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Mail From: Chris De Wet <(email redacted)>
1600 Vitesse Convertible ( Sports 6 in USA)
Had a look at an early 1600 Vitesse Convertible ( comm. HB 8346 CV ) on
Saturday. Drove 8 hours to go and see it. It's in VERY, very bad shape.
Rusted , in bits and incomplete. Pretty scarce though. First one I've ever
seen for real.
Gearbox looked useable, though it's non-o/d. (gearbox number HB 17764). Can
such a gearbox be used with a GT6 Mk1 engine(KC 8617 E ) without
modification ? Any issues with clutch, clutch release mechanism and slave
cylinder. If so, which flywheel, clutch, clutch slave cylinder , clutch
release/thrust/throwout bearing carrier and bearing must be used ?
Also, can the Vitesse 1600 non-o/d mainshaft be replaced with the o/d
mainshaft and d-type overdrive from a Spitfire Mk1 -Mk3 o/d gearbox ? FWIW
part numbers for Vitesse 1600 and early Spitfire overdrive mainshafts appear
to be the same ( o/d mainshaft part number for both models = 208142 and
d-type o/d unit part number for both models = 306553 )
If this Vitesse 1600 gearbox can be used with my GT6 engine, and can be
converted to overdrive using early Spitfire o/d parts, I might just give it
a go . Have to convince my bank manager , er .... wife, first.
Might even be possible to use the Vitesse 1600 gearbox in the Spitfire4 (aka
Mk1). Know the bellhousing must be changed to the Spitfire type. Anything
else ? Pro's and cons ?
Spitfire 6 project
Read somewhere that Triumph actually did build one prototype Spitfire 6, but
later scrapped the project. Real pity me thinks.
98% finished with the planning and parts gathering stages for my own
Spitfire 6 project. Few bits and pieces left to obtain and then I'll start
in all earnest.
Already fitted the following: GT 6 (Mk 1) engine (KC 8617 E), Vitesse 3.89
differential (FD 10086) and o/d gearbox from a 2000, 2500 or 2.5 PI saloon
(not sure which it is but MB 114254 is stamped on it).
The saloon o/d gearbox is ok, but it's a tad on the big side and I'm worried
about the gear ratios. Think the Vitesse/GT 6 gear ratios would be better
and the box is much smaller and possibly lighter. Is the Vitesse 1600
gearbox weaker than the saloon box ?
Gearbox gear ratios
AFAIK the following gearbox gear ratios were used as standard by Triumph:
Vitesse 1600 ( Sports 6 in USA). First: 2.93, second: 1.78, third: 1.25,
fourth: 1.00, o/d top: 0.802, reverse: 2.93.
GT6/Vitesse 2 L (Mk1 and Mk2). First: 2.65, second: 1.78, third: 1.25,
fourth: 1.00, o/d top: 0.82, reverse: 3.01.
2000/2500/2.5 PI saloon. First: 3.3, second: 2.1, third: 1.386 , fourth:
1.00, o/d top: ? , reverse: ? .
TR2/TR3/TR3A. First: 3.38, second: 2.00, third: 1.325, fourth: 1.00, o/d
top: 0.82, reverse: 4.20.
TR4/TR4A. First: 3.139, second: 2.01, third: 1.325 , fourth: 1.00, o/d top:
0.82, reverse: 3.223.
Spitfire Mk1/Mk2/Mk3/early IV. First: 3.75, second: 2.16, third: 1.39,
fourth: 1.00, o/d top: 3.30, reverse: 3.75.
Spitfire late IV (71-74) and 1500. First: 3.75, second: 2.16, third: 1.39,
fourth: 1.00, o/d top: 3.30, reverse: 3.75.
>From the aforementioned it seems that the Vitesse 1600 and GT6/Vitesse 2 L
(Mk1 and Mk2) gearbox gear ratios are very similar. Only first and reverse
gear ratios differ between the gearboxes. The Vitesse 1600 gearbox also has
no synchro on first gear whilst the GT6/Vitesse 2 L (Mk1 and Mk2) gearboxes
The Vitesse 1600 ( Sports 6 in USA) and GT6/Vitesse 2 L (Mk1 and Mk2)
gearbox gear ratios seem to be much closer together than the 2000/2500/2.5
PI saloon gearbox gear ratios. It would seem beneficial to use these
Vitesse/GT6 ratios with the six cylinder engines. Am I correct?
AFAIK the various clutches can handle the following:
Vitesse 1600 ( Sports 6 in USA) spring clutch : up to 110 b.h.p
GT6/Vitesse 2 L (Mk1 and Mk2) diaphragm clutch : 165 b.h.p. plus
2000/2500 : ?
2.5 PI saloon diaphragm clutch : up to 180 b.h.p.
TR4 spring clutch : up to 140 b.h.p
TR4A. diaphragm clutch : 150 b.h.p.
Spitfire Mk1/Mk2/Mk3 : ?
Does anyone perhaps have any extra '67 GT6 (Mk1) parts available? I'm
especially in need of the following:
* Smiths heater valve and three-way union that fits on the end of the heated
inlet manifold. (Picture 6.17 on page 112 of Triumph Spitfire and GT 6 : A
guide to originality by John Thomason).
* Overdrive speedo cable.
* 15 inch wood or leather rimmed Formula sports steering wheel.(Picture 6.39
on page 117 of Triumph Spitfire and GT 6 : A guide to originality by John
* Door pull handles.(Picture 6.43 on page 118 of Triumph Spitfire and GT 6 :
A guide to originality by John Thomason).
* Padded transmission tunnel side and top covers. (Picture 6.47 on page 119
of Triumph Spitfire and GT 6 : A guide to originality by John Thomason).
Yeah, I know most of it is available from the big companies, but
....unfortunately I can't afford it due to the poor value of our money. Best
I can offer for used parts is eternal gratitude and/or possible trade.
Chris de Wet .
PO Box 472 , Ifafi , 0260 , South Africa .
'56 TR 3
'62 Herald 1200 Coupe
'64 Spitfire 4 (Mk1)
'65 Spitfire 4 (Mk2)
'67 GT6 (Mk1)
? Vitesse 1600 Convertible (HB 8346 CV) ....... possibly soon.
" Triumphs are meant to be driven .... oil paintings are meant to be shown "
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GT6 , Vitesse 1600 , Spitfire and saloon
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