Let The Restoration Begin. In this series of articles I will not try to teach you how to do things or recommend methods, I will simply document my experiences and how I chose to do things, whether they are right or wrong I am sure you will gain something from them.
Before I started I took lots of digital photos for reference, so that when the time comes to reassemble all the bits I will have some idea of where they all go. I also wrote a spreadsheet (you can download a blank copy here) which I use to track all the components that will be removed from the car. This way the components are named, the storage box number listed and the location of the box is recorded and any work required is also noted, so that towards the end of the restoration all components should be complete and ready to fit back onto the car.
I reversed the Spitfire into the garage ready to start, the first step was to remove the battery to avoid any sparks or short circuits when working on the car.
The Spitfire was designed with a separate chassis and a one piece bonnet hinged at the front which gives unrivaled access to the engine bay area,
The bonnet had to be removed for repair of both the bonnet and the front of the chassis. To remove the bonnet the main lights have to be removed, so the wires and loom were labeled (I used inkjet avery labels as the stick to themselves well when wrapped around cables and once written on don't smudge).
Once the lights and cowls are removed the only thing to do is to unbolt the four bolts in the bonnet boxes which are under the over-riders. Although the bonnet is quite large, it was light enough for the wife and I to lift clear
and move out of the way.
With the bonnet safely stored out of harms way there is plenty of room to get access to everything. The front quarter panels on the spitfires were made of steel, but these have a tendency to rot from the inside out, and a lot of owners have replaced these panels with fiberglass equivalents, as had been done on mine.
There are only four bolts securing each quarter panel to the chassis and these came free without any problems except that on the passenger side the front cross member was like lace and the quarter panel was holding the cross member together.
Next to be removed was the front bumper which attaches with just two bolts at the top of the bonnet boxes. the bumper is not in too good a condition so either a good second hand will be found or I will look at getting mine re chromed.
The last job for january was to remove the wiring loom, This is a slow and tedious job, but if you are going to reuse the loom as I plan to, everything must be well labeled and removed carefully.
In next months article I will write about removing all the ancillary components to facilitate the removal of the engine and gearbox.