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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Today Was a Good Day

Fixed a lot of stuff today and learned about the condition of several other things.

First, I took a ride to my now-most-favorite auto parts store, NAPA, and was able to pick up some 3/8" (or .375", however you prefer) female spade connectors for connecting to my control box. They were only a few bucks for 10 of them and I didn't have to order them from British Wiring and wait for shipping! So, I got the wires re-routed and re-done and connected them to the brand new ignition switch that the PO graciously ordered for and shipped to me (since he couldn't find the keys). So, now, believe it or not, I can turn the key in the passenger compartment, and the engine will turn over! See, progress. This took me, however, much of the morning and into the afternoon. Contributing to this, the wiring schematic that I have is not accurate (see below), but I was able to make it work. Also, you may notice a brown wire connected to the coil. That is not correct (the wire is for the horn) as the coil should have only two wires; white from ignition switch and white-black (green for me) from the distributor. The top of the starter solenoid (where you see the blue ignition wire (should be brown) connected with an eyelet connector) is missing it's 3/8" and 1/4" connector piece. I could get one if I ordered a new solenoid, but I have other stuff to spend $25 on...this was how I found it, so I left it for now. Anyone have one of these connector things hanging around? I'll pay shipping and for your time (as long as it's less than $25!).

Fixed wiring...need to get it wrapped up still.
After that, I moved on to the gas tank. The PO had put a new one in a few years ago. Upon inspection, it seems as though I could pull the gas cap right out the top of the car. That can't be right. So, I looked closer and found a transition piece (just a large diameter rubber hose) connected to the top of the tank, but not to the gas cap. Easy fix, I thought.

Of course, not so much. Because it was essentially impossible to do any work with the tank bolted in, I removed it so that I could mate the cap to the tank fill spout using the rubber hose, then tighten both ends down. In the meantime, I took out the fuel sender unit (also brand new, by the looks of it) and made sure that it worked properly by referring to the fuel gauge as I moved the arm (by turning on the ignition using the KEY!!!)...sure enough, all good (this was rather exciting for me...not quite sure why, must've been the key).
Gas Cap End Result...A Bit Crooked
Fuel Cap to Gas Tank Transition Hose

So, I got the tank re-situated and mated the gas cap and all of that...and this was the result. So, I seriously doubt the hole in the top of the car is misplaced. However, it seems as though the fill hole for the gas tank itself may be off (set too far towards the front of the car?). The holes in the trunk all line up at the four corners, but there is a fifth bolt hole, running along top, offset to the right of center, that does not line up. Anyway, not too sure where the PO bought it, but some quick research on The Triumph Experience Spitfire & GT6 Forum shows that the ones from VB may be "off" a bit. Given that their tanks are $150 versus $450 from SpitBits, I assume he got it from VB.  So, I'll have to play with that eventually. The cap and tank are well mated via the transition piece and I'm confident it won't leak fuel as I fill it, but it's just not very pretty. Now, however,  I need to watch out for a gas leak when I put some fuel back in because I removed the compression fitting for the fuel line at the bottom so I could remove the tank.

Finally, I had my run-ins with the master and clutch slave cylinders. Believe it or not, all but one clutch master cylinder came apart for me.  So, I have two brake masters that looks like they are both rebuild-able (though one is better) and at least one clutch master that is rebuild-able.

One Master Cylinder of Each

The Dark Side
Unfortunately, I think I may have to purchase a new clutch slave cylinder. There was a lot of corrosion around the neck and about 3/4" down the cylinder. When I pulled it out, there was lots of white powder, which I assumed was crystallized brake fluid. The piston of the cylinder was pushed in about 3/4". The rest of the bore from where the piston was on down looks great. From there up, however, it's pretty bad on one side. So, like I said previously, I have a rebuild kit coming that was a whopping $5 and I'll try to rebuild it. If it works and I'm confident that I have no leakage (after a bench test, of course) I'll put her in. If this was a part of the braking system, I wouldn't even take the chance. But, hey, the clutch will leave you stranded, but I doubt it will kill me if it fails to operate. I figure the worse case is the car won't go into gear and I'll have to have her towed. Like I said, though, thorough bench testing will be done.

The Light Side
Oh, and just a little while ago I found the Owner's Handbook in PDF format.  Outside of the fact that this is an awesome resource for someone who has never driven a Spitfire before, it also has, according to forum posts that I've read, the ONLY factory-provided wiring diagram for left-hand drive cars. So, after all of my worries and what-not over the proper wiring of the car, this find has saved me the worry. Tomorrow, I will verify what I did today was correct (or at least electrically equivalent).

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