What year was my Spitfire made?
Your title may not reflect the year your car was made. Your Commission number will give you an idea how to guess the approx. date your car was built. Visit this link to find out the reasons we did not answer this question here.
I can't find reverse...where is it?
The three rail trans on MkI to MkIV's Spitfires have reverse to the right and forward.
The late model single rail trans (fitted to most 1500's and some North American MkIV's) has reverse to the right and forward (where 5th gear would be).
The best way to find it is put the shifter in neutral, cup the knob (like a brandy glass) and jiggle while lifting up (toward the sky). It will "click" and come up. Then push toward the upper left for early cars and toward the right for later cars.
Note: most cars need lifting of the knob (as described above). Others require pushing down while in neutral then up to the left.
What is an Overdrive? Do I need one?
An overdrive is transmission option that acts as an "extra gear". A switch, located on the top of the gear shifter, can lower the rpms when driving.
A nice feature of the Triumph overdrive is it works on 3rd and 4th... meaning you have a 6 speed gearbox: reverse, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd OD, 4th, and 4th OD
At 65mph (estimates):
with non-overdrive transmission: 3500rpm
with overdrive: 2800rpm.
Increase of mileage of about 3-5mpg at highway speeds.
Is it required? No, but it makes highway driving quieter and more relaxed.
Why does the rear tires lean so much? Is it broken?
More than likely your Spitfire is not broken. Surprisingly Spitfires are supposed to have those "something's wrong" angles. Up to 4.75 deg off vertical is still within factory specs. (with a full tank of gas, all fluids full and 120lb two riders... yea, right)
For more info about alignments click here
But mine leans more on the driver's side.
This is usually caused by a sagging rear spring which happens over time. Usually most sag on the driver's side (because most of the time there is a driver in the car.)
The fix is to get a new spring. New springs are available at the suppliers listed on this link.
Another option is to have your sagging spring re-arched. Check with a local 4x4 shop for their recombinations.
Some owners add air shocks (shocks that can be made stiffer by pumping up) and most love them. If you pump the shock up very firm it will help level the rear end again. But this is a "Band-Aid" fix and will not fix a sagging spring only wear out the shocks prematurely.
Other causes for leaning:
1. Working on the rear end of your Spit and tightening the major bolts before the car is on level ground can cause the car to appear to have a sagging spring.
2. Your Spitfire might have been wrecked.
More questions to come
We will be adding to this page as more questions pop up.