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Spitfire Total Rebuild!



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 891 ✭✭✭Falcon L

    I like both with and without the centre piece. Maybe shading towards the without.

    Great work. Is there more to do on the front suspension or is that the final height?

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,475 ✭✭✭SpitfireIV

    Falcon L wrote: »
    I like both with and without the centre piece. Maybe shading towards the without.

    Great work. Is there more to do on the front suspension or is that the final height?

    Its a tough one, but it requires no major modifcations to the car itself, so, its easy to swap or change to whatever bumper set up you prefer really ;)

    She's flying far too high up front at the moment, thats due to the lighter Toyota engine and the GRP bonnet. At the mo' its not a major concern for me but I'll probably have to invest in adjustable shocks in the near future to bring her right down.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,358 ✭✭✭kev1.3s

    I think the second mod is a little too fussy but the first is excellent. One of the best mods you've done yet.

  • Registered Users Posts: 270 ✭✭Mississippi.

    The first one I really like
    The second one is too cluttered looking for me.
    Well done on everything else so far, I'm enjoying following the thread.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,928 ✭✭✭Bigus

    Starting to look like a 124 spider in front


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,475 ✭✭✭SpitfireIV

    Cheers for the feedback guys, I am still in two minds about the front lower bumper mod, but I'm leaning toward leaving it in place, it's growing on me! :o

    Body prep has started in earnest, messy messy job! Weather has been fantastic though so I could work (and sweat) outdoors without having to worry about rain! :)

    Also fitted the soft top frame to make sure it was fitting right, it did need a bit of a twist here and there, must have got a knock at some stage, but, it seems to be fitting fine now, just needs a rub down and a respray.


    Stuck a licence plate on the bonnet! :p I'll prob end up getting a vinyl stick on plate as I reckon a plate down in the grill area would spoil the look.


    Thankfully the wings were salvaged new panels and didnt need much filling.


    Dirty work, but someones gotta do it! :cool:

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,475 ✭✭✭SpitfireIV

    Time to make a dash for it!! :P

    Rooted out the ol woodworking machinery that been pushed to one side since I took on the project and set about making a dash!

    As you might notice its a one piecer with an integrated glove compartment door which will be lockable.

    It's made from 1/2'' birch ply and will have a layer of thin foam applied and on top of this a leather effect black vinyl.

    Still a lot more to do on it! :-)

    Rough shape cut out.

    Old dash sections fixed on to route out a profile.

    Routing out the dial openings.

    Taking shape.

    Glove box section cut out.

    Just roughing out ideas :o Bringing some of the exterior styling of the car inside....


    ;) I hope to inset the three middle dials in an illuminated stainless panel.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,974 ✭✭✭✭Sleepy

    Seems a shame to cover up the wood with vinyl, would you not try giving it a quick varnish / stain and see how it looks in place before covering it?

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,475 ✭✭✭SpitfireIV

    Sleepy wrote: »
    Seems a shame to cover up the wood with vinyl, would you not try giving it a quick varnish / stain and see how it looks in place before covering it?

    The bit of ply has been in storage for a while so is a bit stained and not very presentable, besides, the grain is running the wrong way :o I have some nice leather effect vinyl (leatherette?) which I recon should look pretty smart with stainless inserts and chrome dial bezels ;)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,475 ✭✭✭SpitfireIV

    Sorting them gaps!

    Had to get rid of the original driver door as the outer skin was too badly dented; it was all over the place!! I thought I might have been able to knock it straight but it would have been too much hassle and access to the rear of the door skin was very limited. So, I stuck on a spare door. Interestingly, although this was an original door also from a MkIV the door gap was very poor. So, I set about sorting it....

    Almost enough room to stick your finger through!! :eek:

    Began tacking on a 3mm mild steel rod, following the contour of the door.

    All tacked on, front and back.

    Cleaned back.

    Fitted! :D Looking a hell of a lot better!! Still need to dress it down a little but I'm very happy with it. A skim of filler over it and the jobs a good'un! ;)

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,475 ✭✭✭SpitfireIV

    Dash taking shape....





  • Registered Users Posts: 4,475 ✭✭✭SpitfireIV

    Getting there....

    Then a bit of work on the bumpers....

    Added a couple of 'humps' to my split rear bumpers to fit the reflectors too.

    The humps are cut from a couple of pieces of 2" tubing, welded on and are currently in the process of being ground down and blended in.


    Once done I'll be having them powder coated by a local firm. At the mo' chroming is out of the question due to the cost so I'm going to have them powder coated in a pretty decent chrome effect finish. I'll be sure to post results.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,928 ✭✭✭Bigus

    Great work !
    A little,advice if you don't mind me saying,

    Notwithstanding your epoxy primer isolater, from my experience I'd be taking the red on the boot lid down to metal or at least the primer under the red ,

    red is a backstard for bleeding through anything and any stone chip will appear like a beacon in the future, I repeat ! lose the red for your sanity.

    The phrase bare metal respray is used for good reason , so you're so close , I'd say go all the way.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,475 ✭✭✭SpitfireIV

    Bigus wrote: »
    Great work !
    A little,advice if you don't mind me saying,

    Notwithstanding your epoxy primer isolater, from my experience I'd be taking the red on the boot lid down to metal or at least the primer under the red ,

    red is a backstard for bleeding through anything and any stone chip will appear like a beacon in the future, I repeat ! lose the red for your sanity.

    The phrase bare metal respray is used for good reason , so you're so close , I'd say go all the way.

    Good advice, thanks! :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,475 ✭✭✭SpitfireIV

    Been a very busy weekend! Not got as much done as I would have hoped, but none the less, a da'cent bit of work! :)

    Started off by finishing up a few little areas of filler and then it was given a good clean and wipe down. Then into the cleaned out and washed down poly tunnel to be masked down. The masking seemed to take forever!! I can understand now how paint jobs cost so much; it takes so much time!

    With the car masked down and wiped down once more with panel wipe it was time to break out the epoxy primer and the 1.4 hvlp gun.




    Finish was pretty decent out of a cheapo Lidl gun!

    After that was left for an hour or so it was given a second blast and that was Saturday done with.

    Sunday morning and time for the high build. The Epoxy has a recoat time of approx 3 days after which you have to scuff it up to apply the next layer. I didnt want to take any chances so I gave it all a quick wipe down with a grey scotch pad and wet sanded a few little bits of dust and a drop from the spray gun on the bonnet, out.

    Cleaned down with panel wipe again, tacked ragged and blew down it was time for the celly high build, two coats of with a 1.8 conventional gravity gun.




    Again the spray finish was pretty good, got a couple of good heavy wet coats on. After the coat coats had flashed (approx 15-20 mins between coats) I sprayed a final thinned down coat tinted with a drop of the valencia blue, this will act as a guide coat later in the week when flatting back.





    I am happy now that I put a lot of time into the filling stage when it was down to bare metal, apart from a few little pin holes here and there that need a skim of stopper it needs very little work, just the high build flattened and then on with the top coat! :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,258 ✭✭✭sogood

    Well done croppy! It's very easy to become impatient when the finish line is in sight, but you seem to be reining yourself in sufficiently. It's encouraging also, to see what can be achieved with an inexpensive spray gun. Keep up the good work and the best of luck with it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 699 ✭✭✭Zebrano

    Lookin good fair play

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,475 ✭✭✭SpitfireIV

    sogood wrote: »
    Well done croppy! It's very easy to become impatient when the finish line is in sight, but you seem to be reining yourself in sufficiently. It's encouraging also, to see what can be achieved with an inexpensive spray gun. Keep up the good work and the best of luck with it.

    Cheers! :) Was and still am feeling very apprehensive about this stage, it could still go wrong but so far so good, everything seems to be going great. I guess its true what they say, preperation is 90% of the work and you got to have some self control when spraying, it's very easy to lash too much on.

    For the top coat I'll be uing a 1.4 LVLP Fast Mover gun, not cheap, but certainly not expensive either, looking forward to using that :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,475 ✭✭✭SpitfireIV

    Back to the dash.....

    The recessed area in the centre of the dash I wanted to make more of a feature of and try and light it up. I know the three dials will be individually lit, but I thought a nice soft background light to the panel would look pretty cool.

    So, got a roll of green LED's and a piece of 8mm acrylic.

    Mock up of the dash showing the centre recessed area with the three dials.

    Piece of acrylic fixed to the dash and being routed out to match the profile of the curves.

    First test with a bit of stainless recessed into the acrylic. Time to turn the lights out...


    I like it! Obviously still have to mount the three dials for the full effect, might see too about getting the led's dimmed a tad.

    On a more negative note I'm not gonna meet my 7th of August deadline :( Just have so much to do, it's a big dissapointment was really looking forward to bringing it to the Carlow show, but, how or never, the work will go on! :)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,475 ✭✭✭SpitfireIV

    Been busy enough over the last few days!

    After having primed the body of the Spitty it was looking all nice and clean, great to see it all in the one tone instead of the patchwork of colors I had been used to...

    Before the blocking begins.

    Then it was time to start blocking it down. I used 320 grit and began knocking the green guide coat I had misted on back, this revealed any low spots I had missed previously and any pinholes in the filler. There were a few...

    Back to a patchwork of scabby colors again, but, it'll all be worth'll all be worth it.....

    Then, onto something different.

    The two front valances are replacement fibreglass ones. They original would have had a retangular side light/indicator unit fitted on a flat retangular base. I'm going to be placing a single round indicator instead so wanted to make the profile of the base a bit more in keeping.

    Bit of chopping done.

    Template made up using some CAD work.....(cardboard aided design)

    Glassed up! It'll be roughed up soon and shaped proper with a bit of filler work.

    Speaking of cardboard aided design....

    Just an idea that came to mind :P

    Back to the car!

    After the blocking was completed, stopper filler applied where necessary and everything smoothed off it was back into the polytunnel/spray booth again to be reprimed and have another misting of green guide coat.

    All wrapped up and ready to go.

    Primed and let the flatting back begin! This time working with 400 grit and finishing with 600. Next stop, COLOR! :D

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,475 ✭✭✭SpitfireIV

    Time to switch to something different....

    I have decided to get rid of the radio, I'll look into a sound system/radio/mp3/whatever at a later stage. In place of the radio I'm putting a panel with five rocker switches in it. The five switches are mounted on a stainless panel and inset, like the three dials in the dash, in 8mm clear acrylic.

    The switches from left to right are; interior light left, interior light right, rear fog lamp, front spots and side light/main beam.


    Panel will be lit be a strip of green led's as such.

    I just roughly drew some symbols on, dont mind those, I'll do a better job of it at some stage :cool:

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,475 ✭✭✭SpitfireIV

    Just a bit of fun really....

    Playing around with the idea of a grill cover, its all up for grabs but certainly not something that will be done anytime soon, but it might soften the harshness of the grill?


    A rough cardboard job and a bit of photoshopping later....





  • Registered Users Posts: 1,258 ✭✭✭sogood

    Not a million miles away from an E Type nose cone. Maybe a bit of metal fabrication? Softening the nose might be in order. Have you looked at any "flow forming metal" videos on YouTube? You might find some inspiration .

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,720 ✭✭✭Hal1

    The mx-5 face looks the better choice there.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,475 ✭✭✭SpitfireIV

    I'll just leave this here.....



  • Registered Users Posts: 699 ✭✭✭Zebrano

    Ah you cant do that

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,826 ✭✭✭dball

    insert drum roll.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................:eek:

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,475 ✭✭✭SpitfireIV

    Zebrano wrote: »
    Ah you cant do that

    Type AMEN to see more pictures :P

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  • Registered Users Posts: 699 ✭✭✭Zebrano