Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Associate Editor
11/13/07 11:58 a.m.

After sitting for 20 years, the engine compartment of our Spitfire was coated in a layer of filth. We needed to clean it up and repaint parts of it.

To start, we removed the front grill and the horns. After masking the wiring and chrome, we painted the frame rails the original French blue. Once the paint was dry and everything was reattached, we moved to the firewall where we removed the wiper motor and cleaned up around the battery area.

We also had to deal with a leaky radiator. It comes out with just a few bolts and Tim mentioned Robbins Radiator, a local shop that can patch and rod out a radiator. Rodding a radiator is literally sanding off the stuff that sticks to the the insides of a radiator. It is done with what looks to be sand paper on a thin flat stick. This can make a radiator almost as good as new.

While the radiator was out, we sand blasted and repainted all the radiator surround pieces. With a new battery in place and everything hooked back up, we replaced the plug wires and distributor cap. If you replace the wires one at a time, it is not very hard. With new plugs, points and a careful tune (that Rennie and Tim helped with) the car started right up. It didn't want to run on anything but carb cleaner for the first few minutes, but then it ran fine from the fuel in our newly refinished fuel tank.

We replaced the old, cracked engine mounts and the rusted out exhaust system. Gary Hunter helped us remove the exhaust system from the parts car that Rennie found for us for free and Tim jacked up the car so that we could replace the engine mounts quite easily. Victoria British has the engine mounts in stock and they were less than $10 each

Our work under the hood was done for now.

Read the rest of the story

ReverendDexter UberDork
9/26/11 3:47 p.m.

We've got a '10 and love ours... it's just too bad there wasn't a Mazdaspeed5

Our Preferred Partners