Spitfire 4 (Mk1) with Datsun 4cyl

  • Model:Spitfire
  • Year:1963
  • Purchase Date:2003-06-07
  • Reg:Garaged
  • Comm No:FC 10369
  • VIN:FC 09011
  • Engine No:DATSUN A12 058259 B
  • Paint Name:Toyota Metallic Rose Grey Effect (Pearl)
  • Mileage:nil
  • Location: AU
 

Project on hold.

Last work circa 2007:

Have recently fixed panel alignment gaps by shortening door heights by 1/4″ and lengthening doors overall. Also lengthened custom bonnet by 1/2″.

I’m working through issues such as , wiring gremlins, body works blemishes such as mistakes in my respray job…. lots of fiddly stuff that is very hard.

Current State : Undergoing a full Body-Off Restoration.
Full rolling chassis complete – body welded up – primed, colour and clear coated, compounded and reassembling at present…


Specifications

  • Paintwork was originally some kind of bright red – then mimosa yellow (as I found it). Now it’s metallic Rose Grey Effect (silver).
  • Datsun 1200 GX motor (1,171cc). A post ’73 version of the block (as the distributor is located towards the back of the block).
  • The GX motor comes standard with flat top pistons for 10:1 compression, 260deg duration cam, big oval port alloy head with heart shaped combustion chambers, balanced crank, 9.5Kg flywheel, double valve springs, double roller timing chain, 4 into 2 cast exhaust manifold, and five main bearings = all good for a factory redline of 6,800RPM.
  • In standard form the GX motor weighs in @ 87Kg, has a bore of 73mm and a stroke of 70mm, giving max of 83HP @ 6,400 and max torque of 72lb-ft @ 4,400RPM.
  • The twin Hitachi (some call them Mikuni) carbs have been replaced by twin 1-1/2″ SU’s with custom linkages etc. running Dolomite needles at present.
  • Datsun 4spd gearbox.
  • Le Mans style fibreglass replica bonnet made by an ex aeronautical engineer in standard form and then modified by yours truly (vents and cut back headlights).
  • Dolomite Sprint Alloys (standard mk1 spitfire brake calipers ground down to fit inside the rim).
  • Bridgestone SR 211 205/60/13’s.
  • Solid TriumphTune Alloy Rack Mounts.
  • 2>1 1.25″ pipes run into a flexible joint and then 1-3/4″ pipe runs to the diff. This splits to two 1-3/4″ pipes and finishes in two straight through silencers with chrome tips. The whole thing is mild steel and custom built by yours truly.
  • Custom fuel delivery on a removable plate – using a 1980’s Subaru 3.5PSI Electronic Facet-type fuel pump prefiltered by a aeronautical glass filter and post filtered by a RYCO – fed through a FuelStar Tin catalyst for lead-free operation.
  • Standard fuel lines are routed around the front crossmember of the chassis (under the sump) to the right-hand side of the car.
  • RAZO pedals.
  • Chromed rocker cover with stainless steel hex nuts.
  • Ram-Flo Air filters.
  • Lucas 17ACR Alternator.
  • Dash rewired to single in/out terminal for ease of removal.
  • De-badged.
  • Ashley Laminates Fibreglass fastback hardtop (currently being restored and repainted).
  • Remote Oil Filter.
  • Compression test shows 160, 152, 150, 150 psi across cylinders 1,2,3,4 when warm. Suspect this may go up when the motor is hot. Apparently a 1200GX should read 192psi.
  • Thermo Switch triggered Smiths electronic engine cooling fan.
  • Modified bulb holders from a 2500 S fitted inside the tail lights.
  • SABELT TRW 3 Point harnesses.
  • Custom machined billet alloy block inserted under the leaf spring to lower the rear by 1″.
  • Stiffening braces and support boards for the panel work above the fuel tank.
  • 330lb front springs with 1″ effective lowering height.
  • Spax adjustables fitted all round on a setting of 7/10 clicks.
  • TriumphTune rear Anti-Roll Bar.
  • TriumphTune solid alloy steering rack mounts.
  • Programmable 2 stage advance High-Energy ignition system with keypad security – currently set to a very mild and early advance. A standard A12 distributor has had the weights wired together and the advance plate locked on full. The vacuum advance has been removed and a plate mounted over the access hole.
  • Bosch GT40 High Energy Ignition Coil.
  • Bosch 3 wire (pre-heated) O2 Sensor.
  • Modified OBX Daytona Lightweight seats on modified seat tracks.
  • Custom dash configuration – original tacho and speedometer but with chrome surrounds, Ammeter, Vacuum, Dimmer, Hazards, 2500 Fuel guage, Oil Pressure pod directly in front of driver.
  • MOMO leather and alloy gear knob.
  • Modified 13″ steering wheel (re-drilled Holden mounting configuration)
  • 7/8″ Front Anti-Roll Bar.
  • 1982 model Toyota Corolla Radiator on custom mount brackets with 90psi cap and overflow into a 2500 bottle.

    Planned modifications

    • Investigating front spoiler designs.
    • Rear Battery conversion planned.

      Datsun 1200 conversion notes:

      Plenty of people seem to be curious about converting the spitty motor over to a Datsun 1200 (A12) motor. Seeing as I can’t be bothered typing out emails to everyone that asks I figured I’d note what I’ve observed from the conversion in my car (that a prior owner had done). So here goes…

      From observation (and not having previously owned a spitfire) the changes are as follows:

      • An extra cross member has been welded at the back of the datsun gearbox on the existing chassis rails.
    • The datsun sump was cut up and welded to a new shape so that it would clear the steering rack.
    • The carbs are on the other side so some basic plumbing changes have been done. Fuel lines on other side – ignition gear (coil) moved to other side of bulkhead.
    • The datsun is sometimes a cable clutch (well mine is) so the clutch master cylinder was removed and a sleeve welded onto the bracket to accept the cable. An alteration therefore must have been made to the end of the clutch pedal arm.
    • The manifolds are on the opposite side so some exhaust work would have been done. Mine is custom at present and is CRAP. Some two-bit idiot with no idea about gas flow welded something together….
    • The radiator hoses come out the opposite directions on the block so an alternate radiator has been used. A radiator specialist told me mine was a renault radiator. It has had an altered bracket used to hold it to the chassis.
    • The datsun 4spd box has the selector in a different spot so the gear stick has been reshaped (I assume by blowtorch) to clear the existing hole in the transmission tunnel. There is a pic on the site of the bent selector rod.
    • The oil filter pokes out directly where the steering rack is so some magic trix have to be performed to get an oil filter in there. Mine is attached by a remote housing and adapter plate to provide clearance for the steering rack. The remote connector has in/out hoses that swoop around to a filter mounted on the bulkhead.
    • The engine mounts seem to be a simple bracket assembly of mild steel which has been shaped in such a way that it accepts the standard spitfire engine mounts.
    • The prop shaft has been built by a custom prop shaft business (it still has a sticker on it for the business).
    • The datsun gearbox and original datsun car would have been the same 4.1:1 dif as my spitfire so that’s all cool and the speedo drive seems to match the spitfire speedo.
    • I can send pics but let me know the areas you’re interested in. Most stuff is on my page.
read more

Photo Galleries

Stripe designs

(22/05/2015)

Ashley Laminates Hard top restoration

(22/05/2015)

Ashley Laminates Fast Back Fibreglass Hard Top

(22/05/2015)

Engine Bay October 2005

(22/05/2015)

Wiper Motor

(22/05/2015)

Lucas 17ACR Alternator

(22/05/2015)

Fuel Delivery

(22/05/2015)

Toyota Corolla Radiator

(22/05/2015)

OBX Seats

(22/05/2015)

Air/Fuel Ratio monitoring

(22/05/2015)

Custom Ignition System

(22/05/2015)

Custom Exhaust

(22/05/2015)

Carpet / Interior Test fit

(22/05/2015)

I hate putting doors together….

(22/05/2015)

Reassembly 2 (Feb 20th 2005)

(22/05/2015)

Reassembly 1

(22/05/2015)

Paint Compounded – not yet polished

(22/05/2015)

Pearl and Clear Coats fresh off the gun

(22/05/2015)

Prep for colour coats

(22/05/2015)

Bonnet Priming and Smoothing

(22/05/2015)

Fuel Tank

(22/05/2015)

FibreGlass Bonnet Repair & Reshape

(22/05/2015)

Suspension

(22/05/2015)

Brakes

(22/05/2015)

Black Interior Paint

(22/05/2015)

Chassis Paint and Reassembly

(22/05/2015)

Chassis Stripdown

(22/05/2015)

Bitumen Under Body Paint

(22/05/2015)

Primer Surfacer / Primer Filler

(22/05/2015)

Replacing the Sills

(22/05/2015)

Diff Strip and Reassembly

(22/05/2015)

Rust Removal, Welding, Filling and Prep for paint.

(22/05/2015)

Rolling Chassis Complete

(22/05/2015)

Back to Bare Metal

(22/05/2015)

Rot and Rust Discovery

(22/05/2015)

Cooling System Setup

(22/05/2015)

Problems since solved

(22/05/2015)

Engine back in for testing

(22/05/2015)

Datsun 1200GX Reassembly

(22/05/2015)

Vehicle as received in June 2003

(22/05/2015)

Replacing the Hitachi’s with twin SU’s

(22/05/2015)

Special Interest Projects

Hitachi 1200 GX ignition and timing details.

Fitting hazard light indicators to a Mk1 Spitfire

The little old mk1 doesn't come with a hazard switch.  Or at least, my previously customised wiring loom doesn't have one.  I've made a switch in the dash from a 2500 saloon but had to work out the wiring diagram myself.

Datsun 1200 Engine Cradle on Wheels

Fed up with having a lump hanging from a chain or sitting in the middle of the garage under the winch - so I made a little home for it and gave it some wheels. Great power to weight ratio at the [email protected]

Spit Roast

Too much rust in too many places - thought it would be easier if I could spin it around. I couldn't resist the cool factor either.

Body-off Mk1 Spitfire Restoration

It may have looked cosmetically acceptable but inside it was riddled with rust and patched over with BOG. I couldn't stand the thought of taking the poor thing out in the rain and letting the water feed the rusting innards. Each prod with a screwdriver revealed more and more of the rot. I've got to do it properly. Seems like a good chance to respray the complete car in a new colour and also to do the Le Mans conversions.

Aluminium V8 powered spitfire

My plan is to build a 4.4L P76 V8 based spitfire. I have seen a few spitfires with Rover 3500 motors and seeing as I have managed to locate the Australian version of the rover V8 as used in the P76 I am up for the challenge.

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