22nd September 2001
As the car has been going very well since my last update, I am guilty of letting the website slip. However the car broke down last week so now I have taken the opportunity to update these pages with what has been going on since last time.
The Spitfire no longer needs those awful window winder handles now. I have fitted electric windows! I bought the kit from Maplin Electronics for about a hundred pounds. They were not easy to fit, but that is more due to the cramped working conditions in my garage and inside the door itself. I have relatively large hands, and fitting them inside the workings of the door was a challenge to say the least. The two pictures below show the inside of the doors minus winder handle. All that is there now is a tidy plastic cover that fills the hole. You can also see the switches on the dash. The only other addition to the inside of the car is an advanced Nokia hands free kit for my mobile. It looks good, but when driving with the roof off, no one can hear you!
As I said earlier, the car broke down. The cause was the head gasket blowing between the 3rd and 4th cylinder.
This gave me the opportunity to decoke the engine. Below are some pictures of the decoked head and block. The pictures of the head clearly show the modified ports and recess and the larger inlet and exhaust valves.
The last item on my wish list for the engine, to finish it all off was a roller bearing rocker shaft. This is now a reality, and I parted with £441.71 and have bought a TT1448 Roller Rocker Spitfire kit, 8 TT1433 pushrods and the necessary shims for the rocker pedestals. Bolted onto the head it really does look cool. It is a shame it has to be covered!
The only real problem on assembly, was that when the car was started all 8 tappets hit the alloy rocker cover. A phone call to Moss really didn't help other than the advice to fit two rocker gaskets, which I did.
It is difficult to say whether it goes any faster, but it definitely picks up quicker and is sucking considerably more down the chokes. So it will have to go back to Red Line tuning for another go on the rolling road.
23rd November 2001
I went to work on the train today, and as it was quite a nice day, drove the Spitfire to the local train station. On returning that evening, I got into the car and instinctively knew something was wrong, a: it was in gear.... and I never leave it in gear and b: the seat was further back than I remembered... That was when it dawned on me, THE CAR HAD BEEN BROKEN INTO!!!
Sure enough, where once there had been a Pioneer stereo, there was now a great big hole. Also the boot was open and the amplifier had disappeared. However, it was far too dark to see what damage had been done to the outside.
The next day, it was obvious what had happened, firstly they had forced the lock on the driver's door, but realising it was deadlocked, did the same to the passenger side door. the alarm had gone off, but had been ignored.
Fortunately, the insurance company have agreed to settle in cash in order that I can repair the car myself.
I have now replaced the stereo with a Kenwood cassette plus CD autochanger and the amplifier with a 200 watt JBL. Both door locks have also been replaced.