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Upgrading Everything -and keeping it Spitfire-ish

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Spitfired Xtreme Michael Perry
Pinson, AL, USA   USA
Hello,

I thought I might introduce myself by saying that I am an old fart. And I am not new to Spitfires. I built my first one back in the early eighties with a Cosworth 2.5L 60° V6 from a Mercury Capri and a 4 speed manual. I put a lot of money into it and ended up getting married and it was sold to support the new family.

So now -family is mostly all grown and moved on -and my wife encouraged me to find another one and start new. So I am doing just that -with the goal of making it even better than my original one. The goal is to convert to Miata suspension -since I absolutely hated how the transverse leaf would react to 250hp. Wheel wrap was absolutely absurd.

I picked a 92 rear sub-frame and arms because I prefer A-arms to multi-link. And I picked the 1016 front pieces because they are stupidly lightweight and nearly all aluminum. The Miata suspension also gives me a huge choice of wheels -vs the very limited choice for Spitfire pattern.

First is a few photos of what I found for $600 to start with:





















Success is a measure of determination!

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Doug in Vegas Avatar
Doug in Vegas Douglas D
Las Vegas, NV, USA   USA
Vampire fangs! smileys with beer

Spitfired Xtreme Michael Perry
Pinson, AL, USA   USA
Here are some photos of a few of the pieces I have purchased for the build;















Success is a measure of determination!

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Spitfired Xtreme Michael Perry
Pinson, AL, USA   USA
Narrowing the rear subframe:







Here it is all jigged up for welding:







I took out exactly 8" which will put the wheel track at stock Spitfire width with the wheels/tires I bought. The front may be a little more tricky since there won't be a subframe to narrow.



Success is a measure of determination!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-03-11 04:17 PM by Spitfired Xtreme.

Spitfired Xtreme Michael Perry
Pinson, AL, USA   USA
Torsen is the only way to go for me -so I found a 1.8 Miata Torsen differential for $400 here locally. Here is the housing jigged up for welding. I plan to replace the two missing pieces of aluminum where there was a mismatch due to differences in width where the ends are re-joined:



I am all over the place with the design of this thing and so I don't know which way I will be going from one minute to the next. Original differential plan was CTS:



But after having the beast in-hand -I realized that it would be a very tight squeeze in the narrowed Miata subrame (actually an interference fit).



Success is a measure of determination!



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2018-03-11 04:35 PM by Spitfired Xtreme.

Spitfired Xtreme Michael Perry
Pinson, AL, USA   USA
Here are a few of the arms as refinished and with poly bushings installed:



Polishing other aluminum pieces:



I still have yet to purchase the poly bushing kit for the front pieces. I am somewhat leery about removing stock bushings from aluminum. Steel is easy because you just burn them out. But you can't do that to aluminum. And I don't want to take any chance at damaging the pieces by pressing them out.



Success is a measure of determination!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-03-11 04:39 PM by Spitfired Xtreme.

alpecsa Avatar
alpecsa Alfredo Perezcalva
Versailles, KY, now in Mexico, USA   USA
Looking great

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TheZster Avatar
TheZster Steven Z
SAINT LOUIS, MO, USA   USA
1978 Triumph 1500 "BLK-BRY"
1. You're a glutton for punishment...
2. Most of us are "old farts" and can relate...
3. For $600 ---- You done good...
4. Good luck and keep us posted

Z

5. How did they attach the engine to the radiator with the thermostat housing on backwards??? (drinking smiley)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-03-11 04:41 PM by TheZster.

Spitfired Xtreme Michael Perry
Pinson, AL, USA   USA
Thanks! I have a very long way to go. And I am almost locked into a cantilever shock design to keep things within the original Spitfire confines. I think it is also just a very cool touch. I have several different motorcycle shocks on hand as well as the fulcrum arm links they use in the rear swing arm. The links are perfect for a fulcrum arm in a cantilever suspension. There are so many types and geometry arrangements to choose from. I am currently locked onto the 08 and up Hayabusa shock. But not decided for a fulcrum arm yet.

I want to use push rods with Heim joints to go from the arm to the fulcrum arm so that I can offset one shock forward (but transverse) and one aft (also transverse) because there is not enough room across the top to put both shocks end to end. So I plan to make them parallel. And not all arms would work with a heim end. Some fulcrum arms are a single ear on bot ends and some are ear on one end and clevis (two ears) on the other. To use heims -it would need two ears (clevis).



Success is a measure of determination!

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Spitfired Xtreme Michael Perry
Pinson, AL, USA   USA
In reply to # 1518237 by TheZster 1. You're a glutton for punishment...
2. Most of us are "old farts" and can relate...
3. For $600 ---- You done good...
4. Good luck and keep us posted

Z

5. How did they attach the engine to the radiator with the thermostat housing on backwards??? (drinking smiley)

3) Thanks. I thought I done good too since my last one was in worse shape when I started and I paid $800 for it.

5) I am not sure on that one -since I don't remember much about stock Spitfire construction. I hadn't even noticed if anything was backwards. I planned to pull all of that stuff and sell it off to help fund the build. The engine is supposed to be rebuilt. I will probably have to pull the head to verify. I hate to do that since it will cost me a head gasket -but I wouldn't want to describe it as something it isn't.

I am real pumped up about this one -because -once the frame and body modifications are done -it should come along very fast since I have everything I need to put it together. And these are the easiest cars to build anyway. I absolutely love them! Last one tipped the scales at 1500 lbs -and if you could keep the differential from exploding -it was the fastest car on the road where I was at the time.

P.S. Sandblasting a Spitfire frame has gone up in price a bit since the early eighties. I paid around $100 back then -and my first quote on this frame for this go around was $250 -350$. Ouch!



Success is a measure of determination!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-03-11 05:09 PM by Spitfired Xtreme.

TheZster Avatar
TheZster Steven Z
SAINT LOUIS, MO, USA   USA
1978 Triumph 1500 "BLK-BRY"
Keep us advised on the buy,sell,trade portion of the forum..... Lots of folks here (including me) would love to have a spare block/head laying around for use....

Z

Spitfired Xtreme Michael Perry
Pinson, AL, USA   USA
In reply to # 1518248 by TheZster Keep us advised on the buy,sell,trade portion of the forum..... Lots of folks here (including me) would love to have a spare block/head laying around for use....

Z

I suppose I could do that. I had originally intended to just list it here locally on CL. But if there is a greater need elsewhere and if something for transport could be arranged -I guess I could do that.

But I NEVER trust a guy selling a car who says -the engine was completely rebuilt. And I guess I would trust that even less if they put a thermostat housing on backwards!

P.S. And let's not forget -what looks to be paint brushed enamel from a can!



Success is a measure of determination!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-03-11 05:15 PM by Spitfired Xtreme.

Spitfired Xtreme Michael Perry
Pinson, AL, USA   USA
Here is a shot of frame with body removed:



I forgot to mention that after I have the frame sandblasted and rear subframe spliced in -I plan to have it powdercoated. There is a company here that can powdercoat extremely large items. Last time I was in his shop -they had a Hum Vee up on a rotisserie coming out of the oven. WOW! You don't see that every day!



Success is a measure of determination!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-03-11 05:20 PM by Spitfired Xtreme.

TheZster Avatar
TheZster Steven Z
SAINT LOUIS, MO, USA   USA
1978 Triumph 1500 "BLK-BRY"
Matches your Home depot bucket pretty well.... LOL

Spitfired Xtreme Michael Perry
Pinson, AL, USA   USA
In reply to # 1518254 by TheZster Matches your Home depot bucket pretty well.... LOL

That is not a Home Depot bucket -that is a body quadrant support!

P.S. Anyone reading this -happen to know if there has ever been a thread here showing how to make a rotisserie from two engine stands and how to attach to the body? I saw a photo of similar in a google search -but didn't find anything on how they made it. I would also like to find out what attach points they found that are structurally suitable.



Success is a measure of determination!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-03-11 05:45 PM by Spitfired Xtreme.

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