Triumph Sports Cars

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

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joebarry10
barry davis

(10 posts)

Registered:
01/16/2016 09:39AM

Main British Car:


Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: joebarry10
Date: January 16, 2016 09:49AM

Hi. New to the forum, so sorry for the late post. I have started assembling the parts needed for ,y own Miata engine swap for my 79 Spitfire. I have an pretty good idea of what parts I will need, but my main absence of knowledge is in the wiring. Could you guys please tell me what wiring needs I will need to get my project running. I have the ECU and all bits of wiring from the behind the dash and engine compartment - but I know I dont need ALL of it. ANY help will be much appreciated. Will add photos after I have all the pieces gathered and ready to go. Thanks.


dbeliveau
Daniel Beliveau
Manchester NH
(33 posts)

Registered:
07/18/2015 07:41PM

Main British Car:
1972 Triumph Stag, 1972 Ford 302 1974 Jensen Healey, Lotus 907 stroked to 2.2 Ltr,

authors avatar
Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: dbeliveau
Date: January 24, 2016 08:12PM

Doug,
Any more pics of your Spitfire?
Dan
80Spit after7r1 (1024 x 768).jpg



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/24/2016 08:27PM by dbeliveau.


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: January 27, 2016 12:58PM

Barry,

I started with the complete Miata wiring harness and took off what was not necessary (much more tossed aside than used).

I had a couple questions about motor mounts - here is what I did. Note that I think the engine is still just a bit high 1/4-1/2". I am going to try to notch the oem mounts where they mount to the engine to drop it a bit. Note also that my car had some frame rail issues that were fixed that could have inhibited getting the motor down further. I also thought I read that the angle of the mazda mounts are 60 degrees, but I measure them at around 55 degrees.

Ryan
motor mount2.jpg


DiDueColpi
Fred Key
West coast - Canada
(1210 posts)

Registered:
05/14/2010 03:06AM

Main British Car:
What if the Hokey Pokey really is what it's all about?

authors avatar
Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: DiDueColpi
Date: January 27, 2016 10:37PM

I would try to modify the frame brackets first Ryan.
The reason for that is that it's a PITA to modify the mount every time that you have to change it.
Not a big deal, but, the more stock parts that you can retain. The happier you'll be down the road.
(Imagine changing a mount in the motel 6 parking lot of, "I just want to get outta here" Alabama)

Live like you mean it.
Fred


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 29, 2016 12:01PM

Sorry for the delay-work interferes with the important stuff. I agree with Ryan-start with a Miata harness and remove what you don't need....I would say about 1/2 the harness is not needed(AC, lights, horn, etc)...use the existing spit wiring for all the other stuff except engine management....you will need to merge the 2 in a few places-fuse box, ignition, alternator-but it is pretty straightforward(but time consuming). I am attaching pics that show the locations of the mounts.

mine are very similar to what Ryan has...you can see by the pics the location on the frame on both sides....essentially right in line with the lower suspension pivot/mount. the clearance on the driver side between the mount and the steering column and the exhaust flange are TIGHT..i did grind down the flange some to ease my mind.....at some point I may try to fabricate a new exhaust system and move the flange further down...but that is for a future burst of energy....


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 29, 2016 12:08PM

photos to follow as soon as I can shrink the files in size...


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 29, 2016 01:11PM

Driver Mount.jpg
Driver Side Mount.jpg
Driver Side-Steering.jpg
Steering 3.jpg



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 29, 2016 01:13PM

Steering-Flange 2.jpg
Steering-Flange.jpg
Passenger Mount.jpg
Passenger Mount 2.jpg


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 29, 2016 01:16PM

the last 2 pics are of the passenger mount...sorry the quality isn't better...but you get the idea of the location as well as how tight it is on the driver side.


Maņana
Steve Wten
Toronto Canada
(8 posts)

Registered:
02/28/2015 01:35AM

Main British Car:
1978 Triumph Spitfire 1991 Miata 1.6

authors avatar
Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: Maņana
Date: January 31, 2016 11:36AM

Hey Doug, glad to see this thread active again.

For the other guys, I got my swap done this past spring, took 3 months, but lots to do to pretty it up.

Finally got enough stuff together to put up a website...
This takes you right to the technical stuff, bypassing all the chaff.....
[stevew10.wix.com]

Still tonnes of details and info to share and I'll get back at it in March.

Hope it helps.

Steve

PS: Dan Patrick's article is there as well (you can get it through the Links page)


joebarry10
barry davis

(10 posts)

Registered:
01/16/2016 09:39AM

Main British Car:


Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: joebarry10
Date: March 11, 2016 09:16AM

Guys - this helps tremendously!! Thanks to all of you. Mine officially begins this weekend - pulling the Triumph power plant out and starting the prep work on the frame. Luckily, I kinda like the hood scoop look - so I don't mind it being a bit too tall. So, hope you all don't mind the questions- sure I will have more. 🙂👍. Joe.


joebarry10
barry davis

(10 posts)

Registered:
01/16/2016 09:39AM

Main British Car:


Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: joebarry10
Date: March 11, 2016 10:13AM

Oh yeah, noticed you guys were talking about the gauges. Everyone using the Spitfire gauges? I was thinking I may install the Miata individual gauges into the Spit's physical gauge bodies OR just use the entire Miata instrument panel. Advice?


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 17, 2016 12:33PM

I used the spitfire gauges....I put in a different water temp gauge-more granular readings, but same size as the original and black face...so looks close to the original style. the tach is easy to wire in, as is the fuel gauge...the speedo is the biggest challenge and one I have not surmounted at this point....there is just not enough room at the frame to tap off the trans.....without having to notch the frame too much in my opinion.....I use my garmin/phone as a speedo when I need it. someday when I feel ambitious i'll fully research a speedo that connects directly do one of the wheels.


Maņana
Steve Wten
Toronto Canada
(8 posts)

Registered:
02/28/2015 01:35AM

Main British Car:
1978 Triumph Spitfire 1991 Miata 1.6

authors avatar
Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: Maņana
Date: March 21, 2016 12:43PM

Just added some more stuff to my site about Turret Modification, Transmission Modifications and Shifter Relocation, and Propshaft.

As for gauges, I quickly had a look at mounting the Miata guts into the Spit housings. I think it's doable, and would be pretty cool, but will take a fair bit of work.

Like Doug, I found the Miata cable coming out of the Tranny is a nuisance.

Part of my plan was some cool new gauges from SpeedHut [www.speedhut.com]
20% off sale now until the end of March.
I just ordered them last week so I'll be using a remote pulse generator mounted at the differential.

Something I read alluded to the notion that the later Miata pulse generators (VSS - Speed Sensor) actually fit into the earlier transmissions and will work. I'm looking into that, including if there is room even for that at the frame, but just in case I ordered the Sender from SpeedHut.

If you want a laugh, have a look at how I dealt with it for my first season :) .....
[onedrive.live.com]
Oh, and that horrific sound is the fuel pump mounted in the boot and reverberating like crazy; can't wait to fix that!

All the best with the build Joe



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/21/2016 12:56PM by Maņana.


Maņana
Steve Wten
Toronto Canada
(8 posts)

Registered:
02/28/2015 01:35AM

Main British Car:
1978 Triumph Spitfire 1991 Miata 1.6

authors avatar
Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: Maņana
Date: March 26, 2016 11:30PM

Personally I wouldn't really like the entire instrument cluster from the Miata in the Spit, but I've seen a TR 6 with a Corvette panel, so what do I know.

I thought I took some images of the gauge comparisons... here's the Spit temp gauge beside the guts of the Miata gauge.

The PC board is actually very simple, just a few resistors if I recall. Not unreasonable to modify that, but just not sure it's worth the effort.

All the best.

Steve
DSCF4074.jpg



Maņana
Steve Wten
Toronto Canada
(8 posts)

Registered:
02/28/2015 01:35AM

Main British Car:
1978 Triumph Spitfire 1991 Miata 1.6

authors avatar
Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: Maņana
Date: March 26, 2016 11:41PM

Course, the other problem is lighting. The Miata gauge uses plastic pieces to direct light to specific areas of the gauge.

Again, might work, but likely a challenge to make it happen.

Steve
DSCF4073.jpg


joebarry10
barry davis

(10 posts)

Registered:
01/16/2016 09:39AM

Main British Car:


Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: joebarry10
Date: April 25, 2016 07:18AM

Just rolled the miata donor car into the garage. Going to strip it down and determine just how far I want to take this project - all the way? Whole drivetrain and suspension? Not sure I'm up for the rear end swap - looks daunting - but I figure sooner or later I will end up doing it. So, might as well just do it now. Still plenty of prep work to do on the Spit - and I guess the body will have to come off for the rear end work. Well, here it goes...will add some photos later today. Thanks for the advice re the gauges - IF ever I get to that point, Im probably just gonna buy a universal kit and be done with it - ha!


Maņana
Steve Wten
Toronto Canada
(8 posts)

Registered:
02/28/2015 01:35AM

Main British Car:
1978 Triumph Spitfire 1991 Miata 1.6

authors avatar
Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: Maņana
Date: April 26, 2016 09:16AM

Good luck with it Joe, we found it quite a lot of fun. Hopefully my site will be of help.

I've been looking at rear suspension as well. It would be a much larger task than the engine/tranny swap and you might end up with a poorer than stock set-up. I'm running a GT6 diff right now (love the 3.27 gears) and just bought a back-up this past winter. If I ever decide to turbo the 1.6, I'll be looking at a different diff. but until then the Spit handles pretty well, so long as I'm gentle and don't bust open that rear end I'll be smiling.

Just got my Speedhut gauges last week, one minor issue with colouring, but they are really good over there, so it will be quickly resolved. Their gauges will solve your speedo problem before it even begins! :)

Have fun,

Steve
[stevew10.wix.com]


joebarry10
barry davis

(10 posts)

Registered:
01/16/2016 09:39AM

Main British Car:


Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: joebarry10
Date: April 26, 2016 11:23AM

image.jpeg
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
Yeah, it's a project! Ha. Think sometimes I like working on them better than driving them. Smh.


joebarry10
barry davis

(10 posts)

Registered:
01/16/2016 09:39AM

Main British Car:


Re: Miata 1.6 into a 78 Spitfire
Posted by: joebarry10
Date: May 06, 2016 03:43PM

Okay - progress. I've kinda went in a different direction. I'm going to keep the Miata "everything" and attach/build the Spit body to the subframes. I have a tail section of a Spit body from a parts car and it fits pretty good. Will definitely need some modification and some fender enhancement for the 15in wheels BUT I actually like that!! So, if I can post sime pics I will but the site keeps saying they are too big. If there is an insurmountable obstacle going this way please let me know now. The front will just have to be fabricated for the hood and strut supports - tubular frame work. But I really think this is going to work!! So, what is the consensus??
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