Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Horn Push Sorted!

I fixed the horn push today. After posting on the Club Triumph forum it seemed that virtually nobody has made a Mountney horn push work! I have and here's how I did it! Basically I didn't bother soldering a wire between the 'pencil connector' and the horn push, instead I drilled out the rivet holding the crimp connector on the back of the push and instead rivited a strip on metal along the back along with another rivet to keep it from spinning round. This makes contact with the 'pencil connector' and completes the circuit when the horn is pressed. Job done!

Monday, August 28, 2006

All done!

So after all the years of messing about with engines, exhausts, suspension, dashboards, brakes, overdrives and carbs its finally drivable! I went to pick up the car from Karl on Saturday and drove it back home, stopping only to tax it at the post office!

It drives beautifully and the modifications have made it very different to drive to how it was before in both a good and a bad way! On smooth roads the 380lb springs and AVO dampers mean it handles amazingly and goes exactly where it's pointed without leaning at all, but on bumpy roads it really is spine jarring and it really crashes into potholes. The red Polybushes also transmit much more feedback through the steering and chassis. I can literally feel white lines in the road when I run over them!

The 12" Mountney steering wheel means I can finally get my legs in properly and the steering dosen't seem to have got noticably heavier. It looks great but I'm having a bit of a job getting the horn push to work! Karl gave it his best go, soldering a wire from the push to the 'pencil connector' (the way recommended by most of the people I asked on the Club Triumph forum) but the pressure of the spring keeps popping the horn push out of the steering wheel so watch this space for a better solution!

The exhaust is looking pretty good too! It's not too loud when coasting but has a lovely throaty roar when accelerating hard! When I get round to redoing the mounts I will also move the tailpipe out a bit as my back bumper gets covered in soot around the part where the exhaust exits!

With all the mechanicals now done it must be time to start considering what to do about the bodywork! The current paint looks awful and the floors need replacing so it looks like it might be time to learn how to weld and spray!

Friday, August 25, 2006

MOT Passed!

I was delighted to get an email from Karl this morning to tell me that I've now got an MOT'd Spitfire! He added that is goes really well and handles nicely too (now the tracking's been done!). He's was still trying to find the origins of an oil leak when I called him but told me he'd managed to fit the 12" steering wheel which I couldn't get it to seat properly on the splines. Apparently I didn't have enough column poking through or a big enough washer to get it to fit properly! He's also fitted the longer bolts I ordered from John Wolfe and sorted the brakes which needed adjusting at the back and bleeding.

In other Spitfire news, I have had a rethink about how the exhaust back box attaches to the car and now I intend to mount it differently thanks to advice given on the Club Triumph message forum. I will now be using an exhaust 'bobbin' bolted to the floor and a small bracket bolted to that to mount the silencer up to. Should pull the thing closer to the bottom of the car and stop me worrying about speedbumps!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Caught on Camera

Noticed this picture on Karls blog today! Like he says, he's got the best job in the world!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Spitfire at the Showcase

I went to the Showcase cinema in Walsall last night to see 'Miami Vice', a film which seemed to have none of the charisma of the 80's TV series but lots of fast cars and boats instead. The result looked like a two hour long music video and I wasn't impressed. My mood was improved no end however, when I saw a Spitfire 1500 in the car park next to my everyday Golf. It was is seemingly excellent condition and advertised that it was for sale for £3000. Wierdly, it was exactly the same colour (Tahiti blue) and had exactly the same beige interior! The only real difference was that this other car had been fitted with wire wheels, something which I really hate!

I can't understand why a small part of the Triumph world loves to do this to a poor old Spit. I mean wire wheels look great on the early Triumphs but in '76, when the 1500's came out they were old fashioned. Its like ripping the alloys of a BMW and whacking steels on there - it just dosen't make sense! Stuff like luggage racks on the boot, chrome dashpot covers and wheel embelishers are also horrific and should never be seen!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Nearly done!

I got an email last week from Karl asking if he could have the car another week. It worked out quite conveniently as I needed to spend the weekend flat hunting! Apparently though the longer 'Wolfitt spec' wishbone bolts are in place and there's just a few more jobs left to do before it's MOT!

In 'other news' I have spent a few days trying out a few things with Carbon-fibre. I saw an article in Practical Perfprmance Car (http://www.ppcmag.co.uk) about it where they talked about a few techniques for working with it. I had been hoping to make a few bits and bobs from the black stuff and bought about 0.5 sq metres on Ebay at a bargain price to experiment with!

All I can say is that it's a lot harder than it looks and whilst I have only made a few small test pieces I have realised that it takes a lot of skill to avoid 'pinholes' (air bubbles in the resin surface). I have also had the frustrating experience of having a piece jam solid in the mold (despite a massive polishing effort). It was the height of frustrating that I destroyed the mold and subsequently the piece in my effort to seperate the two! I will be investing in higher quality resin and repeating the process when I feel mentally strong enough and when the effects of the resin smell have worn off!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Future Plans

I suppose that with the car away from me for so long I've had a chance to think about what I want to get round to doing. For starters, I'd like to get the CD changer mounted up properly in the boot and I will make some aluminium or carbon-fibre brackets to do just that. I'd also like to move the Infinity speakers that were fitted by the previous owner to somewhere out of sight under the dashboard. That'd leave me with two big holes in the rear cockpit board, giving me with no choice but to ditch it and replace it with an identically shaped peice of aluminium (with plastic edging to keep it looking 'factory').

I'd also like to get the rear suspension sorted out with a new rear spring and lowering block and some new AVO's along with a few polybushes!

Then there's which wheels to choose. I think the 5.5J GT6 steels look good, as do Compomotive ML's, but then everyone's got Minilite style wheels. I also like Revolutons too but I dont think the 4 spoke design looks right on square tail Spitfires somehow, I think it looks a bit wierd although they look awesome on GT6's.

Of course I eventually want to get round to a total respray in the original Tahiti Blue but thats looking a long way off at the moment!

If only I had the time and the money!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

MOT Time!

I went over see to Karl this morning with the V5 for the Spitfire so that he can put it through the MOT next week. As you'd expect there was some nice machinery around, including a nice looking Moss kit car that had apparently just been bought off ebay and a green Mk3 Spitfire. Of course I checked out Karls GT6 too which was looking very tasty indeed on black Revolutions!

The Spitfire should be back on the road soon! I can't wait!