I have always wanted to go to a Minnesota Triumph Sports Car Club meeting, but it meets at Fort Snelling's Officer's Club, and when I was unemployed last summer I couldn't afford the drive. Now I work five miles away and decided to go. They meet the second Thursday of the month. The meeting itself was boring, conducted as it was by classic rules, but I met some interesting people. It seems that almost everyone who drives a Spitfire is an insanely tall or large person. I thought I was big at 6'2" and 250 lbs., but I was average or even on the small side compared to most of these guys! After the meeting we all went out to look at the cars, but it was crappy weather and there were about six Spitfires and one TR3. I tried to get some ideas of where everything went so I could use it on my car, and some carb ideas as well. One guy had a four pack of Mikuni carbs on his that was interesting. We didn't stay long because as it got towards dusk, te temp dropped to around 40 degrees and the wind was blowing 25 to 30 mph along with light drizzle. It was freaking cold! I think I will hit next months and hope for nicer weather. I will have to bring my camera along as well.
I installed the clutch master and bracket onto the car. I was going to install the brake master, but I never tried test fitting it before I rebuilt it, and guess what? It is the wrong master. I bought it last summer from an out of state junkyard. I can't quite get it to fit and line up the bracket's mounting holes, and even if I did, the brake line in the rear would never attach. I guess I am better off buying a new one anyway. They aren't that expensive, and then I can be sure it will fit. Time to sell the old one!
I brought the brake and clutch masters into work at the transmission shop I work at. I disassembled the clutch master and it had dried up crap and corrosion but was not too bad. The brake master was full of very rusty fluid. I put all the pieces in the heated parts washer and cleaned them all up. Today I worked at Vrooom and after work I used the wire wheel to clean the external surfaces and they came so clean I changed my mind and did not paint them black. I polished all the internal plungers and put on the new rubbers. I honed out the bores and they cleaned up well. I got them both back together, bit the clutch master is a little sticky. I will have to work it a bit more. I cleaned up and painted the brackets as well. Tomorrow is Mother's Day, but I hope to get out in the garage and at least get them mounted on the car. I still have to pull off the calipers and wheel cylinders and rebuild them.
Well, it has been a long time and many things have happened. I haven't touched my Spitfire since late October when Mom died. Dad has been in and out of the hospital and I spent most of the time living with him and taking care of him. I finally came back home and found a job and am working full time and more. Six days a week at two jobs. I really need the money.
I had a new fuel pump, which I hoped would cure my running problems. The car would start and run, but had a hard time staying running when the throttles opened. The pump was the new style, so I had to buy a spacer. I finally had the money and bought the spacer and gaskets a few weeks ago. I installed it today and charged the battery. I finally got it running again and I have the same old problem. Dammit! I have to believe the problem is in the carb, even though it was the easiest rebuild I ever had. I will continue to play with timing and such and see what I can do.
I was looking on eBay for a clutch master cylinder and the mounting brackets for both it and the brake master. I scored a $10 clutch master with the bracket and asked the guy if he had the bracket for the brake master and he did. I got it for $5.25. I disassembled the rusty old pitted clutch master and tossed it and the brackets in the heated parts washer at work. Then I hit Victoria British and ordered rebuild kits for the clutch master, brake master, slave cylinder, and wheel cylinders. They were out of caliper kits, but the local Napa had them in stock for some reason. I also ordered clutch and brake pedal pads. I have to buy a small cylinder hone, but I cleaned up and put new seals on the internal parts of the clutch master. I put my dirty old used brake master in my car so I can take it to work tomorrow and clean it up. I would like to get this thing mobile, even though the body work has yet to be done. The interior is almost complete, so mobility would be nice.
I painted the steering wheel hub the final coat. I pulled off the tape from the steering wheel and mounted it to the hub. This is where I learned that clearcoat does not adhere to metal very well. I could rub it with my fingernail and it would flake off. I sanded all the clear off and used a good wax and rubbed it in well. I got it remounted on the hub and will have to decide what to do about the cover. The old one is very worn and the new one I have is a bit too big. I could pad it with the foam I have for the interior panels. It would feel good and probably fit very well. I masked off the dash and took the covers off the steering column and painted it as well. I forgot to do it when I had the dash out, so like an idiot, I am doing it the hard way. It turned out well, though. I took the opportunity to clean the covers and remounted them. I don't have any of the horn electrics or horn pad. I have a horn button coming from Mark Jones, but what else I need remains to be seen. I sanded all the fish-eyes out of the front cowl area, taped off and covered everything up and re shot the cowl and windshield frame area. Now I can finally put the windshield back in and get the dash pad installed. Things are coming together fast.
My parts showed up today. I replaced my leaking water pump and decided that it was much easier when the engine was removed. Still a simple job, but getting at the nuts was harder with the radiator in the way. I filled the coolant and started it up to bleed the air and I noticed I have a leak where the nipple that goes to the reservoir hose meets the radiator filler neck. Not a problem when the car is operating normally but when it is shut off and cooling and pushing coolant back into the bottle it is going to leak. I will have to braze it up and of course the new paint will be destroyed and I will have to repaint the dang thing. When I was a kid we used a torch to blow the paint off our radiators and polished the copper until it shined like a new penny. If that is the case here, I might do that. It looks cool if you take the time to polish it well. I finished clear coating the steering wheel and sanded and painted the hub. No horn wiring, so possibly my horn is on the stalk. I have to clean up and touch up the steering column as well before I remount the steering wheel.