Blog Image

Spitfire Mark IV Restoration

The project

I´m based in Uppsala, Sweden. i have a very small garage. Luckily the 1971 Triumph Spitfire Mark IV I will restore is also quite small. I will here document the work I do. mainly for my self but you are welcome to follow my work.

Transition piece

Bodywork Posted on Mon, January 22, 2018 21:34:58

Small progress tonight. I made and welded in the transition piece between the A-post and the outer sill. Still some welding and grinding to do but it looks ok!

RH A-post and outer sill

Bodywork Posted on Sun, January 21, 2018 21:20:59

Had an hour here and there and then a whole Saturday yesterday. I got the lower A-post repaired, the upper A-post-part and outer sill welded in. When trial fitting the door after welding in the upper A-post I had problems. I had to cut out the piece of the A-post where the hinges are attached and move it. Obviously the A-post where just a little juxtaposed and I also discovered that the fastener couldn’t move as it should in the vertical direction. The position of the A-post also necessitated for me to mount the outer sill below the flange of the A-post. I also had to add a flange to the sill strengthener, which I obviously had mounted a bit to high. Some frustration but in the end I think it will work. This is not a show car – it’s main purpose is to be a learning tool for me and in the end – a nice summer car.

More A-post

Bodywork Posted on Wed, January 17, 2018 18:57:44

Two hours today. Prepared for a new outer upper A-post. I will fit that and then repair the upper portion of the lower A-post before I weld that upper part in place. Feels very good to remove all old and rather bad repairs. As you can see I decided not to exhange all of the upper outer A-post but only the lower part. Hopefully I can get it all sorted out during the weekend.

RH A-post cont…

Bodywork Posted on Tue, January 16, 2018 21:25:18

Had an hour to put in the garage today. Welded a piece of metal in the front part of the lower A-post. A bit freewheelin’ here since there is no way of telling on my car how it looked as original. Lousy welds but solid.

Two days on the sill

Bodywork Posted on Mon, January 01, 2018 22:24:58

Worked during two days on the right hand sill. When I opened up the outer sill it became evident that I had more repair to do than I expected. All earlier repairs are actually quite bad and I will have to redo some of them. Anyhow this is what happened. Old repairs on the lower A-post are without any contact with the floor.

I decided to take it in small steps. I cut out this.
And fabricated something similar.
Tacked and plug welded it in place. After finishing the welding I moved on to the left. Saving the small pieces to the right for later.
There is some shit do do…
To make a long story shorter. This is when I have replaced three pieces until the A-post meets the sill strengthener. A few pieces with rather complicated shapes so it took some time. At this point I supported the floor to keep everything in place. I also had another diagonal brace welded in the door frame.

I then then removed all parts of the old sill, and prepared for the new. That meant also rebuilding parts of the lower B-post.
There was a lot of fidgeting and trimming that I have not documented here!

I then welded the inner sill and the strengthener.
I painted in between and have weld-through primer on all plug-welded parts.

After that I of course was interested to know how the outer sill would fit. And it didn’t. I couldn’t understand why until I compared the right hand aftermarket sill I have to the left hand original part… There is a huge difference between specifications on them! Now I have learnt never to order aftermarket body parts… Unfortunately a bit expensive to learn that way! You can see the difference below.

Holes and instrument panel

Bodywork Posted on Sat, December 30, 2017 22:09:40

Found and drilled the holes for the bolts from the chassis to the frame. I then welded in the instrumentpanel. Got really scared when I discovered a big difference, about an 3/4″ in clearance to the A-post. Was sure I would have to take it apart and mount it again when I measured and checked everything including the line in the steering and couldn’t find anything wrong. I then compared this panel with the one that I had taken of this windowframe and they differ that much in length… I’ve got a wobbling in the central part on the driver side of the panel though that I will have to think about the reason for.


Bodywork Posted on Thu, December 28, 2017 19:29:17

The last days I have worked on the floor. Considering how much I worried about it it went terrifically well, actually. A bit hard work cleaning away the old floor and all old patches that are spread all around the car. One hour to cut away the old floor and a day for cleaning up and welding in the new.

I made a little jigg to be able to keep control on the hight of the floor when the sills are out.

A part of the frame was welded to the floor and very rusty.
When the floor was out.
Some corners were more nasty than others. I will repair parts of the lower A-post, but I’ll do that after the floor is in place to keep track on things.
Many old patches.
Took some time to understand how to loosen the floor in the back and in the front.
I made a very rough cut with wide margins and then test fitted the floor and cut again until I got a reasonable fit.

A reasonable fit:
Started welding. Burnt a few holes but on the whole it worked well. I have started to use a higher setting on the MIG-machine since it actually works better to burn hotter but a shorter time.
Advancing. It is important that you do it like this and let the metal cool down when welding sheet metal. You cannot lay a continuous bead all the way. The welds are then ground down.
And this is the strengthener inside the sill. Next job will be to rebuild the sill!

Progress on the window frame

Bodywork Posted on Tue, December 19, 2017 22:19:19

Have made progress on the right hand window frame. The inner piece have been welded in place and then cut to shape.

I have also tacked the gutter in place.

Done a nice start to it.
Still things to do here though. But we are getting there!

« PreviousNext »