Wednesday, November 07, 2007
I should be returning to the UK at the end of this month and I plan to get the spitfire drivable again in the short time I'm at home. Bleeding the brakes and refurbing and fitting the wheels are my number one jobs.
Here's the picture from the ebay listing. As you can see these are the original Wolfrace wheels with the squarer slots. I was planning to go for the Alleycat slots with the more rounded holes but I eventually decided the squarer holes would suit the car better. I plan to spray the centres black (or possibly anthracite) and polish the rims to a high shine. Can't wait to see how it looks!
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
I've also got my eye on a pair of Halogen headlights with built in sidelights so that I can finally get around to fitting up the US style indicators that 'GT6Steve' sent me over from the US. It seems to be the same light unit as a Mini so I'm just shopping around for the cheapest supplier at the moment but will place an order soon!
Also about to be purchased is another essential for my 'killer' top end rebuild. I'm ordering a set of steel spacers for the rocker shaft from Moss Europe. Should give me a more positive location of the rockers than the springs that are fitted as standard. The spacer set is a bargain at around £12 but plus the postage and VAT is more like £22. Obviously VAT isn't their fault but that makes the postage the best part of £8. Seriously, how do these companies get away with it?
Monday, August 06, 2007
I have been meaning to do some more work on the top end of my engine for some time now and my new 'killer' cylinder head is just the excuse I need to do it! Theres no point in putting so much effort into modding a cylinder head only to build it up with the standard Spitfire 1500 rocker gear!
I'm going to keep the standard rocker shaft (although obviously I'll replace it if it's knackered!) and either use polished standard rockers or roller rockers from TSI Imported Auto along with a TriumphTune (Moss Europe) rocker spacer kit to more positively locate the rockers over the valves. I've just bought these alloy valve caps from ANG Triumph. I'm not sure how much difference they'll make and if they aren't sufficiently strong they could cause an expensive mess! Apparently they are half the weight of the standard steel caps though so I'm going to reserve judgement on them till I'm back in the UK and can check them out myself. I'll probably lighten my cam followers and fit tubular pushrods and call the job a good 'un!
Sunday, July 15, 2007
I need to get my bonnet sorted because the inner wheelarch panels are rusted to bits and I'll probably loose the seam that seperates the bonnet and front wing panel. I'd want to get it seam welded properly of course rather than just bunging it up with filler so I can get it looking like this photo I copied off US Ebay of a rather nice racing GT6!
I've also been thinking about what wheels to go for. On the Spitfire the choice basically comes down to mililite style wheels, Revolutions, wider Dunlop steels or 'slot mag' type wheels. Minilite style wheels very in quality and in my opinion the only decent looking brands are Minilite, Superlite and the Compomotive ML's. Trouble is though the minilite style wheel has been done to death on just about every classic car ever made and I want a different look for mine!
So that leaves a choice between 5.5J Dunlops steels, Revolutions and Wolfrace slot mags. I like the 4 spoke Revolutions on GT6's and I think they look good on early Spitfires but I dont think they suit the later Spitfires very well. They look a bit too open for my tastes whilst the 5 spoke versions are super rare and almost certainly out of my price bracket even if I could find some!
Dunlop 5.5J's are nice and wide but they look pretty much the same and I really fancy a change. So that leaves just 'slot mags' which I always thought looked cheesy on Triumphs, but that was until I saw this photo on the Club Triumph messageboard!With the centres painted black and the rims cut and polished I think these look absolutely great. Different and with more than a hint of drag racer style, I've almost certainly made my mind up to get some of these, paint them up and try them out on my car to see how they look! I think these are made by Alleycat because the Wolfrace ones seem to have slightly squarer holes so I'll be on the lookout on ebay as soon as I get back to the UK!
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
Fitting braided hoses between the clutch slave and master is a good idea because there is a lot of vibration between their mounting points. Its no better than normal brake pipe between the brake master and the union but it looks cool and can be removed more easily! It certainly isn't any worse!
Anyway, in order to do this to your own car all you need to do is follow these easy steps!
- Get hold of about 3 metres of Euroquip brake hose (Rally Design part number EURO600) and four 3/8 x 24 UNF convex brake hose ends (Rally Design part number RD1500). If you've got Wilwood masters then you need to get two of those and two of part number RD1504 and use them with the supplied adaptors.
- What you then do is measure the hose out and cut it at the correct length. I used a junior hacksaw with a fine blade for cutting and it was pretty straightforward. A good tip is to wrap the hose in tape and cut through it to keep the braid from fraying everywhere.
- Now take apart the end connectors. You will have three peices - the bit that screws into the union, a brass olive and female threaded finisher that attaches it all together.
- Push the finisher onto the hose (you'll kick yourself if you forget this stage when it's the second connector you're attaching!)
- Now you're aiming to gently ease back the braiding around the end of the hose just enough to persuade the olive to go on the hose. I found this was relatively easy if you grab the end of the hose with the olive on and push it hard into the workbench. Make sure the olive is on the end of the hose as far as it can go!
- Now insert the hose onto the back of the threaded peice and make sure its pushed on firmly.
- Now pull the finisher down the hose and use it to lock it all together. Shouldn't need to be mega stupidly tight but it does need to crush the olive and keep it all locked together.
- Repeat as many times as needed.
- Check for leaks!
So there we have it - quite an easy and satisfying job. Just watch for the sharp ends of the braid cutting your fingers up as they can be really sharp.
Other jobs I've done include refitting the front quater valance I removed and resprayed earlier along with it's light unit and stripping out most of the interior to get at the clutch slave cylinder which I now need to bleed. The brakes are now done apart from the master cylinder reservoir. I have bought a used girling cylinder from Ebay and will use the reservoir from that - an idea I got from Club Triumph forum user '2 litre e'!
Monday, March 26, 2007
I have finally finished prepping the area and painting it and have now fitted the clutch pedal. I will do the brake pedal when I have suceeded in finding the pivot pin! I also need to cut down the piston pin on the Wilwood clutch master cylinder and fit the clevis pin through the pedal. I am currently waiting for payday so that I can buy a matching brake master cylinder and set them up together so the pedals are in the normal positions.
This is how it's looking so far. The paint looks much nicer in this picture than it does in real life! All that remains to do now is to strap the wiper motor back down, reconnect the choke cable and the accelerator cable and to sort out some stainless braided lines for the brake and clutch!
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Thursday, February 22, 2007
The credit card also took a beating this week at the online shop of Rally Design. I need new master cylinders for both the brakes and the clutch systems as the old ones were worn out. Thinking they'd be available relatively cheaply I checked at all the major suppliers and couldn't find one cheaper than about £60. I then heard of a company that can resleeve the inside of the cylinder (Past Parts) so I emailed them for a quote thinking this might be the cheapest way to sort it out. How wrong I was! The quote was exactly the same as a new cylinder!
So that left only one option really and that was to buy a Wilwood master cylinder from Rally Design. As this is only £30 it's both a cost and spec improvement over the standard stuff - which is a nice change from normal! I wasn't impressed by the postage charges on their website though - I don't think a flat rate of £8.50 is very good to be honest but they did get it sent out quickly.
I went for the Wilwood integrated reservoir cylinder and I will use it for my clutch as the capacity is pretty small and I would like a bit more 'in reserve' for my brakes. Club Triumph forum user '2litre-e' has a nice looking Wilwood cylinder with an external reservoir so I have posted on the forum inquiring about that!
Friday, February 16, 2007
Thursday, February 15, 2007
I was also intending to take the master cylinder brackets (and a whole lot of other stuff) into Lap Tab in Birmingham to get them powdercoated. I decided to do it tomorrow instead and spent the evening lightening up a few more bits and peices so they can go off and get coated. Shown below is the brackets that hold the front quater valences on. They are now 20g lighter!
I'm now just left with the smaller quater valance brackets and the battery retaining clamp to drill and then I can relax!
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Having done my best with the wire brushes, I used Hammerite Rust Remover to sort the remaining rust. I'm not particularly impressed with this slimy green mixture but it seems to work alright and is inexpensive. When its gone I will replace it with the equivalent product from Bilt Hamber Laboratories, which I have heard great things about!
I still have the area around the clutch cylinder to wire brush but I sprayed the rest with primer just to minimise exposure to the air while I finish the rest off. This is how it's looking so far...
Another thing I've been getting on with is the drivers side quater valance. This now just needs flatting down and respraying before abrasive polish and then laquer can be applied. It's looking good so far but I'm not sure how close a match the colour is to the rest of the car!
Continuing the theme of modding the front of the car, I also cut the number plate horizontally so that it is the minimum size allowable by law. This means that there is only 11mm between the top of the letters and the edge of the plate. This gives a slight airflow advantage into the radiator because the area of the plate is reduced by 40 square cm. I think it looks better as well and saves 15g!
Finally, it also occured to me that I havent yet shown a picture of the T handle that I have fitted to the interior. This will eventually be used to activate a plumbed in fire extinguisher system but for the time being the cable remains curled up in the glovebox. I had initially planned to mount this in the dash but I made up a braket and mounted it just under the dash on the passenger side where the driver can reach it as well!
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Amusingly there was also a boot light fitted on the right hand side panel that had been fitted in the past and had never worked. On removing the panel I discovered no bulb and loose wires just hanging down the back!
Thursday, February 08, 2007
So, after dealing with a seized screw retaining the indicators I was left with just the metalwork. I fired up the angle grinder and stripped the paint off using a wire cup brush. For the edges and finer stuff I used a smaller wire brush in a drill. The reason for the awful cracked paint became pretty clear. It seems that the valance had been crudely painted black before getting a waxy stonechip style coat and then finally a colour coat on top. Naturally a waxy coat like that isn't the perfect base for a colour coat!
When it was in bare metal I noticed a few little knocks that needed fillering so I protected the bare metal with U-Pol Acid primer before giving a few spots a skim of filler. I then gave those areas a good wet and drying afterwards until the areas were super smooth (no perceivable ridge between filler and bare metal). I then recoated with etch primer to give 2 nice and thin coats over the area and when that had dried I smoothed it with fine wet and dry paper and gave it all 2 coats of zinc primer followed by, you guessed it, more wet and dry rubdowns! At that stage it was looking like much better! Check out the spot welds - I could have filled and smoothed them but I like them original!
So I left that to dry overnight and started on it again the next morning. First thing I did was give it a couple of thin coats of regular primer. The zinc stuff isn't very smooth and this helps to give the colour coats a smoother finish. More flatting back followed that and then I could finally get on to the colour! One coat of Tahiti Blue (from a Halfords spray can) and it was now looking like this!
More news next time!
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Monday, January 29, 2007
So I made them from 1mm steel and drilled them to fit the CD changer before bending them in a vice and spraying them with zinc primer, silver wheel paint and then lacquer. I will mount this on the panel inside the boot on the left hand side (to offset the drivers weight and as low as possible to keep the centre of gravity low!)
While I was there I also gave the wiper bracket a lick of the same paints. I know it's getting more publicity than it really deserves but here we go with a picture!
Also while I had the drill out I reduced the weight of the overengineered bracket that attaches to the chassis to the front and holds the plastic grill on. I may well drill out the horizontal parts of the grill in the future. Believe me I have a lot of time on my hands!
And finally a picture of the indicators. This was just a test fitting to see how they would look on the front of the car. Readers opinions are most welcome but I personally think they look great. The US light units are lighter than the standard ones, give me bigger indicators and will raise the sidelights up into the headlights. Hopefully this will mean more people will see me and should make driving it a bit safer!
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Halogen conversions with the sidelights built in are very common from all sorts of places in the UK because they are the same fitting as minis but the 'US spec' indicator is all but impossible to come by in the UK. Thats where I had a bit of help from GT6 Steve in the US, who very generously gave me a set for free and all I had to pay was the postage from Las Vegas. The postage was pretty hefty but worth it for a part that you just can't find in this country. Believe it or not I had been looking for 9 months! Quite some time for a part that I thought would be shipped over with all those 'rust free' US bodyshells and available for peanuts!
Thursday, January 11, 2007
There is also good news on the clutch pedal. I dropped it into a small garage in Caldmore where the chap it going to weld up the hole so I can redrill it. Should save me fractions of a second with every gearshift!
Friday, January 05, 2007
As I was cleaning up the clutch pedal I spotted that the hole near the top was worn oval by the pin that links it to the master cylinder! You can see in the photo how years of use have worn the hole out of shape. This is a setback as I now need to find someone who can weld the hole up so that I can redrill it and refit the link pin. At least it explains why the clutch pedal was so crap though!
I've also been thinking of upgrading both master cylinders rather than getting straight replacements for them as Wilwood do decent ones that are a straightforward fit and are a bit cheaper than most of the Girling ones I've seen about. This is getting expensive though and the budget is tight so we will have to see. While the cylinders are off I want to repaint the bulkhead, get the brackets powdercoated and upgrade the lines to braided hose.
This is as well as pulling the engine out and replacing the rear oil seal and the clutch and upgrading the rear engine plate to the alloy one I purchased from Davesideways. Sadly though the engine plate is lost in the post at the moment and I haven't had much luck finding an engine crane to borrow! At least the clutch I bought of ebay has shown up. Another bargain - a genuine AP clutch plate for just £6!