Some Tips on Installing a Transmission in Your Spitfire

by BWN

I installed the new Borg and Beck clutch in my 79 Spitfire. In the process I did a few things I omitted in previous clutch replacements:

1. I drilled out the bell housing bushes that hold the release lever pin and replaced with new tight ones. I went a size larger, too, 3/8" i.d. and 1/2" o.d. And of course went to a larger, 3/8" pin (a good bolt actually).

2. The lever release pin hole was drilled out to 3/8. The hole was badly worn out of round.

3. Since the push rod on the lever was also worn, I replaced the rod and the pin on which it rotates. Between the wear found on the rod and the pin I figure about 1/8" of slave piston travel was wasted.

It all works great!

Also, just for those who don't know, use the guide pin method of installation.

Cut the heads off of two 7/16" x 2.5" bolts. Grind the cut end to a bullet point and screw the thread end into the two top bell housing bolt holes in the top of the engine block (the outer ones, not the center one)

Insert the trans into the car via the right hand door (for US models), tail high to get the bell housing under the dash. Leave tail pointed toward the right hand door until the right side of the bell housing flange is forward to right side of firewall cut out. Swing tail end to near center, resting the bell housing on the frame.

Using one jack raise the rear of motor up 2". With a second (wheeled preferably) floor jack, elevate transmission to equal height and slide forward onto the guide pins. Adjust the jacks to assure the bell housing flange plane and the flywheel plane are parallel. This will align the spigot shaft and crank bushing. Slide the transmission home and bolt it up! Remove the guide pins and install the correct bolts.

This is a thousand times easier than wrestling the weight of the unit to align all the parts. Some TR3 guy told me about this method.

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