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1976 Spitfire 1500


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Doh it looks like someone but the wrong bush in the "support arms packet" they were slightly bigger than the rest. They weren't obvious until I put a vernier on them, found the right ones and all good now. On the plus side a new bolt set has arrived for the rear suspension so I'll swap the old rusty bolts for new ones and the paint has arrived too. I have even received my MG slave cylinder so I can get that back on the road too. 

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I have a couple of spare 1500 FM engines and I am going to use one for this build. I would like to make some of the cheaper mods to develop a bit more horse power. I will be taking the head to have unleaded seat done but I have also heard that it is advisable to skim the head to increase the compression, can someone advise how much to skim?

I have also heard fitting the Mk3 Cam into the 1500 is a good idea too, is this correct and is it documented anywhere?

Is there any other cheap mods worth doing? 

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Also on the penny pinching theme I have come across a type 9 gearbox which I could use on the spit and I have seen some conversion kits in the thousands and others in the hundreds, is there a recommended way to do this in a cost effective manner? I would like the gear stick and handbrake in the same position if possible.

My 1500 is non overdrive.....

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The Mk3 cam is a good profile but it's an oddball in that it requires bearings. You can get a more standard cam re-profiled to MK3 profile, which would be an easier fit.

As to the gearbox... the most cost-effective way to get the gear stick in the right place is to stick with the Triumph gearbox. Even an overdrive conversion may well set you back less than the type 9 kit.

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2 hours ago, NonMember said:

As to the gearbox... the most cost-effective way to get the gear stick in the right place is to stick with the Triumph gearbox. Even an overdrive conversion may well set you back less than the type 9 kit.

I always maintained that the use of modern substitute gearboxes is what led to unavailable parts for Triumph boxes in the first place. There was no point in stocking or remaking them.

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Day off today so more time to spend on the Spit.

Bit of a wet day so the gazebo I bought for trackdays/racing came in handy.IMG_20201120_140108.thumb.jpg.0094b03a33f32385c7d237957ecf16c0.jpg

Fitted the radius arm so that drama is over.

Out with the welder again to complete the repairs on the rear passenger side wheel arch and B pillar.

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and fitted the rear section repair plate.

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and the inner wheel arch

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All ground to smooth and acid etched.

Also got my 2 spare engines to my mates garage ready for a rebuild when I get some spare time away from bodywork.

IMG_20201119_183110.thumb.jpg.f1c065bd0110ab4db77c8f3192885839.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...

Wow were did that month go........

A quick bit of research revealed that I have a 1975 1500 engine and a 1976 1500 engine. So the 1976 engine can go in the 1976 spitfire result!!!. I put the 76 engine on the engine stand and started to dig into it.

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A quick inspection revealed that although the engine was free pots 2 and 3 are worn and will need a bore and OS pistons unfortunately time ran out that day so I could find out what size pistons I need.

The 1975 engine is also free and I will stick it on sale to fund the rebuild of the 76 engine.

I have also received 3 x 1300 engines too....

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Onto the bodywork section.......

Managed to weld the small hole in the floor using some formed metal left over from the door repair and just happened to be the correct shape (well with a couple of hammer blows it was) which just leaves a repair required to the back of the passenger side rear wheel arch, passenger side windscreen gutter replacement and small repair to rear deck to complete the welding.

With welding being a pain to do in my very narrow garage and the heavens opening up which meant I couldnt work outside I had to find something else to occupy me. First was to take the rear deck back to metal and found quite a bit of filler on the drivers side.

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then the windscreen to remove. The seals had turned into stone over the last 44 years so it was very difficult to release the glass. I did manage to break the glass (it was inevitable) but it already had a large star shaped crack in it anyway.

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and out with the petrol tank which was one of the first repairs I fixed on the car all those months ago.

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Yes I do need to clean out the boot.

I was thinking of painting the floor gloss black with chassis paint as it wont be seen when the carpet goes in, is that agreeable?

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18 minutes ago, hardhatharry said:

I was thinking of painting the floor gloss black with chassis paint as it wont be seen when the carpet goes in, is that agreeable?

It's your car, you can paint the floor luminous pink if you want to!

Chassis paint is probably sensible for the floor. Even protected by the carpet it does get more stress than most of the bodywork.

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13 hours ago, hardhatharry said:

Wow were did that month go........

A quick bit of research revealed that I have a 1975 1500 engine and a 1976 1500 engine. So the 1976 engine can go in the 1976 spitfire result!!!. I put the 76 engine on the engine stand and started to dig into it.

IMG_20201128_135118.thumb.jpg.5b94e57c19da71f0e507746a6db4e6f7.jpgIMG_20201128_134708.thumb.jpg.90f713dee19777d9d491a54744823ed5.jpg

A quick inspection revealed that although the engine was free pots 2 and 3 are worn and will need a bore and OS pistons unfortunately time ran out that day so I could find out what size pistons I need.

The 1975 engine is also free and I will stick it on sale to fund the rebuild of the 76 engine.

I have also received 3 x 1300 engines too....

Don't expect selling the spare engine to fund more than perhaps a new set of plugs.

I have failed to give away unknown engunes in the past.

Keep them and take the best parts from each of them to make yours, then get the same price for The leftovers 

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1 hour ago, thescrapman said:

Keep them and take the best parts from each of them to make yours, then get the same price for The leftovers 

Keep them both. Spares are becoming harder to find, and getting very expensive when you do, so with a spare engine you can take bits off for your running engine at any time, especially when yours breaks something simple but necessary and might keep the car off the road while you source a replacement.

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56 minutes ago, Colin Lindsay said:

Cancel my last, if you've that many you have enough spares.

Engines are like buses, you never see one for ages and then...

Your so right Colin, all through the summer I was after a 1500 Spitfire engine and every one I saw, when I queried the engine numbers, were Dolomite engines. I know some aren't bothered but I wanted a proper Spit one I was starting to wonder of all the spit ones had blown up.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Had a bit of a break over Xmas and the cold snap, I had every intention of doing a bit but the temperature change stepping out of the front door force me to skittle straight back in the house. Back on it now.....

Cleared all the tools, parts and rubbish out of the boot, taken it back to metal and into primer.IMG_20210104_212134.thumb.jpg.4169cca7e8ed9f1ff1a7ac3b89df149a.jpgMakes a hell of a difference.

Taking the deck back to metal and I found a bit of a dodgy repair which I will address in the coming days ( this has been a common theme and I'll glad I took it down to the metal).

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Treated myself to a new tool to help to get into those hard to reach places.

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I had a couple of missing rear bumper irons so managed to source some at reasonable cost and also painted them

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Also started the repair of the fglass quarter panels but ran out of resin

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