Thursday, May 14, 2015

Quick Update

Again, soccer, baseball and other random family life makes things slow going with the car. To quote John Lennon, "Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans." Not a big fan of John Lennon, but I've always liked that line and it stuck with me after hearing it in Mr. Holland's Opus. But, hey, at least he's British, right?

As I mentioned in my last post, I ordered all the gearbox stuff from SpitBits. I guess the order was too large to ship via a "if it fits, it ships" box from USPS, so I'll have to wait for UPS to deliver it on Monday. In the meantime, I'm going to do what I can in preparation for getting the gearbox back together. For instance, today I painted the gearbox case.
Before...
...and after. Should have taken this outside. Looks better than it did.
I didn't want to get too crazy with it. Just some gloss-black Rustoleum with the appropriate bits taped off. You can see, especially in the top picture, the white stuff. Those are torn up pieces of paper towel that I pushed, using a scribe, into the bolt holes. I used this method previously when I was painting my brake and clutch brackets and it works really well, preventing gumming up the threads with paint. It's especially useful when you can't get the masking tape to stick due to a rough surface.

I have the top cover soaking in some Purple Power to get that ready for cleaning and the rear mount soaking in some white vinegar in preparation for cleaning and painting. I have the bell housing to clean and paint and that should be the end of the prep work. After that, give me my parts and I'll put it back together!

For some PitA news, I did learn on Monday that, because the car has never been registered in CT, I have to transport it to a state inspection station outside of Hartford (about an hour or so away) to have a VIN number assigned. And, yes, that inspection station is the only one in the state that will do it.
As you all probably know (though I didn't until I got this car), VIN numbers weren't federally mandated until around 1980 or so. Before that, you had whatever the manufacturer wanted, I suppose. Triumph used commission numbers.
I don't think the DMV will really do anything except give it a once over (four tires, two doors, engine, transmission, etc.) and then assign it a VIN for state (and insurance?) records. But, with no truck and no trailer, and the car obviously not being legal, that's another U-Haul trip for her...and another $150 or so. Oh, well. After that, I can register it but I shouldn't need the car to be physically present to do that.

TRF is supposed to start a big sale specifically for Spitfires tomorrow. I need to get new seat cushions and covers, but I'm not sure I'm ready to drop the $500 it will cost to do that yet. I'm going to skip the carpet for now, I think. Other than that, I want to pull the water pump housing and convert that to the Mk 2 style so I can get a heater. That will most likely result in me pulling the head (because I can) unless a compression check that I will do in the near future comes out fine. I want to convert the head over to unleaded valves/guides/seats and have a local shop that will do it, but I don't know how much and I may wait.

So, still lots of stuff to do to the car to get her safely on the road. I've started a list and it's only May 14th, so wish me luck that I don't run out of season first!

Random picture of future cancer repair. This is the interior passenger footwell.

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