Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Update 2013

Wow, it's been a year since the last post! Unfortunately I really haven't had time like I had in the past to work on the car. It continues to sit in the garage but I have no intention of giving up. I'm about ready to start on what I'll call phase 2. There will be something done on the car in May, that will be the goal. With a little effort and attention I think I can get this car wrapped up in a few months and ready to drive.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Brakes Finally Done

Finally, after all this time the brakes work! And most of the parts are new so I'm optimistic that they will stay in a good state of operation. Replaced the Master Cylinder, Front Pads, Rear Hoses, Cylinder, shoes and drums. Next up I'm finishing the firewall deck and wiring. The KB coating is giving me a problem bubbling up in places, not sure why. On the electrical I decided to bring a new power cord into to car connect it to a new fuse box and run the accessory lights, cigarette lighter and radio off it. The previous owner had the lighter directly wired to the battery without a fuse, that's a disaster waiting to happen. The wiring can get pretty confusing especially when someone has been adding and subtracting devices, meters, lights etc. Every circuit needs to be fuse protected as far as I'm concerned. Car electrical fires can be nasty and messy. I also  purchased an original wiring schematic for the Spitfre off ebay. I'm sure that will come in handy and I think that's a must have.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Restoring an old car like the 68 Spitfire I have found often leads to many unplanned jobs but in the end it will all be worth it. I finally got to a point where the rear brakes could be bled, and when we tried we got no pressure. I have a dual system so the fronts were fine. On further inspection I found that the Master was bad. Pulling that out lead me to start working on the firewall deck. I pulled the wire harness and starter solenoid out. It also gave me a chance to analyze what the previous owner had done with the wiring when he added accessory head lights and an ampmeter. I decided to do away with the amp meter for now because I'm putting a radio in the dash where the gauges were. I'm also rewiring the accessory lights. The firewall deck needed attention and I decided to repaint with black KB coating. The battery box needs some work as well, but this 68 has never been restored so everything needs work. Meanwhile I decided against rebuilding the master and ordered a new one off ebay. It arrived this weekend and today I installed it. But I then found I have a bad/ clogged rear brake hose. Using a butane torch I was able to remove the brake hose from the brake line connection. The torch helped with loosing the connection which was nearly seized. I'm going to replace both rear brake hoses now which should complete the brake restoration.

It seems nothing is easy with this restoration but slowly and surely its getting done.

Next up will be finishing the battery box and the wiring.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Still Working

Wow how time flies! We've had a warmer winter here than last year so I have been able to spend more time on the car. But last August I was down for a few months with a severe ankle sprain. It's all good now thankfully. Anyway, since my last post I was able to replace the main differential seal and the drive shaft U joints. I couldn't get to the output seals but they didn't seem to be leaking. Also left the output U joints alone which may have been a mistake but there's always another day. They seemed pretty good on inspection. Fitting the differential back into place, putting the leaf spring and sway bar in place with the new rubber mounts was difficult and took several weekends and some muscle, but it's all done now and looks good. Everything is under tension which is how it should be I suppose. The Rear Brakes are new and ready to be bled. Glad to be moving on to other things! Picture to follow.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Return to work.

Finally back to the Triumph after spending a few months working on another car. The Triumph needed to have the rear brakes redone. The parts were obtained reasonably at Victoria British. I decided to go further and disassemble the suspension, shock, anti-sway bar and the Leaf Spring that runs across the axle. It looked like the rear differential has a oil seal leak so I decided to drop the differential. Not an easy job but got it done. I plan to replace the main oil seal, put the differential back in place and finish the suspension work. I'll also be working on the body under the car now accessible after removal of the differential. Making progress but slowly.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Let the Project begin

Once snug in the garage I felt a little overwhelmed. Where exactly do you start with a car thats over 40 years old? Slowly, after talking to several people, it became clear that a planned attack was needed. So I decided first to take down the car's interior to discover what lies hidden under the surface. I figured if this is now my car I might as well get to know the good and the bad. I suspected I'd find a good deal of bad but I kept my fingers crossed.

Surprisingly enough the seats and carpet seemed to come apart and out pretty easily and I came to learn someone ( probably the previous owner) had recently had it all apart. The floor panels were covered with a tarred material, almost like roofing shingles. Upon peeling these off the floor panels I could see patch work welding had been done in an attempt to repair the floor panels. And though it was a passable job I don't want to leave it in that condition. So my plan became one of finding new panels that could be welded in to replace the old rusted ones.

It was then that I discovered that the internet is thriving with Triumph Spitfire parts. After searching several sites I bought the panels I needed online at Rimmer's brothers in the UK. The cost was higher with the shipping but I got very good panels and I plan on having them welded in once I get the brakes repaired.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

First Ride

Once I got the car home it was time to unload off the u haul. The first order of business was getting the car started. The car just wouldn't start so I headed off to NAPA and got some starter fluid. Using that I was eventually able to get the car running. Had to keep the choke on till the engine was fully warm or it wouldn't idle. So I assume I have some carburetter work in store on the duel carbs.
So, with the car finally running I backed it slowly off the trailer. The transmission seemed to work fine. Going down the ramp I pushed down on the brake to stop and guess what, we have no working brakes! Well that felt special. Instead of going for a nice test drive I ended up going straight for the Garage where I plan to start working on the car. My plan is to start taking the car apart so I can finally know what needs to be done to get the car operational.