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Spitfire 1500 Engine rebuild for firstimer


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Hi all,
Well it looks like i got a project for the winter as my current incorrect 1300 engine in the car currently is on its way out. So its time to rebuild a 1500 engine i picked up a while ago to put in the car. I want to rebuild / inspect it before i swap over it over.
So I have got the haynes manual and workshop manual for bedtime reading and to help guide me, but has anyone got any hints, tips or websits for me as it will be the first time i have pulled the engine apart and im a bit nervous! Or anything that i should look for etc? Please excuse my ignorance if i dont quite understand you at times.

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Sounds familiar!
Give the outside of the engine a clean, and have somewhere clean to work.
Bag up and label stuff as it is removed. This is very important for the conrod and main bearing caps, and they need to be kept the right way round. Bolt assemblies back together when removed. Mark the crank and timing chain sprockets if not already done.
Once you have a big pile of bits, start checking the bores for wear/scoring, and the crank too.
Many engines respond very well to a refresh with new rings (assuming no undue bore wear and a good hone) and a new set of main/bigends and thrusts, though often an extra 5 or 10 though can be squeezed into the thrusts.

Head, if it hasn't been converted to unleaded now may be a good time, or get an exchange one.
Camshaft, a few I have taken apart have had worn lobes, I measured with a vernier to confirm and yes, significant wear.

Allow for a new timing chain and tensioner, plus a full set of gaskets, at least a payen head gasket and if possible get payen for the others too. Worth the extra few quid.

That is just a summary of course :)

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If you haven't already seen this it's well worth a look to give you an idea of what you are in for...  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daVDrGsaDME

I'd echo the above re: cleanliness and organisation.  Don't underestimate how many containers/how much room/how many rags etc.
Triumph engines are about as simple as they get for a "normal" car engine, follow the steps in the manual, keep everything clean, if you get any machining done clean, clean and clean again (use an air line to clear out oilways)!  Use plenty of lube when reassembling and check every step of the way that nothing is over tight, clearances are as they should be and that rotating assemblies still rotate after you have torqued them up... don't forget to prime the oil pump.
As a newbie I probably wouldn't bother with a micrometer, take all the suspect bits to an engineering shop and get them to measure for you - they will be used to it and can advise if it needs machining or just new bearings or a hone etc.
Good luck, engines are lovely things to work with...

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I have recently rebuilt my 1500 engine and it is quite a simple engine to strip and rebuild as has been said.

I had mine rebored to +.20 and new pistons to match (approx £220)
Purchased the much better large journal camshaft with mk3 grind (£90 ish) after surcharge refund from Canleys
Crank was reground to +.20 and new matched bearings for big ends and mains (aprox £180)
New payen gaskets sets approx £30
Timing chain etc
I was fortunate to have picked up an unleaded head with less than 1000 miles on for £135 so saved me more money. If you go this route you will have to factor this into your costs.
Suffice to say the costs do mount up but i enjoyed the rebuild with some help from members to get valve timing correct - you know who you are ;)

Very helpfull guys on here so .. 'If you ask it, it will come' :)
Best wishes with the rebuild

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