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Escadrille Ecosse

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  1. Basic geometry, taking their time and a bit of labour. It's not magic.
  2. Hi Pete Others out there with a lot more experience than me I'm sure but I can give you some of my thoughts. In my experience as long as you don't go daft the 1300 has pretty decent mid range almost whatever you do (more on that later). So, unless you are going to go for a significalty more radical cam/carb arrangement I would be careful about doing too much on the inlet side or you can make things worse, or at the very least waste your hard earned time/money. I would suggest matching the ports to the inlet manifold/gasket and tidying them up along the length to the valves but don't remove much more metal than needed to keep things parallel along the length. The larger valves probably won't make a lot of difference either way at this stage but if you are getting them done then go for the larger size and get them flowed a bit too. I would tend to stick with the 1300 head rather than faffing about with the 1500 but maybe talk to whoever is doing your head to see which works out cheaper. I would suggest that until you've decided on your cam there is no point getting major head work done or chances are you'll have to do it again later. Again at this point until you decide on what cam/carb you plan on running I wouldn't go much beyond the stock CR of 9.0 unless you spend some time and effort on the ignition side. If you are still running the Delco destributor with points it's very hard to keep the thing on song. With what you're doing, new standard springs are probably fine but you'll want slightly stronger/double springs when you go for a more radical cam. Exhaust ports and exhaust manifold should also be matched or at least and step between the two should have the exhaust side larger than the head side. The mounting studs should be good enough to keep this matched. The inlet is more critical but the pins in the head do a good job for this. I assume you know how to match the ports using a gasket? If not I'm sure there are guides on you tube. I learned how to do this sort of thing when all we had was books! If you are rebuilding the head and replacing the valves then you need to replace the rocker gear as well or worn rocker tips will wreck the top of your nice new valve stems. If you haven't done so already I also recommend that you fit the external oil feed to you valve gear for the same reason. Remember to block off the oilway on either side of the head gasket at the same time. The best off the shelf exhaust manifold for the Spitfire is im my opinion the Bell one from the TSSC. This is because it is the only one I've seen where the arrangement of the secondaries allows the primaries from cylinders 1 and 4 to be approximately the same length. But if you got it then what the heck eh! Points and condenser are OK is but as the biggest improvement you can make is keeping the ignition timing constant then I would strongly recommend that at the very least you go for one of the electronic systems that fit in the existing distributor. I've used the Aldon Ignitor on various cars for years and never had a problem with them. I would also suggest that you replace the timing chain and tensioner to help reduce distributor scatter. My Mk1 Spitfire currently runs a modified small bearing 1300 engine that I built myself for historic competition. Balanced and polished crank and rods, standard pistons (yep that's right). Larger inlet valves, head and valves lightly flowed. Bronze valve guides. CR is 9.75:1. Runs a Newman race cam 40-80 80-40, 300 degree duration with standard ratio roller rockers and duplex chain. Super lightweight alloy flywheel and 6.5" paddle clutch. Carburation is by twin 40 Webers. Ignition is by a Lucas 25D6 distributor (for the mechanical tacho drive) into which I have fitted the topworks of a 25D4 so I've got the right number of sparks! Aldon Ignitor ignition and 12V coil. I realise that all rolling roads are different and with varying degrees of exageration built in but with this setup I got an estimated 126hp at the flywheel at 7000 rpm. Although the engine just keeps revving, with the build I have I've set 7200 rpm on the rev limiter. Engine will idle reasonably happily at 900-1000 rpm. I previously ran the car on a Kent Cams TH6 which has a 290 duration and found the car very 'cammy' not really wanting to do much until about 3800-4000 rpm. With the Newman cam there is vastly more mid range and it will start pulling hard from about 3000 whilst still being pretty docile as long as the revs are above about 1500 rpm. Top end was much the same with either cam but the Kent seemed much more sensitive to fueling/ignition in the mid range. Pootling around in traffic with the Newman cam isn't really a problem (except the paddle clutch being a bit sharp) although after a while the engine will go excessively rich because of the Webers overfueling at low rpm. On a 4.55 diff and stripped out interior the performance is 'vivid' but maybe a bit over the top for what you want!! I guess the point I'm trying to make is that even with what is not far off a full race spec the 1300 engine still has decent mid range torque and is a very driveable little engine given it's almost 70 years old as a design.
  3. Hi Mark Does look like what I remember as the Tite-a-turn I think I have a few pictures but will have to scan them in as all this was done in the days of 'real film' before the thought of having a phone on your camera was as daft has having a torch on it. What would have been the point anyway as the wire would have been too short! Short sequence of me sprinting the car in the rain. Paddock bend at Kames, Muirkirk south of Glasgow around 1998-2000. Mk3 bumpers as I couldn't find any Mk 2 ones when I built the car! Just noticed that you can just see the ends of the rear anti-roll bar links in front of the back wheels in a couple of the pics. And the thin front anti roll bar too. Never liked the handling with the late thicker one.
  4. Apologies Nick. The title should have included FOR SALE. So bothered about uploading the photos I forgot 'da rules'
  5. Clearing out my garage to give some space for the long awaited Spitfire rebuild and I have found a set of triple SU inlet manifolds that John Thomason had cast back in the 1990s. They are partly machined but I ran out of time and never finished the job before moving on to other things and now the car for which they were intended is long gone. Anyone on Sideways interested before I put them on ebay?
  6. Realise it's a while since the last posting but I can add a little info. The wishbones are TR 4-6 upper wishbones as also fitted to Reliant Scimitars, like my 6A. The ARB looks very similar to one that Moss/Triumphtune sold 'back in the day' with versions for the various iterations of small Triumph. I have one that looks almost identical fitted on the back of a Spitfire conversion I did in the 1980s. On the rotoflex versions the centre mounts bolted through the chassis rails using a 'square' U-bolt (if you can call it that) that was threaded very carefully through pre-drilled holes. There were small flat brackets like those above that bolted into holes drilled into the rotoflex wishbone. Worked reasonably well. I believe the swing axle version was intended to bolt through the chassis extensions fitted to the later US spec cars so on cars without these they bolted directly to the boot floor. With the expected medium turn results. The outer ends used angle brackets that were attached to the lower shock mount. The catalogue picture shows the bar straight in the middle but it actually came with the bulge to go over the exhaust. Incidentally I still have that 1980s conversion. I did over 200,000 miles in it as a daily driver and occasional sprint/hillclimb car for 20 years. Based on a 1965 Mk2 with a 2.5 six and a full glasfibre bodyshell, doors, bonnet, etc made from a set of my own moulds. Regular customer of Mr John Kipping for rebuilt gearboxes and differentials. Currenly gathering mould on my driveway! The Tite-A-Turn conversion was ancient legend even then and I only ever saw one Herald with it fitted. I've attached the relevant page from the 1980s Triumphtune manual showing the ARB part no TT3787. Price £68.50. IMG_20191004_0001.pdf
  7. Hi Nick, thanks for the reply. I have thought about this method of lowering, even used it for a time on a rotoflex car. Unfortunately the swing spring doesn't let you do this because the leaves have a kink in the middle where they wrap around the pivot bolt. Also in a competition car with only 1300 cc you want to avoid carrying around any weight that you don't need! However if that was a second engine in the back and I could stop the scrutineers noticing...well
  8. Hi Watson. Flex-a-Form were very good when I bought the spring, it was slightly uprated but at the time I didn't want to go too far with the stiffness, the rate was about 180-190 lbs/inch if memory serves compared to the standard 166 lbs/in. A few years later as the car was developed I went back to them for another more uprated spring, but at that time I think they were going through some owenership issues or similar and didn't seem so keen. I don't know if it was modifying the rate or the UK export issues or both. Anyway that was when I went to Canleys for the steel leaf spring. I didn't make any changes for length, my car has swing axles and the uprights pivot to take account of the fixed axle length. As long as the spring is about the same length as standard it doesn't make any difference. Spring length does make a diference if you're using rotoflex at the back as it forms the upper link and affects the static camber setting. That's why the rotoflex spring is slightly longer than the swing axle spring. You mentioned inverting the spring in an earlier post, that's not an issue with the Spitfire transverse spring, it's designed to do that, unlike the eliptical springs on a conventional live axle. In the standard car when it's sitting on the ground unladen the spring is almost flat and goes negative when laden or when cornering. Anyway, back to the composite spring, I would definately recommend them for a rotoflex installation where the centre is clamped on the diff. Making the pivot for a swing spring application is complicated as you need to accomodate fore and aft loads somehow and I found that this bit of the design tended to wear which would lead to something similar to axle tramp. The hardest part of making a composite spring is the eyes at the ends, but having seen how flexaform do it I'm am tempted to make my own spring as it's basicallly just a unidirectional glass reinforcement in epoxy resin. A monoleaf spring in composite or even in steel has a much nicer feel and the composite spring is soooo much lighter and less bulky.
  9. Gents. I have a related question, hopefully not derailing the topic too far. I run my sprint/hillclimb Spitfire under historic regs which means I have to use the swing axle rear although I can use a swing spring. I have shortened the rear uprights but even so with the current spring fitted with a 1" lowering block the ride height is at the top end of where I would like. The spring came from Canleys as is the uprated one for the 1500/GT6 which is about right for the car except for the ride height. Any recommendations for someone who can reliably de-camber this spring in the UK so I can get rid of the spacer block? A bit more back on topic I have run this car with a composite spring I got from lFex-a-Form in the US. This give a very supple ride as there isn't the hysteresis you get from a multi leaf steel spring. Also about 25% of the weight. Obvious issue is that the spring is fixed - ie not swing spring but I designed a fitting to allow it to swing. I took it out because as I developed the car the double bump rate wasn't high enough, I could hit the bumpstops off the line on a hot day. One day I may get round to building my own uprated version of one of these, not too difficult but does require a degree of experimentation to get the rate right and some care to get consistency of build.
  10. Thanks Nick. Really like the Scimitar, just feels so civilised and special. V8 makes a nice noise too...
  11. Hi folks from Scotland and a Happy Christmas. After dipping in and out of this forum for some time I've finally signed up. Currently have two Spitfires, a 1963 Mk2 with rotoflex, 2.5L on SUs and an all GRP body I built about 25 years ago. Car is off the road at the moment awaiting a full rebuild after about 200,000 miles of hard use. The other Spit is a 1962 Mk1 hillclimb and sprint car with small bearing 1300 and swing axles, various other mods and a few lightweight panels made from the moulds from the first car, but with a steel tub/ full cage. My family classic and towcar for the hillclimb Spitfire is a 1979 Scimitar with a 4L Rover V8. Just can't leave them alone. So hello all, especially John D - not seen you at Barbon for a while. Colin
  12. OK Folks, first post on here. Although I recognise a couple of posters and been running modded Spitfires for almost 30 years. I have a 2.5 L roto Spitfire (Mk2) which I fitted with and O/D TR box and ST053 gearset after going through various GT6 O/Ds. Gearbox is a bit notchy but I like it and will pull away in 1st no problem with a 3.63 diff. My 2.5 runs twin HS6 carbs and a TR5 cam with a 6-3-1 manifold but is pretty mild mannered. Gearing is high and probably a too bit close for the 2.5 but it will pull 40 mph in first. then again with the engine hot it will start and pull away in 4th off the starter motor! Now 25 years old since I first rebuilt it and has done almost 200k miles in that time. Last 60k or so has been on the TR box which now needs a rebuild as the synchros are getting weak, but I have used it for sprinting and hillclimbs. Fits in OK if a little tight, I needed to modify the chassis rails around the mounting. basically extended the two existing cut out areas.
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