You Can Do It in A Spitfire

Yellow Spitfire

Eric Olsen's Spitfire Thursday afternoon

Back in the 60’s Nick Marro wrote off three Spitfires, the last one in spectacular fashion when on his way home from the watering holes in New York State, a Ford Galaxie barrelled into his lane on the old Vermont Route 4 where it  narrowed from four lanes to two, and stood hard on the brakes.  His ensuing evasive action pitched the Spit off the highway and under a parked tractor trailer truck, shearing off the windshield and also, as Nick discovered, the top of the steering wheel, too.
Though every bit a total loss, the car still ran well enough that bloodied, but undaunted, they trundled off to the  State Police substation where medical attention was summoned for Nick, and a wrecker from a nearby junk yard attended to the Triumph.
I like Spitfires, although we don’t get to see too many of them.

Steve hauls the engine out of an MGB

Steve hauls the engine out of John McCracken's MGB

This late MGB came with overdrive, but recently the overdrive stopped working although the rest of the gearbox was still O.K.  In August Butch dropped the O/D sump cover and filter screen to have a look around and noticed what appeared to be a crack thru the thrust ring on the sliding clutch.
This is not a repair that can be effected with the gearbox in the car, but since it was still every bit drivable otherwise, we decided to schedule it for after peak foliage.  Peak foliage, by the way, was around Saranac Lake, where all the reds and oranges, which have been conspicuous in their absence around here, and also some yellow Spitfires have been turning up.

broken overdrive thrust ring

Broken LH overdrive thrust ring

So here it is.  The bearing housing was completely blown open at the back so that the thrust ring pulled right off over the bearing, which of course meant there was  no clamping pressure for the cone clutch.
John Esposito at Quantum Mechanics in Connecticut tells us he’s seen this quite a bit lately and thinks some of it might be caused by rough handling during thrust bearing replacement.  In our more limited experience the LH overdrives seem to be nearly as bullet proof as the 4-synchro gearboxes they’re attached to, but that fact not withstanding, he’s sending us a replacement thrust ring from his quite extensive inventory.  We have the tools and he has the parts.  Perfect.
Jaguar Mk2 in Walpole

Door to Door Delivery by Butch

Wednesday afternoon Butch ran the blue Jaguar Mk2 sedan, which has absorbed much of our time, up to Kmiec’s Garage in Alstead, N.H. for a State Inspection, and from there we delivered it back into the hands of its 2nd generation owner Dean Allen, his father Steve having acquired it back in  the day when Nick Marro was still busy reducing the surplus Spitfire population.

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