Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Rebuilding a 1275 for a BE

Discuss the Austin Healey Sprite and the MG Midget. Two different but similar cars sometimes referred to collectively as the Spridget.

  1. #1
    Jedi Knight
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    1,070
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    6
    Thanked in
    6 Posts

    Rebuilding a 1275 for a BE

    We have a nigh-on-perfect BE body tub (owned since 1972, never been on the road; spent a year at a body shop recently) that I'm hoping to get to doing final assembly on this winter.
    It has a Rivergate Datsun 5 speed and the head has been redone with hardened inserts etc. but the block is pretty much toast (a bit of a surprise and disappointment).
    Touch wood, we'll be dragging it indoors sometime in the new year, pulling the engine, and getting it rebuilt. I would appreciate thoughts as to what improvements should be made. And let's not worry about carbs at this point.
    I believe that I've got the good rear main seal from Rivergate, and am thinking:
    Head: switch to ??? rockers (because they look good) and a ??? head gasket (because it works)
    Ignition: Pertronix (we'll be staying with positive ground)
    Exhaust: we have an LCB header
    Shortblock: your suggestions??
    - stock cam(I'm a cheap bahstead),
    - get it balanced
    - spin on oil filter
    - look at upgrading the harmonic balancer
    - perhaps use ARP bolts wherever I can afford them


    I figure I'll change the rockers on the head to
    1959 pristine 948 cc Bug-Eye; DCOE, 5 speed; bought 1971
    1960 BE bought 1971 & stored since; body tub restored and reassembling (1275; etc.)
    1962 AH 3000 BJ7; 3rd owner (1982?); in shop Oct. 2015 for paint job - home soon!
    1962 VW Meyers Manx clone dune buggy; stripped last winter and being reassembled
    1969 Kawasaki 500 H1 Triple, orig. owner; stored since 1973, but runs again! 1999 Buell S3

  2. #2
    Jedi Knight
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    1,070
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    6
    Thanked in
    6 Posts

    Re: Rebuilding a 1275 for a BE

    Gosh dang! just hit a wrong button, and the 'draft' got loaded onto the site.
    Okay: corrections and such (I'm looking for a good, solid, runner that will be trouble free forever and take advantage of whatever progress we've made in the sixty years since the car was originally built):
    - what is the preferred head gasket
    - what is the preferred oil pump
    - what is the preferred rockers? Titan? 1.3 vs 1.5 vs ?? And: costs? there seems to be quite a variety on prices
    - valve springs: single? double? who from? why?
    - is a windage tray a good idea? who from? can I 'whittle' my own?
    - comments on lifters and pushrods
    - comments on cams
    - comments on timing gears and chains
    - comments on pistons
    - comments on everything

    Thanks, Doug

  3. #3
    Luke Skywalker
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    1,934
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    5
    Thanked in
    5 Posts

    Re: Rebuilding a 1275 for a BE

    You are going to get a lot of opinions on this post. I will make a comment about what not to buy. I have a 285 cam in my engine and it is too much for street driving. The instructions said to time it at 18 BTDC , That is a lot of advance and pushes the power band even higher. No power at low rpm, but once you get above 3000 rpm, goes like heck. I would not buy that cam again. Getting it to match up with the fuel supply has been a problem. The good news on these engines is that there are MANY options out there. PS: my engine has been dynoed and puts out 95hp at 5800rpm. I think it is easy to get there if you want to spend money.
    other things done with my engine:
    Pistons were coated with some kind of slipper stuff. Seems to work, in combination with a oil catcher attached to the valve cover, the oil looks new even after 3000 miles. The head I used is shaved and has the largest valves you can put into it. I don't remember the rockers but they are roller rockers although a cheaper set.

  4. #4
    Jedi Knight
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    1,070
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    6
    Thanked in
    6 Posts

    Re: Rebuilding a 1275 for a BE

    Back when I was working, I figured the most useful stuff to hear was 'man, we really screwed up on that one' vs. ' dang we're good', so appreciate the 'don't buy this, for these reasons'. So, thanks, Jerry.

    A couple of items that I'm going to look at: ARP bolts everywhere I can afford them; a Payen BK450 head gasket (recommended on one of the threads here); spin-on oil filter; ask the machinist to have a look-see at the surface for the oil pressure relief valve; replace the oil pressure plunger with a ball bearing (BLS916 from MiniSpares or equivalent); rear oil seal; some sort of upgrade for the main bearing cap (I might have one in a bin somewhere); windage tray; LCB header (I think I've got one); matching exhaust pipe; muffler: possibly stock; possibly MGB; possibly Harley (I've got a couple out back); maybe pay to get everything balanced, but Vizard summarizes balancing as giving you a smoother engine but not necessary.

    Anything other than 'stock' will - of course - be impacted by what the cost in my hands would be.
    1959 pristine 948 cc Bug-Eye; DCOE, 5 speed; bought 1971
    1960 BE bought 1971 & stored since; body tub restored and reassembling (1275; etc.)
    1962 AH 3000 BJ7; 3rd owner (1982?); in shop Oct. 2015 for paint job - home soon!
    1962 VW Meyers Manx clone dune buggy; stripped last winter and being reassembled
    1969 Kawasaki 500 H1 Triple, orig. owner; stored since 1973, but runs again! 1999 Buell S3

  5. #5
    Luke Skywalker
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    1,934
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    5
    Thanked in
    5 Posts

    Re: Rebuilding a 1275 for a BE

    As you said oil pressure, a bell rang. When I first started my engine, I had 90 psi of oil pressure. The oil pump is some heavy duty one that the guy who sold me the block had bought. 90 is high, so I added an adjustable screw to the oil pressure relief valve, now it is down to 50 psi.
    Exhaust system! I went for the larger pipe, less resonator. My engine is LOUD. I keep planning on adding something to tone it down but I have not done it yet. By the way, driving the car is fun. It is a go cart with power!

  6. #6
    Jedi Knight
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    1,070
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    6
    Thanked in
    6 Posts

    Re: Rebuilding a 1275 for a BE

    Age & Memory are not getting better: apologies for wasting anyone's time, but I just did a search and ran across my same question from two years ago:
    How to add a bit more realiability/endurance to a stock 1275 engine rebuild? https://www.britishcarforum.com/bcf/.../t-112319.html
    which led to Drooartz's writeup:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...63De_CXiw/edit


    Looks like I've got plenty to read. Thanks to Jerry and everyone! Doug

  7. #7
    Jedi Knight Bob Claffie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Dalton Mass
    Posts
    975
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    3 Posts

    Re: Rebuilding a 1275 for a BE

    Didn't we have a fellow on here a while back who ran a speed shop and built engines for a living ? Hap was his name, I bet he could give you chapter and verse on what works and what doesn't. Bob
    Thank goodness the MG is finally gone, replaced by another Corvette

  8. #8
    Jedi Warrior leecreek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    739
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    13
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Rebuilding a 1275 for a BE

    Hap Arnold. Might be the best investment on that 1275.
    leecreek
    '61 BugEye
    L.A. To Caswell, Me. and back in '74. 1000 miles stuck in third gear.
    Lake of the Ozarks 2008
    Hurricane Irene Survivor 2011

  9. #9
    Jedi Knight
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    1,070
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    6
    Thanked in
    6 Posts

    Re: Rebuilding a 1275 for a BE

    Per Drooartz write-up: Hap Waldrop of the Acme Speed Shop in South Carolina
    We're north of the 49th, and I expect that shipping etc etc would absolutely kill the costs. I'm looking at a base OEM equivalent rebuild vs. building a hotter engine. Thoughts on improving reliability is more important than performance (athough they can surely go hand-in-hand). Thoughts on stuff like an optimum crankshaft damper, oil pump, windage tray, water pump, head gasket, ARP bolts, etc. etc. Which all can lead into performance thoughts: roller rockers; special push-rods; etc. etc. etc.
    There's a Spridget speed shop who I bought some stuff from years ago (and that I think Hap recommended, with the comment that their web-page was definitely not fancy). Is this enough clues that somehow can remember their name? thanks, Doug

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •