View Full Version : Spitfire Trumph Spitfire Mark IV

09-01-2009, 04:48 PM
Hello all,
This is my first post. Let me start by telling you a little about me. 56 year old, married 35 years, three sons. I have always loved English cars. I have owned two MGAs and one Jag xj-6. Currently own a 69 mgbgt and a 86 jag xj-6. Enough about me. I also own a near basket case Triumph spitfire. I think is a 1970(at least thats what is says on the plate) and I know it is a Mark IV. My oldest son and I bought it about 10 years ago as a project for us for 300.00. At the time it ran but has some fuel leaks. It sat in my barn for the past ten years and recently have gotten itchy about doing it. I have been trying to get it started and yes the fuel pp. is delivering fuel to carb. The problem is it will run for about 10 seconds(sounds good) and then cuts out. Could it be the float vv.? Before I start taking the carb apart I need to identify it correctly for Moss motors. I can't find the brass tag they talk about. MY question is if the name plate on the door pillar says it was made in 1970, is that in fact mean it's a 1970 for identification purposes. Moss doesn't seem to recognize a 1970 mark IV.

Oh, by the way. My oldest and youngest own BMWs and the middle one owns a Honda(where did I go wrong)

Thanks in advance,

Mickey Richaud
09-01-2009, 04:55 PM
Hey, Ray - welcome to the party!

I believe the MK IV ran from '71. Build date may be '70, but it is probably a '71 model.

As for the fuel issue, could be float, but does sound like a delivery or blockage problem as well.

Keep us posted on your progress.


09-01-2009, 04:57 PM
Mickey-That should be
"Welcome to the party, pal"

09-01-2009, 05:03 PM
Carb needs a benching and going thru, IMO.

And indeed: WELCOME!

09-01-2009, 05:12 PM
Run a hose directly from your pump into the gas can, eliminate everything from the pump back.

If the issue remains, it's probly the floats are stuck. Give the outside of the carb a sharp whack with a screwdriver handle.

Will the engine start right back up?

Welcome! I have a 71 MKIV myself. Should be on the road this fall after a 3 year redo.

09-01-2009, 08:10 PM
Welcome to this fine forum! I should think that pulling the carbs and giving them a good cleaning would be a plan since they have set so long. I'm the last to say though, as I've been fooling with the Strombergs on the J-H for two months now and am finally approaching the point I was at before I started to improve them. Good Luck and stay in touch. The guys here have a wealth of experience to share.

09-01-2009, 08:13 PM
Thanks Steve,
I blew out the supply line coming from the tank down in the engine compartment where it comes into the fuel pp. Assuming there is only the in line filter down at the pp. When I did this you could hear bubbling at the gas tank from the compreseed air blowing into the tank so I hope nothing is pluggged. You mention "floats" Is there more than one? The gaskets at the cabr leak quite badly, so I am looking into a kit from Moss to replace these. I have written them asking what exactly comes with the kit. At first I couldn;t get fuel to the carb but taking the screen fine mesh filter out of the fuel pp. and cleaning it, at least now I am getting fuel to the carb. What is the best way to get at the float(s) in the carb.
Thanks again

09-01-2009, 08:22 PM
I hate to be a bore, but is this a round tail or square tail Spit? Either way it should have a single Stromberg carb on it. Does it? If so, it shouldn't be too hard to figure out what carb kit it would take. I'm no expert on Strombergs though.

If the car has been setting for 10 years, you likely need to clean out the tank. Then go through the fuel line looking for blockages, ending up at the carb.

BTW, sounds like you didn't go wrong with the kids.

09-01-2009, 08:41 PM
My post does little more than second (and third) suggestions above. After sitting for a decade, the jet in the float bowl is surely blocked with varnish. You really should plan on taking the carb apart for a good cleaning. Also as mentioned above, the tank will be full of scale and varnish. I have had good luck cleaning tanks by removing them, draining the old gas, then plugging them and putting a gallon of paint stripper inside and closing the filler for several days. After draining, you can use a good quality caustic cleaner to remove the remaining deposits and scale.

And before I forget, welcome! I am presently working on a '72 Spit. The plan was to work on this with my older son. "With" has become more and more "for", but I'm hoping to have the car roadworthy by the end of the year. Keep us up to date on your progress.

09-02-2009, 04:27 AM
My oldest and youngest own BMWs and the middle one owns a Honda(where did I go wrong)

Ain't nothin wrong with either brand. If you'd of said KIA or Hyundai, then I'd agree with 'go wrong part'. Be proud of your boys, all of em. Honda (at least used to) make the highest HP per Liter of any engines, and there is no brand more reliable. I'm on my 5th Honda right now. Having a car as reliable as a Honda gives me right to have an LBC. For when the LBC breaks down, I know without any shadow of a doubt that I can always count on my Honda to tow it back home :smile:

Mickey Richaud
09-02-2009, 05:10 AM
One other question about your fuel issue: Have you tried running it with the fuel cap off?

09-02-2009, 05:37 AM
I think I have one of those little coffee percolators in my pile of stuff, I gotta go look at it to remind me what the insides look like. Floats (IIRC) is referring to that there's two on a common shaft. Tell Moss, or Nigel, or Vicky, or Ted, or Charles that you have a 71 with a single Stromberg and they should have a kit with all new gaskets, rubber parts and a new float valve.

09-02-2009, 07:44 AM
I have two Strombergs sitting in my storage building that you are welcome to if you need a backup. One came from a MkIV and one from a 1500 (I think) and I not sure which is which.

09-02-2009, 07:10 PM
First, let me thank you all for the welcomes and the advice. I feel right at home.

Second, I was kidding about my sons. I am very proud of them. We kid each other a lot. Short funny story. I bought the current xj-6 I have off ebay. I live in NH. I call my middle son up and ask if he can give me a ride to get it. He is a cop so he was off during the day. He said sure Dad where is it. What a surprise for him when I told him it was down in Maryland. lol. Anyways the next day we were all going in to see the Red Sox. On the way home coming down RT 1 what do we see....a guy pushing his jag to the nearest gas station. I think they laughed all the ay home.

Back to the Spitfire. I took the bottom pan off the carb today and both floats dropped down(so did the needle valve)so now the gasket is junk but I did clean a lot of sediment out of the pan. I will order a kit from Moss. For now I will fiddle with the electrical. It seems someone has mickey moused a few things. As far as I know there are only 3 in line fuses(is this correct) and if so where are they. The main light switch is missing. Moss only lists one for 75-80...would this work for a 71? One wire in the main harness which comes out at the fuse holder near the coil seems to have burned. Suffice it to say I have some things to keep me busy til the carb kit comes.

Again thank you all for the welcomes and advice.

09-03-2009, 06:03 AM
... there are only 3 in line fuses(is this correct) and if so where are they?...

Yep. Just Port... err... to the drivers side of the clutch master cylinder in the engine bay, against the bulkhead... err... fire wall. Should be behind a small plastic cover. They are usually clear, but age, neglect, and complacency might have it covered in gunk or paint. Took me 2 months to even notice I had that little panel there after I got my Spitfire... and the PO had painted over it. Maybe he never did see it.

09-03-2009, 08:24 AM
My guess is the tank is plugged. What happens is there is stuff sitting in the bottom of the tank and it is fine until you start to suck gas out of it and then the junk at the bottom of the tank plugs the opening. You will find that you can run it, it will quit, 20 min later it will run again and so on. It will always give you air bubbles when blowing air down the line because the stuff that clogs the pipe is light and will move with the pressure of the air. (don't ask me how I know this)

The other thought would be small leaks in the joints between metal tube and rubber tube. Gas will not leak from it but air will be sucked in. The rubber pipes should all be changed after that many years sitting anyways. Just another thought.

I also agree with the rebuild of the carbs. You can get the car running with the old ones but my guess is you will never get it running right until you rebuild them.

09-03-2009, 05:04 PM
I may take you up on the carbs. Can you let me know how much to ship them to Newton, NH 03858

09-04-2009, 08:27 AM
I may take you up on the carbs. Can you let me know how much to ship them to Newton, NH 03858

Whatever the USPS flat rate box I can get them in would cost. Let me know if you want just the carbs or air filter too. BTW, I think one carb is electric choke and one may be water choke. I may be away for a few days, so don't worry if I don't respond to a new post right away.