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Cyberpyr8
09-18-2008, 09:31 PM
I have a 79 Spit with the engine that needs rebuilding. I spoke to Ted at TSI about rebuilding the engine and a few local shops. I have realized that it is going to take probably $2000+ to get a rebuilt engine or have mine done.

I am strapped for cash. My oldest son is getting ready to start driving and I really need to get another car running. The Spitfire would be great for me to drive everyday since I drive by myself and I go about 50 miles a day round trip.

That all being said, is there another engine that I might be able to find cheap that will be an easy fit? I would prefer a 4 cylinder that I might be able to drop in without major modifications. I can afford $1000 but 1500-2000 is getting steep. I am not an engine guy and need to find something that is a good replacement.

Any suggestions would be welcomed. I really love my car and I want to get it going again soon. If I have to spend more to get this done then I will. I will just have to wait until I can get the additional funds.

Steve

Andrew Mace
09-18-2008, 10:09 PM
Problem is that, nowadays, there's a bit of a lack of RWD engine/gearbox combos that might drop in without too much difficulty. In the 1980s, it wasn't terribly uncommon to see Spitfires with Toyota or Datsun/Nissan engines and gearboxes, back when many of those were RWD. But if you can find them, old RWD Corollas, for example, might be possible donors, as might even be Ford Pintos and the like. But I don't know offhand where one looks for those nowadays.

The other problem is that, if you find just an engine, you still have to figure some way to adapt it to your gearbox, and that probably won't be cheap. That's why I'm thinking engine/gearbox combos, which would be somewhat easier to adapt.

Does the figure for rebuilding your engine include all the labor involved? Perhaps that is one way to keep the cost down, by doing as much of the labor as possible yourself? perhaps there's a local Triumph or British Car Club that might be interested in a tech session or two?

Steve
09-18-2008, 10:10 PM
Well, the engine from a Rubber Bumper Midget should be a direct replacement, but maybe you could source an earlier 1300cc unit from an older Spit?

I think you can find decent engines cheaply enough.

Try Tony Barnhill (The Autoist, a supporting vendor as well as a member) he usually inhabits the MG forum, I'll bet he has a good engine out of a 1500 Midget he can sell you. He's in Alabama too, so shipping should be reasonable......

Tony's a really good guy, entirely trustworthy.

Good luck!

Cyberpyr8
09-18-2008, 10:24 PM
Thanks guys. I was aware of the MG engines beung a fit but wasn't sure where to look for one.

I have tried doing a lot of the rebuild of my engine myself but I am to a point where it needs to go to a machine shop. Either way I am going to have to spend a lot of money to get it running.

I will contact Tony to see what he can do for me. It sucks to be in this position right now but I have too much invested in the car to really be able to sell it and too little funds to be able to get it running. Maybe I can sell a kid or two so that I can afford it!

GT6_Mark
09-18-2008, 10:35 PM
Take a look at this on craigslist in the Tampa Bay area:

"1978 triumph spitfire 4cyl engine and transmission 4 speed with over drive it only has a little over 70000 original miles on it I am asking $500.00 or best offer"

https://tampa.craigslist.org/hil/pts/806605299.html

Got to be worth an email.

eejay56
09-18-2008, 11:45 PM
If a bent pushrod and valve are all this really needs this is a possibility. spit engine (https://www.britishcarforum.com/bcforum/pp-classifieds/showproduct.php/product/1082/cat/32) Even doing all the work myself, with parts and machine shop mine was around 2000 to rebuild but it was well worn.

TheSearcherMan
09-19-2008, 05:31 AM
I'm going to cut you some slack, and not charge you for this advice, as I always like to help others when I can. Tell your son to get a job and pay for his own car.

Cyberpyr8
09-19-2008, 07:28 AM
He is working and paying. But with his insurance @ $2200 every 6 months he has to save all of his money for that!

TR3driver
09-19-2008, 08:41 AM
How about just "freshening" the engine instead of a full rebuild? Just rings and bearings will frequently 'do' for another 20-40,000 miles; by which time the economy (and your pocketbook) will likely be doing better. A quick check seems to show rings, bearings, front & rear main seals plus upper and lower gaskets sets should be under $200.

Silverghost
09-19-2008, 10:10 AM
I take it your oldest is 16? $2200/6 months is a BIG bite. Any chance of raising the deductable for him? Insure him on the family beater - if you have one - this will bring down the rates (Don't ask me how I know! LoL) Other options might be driver's ed classes, things of that nature, to save some $$$. Of course, you could ask your Ins. Co. what car would be the cheapest for him to drive insurance wise and if the savings was substantial enough, go buy one. I'd rather put the $$ in a car payment than the insurance companie's pockets. $4400 for the next 5 years could buy a pretty nice car. Food for thought.

Cyberpyr8
09-19-2008, 10:24 AM
I take it your oldest is 16? $2200/6 months is a BIG bite. Any chance of raising the deductable for him? Insure him on the family beater - if you have one - this will bring down the rates (Don't ask me how I know! LoL) Other options might be driver's ed classes, things of that nature, to save some $$$. Of course, you could ask your Ins. Co. what car would be the cheapest for him to drive insurance wise and if the savings was substantial enough, go buy one. I'd rather put the $$ in a car payment than the insurance companie's pockets. $4400 for the next 5 years could buy a pretty nice car. Food for thought.

I hear you. He is 16. The area we live in was just rated to be the most dangerous for teen drivers in the country. That rate was with the drivers ed classes! I hate to ask what it would be without.


How about just "freshening" the engine instead of a full rebuild? Just rings and bearings will frequently 'do' for another 20-40,000 miles; by which time the economy (and your pocketbook) will likely be doing better. A quick check seems to show rings, bearings, front & rear main seals plus upper and lower gaskets sets should be under $200.
I may see if I can get away with that for now. I know the thrust washers need to be done too. Maybe if I can do all of that that would be more reasonable. Thanks for the help.

TR3driver
09-19-2008, 01:36 PM
As I see it, depends a great deal on the former state of the motor. If it's just "tired", then renewing the common wear parts is something that most people can handle themselves. And you can skip the careful teardown/cleanup/checking of all dimensions, etc. that would be required if the motor had been blown up.

Don't know about a Spit, but on TR it can even be done with the motor still in the car (which makes the job that much easier as well).

BTW, SpitBits shows std thrust washers for $6.50. .005" oversize are $8.22. If you are patient and have the time, you can just buy the oversize ones, then sand them down to fit with some 300 wet paper and a sheet of glass or MDF.

billspit
09-19-2008, 02:25 PM
You must live near where the kid laucnhed the BMW off the end of the runway and killed a car load. I cannot believe an insurance premium that high.

I would check on the engine and OD that was listed on Craiglsist. If you are going to commute 50 miles you are going to want OD (assuming it works).

You did not ask, but a Spit might not be the best car to commute that long of a distance on a regular basis. If you can and do, we will write a ballad about you.

Cyberpyr8
09-19-2008, 02:57 PM
You must live near where the kid laucnhed the BMW off the end of the runway and killed a car load. I cannot believe an insurance premium that high.

I would check on the engine and OD that was listed on Craiglsist. If you are going to commute 50 miles you are going to want OD (assuming it works).

You did not ask, but a Spit might not be the best car to commute that long of a distance on a regular basis. If you can and do, we will write a ballad about you.

Lol! I am going to call the Craigs List guy to see if he still has that motor and see how low he will go. Between the two motors maybe I can come up with one good working engine! I was driving that far round trip before it starting having problems. I love driving and I have the option of driving on back roads. My job allows me to go in before the real heat of the day kicks in and I leave around 5:30-6:00 and my drive home does not have a lot of traffic. As long as you are moving it is fine. Summer time is the real problem in FL between the daytime heat and the down pours. You get to become a meterologist when you own a car like this! But my wife works close by the house and loved to drive the Spit too. She would be more than willing to "take one for the team" and drive the car to work some days to give me a break.

DrEntropy
09-19-2008, 03:01 PM
I drove an MGB from Tampa to Sarasota and back five days a week for a decade. It's a lifestyle. :devilgrin: :jester:

Cyberpyr8
09-19-2008, 03:09 PM
As I see it, depends a great deal on the former state of the motor. If it's just "tired", then renewing the common wear parts is something that most people can handle themselves. And you can skip the careful teardown/cleanup/checking of all dimensions, etc. that would be required if the motor had been blown up.

Don't know about a Spit, but on TR it can even be done with the motor still in the car (which makes the job that much easier as well).

BTW, SpitBits shows std thrust washers for $6.50. .005" oversize are $8.22. If you are patient and have the time, you can just buy the oversize ones, then sand them down to fit with some 300 wet paper and a sheet of glass or MDF.

I understand what the thrust washers do, but why the oversize ones? Does the oversize ones help them to last longer? Like I said, I am not an engine guy, sorry for the dumb questions but I am not sure what the advantage is.

I am considering just renew my current engine and replace the thrust washers like you guys had suggested. If I can go another 20k miles that would be good enough to allow me to spend more money later down the line.

Andrew Mace
09-19-2008, 03:52 PM
Hmmm, maybe we all should start over on this topic. Just what appears to be wrong with the engine you have? Low compression in one or more cylinders? Fouling? low oil pressure? Excessive fore-and-aft crankshaft movement (thrust washers)? Burning oil? Badly worn or scored cylinder[s]? Other?

TheSearcherMan
09-19-2008, 05:12 PM
Well, Cyber, I suggest you do what I did today. I called my US "Commrade" Senator, and "Commrade" Congressman, and asked for a quote on some auto and homeowners insurance. Yep, that is what I did. As our government spent $85,000.000,000 of my money buying AIG, and put our government in the insurance business, I figured I mite get a better deal on all my insurance needs. Commrade Bush, he is really looking out for us blue collar workers, no doubt. So, call your "Commrade" Senator, or Congressman, and tell them you want a quote for your son on some insurance, maybe even get some kind of bailout in the process, and buy your son a new car. Get the money while you can, as we will be somewhere around $12,000,000,000,000 in debt after Wall Street has all the money "pumped" up to them. It is serious when they start "pumping money". Is that like "beam me up Scotty"? Good Luck Commard Cyber!

TR3driver
09-19-2008, 08:25 PM
I understand what the thrust washers do, but why the oversize ones? Does the oversize ones help them to last longer? Like I said, I am not an engine guy, sorry for the dumb questions but I am not sure what the advantage is. The oversize washers are to compensate for wear in the crankshaft cheeks that they ride against. Otherwise, the only way to get the clearance down to where it belongs is to replace the crankshaft, or have it welded and ground (which is both expensive and somewhat risky). You may not need the oversize washers at all, but if the originals are badly worn, chances are fair that the crank cheeks are a little worn too. If you can afford the extra 8 bucks, just buy a set of each and install whichever ones make the clearance right. You can even use one from each set, if that's what works.

You might also want to ask the group where is the "danger limit" for 1500 thrust washers. I know they sometimes fall out on TR6 motors when they get really loose, but I don't recall hearing of that problem with the small Triumphs. Possibly I just wasn't paying attention <<GRAEMLIN_URL>>/grin.gif

Cyberpyr8
09-22-2008, 04:26 PM
I saw this post: https://www.britishcarforum.com/bcforum/ubbthreads.php/topics/501693/Spit_driveshaft#Post501693

and was wondering if I get the 78 overdrive engine to replace my non-OD 79 engine will I have problems? I was thinking that it was a straight swap. Is that incorrect? The engine I am looking at has the engine and transmission. He said it was only missing the clutch disk and pressure plate. What am I getting myself into? :smile:

DNK
09-22-2008, 04:29 PM
... What am I getting myself into? :smile:




More grin /mile

Cyberpyr8
09-22-2008, 09:00 PM
But will the 78 engine with OD drop in or will I need to make it work?

Cyberpyr8
09-23-2008, 07:43 PM
Has anyone ever done this? I want to buy this engine if it will drop in pretty easily.

Cyberpyr8
09-25-2008, 07:45 PM
I wanted to ask one more time. Has anyone here ever taken an overdrive engine and dropped it into a non OD Spitfire? If so, how much modification does it need if any?

I am ready to buy the engine but I don't want to spend the money if it won't work.

Steve