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1976 Spitfire 1500

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Picked this up back in January from deepest Southampton which living in Wigan is a 500 mile round trip. Dry stored but not run for 27 years, engine is free, managed to get a OE driver side rear wing, inner wing, new ignition barrel and lock (original one is seized), tonneau cover, a decent set of Mark 3/4 seats and new door skin in the deal.




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Got Accuspark full electronic distributor, high output coil, high output spark plugs, carb rebuild kit, fuses, oil, filter (got the right one after 3 attempts),boot light, battery, lots of manuals and water pipe kit.

Had a day off work so dropped the oil and put new in. Fitted the HT leads, sparkies, battery and water hose.

Steering lock was frozen so  hammer and chiseled it off. Ignition frozen too so cut that out and hot wiring for now.

Put fuel in and float bowls overflowed so new needles and jets fitted.

No spark, distributor cleaned up, still no spark, high output coil fitted now we have spark.

Car is now spluttering trying to start but not busting into life and dark plus weak battery has stopped play.


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started brake and clutch master out for refurb then came to my senses and bought replacements, removed the fuel tank for cleaning and painting, installed the electronic ignition distributor and timed it all up.

Then did a bit of buying, tank clean and line kit, new copper lines for brakes and clutch, lots of stainless fittings,  boot liner trim (mine was missing), battery clamp (again mine was missing), bonnet locating cones (again missing), grommet set and treated myself to a sonic cleaner.


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Cleaned, etched, lined and painted the and fitted back in the car with new rubber spout, clips and blanking pipe.

Fitted the new battery clamp and put the choke back on.

Bit more buying too, new ignition switch and the old one fell apart when the steering lock was chiselled off.


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dragged the spit out and had a look of the state of the rear brakes. Lots of rust, missing drum screws and evidence of leaky pistons (plus the rear shocks are shot but that's for another day) so tackled the pistons first. Stripped the drum down, the drum itself looks like it just needs a clean up but I need new pins, springs and shoes. Luckily I did have the pistons and fitting kit, I was surprised how the pistons were fitted as I expected bolts and not the twin forks the spitfire uses. Struggled to get them out and fit the new ones but perseverance paid off.

Unfortunately the brake drum (transfer pipes?) copper pipes were shot too and it seems no one seems to make these separate and only offered in a kit so I will have to make those  

New adjusters required too

All fitted now and bled up, we have brakes




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However, that assumes the new skin is fitted to exactly the same shape as the old (scrap) one which is seldom the case.  From bitter experience I did it the way you are suggesting and then went on a re-settlement course on leaving the RN at Contour Autocraft (XK panel specialists) and following that several specialist body restorers have advised the same. 


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6 hours ago, thescrapman said:

I would say fit sills first and then resin the doors. That way you are only changing 1 part at a time, as you know the door is the right shape before you start.

Exactly as I'm doing with my Herald convertible - keep the original doors, gap the tub to the doors, bolt it all down, then reskin the doors to the body gap. 

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