Triumph Spitfire Door Handle Mechanicals

Welcome to our new post category – “Road Ink“. The first of this new category is a short video on the innards of a Triumph Spitfire door mechanism. These mechanics are notorious for going out of alignment and even breaking. When this happens, you can no long open the car’s door from the outside. Quite frustrating, trust me! Triumph Spitfire Door Handle MechanismWhat is even more frustrating is that the fairly simple repair parts are not available for purchase. You either get to fork out over $200 for a complete unit, or attempt for use used or alternative parts. This latter choice is what those of us not made of money would prefer to do, but since this unit was always viewed as a single item by Triumph and BL, documentation is scarce.

Hence this video. I just want to take a few moments while the unit was out of my car to document the workings of this contraption. It is both deceptively simple and needlessly complex at the same time. Watch the video to find out more, and please let me know if you have any questions.

Oh, and the thick paper gaskets that go between the door body and the handle on the outside are actually more than decorative. Their thickness helps to keep the handle in alignment and positioned correctly. If the gaskets are missing or too thin, things just won’t work right. You will find the entire handle assembly pulling away from the body slightly as you try to open the door – and then many times there won’t be enough pressure on the release catch to unlatch. Now, you should buy your new gaskets from your favorite parts supplier – they are quite inexpensive. But, if you are like me, you will have forgotten to order them, need them at the last minute, and not want to pay $20 shipping for a two or three dollar item.

Triumph Spitfire Door Handle Gasket

To that end, I have drawn up a template for the gasket. Print these out on thick gasket paper or you can, or trace them on the paper. Both sides are symmetrical, so you don’t need a different pattern for right or left. Make sure that you print these out in the actual size of the attached file. Yes, in this case, size really is important. That longitudinal inside width should be exactly 6 inches.

Note: One of the results of the survey we ran last month was that some people would like to see a few more hands-on articles. It turns out that most of you do at least some, if not most, of the work on your cars, and the call to get the hands dirty is strong.

So, I am launching a new category on the site which is going to fall under the moniker of “Road Ink”. What will appear here are stories and videos of hands on car repair and usage. In other words, you will see us fix our cars, use them, and then fix them again. The name “Road Ink” refers three things – to the writing about the road, to the oil and grease or “ink” that may define these activities (and our clothes and garage floors), and also the personal tattoos which you will end up seeing as I occasionally get caught on video.

Michael Carnell
Editor at Just British

Michael Carnell is the editor and founder of the Just British Online Motoring Magazine. As a lifelong British car enthusiast, he has owned or driven British cars of all ages from Austins and MGs to Jaguars and Triumphs. He currently owns a 1966 Vanden Plas Princess 1100 and a 1977 MGB. But there is always room for more - no matter what his wife says.