Monday, September 22, 2003

Polished Alloy Valances

My grandad and I made these alloy radiator valances today. All we did was cut the aluminium (very easy when its only 2.5mm), sand down the edges, polish and give them a good coat of laquer. I then just drilled 3 holes in each so I could mount them to the radiator cradle with rivets.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Dash Support

Just thought I'd post a picture of my dash support because the radio fits into it without any visible 'radio plate' and I think it came out looking pretty impressive. I put the support onto a sheet of MDF and drew round the edges of the huge radio hole. I then cut this out of the MDF and cut out a DIN size rectangle in the middle. Then I cut a DIN size hole in a larger peice and screwed this to the back of the support. I then glued the first peice in to fill the gap, covered it in vinyl and fitted the radio cage. Job done!

Friday, July 11, 2003

More clutch problems!

So having rebuilt the clutch slave cylinder I thought my clutch worries were over but, of course, there was lots more to fix! The change into third was still dodgy and it seemed to be far too easy to grate the gears. I figured the slop in the gearleaver might be causing the dodgy change so I ordered the 'Gearbox rebushing kit' from Canley Classics. Unfortunatly when it arrived I discovered it was for the earlier 3 rail gearbox! It was promptly auctioned off on Ebay where I made a significant profit on it! Later on in the week I realised the problem was with the pivot pin that fits on one side of the release arm assembly. Apparently this is a common problem and it is highlighted in the Canley Classics catalogue. With that drifted into place and the E ring attached it was sorted and the car was finally decent to drive!

Friday, April 11, 2003

Replacing the engine

So, not knowing much about engines, I called up Ken Paris (who is a local mechanic and TR4 owner) and got him round to check the engine out. I stripped off the sump and head and we discovered that the bearing on number 3 conrod was razor sharp. Ken picked up each part I'd taken off and proceeded to say 'buggered', 'knackered', 'totally mullered' etc. This went on for quite some time and we both agreed a new short engine was needed! I asked Ken to do it for me but he pretty much said he wouldn't and I should do it myself. He kindly offered to lend me an engine crane to use though, which was very generous.

After being messed about and ripped off by Quiller Triumph (somewhere I will never shop again), I got the engine rebuilt and all torqued up. I decided to uprate the camshaft before I put it back in the car and looked at various cams from Piper and Kent. In the end though I went for the Spitfire Mk3 profile (from Canley Classics) which is just the thing for road use.

With the help of my mom (who has a bad back) and grandad (who had just had a triple heart bypass!) we eventually got the engine on the gearbox shaft and bolted up to the bellhousing. It started up second time with no dubious rattles. Champagne was had all round!

Monday, February 10, 2003

Replacing the water pump

After having a laugh finding out how much a water pump was at Halfords, I placed an order with Rimmer Bros ( and soon had a new water pump in my hands and set about ripping all the old stuff off. Sadly, after pulling the pump off, I was greeted by the sight of a terminally mullered water pump housing and rusted to buggery heater return pipe. I took another deep breath and placed an order with Canleys. It arrived quickly but the pump housing didn't have the tapped hole for the temperature sender, so it had to go back! Worst of all was that after all that the noise was still there and was now much, much louder!

Sunday, February 02, 2003

Brought back by the AA!

Unfortunatly, whilst on route to Blackpool, things took a turn for the worst. I was cruising along when a clanking noise became increasingly noticable. I'm not the type of person to worry too much about these kinds of things but after turning the radio up for the third time I was starting to get concerned for the heath of my car! I turned off the motorway and started to make my was home slowly. I got as far as Cannock Chase before it had completely had it and wouldn't restart! So I called my mum up, who managed to get there in about 20 minutes and we swapped cars so that she could call the AA. The AA chap was delighted to get something a bit unusual to work on and turned out to be a former Spitfire owner himself! After hearing it run he decided it might be the water pump and towed it back home for me by attaching a frame thing to the lower wishbones.

Monday, January 27, 2003

Slave cylinder rebuild

So having recieved a slave cylinder rebuild kit from Canley Classics, and having no previous experience of working on cars, I set about taking out the radio, dash support, carpet and gearbox cover and unbolting the slave cylinder. Of course what I would do now is totally remove the slave cylinder mounting bolt because the slave cylinder in notched and won't come out with it still in! What I did of course was to try and prise open the mount, splitting it in the process. It still looked servicable so after replacing all the rubber seals I bled the air out and put everything back. I was delighted to find I now had a working clutch! Job done!

Friday, January 10, 2003

Welcome to the blog!

Hi, and welcome to my new blog! I'm Will and I've owned my 1976 Triumph Spitfire since 2001. I bought it sight unseen (and without an MOT!) from Clive Manvers Triumph after Clive reassured me that it only needed a few patches welding into the floor! I paid £1200, which might seem a bit much for a car without an MOT but when it arrived I was delighted to find a brand new mohair hood in the boot, Pirelli P3000s all round and the bodywork in decent condition (although it's a bit rusty round the bonnet seams and could do with a respray!). I set about getting it MOT'd but unfortunatly while I was away at uni, Mum couldn't get it into reverse and mechanic Ken Paris (who owns an immaculate TR4) identified the fault as being due to having no fluid in the clutch master cylinder whatsoever! Once that was sorted and the car had been welded, MOT'd, taxed, insured etc I nervously backed it off the drive and spent the next 25 minutes trying to get it into 3rd gear! Over the next couple of months I used it every day but eventually the novelty of topping the clutch fluid up every other journey wore off and I was forced to become mechanically intimate with the working of the clutch! More next time....