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Nader
06-14-2013, 03:08 AM
Hi there. I just got this '71 Midget with a Bugeye bonnet. The nice gentleman I bought it from had owned it since '07, and bought it off eBay from someone in Ohio. Len, if you're reading this, it was a pleasure to deal with you.

What I know of this car's details is second or third-hand and incomplete. It was reportedly set up as "rally racer" (not sure in what respect). It was stripped of most of its interior, some lighting, bumpers, and heater. Bonnet seams and exterior door handles were shaved and filled, as were marker lights and rear plate light. Also had a performance engine build (not sure to what extent), including possibly a camshaft. Fenders are obviously flared. Prior owner said he rebuilt the engine because of leaking valve guides, rebushed and powdercoated the suspension, and also restored some of the interior. He replaced the differential with a taller ratio (original was 4.2:1?) because he was "chirping the tires and topping out at 60." That sounded odd to me, but he gave me that differential in a bucket and I mean to physically count the teeth to see what the actual ratio is.

Anyhow, the car runs strong. It feels strong to me based on what I remember from my ex '81 Spitfire. I currently race a 1.8L vintage Alfa Spider, and have tough battles with Midgets, so I know what they're capable of. Speaking of Alfas, I'm familiar with and partial to Webers, so I plan to convert this SU setup to a single Weber 45 DCOE. Brakes are veeeery weak, so that needs attention. As do a couple of minor oil leaks. And it needs to be wired for a horn. Also have to get used to that non-syncro first gear.

Steering is incredibly quick, and the ride is a little harsh. Very much a go-kart. Paint is great. Body is solid, but there's surface rust in the trunk at the rear apron. Bolt-in roll bar was added later. Because there's no heat, prior owner put seat heaters in under the new seat upholstery. Not wired up yet. Windshield is Lexan, but I have stock one with new glass as part of the deal. Windshield wiper is just a prop. Convertible top frame without the vinyl was included, but I doubt I'll install it. Also got the door cards, but I'll probably just rivet on some bare aluminum panels. Carpet set is new. Steering wheel is tired but feels good. Really annoyed at fumbling with the flimsy and frayed hold-down straps for the bonnet and trunk lid. Those are going to be converted to latches for sure.

That's about it. I'm excited about this car, and am trying to keep myself from going overboard with performance modifications. It's easy to do on something that's already been hacked, lightened, and made unoriginal. It gets a lot of attention, and I need a shorter answer for explaining what it is, because I gets asked that a lot. So there it is, and here's a couple pics below.

Oh, I mean to ask, does anyone out there know this car from its previous life? If so, could you share some details of its build? Thanks.

Trevor Jessie
06-14-2013, 08:48 AM
Welcome to the forum. I think Jim Gruber may know something about this car.

Jim_Gruber
06-14-2013, 09:52 AM
I do indeed know this car. Originally owned/built by Skip Petersen out of Dayton, OH. This car was autocrossed big time around Dayton probably 8-10 years back. I was planning on converting Bugsy my '68 Sprite to a BE front end and this was my planned color scheme. I had talked with Skip and lo and behold I walked into MG Automotive in Kettering, OH and here was Skip's car painted in my planned color scheme. Bugsy I as a result ended up BRG instead. Skip sold the car to a guy in Hamilton who was trying to convert to orignal specs but never got it done. Skip bought the car back and then I lost track of it 4-5 years ago. This one had some nice deseaming done on the rear of the car and it looked great. Interior is much better than remembered. You can get details on what went into this car from Steve Miller owner of MG Automotive in Kettering, OH 937-294-7623. He did much of the work on this car and he can put you in touch with Skip Petersen. Steve can probably let you know what type of cam went into this car, engine mods etc. The guy next door to MG Automotive did the paint and body work so you can get the original color info on this Yellow. Thinking Corvette Yellow or S-2000 Spa Yellow. It's bright, bright, bright.

Grille has been replaced. It was a Wire SS Mesh which actually looked very good. When I last saw it it only had a rally driver's seat and battery was in passenger seat on the floor. Re. Weber's vs. SU's I go back to a Classic Motorsports comparison Test from several years back or SU vs. Webers. Performance wise Webers seemed to be slightly better at WOT >5,000 RPM conditions vs. the SU's but for day to day tractability SU's seem to be much easier to live with and the experience from a lot of readers of this list seems to indicate that the Webers deliver significantly less MPG around town. I'd get someone who knows SU's to take a look at what you've got and make sure they are set up properly before dropping $ for Webers.

Door cards, someone on this list can probably get you hooked up with door cards and likely window glass. I'm seeing Spridget Doors with glass going for < $50 a door. And you can get door handles back as well. I remember this car with aluminum panels in place of door cards. You can also find reasonable trunk lids so you can get a Trunk Latch back, again I'm seeing for < $50.

Hood latches, McMaster Carr , Stainless Steel Locking Draw Latches is what I used for Bugsy but they also list some of those Rubber Bungy Hold Down Straps like what were on the car when I last saw it.

This was a very well set up AutoCross Car in its day. Quick and darty. Re. Rear Diff, this one could have been set up with a 4.55 as it was specifically set up for AutoCross. Steve Miller used to race a nice Sprite at Mid Ohio 8-10 years ago so I know he knew how to properly set this car up for racing on track or AutoCross. Hey hope I helped provide some history and gave you where to go to find out more on this car. Good luck on your new purchase.

RickB
06-14-2013, 11:11 AM
I saw that on Craigslist and said "wow" that's a lot of car for the asking price.
I think you got a nice one there!

Jim_Gruber
06-14-2013, 11:15 AM
Hmm, Skip Petersen owned this car but originally in the care of a guy with first name of Fred. Now that my brain has noodled on this a while. Still Steve Miller best bet on finding more about this car. If you are serior about converison to a Weber. There is a brand new Weber 40DCOE, AirCleaner, and Intake Manifold for sale over on SpriteSpot.com under new parts section. NFI just passing it on.

I've got pics of the original SS Wire Mesh Grille I can post.As well as interesting paint treatment for Vega Wheels that were on this car.

Jim_Gruber
06-14-2013, 11:16 AM
Rick, I'm sure you've got someone local who is an SU expert who can help him out as well.

bug_sixty
06-14-2013, 11:49 AM
BE couldn't of landed in a better town in my opinion! haha

bug_sixty
06-14-2013, 11:58 AM
Heh Fred I'm seriously thinking of returning to SU's...I have an older Italian 45 setup which was recently rebuilt. Intake and all the fixins. Send a PM... we can talk...

RickB
06-14-2013, 12:04 PM
Rick, I'm sure you've got someone local who is an SU expert who can help him out as well.

I so wish I knew an actual SU expert.
Personally I'm a hack who figures them out as I go, but have been doing that for a long time now.
Maybe if all I did every day for a decade was work on SU's I'd start to have them figured out.
That said, I know which way to turn the nut or the screw to lean and richen them and that a well tuned pair of SU's is about the best thing you can do for your engine IMHO.

bug_sixty
06-14-2013, 12:32 PM
Opps, Nader I mean, If you stay with the SU's, there's a shop up in Lynnwood off of 99 that many a British car owner takes there car... It's not the place you think it is....European repair, but there's a couple of guy's in there that KNOW SU's...

Boink
06-14-2013, 01:27 PM
I don't see a heater in there... so bundle up on those crisp Seattle mornings in the off-season (if you drive it then). 'Course you won't need it often (but I do like a little heat on occasion down here in Portland).

Jim_Gruber
06-14-2013, 02:16 PM
See we've already solved half of his issues. Who's got extra doors so he can get door handles and window glass back. It does rain in the PNW. And definitely need a heater becasue it does sometimes get cold there and top down, heater on full, and tonneau is one of my most favorite times to tool around. And we've got to help him out with the windshield wiper thing because it does rain in the PNW.

Nader
06-14-2013, 02:42 PM
Wow, Jim, thanks for all the info! I'll follow up with those contacts. I kind of figured that this was a small community and this car is memorable, but was a little doubtful that anyone who knew the car would be online and at this particular forum.

There's no drivability issue with the current SU, and if this car was really that dialed-in in this configuration, I might be better off leaving it as is. And I'm not interested in adding windows, heater or a top. I have a couple other fun cars that do better in our usual foul weather, so I'll keep this one as a stripped, light-weight fair-weather car, however seldom that may be. Treat it like a motorcycle. But I do plan on wiring up the seat heaters. Kind of like heated grips on a motorcycle, that little touch may go a long ways towards warding off a morning chill.

Flared fenders seem to be begging for wider wheels and tires, but I don't want to add weight and lose the light steering and nimble feel. I know that when I reduced the wheels+tires on my street Alfa Duetto from 205/15 to 185/14, it felt like I added 20 HP and the car seemed to become more responsive.

It cracks me up how the battery is about as big as the engine block. Maybe as heavy, too. So I'll probably swap it for a smaller Odyssey PC680. I run that in my race car and it has no problem cranking a high compression 1.8, all the way from the trunk.

Thanks again for all the input, and I welcome any more info. and advice.

Guest
06-14-2013, 04:37 PM
I've got a single Dellorto 40 and manifold as well as a pair of DCOE 40s off of a '74 Alpha.

Guest
06-14-2013, 04:40 PM
II was planning on converting Bugsy my '68 Sprite to a BE front end and this was my planned color scheme. I had talked with Skip and lo and behold I walked into MG Automotive in Kettering, OH and here was Skip's car painted in my planned color scheme..


Hmmmm, did ya kick him squa' in'na nuts? :madder:


That woulda really ****** me off.

Billm
06-14-2013, 09:08 PM
Nader
That yellow Spridget was Len Hansen's who lives in Maple Valley (where I used to live).
He had a complete other Spridget in the back yard in pieces and I am surprised that he didn't give them to you. He had complete doors and windshields, etc.
You may want to call him and see if he wants to get rid of the extra stuff!
BillM

Jim_Gruber
06-14-2013, 09:36 PM
Nader, A few other pics I found. 277022770327704
The body shop guy did do a nice job de-seaming Wheel treatment was interesting

Nader
06-14-2013, 10:43 PM
Hi Bill. Small world. Yes, I bought the car from Len, and he's now in Bellevue. I suspect he sold most of his Spridget stuff before he moved. He had a few extras he gave me like the windshield and frame, along with a top frame and other small bits.

Thanks for those pics, Jim. I think I like the current slotted mag wheels better.

Nader
06-14-2013, 10:47 PM
I noticed the car is listing to the left. In Bill's pic above, it seems to be listing to the right, which would make more sense to compensate for the driver's weight. Tire pressures are equal. Nothing seems broken. Any ideas?
And here's a pic of the current wheels.

bug_sixty
06-15-2013, 12:46 AM
Think if it were mine I would add a bad ass rollbar.

bug_sixty
06-15-2013, 12:49 AM
Opps, I was looking at the photo's of Jim's post... da... that's a nasty bar

RickB
06-15-2013, 01:09 AM
Of course I'm a big fan of the wheels...
There are some nice caps available, you want to look for Ansen Sprint caps.

JPSmit
06-15-2013, 09:21 AM
I noticed the car is listing to the left. In Bill's pic above, it seems to be listing to the right, which would make more sense to compensate for the driver's weight. Tire pressures are equal. Nothing seems broken. Any ideas?
And here's a pic of the current wheels.

They all list to the left. It's called a bachelor lean.

bug_sixty
06-15-2013, 01:01 PM
orrrr Bachelorette in today's genderless garb

JPSmit
06-15-2013, 01:03 PM
orrrr Bachelorette in today's genderless garb

Nah, bachelors still outweigh bachlorettes ( for the most part)

bug_sixty
06-15-2013, 02:00 PM
Got it...

Nader
06-15-2013, 03:15 PM
Bachelor lean, huh? Geez. I don't buy it. It wasn't until I got married that the passenger seat went empty in any of my roadsters. But I understand the principle.

So will swapping the driver and passenger side leaf springs fix it?

bug_sixty
06-15-2013, 05:14 PM
Interesting you should say that... In an earlier post I pointed out that the Works had two different rear springs with different load spec's.... The domestic market had it one way and the export the opposite to compensate for driver and all the hardware changes between l and R drives

Nader
06-17-2013, 09:52 PM
Got a 45 Weber (thanks bug sixty!) and found the intake manifold flanges to be thicker than the header flanges.

Nader
06-17-2013, 09:59 PM
So I milled some aluminum stepped washers to compensate for the 3.3 mm difference in flange thicknesses. Added stainless washers to spread the pressure from the manifold nuts. Hope the Al doesn't crack.

Jim_Gruber
06-17-2013, 10:04 PM
Necessity is indeed ...

Nader
06-17-2013, 10:07 PM
Engine fired right up. Throttle response is instantaneous compared to the SU carbs. I think it was hard on the belt because now I've got a shreaker that needs to be replaced. Tightening it didn't mKe much difference. It cut my carb tuning session short.

JPSmit
06-17-2013, 10:08 PM
So will swapping the driver and passenger side leaf springs fix it?

Some have had success with swapping and shims. Others not so much. I went on a diet.

Guest
06-18-2013, 12:10 AM
I put brand new springs on and it did the same thing!

bug_sixty
06-18-2013, 02:05 AM
Engine fired right up. Throttle response is instantaneous compared to the SU carbs. I think it was hard on the belt because now I've got a shreaker that needs to be replaced. Tightening it didn't mKe much difference. It cut my carb tuning session short.
ah....I'm already missing the beast....but not that much

nomad
06-18-2013, 09:58 AM
Instantaneous throttle response is a DCOE trait. Overall power increase usually a little over SU's. Tuneability not nearly as easy!

Kurt.

Nader
06-18-2013, 06:55 PM
Alternator sat too far forward, so I milled down the mounting lug a few mm. Belt looks okay, so I'm wondering if the mispositioning put additional strain on the alternator bearings, and maybe that's the screeching I hear. I'll find out tomorrow when I replace the belt and button things up.

BillW103
06-18-2013, 09:34 PM
I mounted an alternator that way and the ear broke off the alternator.

Nader
06-19-2013, 12:40 AM
I mounted an alternator that way and the ear broke off the alternator.

Good to know, I'll keep an eye on it. I can weld up the Al. for reinforcement if necessary.

Nader
06-22-2013, 11:05 PM
Went from a 50lb. Diehard to a 15lb. Odyssey. Had to make a tie-down bracket. Still need to clean up the wiring.

Guest
06-23-2013, 12:27 AM
Good to know, I'll keep an eye on it. I can weld up the Al. for reinforcement if necessary.

That's mounted upside down. It was originally designed to mount on the "long" side. That's the top adjustment part, it was NEVER designed to be the fulcrum point which takes the majority of load.

David_Doan
06-23-2013, 12:28 AM
Went from a 50lb. Diehard to a 15lb. Odyssey. Had to make a tie-down bracket. Still need to clean up the wiring.

What are the specs./model number of that battery?

Nader
06-23-2013, 07:06 AM
That's mounted upside down. It was originally designed to mount on the "long" side. That's the top adjustment part, it was NEVER designed to be the fulcrum point which takes the majority of load.

You're right, but it's been mounted this way for years. And it only has to survive a couple more weeks until I install a 5lb mini alternator.

Nader
06-26-2013, 09:00 PM
What are the specs./model number of that battery?

It's an Odyssey PC680. You can Google it for specs.

Just got the mini alternator. It needed some modifications to fit. Again, I had to mill down (this time the appropriate) pivoting lug by a few mm. Also had to machine a bushing to reduce the 10mm hole to 8mm to fit the 5/16ths bolt hole on the engine side. Threw a pistachio in there for scale. The last pic shows the miniaturized electrical system together.

Nader
06-26-2013, 10:30 PM
So I just came back from some tuning, and here's what I learned about Weber DCOE jetting on the 1275: Following the guidelines to use 135 main jets is no good. It gives you the notorious mid-throttle stumbling on acceleration that I've read about from multiple posts. I could dial some of it out by richening the idle mixture screw, but still sluggish on acceleration. So I decided to go big and put in 155 main jets (and left the air correctors alone at 180). Man! Did that liven things up! No stumbling or flat spots, just hard acceleration and a fuel gauge that visibly drops. I'm going to weld an oxygen sensor bung into the exhaust so I can plug in my Innovate air/fuel meter for finer tuning.

nomad
06-27-2013, 11:18 AM
Nader, there is a Mazda alternator that is almost that small. Off of a B2000 pickup from around 1990.
I have a DCOE setup for a Datsun engine and will be following your carb tuning exploits. I would kinda like fuel economy as well as decent acceleration.

Kurt.

David_Doan
06-27-2013, 02:49 PM
It's an Odyssey PC680. You can Google it for specs.

Just got the mini alternator. It needed some modifications to fit. Again, I had to mill down (this time the appropriate) pivoting lug by a few mm. Also had to machine a bushing to reduce the 10mm hole to 8mm to fit the 5/16ths bolt hole on the engine side. Threw a pistachio in there for scale. The last pic shows the miniaturized electrical system together.


Is that alternator internally regulated? If so 1 wire or 3 wire hookup?

Nader
06-27-2013, 05:35 PM
Is that alternator internally regulated? If so 1 wire or 3 wire hookup?

Internally regulated, 1 wire. Which may be the reason why my dash-mounted alternator warning light no longer works.

David_Doan
06-27-2013, 07:18 PM
Internally regulated, 1 wire. Which may be the reason why my dash-mounted alternator warning light no longer works.

Yep, no sense line and no enable line (warning light connection)

Nader
12-13-2013, 06:46 PM
I just welded up an oxygen sensor bung to the exhaust to use with my Innovate LM-2 AFR meter. It's fun to mess around with jetting when you have real numbers that quantify the flat spots and smoky grey exhaust. Before the meter, I thought the car was running well with chokes of 34, relatively large main jets of 155, and the idle mixture screw opened up a fair bit. Fuel consumption was ridiculously bad, funny at first, but now annoying.

Now with meter in hand, I jetted back down to 130, fattened up the idle jet, and predictably re-developed that flat spot under hard acceleration starting around 2500 rpm. Meter indicates that AFR starts around 11 (rich, but okay), spikes up to the 20s in the flat spot (dangerously lean), then back down to 11-12 after 3500 rpm. I'm thinking it needs richer accelerator pump jets, but now I'm questioning the choke size. I imagine that snapping open the throttle with these oversized chokes results in a sudden drop in manifold vacuum and intake velocity, more than the current accelerator pump jet can accommodate, thereby resulting in that big lean flat spot I experienced.

I've just ordered chokes in 32 and 30, and also fatter accelerator pump jets. With those size chokes, I'm firmly in DCOE 40 territory. In fact, it was only after ordering up all this carb stuff that I discovered an old, unproven Weber 40 with chokes of 30 down in my basement. Spares from my Alfa stockpile. I might as well just slap that one on and see how it runs.

Tuning this setup would be more fun if it wasn't so expensive. Then again, the new smaller chokes may pay for themselves in fuel savings. I have to use that justification because I'm too stubborn to go back to the perfectly adequate SU setup.

PSJ
12-16-2013, 01:01 AM
Looks great!

Nader
01-03-2014, 06:55 PM
Swapped out the 34 chokes for a pair of 32s, and fattened up the accelerator pump jets to 60. Still some mid-throttle stumbling, but better. Going to swap in the size 30 chokes tomorrow.

Are there supposed to be internal sleeves between the Weber intake manifold and the head?

Guest
01-03-2014, 08:15 PM
They have some 28s, 27s and 24s on ebay.

Guest
01-03-2014, 08:20 PM
Have a look at these charts.


https://www.teglerizer.com/dcoe/

https://www.teglerizer.com/dcoe/dcoepictures.htm

nomad
01-04-2014, 01:01 AM
Have a look at these charts.


https://www.teglerizer.com/dcoe/

https://www.teglerizer.com/dcoe/dcoepictures.htm


Billy,are you running a single 40 or 45 and is it set as these charts indicate? How is the performance? Just curious.

Kurt.

Nader
01-04-2014, 03:39 PM
They have some 28s, 27s and 24s on ebay.

Not for a DCOE 45. The smallest choke on a 45 is a size 30. I heard 28s were once available, but they're NLA.

Been enjoying a couple of rare sunny winter days here outside of Seattle, so I'm going to test these newly installed size 30 chokes.

Nader
01-04-2014, 09:55 PM
So, yeah, size 30 chokes in a single DCOE 45 is the ticket, along with 130 main jets. 175 air correctors, 50 F-8 idle jets. Idlle adjustment screw is about one turn out. This is for a 1275 with a mild cam and a shabby 3:1 header. Drivability and power are great, AFM reads 12-13 through the entire rev range.

Having tested the different chokes and jets and confirming results through an air fuel meter, I'm having a hard time understanding how is size 34 choke ever became the default for a single DCOE 45 for these little engines.