1964 Sprite Vintage Racer Rebuild
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Author:  davew [ January 27, 2014, 10:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1962 Sprite Vintage Racer Rebuild

That project is looking great and is coming along nicely :cheers: . Are you just going to weld up the steering attachment or add reinforcements in the that area? Dave W

Author:  a.moore [ January 27, 2014, 3:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1962 Sprite Vintage Racer Rebuild

Thanks guys.

One of these days I'll buy a larger compressor so air tools become an option. Until then I guess I need to offset the lack of air tools with creativity. :? :wink:

Dave - I just welded the crack. The rack sits right next to the crack so adding a reinforcing doubler will keep things from mounting correctly. If it cracks again I'll probably just cut out the cross member and replace it. If I had to guess, I'd say the crack started from the welds on the threaded insert.

Author:  Miatav8,MstrASE,A&P,F [ January 27, 2014, 9:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1962 Sprite Vintage Racer Rebuild

Nice fit.

It is also a good idea to stay away from edges when practical to leave more room to blend /level an area. You can make offsetting pliers for lapping a skin panel but it's more work and takes more filler.

Author:  a.moore [ February 4, 2014, 8:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1962 Sprite Vintage Racer Rebuild

I *think* I have enough room to blend everything together. Fortunately everything seems pretty straight so it should only take a skim coat to hide the weld area once it is blended smooth.

A few weeks ago I was reading through Nick's completed build page and noticed some super shiny and clean SU carbs poking through the hood. I had a set of HS2's sitting downstairs from the 948 I plan on running while the 1098 gets rebuilt and it reminded me that they were in dire need of some TLC. I ended up spending the day cleaning and reassembling the carbs using rebuild kits from Victoria British. They aren't factory clean but they're one heck of a lot better than before (I never knew 87 octane was such a good solvent). How well I did is yet to be determined - if the engine starts and runs, then I'll call my first automotive carburetor rebuild a success.

File comment: One bowl down - one to go.
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So Nick, thanks for shaming me into knocking this off of the check list. ;)

The engine compartment also received its coat of primer and two coats of paint. After I put the primer on I noticed some sharp edges on the paint on the inner fenders. I have to wire brush that area some more and start over otherwise its ready for reassembly. My plan at this point is if it is broken, fix it. Otherwise don't screw with it and get it running. There is a SCCA driver school on April 26th and a double regional on the 27th. My goal is to get my novice permit on Saturday and two of my three races for my regional license on Sunday. I'm trying to be careful to make sure every minute I devote to this project is working towards that goal.

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The pedals are pretty much done at this point. I just need to knock out some sort of cover over the pedals to maintain the firewall. I also installed a pair of threaded inserts on the brake pedal so I can easily install a pedal pad later should heel-toeing not work with this arrangement.

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The car came with a set of stock wheels (complete with tires "Made in West Germany") and two sets of aluminum racing wheels. The racing wheels use shouldered lug nuts and unfortunately someone installed one set with regular nuts so some of the holes are no longer round. Fortunately the undamaged set takes a lug nut with an 11/16" OD shoulder and the damaged set is around 0.600". I was able to beg and borrow and found a mill with a rotary table I should be able to borrow this week or next. I think I'll be able to clean up the damage and use the shouldered lug nuts offered by Summit. The only downside is they are 7/16-20 thread so I'll have to change studs. I'm reusing most of the existing hardware provided it is in good shape but lug studs are probably worth changing proactively.

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Author:  nick47 [ February 5, 2014, 12:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1962 Sprite Vintage Racer Rebuild

a.moore wrote:
So Nick, thanks for shaming me into knocking this off of the check list.

You're welcome. They look good. Small, but good. Unfortunately your thread has me checking Craigslist daily for an MGB project.

Author:  a.moore [ February 5, 2014, 11:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1962 Sprite Vintage Racer Rebuild

I fail to see how that is an unfortunately daily occurrence - nothing bad has ever come from spur of the moment Craigslist automotive purchases. ;) :mrgreen:

If I was interested in a B I'd be loving our local Craigslist right now. There have been quite a few decent ones on there for reasonable prices and a ton of parts. Last winter it seemed like it was the opposite - tons of Spridgets and Spridget parts but not so many this year. There is a 1969 Midget right now that would probably make a decent parts car but the guy wants too much just to disassemble it.

If I were looking for an MGB project, I'd probably pay this guy a visit: http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/cto/4282845003.html

Author:  robbovius [ February 6, 2014, 8:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1962 Sprite Vintage Racer Rebuild

I've quit looking at craigs list, simply because it adds too many choices to the "Next Proj" file in my head. You know how I am about simplifying the desicion matrix...

Author:  Lonnie-S [ February 6, 2014, 10:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1962 Sprite Vintage Racer Rebuild


It looks like you purchased the balance bar for the brake pedal and possibly the top shaft for the clutch pedal on the setup you made. Where did you find those parts?

Thanks in advance,


Author:  a.moore [ February 7, 2014, 12:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1962 Sprite Vintage Racer Rebuild

Every time I "quit" it just means I start looking for other things. You know you need Craigslist rehab when you resort to looking for mopeds....

The bias bar is from Wilwood and the clevis for the clutch master cylinder is a stock Spridget part - I robbed it from the stock master cylinder (I can't speak for later cars but the 948 and 1098 cars will have two of these). Moss wants $10 for the clevis and $5 for the pin.

Author:  a.moore [ February 18, 2014, 1:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1964 Sprite Vintage Racer Rebuild

I was able to successfully borrow the mill and fix the one set of wheels by enlarging the holes to 11/16". This has really helped my budget since I was planning on buying 8 wheels and now I'm down to 0 and it lets me use commonly available lugnuts from Summit. Once I change the studs out to 7/16", I can scratch "deal with wheels" from the list.

My efforts have now shifted to the roll cage. I ordered five 20' pieces of tubing and I'm pretty convinced I bought way too much. Hopefully this means I won't have any major mistakes rather than the opposite which usually involves messing up your last length of tubing (ironically this seems to occur at 7pm on a Friday after everyone has closed for the weekend).

Step one was to install the front hoop, its mounting plates, and the braces. After everything was tacked together I pulled it back out and welded all of the joints - no need to worry about trying to fit the torch in tight areas.

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Step two was to do the same for the main hoop, its plinth boxes, and the associated diagonals. I still need to get two of the side impact tubes and the harness bar in place then the whole assembly will be removed for welding and permanently installed.

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Author:  a.moore [ February 21, 2014, 10:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1962 Sprite Vintage Racer Rebuild

A little more progress - the cage is pretty much done except for the two rear main hoop supports. I'm holding off to do those until everything is welded.

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Tomorrow I'm going to cut the handful of tack welds that hold the half of the cage behind the leg hoop in place and remove it from the chassis so I can weld the inaccessible joints. After that it will be welded in place and the remaining welds will be completed.

Now for the real head scratcher:
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I removed the rear drum so I could remove the hubs and oversize them to accept the 7/16" studs. Low and behold new brake parts welcome me. I'd love to know the whole story - it appears the car was getting freshened up at some point and it just sat.

Author:  a.moore [ February 28, 2014, 1:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1962 Sprite Vintage Racer Rebuild

The cage is in, welded, and almost done - I just have to finish the rear supports for the main hoop and weld them in. The fuel cell mount is also in and waiting a coat of paint.

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I'm about ready to put the engine and transmission back into the chassis but before that could happen I wanted to get the brake lines routed. I finally broke down and bought a 37 degree flaring tool (and its not Harbor Freight or Advance Auto quality!) So far it has been a great purchase; no more adapters!

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The transmission also had a slow drip from a bolt on the bottom. While I had the gearbox on the work bench it seemed like a good time to replace the front and rear seals and pop the cover to make sure everything inside looked good. The rear seal swapped out painlessly but the front seal I received from Moss was too small. Its OD was 1.391" versus 1.505" for the installed one. I think at some point someone machined the front cover and installed a seal. There were two more covers in a box of spares and one had the same seal and the other appeared to be stock so this seems to confirm my suspicions.

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No problem - McMaster to the rescue and a day later a new seal was on my door step. Now for the unexpected gearbox discovery (I need more like this):

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Due to the availability of 3/8" lug nuts I'm also upgrading everything to 7/16". This will allow me to use the two sets of wheels that came with the car without having to source a set of NLA 3/8" shoulder lug nuts. The fronts went smoothly; once I get the rear axle back in the chassis I'll be able to remove both rear hubs and do them.

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After reading stories about Spridget front axles cracking I was a bit paranoid. During my last visit at the welding store I picked up a can of dye penetrant and developer to check everything before putting it back together. I think its safe to say the car only scored a 50% on this test....

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For some strange reason I don't think I trust the right front axle. I can't really complain though since it has been 20 steps forward, 1 step back up to this point. I'll probably just chalk this up as karma for the straight cut gear set, buy a pair of rebuilt ones from Spridget Mania, and not have to worry about it again.

Author:  davew [ March 1, 2014, 9:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1962 Sprite Vintage Racer Rebuild

Since the spline is a know safety issue, I would check to see if you are allowed to up-grade them. Remanfacture jobs are usually just new bushing?
Trans gears are sweet :cheers: Dave W

Author:  a.moore [ March 1, 2014, 10:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1962 Sprite Vintage Racer Rebuild

Dave - did you mean spindle instead of spline?

I ended up ordering a set of these: http://www.spridgetmania.com/part/C-BTA ... th-Kingpin

Nothing seems to prohibit them and they should be the solution to the cracking issue.

Author:  Codeman96 [ March 6, 2014, 4:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1962 Sprite Vintage Racer Rebuild

Might add something here. If those are Summit branded lugs be VERY careful that they screw on smoothly and easily. I tried to save a few bucks ordering them instead of WELD brand for my Mustang a ruined stud and scarred up wheel later I learned my lesson. The washers tend to weld themselves to the shanks on the lug and I guess the thread machining is poor at best. Threw them away and started over with WELD brand. Just trying to save you some disappointment and possible damage.

That being said VERY cool project you have there.

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