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High milage Spitfire engine..


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From sept 2019 I noticed more and more oil use of my engine in daily in use Spitfire 1500 (The Fox) that had done.... 306.000kms/190.000miles (!!) in 42years.

And yes never rebuild, all original and standard sizes !

This week I opened her up..

I already bought a recon head as I was pretty sure it was going to be valve guides.

As you can see.. cil 2 and for sure 3 was using oil.

Must say.. waterpump housing bolts came loose very easy and not very rusty bolts.

Head bolts again like new !

Getting the head of needed a lot of effort


So monday, day 1...




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Then the pistons came out (had a helper to do this)

The helper checked all the bores.. all still within standard spec !!

So flexhoned the bores and needed to get new pistons as the pin had play in the conrod.. not much, but it was a little bit worn.


Lucky the belgian supplier has 1500 std piston set in stock (strangly he had not any oversize sets in stock)

The supplier would not believe me that I had done so many kms/miles 🤣

Main crank bearings and thrustwashers have been changed to.

Day 2...






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Day 3 ... 


Timing cover I took off the evening before.

Tensioner had play (my fault), now fixed.

Chain and gears (duplex setup) was changed 40.000kms ago.

So left this.


Then refitted head with a payen gasket, torqued it down, waterpumphousing (repainted) back on and rocker gear assembly etc etc


Helper arrived for start up.

Cranked it (coil disconnected)... no oil pressure..

Sump back off.. oil pump was fitted good..

Eventually (thanks Sam for the tip ! ) we took the oil filter off, primed the pump and all was good.

Cranked her and started from the 3rd turn of the engine !

It sounded great !






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Day 4..

Re-torqued the head, set valves up again.

Started straight up !

Balanced the carbs and went for a drive on the parking lot... very amazed.

Then air filter box etc all on, another testdrive and then it was time to drive her back home !


Since then drove around 100miles and she drives very good.

Still smoky, but the rings need to bed in.

All fluids are good from color and oil stays very clean now !


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On 18/07/2020 at 10:01, Nick Jones said:

Interesting. The 1500 is mostly legendary for being short-lived, 40 - 50k miles being typical for the bottom end.

Clearly you and the POS have looked after this one!


Well she had done 117.000kms when I got her.

Between 2000 and 2011 (when I bought her) she had only done 3000km and had 5 or 6 owners....and I think they al welded in a plate and didnt want to spend anything on her.

Before that unknown.


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5 hours ago, Mathew said:

Nice work. Glad the waxstat's on the carbs had been changed for standard jets. I always found them to be a pain when leaded ran out.

6 years ago I converted them with 4 pieces of 2 eurecents.

3 years ago the jet bearings etc where changed + a waxstat conversion.

Been good since then !

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7 minutes ago, KevinR said:

That cost you a lot more than it would have cost in the UK, we can do the conversion for 4 Pence, not 8 Eurocents 😁

I only took the wax capsule out and replaced with one penny in each. Done this to a couple of spitfires I've owned.

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12 hours ago, Mathew said:

I only took the wax capsule out and replaced with one penny in each. Done this to a couple of spitfires I've owned.

There's always a cheapskate out there :P

Interesting that it worked with only a single penny, normally it takes two per jet to make it work.

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