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Devin
07-01-2001, 03:21 AM
Hello! Any other spitfire owners here? I have a 78 SPitfire. White with a hard top. I rally love this little car. It is soooo much fun to drive with the top down. Mine is stock, but I would like to do a few things to pep it up just a bit and maybe improve the handling. Any suggestions?



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Devin M.
1978 Triupmh Spitfire

BritishCarMan
07-06-2001, 03:04 AM
Originally posted by Devin:
Hello! Any other spitfire owners here? I have a 78 SPitfire. White with a hard top. I rally love this little car. It is soooo much fun to drive with the top down. Mine is stock, but I would like to do a few things to pep it up just a bit and maybe improve the handling. Any suggestions?


Hey Devin. I am a former Spitfire owner. I had a 1979 1500. I sold it to my mom when I was in a financial bind. I wanted to buy it back but she won't sell it back to me. As far as pepping up your Spitfire I would go with a Weber DCOE carb. Maybe a mild street cam, header, Monza exhaust and perhaps electronic ignition if you don't already have it. There are also roller rockers and roller lifters, aluminum head, electric fan (maybe you have that already), disconecting the emisions and the list goes on. It all depends how far you want to go and as always how much your pocketbook will allow you to do. I hope this gives you a few ideas.



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Jamie
1962 Austin Healey Sprite MK II
1979 Trans Am W/403 Olds BB

Devin
07-07-2001, 01:50 AM
Thanks for the tips. I have hear about the Weber Carbs. The little Stromburg is a real weak point on the Spitfire IMO. That's probably a definite must do. I like the idea of electronic ignition also. Does your Mom still have the Spitfire?

Devin

BritishCarMan
07-07-2001, 04:40 AM
Originally posted by Devin:
Thanks for the tips. I have hear about the Weber Carbs. The little Stromburg is a real weak point on the Spitfire IMO. That's probably a definite must do. I like the idea of electronic ignition also. Does your Mom still have the Spitfire?
Devin

No problem. The Stromburg carb wasn't designed with power in mind, that's for sure. With a Weber you should notice a decent change. I didn't have one on my old Spitfire but the guy I bought it from had a Weber DGV on it when I test drove it. There is a big difference IMO. He had a rebuilt Stromburg on it when I picked it up and I was a little disappointed because it didn't have the get up and go that it did when the Weber was on it. My next drivable british car will definatly get a Weber. I have only owned one car that had points and that was 1976 Camaro. I could never keep the timing right so I swore that any car I bought in the future would be converted to electronic ignition if not so equiped. Yes, my mom still has the Spitfire. She won't let it go for anything. At least I kept it in the family rather then selling to a stranger and never seeing it again.



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Jamie
1962 Austin Healey Sprite MK II
1979 Trans Am W/403 Olds BB

KCrist
07-08-2001, 09:33 AM
I just finished converting my son's '79 Spitfire (with catalytic converter) to a European twin SU HS4 carb setup with the matching intake and exhaust headers plus new head pipe. The total cost was about $100 cheaper than a Weber DGV setup, and the car still is British! The combination of the improved carb setup and exhaust setup, plus desmogging has made a very fine improvement to the car's performance.
Compared to the ZS carb, the car runs much nicer and cleaner. The ZS carb when properly set up (for a few days/weeks) gives very good gas mileage (up to 38 mpg on highway), but weak performance. The SUs still give decent gas mileage (>28), but it's hard to know how much, because my son has not taken a good trip in it yet, and he likes to use that performance he's got now! Still he seems to be getting about 28 - 30 mpg in mixed driving. The conversion without the exhaust stuff is pretty easy. I had to swap out the catalytic converter/head pipe, cut the exhaust pipe and make an adapter, but boy, what a difference. I would estimate that the engine now produces 20-25% better power. The European Spits make 71 horsepower with a 9:1 compression ratio. Our domestic Spits make (maybe) 53 horsepower with a 7.75:1 compression ratio. I've seen one dyno test where a '80 Spit engine made only 48 hp! Anyway my guess would be that my son's Spit now is comfortably in the 60's. After a carb and maybe exhaust upgrade (and desmogging), the next steps are more challenging - higher compression and a hotter cam - and more money!!!

Devin
07-10-2001, 12:05 AM
Mind if I ask where you got the SU setup?

Devin

KCrist
07-10-2001, 06:02 PM
I got my twin SUs from John Esposito. He is a British car parts seller who frequently sells through Ebay. His email is:
johnesposito@earthlink.net
He currently has a set for sale on Ebay.

Devin
07-10-2001, 11:18 PM
Originally posted by KCrist:
I got my twin SUs from John Esposito. He is a British car parts seller who frequently sells through Ebay. His email is:
johnesposito@earthlink.net
He currently has a set for sale on Ebay.

Thanks!

KCrist
07-11-2001, 09:31 AM
Devin, I recommend you contact John Esposito directly rather than on Ebay. His opening prices on Ebay are usually pretty close to what he normally sells stuff for. Also you can ask him about the exhaust manifold and head pipe.

Ron
07-28-2001, 01:45 PM
Devin, I own a '78 Spit that fortunately came with a set of twin HS4 SU's already on it. The performance difference between them and the Strom. is excellent. With the twin HS4's, the engine can breathe so much better having one carb supplying two cylinders instead of one carb supplying all four. This is why I prefer SU's to a single downdraft(DGV) weber. You could opt for a single sidedraft weber(DCOE)which is in essence two single carbs. But I think you could find a twin 1 1/2" SU setup cheaper than a new single weber. Even a twin 1 1/4" SU setup off of an earler Spit works well. My previous 1500 had this setup and with proper needles, was a great improvement over the Strom. And SU's look so darn good!
I also have a 4-1 header installed, and a Pertronix elec. ignition, which was well worth the money. Much smoother power band and idle. I just carry a set of points with me in case the pert. fails.

Good luck with your project!

Ron

'78 1500

Vancouver

Z28Quetzal
09-25-2001, 09:44 AM
Ron,

You don't per chance, remember what needles you used on the HS2's do you? I have a set of HS2's that I am currently rebuilding and would like to obtain more info regarding the needles.

Thanks!

joe

Ron
09-26-2001, 09:52 AM
I think the needles were "AN"'s, but they could have nbeen a little richer. There was a slight flat spot at around 2500 rpm.
there is a chart in the back of Haynes's weber and SU repair manual.

Ron

Devin
09-26-2001, 12:42 PM
What I'd like to know is how do you decide which needle to use? Are there different ones for different altitudes? Or is it just trial and error?

Devin

Z28Quetzal
09-26-2001, 02:05 PM
Devin,

From what I have read, it is trial and error. There are some software programs that have been written that will give you different alternatives as to which needle to use.

Some needles will be richer or leaner in different spots or 'stations' as they are called. Getting the one that will match your engine and match the mods you have done is the trick. There are dozens of needles and the differences are very small or very big depending upon what you are getting.

To complicate matters there are the spring biased needles and the non sprung needles. So, the trick is to be able to 'dial in' the needle and so forth. That is why I was asking a general vecitiy to start upon. Then, decide from there...

joe

Devin
09-26-2001, 04:15 PM
Originally posted by Z28Quetzal:
Devin,

From what I have read, it is trial and error. There are some software programs that have been written that will give you different alternatives as to which needle to use.

Some needles will be richer or leaner in different spots or 'stations' as they are called. Getting the one that will match your engine and match the mods you have done is the trick. There are dozens of needles and the differences are very small or very big depending upon what you are getting.

To complicate matters there are the spring biased needles and the non sprung needles. So, the trick is to be able to 'dial in' the needle and so forth. That is why I was asking a general vecitiy to start upon. Then, decide from there...

joe


Sounds like the only way to truely know you have the right setup is by using a Dyno and going through several variations on either side of some standard starting point.

Ron
09-28-2001, 10:35 AM
Usually, the needles that originally installed in factory car setups are close, but it is still a bit of trial and error to get them right. It took me a few sets of needles to find the perfesct set. My biggest dillemna was to get my car through smog tests with twin HS4's... always failed the idle test, but with richer needles than stock, I was able to lean it out more at idle, but still have increased fuel at throttle.

Ron

'78 Spit

Vancouver, BC

Devin
09-29-2001, 01:09 AM
Originally posted by Ron:
Usually, the needles that originally installed in factory car setups are close, but it is still a bit of trial and error to get them right. It took me a few sets of needles to find the perfesct set. My biggest dillemna was to get my car through smog tests with twin HS4's... always failed the idle test, but with richer needles than stock, I was able to lean it out more at idle, but still have increased fuel at throttle.

Ron

'78 Spit

Vancouver, BC


If someone could invent a device that would help choose the right needle for the car they could make a mint.

Devin

PS: What are all the mods you've done to your Spit?

Ron
09-30-2001, 01:27 PM
When I bought the car it already had the twin HS4's on it, plus Koni adjustable shocks(still don't know what setting they're on...), I've installed a 4-1 header, Pertronix electroninc ign. Also the carbs have been rebuilt and I've put in the richer needles. I also had a j type O/D tranny installed last winter. the car has great pickup, but will still get blown off by any rice grinder... oh well, it's still a real sportscar, and feels like one!
Next project is to replace the howling differential with a rebuild...$$$$$$!!!!

Ron

Vancouver, BC

Mojo
10-02-2001, 03:20 AM
It seems to me that with compression that low, it's crying out for forced induction!

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Devin
11-22-2001, 02:06 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Ron:
When I bought the car it already had the twin HS4's on it, plus Koni adjustable shocks(still don't know what setting they're on...), I've installed a 4-1 header, Pertronix electroninc ign. Also the carbs have been rebuilt and I've put in the richer needles. I also had a j type O/D tranny installed last winter. the car has great pickup, but will still get blown off by any rice grinder... oh well, it's still a real sportscar, and feels like one!
Next project is to replace the howling differential with a rebuild...$$$$$$!!!!

Ron

Vancouver, BC<hr></blockquote>

Ron, how do you like the Koni's? They are kinda expensive, sine you already have them, would you spend the $$ to get them if you had it to do over again?

Devin graemlins/crazy.gif

Ron
11-22-2001, 03:48 PM
Hi Devin, my car rides pretty well, but I really don't know how much of it is the Konis. they were on the car when I bought it. They're the old style of adjustable shocks, so they have to be taken off to be adjusted. I don't know what setting they're on at the moment. The new Koni adjustables are tuneable without removing the shocks. A very nice feature. Cool thing about Konis is that they're rebuildable. So if you find a used set for a good price, it might be worth getting them. Other than that, everything that I've read about Konis, they seem to be the favourite among Spit owners, but yes, they are pricey. Mine are 20 yrs old, and are still in great shape..
well, it's off to paint the oil pan while it's off..

c ya'

Ron

triumphant
11-26-2001, 02:41 AM
Devin, I have a 78 Spit. Mostly stock, but I'm hoping to pep it up a bit with either Webers or SU carbs and a hotter cam (maybe headers?). These little cars are great for the money!
Larry