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1979 Triumph Spitfire! - At the Classic Car Shows


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All the fuse box fixings were done late Friday night and I didn't get it finished until 1am. Mostly as I wanted to set off in the morning to Moss. They had their "super Saturday" opening day where during the summer they open every first Saturday. Last time I went they had 10% off. No such luck this time though. Didn't really matter as I didn't need much.

They did have a pair of genuine Wipacs going for £38. I nearly bought a pair for the Midget but let's face it, I won't be fitting them anytime soon.

Had a chat to this guy who bought this rubber bumper converted Midget last year. Paid £4250 for it and he was quite pleased with that figure. Personally I think it was in a bit rubbish condition. But he's happy 🤷‍♂️

Despite not needing anything, I still managed to spend £60.
Pedal rubber (I needed two but they only had one), some carb adapter plastic things, windscreen trim, Lucas 7FJ fusebox, battery isolator and a fuel pump.

The repro mechanical fuel pumps I've heard can really vary in quality. This will be one I'll chuck in the boot as a spare.

The battery isolator was about £8 and seemed to be of good quality. I paid similar for one from Amazon previously and it fell apart within minutes of removing it from the packet.
It's not in an ideal place as it blocks the fusebox. However I like to kill the power on my cars if I can when in storage. Too many other really expensive cars nearby and I don't want a 70s Lucas aided electrical fire.

The carb plastic adapter thing is part of the rocker cover ventilation. The rear one was all cracked and wrapped in insulation tape. Not ideal but that said the engine cuts when removed, so it must have been doing enough sealing. Anyway for £2.50, it's cheap and easy to replace. Front seemed fine so I've kept the other new one as a spare.

Next was the windscreen trim pieces. Mine was missing at the top and bottom. Simple thing but it irritated me.

God what a palava this ended up being. The trim came all unclipped and was a right nightmare to get back on.

Even Mrs SiC attempted to replace it.

Ultimately I cleaned the channel out as best as I could then put a length of 8a automotive cable in it to keep the channel open. Then clipped on the trim as I pulled out the wire.

This got it back in but came across another problem. The bottom piece isn't big enough to cover the gap. The bottom piece just about does. I'll probably get another bit and glue them together or something.

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Today we needed to go to Clarke's shopping outlet as I needed some new shoes. I did ask Mrs SiC which car she preferred and was more comfortable to go in - Boxster or Spitfire. She said she didn't mind either. So naturally I took the Spitty as I still can't get enough of driving it.

On the way down we did a pit stop at the local Cheddar Classic Car meet that is on a Sunday. Same one that I went with my father in law the other day in this.

This Bristol was here last time but had its flaps open. I believe it's the campsite owners car.

A "Widget"

This fire hazard was parked well away from all the cars thankfully. Delightfully shabby though.


But I'd have an NSX over a 'scort anyday.

Then everything else


Then ventured onto Street

Finally stopped off at Wells for a quick wander and an ice cream.

Ran perfectly the whole way. It does have an intermittent squeal from the driveline at speed. Not entirely sure where it's coming from. Putting it out of gear makes it go away and it doesn't do it all the time. Hopefully nothing serious and nothing to worry about but it is a new sound and notable.

I also haven't actually washed it since I bought it... It really could do with one.
My excuse is that the weather is far too nice and what spare time I have, I'd rather be driving it!

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16 minutes ago, timolloyd said:

Can testify that finding a decent replacement fuel pump for the Herald has been a nightmare. Will be rebuilding the original as insurance.

I've kept the original on there and I'll probably rebuild it if it does fail. But this one I've bought should be a good enough get me home replacement. 

If the original does fail, I'll probably either rebuild it or convert it to an electric fuel pump. The modern electric pumps generally seem pretty solid. 

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Pulled apart the thermostat switch last night to see why it failed and if it was fixable.

Looks like the contacts burnt out. I'd be surprised if these were really 16a or even 20a rated.

The daft thing is, the normally closed contacts (i.e. when cold) are far bigger than the ones used for the fan. These do look meaty enough for a 16a rating. But utterly useless for a fan switch!

Anyway it looks destined for the bin.

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15 hours ago, SiC said:

I've kept the original on there and I'll probably rebuild it if it does fail. But this one I've bought should be a good enough get me home replacement. 

If the original does fail, I'll probably either rebuild it or convert it to an electric fuel pump. The modern electric pumps generally seem pretty solid. 

When I bought my Spit, it came with an electric pump already fitted but I was never happy with it, very very noisy - I "think" that it was cavitating.

Anyway, I reverted to a mechanical pump and on the second try got a good one (the first one split when fitted - maybe overtightened by me) - all is quiet now.

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1 hour ago, Vimesy said:

When I bought my Spit, it came with an electric pump already fitted but I was never happy with it, very very noisy - I "think" that it was cavitating.

What type of noise was it making? Most of the (correct) low pressure pumps operate by moving a diaphragm back and forth electromechanically. These make a clonk/clonk/clonk type noise as they work. A bit disconcerting if not heard or used to before but I find it a reassuring noise as you know the carb is getting fuel!

I pulled apart the new mechanical pump. Everything seemed okay inside so I don't quite know what fails. Presumably the membrane splits and that's how fuel gets dumped into the sump. Something that's not optimal on a 1500 which is already marginal on lubrication. 

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I can't quite remember the exact type of noise that the pump was making but it was certainly loud enough (in my opinion) to warrant replacing it with a mechanical pump.

When you can quite clearly hear the pump whilst driving along....I found it to be a bit disconcerting, each to their own however.


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