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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Triumph Spitfire Body Removal Preparation #6

Well, after almost three weeks, I'm happy to say that I've finally done some work on the car. However, there is somewhat of reason. I guy that I work with and I both have the same problem...lots of big dreams and lots of no space. He's been somewhat serious about looking for a garage but, as we got to talking, we both fed off of each other and he got motivated to find one within our price range. He found a 20'x50' in a local industrial park so it's more than enough room. The intention, to help supplement the cost, is to provide seasonal or year-round storage for people that don't have room at home for their toys. If we can a few takers, we figure we can make it work while providing us with a place to make a mess and not have to suffer the wrath of our wives. I've kept stalling on pulling the body off the car if I'm going to have to turn right around and transport it to a garage since I will have to put it out back and I'd rather not make the extra work. Keeping my fingers crossed.

As for today, it was more of removing pieces-parts from the body. A lot of different things. No real surprises, fortunately, so that was good. In no particular order...

I was able to finish stripping the dash after partially destroying it. Used a hair dryer to help loosen everything up. There were a lot of little clips that had to come out, but all-in-all, not too bad.
Finally got the dash and all of the plastic off.
Next was the steering column seal. Not too much of a seal on this one, but they are available.
Steering column lower seal dry-rotted and brittle.
Found some little carpet screws (?) on the driveshaft tunnel. Not sure if they hold the carpet down, but they seem to (I've never had carpet in the car). I love the finishing rings.

Cute little things...a regular screwdriver on right for scale.
The handbrake needed to come out and that was just a snap ring to disconnect it from the mounting point. There is a square adjustment nut that also needed to come off and I just spun the whole assembly as the nut was trapped by the clip and so spun right out.

Snap ring removed. The square nut is inside the metal "clip". Cable will need to get pushed through hole eventually.
That black stuff that I had wondered about on the rear seat pan was indeed sound deadening material installed by the factory. I was able to use a metal putty knife and pry/crack it up with little problem. Stuff was nearly brittle, but just flexible enough to get under it. Of note, a plastic putty knife would not be an option here as it would snap.

Passenger's side. Stuff came up pretty cleanly with just a bit of adhesive residue.
I also needed to remove the accelerator bar (finally remembered!) and the connection to the carbs. I drove out the linkage pin with a 3/32" punch and then had to use a bearing puller to slide the lever assembly off of the rod. After that, it was like a puzzle pulling the thing actually out of the car, but I was able to do it. I've heard horror stories about these things on my favorite forum, so I'm sure it will be much more fun when I try to put it back in!

Pin pushed out of lever. The hole on the bottom is for the cotter pin to keep the rod attached inside the passenger footwell.

Bearing puller setup.

Liberated. Interesting that it is curved, of sorts. I assume it's supposed to be that way to help clear the clutch housing of the transmission.
Lastly, I pulled the rear license plate light assembly. As with the black car, this one was also toast and rusted and half not there anymore. I used the sawzall to take care of it. The electrical portion of these are easy to come by, but the bases are not. So, I have a request out on the Buy/Sell/Trade section of my favorite forum to see if anyone has one laying around that is in serviceable shape.

Almost 50 years of rust...spider egg sacks and all.
That was about it. I did a bunch of other little things; pulled all of the remaining interior screw clips that I could find, removed the rubber boots for the wiring hold-down tabs, drilled out the pop rivets for the body snaps for the soft top, etc. I don't think there is much else I can do now other than pull the body. I'll talk to my garage buddy and see what he thinks and go from there.

Here's wishing all of my US readers (and anyone else that wants to celebrate) a happy Thanksgiving!


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Triumph Spitfire Body Removal Preparation #5

Slowly but surely. But damn if I didn't forget to do that throttle linkage again! Regardless, another few steps closer to body removal. The stuff that I'm doing now is mostly focused on weather protection (the body will be stored outdoors during a harsh New England winter) and while none of it is required, it is all desired.

I cut off the bottom of the rivets that hold the door check straps to the door, so those will have to be replaced. Someone much smarter than I has come up with what seems to be a removable version that SpitBits sells...good idea. Those are now on my wish list. Also, I discovered that the the driver's side door check strap guide was busted. That explains some denting on the driver's side bonnet.

Driver's side door check strap guide...missing top portion and showing damage because of it (left of hole).

Passenger's side door check strap guide...what it should look like. 
Also, one of the tabs where the check strap rivet passes through the driver's side door was also busted. Years and years of use for both, I presume.

The bottom tab in this picture, but on driver's side, was broken. Spot-weld repair...fun, fun!
The check strap guide replacement is readily available, but, for the door, I think I'll have to steal one off of one of the other four doors that I have. Easy sourcing, but it will be interesting to weld it in!

Once the doors were out, I pulled the windows winders and door handles. They both use tapered pins that will, therefore, only push out one way. There are also two holes, 90-degrees opposed to the pin (why...I have no idea) that head-fake you into thinking the pin is in there...it's not.

Pushing down on window winder escutcheon (iˈskəCHənto get at pin.

Window winder and tapered pin...it will only come out one way.
The two bonnet latch catches (left) and the two door check straps (right) along with the door check seal clips (top-ish center).

Driver's side door.
If you have been keeping up over the last year or so, you know that I retired from the Navy and got a job at Electric Boat shipyard teaching nuclear theory. Well, the parking there sucks and it is only getting worse as they hire more people (turns out the submarine industry is booming). They also don't like to paint parking spaces that respect the size of most cars these days (i.e., pickup trucks). Needless to say, my Fit got swiped the other day. Fortunately, the person who hit me was honest and I actually walked out while they were calling their insurance company to report it. Anyway, for what I think amounts to a loss of some clear coat and several minutes of buffing, their insurance company sent me a check for almost $1300. There are so many dings in my Fit now that I don't really care and my poor Spitfire needs so much sheet metal...$1300 would about cover it!

I've also decided to start divesting myself of some unneeded parts. So, if you are in the market for some Mk1 or Mk2 Spitfire parts, especially non-engine or transmission stuff, I may be a resource for you. I appear to have a taker on the hardtop, but there is more that can go. Drop me a line in the comments and I'll see if I have it. If I didn't pay money for it, I won't make you pay for it, either, except for shipping.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Spitfire Body Removal Preparation #4

Not too much happening lately. With regards to free weekend time, this time of the year is not so good. Soccer, transitioning into basketball, practice and games, Halloween and other random events have limited my available time. And, of course, just when the hectic weekend schedules start to even out, the weather crashes and it's 22F in the garage. I vow to fight it this year, though, and will invest in a space heater to try and keep my garage, or at least the area that I am occupying, warmer.

I continued to strip the body of stuff that I don't want sitting in the weather. The master cylinders and pedals are out, as wells as the wiper arm boxes, washer jets, and the attachment hardware for random firewall items.

Master cylinders. You can easily see the reservoir size difference (brake on left, clutch on right). Also the defrost nozzles and hoses on the far right.

Much smarter this time with labeling and bagging everything.

Wiper wheelbox (passengers) and end where it connects to wiper motor.

Some random firewall item attachments, recorded for posterity (and future re-attachment).
I also got a closer look at the steering coupling after a while soaking in the Purple Power. Nothing too exciting, but it definitely needs software replacement.

Clean it up and she'll be good as new. Note the lockwire...when lockwashers just aren't good enough. Very popular in the nuclear power industry!
I started to play with the dashboard a bit. I had a misunderstanding that the dashpad was removable and that I could "easily" repair it outside of the car for future reinstallment. Doesn't look like this is the case. The foam is a stiff grey stuff (you can see it in the corner that I broke off in the picture below) and there is a metal backing that defines the edge of the dash that is bolted to the dash "nose". I think I'm just going to go for it and rip it off, using a heat gun to help with the adhesive and curse myself for doing it later. It has to get repaired and that's all there is to it.

Passenger's side dash pad. You can see the metal backing where I broke off the foam.
Another shot of the dash showing where the vinyl is breaking off. Very brittle after almost 50 years. The white primer was me.
Finally, I was going to remove the doors in an effort to make the body as light as possible and I forgot to look up the fact that the metal door straps need to get removed in some way. Turns out there is a rivet that needs to be ground down a bit so that it can fit back out through the hole. However, based on the time, I decided to wait on that until the next time.

Left is the body, right is the door. The pin on the door is what needs to be ground out.
That was it. Until next time...