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1979 Triumph Spitfire! - A Goodbye and a Hello


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What have I found?


Busy day at the SiC household. With the Rover gone, it was time to pick up it's replacement. Due to an insurance timing fuck up on my part, @N Dentressangle kindly delivered this for me. 


Just done four hours of driving going back and forth so I'm now a bit knackered. I'd usually sit in it and have a fiddle but I might end up falling asleep in there. 

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20 minutes ago, N Dentressangle said:


Cat says no!



3 minutes ago, GMcD said:

I'm buzzing for you Si. You've been after a Spitty for yonks and this looks like a fine machine. Enjoy 😁!

I bought it because, unlike what I usually purchase, this is (almost) fully working. Tried and tested from ND commuting in/out of Bristol so I know I can rely on it to not let me down. I'd really like an orange, red or yellow one but I like the fact this colour isn't original and different. A bit like the blue 1100 we had it's eye catching.

Plans for this are to actually just drive it. As typical when selling any car, the electric cooling fan controller decided to play up just before collection. I have a spare mechanical fan and I'm quite tempted to fit that back on and put an Otter switch in the cabin for the electric as an additional backup. 

Only other thing that I want to play with is the Speedo under reads by 10mph. We believe the wrong overdrive Speedo drive gear is fitted when it was restored. Possibly for a Dolomite with a higher ratio diff. So I'll have to pull the current one to see which colour it is and then match with the correct diff. That said, it's probably going to be easier to source a different diff than try sourcing the right Speedo drive as many are NLA. 

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2 minutes ago, Mally said:

If it drives well and isn't over revving at high speed I'd leave the diff.

JDO Instruments  should be able to correct the speedo.

Diff is the highest ratio Spits came with. 3.63:1 I think. Only higher is the 3.27:1 in late GT6. I'd leave it too.

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I believe the Mk4 1300 had a 3.89:1 diff and 1500 had the 3.63:1 diff. 


I wonder if the overdrive was out of a MK4. 

3.89 would make a faster accelerating setup. But then not optimum for a 1500 as they aren't supposed to like the revs as much.

That said, I don't do much 70mph driving in my classics. 

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The reason I think it's the output drive being wrong is from this Moss parts diagram: (part 130)



Out of stock at Moss but in stock at Rimmers for a crazy £63

I believe it's the same part as used on the Dolomite Sprint box too. And no, I'm not nicking it from that car 🤣

Problem is, you also need the NKC45 which is what the pinion drive on. That is in the overdrive itself and requires pulling it apart.

Another option is recalibrating the Speedo. The default on the Spitfire is 1000TPM for mph (changed by the pinions in the box). I believe a KPH gauge is around 860 which I think is a 15% increase in the speedo and should bring it about right. 

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9 hours ago, Mally said:

I think JDO is around £100. @Mattywill know,

Just tried finding the invoice but can't. Can give a massive recommend though, they do provide an excellent service. How'd the fuck I miss all this anyway??

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13 minutes ago, Matty said:

Just tried finding the invoice but can't. Can give a massive recommend though, they do provide an excellent service. How'd the fuck I miss all this anyway??

Too busy watching Brian.

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1 hour ago, SiC said:


Everyone has an MG, I had 2 PICT0162.thumb.JPG.3ed31e7fd66f891ab38690001cfa7266.JPG once.

I'd have swapped them both for a Spitfire.

Mind you I've wrecked a few Spitfire bits. See if you can zoom in on the flying wishbones.

Used to have Spitfire independent rear as well, but the wheels tucked under, so Ford axle took over.


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So as mentioned at the start of this thread, I had an insurance timing issue. Basically I phoned Hagerty on Saturday at 1255 but their lines shut already (should have been 1pm). Hence having ND needing to deliver it for me.

I've been pretty busy at the weekend so I didn't get a chance to do too much. I'd love to have gone for a cheeky drive on Sunday evening but no insurance. Monday was not only a write off with the weather but also I had to emergency fix a leaking drain behind the washing machine. I hate plumbing and I hate even more fixing previous plumbing mistakes. Dehumidifier is still whiring away in the utility.

Anyway today I spent 3 hours on hold to Hagerty and eventually got through to get insurance. Didn't really want to broadcast it was sitting on my drive uninsured until sorted for obv reasons.

So the car.

You want to see the rusty bits that I MUST NOT POKE as everyone likes to see gory stuff. Here they are.

This is the worst bit as it's an actual hole. Very much a common Spitfire area of rust.

The rest are minor really.

This is less minor and it did let out a crunch when I pushed it. Definitely a spot that is fine unless I go pressing too hard! That said my press did make the metal flex. So it must be pretty solid. This is another TADIS.

This hole in the sill is probably the one area I may weld up soon. The other side is perfectly fine. Just ugly for the passengers getting in and will no doubt comment on it.

It's been sat outside in this rubbish weather as I couldn't stash it away in storage without insurance. Good news is how nicely the rain is beading off.

So what am I going to fiddle with first?
Probably the electrics. As ND mentioned on his thread, someone has been at this before and not done the best of jobs. He fixed the electric fan wiring but I think I'll wire in an 'otter' switch (named because it's getting 'otter) so I can override the thermostat switch. I do have a 1500 mechanical fan in my stash of bits but that hits the fancy aluminium radiator.

There is this switch already. No idea what it does but there are wires to it. Maybe originally was an 'otter switch? Button isn't wired to anything.

The rest of the electrics have random wires strewn about. No idea if they're connected or not but I'd rather not find out. Plan is to remove anything not connected and not stock.

There are also extra lights on the dash that I have no idea what they are for. I originally thought they were stock (as Lucas parts) but the owners manual doesn't list any use for them. Again if not connected or used, they'll be removed. Longer/mid term I may replace or freshen up the wood as the lacquer is a bit sad looking like many of these go.

Anyway it's a pretty pleasant place to be sat. I think I might replace the base seat foam. It's functional but I'd prefer if it was a bit more squishy. I may even go the whole hog and get new foam + houndstooth seat covers for both seats. Not cheap though so it'll have to wait.

Chucking it down again at the moment so a drive will have to wait. No fun driving a RWD classic sports car in the wet. Plus I need to get my fat belly to the gym tonight and stop slacking.

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