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BirgerBuilder
BirgerBuilder New Reader
3/27/18 1:54 p.m.

This is some quality progress right here, neighbor! 

I'm just down the road in Westminster. Not that it matters. I don't have enough time to work on my own projects, let alone go see someone else's! 

dherr
dherr Reader
4/4/18 9:35 p.m.

The welding continues.... welded in two recessed panels in the firewall, one for the rear mounted radiator hose and the second to give me an extra inch of space for my header pipe off the turbo. I'll rivet a heat shield to the recessed plate to keep my feet from getting cooked..... I'll be grinding down my welds and painting with Eastwood rust converter before sealing all the seams with seam sealer and painting the floors and firewall with Eastwood satin black. Rear valance is next, then I can flip over the body and do the topside work before flipping it back over for the body work and painting of the underside.

dherr
dherr Reader
4/5/18 1:26 p.m.

Last major body panel is out! Will clean up the used valance and weld it back in tomorrow and then can flip the body back over and work on the inside pieces, then flip it back over for the cleanup, body work and painting/undercoating of the bottom of the car so it can go back on the frame.

AWSX1686
AWSX1686 Dork
4/5/18 1:44 p.m.

Awesome! Can't wait to come by and see it in person tomorrow!

Greg Smith
Greg Smith HalfDork
4/5/18 8:16 p.m.

Looking really great!

 

spitfirebill
spitfirebill MegaDork
4/6/18 7:58 a.m.

I just took an hour to go through this thread.  Great progress and kudos for getting the engine to fit under th bonnet without cutting it.  I wish I had the time and energy to do something like this.  I have wanted to put a Suzuki GTI engine in a Spitfire, but they are difficult to find.       

dherr
dherr Reader
4/6/18 9:29 a.m.

Thanks, it has been a fun project. I try to do one small piece each day (I work from home, so use my lunch break for an hour) to try to complete one small piece at a time. Today, I'll weld in the valence, and over the weekend, complete the top side welding so I can prepare it for going back on the chassis. My mission was that it had to fit under the bonnet, but other than that, I was fine with making the changes necessary to fit the mechanicals as this will not be going back to stock. So rolled fenders, firewall changes, battery relocation, dashboard changes are all part of the rebuild. 

dherr
dherr Reader
4/15/18 7:12 p.m.

So the last week I have been working on finishing the welding of the body shell. Floors, rear valance, minor patches, rocker and the firewall modifications to give me a little more clearance for the exhaust and rear of engine. I also just put in a new battery box as these are always missing the bottom section. The remaining pieces are the radius arm brackets need to be welded to the floors. I will do that this week, then I am off on a week long golf trip with my father-in -law, so no project work until the end of the month.

I found some parts for free that had been advertised on my old Triumph Club's web site since last September. Nice old gentleman had sold his Spitfire but had a garage full of parts. He just wanted his garage cleaned out, so the price was free, the catch was that you had to take everything. So I went up to Elizabethtown on Saturday and scored a rusty bonnet, a really nice hardtop with all the glass, fittings and headliner, needs restored, but it solid with no rust, I also got two doors, two really nice seats with good foam to reupholster and a differential. Plus 4 boxes of small parts (taillights, air shocks, tonneau, wiring, steering wheel, misc....) Great deal for the price of a Uhaul trailer and some gas.

manana
manana New Reader
4/16/18 8:15 a.m.

Man, you've got some kinda luck, first the differential, and now this.  Awesome, must be some good karma.

dherr
dherr Reader
5/2/18 8:55 p.m.

So after a week off, back to work. Last stop body piece to fix was the cuts to the firewall. I had already welded in a replacement battery box, so next step was to weld in a panel to stiffen the firewall as well as give me something to bolt the trans cover to. I ordered  poly cover as I knew I had to cut it and it is pretty easy to modify. Happy with the results, much stronger and I will just need to add a flange on the cuts on the cover to bolt the top in. So can move on to grinding down all my welds and starting the paint prep for the floors and lower rockers.

Lots of grinding, cleaning up and anti-rust painting and seam sealing this weekend!

dherr
dherr Reader
5/3/18 1:02 p.m.

Spent a long lunch hour grinding down plug welds, dirty work...... but looking better with each pass. Here is a better shot of my firewall with all the minor modifications to fit the Miata engine and transmission.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 MegaDork
5/3/18 1:06 p.m.

Im at the grinding welds stage too. You using a flap wheel, or have you found something better?

dherr
dherr Reader
5/3/18 1:10 p.m.

Flap wheel seems to work best, but I did use a cut off wheel on the rocker edges to knockdown  the high points before I cleaned it up with the flap wheels. Fortunately all of these are pretty much covered in seam sealer when I am done, so it does not need to be perfect by any means.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 MegaDork
5/3/18 1:24 p.m.

Good to know im on the right path.

 

Your project is looking fantastic by the way.

dherr
dherr Reader
5/3/18 3:16 p.m.

Thanks appreciate the interest. It has gone together quite nicely, it helps that I am quite familiar with the car, so I am not repeating the mistakes of past smiley Biggest things are to make sure I can service it (without having to remove the body like my last Spitfire), and test fitting the parts as I go along so I don't have to cut into previous work later on.

dherr
dherr Reader
5/4/18 8:14 a.m.

Spent the early morning before work doing the seam sealing and bondo work. The bondo is just to fill in where I welded the rocker patches , dents in the valance and a small patch in the bottom of the rear fender. The important thing is that I know that all the rust has been taken care of and should not be problem in the future, since I have basically restored the body shell, short of a proper paint job. Painted the underneath with Eastwood's rust inhibitors, will finish with Eastwood's brush on bed liner for the bottom of the car. The firewall and lower 1/4 of the car will be painted with Eastwood's Chassis black, which seems to blend in well with the dark brown of the car and addresses where I had to do the bodywork, but still a rat rod look. I will also be painting the front valance in the same black. Body work to continue over lunch, then have to bring it all back into the garage as they are calling for rain later today.

AWSX1686
AWSX1686 Dork
5/4/18 9:29 a.m.

Looking good! Hopefully the rain doesn't kill too much of your couple days of extra productivity. 

AWSX1686
AWSX1686 Dork
5/4/18 9:31 a.m.

Also, unrelated to this build, but related to your last Spitfire. Angrycorvair posted this video from back when you had it at the $2008 challenge.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgOW1YMe6mU

 

dherr
dherr Reader
5/4/18 9:45 a.m.

Yes, commented on this on your thread. Fun to see it again. What will be really fun will be to see how the new Spitfire stacks up against the old one. While my current project does not have the budget restrictions, it is still a street car, but should be capable of some very fast times. Will be interesting to see how they compare, since your's is much more race oriented, but with the engine tuning and performance modifications, you should be able to get a reliable 250HP easy from that combination.  I won't have that much power (more like 210) but better gearing and 200 pounds less weight, so it would be a close battle.

AWSX1686
AWSX1686 Dork
5/4/18 10:09 a.m.
dherr said:

Yes, commented on this on your thread. Fun to see it again. What will be really fun will be to see how the new Spitfire stacks up against the old one. While my current project does not have the budget restrictions, it is still a street car, but should be capable of some very fast times. Will be interesting to see how they compare, since your's is much more race oriented, but with the engine tuning and performance modifications, you should be able to get a reliable 250HP easy from that combination.  I won't have that much power (more like 210) but better gearing and 200 pounds less weight, so it would be a close battle.

I agree, once they are both sorted out we will definitely have to do some comparison. Though I'm hoping for a bit more than 250HP.... ;)

dherr
dherr Reader
5/4/18 10:15 a.m.

The 2.3T is more than capable of 300 HP before you have to make other changes, 250 is a easy and safe tune, but go for it!

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
5/4/18 10:29 a.m.

I don't remember if you addressed this, but will the car get a heater? 

dherr
dherr Reader
5/4/18 10:35 a.m.

Yes, stock Spitfire heater will still fit in the dash. Since I changed the Miata coolant flow to be front to back, I can use an MGB heater valve to turn on or off the flow to the heater core. If I had not done the Miata coolant reroute, this would have been a bigger deal, as the Miata engine relies on constant flow through the heater core to return the coolant from the head back to radiator, so turning off the heat could have had disastrous consequences. 

dherr
dherr Reader
5/4/18 12:35 p.m.

Cleaned out the garage, hoping to make things cozy so these two will "mate" sometime in the next week... Should have the lower body painted this weekend and then be able to apply the bed liner, I am out of town most of next week, but should have the body back on the frame next weekend!

dherr
dherr Reader
5/5/18 7:19 p.m.

Started early this morning and had a full day of work to get it into paint. Pretty pleased with the result, will apply the bed liner to the bottom of the body shell tomorrow and it will be ready to go back on the frame next weekend.

 

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