Triumph Sports Cars

engine swaps and other performance upgrades, plus "factory" V8s (Stag and TR8)

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mildo04
doug milligan

(33 posts)

Registered:
07/26/2010 08:17AM

Main British Car:
1978 Triumph Spitfire Mazda 1.6 liter

Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: mildo04
Date: July 13, 2012 11:52AM

tonight i am doing the final prep to paint the bonnet tomorrow....had a few cracks near the headlights to address...common stress point on a Spit unfortunately...and did some adjusting of the underlying bonnet frame to get it to sit right..the gaps were way off and the standard adjustments were not enough....clearly the bonnet had been tweaked in the past.

I'll post some pics tomorrow after i finish spraying...going for the same "Catch me if you can, Yellow".


mildo04
doug milligan

(33 posts)

Registered:
07/26/2010 08:17AM

Main British Car:
1978 Triumph Spitfire Mazda 1.6 liter

Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: mildo04
Date: July 16, 2012 07:45PM

so, the bonnet is painted, came out ok for an amateur. i have some wet sanding to do but i am satisfied....thoughts on the color? I made it as "noticeable" as possible so those SUV drivers would see me and not run me over like a speed bump. :-)

One issue i wanted to throw out there..i am using the spitfire clutch master-but i only need about half the throw to fully engage the miata clutch....thoughts on fabricating a stop for under the pedal? the miata master is not a possibility-the mechanism is totally different.

CIMG1110.JPG


socorob
Robbie
La
(173 posts)

Registered:
09/17/2009 04:42PM

Main British Car:
1963 Sunbeam Alpine Series 2 Ford 2.8 V6

Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: socorob
Date: July 17, 2012 09:38AM

I welded a nut to the side of my clutch pedal, and threaded a carriage head bolt into it, pointing up. I set it where I wanted it and have a second nut on the bolt to use as a jam nut to lock it in place.


mildo04
doug milligan

(33 posts)

Registered:
07/26/2010 08:17AM

Main British Car:
1978 Triumph Spitfire Mazda 1.6 liter

Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: mildo04
Date: July 17, 2012 04:16PM

not a bad suggestion-i'll take a look this weekend and see if that is the direction i want to go.


Winston
Winston Wood
Houston, TX (Clear Lake)
(15 posts)

Registered:
10/25/2011 12:11PM

Main British Car:
1976 Spitfire Mazda 1.8

authors avatar
Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: Winston
Date: July 25, 2012 11:33AM

Congrats on the successful install, Doug! I have a '76 Spit that I'm putting a '94 1.8 Miata engine/transmission into. Glad to see that there are others here paving the way for me :) I'm actually de-converting my car *gasp* from Ford 5.0 power! I'll make my own thread here before too long. I just received the title in my name after a long process, so I now feel comfortable moving forward with the build.

Quick question -- did you make the stock Spitfire gauges work with the Miata swap? If so, would you mind giving some quick detail as to how you did it? Sorry if you already covered this; if so, I missed it.

Thanks!
-Winston



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/25/2012 12:39PM by Winston.


mildo04
doug milligan

(33 posts)

Registered:
07/26/2010 08:17AM

Main British Car:
1978 Triumph Spitfire Mazda 1.6 liter

Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: mildo04
Date: July 25, 2012 09:31PM

Winston-I did get the triumph gauges working....well, all except the speedo, though I have a plan for that for the next time I take the trans cover off. I'll find my wiring diags for the tach and water-they were pretty simple. I know the water gauge was as simple as plugging it into the sensor at the rear of the intake on the 1.6 engine. The problem is though-the miata runs a bit hotter than a spit engine by design so the gauge was dam near at max before the fan would kick in. It was giving me a heart attack so I bought a new gauge from Vicky brit that had real numbers on it up to 250. It came with a new sensor which you do need to use.....that is the biggest pain, getting the old one out and putting in the new.

Fuel gauge- no change
Tach-I'll post tomorrow
Speedo- the jury is out for now

I am thinking of adding an oil pressure gauge since the engine has the sensor there...

Doug


Winston
Winston Wood
Houston, TX (Clear Lake)
(15 posts)

Registered:
10/25/2011 12:11PM

Main British Car:
1976 Spitfire Mazda 1.8

authors avatar
Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: Winston
Date: July 25, 2012 10:13PM

Thanks in advance, Doug. Wiring is not my strong suit, though this project is forcing me to learn :) I'm interested to hear what you have in mind for the speedo. That certainly seemed to be the most difficult to adapt.

I support adding an oil pressure gauge. Most important gauge you can have, in my opinion -- but that's racer mentality for you.



mildo04
doug milligan

(33 posts)

Registered:
07/26/2010 08:17AM

Main British Car:
1978 Triumph Spitfire Mazda 1.6 liter

Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: mildo04
Date: July 26, 2012 12:30PM

for wiring in the ECU and trimming the miata harness..you definitely will need some strong wiring diagram "interpretation" skills...here is a link that i used-printed out and made notes on the margins as i went along tracing circuits....it is a grungy, greasy mess now, but was invaluable.

[www.madracki.com]

i believe there is similar ones for other years...as i found-the haynes manual has alot of mistakes in it.

The Miata Garage had some similar, great information, pictures and diagrams:

[www.miata.net]

doug


mildo04
doug milligan

(33 posts)

Registered:
07/26/2010 08:17AM

Main British Car:
1978 Triumph Spitfire Mazda 1.6 liter

Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: mildo04
Date: July 26, 2012 03:00PM

Tach Wiring...it is really simple-hard part is routing the wires and splicing into or replacing the original spit ones (and of course getting at the back of the tach)

excuse the drawing-i am not a CAD person.....
Tach Wiring.jpg


Winston
Winston Wood
Houston, TX (Clear Lake)
(15 posts)

Registered:
10/25/2011 12:11PM

Main British Car:
1976 Spitfire Mazda 1.8

authors avatar
Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: Winston
Date: July 27, 2012 08:15AM

Great information, Doug. Thanks a bunch!

The madracki.com diagrams are great. That's what I am using for my swap. For others that may be interested in a Miata swap, here is a direct link to the various diagrams from 1990-2000:

[www.madracki.com]


avdodger
Art Van Houten

(1 posts)

Registered:
05/18/2012 08:27AM

Main British Car:
1972 Spitfire

Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: avdodger
Date: October 08, 2014 09:17PM

Anyone know where the madracki.com site went?


Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4273 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: Moderator
Date: October 22, 2014 06:23PM

taken down by owner, I expect...

but you can find some of that old content archived here:
[web.archive.org]


Winston
Winston Wood
Houston, TX (Clear Lake)
(15 posts)

Registered:
10/25/2011 12:11PM

Main British Car:
1976 Spitfire Mazda 1.8

authors avatar
Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: Winston
Date: November 15, 2014 10:21PM

Looks like the Turbo Miata guys (or somebody they know) saved the Madracki site's Miata stuff, including the diagrams:

[y8spec.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/15/2014 10:21PM by Winston.


nutos
Aiden Dean

(1 posts)

Registered:
12/14/2014 01:28AM

Main British Car:


Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: nutos
Date: December 14, 2014 01:37AM

Hey Nice lookin conversion. Im doin the same thing at the moment. I managed to get the motor behind the rack and as low as possible while keeping the shifter about the same.
Did you manage to marry the spitfire speedo to the mx5 box?
Would love to ask a whole other bunch of questions too if that's cool. The most important is "Does it go extreeeeemly quick??"
As that's what Im hoping.
Cheers.


mildo04
doug milligan

(33 posts)

Registered:
07/26/2010 08:17AM

Main British Car:
1978 Triumph Spitfire Mazda 1.6 liter

Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: mildo04
Date: December 17, 2014 09:54AM

Aiden,
let me dig into my notes...i had written up how i hooked up the speedo-it was an adaption of parts from both cables...a bit of a pain in the butt.

does it go fast...... you'll see.....i still get a rush when the miata power really kicks in above 3k....it is like a turbo rush...
i haven't tryed a "top speed" test as the front end get a bit light(even with the front end lowered) above 90....but i would estimate it could do 120+ if i got it on a track....

feel free to PM me with any other questions....i have it in the garage for the winter and am planning some additional work on it...



pucksaq20
Connor Kennard

(1 posts)

Registered:
03/05/2015 11:31AM

Main British Car:


Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: pucksaq20
Date: March 05, 2015 11:42AM

Wondering real quick about this, did you use the original harness with the ecu mated in or an adapted miata harness.


mildo04
doug milligan

(33 posts)

Registered:
07/26/2010 08:17AM

Main British Car:
1978 Triumph Spitfire Mazda 1.6 liter

Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: mildo04
Date: March 20, 2015 09:22PM

I used both....the original spitfire wiring for lights, horn, radio, etc. the Miata harness for engine, fuel, cooling, charging.batt. You do have to morph.connect them for ignition key and to power the spit harness. I put the ecu in the passenger footwell, the fuse box and relays in the original battery box. I relocated the batt to the trunk.

The wiring was the most difficult part of the conversion.....


rbrown0891
Ryan Brown

(2 posts)

Registered:
12/09/2015 12:57PM

Main British Car:


Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: rbrown0891
Date: December 09, 2015 01:17PM

Doug,

I am at the start of the same swap. Was curious if you had any closer pictures of your motor mounts/steering shaft clearance with the exhaust manifolds? Seems as if I have a pretty good conflict with the steering shaft right at the flange.

Any help would be appreciated.


mildo04
doug milligan

(33 posts)

Registered:
07/26/2010 08:17AM

Main British Car:
1978 Triumph Spitfire Mazda 1.6 liter

Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: mildo04
Date: January 15, 2016 11:11AM

i'll post some better pics this weekend and some measurements in relation to some common frame items for you. I had a rough idea of the location and shape of the mounts based on the article in the magazine, then used stiff cardboard templates to get the location and angles right before I fabricated the mounts to weld on....I necessitated many trial fits and banged knuckles before I was confident to weld in the brackets....and some fun maneuvering of the engine on the final lowering onto the mounts-but it was well worth it. the clearances are DAMN tight with the manifold and steering shaft.....

d


mildo04
doug milligan

(33 posts)

Registered:
07/26/2010 08:17AM

Main British Car:
1978 Triumph Spitfire Mazda 1.6 liter

Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: mildo04
Date: January 15, 2016 11:20AM

Also-I believe I did do some grinding of that portion of the flange just to give a small amount of extra room....I didn't have to take off too much or have an impact on the integrity of the flange joint itself.
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