Thursday, December 08, 2005


Of course now I'd got the AVO's I needed some springs to go with them. I gave Jigsaw Racing ( a call and Mark Field recommended 380lb springs which are significantly stiffer than the 330lb Triumphtune springs I had originally planned to use. The Triumphtune springs are too fat for the seats on the AVO's so they were promptly Ebayed having been repowdercoated beautifully by Lap-Tab (I threw them in with a whole bunch of other stuff). I tried to get the original springs off the knackered dampers so I could flog them too but without proper spring compressors I only managed to get one off before the fear of being hit in the face by a spring became too much!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

More new parts!

Feeling better after looking at some shiny parts I carried on working with a bit more vigour! The shock absorbers I removed were in one hell of a state so I looked into the replacement options. Standard shocks are available and very cheap but I didn't like what I was reading about them on the internet (that they were cheap and crap) so they weren't an option and AVO dampers were too expensive so that left me to choose between Gaz and Spax.

A couple of days later I had won a pair of Spax on Ebay and picked them up locally. They didn't seem to be too bad but I wanted them to be overhauled so I phoned up Spax who couldn't have cared less. Ten minutes later they were back on Ebay making me a profit and another chunk of my student loan was gone on a pair of adjustable platform AVO's from MotorSportWorld (

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

New parts!

Of course, having spent months painting the chassis, I thought it would look wierd if I didn't lavish some attention on the wishbones and suspension mounts too! I thought about painting them but it chips off too easily and Hammerite is just thick, nasty and gloopy so I started looking into powdercoating. Finding a decent powdercoater proved pretty difficult. One company needed everything posted to Leeds, another only did powdercoating in industrial size quantities and another wouldn't sandblast the parts first.

I was beginning to give up on the idea when I discovered Lap Tab ( who were just down the road, friendly and would sandblast everything first. They were pretty quick and weren't even that expensive (under £50 for the box load of parts I had coated). All the parts came back looking amazing and were fitted with polybushes ordered from Canley Classics and James Paddock the next day. Things were really coming on!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Braking News!

As I mentioned earlier the previous owner had managed to break off one of the bleed nipples in the left hand front caliper. The pistons were in poor shape on both calipers and I had to use a footpump to get them out. As I was planning to take it on a few trackdays I thought it wasn't worth taking a risk on them and so I ordered reconditioned calipers from Canleys. They arrived with a yellow plated coating for corrosion protection but I oversprayed that with some silver brake caliper paint to protect them further.

I was feeling particularly rich and also ordered a set of drilled and grooved brake discs, EBC 'Greenstuff' pads and Goodridge braided hoses. I'm sure there are people who buy these upgrades because they look good, but I'm not one of them! If I don't notice and improvement in performance they'll be straight on ebay!

Friday, January 28, 2005

Exhausting Work!

Stupidly, replacing the exhaust was one of those jobs that I thought I could do really easily whilst I was waiting for other parts but it just ended up being at the bottom of a long list of things to do and was a bit of a pain.

Whilst removing the carbs I noticed that the standard exhaust was connected to the manifold by only 2 studs, the other one having been welded in and then broken. Of course I was pretty pissed off but at least it explained those mysterious headaches! After a lot of metal bashing and pulling I got the old one off and put it up for sale on Ebay where it made about £15. The chap came to pick it up on his way to Canley Classics and we talked Spitfires for about half an hour. He showed me some pictures of his beautiful MkIV which looked to be in stunning original condition. Certainly one to look out for in the future!

So that left me needing a new exhaust. James Paddock ( had a special offer on so I picked up a stainless 4 branch extractor manifold for £105.

When fitting it I noticed that the flange that attaches to the cylinder head wouldn't mount up at the same time as the inlet manifold. I eventually solved this by grinding the excess metal off the flange and mounted it up. Only then did I discover that the pipes that run under the car were touching the bellhousing. A bit of bending later and there was about a millimetres clearence.

I'm looking into the posibility of using a bit of heatwrap on the exhaust and I'm still trying to decide what to do about the rest of the system!