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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Triumph Spitfire Restoration - Miscellaneous

I continue to wait for the block and head to come back from the machine shop. The head was repaired and the final machining on the block is hopefully done as I write this. Hardened valve seat replacement should be all that remains, so hopefully I'll get it all back by the end of the week and be ready to start assembly by the weekend.

In the interim, I've completed several miscellaneous things in between waiting for coats of paint to dry or taking up that last five minutes of time at the garage. One of the biggest things is my general dismay with the tabs that were originally used to hold down the brake lines and/or the wiring harness.

There are several of these over the frame and also on the body. Like a paper clip, however, they only have so many times that they can be flexed until they break. Several of mine had already broken and I valiantly repaired them.  But, as I continued with the frame repairs and painting, they continued to exhibit failure. What put me over the edge was when the clip used to hold the rear brake line that crosses over from the driver's to the passenger's side started to crack along with the POR-15 cracking and then starting to peel. That was it.

With that, I drilled out the clip and ground the area down to bare metal.

Area cleared and prepped for a brake line clip from my Automec kit.

The Automec kit comes with several clips...several more than is required. The clips are a two-piece design that consist of the clip "proper" and a sleeve that the clip pushes into, and expands, to provide a tight grip. The required hole is 6mm according to the kit. Being that I'm a damn American, this converted over to about a 15/64" drill bit to provide the correct size hole.

The appropriate drill bit. Picked two up at Walmart for about $2 each.

I did a dry run on a spare piece of metal to make sure it fit properly, and then did it right on the frame.

A 15/64" hole. Note that I used the spot-weld area from the original clip that I drilled out.

With the hole drilled, I installed the sleeve for the brake line clip.

Sleeve most of the way in the hole.

After the sleeve was set, I pressed the clip itself into the sleeve. It "clicks" in as the two pieces of plastic deform around each other. I gave it a good tug and it didn't budge.

Partially installed. Fits just fine.

Proof of concept worked well, so I pulled it back apart for painting. One nice thing about this is clicking them together is not a destructive thing, so you can pull them apart at least a few times. I got it all painted and put back together.

Here's the final shot of the clips for the front of the frame. New POR-15, top coat and gloss.

Continuing with the odds and ends, I filled the differential. Still need to do the front trunnions, but there you go. I used the same stuff that I put in the gearbox, Brad Penn 80w90 which is "yellow metal" friendly.

I think it's full!

The stream of consciousness continues with fitting the new timing chain tensioner. This was easy, but I documented it.

Old and new tensioners. I'll let you guess which is which.

Tensioner installed and cotter pins properly bent.

I also acquired a clutch release lever for the later models and installed a new throwout bearing on it. The old one just didn't want to come off, so some persuasion was required.

As I purchased it.

I removed the throwout bearing and its sleeve from the release lever, but I couldn't liberate the bearing from the sleeve in one piece, the internal part of the bearing remaining, stubbornly, on the sleeve. My garage-mate had the great idea to cut the remaining part of the bearing with the cutting wheel at 45-degree angles and then use a chisel to split it, taking advantage of the fact that it is very hard, and brittle, metal. Worked like a charm!

Grooves cut; knocking the crap out of it.

Though you can't tell, the remaining bearing part is split here...and came off, obviously.

With that, I got all ready to press the new release bearing on with the small bench press that I have.

All aligned, ready to go.

But, of course, I discovered that if I just pressed real hard with my hands, it went on just fine.

A thing of beauty!

I also cleaned up and painted the radiator bracket and various other items attached to it with POR-15.

So shiny!

Also painted and installed the gearbox mounting plate and bracket, also with POR-15.

Gearbox mounting plate before paint.

Gearbox mounting plate and support after paint and installation.

That was really about it for work. I did a lot of bolt/washer/nut cleanup to re-use the original stuff as much as possible. During that, I discovered that the head nuts have built-in "washers", though they do have head washer's installed. At least I know which way they go!

The side with the built-in washer.

The "other side" without the built-in washer.

I think that ties up the loose ends. I've been a bit remiss in not getting over to the garage for a few days, including last weekend. Lots of snow tomorrow, though it appears that we will miss the true brunt of the storm. Hopefully this means I will NOT suffer a delay getting the block/head back this week. Crossing my fingers for good work over the weekend!


  1. Looking good. I love these "odds and ends" - maybe my favorite thing to read about. Question: are you generally painting over the POR-15? Or leaving it as its own topcoat?

  2. Looking good! Are you generally painting over the POR-15, or just leaving it as its own topcoat?

    1. For the stuff in this post, I'm leaving it. POR will fade in sunlight, but nothing I'm painting now will really be exposed for any appreciable time. The front of the frame I painted only for "correctness".