View Full Version : Spitfire First time spitfire owner questions

04-26-2012, 08:35 AM
I just bought my first British car, a 1968 spitfire. Previous owners fixed most of the major projects but I have a few to tackle right away. Any advice on my projects is appreciated.

1- I need high & low note horns. The relay seems good but the horns are shot. Where's the best place to purchase horns & should I stay original or change up the sound?

2- Seat belts are needed. Not sure if I should go 2 or 3 point or best place to purchase.

3- Door hinges need adjustments. Everything is solid but they didn't adjust the strike very well. Should I try this myself or is this better left to a bodbtwy shop expert? Btw paint job is very good for a daily driver.

Thanks for your advice.


04-26-2012, 10:27 AM
1 - Double check the horns. They may be rebuildable.

2 - Lap belts are easier install, 3 point tend to be safer.

3 - Easiest done with an assistant. Find the local Triumph club and ask for help. Someone will teach you how to do it (you'll wind up being the assistant).

Have fun with it! I love Spitfires, they are a hoot to drive!

Andrew Mace
04-26-2012, 01:25 PM
A 1968 Spitfire sold new in North America SHOULD have factory eyebolt mounts in the floor for the lap belt portion as well as a mount atop each rear wheel arch for the shoulder portion. Note that lap belts would've been installed originally if the car was a US-spec. car and sold here, but unless the car was very carefully cared for, any original belts would likely be due for replacement regardless. Andover Restraints, Inc. (https://andoauto.com/3point.htm) is one of any number of companies who can supply belts and most any sort of needed hardware. (I have no financial interest in Andover, but I have purchased belts from them and have been very happy with them.)

04-26-2012, 04:00 PM
3-point belts will be safer and new is much preferred to used. The cheap, new recoil belts are a case of "you get what you pay for" so you will be better off buying manually adjusted, non-recoil belts.

Are you sure the horn relay is working? Have you measured voltage at the horn wires at the front of the car? TRs use a braided ground wire that passes through the center of the flexible joint on the steering column. If that fails you will not have any horns. If your relay is closing and you have voltage up front the contact inside the horns may need cleaning as Jody suggested.

I also like Jody's suggestion of having a local TR owner assist you with the hinges. I have adjusted them a couple of times on our Spitfire and our GT6 and I still don't feel like I know what I am doing.

04-26-2012, 04:47 PM
I strongly suggest installing much louder horns than original. All us Triumph owners are "invisible" to large cars and SUV's. You will need all the horn power you can get to warn those drivers that you are there. I opted for "Loud American" horns from Griots and have been very satisfied with them. They sound just like an old time big American car. In addition, I recommend always driving with your lights on, it will help them see you a little better. I also recommend a Lights-on buzzer to prevent leaving your lights on. They are very inexpensive and easy to install. They are available off the web.

04-27-2012, 10:52 AM
Thanks for the advice. I installed some wolo horns and they work great...quite loud. Lights on is a great idea! I am also meeting up with a local club enthusist tonght.

I had a wonderful 40 mile drive into work this morning. It was abit cool with the top down, but it's amuch better way to start the than driving my Prius. I'm really pleased that I bought the car! :thumbsup:

04-27-2012, 01:21 PM
Cool this morning with the top down?????

Dude, it was 30 degrees in Green Bay when I came to work. It could not have been much warmer in Madison!

04-27-2012, 02:19 PM
About 35....but it's nice now. I wore a hat & gloves ....not bad at all.

04-28-2012, 08:48 AM
:iagree: Nothing better than top down and running wide open!

04-28-2012, 10:17 AM
Welcome, and great to see you are having fun already.

Trevor Triumph
04-28-2012, 09:39 PM
Welcome to the forum and British car ownership.
Even here in the desert during the winter one can drive with the top down. Having a tonneau (sp) is helpful- keeps the heat inside the car.

I installed three point belts in the MK I and MK II cars. Feels safer.