spitfires a lot of work??

07-05-2005, 01:11 AM
i know a guy whos selling his mkIV spitfire, needs a new clutch and possibly brake work.
but looking at the layout of triumphs and the way the whole front end lifts up, they seem so simply built and easy to work on.
so is this a pretty reliable car that only usually needs minor work or is it really finicky and a pain in the butt?
thanks for the input

07-05-2005, 09:28 AM
I would rate them as really finicky, not reliable, and always needing attention (don't forget, your MkIV will be about 30 years old). Don't attempt to rely on it as your sole source of transportation. But that's just a matter of opinion.
The good news is, yes they are pretty easy to work on in the overall scheme of cars in general.
Go for it. Have fun with a cheap convertible that is guaranteed to get a lot of attention and comments!
And for real information, switch to a forum like triumphspitfire.com or totallytriumph.net. (The second one is presently undergoing a system upgrade and may be temporarily down, but stick with it, it's well worth it). This automotiveforums.com is pretty worthless.
Good luck
Westminster, MD USA
1970 Spitfire Mk3

06-06-2006, 09:12 PM
I rebuilt a '72 Spit from the ground up and I would say that they are rather reliable, but definately require more preventive maintenance to keep them that way. First of all, Lucas Electrics are basically junk. I put a GM alternator on mine (requires very little modification, namely a spacer on the tensioner). Make sure that your connections are good and tight and use something to keep them from corroding. The starters eat themselves up, but are pretty cheap. If you have a single carb, your job is easier. keep the fuel clean and use the right oil in the carb damper. Get a maintenance manual. There are places to oil the front suspension, not grease. Even in the best condition, Spits are not that weather tight. If you have a garage, great. If not, invest in a cover. I found that my spit ran great in a pouring rain, deep puddles and all (not by choice!). It is pretty damp in England. But they will rust out quickly if you don't keep them up! Good weatherstripping and an undercoat are good ideas. The transmissions can be very noisy for a long time without it indicating a problem, but the shifters get pretty sloppy. Overall, the replacement parts on a spitfire are cheaper than you would expect. Oh, one more thing, the windshield wiper wheel boxes can strip really easily and can be a bitch to find replacements. But unless you are mechanically inclined and keep it up really well, I wouldn't even think of a spitfire as your sole transportation.

06-06-2006, 09:16 PM
One more thing: The clutch isn't really that big of a deal. you might find it easier to remove the engine instead of the tranny. I would also rebuild the master and brake cylinders. A new master cylinder costs about $250, the rebuilding kit goes for $22. Check ebay or spitbits.com for your parts.

06-29-2006, 07:14 PM
A Spitfire is over twenty-five years old and therefore it may need a lot of attention to begin with depending on how it has been maintained over the years. Just like any car if you inspect, maintain, and fix whatever breaks when it breaks, you will find the car reliable. By taking time to perform regular maintenance and inspections you may be aware of developing problems and therefore keeping you from experiencing any negative surprises.

Parts are available from a variety of sources.
PM me if you would like a partial list.

06-25-2008, 12:14 AM
Consider them a hobby first and a mode of transportation second.

They can be reliable and they are a lot of upkeep, but the upkeep is fun.

In the end it's kind of nice to be able to sit on the front wheels and work on the engine. I love that I can pull the engine, tranny and Rad as a one piece unit and do it myself in a little over an hour.

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