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Garage winch has now got a 6mm base, some support struts and 10mm drilled holes ready for installation. Sorry for the crap welding my welder was either blowing holes in or poor penetration and I couldn't find a happy medium for the metal(even through it does have a switch marked medium).


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More progress today finally glued the rear wing on and sorted out some missing metal on the bottom of the door recess, a momentous occasion the last time this spitfire had a driver rear wing was 1993.

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

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Bolted the winch to the floor, nothing moving that


Received some bit form Rimmers which meant I could fit the bonnet, really starting to look like a car


The winch worked and the Spit was dragged into the garage.IMG_20201031_142004.thumb.jpg.d562c5e0bc65753108a7e0c6f82ed608.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

With work giving us a well being half day for work through the latest lockdown it was time to tackle the rot in the passenger side wheel arch. First cut away some of the wheel arch to see what the extent is.


Clean up and remake the end of the crossmember


Fit the new cover plate and paint.


Next job for the weekend is to repair the wheel arch.......


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Bit of a frustrating day today. Decided to tackle the small spots of rust on the drivers side wheel arch and titivate the rear control arm. The control arm didnt want to play ball, taking it off was easy enough but the rubber bushes refused to come out without some serious argy bargy. Once they were removed the arm cleaned of the rust including the bush housing and some new paint I attempted to fit the new poly bushes, nope they didn't want to know, tried brute force, vice press, screw press, swearing loudly, a hammer they didnt want to stay in. I will now stare at them to see if divine inspiration will take hold. Any advice gratefully received.

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Crusty cross-member that. Neither of our cars was anything like that bad there. - though they made up for it elsewhere.

poly bushes not fitting in the eyes of the arms or not able to get the crush tubes in after? Not usually a problem - what make and do you have the right ones?

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I had a hellish time trying to get red polybushes into the rear trailing arms on mine. I came so close to giving up but eventually got them in, I even managed to break a vice but it was a very small one to be fair.

Given how many methods you've tried you've probably already thought of these:

  • use of a lubricant is always recommended
  • heat the arm with a propane torch to expand it, and keep the bush cold to shrink it - then try press it in

Getting them back into the brackets with the bushes installed is always a pain too even after plenty of road use, but I've got to the point now where I've evolved a system of well placed levers and lubricants.

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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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T9 is a significant improvement on the Triumph offering, even before the 5th gear is factored in.  To note....

T9s can be knackered too, they are all old and well used now - but parts are readily available in standard and uprated form.

The origins of the T9 makes a difference, affecting ratios and input shaft length.  In brief:
- 4 cylinder cars (Sierra, Capri, Granada), lower 1st gear, short input shaft.  Most common and best suited to Spitfire.
- 2.8 V6 cars, closer ratios with taller 1st gear.  Longer Input shaft, some late ones have stronger laygear bearings.  2.3 V6 Cars have the longer input shaft but same ratios as 4 cyl..
- Diesel/P100.  Longer input shaft, ultra-low 1st gear, frequently knackered.  Still potentially useful as core/basis for full build with a new gearset.

Fitting kits vary in quality and content.  Some suppliers (including those who REALLY should know better) don't differentiate between the different input shaft lengths.  Long input shafts don't fit 4 cyl Triumphs without shortening (obvious and fixable), where as short shaft boxes do appear to fit 6 cylinder cars but the pilot tip doesn't engage with anything.  This isn't obvious and causes various problems.

You need
- Adapter block to got between Ford box and Triumph bell housing
- Various clutch/clutch release mech parts
- Propshaft
- Rear mount

Gear shift position is well back from the Triumph position..  IIRC (and it's been a while so checking is advisable!) it's about 150mm back as standard (about half-way down the handbrake) but the 'box can be modified to move it forward about 75mm.  The mod is straightforward but requires aluminium welding.  Tunnel cover/floor mods appear inevitable.

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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.


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.


and fitted the rear section repair plate.

IMG_20201120_144111.thumb.jpg.c962a49b8b29555bc97ee5388f35a18d.jpgand the inner wheel arch


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.



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