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The Restoration of a 1975 Spitfire 1500. Interior


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Result indeed does beg the question why after some thinking today I can only agree on the lines of Pete and Rob could've been a bit of oil starvation in 1 of the bearing journals and as the engine came up to temp the oil thinned out a bit making it easier to circulate but as Karl says the worry is in the back of my mind as to whether it comes back only time will tell definitely something I will monitor but for now its time to layer up and crack on 🥶

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@johny unsure on the actual oil pressure reading at the moment going to see of i can borrow a pressure gauge to check. Plumbed in all the fuel system put around 12 litres of super unleaded in the tank and fired 1st turn of the key engine still sounds health with no odd noises which is good and set the ignition timing wasn't too far out at 14° btdc just retarded slightly to the book figure of 10° also checked the vacuum advance and it is working idles a lot better now still need to set the carbs. Speaking of those just after I set the timing I noticed the front carb was leaking fuel from the top of the float chamber, switched the engine off and had a look, Seems to be over fueling. My carbs don't have a regular needle valve instead they have a little ball in a cage never come across it before was like it when I purchased them. Question is are a regular needle valve better and should I switch it back or just stick with the ball type?

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Conor

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Float chamber ball valves; the equivalent of toilet plumbing on your Triumph. I thought they were too early for Spitfires; I wonder if those have been used to replace the original valves? If you reckon they're the cause of the over-fuelling then at least one may need replaced. To quote Burlen: "needle valves are far superior to ball valves which are cheap and make lots of money for suppliers..."

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If the fuel pump output pressure was too high wouldn't that cause the other carb to do the same? If the quote Colin has stated is true then maybe it might be best to go back to a needle valve I'm pretty new to carbs cant plug a laptop into these cars haha so all the advice is appreciated 

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well the valves can vary and an increase in pressure can overcome some and not others. Pressure measurement is really the only way of knowing if its the pump or valve and then if its the first it might not be easy to find a pump that gives the correct value☹️

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If the pressure is massively high then yes, you get both carbs flooding. If it's only moderately too high then the weaker valve will open, bleeding the pressure off and protecting the other. Especially if the first carb (front on earlier cars but might be rear on a 1500) is weaker. In these cases you can find that you fix the "dodgy valve" only to have the other carb start flooding instead.

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Bit of an update in the over fueling issue. Today I got the car out and had another look im not ruling out the fuel pump producing too much pressure however I think it could be related to the tank because its only been doing this since I plumbed in the new tank and pipework. So I took the float caps off and noticed a bit of dirt sitting at the bottom of the chambers cleaned it all out cleaned out the pipe whilst I was there and also fitted a filter between the pump and the carbs. Started it up and ran for about 5/10 minutes before it started popping in the exhaust and a small leak appeared again on the front carb. Took the cap off again float chamber is clean however the fuel has a slight sparkle to it like someone has poured glitter in. I'm thinking this could be the cause as like I say wasn't doing it before I plumbed the tank in but I could be wrong.

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  • 1 month later...

It's been a little while since my last update on the old crock and plenty of progress has been made. Just to address my last post on here I did manage to fix the overfueling issue by swapping the ball valves to a normal needle valve type now she's running sweet after a slight tune however I do think it'll need some richer needles as I had to wind the jet down quite a bit but we'll see what happens on its 1st run up the road. Around the beginning of December 2 very large parcels arrived 1 from Park Lane Classics containing everything to reupholster the seats and all new door cards and rear boards. The other contained a brand new Newton commercials carpet set (sourced from Rimmer Bros because it was cheaper than Newtons website). So now I had 2 very large boxes to empty I thought I best layer up and get out into garage. Because I've never retrimmed anything before I thought it would be best to start with something a bit easier than the seats just so I can get the hang of things so after rummaging around I dug out the old armrest and tunel cover.

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overall not in too bad condition and certainly not the worst I've seen however I thought it'll best to recover them in leather to match the rest of the interior instead of just dying them black. 1st step was to remove all the old vinyl and foam to be left with the metal frames which were promptly stripped, primed and painted satin black.

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Then it was up into my bedroom (Mum wouldn't let me use the kitchen table haha) to start recovering. The new foam was glued on 1st using EvoStick Impact Adhesive as recommended by Owen, once this had set I trimmed back the foam leaving my with this,

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And after leaving the new leather covers on the radiator for an hour I fitted the covers, key is to get them as taught as possible to get a wrinkle free finish and speaking of finish,

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Considering this was a 1st attempt I'm pretty pleased with the results. The leather looks great and smells amazing and will hopefully leave a much better finish over the original beige vinyl. Next up are the seats but I'll cover them in the next update as this 1 is already pretty long.

Conor 

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  • Conor L changed the title to The Restoration of a 1975 Spitfire 1500. Interior
4 minutes ago, Bordfunker said:

Conor, that looks amazing!

That interior is going to be something special.

Karl

Thanks Karl! I'm hoping it'll look good when finished. What I can say is that Owens covers are made to a very good standard just down to me not to muck it up haha.

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After the success of retrimming the armrest and tunel cover I swallowed the brave pill and tackled the seats. I started with passenger seat just to see how I got on ready for the drivers seat and speaking if the drivers seat here it is in all its ruined beige glory,

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Hmm not what I'd call ideal. I set about stripping the seat down by removing the tilt handle (that put up a fight), removing the base and removing the back seat cover which revealed this

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Nasty! Crumbled 70s foam everywhere. Nevertheless this was soon disposed of and the frame got a rub down and a nice coat of satin black. New straps were also fitted at this stage,

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Then the back foam was glued on using the EvoStick Impact Adhesive as mentioned in the previous update (its strong stuff). While I was waiting for the glue to dry I prepped the leather cover by inserting the little wooden pieces into their pockets and cutting a hole for the clip,

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After this I placed the cover on the radiator for a couple of hours to aid stretching the cover in order the clip it in, a piece of cling film on top of the foam also helps with sliding the cover over. The cover was fitted and clipped into place in all the various places,

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The seat base was in just as bad condition as the back,

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So glad I purchased a complete seat kit from Owen! Unfortunately I'm lacking pictures here but the basket was cleaned up and painted, new foam glued together along with the cover followed by stretching the cover over and held in place with cable ties to leave us with this,

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I trimmed the cable ties and clipped it back into the frame leaving us with this,

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I did finish off the lower corners after the picture was taken (apologies its not the best). And that's it just the headrests to sort (which i have now done). Considering I'm a complete novice at trimming I'm pleased with what I've achieved and get way more satisfaction knowing I've tackled this myself over taking them to a trimmer, I can also highly recommend the Park Lane Classics kit fantastic quality and easy to follow instructions, worth every penny. Just need to get them in the car but carpet needs to be fitted 1st.

Conor

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Excellent job Conor!

I don't suppose you took any photos of the bare frame, particularly around the tilt mechanism? I have a problem with my GT6's driver's seat that the frame has broken there and I intend to try to repair it. Then I'll also be having my first go at fitting one of Owen's seat kits...

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3 hours ago, NonMember said:

Excellent job Conor!

I don't suppose you took any photos of the bare frame, particularly around the tilt mechanism? I have a problem with my GT6's driver's seat that the frame has broken there and I intend to try to repair it. Then I'll also be having my first go at fitting one of Owen's seat kits...

Unfortunately not Rob I'll see if I can get a picture from the underside if that'll help?

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Don't go to any trouble over it. Your "straps" photo shows something, and if necessary I can strip both seats for comparison, because I think the passenger one is still good.

The main reason my Spitfire has Mk4 seats is that, when I first acquired it some 30 years ago, the frame of the driver's seat was broken at the base of the back. Good second hand Mk4 seats were readily available back then.

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Next job was to install the carpet set I purchased from Rimmers. Overall its a great quality set and most of the pieces fit quite well. Seems to be a trent with this thread where I just get stuck in and forget to take picture, this post is no exception but I started by gluing the inner sill pieces followed by the A posts then the glue set I trimmed down the carpet flush with the sill. Then I moved on the the front heel board piece leaving the radius arm bracket mounts glue free to allow the tracking to be set at a later date unfortunately the top heel board piece isn't the bests on fit which I have seen on various forums. To finish the main piece was fitted (no glue incase I ever need to get water out) then the footwell pieces were placed in leaving me with this,

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Rear boards are just placed in for now, 1 question I would like to ask is whether the drain tube from the battery box sits in front or behind the footwell carpet? At this point I decided to drive the car around my close and established the gearbox, clutch and speedo were in working order so I promptly fitted the new plastic transmission cover,

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Pretty good fit as it turns out just needed to trim the lip down even managed to use the standard type seal with no gaps which I'm pleased with. Soon after I fitted the carpet, new gear knob and radio frame (what a pain) ,

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Radio was in the car when I purchased it, it's a nice Sharp radio cassette player dating back to the late 70s unfortunately its not working so just a nice ornament for now until I get some time to fiddle with it. 

 

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19 minutes ago, NonMember said:

The main reason my Spitfire has Mk4 seats is that, when I first acquired it some 30 years ago, the frame of the driver's seat was broken at the base of the back. Good second hand Mk4 seats were readily available back then.

Surely the Mk4 seats are superior in comfort over the Mk3 seats with more cushioning and maybe a tad more support?

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