Spitfire MK IV Restoration project - Part Four -
With the engine and gearbox safely removed it was time to get on with removing everything else which is bolted, screwed, stuck or attached in some method to the body and chassis.
The brake and clutch master cylinders were carefully disconnected from their copper pipes, I am not sure at the moment whether to buy new master cylinders or buy a seal kit for the old ones, it will probably depend upon what they look like once I strip them down. With the master cylinders out if the way the pipes were removed without too much care and in some places just cut through as I will be replacing them with a new pipe kit.
The wiring loom was removed throughout the car taking great care to photo and label all the connections as the loom looks in quite good order and because finances are limited it will be reused after a good clean and all the connectivity checked through.
I have read 2 different books on Spitfire restoration and had comments from loads of people, some say never take the body off the chassis before completing the repairs to the body others say you are OK to take it off as long as the body is supported.
I decided the best way for me (only having a single garage) was to support the body and remove it so that the chassis could be repaired and then the chassis could be moved to the side of the house and covered until required.
The Triumph Sport Six club do a great door gap adjuster (which I managed to get on Ebay) which bolts onto the flanges of the door opening but still allows you to close the door for gap checking. As I am a long way from checking door gaps I just welded in 1” box section across the door gaps to keep so rigidity.
With everything removed it was time to look for the bolts which hold the body onto the chassis. The Moss catalogue is a good place to look for the locations of the bolts are their diagram is the clearest.
Some of them locations are obvious like the front bulkhead and front cross member however some are trickier to find such as the ones to the rear of the car. It also did not help that at some time in the cars past the passenger foot well has been repaired and the repairer plated over the mounting bolt for the front outrigger so the angle grinder was called into action to find the bolt.
In order to remove the body my idea was to jack it up and push the chassis out from under it. To do this I had some heavy duty fence posts and bought some concrete blocks from the local builders yard. I put the posts in between the body and the chassis and carefully raised each corner a block at a time until the body almost cleared chassis. While raising the body make sure that the handbrake cable is completely removed (had some difficulty lifting the body off a friends GT6 as the cable was still attached to the body)
The back part of the chassis is quite high so would not clear the body so the weight of the chassis was taken on a trolley jack and the back wheels removed, this allowed the trolley jack to be lowered to give the clearance for the chassis to be pushed out.
Next time I will be stripping the chassis of all its components so that it can be cleaned, repaired and repainted.
>>>PART FIVE <<<