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Friday, October 23, 2015

Spitfire Body Removal Preparation #3

Not much further now. I got to those last two bolts that I had mentioned were through the rear seat pan. They were under some sound deadening material, which is why I missed them the first time. Turns out that stuff was factory, as answered by several folks on my favorite forum. Seems to me that it was a waste of time with so little, but it must have been worth it to Triumph to apply it. One response to my forum question was that it was "applied by the factory in a pathetic attempt to muffle the sound of a failing diff." It's a heavy tar-like stuff about 1/4" thick and I'm sure it's both an environmental hazard and carcinogenic. Yes, Mom, I'll be careful!

Pretty brittle stuff, so it came up easily. Hole is where the bolt goes down into the frame.
After a quick lift on the boot to make sure the body was truly liberated (body can't weigh more than 300 lbs), I continued on with stripping the body clean. Since I will have to store it in my backyard during the winter, I want to get as much stuff that will not suffer the weather well off as possible.

I pulled the window out of the hardtop (the rubber seal was dry rotted) and took that and the hard top up to the attic. Thing barely fit, but it's up there and out of the way (and the weather).

Hard top glass (foreground) and windscreen. Wrapped in mover's blankets in the attic.
 I also pulled the freshly installed instrument cluster back out (hey, it looked good while it was in there) and pulled the windscreen frame.

Instrument cluster back out.

Windscreen frame out. The car looks like a race car with nothing sticking up...all the more reason for that racing jack!
The steering column came out and up to the attic as well.

Steering column and instrument cluster ready to go to the attic. That's the original steering wheel (Herald-type).
The last thing I did was strip the wiring harness. It came out rather easily without damage except to stuff that needed repair anyway. The tail lights were a bit painful, but I eventually figured out the trick in loosening the clasp that held the bullet of the wire (sorry, no pics of that). One spot of trouble was fishing the harness through the driver's side floor crossmember. The PO had done a combination pop rivet sheet metal and fiberglass floor repair. Most of the hold in the crossmember that the wiring came through was caked with fiberglass so I had to chisel that stuff out.

Front of driver's floor crossmember where wiring comes through...pre-fiberglass destruction. Original snap is still there, though!

Looks like a bunch of spaghetti, but a very simple harness. Needs a hand-over-hand inspection/repair/re-wrap.
As with the black car, the rear license plate light housing was in bad shape and I couldn't get the bolts off. I didn't cut through it this time (not yet) but I destroyed it trying to get it off because of how much rust damage there was. Future me repair.

Finally, I pulled a lot of the miscellaneous electrical stuff (starter solenoid, control box) mounted to the engine compartment portion of the body.

The last several things to accomplish are to remove the master cylinders, get the throttle linkage, all of the rubber, put the gas tank in the attic and remove the doors. I intend to spot-weld in some square tube to support the body when the doors are removed and before I move the body to prevent any chance of the thing folding on me when it is moved (that would suck). I'm sure there are other odds and ends (like the seat rails you see in the above picture), but that should about do it. Some 2x4s to make some sawhorses and a lean-to for rudimentary weather protection and I'm all set!


  1. Thanks for your consideration of me, and of course you are wearing a mask ???!!!?

  2. Ummm, maybe not that time. But I do wear safety glasses and a mask when I'm grinding!