'73 Spit6
Time for another project.  This is a '73 Spitfire that has been converted to a 6 cyl. This
is a common engine swap, combining the pleasure of a Spitfire convertible with the
power of a GT6 6 cyl. engine.  I haven't dug into the car yet, but it looks pretty solid
and has a decent interior.  A good cleaning, hydraulics and a new starter will be first
on the list of things to do.  As with any project, I'm sure there will be a few surprises
to make it interesting.  
I bought this car on eBay, so I hadn't even seen it until I went to pick it up.  So it felt good to get it running and take this
short ride without seeing any major problems.  Now that I know it starts, shifts, stops and steers,its time to start taking
things apart.  More to come...
1/10/05 Today I did a quick tune up and oil
change, and set the valves. A few were
quite a bit off.  The "Triumph Tick" is now
gone!  The engine's running pretty good.  
Quiet, no hesitation and a smooth idle.  
1/8/05 Now that the car is home, I've been
able to dig into it.  With a little coaxing, and
a jump, the engine came to life.  It ran
surprisingly well.  It has the usual
"Triumph Tick", so setting the valves will be
done soon. Oil pressure was at 40lbs. at
hot idle.  Good news there.  After filling up
the clutch master cylinder and bleeding
the system, I was able to shift through the
gears.  I was off for a ride!  It shifted well in
all gears.  No strange noises and shifted
easily from gear to gear. The clutch master
cylinder was empty when I first checked it,
so I knew I couldn't drive very long.  Sure
enough.  When I got home it was already
half empty.
Click the picture for a larger view
Details:
Commission #:  FM6842U
Body #:  7979FM
Gearbox #:   KF13117
Engine #:  CC59218F
('70 TR6)
Chassis #:  FC172921  
 
1/21/05 Here are a few pictures as I start taking things apart for
inspection, replacement or rebuilding, and cleaning.  Front floor
pans need some patching, but over-all everything is pretty solid.
No major surprises.  Once I get the trans tunnel off I'll find out
what gearbox was matched to the TR6 block.
2/12/05 Items repaired or replaced to date
-Brake and Clutch master cylinders rebuilt
-All new brake hoses
-Repalced short brake lines
-New radiator hoses
-New rear wheel cylinders
-New brake pads and shoes
-New front shocks
-Carbs cleaned and rebuilt
-Front and rear trunnions rebuilt
-New ball joints
-New tie rod ends
-New U joints
-New rear wheel bearings and seals
-Replaced driver's side rear axle
-Replaced fuel and temp gauges (GT6 to match
speedo and tach)
2/26/05 We've had some nice weather, so I've been able to get out in the
garage.  Engine block is painted, frame and suspension is painted
and shocks, springs, vertical links installed.  Installing the brakes, carbs,
fuel pump, etc. will be next.  It's great to be putting parts back on instead of
pulling them off!
3/23/05 Work continues.  Front suspension is rebuilt and back in place.
The back end is cleaned and painted waiting for the spring and axles to
be installed.  The firewall is ready for a second coat of paint.  It's nice to
see it all one color instead of black, blue and rust!  Hopefully the rear end
will be done soon so I can get the wheels back on and move the car around.
My other cars will be out of hibernation soon!
3/26/05 The rear suspension is now in place.  The rear spring was rebuilt
using 1/8th" thick rubber squares instead of the small round buttons between
the leaves.  This brought my ride height up about 1 1/2", and gave a positive
camber to the rear wheels.  There's a little too much positive camber at the
moment, but I'll wait for the new bushings to wear in a bit before I make any
adjustments.  The car is rolling again!
5/8/05 Engine bay is just about complete.  Master cylinders have been
rebuilt and installed.  New brake hoses and a few lines replaced.  Brackets
were added to support the hoses. Rear trans seal was replaced and shift
lever linkage rebuilt.

Next will be patching the floorboards.  As usual, the footwells need attention.
The rest is solid.  I'll be using fiberglass for the patching.  After the floor is
patched, I can start getting the interior back together.    
5/19/05 The floorboards have been patched.  I used Bondo/with fiberglass
and some netting over the bigger holes.  Several layers and the footwells are
solid now.  After painting the floor, I started putting the interior back together.
I need to glue a  few more carpet panels, install the gloveboxes and a new
radio and it will be complete!  Now that the seats are in I can take it out for a
ride...first time since January!
5/22/05 Well the Spit6 went for a test drive today!  It was a sunny day, top
down, and it felt pretty good.  After a few minutes driving it developed a
terrible grinding noise from the back end.  I discovered the rear brake hose
was rubbing on the axle shaft.  There was a lot of clearance when the car was
jacked up and the wheels were hanging, but once down on the ground the
hose came too close to the shaft.  Minor adjustment and the noise was gone.
There were a few other squeaks and rattles, but nothing major, mostly from
the doors.  It ran smooth..shifted well..and was very
FAST!  I think I'm going
to like this car.
10/16/05 Here are some photos as the Spit6 looks today.  I've got about 600
miles on it so far without any problems.  I've been working on eliminating
squeaks and rattles, and a little body work.  The boot lid and apron have been
repainted and I'm working on cutting off the front fender flares put on by a
DPO.  I'm not sure yet how these will turn out


.

It runs great and is very fast.  The ride was a little rough, but a wheel alignment
has helped.  More body work is on the list of things to do, but with winter coming
this may wait until next year.
7/2/06  My Spit6 is now for sale.  As much as I enjoy this car, garage
space forces the sale.  These pictures are in response to questions I
have received about the car.
7/11/06  Looks like the Spit6 has found a new home in Rhode Island.  I
hope the new owner enjoys it as much as I have.
Link to my article in the Spitfire & GT6 Magazine