Someone help me with this car

Discussion in 'Classic Cars' started by supercarmechanic, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. I want to buy an older European Roadster. Since most are way too much money I'm looking for a 1966 Triumph Spitifer (mk2)

    It weighs 1472 lbs and I want to do an engine swap to make it about as fast as the Elises I drive at work.

    I'm thinking about a Mazda Rotary (Gen2) cause I can get an engine and trans for under $1500 and those engines put out some decent power...

    So I need help on other Front Engine, RWD setups that could fit into this car and know that the original engine is a 1500cc, so not much room.
     
  2. Well, you have more going for you than you think. One the one hand, everything under the sun has been shoved into those little cars (someone dropped a 570 cube Chevy V8 into a Spitfire, which means that ANYTHING is possible). Putting in small Japanese motors is more typical though, since it basically creates a homemade Miata...a small fun roadster that starts in the morning. The biggest problems you'll encounter are with matching things together. For any engine swap, you're probably going to have completely rebuild the front subframe of the car to make it fit the new engine. Since it the tranny probably won't match up perfectly, you might have to doctor that a bit too.

    As usual, the BEST place to find out how to make these Frankenstein cars is on Triumph clubs and such. Good stuff to be found there.
     
  3. Please don't put a rotary in there, you need something that sounds good for this.
     
  4. For something that light, you wouldn't really need all that much power in there. 250hp should be pretty close to replicating the drive your after. There's a few japanese 4 cylinder engines that are capable of making that sorta power while still being reliable.
     
  5. Have you considered an MGB w/ Rover V8?. MG made one but it was rare as hen's teeth & never exported (to the US anyways). I saw one last year & asked the owner about it... started life as a 4 cyl. & bought a kit from England that included everything to bolt a Rover V8 in, including wire harness.
     
  6. if you want something in the 1.5 litre range you could go with a 1.5L 4 cyl from the 1974 and back spitfires its a direct bolt in. you could also go with the 2.0L inline six from either a GT6 or an MGC, they also are direct bolt ins (GT6 used the same frame as the spitfires). or if you want to go for complete overload go with the 3.5L Rover/Buick V8 (as previously mentioned) it takes more work to get in but it is well worth the effort. also any performance serious performance modifications will cause you to look at the rear end. in all spitfires the differentials on all spits are particularily weak.


    EDIT: the original engine for that spitfire is the 1.3L 4 cyl.

    EDITEDIT: if you can find one the Marcos of that era are suitable for pretty much any 4 cyl you can fit in it. originally they use a Volvo 4 cyl.
     
  7. How about you don't ruin a classic British roadster?
     
  8. this is the best advice yet.
     
  9. if you do put a rotary engine in, fuel and oil consumption are monsterous, so remember that
     
  10. how about I want a car with more than 80 horsepower...
     
  11. #11 Chris V, Mar 29, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2016
    Putting other engines in British sports cars is how Carrol Shelby became famous. It's a time honored tradition to put something more fun in those chassis than the typical tractor engine they came standard with. It's only butchering if you do it half assed and poor quality. I've seen a 426 hemi based engine in a Bugeye sprite and remain completely streetable. There's a LOT of buildups of rotary powered Spitfires, as that's a common swap (Grassroots Motorsports Magazine did a RoSpit project car. Look it up). And here's a guy that has a 440+ RWHP turbo rotary Spitfire:

    http://www.ricgibson.com/Spitfire/
     
  12. Plenty of cars from southern climes have great bodies by terrible mechanics. He's not some much ruining a British roadster as much as he is saving it from oblivion.
     
  13. Cosworth Y series if you could afford it would be cool.
     
  14. #14 christofurr, Mar 30, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2016
    That looks seriously outstanding.
     
  15. #15 dalla, Apr 3, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2016
  16. Honda Civic Type R
     
  17. I thought about it, you're right.
     
  18. How about you just buy a Miata and paint it BRG? Reliable, balanced handling. The problem with putting a big honkin' motor in a small British roadster is that you run a very serious risk of making it nose-heavy. Also, be careful not to overwhelm your suspension and brakes.
     
  19. bro, I never mentioned a big honking motor... I don't even plan on going beyond 2.0L. A Mk2 Spitfire weighs around 1470lbs which is about 500 lbs less than a miata. i'm leaning towards a rotary or an 80's Toyota twin cam 1.8... If I can get 200hp, i'll be satisfied; more than 200hp is just icing on the cake for me. I hear that those toyotas, with a different head can rev up to 11,000 rpm easily natrually aspirated and 9,000 rpm on 15lbs of boost.
     
  20. if you change your mind and want to keep (or change to a different) Triumph motor I can give you some helpful information on upgrades. I am right now restoreing a 70 Spitfire for myself and I'm probubly going to be getting about 130-160 hp from the original 1.5L 4 banger.
     
  21. 250 hp? in a car that weighs that little? dude thats way too much power.
     
  22. you should try to get hold of some copies of the british mag 'practical performance car'

    should be a great first aid for projects like these, and will certainly provide some interesting ideas
     

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