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Triumph Torque    Cars    Spitfire/GT6  ›  1500 Engine Rebuild
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March 20, 2017, 1:45pm Report to Moderator

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I am about to take the engine out of my Herald which is a Spit 1500 WITH TWIN su's. I am looking at what subtle mods are worth doing whilst it is being re-built. I am not looking a Quad turbo supercharging it, but would like to know what improvements I can make without breaking the budget that will improve the engine. The engine was running fine when it was garaged about 3 years back and will start with a new battery. I already have eclectic ignition. I want to make it more reliable and if I can improve the power then this would be bonus.
Any help advice and costs would be great.
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March 20, 2017, 2:25pm Report to Moderator

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Probably the most straight-forward would be a slightly hotter cam and a rolling road tune up (custom carb needles) once it's running.
Other than that I'd just recommend using the best quality bearings head gasket etc. that you can find. A rebuild using quality parts should last a long time and be fairly trouble free provided it's not thrashed.
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March 20, 2017, 2:53pm Report to Moderator

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It wont be thrashed but I would like to use it most of the year maybe not in the depths of winter, but just want to improve performance a bit and make it more reliable.

Thanks for the advice, when you say a hotter cam what do you mean, sorry not a full petrol head just yet!!

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Velocita Rosso
March 20, 2017, 3:27pm Report to Moderator

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A fast road cam from these people will make improvements and a vernier duplex chain timing pulley along with the suggested rolling road and needle profiling


MK3 Spitfire, Red.....2000/V8 and GT6 driveway companions

Ten Countries,finisher in `09 ,`11 and `13  and 15 in a fashion
Ten Countries 2015 Ferry Organiser
HCR 09/10/11/13 Finisher , 15 ..engine died
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Track Days, Cadwell/ Donington 2009 10CR at Nurburgring
Plus other speed,tyre wearing addictions , which includes buying new tyres on the 10CR in The Netherlands
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March 20, 2017, 4:53pm Report to Moderator

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By hotter cam I mean something with a bit more lift and duration, generally a "fast road cam" don't be tempted to go for more than that, read the advice on Newman's website - a race cam really needs you to keep the engine in the power band (high RPM!) all the time for best performance and will run like a dog when pootling round town (god awful tickover!)

You seem concerned about reliability? I'd suggest looking at the wiring particularly the fuse box arrangement.
Provided you treat the engine right (good quality filters and oil) a rebuilt engine should be reliable.
You might consider a carb rebuild (and dizzy depending on the type of electronic ignition you have)
Once fettled and given a bit of care these cars can be quite reliable, mine starts easily with just the standard starter motor.

If you want to use all year round invest in decent all weather tyres.
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Nick Jones
March 20, 2017, 5:30pm Report to Moderator

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Assuming a full engine rebuild:

Bottom end.
- Crank measured and reground if necessary (usually is) by a decent machinist who knows about fillet radii.
- Likewise pistons/rings/bores.  Fairly good chance you'll get away with a hone and new rings
- Balancing of reciprocating/rotating assembly including flywheel and clutch.
- Use decent bearing shells - Revington TR have got tri-metal  big-end ones remade by AE for the TR6 - which uses the same shells.  I think the OE Vandervell VP2 can still be found for the mains.
- Measure oil pump carefully and renew if needed.  Note that new one won't necessarily be much better so measure this carefully too!
- The OE 1500 cam is very mild.  A really good upgrade for road use is to get one with the Mk3 Spit (also Mk2 Vitesse / GT6 and 2500 PI) profile ground on a large journal cam (Canleys used to do these) which gives a nice lift to the mid-range while remaining perfectly tractable and without challenging the valve gear.
- New cam followers - suggest they come from the cam supplier but make sure they are FLAT not crowned (put two face to face with a fine film of grease and see if they stick together (good) or rock (bad)
- Clean all oilways thoroughly - you need to remove all gallery plugs and the distributor drive bush to do this properly.

- May benefit from some tidying of the ports immediately behind the valves.  Dependent on how good or bad the original casting is a little material removal can make a big difference.  See
- Unleaded exhaust seats
- new valves and guides if needed
- re-cut seats with 3 angles
- Light skim to ensure it's flat

Use a Payen head gasket
Buy some new head nuts from Minispares

4-2-1 manifold is a big improvement over the cast 1300 manifold and still a bit better than the twin-downpipe 1500 one (doesn't blow the downpipe gasket all the time either).
The SUs will be fine but will probably appreciate a freshen up.  New needle valves, jets etc.  You'll probably need different needles anyway if you do any of the above mods.
Consider a mappable 3D ignition system (Megajolt is one example).
Consider an oil cooler if you do alot of open road, high speed driving, especially if you have no overdrive.  The 1500 is the one Triumph engine that needs one IMO.

Should be possible to get a perfectly tractable, torquey and reliable 80 - 85 bhp


Nick Jones
Somerset UK

Vitesse Mk 1.5 Convertible EFI, Survivor of RBRR 2008, HCR & 10CR 2009, HCR 2010, 10CR2011, HCR 2012, 10CR2013, 10CR2015 & HCR 2016.
GT6 Mk3 Roto - project in waiting
Spitfire MKIV resto nearly complete (consultant only - son's project)
2.5 PI Saloon now EFI (PIe?), Engine rebuilt and running sweet.  Diff howling...... Survivor of HCR 2013 & 2014 Gone to live in Swansea

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March 20, 2017, 11:33pm Report to Moderator

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Wow Nick once I understand what you are saying and I research the info and begin to understand it I think that will be very useful Thanks. One major question is if I went ahead with most of the suggestions, what sort of estimate would this all cost, I like the idea of the 80 bhp and that should really boost performance.

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