Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Been a long time, long time, its been a long time!

Jeez, two years since I last wrote anything on this Blog.

I do not know where to start, all the cars have enjoyed constant work and use. So lets start on the one that has been off the road for years, yep, the Spitfire.

Spitfire mk2
Its back on the road and going very well. I realised that I was not going to get around to finishing her off, so I employed my good friend James Cooper to complete all the tasks. This was a wise decision as the work he has done has been off a high quality:
Engine: This engine, that has never been run, was originally built by Dave Pearson of Canley Classics, it then went to another chap in the Midlands called Roy Burrell who did some serious cylinder head works to the head including lovely big valves and bronze guides. As the engine had just sat around in the Spitty, we (James and I) decided to strip her down to ensure no corrosion had formed. luckily, we found nothing of any great shake, so she was put back together. James then connected up the oil cooler, the re-built Andrew Turner SU HS4s, the 123 Dizzy (Bought this for the Herald!) and the various other components I had knocking around in the shed. James also painted the engine an off white colour paint that I had sourced. We used Mini Spares head nuts as these offer remarkable value compared to those offered by Moss.
Gearbox: Overdrive unit wired up, new Clutch fitted and the box filled with oil.
Suspension: Rear suspension which is a swing spring set up was treated to Bastuck's adjustable radius arms, a Canley lowering block and a new set of Koni shockers (Larkspeed: £97 a pop). The front suspension was all fine for the present, but will soon be re-furbished with poly bushes, Konis and a John Wolfe rose jointed arb joint set (again found in the shed). I have also bought a new steering rack for the car plus grease nippled TREs and UBJs. This will all be done soon.
Interior: Fitted new glove boxes and re-built the H frame to include an oil pressure gauge (yep, an old Mini 850 Smiths 52mm unit-scrapyard pilfering from the early 80s) and an oil light, this being a Spitfire mk2 front indicator light. I have started to re-trim some GT6 mk3 seats that I have, bought a shadow blue recovering kit from Newton Commercial and a new foam kit from Park Lane, both the foam and seat covers being top quality, so I have no hesitation in recommending their products.

An MOT was obtained and off I went to put some mileage into the car. A few snags have been found: Leaking oil pressure pipe Y piece, this being replaced by LMA supplied components. (LMA from Wellingborough are another good company for specialist parts such as oil control products, Mini spares and the like)
New tyres are needed as the Yokohama 185/60/13s have gone hard, these will be replaced by Uniroyal 175/70/13s.
The carpet set has been eaten by various wildlife that broke into the car whilst she was stored in my car port, a shame as the carpet fits very well and apart from some sun bleaching is in good nick. Not sure what to do, I will probably speak to Newton Commercial and buy one of their moulded carpet sets, again in dark blue. Whilst at the Triumph Show at Stoneleigh, I purchased a massive roll of car carpet underlay, this will be used to produce some noise and heat insulation, attempting to civilise the car, er, not a chance (Spitfires are rough and ready, my god ain't they noisy).
So, after owning the Spitfire for sometime, I have finally been able to drive her, amazing! All the mileage has been done with a running in maximum engine speed of 3000 rpm, so I have been unable to drive her hard, but I must say she feels that she has some power, I look forward to putting more mileage into the car and seeing how it goes.
I have found the engine build sheet, which states the following:
Cubic Capacity: 1350cc
Compression Ratio: 9.75:1
County Pistons: Decked to be inline with the engine block.
Con Rods: Standard, balanced to be equal in weight
Camshaft: Kingston Sportscars 2R 35/75/75/35 310'': Timing 108.5 degrees
Valves: Triumph Tune 1434 (Inlet) 1.475'' dia and 1435 (Exhaust) 1.3'' dia.
Valve Springs: TT1307 Doubles: 1.39'' Fitted length.
Crankshaft: Standard balanced
Flywheel: Standard but lightened and balanced
Timing Gear: Vernier Duplex
Head: Ported, TT bronze guides
SU HS4s, Matched to ported inlet manifold, ITG panel filter with Calver Tune ram pipes.
Mocal oil 13 row oil cooler with thermostat.
Huco electric low pressure fuel pump with Rover Group inertia fuel cut off switch.
123 Dizzy with very old (1984) NGK plug leads-why oh why, do they not make these anymore!
Phoenix 4>2>1 stainless steel manifold and sports exhaust system: Too loud!

The front suspension is too low at present and bump steers, so it will be raised to a similar height as my GT6, I will also slightly raise the steering rack height (cheers, Clive). This is something that can be done to Spitties, unlike the GT6 as it would foul the engine block.
Got to say that the car is a pretty one!

I must pay tribute to James Cooper for his diligent work on the car, without his cajoling the car would still sitting under its cover in the drive. Cheers matey! By the way, James has now put some very good Triumph cars back onto the road: James Carruther's rapid Spitfire mk3 (Mega jolted and Dellorto'd), Ben Hutching's fabulous GT6 mk1, James Carruther's glorious 2000 mk1 as well as his own 2.5Pi mk1 and his current project TR6. He is presently fettling Jason Chinn's TR6, then he is going to do some welding to my GT6! He is open for business!

The Saloon and the GT6 are presently being used and seem fine.

Saloon: I have just fitted a new radiator, this being a spare that I had (again, found in the shed-its a big shed), it was re-built by Lee at GT Radiators at Shepperton, Middlesex 01932 568 816. Lee fitted a nice big core to the rad, he also fitted a 22mm boss for the rad switch and brackets to mount the Pacet fan onto the frame.

GT6 Mk2: The differential is knackered, so I have just changed for a spare 3.63:1 unit I had on a shelf in the shed, I also took the opportunity to wrap the spring in waxed canvas cloth-very 1930s eh! I have also started to finally get parts together for the impending engine re-build, these include Duplex timing gear, a ShackTune blueprinted oil pump, lightened cam followers, a full ARP nut set and a very nice ShackTune lightened flywheel. Parts to be bought include a new camshaft and getting the HS6s re-furbished. However, yesterday I went out with James Cooper in his mk4 Spitfire that is running bike carbs, umm, these seem a good idea!
Also, as mentioned earlier, the car needs some welding. The battery tray is rotten so this will be replaced and whilst at it, the bulkhead will be stripped and painted. Its has looked skanky for far too long!

Weirdly enough, for the first time since buying the Spitfire, all three of my Triumph cars are on the road! Far out!

Here are some pics:
1. The Spitfire: Cop the rot by the front OS sidelight. (Bit of warranty work for Mr Picton)?
2. Spitfire engine bay: Thanks to Craig Gingell for the SAH rocker cover-jeez, ain't they alot to buy secondhand!
3. Engine bay detail work

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