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Triumph Repair/Spitfire 1500


QUESTION: Hei, 3 years ago i bought i 78 model spitfire (uk). By firts sight it looked perfect but I have have gained some problems which i do not know how to deal with.
1: There is a continous thumping always when de-cellerating, actually been there since I bought the car. Passes away in the moment you accelerate.
2: After one year of use you the frame in front right side is partly sloped?? against left side which leads to declined distance between the front and rear axel right side. Probably due to rust in the frame? It happend after driving on a very bumpy road, not worsened even thoug I use the car now and than.
About these problems, do you hve any thoughts of what to do?
Sorry about my english (from Norway)

ANSWER: Hi Sverre,

First, your English is fine, better then some Americans including mine. Thumping on decel can be a lot of things so you need to put the car up on a lift and examine the "U" joints first. Look for signs of rust coming out of any joint and then use a screwdriver or such to pry it is different directions to see if you can note any free play in the joint. There should be no free play anywhere in the joint. You need to look at the joints on the driveshaft and each joint on each rear axle. Then with a large pry bar check for loose movement in the differential and rear spring across the rear of the car and any of the links on the rear suspension. Confirm that the "U" joint flange bolts are tight on the differential.

A thumping on decel does not tell you what is wrong but does tell you that you need to do the above to find out what it is.

The Spitfire frame is an "X" shaped or "Hourglass" shaped frame and could be either rusted badly or it may have been damaged by an accident or someone jacking the car up incorrectly. (use of an air jack on one corner)

Again you need to put the car on a lift and you should purchase one of the "Bentley" manuals on the Spitfire as it has a very good drawing of the frame and all it's dementions so you could take a lot of point to point measurements and determine if the frame is bent or not. You should be able to locate a Bentley manual on line. If that is not a good option let me know and I will post a picture of the frame and measurements on my web site for you to copy.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi again and thank you for exellent answer.
I do have a manaul (haynes) but not with  point to point measurements on the frame.
I would appreciate a picture of the frame with measurements if that is not to much to ask for.
I will start my work today with the thumping problem, hopefully I'll find out what to do.
And thank you again Howard :-)

Hi Sverre,

Go to my website and copy these two pages and they should give you the data needed to determine if your frame is not correct.

And for tech tips on British cars you can use


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Howard M. Fitzcharles III


Triumph TR-4 up & Spitfire, and Engine theory


Dealership line mechanic on MG, Triumph, Jaguar for 15 years, Instructor in commercial mechanics school 2 yr. Product information manager for piston and valve manufacture, Instructor & hotline answer man for import car parts importer 15 yrs.

Associate member SAE EAA member

Import Car magazine

ASE Master Auto with L-1 certification up to 2000

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