December I had an Australian Pink Floyd gig to attend in Carlisle and I decided to use the Doloshite. Originally my mate, who was also going to the gig, was going to drive us both down in his BMW 135i and we were going to stay over night at his parent's place after the gig as they live near Carlisle. However I couldn't get the day off work so I'd have to drive there and back on the night.

Drove down to meet him at his parent's house, picked up him and his dad, drove to Carlisle, attended the gig and bid my farewell.

Now, due the the generally rubbish state of the Doloshite's engine I'd employed a "use until destruction" policy. The engine was a mish-mash of new and second hand parts, had suffered from oil starvation prior to my ownership, had likely done over 130,000 miles, featured shagged valves, piston slap, rumbling big end bearings, poor compression, top end rattle, missing teeth on the flywheel, a damaged spark plug thread and it pissed oil from everywhere.

I'd been setting aside some money to fund buying another 1300 engine and rebuilding it, as my current example would require so much machine work it wasn't really worth saving. I was going to run it for as long as I could, preferably until I had another engine ready to slot in.

On my way home from the gig at around 11pm, just outside Lockerbie on the M74 at about 65mph, the engine developed a very loud and distinct knock from the bottom end. Most likely from a big end bearing finally giving up on life and causing a con rod to flap about on the crank.

The car still ran and I managed to limp off the motorway to Lockerbie.


Due to being fastidiously cheap I'd refused to pay out for breakdown recovery services on the basis that I rarely broke down and when I did getting the car running was always achievable. This was now about to bit me in the arse. I phoned my mate to see if he could pick me up, but him and his parents had been drinking so they couldn't drive. I phoned some hotels in Lockerbie, all closed. Taxis, ditto.
I joined the RAC on my phone to be told after I'd joined that there was a 24 hour cool down period before they'd do anything for me.

Right, it was now -5C, my phone had 4% battery and the prospect of sleeping in the car was an unpleasant one. I elected to limp the car along backroads back to Carlisle and my mate's parent's house as it was closest. As I slowly went along the knocking grew louder, the oil light illuminated and couldn't be extinguished and the car's top speed steadily dropped from about 35mph 25, then 15, then 10. Finally about 2 miles outside Gretna Green the knocking stopped being rhythmic and the engine died, indicating that it had finally dismantled itself. I managed to coast the car and then push it for another mile or so before a slight uphill stretch forced me to push the car off the road.

As I pushed the car into it's final resting spot outside a small cluster of cottages a figure appeared at an upstairs window of the closest one.

"You alright, mate?"
"My car's engine has died, could I use your phone?"
"Aw, no way, man. Hang on a second I'll be right down".

Turns out I'd managed to plonk the car right outside a hippy, stoner, traveller guy's house, one who also happened to work as a chef at a local hotel. He treated me to a cup of tea and a phone charger and we chatted about his travels and how he'd been stuck in shit situations before and that him helping me out would hopefully help his karma on his future trips abroad. He also said I could leave the car there and if anybody asked he'd say it was one of his mate's cars. He then escorted me to the Gretna Hall Hotel where he knew the staff, I secured a room for the night, at 3am.

I was then busy as fuck for the next fortnight before I managed to catch a train back out to Gretna to test out my new RAC membership for the first time. They relayed me back to Glasgow, although the entire endeavour between me leaving my flat and getting home was a full 8 hours.





Since getting the car home a week before Christmas I've done nothing to it aside from clean it and cover it in tinsel over the holiday period...



Another 1300 engine has been sourced via a helpful denizen of the internet who bought it for a Spitfire project he never got around to completing for a total cost of £0 and with any luck it should be arriving some time in March. Once it lands I'm going to strip it and rebuild as necessary before swapping it into the car.
Later this year me and Girlfriend_70s are planning on moving in together, I need a driveway/garage and she wants a garden so depending on how quickly things progress I may soon have somewhere half decent to actually work on my cars instead of doing it at the side of a public street and operating out of a 3rd floor flat...

Overall motivation to do car shit is at an all time high but the time/money/facilities are more lacking than ever so I am limited to brief windows of daylight/decent weather/ when I'm not at work or being social.
Indeed, great update.

It's a shame the engine bit the dust, but it sounds like it wasn't a surprise.

I've always viewed broken parts like that as an opportunity for improvement; so I'm glad to hear you plan on bringing it back eventually.
I've always viewed broken parts like that as an opportunity for improvement; so I'm glad to hear you plan on bringing it back eventually.
My main issue budget ruining all my plans, the very most I can afford is to shove another engine in while reusing as many components as possible to keep costs low.

I want to keep the car true to it's roots, so to speak, so it'll always have a 1300cc Triumph OHV. In an ideal world it'd get an engine from a Mk3 Spitfire, which has a better designed bottom end meaning it is far more tuneable than later engines and is happier to rev. Twin carbs, a fast road cam, custom exhaust manifold, overdrive gearbox etc.

Lack of any facilities makes working on a car a real pain, if I had a garage I'd be able to strip down big chunks of the car and tackle things at my leisure instead of having to chip away at jobs I can actually do in a tiny timescale and leave the car looking vaguely roadworthy.

The only reason I can actually keep the car is that it is now old enough to be MOT exempt, so no longer needs a yearly road-worthiness inspection. The way this effects me is that a car needs a valid MOT to be kept parked on a public street, even if it isn't being driven.
Thus I can keep the car outside my flat legally and fix it without a hard time limit. Obviously the car still needs to be kept in a safe and roadworthy condition if it is being used and if the police pull you over and find your car is hanging you'll still be charged.

Essentially it just means I send my car to the garage once a year for them to give it a once over and get it on the brake rollers etc and then I can take it home and repair anything that needs doing. I'm of the opinion that vehicles being MOT exempt is a stupid idea but as it stands it benefits me until I have off-road storage...

What a car. And what a thread! I had no idea you made vlogs, of sorts.

The vlogs are a recent thing, inspired by other YouTubers such as ColdWarMotors, HubNut, Mustie1, etc. Obviously I've not got any ability or skills to speak of but a limited audience seem to be interested in an idiot running shit old cars on a shoestring budget. The main issue being filming and editing takes time which I often lack and that many jobs being done on cars are simply tedious and dull to watch...




The amount of filler used to get the thing looking half decent it'd have been less effort to fix properly... Ye olde giffer repairs on the original arch in the form of brush painting in the wrong shade of green, matches touch ups on other bits of the car and are probably the first owner's handiwork as he had the car for over 30 years and seemed to keep good care of it.

Shame, it's a waste of a good repair panel (which now fetch over £100 a side) and the original arch was probably in repairable shape prior to somebody busting out the pop rivet gun and making a giant moisture trap. Grim that somebody probably paid money to have this "work" carried out and in doing so has caused a simply arch lip repair to become a fabrication/weldathon nightmare.

New Mk4 Spitfire engine is landing in Spring sometime although I also acquired a Herald 12/50 engine as it was local and free, just in case. I've arranged to have somewhere undercover to fit the thing at a bus garage up the road, which will be majorly handy and have been lent an engine crane and many pairs of hands to assist in removal/refitting.
I was originally going to do it on the street but upon seeing the arrival of the Herald engine my downstairs neighbour went a bit mental at me and I reckon any further car tinkering will result in the police arriving which is hassle I can't be arsed with.
She already reported me for putting up a tent in the back yard area for a day while I re-proofed it and has accused me of running an illegal car dealership and my landlady did warn me of a "funny woman downstairs" so I'm not the only resident she has issues with.
Bodgetastic! Good luck with the repairs
I knew what I was getting into when I started poking, it was quite cathartic to pry the panel off and find the original arch underneath. :lol: I'd suspected for the last few years that the arches had repair panels pop riveted over the top as you could see the outline of the panel and rivets where the filler/paint had sunk over time and could feel a double lip underneath at the top of the arch. The edge closest to the sill had popped away as the metal it was riveted to has simply dissolved as mud has gotten trapped between the two panels. I liberally fibreglassed over the top of it to "glue" it down and it was fine like that for the MOT!


The owner's club do a selection of panels, although the style which were used on my car (and would be the most useful to use) are out of production, out of stock and now fetch over £140 a side on eBay...


In the above image the blue is the old style panels and the red/yellow are two currently available panels. The reason the red panel only covers the lip of the arch is because that's usually the only bit that rusts, the prior repairs on my car mean that I'll need to fabricate a strip above that although that will give me access to do some localised repairs to the inner arch.

For the front wings I'm just going to smash out all the rust and rebuild it up with fibreglass for now. The shape is too complex to make in sheet steel and the TDC do fibreglass wings for £120 a side and will allow me to covert them to be bolt-on (stock they are welded but non-structural). Repairing the originals properly is a false economy as far as I'm concerned, given how I tend to use my cars all year round less metal to rust = good.

This is the joy of running an old car on the Scottish coast, extensive road salt for a good 4-5 months of the year, muddy country roads and salty sea air... speaking to some older guys at car shows in Aberdeenshire a lot of them scrapped their cars at 5-6 years old due to terminal rust. Once chap paid out to have his Vauxhall Victor welded up for it's first MOT at 3 years old and then gave up and weighed it in the following year! Another regaled me with a tale of jacking his 5 year old Mk2 Ford Escort up to change a wheel and as he took the wheel off the jack went straight through the sill and dropped the car to the ground...
I tried to keep my cars clean with a weekly wash and jet washing the underside as frequently as possible but when a single drive to/from work leaves your car like this it's not really possible to keep the things salt free, especially when the local power washing pace closes down all the time as it freezes up...


Handily all the important bits of the car are in good nick, the sills, bulkhead, floorpans, chassis legs, subframes and boot floor are in remarkable condition. Largely due to a very neat under-sealing job being done at point which, unlike most I see, hasn't been applied an inch thick and started flaking off in chunks...

Naturally I won't know the extent of what I'm dealing with until I attack the area with an angle grinder, but that will have to wait until I have a driveway...

A NOS Hadrian Panels Dolomite wheel arch repair panel, what a find! A fellow Dolly owner alerted me to this for sale on eBay for £85 and I snapped it up as soon as I saw the post. These NOS pattern panels are now very scarce but are exactly what I need for my repairs. Expensive but entirely worth it in the amount hassle that will be removed from the repairs + the last ones I saw sold for over £120 a side...

The other side is in much better condition so I'm going to drill out the rivets as I reckon the current bodged on repair panel could be salvaged.
I took the head off the engine.











Most of the work was very easy, removing the head was a bastard. It may as well have been welded on. By smacking a paint scraper into the gasket with a rubber mallet I eventually managed to free it off.

The tops of the bores have a considerable lip, one piston noticeably wiggles side to side about halfway through it's stroke. The exhaust valves have a frankly hilarious level of carbon build up and the tops of the pistons are also crusted up.

The most notable issue is this though:


Yes, it would appear that no.3 has developed variable piston timing, generally not a desirable thing. The engine does spin though, so presumably everything is still connected up, just with slightly larger tolerances than would be specified from the factory. Me thinks a big end has escaped and is making a new life for itself at the bottom of the sump.

I have acquired a mk4 Spitfire (essentially identical to the old unit) engine to drop in as a temporary measure, it lives in my bedroom...


Lugging 130kg of cast iron up three flights of stairs is no mean feat. I had two people helping and still managed to pull a muscle in my back on flight no.2.

The old engine is probably re-buildable but would require a rebore, over size pistons, a crank regrind etc, etc and I don't have that sort of money or the facilities to, erm, facilitate the work so I'm going to shove it in the basement and forget about it.

I do enjoy being productive.

is that the fan that doubles as a waterpump or a waterpump with a fan attached :p
is that the fan that doubles as a waterpump or a waterpump with a fan attached :p

That is pretty standard. Before electric fans all cars had an arrangement like that.