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Paul L 12th March 2014 15:16

Mac - I may have got the wrong idea about my own headlights, but...

I was under the impression that the outer trim ring "tucked in" to the rubber headlight gasket.

Here are some photos of the gasket & headlight "bucket" from my build.

So there are no screws at all used to hold the blue headlight trim in place in this photo.

Note: Obviously my trim may fall off on the way to the MOT station if I was meant to screw it in somewhere. :rolleyes:

Not sure it that helps, Paul. :)

Viatron 12th March 2014 18:41

Pretty sure there will be at least one screw Paul, I really don't think the ring will be held on by the rubber seal, I'm sure there must be a clip or the like as well as the screw, anyone else want to chip in?

Paul L 12th March 2014 19:08

I'm sure you're right Mac.

My problem was I got my outer rings second hand and there were not the same.

One had a screw hole in it, but the other one didn't.

So I'd be as interested as you in finding out how there are supported to work.

Note: My Spitfire 1500 donor had a completely different set up.

Cheers, Paul. :)

Mister Towed 14th March 2014 07:09

Better picture of how snug the headlight trim rings fit (courtesy of Phil J) here -

They're secured at the bottom with a small screw and located at the top with a couple of lugs on the inner ring.

Viatron 14th March 2014 07:10

That's what im missing, my bowl has no lugs for it to hook onto :-(

Viatron 15th March 2014 17:33

Finished welding up the mount for my Ford gen II coil pack the other day
Gave it a coat of etch primer than several coats of gloss black, Dave fitted it this morning whilst I went to to the nut and bolt shop. It also acts as a cover for the hole in the block the now defunct mechanical fuel pump fitted into.

We then fitted the nice custom leads I had to have made by Autoleads as funnily enough leads don't exist that are triumph spitfire one end and Ford Gen II coil pack the other!

Decided I didint like the red spiral wrap around the rear of the loom so we took it off and replaced it with nylon overbraid which looks much more OEM to my eye.

Got all the column wiring apart from the overdrive switch squared away using some nice connectors I got of AES, they mke a neat job, I was hoping to fit multi plugs but the size of some of the wiring and the fact some would have had multiple wires to each terminal meant that these along with forked terminals actually ended up neater.

My trigger wheel has arrived at last! Thanks to Thom at H2O Profiling who knocked it out in about 3 days to my door fom ordering it, and didn't exploit the fact I wanted it in a hurry when quoting.

It fits nicely on the back of the front pully, was hoping to get it welded up but we ran out of time so that will be a job for early next week.

Also had delivery this week of the crank position sensor fom my local ford dealer.

With all these parts now delivered the plan was to fire the motor today but I was nervous about doing it with no oil pressure switch or gauge so ordered a cheap gauge kit off a marine parts supplier down South who swore blind I would have it for the weekend, guess what, not arrived yet...

Dave and I did chat about just going for it but decided that to risk a first start on a fairly hot freshly built engine with not a clue if we had any oil pressure was bordering on stupid :-)

Last job of the day was to cut the parts up to make the rear body support as fitting the body is becoming something I can't put off for much longer.

Cut and profiled some 5mm Ali plate so that it follow the curve of the rear of the body, the piece of Ali box is just to keep it all together and aligned until it's tigged up.

The top plate will be tigged on so that the rear of the cockpit has a good strong surface to be bonded and riveted too, it will also mean that leaning on the rear cockpit edge to get in and out won't be an issue.

That's it for now.

Paul L 15th March 2014 19:54

It is definitely coming together very nicely. :cool:

Viatron 18th March 2014 17:34

Just catching up.
Made the crank sensor bracket out of some 2" box I had lying around, the 3 holes were for puddle welding it to the front timing chain cover:

The welding isnt the prettiest but it aint coming apart.....ever!

Cleaned up the area on the front cover I was going to weld to:

Again not my prettiest welding but it will clean up fine with the flap wheel:

Trial fitted the crank sender, the bolt wont be that long by the time im finished :-)

Welded on the trigger wheel, I found the best way to centralise it was to fix the wheel to the pully using blue tack, I then put it in the lathe and used a tool to act as a fixed point, after a few minutes of repositioning it was as close as makes no difference to perfect, 3 good welds and job done.

A clean up with the flap wheel and a couple of coats of paint and its all coming together.

Put the freshly painted pulley back on, now with its trigger wheel and after a few minutes of washer juggling had the sensor just over 1mm away from the teeth of the trigger wheel which should be fine. Also trimmed back the super long stainless bolt.

Also got my temporary oil pressure gauge rigged up and ordered a replacement threaded tube to replace the one missing from where the oil filter goes on the block, its apparently quite common for them to come off with the filter so ill be using some oil resistant thread lock to make sure it stays put.

Picking up some Morris Lubricants running in oil tomorrow so apart from fitting a junior timer plug to the crank sensor wiring I'm ready for the start up once the threaded tube arrives.......



christinedmc 19th March 2014 17:16

Hello Mac,

Very nice job. Well done.


Viatron 19th March 2014 19:50

Michael, thanks I was very please how it all went together.....until today...

Managed a couple of hours this morning before going to a meeting in Birmingham, trying to work on the car in meeting clothes was interesting so thought I would stick to electrics, how messy can you get with wire....

Managed to figure out which way round to wire the crank position sensor plug as it basically only has 2 wires, the right way will work and wrong way wont.
Got the plug all coupled up, flashing lights on the NoDiz told me that it was receiving the crank signal when I spun the motor over on the starter with no plugs in. The motor really spins with the geared starter and no plugs in!
Thought it was all going really well but couldn't get a spark..
Check resistance on the coil pack, all good
Check resistance on the crank sensor, all good
Tried hooking up the monster jump starter in case battery was a little low, all good
Even put the front pulley on next doors lathe and turned the trigger wheel teeth up in case I was getting an inconsistent gap, took less than a quarter of a mm off in total so not far out enough to really make a difference, and it didn't.
Checked continuity of the wiring between the nodiz and the coil and the nodiz and the crank sensor ...all good
Checked I had 12v on the centre pin of the coil all the time whilst cranking, all good.

Several calls later to Simon and Nodiz had me taking the front plate off the unit and hey presto, big old scorch mark around one of the coil drivers!
&&);/:;?!!.?!>$<~%%+}+#>€?~€~>~€ ell!
So the Nodiz is on the way back already via special delivery, they are going to try and turn it around and get a replacement or mine fixed and out tomorrow for delivery Friday so may still be on for a first start at the weekend, especially now the missing thread tube for the centre of the oil filter housing has arrived and I have 5 litres of Morris's Lubricants Golden Film running in oil in the back of the van.
Quite miffed but can't blame NoDiz as I got it at a reduced price as it was a beta unit and from the conversation I had today I think they will just send me out a new current model that has some improvements so guess I'll be better off in the end....



christinedmc 19th March 2014 20:10

this is bad luck. Hope the problem is fixed and you can fire the engine up quickly. I loved the moment it turned on and produced that neat sound.


garyh 20th March 2014 08:08

V, i think you should set the camcorder up... for posterity.

Viatron 20th March 2014 08:16

Not a bad idea!
On a positive note I forgot to mention that the headlamp trim ring conundrum has been solved, user error, there are in fact 2 small plastic tangs on the edge of the plastic bowl that the trim rim hooks over, I couldn't see them clearly with the gasket fitted, ill post pics next time I'm up the workshop.

christinedmc 20th March 2014 17:09

Hi mac,

Glad you found the edges I told you about. In the end :razz:


Viatron 20th March 2014 17:45

Michael, Yep once I had found them it was obvious!

Had a delivery thus morning of my bulkhead connector for my bonnet sub loom, basically the 5 wires powering the indicators, side and headlamps will terminate at the bulkhead and the bonnet will have its own sub loom so that if it needs removing you can do so with a simple twist of the coupling.

I got it from trigger and it's described as Mil Spec, have to say I think only the Chinese military would use one in a military application but its plenty good enough for an automotive application and at a tenner I don't think I can grumble.


Viatron 21st March 2014 18:46

New replacement NoDiz due on a pre 10am in the morning, fingers crossed for a first start mid to late afternoon tomorrow!

Viatron 22nd March 2014 19:10

Courier turned up at 10:30 replacement nodiz blown up by 16:00. Suspect brand new coil is faulty causing it to feed back to the coil driver

<>~|<%%|~>€$$+$><|\[]}%^><^ ollocks

Paul L 22nd March 2014 21:48

I hope your luck with these new parts starts to change soon. :pray:

But I'm sure that the sound of the engine running will make up for all the hassle. :cool:

Good luck, Paul. :)

Paul L 24th March 2014 21:23

Mac - Can I ask what sort of battery you are going to use?

I was told to buy a replacement battery with a UK015 code, which turns out as 42AH.

I've also seen a 48AH battery listed as Triumph Spitfire 1500 compatible that I like the look of.

But I just wanted to double check following your previous advice to me about possible upgrades to the electrics.

Cheers, Paul. :)

Viatron 26th March 2014 05:38

I'm currently using one of our oddest racing batteries for testing but will order one of these these week.

The electrics on these cars are fairly basic and the race car runs full data logging electronic dash etc with a battery roughly this size and has no issues. I'm running a hi torque starter which in my experience tends to make starting up something you don't have to worry about as it spins over very quickly meaning there is little danger of killing the battery trying to get it started. On top of that I also have a brand new dynamotor so all the electrics are basically new. It also means I don't have to worry about making a battery well as it will bolt straight onto the bulkhead horizontal surface.


Viatron 26th March 2014 05:45

Just an update
Spoke to Matt at Nodiz, can't fault the customer service as he called me from home where he was on his death bed! He agrees with my diagnosis of a faulty coil pack and is going to try and get the blown coil driver replaced and the unit back to me ASAP. I have ordered a new crank sensor so that I can rule that out and also a new coil. I'm sure it will fire easily as soon as I overcome this issue, it was almost running on 2 cylinders with the timing out 180 degrees so with all four firing and the timing sorted it should burst into life with not to many dramas .....

On a positive note my gauges have now shipped and I have been tracking their progress, they arrived at the Birmingham depot of DHL at 05:27 this morning so may even get them today? Hmmmmm shiny stuff, just what I need to lift the spirits!


Paul L 26th March 2014 07:43

Mac - Thanks for the detailed reply. :cool:

The guy in the Triumph garage also mentioned switching to a hi torque starter motor when I asked him about using the manual solenoid switch that Mister Towed fitted.

Unfortunately, I think the battery you are ordering would look small/odd in my "new" battery box. Which means I clearly should have asked this question before I made it. :rolleyes:

Cheers, Paul. :)

Good luck with sorting out your own electrics, it does sound like you are nearly there now.

Mister Towed 26th March 2014 09:24

When it comes to starting first time every time, once you've got a solenoid or switch that connects the (new) battery to the (new) starter motor reliably, the issue isn't really how fast the motor turns or how long the battery can keep turning it, but how efficient the ignition system is.

Assuming your carburettors/fuel injection are delivering a suitable mixture into the cylinders and the valve clearances and timing are set correctly, what you need is a powerful spark to light the fire.

To achieve this with the Triumph supplied distributor I'd recommend: new plugs gapped properly; a simple electronic ignition module to replace the points (I used one of these)
; a new coil; new leads, dizzy cap and rotor arm; and, for best results, an MSD street-fire multi-spark module

With all that lot fitted, my motor fires within two seconds, first time every time, unless the engine's really hot when it can take up to four seconds. Not bad for an engine that's older than my wife.

In the clip below you can hear that the battery's a bit weak and the starter turns fairly slowly, but just time how long it takes to fire (from cold) - I'd say it's less than one turn of the crank:

Viatron 26th March 2014 09:50

I agree with everything you say T, I have gone for the high torque because my engine is not very standard, high compression, bigger valves, hot cam etc etc etc. I know from my racing that high compression engines can be a pig to start when hot, for instance when you've spun off and stalled, not that I would know anything about that of course.....
The high torque starters have come down a lot in price in the last few years and personally I wont run anything but now as I don't see the savings over a standard one as worth it.

Mister Towed 26th March 2014 10:20

That makes sense Mac, my engine is bog standard and I think it's only running about 8.5:1 compression. Once (if?) I have the head skimmed and/or the block decked I guess I might need a more powerful battery.

Viatron 28th March 2014 19:14

Good News!
Spoke to Matt at NoDiz and he has managed to replace the blown coil driver so no charge!

Viatron 28th March 2014 19:15

Bad New!
Spoke to Matt at NoDiz who told me my fixed ECU left on Thursday, it hasn't arrived ....:-(

Viatron 28th March 2014 19:17

Good News!
Actually bloody great news my gauges have finally arrived!

Viatron 28th March 2014 19:18

Bad News!
Have to work the weekend so wont get up to the workshop now until Tuesday.grrrrrrrrrrrrr

Paul L 29th March 2014 22:39

Those gauges do look great. :cool:

phil9 30th March 2014 10:50

great work this car going to be great ...just can not wait to see it running top job ....

Paul L 3rd April 2014 08:22

Mac - As you might see on my build thread, I finally understand how the headlight rim works.

I found the two lugs/edges on the outer edge of the headlight bowl that Michiel & Mr T mentioned.

But I still couldn't see anywhere for a retaining screw to fit.

This is because my headlight bowls are missing the silver self tapping fixing in this photo from Rimmer Bros.

So with a bit more work I should be able to sort my headlights out properly.

Cheers, Paul. :)

slartibartfast 3rd April 2014 12:12

Those gauges are things of great beauty :rockon:
Keep up the good work

Viatron 13th April 2014 09:12

They are even prettier up close slarti :-)

Viatron 13th April 2014 09:22

Quick update, very busy with work at the moment and have been stuck in Newham for the last few days and will be there up until Thursday night when I am off to Sri Lanka again to do house purchase legal stuff. This combined with the 15 hours it took me to get to my hotel in Essex on Tuesday thanks to the gridlock on the M6 Jct 4 to 3 has meant little time for the Ribble.
Went up for a couple of hours yesterday as my repaired Nodiz turned up from MTech and I really wanted to get the engine running so I could go away with a landmark passed. Twas not to be.
On MTechs advice I have wired the 12v live to the coil with a 2amp fuse so that if I encounter any trigger wheel pulse issues it will blow the fuse rather than fry the coil drivers on the Nodiz again. Only one small problem the fuse blows within seconds of cranking the motor every time!
Eventually I decided to isolate the Nodiz so ended up powering the Nodiz from one battery isolated from the car loom with the starter running direct from a second battery again isolated from the loom. Result was exactly the same and after blowing through 5 3 amp fuses (you try getting 2amp blade fuses from a motor factors) that I ended up paying over 5 for as I had to buy 5 blister packs of mixed fuses just to get the single 3 amp in every pack I slammed the unit doors and made an early exit to go home and watch my lot narrowly win their FA cup semi final.

Haven't decided exactly how to proceed but will speak to MTech again in the morning as far as I can see my only real options are:
1. Stick it on a trailer and take it to them for a morning and let them sort it whilst I wait.
2. Bin the Nodiz and go back to Megajolt of which I have built and installed about 10 now and never had this much trouble.

Either option wont be cheap but with me sticking to my guns about not fitting the body until the wiring is sorted its holding me up massively.



Mister Towed 13th April 2014 10:26

Bad luck Mac. I'm always loathe to admit defeat myself, but I think I'd be trailering it up to the NoDiz people to test all the circuits and components at this stage. There must be a relatively simple problem- a short to earth or faulty component - causing this problem. Good luck with it and don't lose heart, Diz or NoDiz you'll get there in the end. :)

Viatron 13th April 2014 11:56

Towed, thanks for the support, The frustrating thing is I made and installed looms for several of my race cars that use injection, sequential injection, data logging etc etc. The latest DTA install on the Tiger GTA had over 60 connections just to the ECU and Digital Dash / Data Logger so its not like I haven't done this sort of thing before. grrrrrrrrrrrr

Mister Towed 13th April 2014 12:22

Kernel of an idea is slowly forming in my head that I might like to build a lightweight road racer with a modern motor myself.

It'd 100% be another small chassis Triumph based Spyder, and I'm on the lookout for a pre '63 donor at the right price (v. cheap!) at the moment. That's to give me a non-dating reg for free.

I liked the idea of using a Puma 1.7 engine as it's very light for its output and is a really revvy, characterful engine. I'm now veering more towards the idea of buying an MOT failed MGF VVC though. That would donate its engine; wheels (I like the square six spoke 15's - ) ECU; and front and rear brakes (I'll have to fabricate adaptors).

The big worry for me would be getting the ECU to work. There's very little information on the web about how you wire one of those beasties up, save for the Westfield site saying you can use the original ecu , and I hate the thought of paying someone else to work on my car.

The other thing I can't find much info on is whether you can use hydraulic clutch actuation with the type 9 gearbox adaptor. I suppose I'd have to start calling round the experts closer to the time.

Now, small matter of raising some funds to start buying in the bits I'll need. So if you'll excuse me I'll be scrabbling around down the back of the sofa looking for change for the next half hour...

Viatron 13th April 2014 13:50

T, the Puma engine is well catered for to convert from FWD to inline but the bits aren't cheap, check out Shawspeed.
Converting a type9 to hydraulic clutch is a well trodden path, all parts off the shelf from the likes of Burton Power.
Personally I just cant be arsed with trying to get oem ECU's working, I know some people see it as a challenge but I just see it as a faff. Plus if you want to mod the engine most OEM ecu' probably aren't up to the job anyway. Our current GTA uses a DTA S60 and in its last guise it used an S40. the S40 was really easy to install and even making the loom was very straight forward with full wiring diagrams included. I fancied having a go at the now defunct Haynes single seater myself.

Mister Towed 14th April 2014 02:20


Originally Posted by Viatron (Post 54328)
T, the Puma engine is well catered for to convert from FWD to inline but the bits aren't cheap, check out Shawspeed.
Converting a type9 to hydraulic clutch is a well trodden path, all parts off the shelf from the likes of Burton Power.
Personally I just cant be arsed with trying to get oem ECU's working, I know some people see it as a challenge but I just see it as a faff. Plus if you want to mod the engine most OEM ecu' probably aren't up to the job anyway. Our current GTA uses a DTA S60 and in its last guise it used an S40. the S40 was really easy to install and even making the loom was very straight forward with full wiring diagrams included. I fancied having a go at the now defunct Haynes single seater myself.

Thanks for the tips Mac, some useful links there. I'll have to google a few of the terms you've used though as in the words of Midge Ure...

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