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Monday, May 18, 2015

Book Review (Yes, really)

Yes, I know I should be making glorious posts, with full photographic evidence, about my transmission rebuild. Actually, I have made some slight progress in that I found and sucessfully removed some additional needle bearing housing that had welded itself to the inside of the input shaft bore.

What is left of the needle bearing casing.
Upon recommendation from someone on my favorite forum (which some did not agree with) I used my Dremel tool with a grinding stone tip to begin to slowly remove what was left. I had offers from at least two other guys in the post for an input shaft if I wanted a replacement so I wasn't too concerned about screwing this one up. As luck would have it, I had barely started when the remaining housing litterally popped right out, fully intact. My thought is that the friction from the grinding heated it while the rest of the input shaft remained cool. The expansion of the bearing housing caused it to pop. Yea for me!

I did get the rest of the parts that I ordered from SpitBits today. I gave them all a once over and it looks like one of the parts that I ordered is most definitely not like the part that I pulled out of the gearbox to replace. More investigation to follow.

The real reason for my post, however, is that early last week I ordered and received Triumph Spitfire and GT6 - A Guide to Originality by John Thomason. It runs about $19 on Amazon and has a $24.95 cover price.

First, what I don't like: There are a lot of pictures in the book that are fully captioned but some point out colors (the vast majority of the pictures are black and white) or objects that are not easily identifed. The book seems to explain each model variation more from a "difference" stand point vice the model standing on its own. While I understand that some variations are slight and lend themself to this type of explanation, while also reducing the size of the publication, I would have liked to have seen a detailed explanation of the Mk1, followed by detailed differences until those differences (like from the Mk3 to the MkIV) became so great as to necessitate another, new detailed explanation.

What I do like: Like I said, there are LOTS of pictures, most of which are well captioned. There is also a lot of good information on available options and such, though the latter is available on at least one other website that I know of. As a photographic history, the book is awesome. There are items explained that I doubt anyone that didn't own a particular year or model would know. It was also interesting to see how Triumph matured the design as the years went on. The discussion of the re-engineering of the rear transverse leaf spring is especially well done in the book.

All in all, however, I was looking for more of a photographical textbook of sorts. I wanted to see pictures of some of the less obvious items on the cars as they rolled off the factory floor. Things like brake line routing, fuel filter mounting, battery grouding strap attachement, etc. While I'm sure this would have been a large undertaking, made more difficult by the passing years, the sub-title "A Guide to Originality" led me to believe that it was what I would find.

If you are interested in the technical history of these cars and the more pictures the better, then this book is definitely for you. However, if you are looking for clear, highly detailed and fully explained photographs so you can see how every nut, bolt, pipe, line, wire and what-not was arranged and routed from the factory, I think you will be disappointed.

All that being said, I would recommend the book because, for the price, I believe it is worth it to see the technical history of the Triumph Spitfire and GT6.


  1. (Yes, I"m very behind on your blog.)

    I love that book! I've found at least one error (GT6 section) though.

    1. Yes, it's pretty good. Wish the pictures were in color, though, especially since he refers to color for some of them that are B&W. Another book that I've picked up, which I'll do a review on when I put it to use, is "How to Restore Classic Car Body Work" by Martin Thaddeus. It's not cheap ($40), but it's based on the Spitfire so very applicable.