Thursday, July 31, 2008


Had a productive evening yesterday.

Just need my swirl pot welded and pickup some more hose-clips I can add some fluid to the engine.
Some detail shots.
Water-rail all fitted and wiring on. Tell you, fitting stuff you made yourself is a pleasure, cause you pick it up and it fits?

Found a funny 1/2" bolt that fitted inside my recessed engine mount. So saved me sourcing a 1/2" UNF socket/allen bolt. Yes the exhaust manifold CAN be fitted without removing any parts, which is good, considering its pretty busy in this area. This didn't take 2 years for no reason!
These engine mounts will liven up the harmonic's through the chassis and tub I think. With the engine mounted and still on the crane, if you lift the engine with it bolted down to the chassis, the engine mounts move about 2mm then you lift the engine. This is good as my exhaust is not really setup for any major engine movements.

So all that is left is a few jobs...adjust this manifold. I will chop off the pipe exiting the collector, get a flange welded on, after sourcing some high quality gaskets from another car. I will make a pair of flanges...The exhaust section can then be added on to the manifold. This is not the final solution, but the easiest with my limited access to exhaust materials and bending.

The gearbox tunnel needs the exterior welding done.

Some work to be done to the front suspension, and I need some brakes, nothing major though, a few hours to get that done. I have interesting top-wishbones I got from GT6Mike (which reminds me I owe him some cash!)...I'll detail those some other time, I will not bother to mess with any of that stuff till all the elements of the equation are in place. I shall leave that till last..
About the same stage as I was back in 2006 :)

Come on a fair way since November 2006 :)
Better do some more on Matt's before he bludgens me to death...
I'll be a hell of relief to have this car back together, as well as a car for pleasure I want it as testbed for a few ideas I have.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


What a marathon, shagged.

Floors now one colour. That took all weekend. It's not perfect, I had some reaction in a few places and had to change approach, but its ok. The actual floor pans will be carpet covered anyways. Well the flat bottom areas atleast.
The paintwork was in a hell of a state, full of carbon and metal dust. I mean its been under the hammer for 2years almost, been covered in masses of nasty dust.

As such before I build this car for the final time it needs to be free from all traces of anglegrinder deposits etc. These just go rusty and scratch everything, the paint needed some love. As such an 18hr polishing session ensued.

This involved gently wiping down every piece of visable metal and paint.

Then using some relatively gentle hammerite thinners and wiping down everypanel with a soft cloth (or 10)...My 2pack paint is fine for running thinners over. This deep cleans the surface and gets off old road film and the remains of the dust. After a final clean up the panels are nice and smooth and no scratches as such.

Then all panels were cut with G3 and then thinned again to get the G3 off and remaining deposits.

Then the panels were treated to two coats of Collinite 476s Wax.

All paintwork now gleams, from the cabin to the scuttle, to the doorshuts.

Worth the effort, car looks brand new again.
Wheels were just filth, covered in 6years of brake dust and carundum. So they got the same process.

This is a real mine-stone. I just need to slap some blackpaint inside that new gearbox tunnel hump and repaint the oversprayed chassis legs near by. I can then get the engine in, have a reshuffle and get the engine back in Matt's for the final adjustments...

4 days solid? I am pleased as now I have basically all the elements in the equation, the car polished to perfection and ready for assembly, I feel releaved that some kind of end is in sight.

Really, its just a few small pieces and an exhaust.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Monkey see monkey do.

A quaife diff to go in.
Brackets now fitted and body reattached to the chassis. No way to get the brackets in without undoing all but the front two body bolts, cause the guy who built the car used no packers at the back, so it wasn't case of removing the packers and sliding the brackets in. The tub is pretty stiff with the cage in, the door gaps didn't wander and there was noticeable flexing.
Nowt much room but it goes on.
Have to await on the rest of the stuff to return from being made to fit together etc before I can make any hardware to bolt it all up.
Cleaned up ready for some covers. The stonechip stuff is a little brittle and used prolifically, just flat paint is better, as you can wipe it down and polish it etc..
Oh and few spacers needed adding in to other mount points as there was airspace and it's better to pack the body properly than just screw it down and load all the mount points. The job of fitting brackets took rather longer than it should!

Next up the radius arm brackets...Being as these appear to just be spotted in a few places and bolted through the floor from the factory I shall probably just bolt them to the body on numerous M6 bolts.

Have some new 3 hole rotoflex wishbone brackets to fit to the chassis....Depending on how they fit, I could be tempted to make something else, rather like a front wishbone bracket, that can be shimmed out to adjust camber, as TLD's suspension idea has, as expected, no camber adjustment, so the ability to adjust it, could be useful. That just involves adding some tubes inside the chassis rails to stop crushing, and knocking to two brackets.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Daily Musings

For whatever reason been a few delays to Matt's car.

However things should get going now.

Dropped the "reconditioned" diff out, came from Jigsaw. Dunno what's wrong with it, its smooth when the pinion is rotated, however when the output flanges on the diff are rotated its really clunky, rough and binds solid....Its had oil in it and been rotated now and then...Its about 7 years old but never turned a mile...Anyway there is the alloycased quaife to go in, so...

When removing the diff I noticed the handbrake support/runner and bracket were totally manged, no idea whats gone on there...Anyway some time wasted straightening it out and refitting the cable runner from another chassis.

You can see below the bent up bracket...Anyways thats now ok. I hope to use the normal handbrake setup for the spitfire, as there is no doughnut to clear the other mounts should not be needed...Have to play that by ear.

Battery will be stuffed as they do not like being flat, again this is well old and has been flat for ages. Tank out.
The previous genuis had stuck the firewall right over the body mounts, so to access the bolts I had to slice a section out and cut all the sealant away. I can make some alloy covers once finished. Loosen up some other body mount bolts and have just enough space to get the brackets on.
Thats to fit this marvelous suspension "kit" from Tony Lindsey Dean. Basically a set of rotoflex telescopic damper conversion brackets, and a pair of avo dampers and pair of springs.

I shall conclude info on this as work commences.

Lets say the brackets came from the TSSC, the AVO's from AVO. The AVO's have 1/2" bearings in each end...The hardware supplied with the brackets will need lathe adjustments. Of course, the "KIT" doesn't include any hardware at all.

This means I will need make/obtain all the sidespacers for the shock bearings etc...No bother, just....(rollseyes).

This draws me to another interesting conclusion, that the maker of the kit has never actually fitted it to a GT6 or Spitfire, only a Vitesse. Below shows a small area that needed dressing to get the bracket in.

In the picture the bracket extension has been roughly fitted...below its plain to see its impossible to fit the shocker unit behind the bracket. You can't even get a nut on! The picture isn't great at showing the problem...The shocker eye bearing needs to go back 2"...This means a huge section of floor would need moding.

Better idea is just get it as straight up as possible and set as far back as possible at the top and live with where ever the bottom ends up...Its about getting clearance for the CV unit, the spring against the upright etc....The shocker has to be spaced out corrrectly...I will need make spacers for the shocker/bush/bearing at the bottom too, as there are none supplied, obviously!
I get images and a brief text with the package's (it all arrived months apart!) telling me to fit the shocker unit on the rear-end of the bracket so its pointing backwards from the upright, using a longer bolt (not supplied of course!, good job as it would be useless!)

You can see this detail below. Now, yes sure, the shocker will fit behind the bracket on a Vitesse! Vitesse has a load of room behind the bracket No f'ing way on a Spit/GT6. So why say, specifically, your own kit will not work with the shocker placed centrally in the bracket? This is the only option with the Spitfire/GT6. I for one am not cutting a massive section out the floor/wheelarch and boxing it up!

I do not see any huge problems anyways, its just annoying to be told impossible stuff.

The shocker is off centre from the castor line anyway, its miles over to one side. So its never gonna be ideal, the ideal place for a shocker where the spring eye bush, or a pair either side of the upright, ala E-Type Jag...The upright is always gonna be inclined to get castor change with the shocker setup at the rear of the upright and miles off centre. So the system is far from perfect, on any coil-over setup done this way.

Anyways oneside is dressed, painted and now ready for the bracket to be slipped in. The cut out is needed to get a nut on the end of the shocker bolt. Fat chance of fitting a shocker behind the bracket.
Be glad to get the rear-suspension done, cause its really been a pile of shit!
Dropped the engine back in mine, with the tunnel in place, to check a few measurements etc, took longer than normal, a gentle 5minutes or so.
Gaitor is a Spitfire one, works sweet. Engine back out!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More bleeding tunnel

Changed the harness mount areas, now there is a packer under the large washer, the packer allows the harness bolt to act as a body mount bolt, so bolting the body to the chassis properly.
Made two side panels for the rear tunnel section.
Then a top. This top could be left removeable with a few captive nuts. I will finish it off and decide.

Some more fiddling to be done. Main priority is to finish this thing off for fitting , get it all tacked up, so its finished for fitting and refitting it. I can then paint the floorpans and they wont get messed up, + refit the engine. I can then reorganise the place here and get on some other projects. At this time there are bits of car everywhere, with two cars in pieces here I can barely move!

So to finish this rear section I just have to drill a few more holes make a few more cuts. Finish the gaitor area. Basically the lever will come out the top. So the gaitor will need to be removed, so similar to the Triumph system, it will be held in place with a metal ring.

I have rubbed down one side of the floor, I shall give the whole floor another coat or two of white.So main priority is to just to get the basic tunnel tacked up and get the bleeding engine back in, been busy with other stuff and I am quite behind on the schedule for this year !

The rest of the work is brainless and painless which will be NICE, bar one last thing, the section of exhaust. It'll be rather nice to have some brainless assembly to do at leisue, all this fabrication and making stuff wears you out....

I am quite pleased with the tunnel, its solid as a rock, there will be NO gaps at all! A smear of 3M windscreen sealant will be used to seal it. This stuff is great, it never goes hard, it contracts and expands between two surfaces and its dead easy to remove. As such, no clearance has been given for a seal on the tunnel.

What's up with Summer?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Ready for next stage.

After alot of grinding and general unpleasantness its ready for the next piece.
Also ready for priming and tarting up. Captive nuts now all in. Have to make a bracket to link the radio frame to the dash also.
I shall order some paint, basically when the floors painted the engine can go back in. I will paint the gearbox tunnel painted body colour also.
These angle grinder sanding wheels are most excellent for cleaning up weld and metal.

Saturday, July 05, 2008


Welded in the hump thing.

Just need to go over the whole lot with a flap wheel to clean it up. Its got captive nuts all through to not have to make using any clips etc, some decent 1.4" bolts you can lean on. I was hoping the structure firmed up the tub a little.

I seam welded this in both sides, inside and out, its pretty damn solid.
I wanted captive nuts on the above holes too.
So I made a plate and welded some nuts on, then spot welded this underneath the floor.
Spot welds ground off above. Handbrake is obviously accessable, and easily operated as per normal. I note less floor plan bending with the new hump in place.
Some material to be let in, will look perfecto when its flap wheeled and painted. I'd have prefered something more organic in appearance to the hump and square box tunnel, but the construction gets to complex and bending 2mm alloy without a wheel thing, is a right pain.

I think I will just make the next piece part of the front piece, and have one large tunnel. I think having removed the engine with the front tunnel in place, that fitting it again with the complete tunnel in will be dead easy. Just need to slide the rear of the box along on a jack, then jack it up into place and slide it onto its mount. So no need for a removable tunnel, ANY leaks of draughts.

I never intent to remove a gearbox from inside again. This means I can screw the thing down solid, the front section is from 2mm alloy, when double seam welded it's solid as a rock, so as i said, it should stop any shake. It links (more rigidly than before) alot more areas of the tub together! Plus all previous changes.

I will make the gear lever gaitor removeable and the gearstick will be removed out the top, so you can get the box out!

Just have to finish the captive nut plate for the otherside, I can then get on with the next section.

I can then paint the floors, get the engine back in, build it up. This leaves just the exhaust.