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Sam Clayton

Yorkshire Spitfire

Yorkshire Spitfire
Latest Entries-

Rear brake overhaul and stuff

All the cooler kids are doing it...

Worry Gauge is worrying

Illuminating experience

New toys

Things I learned last night.

MOT quiz

Getting ready for Spring.

Frustration - not even on the Spitfire.

Most annoying.

Since the 10CR

10cr all done!

10cr so far....

10CR day -1

A quick catch up.

Tracking test

Thanks Mik!

Nasty Paintwork

OS Upright ready for fitting

NS New Upright fitted

ooooh shiny

Back on the Road

Wheels on, back on the ground! (Edit: It lives!)

New Spring Is In.

Moderns and Spitfire Diff

Rear brake overhaul and stuff

New drums obtained and coated with satin black high temp painted and then heat cured.

Stripping the OSR revealed that the adjuster was stuck, so that was removed, freed up and refitted.
New shoes and drums both sides.
After (finally) getting the brakes nicely adjusted, I free'd off the control for the heater valve. Then it was time to fit new engine mountings, let's see if the new ones last any better than the old ones.

I've also treated the spitfire to a new Mann filter and some Penrite classic light 20/60.
A nice run out this morning up to Shipley and I remembered how much I enjoy driving the Spitfire in the sunshine!

posted by 22nd April 2017 8:38pm gmt

All the cooler kids are doing it...

One day I may finally fit the oil cooler that I bought with the intention of fitting before the 2015 10CR.
That day took a step closer this evening, I made up some brackets to fit it to the chassis rails just in front of the radiator.

Still to do:

  • Weld captive nuts into OS (left above) bracket.
  • Slightly shorten the plates to be welded to chassis and bend bottom edge over
  • Paint
  • Weld to chassis
Then I just need to:
  • Make up the hoses
  • Make retaining brackets for the hoses
  • Fit the (thermostatic) sandwich plate and plumb it all in!
Oh man has the Spitfire suffered for being laid up, lots of rusty looking bits that need a clean and a paint!

posted by 18th December 2016 10:13pm gmt

Worry Gauge is worrying

On Thursday morning I noticed the tick-over pressure on the gauge was LOW.
Once warmed up and with tick-over dipped (clutch biting and lots of load on the alternator) the warning light didn't come on, but the gauge dipped right down to 0
If it hadn't been for the light staying off I'd have been VERY worried.
So I brought the car home at low RPM (no nasty noises!)

This evening I fitted the 2 spare gauges I have and compared cold tick-over pressure.
The left gauge didn't seal very well, the fibre washer perished. But based on the 3 gauges and the sound of the engine I'm less worried about the pressure now!
I'll stop panicking now.

What is really annoying is that the "needle points upwards" gauges in the right style (white needle) are really hard to come by at a decent price. Better to have an accurate gauge that doesn't match than one that's random, wrong and the right style thought.

posted by 16th December 2016 9:44pm gmt

Illuminating experience

The additional worry gauges I fitted to the "radio" space in the Spitfire were invisible at night

So I made up a small loom and added gauge illumination.

Not so happy with the contrast between the standard green illumination, the greenish on the volt meter and the plain white on the oil pressure, so I switched to green LEDs...

Clearly the oil is a brighter green than the others, so I'll either add a filter to that one, or remove the filters from the others (and fit green bulbs to the 2 original gauges). Haven't made my mind up yet though.

posted by 05th December 2016 2:33pm gmt

New toys

For some reason I got presents today. (Something to do with me being older? I prefer the term "Level up!")
So for the occasional time I want to properly crimp BIG terminals, a nice shiny new hydraulic crimper. (Thanks to the inlaws!)

And in vague attempts to improve Spitfire handling, some harder, slightly shorter springs. (Thanks Andie! How did you know what I wanted? ;-) )

posted by 29th November 2016 5:12pm gmt

Things I learned last night.

1. Even when there is NO PETROL at all in the Spitfire the gauge currently reads about 1/4.
This has the unfortunate consequence of convincing me not to put petrol in even though I really need to.
(Resulting in me pushing the bloody car through Keighley in the middle of the sodding night)

2. For some bizarre and unknown reason my headlights suddenly stopped working on the unlit road just outside Keighley. It's not actually possible to drive a car along an unlit section of road in the dead of night safely on JUST sidelights. It's VERY DARK!
So I found some wire in the boot and ran a feed to the headlamps just to get me home.
Relays are fine, so it must be something on the live feed side for the circuit.

On the other hand it was nice to see the usual suspects over at the Old Stone Trough for the monthly Pendle and Pennine meeting.

posted by 05th November 2016 3:42pm gmt

MOT quiz

I wonder which of these 2 ball joints meets the requirements for an MOT pass?

I have to admit a certain level of disappointment, I fitted the one on the right in March 2015, so that's 19 months for it to perish completely.

posted by 31st October 2016 9:15pm gmt

Getting ready for Spring.

I removed the rear leaf spring from the Spitfire, was a bit disappointed to find most of the graphite grease I covered it in has vanished at the outer ends. Still plenty in the middle of the spring anyway.

So, removed, re-greased, re-fitted with the lowering block. (With a short break in the middle for a trip down to Bapp in Brighouse to buy some new nylocs)

Not much chance of the cover plate fitting with the longer studs though, which is a bit sad as it was missing when I got the car and I went to all the trouble of getting one, cleaning it, painting it and even made a rubber gasket for it. I don't want to shorted the studs as almost all the length was needed to draw down the spring box when I was fitting it.

Slightly shocked to find when I removed the spring that the original suppliers sticker is visible under the grease.

Jobs to do before MOT:

  • Welding 
  • Bleed brakes
  • Check lights
  • Check carbs
  • Drive to testing station.

posted by 24th October 2016 5:56pm gmt

Frustration - not even on the Spitfire.

Well today I managed the first "real" mechanic-ing in about 12 months.
The last serious work I did was just before the 2015 10CR. Today I changed the rear driveshaft on the Freelander and it knackered me out.
With a bit of luck I'll get myself some welding gas and make a start on the Spitfire soon. I really want to see it back on the road soon.
A bit of welding and bleed the brakes and the Spitfire should be fit for an MOT, here's hoping.

posted by 24th September 2016 10:50pm gmt

Most annoying.

I've found a hole in the Spitfire steel work that's going to need welding up BEFORE it goes for the MOT.
Oh well, the best laid plans and all that.
In the mean time I'm making new brake pipes for it to replace the steel ones that are currently going rusty.
9 months of sitting idle have not been kind to the car even though it's been garaged.

posted by 30th July 2016 4:45pm gmt

Since the 10CR

It's all been very quiet on the Triumph front since the 10CR.
Lot's of "real life" stuff going on, but not much classic car time.
The Spitfire is currently off the road with no tax or MOT and has been sitting in the garage since January. I made a start on "re-commissioning" but found a nasty petrol leak near the NSR wheel... on further inspection/testing I couldn't find the leak, but found clear signs of where the petrol had been flowing down the chassis.
I also noticed that the electrical connection to the tank sender had been damaged, an attempt to straighten it resulted in it snapping off, so a replacement sender unit has been fitted.
Replacement pipes/hoses obtained I set about trying to fix the leak, but quickly found that the olive/pipe nut on the tank top had been damaged (over tightened) so I've ended up removing the tank to rectify that issue while I'm at it.
When a replacement olive/pipe nut are obtained I'll put it all back together, test/adjust the brakes and get it in for the MOT - hopefully back on the road for July.

posted by 13th June 2016 1:52pm gmt

10cr all done!

We made it home at about 21:30 this evening (Monday) after another long day's driving.

Day 1 started great, we really enjoyed the wonderful countryside:
Netherlands-Germany-Czech Republic
The second part of day 1, not so good. The driving through Czech Republic was tough and we were tired. At about 11pm we decided enough was enough and we stopped at a hotel we found that still had rooms:
Czech Republic

As a result of the un-planned hotel stop in the Czech Republic we had some catching up to do on day 2, so we cut the route and headed for Cortina:
Czech Republic-Germany-Austria-Italy

On day 3 we went "off-piste" again and picked up a few extra countries:

Here's the track for the last day of the event (Sunday):

Today saw us drive back to Dunkirk:
And then home from Dover:

I know pride comes before a fall and all that, but I'm really pleased with how the car has done, particularly the engine (it's the first time I've built an engine and it was done in a bit of a hurry to get the car fit for the event after the problems on the Border Raiders)
Some minor niggles...
It was running hot on the trip to the the point that I removed the thermostat on the run up to Cortina. I suspect the stat is faulty as we got some pretty unpredictable temperature issues.
The vibrating noises turned out to be the dash brace bolt being lose and a screwdriver in the boot tapping on the petrol tank.
There's a whine from the diff, a little on overrun, more in the sweet spot between pulling and overrun, not noticeable on pull though. Needs looking at.
The overdrive blew it's fuse when we stopped on the M11 today on the way home. Not sure why, but replacing the fuse cured the issue. Might end up playing "find the frayed wire" over the next few days.

posted by 14th September 2015 10:48pm gmt

10cr so far....

Day 0 (Wednesday): UK, France, Belgium, Netherlands,  Germany.
Overnight stay in Germany
Day 1 (Thursday): Germany,  Netherlands (official start of event),  Germany (again), Czech Republic. 
Overnight stay in Czech Republic
Day 2 (Friday): Czech Republic (for about 0.5 miles), Germany,  Austria,  Italy
Overnight stay in Italy
Day 3 (Saturday): Italy,  Austria, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, Austria (again), Germany.

Let's see what tomorrow brings!

posted by 12th September 2015 5:34pm gmt

10CR day -1

So we made it to Dover in time for the ferry!
Bradford to Dover
The ferry was slightly late leaving, but then got stuck outside Dunkirk harbour waiting for another ship to leave.
Then we drove across a bit of France, a lot of Belgium, a small amount of the Netherlands and finally into Germany to our hotel in Aachen
Dunkirk to Aachen
Tired but relieved to be here.

posted by 09th September 2015 9:32pm gmt

A quick catch up.

  Some weeks ago we were having a great time on the "Border Raiders" (aka Club Triumph Northern Tour) when the "spare" engine I was using to tide me over while I did a rebuild on the original engine went "pop"

This is where we broke down:
This rather made the decision for me on the question of "which engine shall we use for the 10CR?"
(Not the spare one!)

Original engine on the stand for strip down:
Spot what's missing? (Dead engine at the road side)

Only light damage to the piston top, but we'll replace it anyway when I finally rebuild this engine:
So there was a quick rebuild and refit (new bearings etc, but didn't have the time to have crank machined/block sent to engineers etc!)

With a lot of help from Mik D. and some luck the Spitfire is back on the road and set for the 10CR.

A few last minute odds and sods over the lasts few nights:

  • Engine oil+filter changed
  • Gearbox oil changed
  • Rear brakes adjusted
  • Exhaust "adjusted" and tightened up

And I think we are just about ready to go! (touch wood)

posted by 08th September 2015 09:24am gmt

Tracking test

I tested a tracking app on my android phone:

Let's hope it works on the 10CR and I'll post day-by-day tracks.

posted by 07th September 2015 08:59am gmt

Thanks Mik!

A big thanks to Michael Davis for helping me get the Spitfire back on the road today!
After the engine issues on the Border Raiders a swift re-assembly of the other engine and re-fit was required to get us ready for the 10CR.
Really appreciate all the help which went well beyond the promised "help lift the bonnet back on" !!!

posted by 31st August 2015 8:59pm gmt

Nasty Paintwork

Both the boot lid and the bonnet on the Spitfire are so badly faded that in places they look more pink/white than red. Last night I tried some compound on part of the boot lid to see if it can be improved....

Guess which side I treated and which I haven't?
Going to get an electric or air polisher though! Even doing that bit (and it still needs doing some more) made my arms ache!

posted by 15th April 2015 7:00pm gmt

OS Upright ready for fitting

Stub axle transferred into the new trunnionless upright, brake disc shield fitted, steering arm and top ball joint.
With a bit of luck I'll get it on the car before too long.

Having had to rebuild my impact air gun (mostly due to internal moisture damage) I've added a remote drain to the compressor which I hope will encourage me to drain the receiver regularly (rather than having to lay on the floor and unscrew the original drain plug)

posted by 29th March 2015 9:12pm gmt

NS New Upright fitted

I started looking at fitting the new trunnionless uprights the other night, but didn't like the look of the top ball joint. I thought it might just be easier to do the whole lot at once, so I ordered a pair of ball joints.
They came yesterday, so today I did the NS
From this:

To this:

Now it's back on the deck I need to check all the nuts and bolts are nipped up nice and tight. Then I'll crack on with the OS.

posted by 28th March 2015 9:32pm gmt

ooooh shiny

Look what the nice people at Canley Classics sent me (in exchange for £££)

Now all I need is some sort of time machine or something so that there are enough hours in the week to get all the jobs done.

posted by 18th March 2015 7:41pm gmt

Back on the Road

MOT Passed!
Slight lift in the front trunnions so I think it's time to order a Canley's kit.
The new rear spring is starting to settle a little, so the ride/camber isn't quite as wild as it was.

Looking back over the last couple of years, although externally the car looks much as it did when Andie and I first got it, as a driving car it's totally changed.
The gauges now work (reliably!)
The brakes work (how did it get an MOT just before we got it with knackered seals in the master cylinder)
Carbs had inappropriate needles.... now corrected
Car starts! (Battery replaced, starter rebuilt)
Seats are comfy (Thanks to Owen at Park Lane classics)
Ride improved vastly (new bushes at the rear and a new spring)
Cruising improved (Gearbox rebuild, overdrive added)

It's a good job I haven't done the body work or I wouldn't believe it was the same car!

Nice to see the car out of the garage!

posted by 14th March 2015 11:29am gmt

Wheels on, back on the ground! (Edit: It lives!)

Suspension re-assembled, offside rear brake pipes replaced, prop, exhaust and other bits and bobs re-fitted.... and after just over 4 months, the Spitfire is back together. A few more minor jobs and it should be ready for the MOT.

Let's just hope that camber settles down a bit!

Tried starting and it looks like the seals have perished in the engine bay fuel filter.... it's turning over but drawing air not fuel.
Plus my battery charger seems to have developed a life of it's own, so you never quite know if it's going to charge or not.

I nipped back out to the garage, got the fuel filter to seal (temporary removal of the filter element) primed the fuel system and she ran!
Revealing several petrol leaks that weren't there when the car was laid up in October!
I think it's time to source some REPUTABLE R9/R10 1/4" hose and replace the flexible sections in the engine bay.

posted by 01st March 2015 6:37pm gmt

New Spring Is In.

All the nuts and bolts done up properly on the diff and reconnected the NS driveshaft

Then I FINALLY put the new spring in:

Aligning the spring leaf, diff and mounting was annoying, but eventually all 4 studs and nuts were in place:

 I greased the spring with graphite grease weeks (months?) ago ready for fitting, so I got covered in that!

posted by 19th February 2015 9:39pm gmt

Moderns and Spitfire Diff

So the water pump on the Freelander failed on the way home from P+P this month.
Which soaked up most of a day the other weekend.
B*tch of a job even with the engine/gearbox mounts removed and the whole lot on a trolley jack, still not a lot of room on the OS between the wing and the engine to work on the pump.

Thankfully I had a good quality replacement pump on the shelf in the garage as I suspected it was leaking when I got the car (turned out I was wrong at the time!)

Then I spotted the "well knackered" UJ on the rear propshaft. So that soaked up a load more time.

Finally the last couple of evenings have been spent sticking the diff back in the Spitfire.
Having almost dropped the diff on my head on Monday night, last night I decided to use the trolley jack.
As predicted by "Mystic Ferny" there was pretty much none of the hammerite paint left on the diff by the time it was in place (and the rest was covered in oil and muck)
So that's one step closer to having it back on the road and MOT'd.... hopefully soon so I can start racking up the "test" miles before the CT 10CR in Sept.

posted by 18th February 2015 7:41pm gmt

Views expressed here are personal are not necessarily endorsed by Club Triumph

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