TRExp

Spitfire & GT6 Forum

New Car Questions: Rust, Electronics, and Driver Seat

Moss Motors
AutoShrine Sponsor
AutoShrine Sponsor
AutoShrine Sponsor
AutoShrine Sponsor

techwiz001 Matthew S.
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA   USA
Hello! This is my first post (and my first Triumph), though I've been reading through the forum for about a month now.
The car runs and drives wonderfully, I just had a few questions about "extraneous" items.
Number one on my list of concerns is rust--it's not as bad here as I've seen pictures of elsewhere on this site, but I would like to keep it to a minimum. The worst spot seems to be behind the rear wheel, though it is also present under the middle of the car and in the battery box. Is this a concern? Is there anything I can do to remove this rust and/or prevent other areas from rusting? (rusted areas in pictures)
Also, the battery box appears to have corroded so much that the bottom is close to falling out. Are these easy to replace? Are there structural drop-in parts if it does fail before I have time to replace it?

Some aspects of the electrical system are also of interest. There is a small switch by my left knww with a red light that turns on and off when I flip the switch, though nothing else seems to happen. It appears to be original/built in to the car, though I cannot find any mention of it--any ideas as to what it may do?
The parking lights also do not work. If the headlights are on, the lights on the rear of the car illuminate, but nothing makes the amber lights at the front of the car turn on. The turn signals blink at the "fast" rate as though a bulb is missing, though all four signal bulbs illuminate.

The heater control valve appears to be seized, though I have not found any replacement instructions that deal with the fluid that may be trapped inside. Is there anything I should do to prevent it from spilling/getting air in the line when I replace the valve?

Oil is also slowly leaking from the seal just under the dipstick slot all around the engine block. Is this a major concern? (image attached)

Finally, the driver's seat-back appears to be disconnected from the bottom of the seat on one side. How do you remove the seat to see what is broken? It also refuses to tilt, which makes raising and lowering the top rather difficult.


Thanks in advance for your help!

. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <

Attachments:
battery_box_hole.jpg    22.6 KB
battery_box_hole.jpg

rust_behind_rear_wheel.jpg    47.2 KB
Sign In or Register to view this photo
rust_oil_engine_close.jpg    38.7 KB
Sign In or Register to view this photo
rust_under_passenger_seat.jpg    42.2 KB
Sign In or Register to view this photo
Yellowhawk Valley Avatar
walla walla, washington, USA   USA
1969 Triumph Spitfire "Walla Walla"
1969 Triumph Spitfire "Portland"
1972 Triumph Spitfire MkIV "Spokane"
1975 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Dayton"    & more
In reply to # 1495884 by techwiz001 Hello! This is my first post (and my first Triumph), though I've been reading through the forum for about a month now.
The car runs and drives wonderfully, I just had a few questions about "extraneous" items.
Number one on my list of concerns is rust--it's not as bad here as I've seen pictures of elsewhere on this site, but I would like to keep it to a minimum. The worst spot seems to be behind the rear wheel, though it is also present under the middle of the car and in the battery box. Is this a concern? Is there anything I can do to remove this rust and/or prevent other areas from rusting? (rusted areas in pictures)
Also, the battery box appears to have corroded so much that the bottom is close to falling out. Are these easy to replace? Are there structural drop-in parts if it does fail before I have time to replace it?

Some aspects of the electrical system are also of interest. There is a small switch by my left knww with a red light that turns on and off when I flip the switch, though nothing else seems to happen. It appears to be original/built in to the car, though I cannot find any mention of it--any ideas as to what it may do?
The parking lights also do not work. If the headlights are on, the lights on the rear of the car illuminate, but nothing makes the amber lights at the front of the car turn on. The turn signals blink at the "fast" rate as though a bulb is missing, though all four signal bulbs illuminate.

The heater control valve appears to be seized, though I have not found any replacement instructions that deal with the fluid that may be trapped inside. Is there anything I should do to prevent it from spilling/getting air in the line when I replace the valve?

Oil is also slowly leaking from the seal just under the dipstick slot all around the engine block. Is this a major concern? (image attached)

Finally, the driver's seat-back appears to be disconnected from the bottom of the seat on one side. How do you remove the seat to see what is broken? It also refuses to tilt, which makes raising and lowering the top rather difficult.


Thanks in advance for your help!

Depending upon how wide or large those rust spaces are, you my be able to just cut out the bad spaces and weld in new little patches.
The battery box can be replaced with new pieces available at all the usual places. As a temp think some people will just cut and drop in a piece of tin. It is a bit of work and requires welding but that will be a discussion of its own.
No idea what the switch and light is by the left knee. It does not sound like an original. Photos please.
The lighting issues may just be bad bulbs. The fast flasher gives me concern that some of the wiring is a little goofy.
The heater water valve is easily changed out., No issues with what ever little water escapes. Disconnect the operating wire from the lever and see if it will move by hand.
The seal leak would be the oil pan gasket. Check them for tightness but do not over tighten. If that does not fi it, you may just need a new gasket.
The drivers seat hinge may well be broken on one side, that happens. If you move the seat all the way back you will see a set of 1/4 bolts at the front end of the tracks. Move it forward and you will see the same thing at the rear. Move them and the seat. Be aware that they are likely rusty and may take some work to remove, and , you may damage the welded nuts on the sheet metal. If it won't tilt you may have broken pieces in the latch.
Good luck and keep coming back for details as needed.
Dan

Fictioneer Avatar
Fictioneer Doug Hirt
Colorado Springs, CO, USA   USA
Hi Matthew, and welcome to the forum.
I wonder if the switch and red light aren't a PO's (previous owner's) attempt to relocate or install a hazard switch?
Doug



"Mr. Filby, do you think he'll ever return?"
"One cannot choose but wonder. You see . . . he has all the time in the world!"



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-11-04 07:26 PM by Fictioneer.

. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <
Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, British Columbia, Canada   CAN
Not sure what the first pic is?

The rust seems to be only surface rust. Clean and paint with the products of your choice.

The Battery box is very easy, I am sure there is a how-to if you do a search.

I am not seeing much of an oil leak below the dipstick. But as a long time British car owner, anything less than the Exon Valdes spill barely raises an eyebrow!

Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, British Columbia, Canada   CAN
The heater valve I had to do last spring, another easy job, but remember to order a new 'O' ring when fitting, or get one from a hardware store. Give the heater core a good flush while you have the valve out, the odds are it will be full of muck.
Heck flush the radiator and block while you are at it, before filling the system with 50% antifreeze.

Electrics you will likely have to work on, get yourself a multimeter and/or test light. Print yourself a coloured, Tom O'Mally wiring diagram and trace where the power is (or not).

Yes, the seat back frame is broken. Do you weld?

grubscrew Avatar
grubscrew grub screw
The suburbs of, Winfield, Maryland, USA   USA
There should be no such switch with a red light on the left side of a 1970 Spitfire dash, so the PO has customized something...perhaps fog lights? Maybe added an electric radiator fan?...



Dave
1970 Spitfire Mk3
FDU 78359L
34/11 (Jasmine yellow/Black interior)

1962 Triumph TR3B
TCF 575L
Signal Red/Red interior

techwiz001 Matthew S.
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA   USA
Thanks for all the helpful info!
To clarify, the first picture is the hole in the battery box, as viewed from the top. Apologies for the poor lighting; car was in the garage.
I do have access to welding tools, though rather infrequently. I should be able to start working on the seat next weekend. Is it usually a difficult repair?
Attached is a picture of the mysterious switch and red light, it's on the left. After tracing the wire since the last post, one of its outputs appears to pull a wire near (but as far as I can tell, not attached to) the rat's nest between the headlights from ground to positive. The switch pulls another wire up as well, but I can't seem to find where it terminates.
Thanks for the advice about the oil pan screws and gasket, I'll tighten those ASAP.
Glad to hear the heater valve is a relatively easy repair. The cable is disconnected from the valve, and the lever can move it with some resistance. It appears to be quite rusted, does that warrant a replacement?
What type of paint should be used on the underside of the vehicle? Also, how do you "clean" the metal of rust? A light sanding? This is a relatively new field for me, I apologize for any misunderstandings.
I removed the bulb from each location and tested the voltage at the socket and nearby wiring with a multimeter; none of the bulbs appear to be bad.
When the three position lighting switch is in the center position, neither of the two outputs are pulled high. When it is in the lowest position, both outputs are pulled high, and though the headlights come on, none of the 4 amber lights on the front half of the vehicle illuminate. The rear lights (dim tail lamps and side-mounted lamps) are fully functional.

Thanks for all the help!

. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <

Attachments:
Triumph Switch.jpg    49.4 KB
Triumph Switch.jpg

Fictioneer Avatar
Fictioneer Doug Hirt
Colorado Springs, CO, USA   USA
A owner installed alarm system???? Previously installed but now removed driving lights???? An electric radiator fan????



"Mr. Filby, do you think he'll ever return?"
"One cannot choose but wonder. You see . . . he has all the time in the world!"

Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, British Columbia, Canada   CAN
The one seat back that I repaired, I sleeved the seat frame tube with a section of pipe and welded it.
I had to remove the seat back vinyl and cover everything else in wet towels.

No idea what that switch and red light are :-(

. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <
techwiz001 Matthew S.
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA   USA
There's a covered key-slot on the outside of the vehicle that I assumed was for a now-defunct alarm system, though I could be mistaken. Unfortunately I am away from the vehicle until tomorrow evening, so I won't be able to post a picture of it. The current radiator fan is not electric, though there could have been another unit in place at some time. The past driving lights appear to be the most likely option given where the wire terminates, I hadn't thought of those. Thanks for the suggestion.
Glad to hear the welding is relatively simple; I look forward to repairing it when I have the time. Thanks again for your suggestions!

Greg1835 Avatar
Greg1835 Greg S
Rudolph, Wisconsin, USA   USA
The heater valve can be taken apart and cleaned up w/o too much trouble. If the diaphragm is in decent shape, it should be fine. As stated, a new o-ring should be used to reassemble. It goes between the valve and the mounting bracket.

spitfire50 Avatar
spitfire50 Paul Mugford
Rochester, N.H., USA   USA
Matthew,
On the lights, there are splices under the dash where the steering column goes through. Some of those connect the column light switch. Disconnecting, cleaning, and reconnecting them may fix your problem. Contact cleaner and contact paste are good things to treat them with.
All the best,
Paul

tapkaJohnD Avatar
tapkaJohnD John Davies
Lancaster, Lancashire, UK   GBR
Oil leak. NOT a leak, but a special Triumph-Engineered Anticorrosion System.
Clearly, the TEAS isn't working too well on your car, hence the rust.
WaxOyl is a suitable substitute, but suggest treating with some rust remover/stabiliser and painting first.

As above your switch and little red light are not original, but if the light goes on it must be still live. Suggest you don't turn it on, else the smoke might get out.
Can you trace the wire(s), either by colour or multimeter to find where they go?

And 50% antifreeze? Big yes, for Duncan in BC, but you're in North Carolina - do you know what frost is?
You need an antifreeze, as these days it's an anticorrosion agent as well, but 20-25% is quite sufficient for that. Strong concentrations of antifreeze are WORSE at heat transfer than water!

Enjoy your car!
John

lef2wander Avatar
lef2wander Gold Member James Thomas
hatfield, ma, USA   USA
Before tightening any oil pan fasteners, review torque spes for them. The front ones are at a different spec.
You may end up stripping the sealing block.

Get a manual.

Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, British Columbia, Canada   CAN
In reply to # 1495982 by lef2wander Before tightening any oil pan fasteners, review torque spes for them. The front ones are at a different spec.
You may end up stripping the sealing block.

Get a manual.

Yes,
As James says, the front and rear sealing blocks are fine thread bolts in Aluminium alloy, they strip all too easily.

. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <

To add your reply, or post your own questions

Members Sign In   or   Create an Account

Registration is FREE and takes less than a minute!


Having trouble posting or changing forum settings?
Read the Forum Help (FAQ) or contact the webmaster