I thought I had better start putting some of my build on here as I find others interesting so might as well put mine up for scrutiny. I wont be in strict order as I can only add little bits when I get the time.
Electric wipers I converted the wheel boxes so they had the same size spindle tubes as the original vacuum setup as there is not much room on the scuttle for the larger 5/8" spindle housings. I turned new ones from some phosphor bronze I had in stock. I soldered the tubes to the steel backplates of the wheel housings. I made new stainless spindles as they needed to be shorter - these are knurled and pressed into the wheels. I bought new drive gear from Stafford Classic to give a greater sweep than the original 2 speed motor I took from a Triumph Spitfire. I cut the steel tubes to fit and had to sleeve joint them as I dont have a flaring tool, which I did with a steel tube loctited in place on the car to get the length right. I found the standard motor bracket had matching diagonal hole centres to my bonnet hinge bolts so I put in longer bolts so they projected inside behind the dash and then made a 3mm spacer plate to fit. The motor slotted in nicely and lined up perfect. I will use the Triumph wiper switch and I recommend you fit a new parking switch/socket to the motor if using the same type as if they develop a fault you can get wires melting. They are about £12 new. Dave
When I saw the car advertised it was described as "Almost a complete car". This reminded me of the comedian Billy Bennet of the Variety Theatre days who liked to be known as "Almost a Gentleman". Anyway, it was certainly a big almost - no back wings, no engine or gearbox and a box of various nuts and bolts many from another vehicle I assume. Good side was it had new floorboards and number plates plus all the documentation going wayback. Most of the metal was good and fairly clean. The seller had been meaning to renovate it so got it dismantled then found another car to do. It sat in his garage for 30 years waiting for me.
As you may have guessed I have a 1953 Prefect but I am fitting an early front end. I was lucky enough to find good wings, grill etc. 'Found' the front quarter panels in New Zealand.
The bonnet has been damaged by someone or some thing landing on it so will get this straighted out or replaced later ( see "Denterazer" in technical Features). Engine is a 1500 Spitfire, rear axle 105e Anglia, front suspension is period Ballamy split axle. Brakes 105E super. Scott of Scotrod fame welded the axle and ladder bars. I am currently hand beating and wheeling the fill-in panels where the early wings dont quite match up with the body. The problem lies where the late wing flange take a different trajectory so have to be removed and new inner wing and the above mentioned in-fill blended in. As it happened the area I needed to remove had been damaged anyway so no regrets there. I will insert some good pictures later.
August 2013 - here are the pictures of the little panels I have hand-beaten and wheeled to blend the 39-47wings to the 48-53 body. They are still not fitted but hopefully will get on to this soon so thought I'd better take some pictures before I get to the serious bit. If anyone is interested I will do a piece on making these in the technical section as it was very basic, ie I dont have very much specialist equipment.
Here is the new body/inner wing section.
So far everything I have found for this car has been broken or has a fault so lots of work for me to do but it is satisfying nonetheless. I feel another picture coming on.................
This is the handbrake relay lever and balancer assembly. This is located under the front end of the propshaft. The original handbrake lever is fitted in more or less the original position beneath the parcel tray but had to be skewed to the left to allow the cable to exit away from the rocker cover.
08/10/14 handbrake update - I have now made the handbrake relay lever over twice as long because there was insufficient leverage to make the brakes hold efficiently. Now the umbrella stick has a longer pull and the rear wheels hold better - real test of course will be when I get it on an incline.
The original Spitfire speedo fits snug in the Bakelite dash using a brass ring plate attached using the three bosses behind the dash. The ring has four upstanding tabs rivetted to it so a jubilee clip can grip these to the speedo case. I made the ring in the lathe so when I assembled it the speedo sat plumb central and looks like it belongs. Hopefully the reading will be something similar to accurate but anyway I will use the satnav to get a percentage inaccuracy when the time comes.
I hope to use most of the Spitfire wiring loom after cutting out any damaged or unwanted sections and re-taping it like new. I already have a battery which is dual voltage, ie is a 12 volt with a 6 volt tapping to power any 6v parts like semaphores and petrol gauge. I already have 6 volt flashing semaphores on my running original 53 Prefect - solenoid is 6 volt but the bulbs are 12 volt and this works fine. On this one I am fitting flashing stop lights from PopBrowns to supplement the semaphores.
Another thing I found - a bench seat that used to reside in a prewar E93A tourer. The owner of the tourer decided to fit bucket seats so I asked to have first refusal on the bench seat and in due course I got it. I was repairing his choke and starter cables for him with new stainless cable inserted. The seat looks perfect although needs a bit of renovation to get me going before the full re-upholster. Somewhere to rest the lunchbox if you get my drift. I had to use heat on the gearstick to give it a forward lean to clear the seat which made the midway rubber damper smoke a bit.
This week I finally cut the mini roof panel out as the weather was fine and I could get outside with the nibbler. It is about 0.5" over all round so just the final trim to go but it looks perfect laying in place on the car - a bit like a toupee. The roof hole is same size as Pop although the car is about 4" longer.
Th black tape is to keep it in place but it sits so tight I dont think it is necessary.
Roof now trimmed ready for final prep and fixing. I have decided to solder and lead-in abit like a Sardine tin.
I also got on well with the exhaust - all sourced on ebay from a company at Oulton park circuit. The parts are by Jetex and I chose 1.75" which is just a tad bigger than the original 1.5" of the Spitfire. The silencer is a neat cylindrical stainless item by Simmons. I also got the rubber mounts on ebay. I couldn't believe how well the system lined up as I had to lower the header outlet pipe so the system would clear the front A frame. The header points about 13° to the near side and when I linked all the parts up up the tail end was right under the chassis for a hanger mount. The silencer lies in line with the left side ladder bar and the up-and-over pipe clears everything. I just need to shorten one handbrake cable to keep it away from the pipe. The ladder bars look very close to the back heel plate so may need to cut some away and build pockets.
Next thing is the floor cross member which needs to be moved back, widened and raised in the tunnel area. The original is in good condition and I have another centre to use for inserting sections so its out with the hacksaw and welding torch.