Tips for Maintaining and Modifying Your Triumph Spitfire

The authors of these tips as well as the webmaster for this site assume no responsibility for personal injury or property damage resulting from application of any of these tips. Know your limitations and proceed at your own risk.

The information contained on these pages has come from many places, which I try to acknowledge. The intention for providing these tips are to inform, but not on a commercial basis. At no time was it intended by myself to breach copyright, and if you feel that this has happened then I urge you to contact me immediately. If the information contained on these pages is wrong, also please contact me. My address is at the bottom of the page. Don't assume that I've written something if there's no credit given. I may not know who the source was, or it may have come from several sources. I hope you find some help here, and if you don't then send me an email. And if you can't find help here, check the link below for the Vintage Triumph Register Maintenance Page. Many of the tips there are generic in nature and will apply to Spitfires as well as any other British car.

British Cars I've Owned

BAD DOG RACING (My Racing Toys)

General Spitfire Information

Spitfire Build Specifications
Spitfire Production Numbers
Spitfire Commission Numbers
GT6 Commission Numbers


Spitfire Engine Tips

Using a Vacuum Gauge to Diagnose Engine Problems
Choosing the Right Exhaust System For Your Spitfire
Are Your Dual Valve Springs Too Short (Here's A Remedy)
Adding Cam Bearings to a 1500 Engine
Installing Thrust Washers in Your 1500 Engine
Adjusting the Valves on Your Spitfire and The Rule of 9
Removing A Stubborn Cylinder Head
Removing the Spitfire Oil Pan with the Engine in the Car
Engine Removal Without a Hoist
Interpretation of the Spitfire's Timing Marks
Installing Manifold Clamps

Generic Engine Info

Compression Ratio Effects When Adding a Supercharger or Turbocharger
The Three Things it Takes to Make an Engine Run
Should You Use Sealer on a Head Gasket?

Differentials and Transmissions

Differentials and U Joints

Removing the Rear Wheel/Hub Assembly without Removing the Brakes
The Dos and Don't of Diffs
Installing Universal Joints in Your Spit
Things to Consider When Adding a Quaiffe Limited Slip Differential
Leaking Differentials - (some possible causes and cures)
Rebuilding and Reinstalling a Differential in an Early Spitfire
Installing a Differential in Your Spitfire (another opinion/method)


The Difference Between Single and Three Rail Transmissions
Installing a GT6 Gearbox in a Spitfire
Wiring a J Type Overdrive
Making Clutch Bleeding Easier - A Unique Method
Tips For Installing a Transmission in Your Spitfire
A Neat Tip for Filling the Transmission on Your Spitfire


Replacing a Spitfire Clutch Release Bearing
Making Clutch Bleeding Easy - A Unique Method
Tips for Helping You Bleed Your Clutch - The Standard Way
Removal of the Metal Cap on Later Spitfire Clutch Slave Cylinders
Some Information on Clutch Master Cylinders

Overdrive Units

A Remedy for Slow Engagement on Your A Type Overdrive
Checking Your Overdrive Unit for Proper Operation

Carburetion & Fuel Systems

SUs and Webbers

A Possible Fix for Leaks on SUs (Bowl and Dashpot)
Information About Installing Dual Carburetors (SUs or Webbers) on Your Spitfire
Information About SU Carburetors
Preliminary Steps to Tuning SUs

Zenith Stromberg Carburetors

Mounting the 1500 Car to Your Manifold (prevents vacuum leaks)
Tips on Rebuilding Your ZS Carburetor
Stromberg Carburetor Fuel Leaks -- An Opinion from John Maccartney

Carburetors in General

Converting to Cable Accelerator Linkage on Round Tail Spits
Some Methods of Preventing Vapor Lock
Diagnosing Varying Idle Speed Problems
Check Your Fuel Line Routing
A Tip When Checking Your Float Level
Fuel Line Replacement
Disabling the Mechanical Fuel Pump

Ignition Systems

Adding a MSD Capacitive Discharge Ignition System
Comparing the Crane and Petronix Ignition Systems (one owner's opinion)

Lubrication and Cooling


Choosing an Oil Filter for Your Spitfire
All About Oil - What Brand Should You Use?
Oil Additive Information - Should You Use It?
Spin On Oil Filter Adaptor for the Spitfire


Installing an Electric Fan in Your Spitfire

Emissions Information

Testing an Anti-Run-On Valve
A Source for Emission Parts
How to Stop Your 1500 From Blowing Oil After You Remove the Emissions Stuff


"Proofing" Your Spitfire Electronics
Brake Light Troubleshooting
Wiring Restoration in an Early Spitfire
How to Test Your Electrical System Using Breakers Instead of Fuses
Identifying and Replacing Your Head Light Rocker Switch
Reconfiguring a Later Model Column Light Switch for an Early Spitfire
Fitting the GM alternator to the Spitfire
Centering the Turn Signal Cancel Cam


Spitfire Temperature Gauge Info
Testing and Repair of the Fuel Gauge Sending Unit
Cable Routing Technique to the Rear of Your Spitfire

Keys and Locks

Rekeying Spitfire Locks
Need a Key for Your Spit? Check Here for a List of Ignition Key Blanks That Will Work

Wiring diagrams can be found in the Chassis & Body section below.


Front Spring Specifications - How to tell what you've got!
Rear End Sag on Your Spitfire? - it's not always the spring!
Rear End Sagging!!! -- Information About Putting Air Shocks on Your Spitfire
A Simple Method of Testing Your Halfshaft U-Joints


Adjusting the Rear Brakes with Your Wheels On
Switching Your Braking System to DOT 5 Brake Fluid
Bench Bleeding a Master Cylinder
Removing Brake Drums
A Simple Brake Adjuster Tool
Rear Brake Hose Inspection
Adjusting the Handbrake on Your 1500
Removing a Stuck Caliper Piston
Re-Installing Brake Calipers Correctly

Tires and Wheels

Upgrading Your Lug Bolts to a Larger Size
What Size Wheels and Tires Can You Use On Your Spitfire
Wheel Preparation When Buying Tires


A Tip on Replacing the Steering Rack on Your Spitfire
Rebuilding the Steering U Joint
Replacing the Bushings in Your Steering Rack

Chassis & Body


Removing Black Rust Spots From the Spitfire
Removing the Tub (BODY) From Your Spitfire
Bolting the Tub (BODY) Back Onto Your Spitfire Frame
Eliminating That Irritating Popping Sound Your Spitfire Door Makes
Adjusting the Bonnett on Your Spitfire/GT6
Preventing Outward Bonnett Dings on Your Spitfire/GT6
Bonnet Lifting No No


A Tip for Removing Your Steering Wheel
Installing Miata Seats in Your Spitfire by Geof Bush (External Link)
Adjusting the Height of Your Steering Wheel
Sources for Wooden Steering Wheels


Installing a New Soft Top on Your Spitfire
How to Attach the Top on Your Mk1 or Mk2
Repairing a Leaky Top Seal on a Mk IV or 1500
Fitting a Hard Top to a 1500


Determining the Manufacturing Date of Your Windshield
Installing a Windshield in Your Spitfire


Installing Door Waist Seals
Installing the Outer Door Window Seal


A Source for Cheap Sound Dampening Material
Paint Codes for Your Spitfire
Dealing With a Sticking Heater Control


Top Ten Reasons to Own a Spitfire (a little humor)
Tips on Storing Your Spitfire Outside (if you have to)
A Spring Checklist for Preparing Your Spitfire for Summer Fun
Title Considerations When Building a Spit6
Some Information About Spitfire Horns
Working Under Your Spitfire Safely
A Short Article on Modified Spitfires (engine swaps, mostly)
A Tip on Bending Brake and Fuel Line Tubing
Unclogging Your Heater
How To Use A MIG Welder
How to Cut Cables (the right way)


A Primer on Electrical Wire
A Source for Original Colorcoded Wiring for LBCs

Batteries and Chargers

A Little Info About Batteries and Battery Chargers
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Regular and Deep Cycle Batteries - and More

North American Spitfire Squadron - NASS
The International Triumph Spitfire Database

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