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1974 Dolomite Sprint

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Looks great.  I think you did well for your money I've seen virtual basked cases up for nearly 2 grand. I think the engine is a really interesting design.  Single cam but 16v. Very cool.

Hopefully the engine is okay with these old BL things there's a lot of things that can thump around!

 

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9 hours ago, purplebargeken said:
That is quite tidy bodily. Looks lovely in French Blue. Cable and pivots might need lubing, my Toledo throttle is heavier than a 1300 one. Check the dashpots too. Poly bushes are good, steering rack ones from Chris Witor are about 13 quid. Thinking about it, I wonder if you might need new engine mounts and gearbox mount re: grumbly noise. If it is the bottom end I would be having a stern convo with the PO in all honesty. 

Just checked the shocks. They're Spax branded. Bushes on the front actually don't look too bad from a cursory glance! I'll need to take a wheel off for a proper look though.


Rubber carb mounts look fucked. PO did mention before I bought it that he will include the club alloy ones. Can't imagine knackered mounts will cause knocking. Good point on the engine mounts. I know repro ones are the usual shocking quality.

The PO didn't seem very mechanically inclined, so possibly wouldn't have even known. He didn't seem the sort of person who would want to screw someone over. Not least in the advert he was very honest about everything he knew - diff whining, clutch hard to engage, etc. For the price I can't grumble (hahahaha.....) and usual caveat emptor.

I did here the grumble before I bought it but I didn't pay enough attention. Possibly now I've bought it my senses are much higher. Also I gave it a very good run and got it all up to temperature too.

Another thing is that if you look over the restoration photos that the owner before did (I'll upload them here for others to see soon), there is some pictures of very knackered shells. So they should have been replaced when he did a mini rebuild quite a few miles ago. Not to say they might have gone again though.

PO also replaced the chain tensioner as the replacement it had originally was poor quality and started rattling.

I need to get a thread up on the TDC too.

 

9 hours ago, purplebargeken said:
A proper Triumph workshop manual is hugely helpful and a trillion times betterer than a Haynes Boof of Lies. 

 

Like this, which was supplied? :)
9a88ab280bcbe571a282b03270d8f0d5.jpg

 

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Will follow this with interest, I bought a mechanically sound (but rough looking) 1979 Sprint as my first car when I passed my test in 2003, cost me £1100 iirc......it then cost me a fortune keeping it on the road, always regret selling it. Had a 1500HL before I passed which my dad used for a bit too.

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I am massively jealous! I'd love a Sprint at some point and at that price you practically stole it! You could easily through a few ground at it and still be quids in which is always a good place to be!.

Good luck with it all and I look forwards to seeing how you get on with it!

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That's a cracking buy, well done. I'd love one of these since catching sight of a red one with a Sierra Cosworth engine in it, but also like the standard ones.
Could the clutch be making the thudding noise? Otherwise I'd look at engine mounts, propshaft UJ's etc. Does it get faster/slower with engine speed? Try the old screwdriver to the ear trick to try and pinpoint it.

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That's a cracking buy, well done. I'd love one of these since catching sight of a red one with a Sierra Cosworth engine in it, but also like the standard ones.
Could the clutch be making the thudding noise? Otherwise I'd look at engine mounts, propshaft UJ's etc. Does it get faster/slower with engine speed? Try the old screwdriver to the ear trick to try and pinpoint it.
It does it when stationary.

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I had another play around this morning before I went off to work. Fan and viscous coupling spins freely. There is an ever-so slight amount of play when pushing forwards and back though. I assume its normal to have a bit of movement on that? The next sensible thing will be to remove the aux belt and see if the noise goes away or changes.

I did start it up this morning too. Didn't seem as loud or severe as I remember last night. Engine doesn't rock about much seperate to the car body - I'm wondering if the mounts are a bit too hard and stiff? Interestingly it goes away at certain revs and sounds worse at others. 

Oil is pretty black and probably due a change though, so changing that will be next on the asap todo list. Any recommendations on filters and oil? I assume usual 20w-50 classic stuff for oil and the filter is a canister one on mine, rather than spin-on. I've got a new dizzy cap and rotor arm coming. Probably change the plugs while I'm at it too. Did notice that the dash pot oil was pretty much empty, so I'm a bit surprised I managed to get it back running half decently. Carb mounts are pretty knackered and look like another thing on the todo list very soon. I believe the previous owner gave me a set of the alloy mounts in the spares boxes in the boot.

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Carb mounts may look knackered but spray a bit of wd40 onto them and see if anything changes, the one's on the Tolly look cracked but don't actually leak.

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I've always loved these, looking forward to seeing how you get on. I don't have the balls for old british shite I'm afraid, rust and shonkiness gives me THE FEAR

Have you taped over the oil pressure gauge yet?

How about now 😛

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45 minutes ago, purplebargeken said:

You could buy a little Toledo with almost a Sprint engine..... :)

That needs less work too! Probably is putting out more power than my Sprint right now as well. 

31 minutes ago, dome said:

I've always loved these, looking forward to seeing how you get on. I don't have the balls for old british shite I'm afraid, rust and shonkiness gives me THE FEAR

Have you taped over the oil pressure gauge yet?

How about now 😛

No oil pressure gauge in this one! Would kinda be useful right now though. 

The one to watch on these is the water temperature. Due to the top mounted water pump on a jack shaft, if the water level drops below the top of the block, it'll stop pumping water round. Thus HGF pretty quickly. 

Thankfully, despite the 27c evening heat yesterday, it was rock solid steady. 

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Good buy! Friends of ours down the street had a 1850, would hear it buzz off down the road every time she approached the junction coming up the hill. Had a ride in it one time, was surprised at how different it felt to our Fiesta.

That, coupled with acres of black soft-touch vinyl and wood on the dash was something that stuck in my memory.

 

Bangs and clunks are normal. BL.  Get yourself a stethoscope. Even a cheap plastic kiddies play-doctors one works.

 

More pictures and video required. 

 

--Phil

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Went to Moss today and picked up a few consumables. Was actually surprised the stocked the Sprint specific distributor cap and rotor arm. Even though they don't list Dolomite model officially, there is still a small stock of consumables that they do have.

Possibly useful to know for any Dolly owners that live near a Moss as even though they aren't the cheapest, being able to pick stuff up the same day is very useful.
a1414824ff6fd842148a2d47f6190364.jpg

Plan is to drop the oil & filter and check it. Hopefully the oil is not grey and the filter isn't full of metal! Also want to run the engine with no belt and check to see if the noise changes.

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Looks lovely. Even if it needs some work that’s a very good price indeed. 

You’re welcome to the copy of Motoring Which? from July 73 which has a Dolomite test in it (not the Sprint) - after buying some of these from Spotted Laurel at the FOTU I have a duplicate.

The Which? people love driving the car, but not taking it to the garage several times due to chronic unreliability, including the gearbox shitting itself after a bolt came out of the tail shaft. They praise the comprehensive BL 12 month guarantee, it sounded like they needed it. 

The Mini Clubman in the same issue is complemented on its reliability - less issues than a Datsun Cherry which needed a top-end overhaul at 7000 miles!

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