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Type 9 Gearbox Spitfire Mark 3


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I have a Mark 3 Spitfire that was upgraded by Jigsaw about 3 years ago to a stage 2 engine with a Type 9 gearbox (supplied by Frontline), amongst other mods.


It has had continual gearbox and clutch issues since day 1 and after the fourth return to Jigsaw and another big bill I lost faith and refused to return the car to them unless they undertook to honour their warranty for work done i.e. no cost to me. 


They didn't... we fell out - and I managed to kill the then horrible grinding noise with a clutch fluid bleed. It had been returned to me with a new clutch cylinder!


The old problem is happening again - clunking of gearbox under load - suspect probable bearing failure.


Has anybody else had this happen to them with this conversion?


Can anybody recommend a specialist to look at it - the car is gorgeous to drive when it works!


I am based in Berks but it can go wherever to somebody who knows what they are doing!



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The box must have been terribly built for a spitfire engine to trouble it. usually good for about 200bhp, and I have heard they can cope with rather more (though no idea of longevity) However, not the first time I have heard of such issues.


BGH have a great reputation with the Type 9's, but they just recondition gearboxes. 


However, probably worth discounting other sources of clonking first. I would have a look at the prop, make sure it isn't touching the prop tunnel under load. And therefore also gearbox mount, exhaust and so on. 

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I believe the clutch plate is a "special" made by frontline, or at least commissioned by them, and they are the only source. 

An alternative is possible, fitting the clutch from a ford, and having the flywheel machineed to accept the ford clutch. Sounds drastic, but probably cheaper than the bespoke plate! And spares far more easily available.


As to gearbox bearing, a friend stripped my T9, cleaned and checked it over, and decided it just needed gaskets and seals. He reckons they are a tough box, so I would expect a recon in a spitfire to last at least 100K!

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I assume the throw out needs some modification to operate in the revised bell hsg and clucth cover


there was a excellant write up of all this conversion on the old lost unrecoverd forum by caroline

In cornwall, also in the courier


as there has been on going clutch problems , I wondered if there has been too much slave travel

which has wrecked the fingers or diaphragm hence crap selection and plenty of noises from a normally bullet proof unit



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