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925 Posts
Discussion Starter #141 (Edited)
The new kit company owners issued these photos yesterday of two of their "turn key" builds.

The red one is their new, & improved, version of the kit I'm building, based on the Triumph Spitfire.
( Shorter length aero humps, no doors, higher quality body work all round, etc. )

Car #274 is actually the Triumph Herald based kit, but fitted with the hood from the Spitfire kit.
( So it actually looks like my own kit & I have similar wheels, mirrors, lighting, etc. )

I will be very happy indeed if I can end up with a car looking like a light blue version of this.

Although I am currently thinking of using racing numbers in "roundels" like this Herald Based Spyder.

Cheers, Paul. :)

925 Posts
Discussion Starter #142 (Edited)
More Rear Lighting Options:
Playing with the wiring loom had got me thinking about my rear lights.

This has always been my plan for the back of my car...

Note: Obviously, everything would be nicely spaced apart & aligned horizontally.

Then I saw what two other kit builders had done at the back of their G-46s.
( A similar version of my kit based on a Reliant Scimitar SE5. )

This made me wonder if fitting a single rear light cluster would be an easier option for me.

There was only one way to find out, so I bought a pair of cheap Austin units from Ebay that looked like they might do the job.

Unfortunately, these units were actually a lot bigger in real life, than they looked in the photo, or I'd expected.

Either that, or the back end of a G-46 really is HUGE!

So there wasn't really an idea position to fit them on my bodywork...

Option #1:

Any of the places I tried around this area would require a lot of bodywork to "french" or blend them in.

Option #2:

Whilst fitting them horizontally gave a closer fit, it wasn't a great look and there wasn't much room left for my number plate.

Sorry I can't get any better photos, but the last one was taken with me standing in my neighbour's front garden.

So given the amount of work I still have to do on this build, these lights will not be used, but it was worth a try.

Instead, I will stick with the original rear lighting that I have, although I might rearrange the layout a bit...

Thankfully a final decision on the layout can wait for another day.

925 Posts
Discussion Starter #143
A long day - Part 1:
I removed the covers from the "car" on my front drive for the first time since October.

I guess I'd forgotten just how much rain we've had since then, as this is the sight that greeted me.

Although, given the paw prints on the floors, I have a bad feeling some of this mess may be the equivalent of yellow snow! :eek:

These floors need some final adjustments anyway, so I'll worry about sorting this mess out later on.

Instead, I simply got on with making some adjustments to the bodywork, given the fact I now intend to "seal" the doors closed.

I wanted to remove a section of the door cut out, so the metal framework around the door opening couldn't touch it.

After lifting the body off the frame & a quick session with my jigsaw, I'd removed a section from both sides.

I had also noticed that if the body went much lower, it would also foul at this edge of the rear frame.

So I rounded off the corners on both sides with my angle grinder.

Then my wife helped me to carry the bulkhead thru the house to the front drive.

My wife deserved a medal for the amount of lifting she helped me with on this particular day.
( Bulkhead, rear wheel arches, rear frame & body shell. )

I can just about move most things, but it is seriously hard work, so she was a really big help. :cool:

925 Posts
Discussion Starter #144
A long day - Part 2:
My first job on the bulkhead was to remove the box section cross brace.

Given all the repair work I've done, I'm really pleased with how solid it still feels without the brace.

Obviously I will be tidying up the paint work at some point.

After lifting the bulkhead into place it looked like this.

The good news is that my brake master cylinder tucks into the recess I made for it.

The bad news is that the top still seems high to me, but I am still a long way from worrying about that.

Note: The following photos give you some idea of the madness that is building a car on your drive!

The frame had been supplied with a "wonky" cross rail on the passenger side.

Note: This is how the driver's side looks by comparison.

Initially, I had trimmed the lowered floor pan on this side to work around this problem.

Because at that stage, the thought of making a change to the "factory" frame slightly scared me. :rolleyes:

But there has been a lot of metal work under the bridge since then!

Now, I simply marked up the changes I wanted to make and got on with it...

925 Posts
Discussion Starter #145 (Edited)
A long day - Part 3:
So out with the old...

And in with the new...

Now that's much better...

With this frame rail in a new position, I could re-fit the lowered floor pan.

But first I needed to trim off some of the excess metal from the front edge.

There is still a bit of fine tuning to do with this edge once the bulkhead is bolted down.

Plus the floor will be 'glassed to the bulkhead when I get to that stage.

The really good news is that the "straight" rail allows the floor to move forward a bit.

Compare where I'd marked the floor for cutting, with where the seat belt hole is now.

Due to the slope at the back of my seats, the old passenger floor / seat position was poor.
( These photos are from the work I was doing on the frame last year. )

Because it meant the front of the seat had to hang over the front lip.

I didn't get a chance to test a seat in the new position, but that frame mod should have sorted it out.

925 Posts
Discussion Starter #146
A long day - Part 4:
Having dragged some of my tools and the welder from the bottom of the garden I wanted to make good use of them.

So I decided to weld in some box section across the door opening in the framework while I was on a roll.

But before I started on that I needed to take some more out of the door openings in the bodywork.

Otherwise the body would not sit back on the modified frame work.

All of this door opening section will be removed when I come to seal up the doors.
But I wanted to fix the outer door skins in place first before I completely removed it.

After another blast with the jigsaw.

Then I cut two lengths of box section (obviously the two openings in the framework are different sizes :rolleyes: ).

Then welded them in.

Frame back on the chassis.

Then bodywork back on the frame.

Until I cut the bodywork to fit around the bulkhead, it will still point upwards at the front.

Whilst the body work does now clear the door rail, there will be a limit on how far this can be lowered.

Mind you, there is so much bodywork to do, I'm trying not to think about it.

Although I did find myself looking at how much I might need to widen the cockpit to have plenty of room for my seats.

Still on the subject of bodywork, I need to bridge a gap of around 9 cms to cover the Spitfire bulkhead & dash.


925 Posts
Discussion Starter #147
A long day - Part 5:
The only other thing I managed to do on this day was to start mocking up the "join" between bulkhead & rear frame.

So I clamped the frame to the chassis to make sure things were in the right position.

Then it was back to the cardboard again.

I'm not sure about design of the top bracket, so I will come back to this.

Due to the angles involved, the top bracket might be on the "inside" & the bottom bracket would be on the "outside" of the frame.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Overall, this was a very productive day that left me completely knackered and in desperate need of sleep.

I've left the rear wheel arches off completely for now, as they are just making the other jobs I need to do harder at the moment.

Whilst I haven't been able to have another full on day like that one since, I have kept chipping away...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Lowered Floor Pans:
Part of me wants to remove the slope in the floors, as this exaggerates the rear slope in my seats.
But sticking to KISS principals, it would be less hassle to change the seats, despite the potential extra cost.
So with no radical changes to make, I could start to finish off the floors as they were.

Rather than take everything from the chassis (again) I needed a way of marking up the passenger floor without removing the framework.

So I made another cardboard template to help me located the hole to bolt the frame to the chassis.

I then cut out the red dot I'd marked and with the floor back in place I could then mark that.

I also marked up the outer edge of the floor, & the front edge, for some light trimming.

This was the floor before:

With two sides trimmed, a hole drilled, a notch cut out for the seat belt mounting point & a light sand, it looked like this.

A liberal coating of Kurust later and this was how I left it for the night.


925 Posts
Discussion Starter #148 (Edited)
Another Mystery Solved...
I returned to thinking about the "join" required between the frame & bulkhead.

So I dug out what was left of the original bulkhead framework, so I could recycle some more of it.

This large section of thick metal plate intended to mount the pedals was bound to come in handy.

The other plates that caught my eye were used for as part of the original joining of the two frame sections.

Now these two plates always puzzled me, because they were pre-drilled with holes that didn't line up with anything.

In addition, the holes on the two sides were in different places.

Driver's side:

Passenger side:

While thinking about the design of the join, I'd printed off this photo from another builder's Herald based Spyder kit.

Then, as if by magic, I could finally see the wood from the trees.

There had obviously been a bit of recycling going on in the old kit car factory too.

As these plates are cut down versions of the ones used in the Spyder frame work.

A quick test with my cardboard template and a new door hinge gasket confirmed this.

A perfect match.

So these plates will definitely form part of the structure to extend the rear frame work.

This frame extension will then be bolted to the Spitfire bulkhead in a similar way to the Herald bulkhead above.

The other things I dug out of an old parts box were the rear bumper supports from my 2nd hand body tub.

These are also made of thick metal.

So I will either use these, or some normal box section to hold the plates in the correct position.

After a serious session with my angle grinder I had these bits cut out.

I also removed a couple of "feet" while I was at it.

These might be re-used at the back of the rear frame work, where it joins the rear wheel arches.

925 Posts
Discussion Starter #149 (Edited)
Electrical Odds & Ends:
The new lugs for the ends of the earth leads that will attach to the battery cut off switch arrived.

So I will need to remove the ends that were too small and fit these at some point.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Working on the wiring loom had also got me thinking about my headlight rims.

I'd order two second hand ones for my kit, as the Spitfire 1500 used a different headlight fitting altogether.

But one came with a hole for a fixing screw and one didn't and it wasn't clear to me which was correct.

But a quick check on the Rimmer Brothers website showed I was actually missing the retaining clip in this photo.

Now it all made sense, so I ordered a pair of these.

And at some point I will drill a hole in the headlight rim that doesn't have one.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I also started work on the wiring for the rear lights.

After I'd realised I'd made yet another school boy error when I ordered the connecting blocks. :rolleyes:

I'd been thinking about the wires required in the main loom for these lights on each side:
- Stop
- Tail
- Indicator
- Common earth

That is why I ordered a 4 pin connecting block, but the problem was that would permanently join the two lights together!

What I should have ordered was separate 3 pin and 2 pin blocks for each light.

So I ordered some extra "double" connectors from ebay.

But to avoid waste, I will now use the 4 pin block for the 3 stop/tail light wires.

And the new two blade connectors for the indicators.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I like producing these summary reports/updates as it is clear to see that I am actually making progress.

I am trying not to worry about the pace of this progress, or the mountain of work that lies ahead.

Instead, I will just continue to chip away at the jobs required to reach the "Go Kart" stage.

So until next time, take care, Paul. :)

4,741 Posts
Obviously the indicators only need a two pin connector.

Just a suggestion, it's hard to tell from this picture.
I've always made it a wiring practice, that if the pins will stick out passed the connector un-protected, make this the light / device side plug, not the power-side plug. If this is un-plugged and touches a metal surface, you can easily blow a fuse (which is a major pain when you're trying to de-bug your new wiring, or worse, could spark / start a fire (real bad!).

Like I said, yours may be ok, just be careful!

btw, I like the single unit tail-lights, my vote is body work to enlarge the pad so they blend in.

Progress is looking very good and starting to resemble a complete car!

1,008 Posts
With molex plugs it's usually also an indication that you put the pins in the socket side and the sockets in the plug side :)

They are (in my experience) built asymmetric so neither pins, nor sockets protrude.

925 Posts
Discussion Starter #152
MPTech & Rockpool - Thanks for your feedback gentlemen. :cool:

This leads me nicely to the words of Homer Simpson...


There were no instructions with these connecting blocks & I've never used them before.

But now it is pointed out to me, I've clearly got the sides mixed up.

In addition to the "male" ends poking out in this photo that MPTech highlighted.

The "female" end is not much better. :rolleyes:

So out came my penknife where the tweezers, sewing needle & short blade helped me to fix things.

With everything switched over on the parts I had previously fitted it all became clear.

This is now the male end, with nothing sticking out.
( Sorry most of these new close up photos have turned out blurred. )

And the female ends now sit flush too.

Luck, rather than judgement,means that the other connectors I have used are OK.

So thanks again for the replies, as clearly they were a big help to my build.

Take care, Paul. :)

4,741 Posts
No problem Paul. I don't claim to be an expert and there are probably much more knowledgeable builders than I, but I can share my experience. Another trick for removing the pins (as you've probably gathered is very difficult) is a Pin Removal tool or pick up some VERY tight brass or aluminum tubing at a hobby shop that fits VERY tight or too tight over the pin and open it just barely enough with a small round jewelers file. If you slip / force a little, the tubing over the pin, it will close the "ears" enough to pull it back out.

Wiring these quick disconnects in for the headlights, directionals, tail-lights, dash gauges, switches and any other electronic devices that may be removed and re-installed if a HUGE time saver later! VERY good idea! You'll be glad you took the extra time to do it now.

Hope this helped!

925 Posts
Discussion Starter #154
MPTech - All tips and advice are most welcome thanks.
Adding these connecting blocks & keeping the Spitfire's removable dash should definitely help in the long run.

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Floors - Part 1:
There was a bit of repetition at this stage as I had two floors, each with two sides, to deal with.

I've already covered the first stages of the passenger floor and the next step was some etch primer.

By now I had also marked up all the other adjustments I needed to make to the driver's floor and started on that too.



Once a side had been given the anti-rust treatment & primed I applied some fibreglass filler along the welds / edges.

Note: It is easy to spot where I ran out of etch primer whilst trying to finish off one side of one floor. :rolleyes:

My plan is to hold the floors in place with pop rivets until I can finally bond / fibre glass them to the bodywork.

So I did a quick test with an off cut section of the floor and a short length of box section (as used in the framework).

This all looked good until I discovered that my rivet gun would not fit between the floor and the outside frame work.
( It would need to fit on the other side of this section of frame. )

So the floors will be temporarily held in place on just 2 sides (front and back), which will be fine.
( I don't want to use rivets on the inside edge of the frame, as that is made from a length of angle iron that sits directly on the chassis. )

I brought the floors back to the "car" on my front drive, so I could work out where I needed to put the holes for the rivets.

But while checking the general fit it slowly dawned on me that I had missed a chassis mounting point completely. :rolleyes:

Don't ask me know this happened, I think I counted the 2 seat belt mounts as part of the 4 bolts through the chassis.

So this was something else I needed to mark the floors for.


925 Posts
Discussion Starter #155
Floors - Part 2:
So after the final round of drilling, grinding & sanding, the floors now looked like this.

Top side:


They are still a bit rough & ready, but that is in keeping with the rest of the build. ;)

By now, some more etch primer had arrived, so I could spray that on while the sun was out.

The next stage for the floors will be to get some black paint on them.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

More Wiring:
I finished off adding the remaining connecting blocks to the rear lights & wrapped up the ends of the wires too.

I have deliberately left the wires from the rear lights as long as possible to give me more flexibility with the main loom.

There is still more work to do on the wiring loom, but I need to test fit it to the car first to finalise the layout.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Two years and counting...
- 13th April 2012 - I visited the kit car company and put my deposit down for Cordite kit #7.
- 20th April 2012 - I bought my Spitfire 1500 donor car.

I gave up thinking about, or setting, deadlines to finish this project a long time ago.
However, passing anniversaries dates like these do make me stop and think a little bit.

My main focus at this point is still "just" getting the project to a working Go Kart stage.

The good news is that both the weather and daylight should keep improving from now on.
I am also much better at welding and fabricating now, so that should come in handy too.

So let's see where another 12 months of chipping away will take me.
And if there is still work to be done in a year's time, then so be it.

Until next time, take care, Paul. :)

925 Posts
Discussion Starter #156
I got the first coat of black paint on both sides of the floors.

It is nice to see these floors getting closer to the stage when they can actually be fitted.

Although the black makes it almost impossible to see anything clearly in the photos. :rolleyes:

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Hood Hinge Bracket:
I noticed that the hinge brackets bonded into the hood by the original kit car company had started to rust over the winter.

At least it was an easy job to sand the metal down and get some anti-rust treatment over the whole "bonded" area.

I then gave the excess bonding paste a bit of a tidy up with my angle grinder before spraying some etch primer on.

You will notice that the gap for the grille to fit inside the hood opening is not the same all the way around.

In fact it is pretty narrow along parts of the bottom, so I will need to cut the metal grill very carefully to match.

I also noticed that the holes in the hinge mounting points are actually different sizes. :rolleyes:

At least when the time comes, that will be a very easy job to fix (and I haven't had many of those!).

925 Posts
Discussion Starter #157
Bulkhead Fitting - Part 1:
I wanted to check all the bulkhead mounting points lined up correctly with the chassis.

Starting with the good news...

The two bolts for the back of the bulkhead on the passenger side went in with just a little persuasion.
( I'll clean the old paint off before final fitting. )

Both of the bolts on the inside of the front of the bulkhead went in OK too.

One of the mounting on the front of the bulkhead on the passenger side needed to be enlarged slightly.

Then that mounting bolt went in effortlessly.

The equivalent bolt on the driver's side went in without any adjustments.

This just left the bad news, which was always going to be these rear bulkhead holes on the driver's side.

This whole area was a rusty mess when I started my repair work & I knew it needed two crush tubes to be welded in.

Now I'm sure there are easy ways of doing this, but as I don't know what they are, this is how I tackled the problem...

I started by making a template for the "floating" retaining nuts.

I also reminded myself that the bolts go in perpendicular to the angle of the chassis arm.

I marked and cut out what I needed to set up the missing crush tube arrangement.

I used the cardboard template to ensure the correct spacing between the tubes.

Eventually it ended up looking like this.

In the last photo you can see the bottom painted and the tops of the tubes & the bottom plate taken back to bare metal for welding.

Note: I know the welding will melt the paint a bit, but it will provide some protection until the whole section is wax oiled.

925 Posts
Discussion Starter #158
Bulkhead Fitting - Part 2:
Before the final painting & cleaning, I had double checked that the tubes aligned with the holes in the bulkhead itself.

Not very clear in the photo, but you can see through the retaining nuts in the chassis to the ground below.

Then I opened up the holes in the bottom & top edges of the bulkhead to accommodate the tubes.

I could get a good fit at the bottom edge, which will make it easier to weld the plate in place.

Also the crush tubes came through the bulkhead with no problems.

Unfortunately the top edge is a bit of a mess, that will require even more work to fix.

Still, I cleaned up the top & bottom edges of the bulkhead in preparation for welding.

At which point it was clear that would be very difficult to cut the tubes after they were welded in.

So I marked them up.

I also cut a couple of slots to allow me to push the metal out of the way.

With the tubes trimmed, it looked now like this which was good enough for me to get started.

So I clamped the bracket in place.

And welded it in.

I will tidy up the welding some more another day, as by now there were spits of rain.
( Have I even mentioned what a dumb idea it was to build a car outside? :rolleyes: )

There was just time to one section of one tube from the top before the rain stopped play.


925 Posts
Discussion Starter #159
Bulkhead Fitting - Part 3:
After a few failed attempts at cutting out some metal to fill in the gaps, I decided to make the bits I needed in stages.

This started by drilling two holes in some metal like so.

Then most of the smaller piece was then cut away to leave me just this.

Which filled in the gap around the tube nicely.

The second one required more cutting and shaping until it looked like this.

And even then, it was only going to fit if I welded it & hammered it some more as I went along.

Eventually I had sealed the tubes in from the top side like so.

This was a very awkward area to work in, but at least the mounting bolts fit.

Admittedly, not as neatly as I was hoping for, but at this stage I'm not complaining.

To be honest, even getting to this standard of finish was a bit of a challenge for my limited skills.

Then it was back to the usual routine of anti-rust treatment, etch primer & fibreglass filler on both sides...

The next steps on this will be to sand the filler down & get it painted.

925 Posts
Discussion Starter #160
Rear Framework Mounting:
My latest Ebay purchase turned up...

Not a set of pan pipes, but some heavy duty tubing "off cuts" that I will use as crush tubes when bolting the frame to the chassis.

I started to drill the four mounting holes required in the chassis with the rear framework still in place.

Then, with the frame removed, I was able to widen the holes so that they would take the fixing bolts.

Unfortunately, I seem to have worn out my step drill bit as it just wouldn't cut into the chassis.

So I'll need to buy a new metal cutting drill bit to match the crush tube.

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Rear Framework Mods:
This front edge of the frame on the driver's side needed a "trim".



Not much, but enough to improve the clearance to the chassis.

The cut out for the passenger side seat belt mount needed a bit of work too.

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