Jump to content
hardhatharry

1976 Triumph Spitfire Build thread

Recommended Posts

Warm evening so 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  

Ordered the new shoes, pins, springs, etc. now its just a waiting game to see when the postie turns up with them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All the brakes pipes replaced and brakes renewed, had a problem with one drum adjuster which snapped so got a replacement from the bay.

DiQssUh.jpg

After chasing all the leaks all hydraulics are now bled up and got good pedals, I could chuck a seat in it and drive it round the estate.

Shocks are knackered and leaky, still debating whether to get adjustables or standard

vDOKSfd.jpg 

While I was taking a minute I noticed I had tyres of a certain vintage that were built in East Germany

rAjrjtj.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Old tyres are bad. Ancient tyres=death.

bought 5 x 5.5” steels recently. Three of the 5 tyres that came with them are 21 years old. The newest is 9 years.

They are being binned though all have good tread

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Getting there.

DDR so around 30 years old. Being made of a material akin to wood and having about as much grip even when new probably helped them last so long :blink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As you say, at least 30 years old...... and ditchfinders when new.

Interesting historical artifacts though

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stick 'em on ebay - they could be worth more that the Spit to one of those avid collector types. After all, they must be as rare as Kurt Cobain guitars and those are fetching millions...

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, PaulAA said:

they could be worth more that the Spit to one of those avid collector types

Do you think?  I've got some really old ones here that came on Chris's 100+ alloys.  They are so old they are starting to biodegrade.......  Have to look to see where they were made!

BTW, just bought some more Falken SN832s in 175/70 r 13 for £ 33.72 each from Demon Tweeks of all places.  Not like them to be cheapest!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Nick Jones said:

Do you think? 

 

'fraid so.  Current chic in this neck of the woods is anything that can be associated with the 'Social Realism' period - naff lamps, uncomfortable chairs, plastic electronics and tinny household appliances... they fetch big money.

I suspect it will be ever more so - something of a safe haven for spare money as banks and real estate lose their investment shine in the coming maelstrom.

Sorry for the detour.  Now, back to the studio...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, hardhatharry said:

Shocks are knackered and leaky, still debating whether to get adjustables or standard

On the rear I would go with standard ones, but reasonable quality.  I wanted KYB for my GT6, but failed to find any.  I ended up buying Monroe, though they don't look especially great.  Haven't driven the car since fitting them (must do it, not reason not except usually two cars parked behind that garage door!  On the front I think adjustables have some merit, especially if you were thinking of using non-standard springs.  Koni (buy from Bastuck in Germany) are the best, though with fixed spring seat.  GAZ seem to be reasonably well regarded but no personal experience.  Avoid AVO, their bottom bush design is shite and will fail - quickly and repeatedly.

Sounds like good progress is being made. :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, PaulAA said:

naff lamps, uncomfortable chairs, plastic electronics and tinny household appliances... they fetch big money

how about Triumph engine blocks as coffee tables, brolley racks door stops or whatever.... I have a couple here.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Nick Jones said:

Avoid AVO, their bottom bush design is shite and will fail - quickly and repeatedly.

Sounds like good progress is being made. :smile:

Doh, I was looking at AVO's, I have a full set of poly bushes to go into the car including lower shock bushes will that fix their design issue?

I was looking to lower the stance a little, any ideas on spring size?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it's possible AVO have changed their design - sorely needs it.  This is the issue

 

I would say that unless the ones they are offering now are clearly different (ie have a decent width bush ring on the bottom), just stay away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Nick Jones said:

On the rear I would go with standard ones, but reasonable quality.  I wanted KYB for my GT6, but failed to find any.  I ended up buying Monroe, though they don't look especially great.  Haven't driven the car since fitting them (must do it, not reason not except usually two cars parked behind that garage door!  On the front I think adjustables have some merit, especially if you were thinking of using non-standard springs.  Koni (buy from Bastuck in Germany) are the best, though with fixed spring seat.  GAZ seem to be reasonably well regarded but no personal experience.  Avoid AVO, their bottom bush design is shite and will fail - quickly and repeatedly.

Sounds like good progress is being made. :smile:

This may have changed, but....

Friends Vitesse has Gaz shocks on teh rear, recently fitted. Soon after he was concerned that there was an issue (he has a decent CV conversion, Nicjk knows who I mean)

Anyway, I popped over, and the rear suspension felt hard. He though he had a spring issue, but I couldn't see why. 

I suggested jacking the car up and popping the bottom shock mount off the upright, and yes, shock felt solid.

Chappie had set it midway on the adjusters. On investigation with the calibrated right arm, there are 20 odd clicks of adjustment. But at number 5 the shocks were solid. And on the 3rd click they didn't feel the same as each other. About 1/2 a click out I reckon. 

Quite possible these are an older design, I think he bought them from TRGB as unboxed old stock, but not really inspiring. 

Makes me wonder how hard it is to make a decent shock absorber. Spax are hit and miss, some years ago they had a habit of falling apart (literally) within a few hundred miles, again possibly a bad batch, no threadlok or suchlike. But I have not heard a bad thing about Konis. Hence they are on my car, all done over 60K I reckon over 25 years (10 of those in storage)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Oh.... I forgotten about those GAZ Vitesse rears...…..   

I never liked Spax - really abrupt ride even when set soft, adjuster screws rust solid at the drop of a hat and their non-adjustables are too hard as well.  I did quite like the AVOs initially and the adjustable spring seats are useful, but the constant bottom bush failures is a pain and in any case the rest of the dampers fell apart after less than 20k miles with oil leaks from the main damper seal and lots of sideways movement.

I've had Konis on the Vitesse 5 years or so now and I like them.  Chris has them on his Spit and I've also got a set on the GT6.  They are bit more expensive and the fixed spring seat means you have to be more careful about spring choice but they work well and seem to last well.  Beware the ultra cheap "standard" ones on ebay as some have the spring pans in the wrong place and raise the front up a good inch...….

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had a read through those old threads.

As Zetecspit says all the available dampers seem a bit hit and miss. Over the last nearly 40 years I have had the rust through SPAX, the self-destructing SPAX, the occasional oddly behaved GAZ although I seem to have been lucky with these. Original Konis were great except when you wanted to change springs and needed to tune the damping afterwards. And they are fixed seat. Mine eventually rusted through. Newer ones are expensive and also seem to be a bit variable although probably my choice for a standard car. Or go with the GAZ.

I found the fixed spring seat dampers are a bit of pain if you are changing springs as getting the ride height right involves various shimming. And sometimes you need to wire the springs in as they are too short on full droop. You are also stuck with the limited range of odd diameter Triumph springs available.

And it also means that getting the car exactly level is a pain (realise that last one really is a first world problem).

Final benefit is that you can usually change springs without a compressor just by winding the seat down.

The alternative, which I went with on the Scimitar because I wanted to keep the original Konis was getting custom made springs but that can get expensive if you want to experiment. When I eventually had to replace the corroded Konis on the Scimitar new ones weren't available and went with GAZ rather than AVO because I was concerned about the extra load on the bushes. Been on the car for about 10 years now and still fine. I did have one of the rear GAZ leak after about 2 years but sent it back and they sorted it no issues.

The first set of adjustable springs seat AVOs I had on the Spitfire (red painted ones) from around 2000 had a full width bush on the bottom, like the standard shocks. These were supposedly a straight fit but it turned out that the seats were actually sized for 2.5" ID springs rather than the OD sized Triumph ones. Not really an issue for me as I just used 2.5" springs which fit OK in the Triumph top seats.

With the low ride height and short stiff springs I was using these were right on the limit for travel so eventually I changed them for slightly shorter ones and went with the 2.25" ID to save a bit of weight (1.9" ID would have saved even more weight but I couldn't get the size I needed at a sensible price). These are the black anodised ones with the narrow bottom eye. I have to say that after 4 years of competition use they are still absolutely fine but combined road/track mileage is probably only 2000 miles or so.

However the front end of the Spitfire weighs significantly less than the 6 cylinder cars.

I'm sure I read somewhere of someone boring out the bottom eye to fit a bush from a Dolomite. However even though I'm sure this was today I cannot for the life of me find the post again which is a pity as this might be a way to go. Like Nick I'm not that happy about drilling out my wishbones to fit a bigger bolt.

The 'red' AVOs. On the right with a 2.5" ID spring and Triumph top mount, on the left with a 2.25" ID spring and separate drop in top collar.

DSC01060.thumb.JPG.e44203f46a2151307a49ef68302dbde8.JPG

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Red AVOs are the old ones.  They were great, but were replaced with the "narrow-eye" version about 15 years ago.  Agree with all points on the adjustable spring seats, but shouldn't really be an issue for a road car.

Harry did ask what springs are recommended for the front of a Spitfire.  I don't have anything very useful to say about that except that this page from Paul Geithner's site is well worth a read (as is his whole site)

http://auskellian.com/paul/links_files/performance_enhancements.htm#front

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Nick Jones said:

The Red AVOs are the old ones.  They were great, but were replaced with the "narrow-eye" version about 15 years ago. 

I was just thinking, 'blimey I've had Avo's on my racecar for ages and never had a problem with them'.. this is probably why.

 So, momentarily I was happy but now I'm thinking, 'damn those shocks are getting pretty old'...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, richy_rich said:

So, momentarily I was happy but now I'm thinking, 'damn those shocks are getting pretty old'...

Don't be sad - you have the good ones and they are still fine! :biggrin:  Jammy git :P

I'll swap yours for the newer ones I've given up on if you like......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Nick Jones said:

you have the good ones and they are still fine

They're still doing the job... The adjusters are getting hard to turn but as far as I know they still work :)  I don't really use it enough or have the skillz to notice really..  It doesn't bounce around like zebedee and on a good day it's as quick or quicker than the cars I'm trying to keep up with so it'll do for now!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's ok then :smile: Just need to give the adjusters an occasion squirt of oil to keep them honest...…..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I replaced my AVOs with Protech they are a very nice piece of kit and cheaper than the Konis that i really wanted. Plus point with protech is they will make them however you want if you want something a little different.

The original AVOs were great, the second set i got were a disgrace after very little mileage and AVOs support was pish poor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/22/2020 at 12:40 PM, Escadrille Ecosse said:

 

I'm sure I read somewhere of someone boring out the bottom eye to fit a bush from a Dolomite. However even though I'm sure this was today I cannot for the life of me find the post again which is a pity as this might be a way to go. Like Nick I'm not that happy about drilling out my wishbones to fit a bigger bolt.

 

 

 

With the front adjustable seat AVOs that have the narrow bottom eye, you can use a rear transverse spring eye bush (the rubber and steel one) which luckily is the correct size in both width and diameter to fit into the front lower wishbone. The bolt hole size is correct too.  I got this tip from Markus and have fitted them and have been in use on my Spitfire for some years now. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's good info - thanks Mike.  My little monkey brain finds it surprising that the bush length is correct I'd have sworn the spring bush would be too long......

Pity my AVOs are otherwise knackered!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...