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ainadude
06-25-2003, 11:06 PM
Was checking out some Spitfire engine transplant sites and was surprised I didn't find any relating to Miata engines. Given how common Miatas are and how powerful (in Spitfire terms) their motors are, I'd think it'd be a common swap.

Same goes for the BMW 1.8- and 2-liter, SOHC M10 motors found in 2002s and early 3 Series models (plus 5 Series in Europe). These were considered very stout motors that put out up to about 130hp in stock form. Again, powerful and common (BMW built them for about 20 years) -- and from a RWD car. Plus, the matching 4- and 5-speed transmissions were pretty **** bulletproof. Yet, I've never come across any mention of a swap being done with either of these engines, either.

Anyone seen a Spitfire with one of these engine packages? I'm just curious ...

aeronca65t
06-25-2003, 11:40 PM
Haven't seen the BMW engine as a Spit transplant, but it sounds sort of neat (but expensive). Haven't seen a Miata engine in a Spit either, but saw one in a Sprite (should be easier in a Spit).

For an alternate idea, using the Mazda rotary, go to:

http://www.grmotorsports.com

click on "project car updates" and scroll to "rotary Spitfire".

One of the entrants in their "$2003 Kumho Challenge" is using a Spit with a 2.2 Chrysler four (and a Dakota truck trans). There's no pictures of it on the website, but it's in this month's GRM magazine.

78Z
06-26-2003, 12:48 AM
The most common swaps I've seen in Spitfires have been Toyota 1.6L, Mazda 12A or 13B rotary or Chevette.

I think that the Miata engine is rather big and bulky compared to the Spitfire engine (likely because its DOHC). There is a Spitfire with the S2000 engine in it and the guy had to knock out almost the whole firewall to wedge it in. These modern inline fours are suprisingly big (the Toyota AE86 seems to be relatively compact for a DOHC motor).

britishcarfreak
06-26-2003, 02:11 AM
I'm building a rover v8 powered spitfire. The idea is to go with the original Shelby Cobra concept - light smooth body, aluminium big capacity motor with hooge amounts of torque -etc.

Should be fast.

I'm just running a datsun 1200 GX motor at the moment. I have documented my plans a bit on my page. See link below.

Basil
06-26-2003, 03:43 AM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by britishcarfreak:
I'm building a rover v8 powered spitfire. The idea is to go with the original Shelby Cobra concept - light smooth body, aluminium big capacity motor with hooge amounts of torque -etc.

Should be fast.

I'm just running a datsun 1200 GX motor at the moment. I have documented my plans a bit on my page. See link below.<hr></blockquote>

Interesting concept. I've seen v8 MGBs but not a Spitfire. Are you using a stock differential, or are you using something else beefier to handle the torque?

Basil

UltimateQuestion
06-26-2003, 09:12 AM
There is a guy putting a 3.2 litre six-cyl BMW M-3 motor into a GT6 (With EXTENSIVE modifications like a full tube frame and 18" wider).

http://www.gt6.org.uk/

ainadude
06-26-2003, 01:29 PM
Good point about the bulkiness of the DOHC Miata engine. However, the BMW M10 is SOHC and tilted to the left, I think, by maybe 30 degrees, so clearance might not be much of an issue. I don't think one would be that expensive from a junkyard, as they are so common. In fact, a lot of younger owners of the 2nd-gen 3-Series ('84-'91) swap out the M10 motor for the M20 SOHC six, further bolstering the supply of these engines.

P.S. I saw that site with the big engine from an M3. Overkill, in my opinion, and I'm sure the finished product's handling will be ruined. Still, the owner will probably be able to reach escape velocity in a straight line. ;-)

britishcarfreak
06-26-2003, 08:01 PM
Re: rover v8 mods

I'm going to do a full custom rear end with LSD and proper IRS.

Probably rip the rear end of a mazda or nissan.

britishcarfreak
06-29-2003, 09:58 PM
Yeah that M3 motor must be heavy - and it's long.

The reason I'm fitting the rover v8 is that it is light and short - thus keeping weight near original and keeping the motor almost just inside the front axle line.

I know that by the time I've got the efi gear and stuff on the motor it will be getting a bit heavier at the front than the original spit motor but I'm also reworking the rear end (which will naturally end up stronger and heavier) and hope to balance out the weight distribution to get a close 50.50 split.

There's no way I'd put in a heavy motor up front. I believe it more important to have decent handling than straight line outright speed.

Driving windy mountain roads will be much more fun.

ainadude
06-30-2003, 02:08 AM
Wholeheartedly agree with your engine choice -- along with the pragmatic reasons you mention, it's also great that you're transplanting an ostensibly British engine into a British car.

Do have one suggestion: If you haven't already considered it, you might want to try relocating your battery to the trunk/boot as part of the engine swap process. It shouldn't be too difficult to come up with a mounting bracket of some sort and a Spit's simple (albeit sometimes diabolical) electrical system should make for a straightword wiring job. And the weight of a battery transferred to the rear of the car will go a long way toward improving front/rear balance with the heavier engine package you propose.

I -- along with others on this board, no doubt -- look forward to hearing more about it as you make progress. So keep us posted, and best of luck.

britishcarfreak
06-30-2003, 04:02 AM
Rear battery conversions are a necessity in any sensible car (IMHO).

I've done that to my 2500 S using a marine battery box (from speed boats etc) and bolted the box to the boot floor. Running a heavy grade cable is very important and also having a good earth is a must.

I've got my +ve cable running through some house electrical conduit and clamped to the underbody in a very well hidden location.

I'm definitely moving the battery to the back of the spitty to get more weight back there and the battery in a constant temp location. The battery will last heaps longer back there and be more reliable. It's also wise to make sure that when you relocate it you don't position it directly over a silencer otherwise it will be near a heat source.

I've also relocated the +ve terminal away from being on the starter motor and put a huge 150AMP circuit breaker on the firewall which also acts as my +ve terminal block. It's pretty neat. I've got pics of my engine bay on www.triumphowners.com/5 (http://www.triumphowners.com/5) . I'll try and get some shots of my boot posted too.

[ 06-30-2003: Message edited by: britishcarfreak ]</p>

78Z
06-30-2003, 10:33 AM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by britishcarfreak:
Re: rover v8 mods

I'm going to do a full custom rear end with LSD and proper IRS.

Probably rip the rear end of a mazda or nissan.<hr></blockquote>

What about a Subaru rear end? Apparently the ones from eightes had optional LSD and the 510 guys use them a lot.

britishcarfreak
06-30-2003, 09:16 PM
Yes I had also considered Subaru as a possibility. I want something that has LSD in it already so I just buy a tail end (preferably some type of sub frame arrangement) and just bolt it to the chassis or weld it in.

There is a guy with a corvette rear end, and another with a ford 9" with live axle. But that sounds too heavy, too old or just too uninspiring for me.

I'm also concerned about picking something that will be able to have a similar brand hub matched to the front to maintain a wheel stud pattern.

Larry Kronemeyer
07-01-2003, 12:08 AM
Checkout grassrootsmotorsports.com, they put together a Spit with rotary engine, it's in their project car section and is in this month's edition on ignition upgrades.
Larry