Monday, January 29, 2007


So I've been pretty bored over the last few weeks and have devoted a fair bit of spare time to making up a pair of brackets to hold my CD Changer in the boot. I know that it's heavy and that I really should do without for the benefit of performance but it's still a car I use on the road and I like having a wide range of CD's to choose from!

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

Viva Las Vegas!

I always try and do different things with my Spitfire and to do modifications that most people maybe wouldn't think of! One of the ideas I had whilst looking through Custom Car Magazine is to change the look of the front of the car by removing the 'white and amber' lights that are under the headlights and replacing them with the 'US spec' all amber models. Of course that would leave me without pilot (side) lights, so in order to get those back I'm going to change the headlights to the type that include sidelights!

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

Wiper Motor Bracket

I've recently been spending a lot of time looking after my Grandma while my Grandad's been in hospital so I've spent the time making the best use of Grandads workshop. Inkeeping with my lightweight theme (and whilst I had it off to strip the bulkhead) I whizzed up this lightweight wiper motor strap (15g). Okay so it only saves a few grammes but it looks pretty neat!

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

Clutch Pedal

Trouble always seems to come in threes and my Spitfire is no exception! I pulled back the rubber gaiter on the clutch master cylinder and was greeted by the unmistakable slimy feel of brake fluid. It seems the clutch cylinder had been leaking as badly (if not worse) than the brake cylinder. All this leaking fluid had stripped the paint off the bulkhead and the clutch pedal, which now needs repainting.

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!