Triumph Sports Cars

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

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jamiehjr
Jamie Rodgers
Knoxville, TN USA
(2 posts)

Registered:
04/22/2016 07:26PM

Main British Car:
1969 Triumph Spitfire

authors avatar
engine options for Spitfire
Posted by: jamiehjr
Date: May 01, 2016 08:07PM

Hey!

I have been dreaming about a V8 Spitfire for over 15 years. I love the body style (like a little 1950's Ferrari!). The stock driveline does nothing for me. I like to go big. I love the sound of a V8.

A local frame fabricator wants to stretch and widen the car, but has no one to do proper body work. His ideas of a Corvette engine with rear transmission and ABS brakes are way out of budget.

I have a rough 1969 Triumph Spitfire in storage with a Mk2 hood.

I am thinking V8 with fabricated frame with live axle, keeping the front suspension. What are my best options?

I like the LS1 GT6, just in a convertible Spitfire!

Is the small width of the Spitfire a concern for driving safety?

I have a lot of ideas swarming in my head. Now that I have a Spitfire, I don't know where to start!


Thank you,
Jamie
1969 Spitfire.jpg


Richard/SIA
Richard Brengman
No. Nevada
(351 posts)

Registered:
01/17/2014 07:47PM

Main British Car:
1969 Triumph GT6+ 225" Buick V6

Re: engine options for Spitfire
Posted by: Richard/SIA
Date: May 01, 2016 08:59PM

First you need to decide your ground rules.

What is most important:
1/4 mile?
Top speed?
Handling?

Looks:
Sleeper that looks stock?
Hood scoop OK?
Flares OK?

Transmission:
Manual or slush-box?

Rear suspension?
This becomes a big deal as the stock rear will not work at all.

Aluminum BOPR V8 has been done several times so there is a lot of guidance available.
3.5 to 4.6 liter and speed equipment readily available, power level depends on how fat your wallet is.

Capri V6 is narrow and probably easy to fit, but not a V8

SBF takes a little less room than a SBC, both are heavy.

LS = Silly expensive from my perspective.

There may be some sort of Japanese V8 available that would fit well if you can deal with the electronics?

Just my observation.


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(548 posts)

Registered:
10/25/2007 11:30AM

Main British Car:
1968 MGB GM 5.3 LS4 V8

authors avatar
Re: engine options for Spitfire
Posted by: Scott68B
Date: May 01, 2016 09:19PM

[www.britishv8.org]

Unfortunately Phil won't be joining us next week but you should come to the meet in Townsend. Lots of converted cars will be there as well as a great group of guys that love to talk about cars and conversions. You're really close.


jamiehjr
Jamie Rodgers
Knoxville, TN USA
(2 posts)

Registered:
04/22/2016 07:26PM

Main British Car:
1969 Triumph Spitfire

authors avatar
Re: engine options for Spitfire
Posted by: jamiehjr
Date: May 04, 2016 07:49PM

Hey, Scott! Thanks for the invite. I sent Dan a PM.

Hey, Richard! What is a Capri V6? Is it the European Essex V6? What years was it made? Is it available in the USA?
Ground Rules: Most important is 0-60, 1/4 mile. Top speed about 120 mph. Handling: Just enough to keep the Greasy Side Down.
I prefer a my Spitfire like a Shelby Cobra without the sidepipes, big tires, flares, or roll bar. Street instead of Competition.
Manual Transmission.
I know live axles pretty well, like a narrowed Ford Mustang 8.8. I would do IRS if it can take a pounding and keep the tires vertical (I can't stand the cambered stance on a street car). Spitfire driveline is salvage in my project.
I would like to have EFI, even if it is aftermarket.
Years ago I had my heart set on the BOPR V8. I am open minded to updates of engine choices.

Thanks!
Jamie


britcars
Phil Ossinger
New Brunswick, Canada
(341 posts)

Registered:
02/02/2009 07:58PM

Main British Car:
1977 MGB Roadster, Rover 3.5 ADVENTURE BEFORE DEMENTIA!

authors avatar
Re: engine options for Spitfire
Posted by: britcars
Date: May 04, 2016 11:56PM

Here's another option Jamie.

[www.carcentric.com]


Richard/SIA
Richard Brengman
No. Nevada
(351 posts)

Registered:
01/17/2014 07:47PM

Main British Car:
1969 Triumph GT6+ 225" Buick V6

Re: engine options for Spitfire
Posted by: Richard/SIA
Date: May 05, 2016 01:50AM

"Hey, Richard! What is a Capri V6? Is it the European Essex V6? What years was it made? Is it available in the USA?"
I believe so, not sure but produced for several years, yes but not common.
I did recently pass up on buying one at a local pick your own parts yard.
Also not super cheap to rebuild, pretty good selection of performance parts in Europe.

"Ground Rules: Most important is 0-60, 1/4 mile. Top speed about 120 mph. Handling: Just enough to keep the Greasy Side Down.
I prefer a my Spitfire like a Shelby Cobra without the sidepipes, big tires, flares, or roll bar. Street instead of Competition.
Manual Transmission".
So it seems you want readily available in the U.S. power and prefer a V8.
As mentioned above, the BOPR conversion is pretty well sorted out for V8 power.
Some folk now insist that the Chevy V6 is the hot ticket, easier to find than a Capri, more easy power, but still a V6.
Most SBC or SBF conversions seem to feature new custom frame$.

The BOPR V8 does not require being set back due to it's light weight, so the trans fits easier too.

"I know live axles pretty well, like a narrowed Ford Mustang 8.8. I would do IRS if it can take a pounding and keep the tires vertical (I can't stand the cambered stance on a street car)".
There are a LOT of ways to do IRS, mine is not complete so I cannot state that it is the best answer.
Camber depends on the design and use.
Sounds like you might be happy with a fairly simple system.
Live axle will still require a lot of frame mods to work.

"Spitfire driveline is salvage in my project".
You mean scrap, some Spit owner might like to have whatever is left as spare parts.

"I would like to have EFI, even if it is aftermarket".
Rover has factory EFI but a little tall.
I am sure there are ways to make it shorter.
Modern Chevy V6 will have EFI.

"Years ago I had my heart set on the BOPR V8. I am open minded to updates of engine choices".
Problem with most of the "New" designs is that they tend to be very bulky, huge plenums, OHC heads, complex serpentine belts that are not easily reworked, VVT, coil on plug, etc.
I readily admit my strong bias for simple systems that do not require a computer to attempt to tune.

I would suggest BOPR V8 or Chevy V6 as the easiest that will certainly meet your other goals and not be a Mazda.
My Buick 3.8 V6 conversion has been anything but the easy route!
In the end insisting on using the engine I already had is clearly more expensive than choosing an easier to fit engine.
Being stubborn has a price too!


waterbucket
Philip Waterman
England
(85 posts)

Registered:
07/30/2011 01:08PM

Main British Car:
1978 MGB GT

Re: engine options for Spitfire
Posted by: waterbucket
Date: May 13, 2016 12:38PM

Jamie
I would not consider the UK built Essex V6, it only gave 128bhp in nearly all versions and is very expensive to get much more power, it was a very heavy engine because it was designed in the sixties with a view to making a diesel version. I may be wrong but it weighs more than a Ford 302!
Other engines you might consider are a GM 2.5/2.6/3.0/3.2 V6 used in europe but may have been exported to the USA in Saabs. This engine is a much lower weight than the Essex engine. Although it is a dohc engine it is quite compact because it uses a 54 degree cylinder bank angle. they gave 150-220bhp and were used in both fwd and rwd cars.

[en.wikipedia.org]

Another is the duratec V6 used in the Jaguar S type and the Lincoln LS 240bhp and only weighs 360lbs can be had with a getrag 221 5 speed manual gearbox which is both compact and light (about 75 lbs)
Another V6 is the cologne engine which replaced the Essex engine in granadas in the UK more power but less torque than the essex and much lighter, I think a 4 litre version was used in the ford Ranger.
The later GT6 and possibly Vitesse did away with the swing axles and used a lower wishbone and the same transverse leaf spring to give more predictable handling.

www.google.co.uk/search?q=gt6+rear+suspension+conversion&espv=2&biw=1242&bih=606&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj43rTwvdfMAhVLWBoKHb_RBTAQ_AUICCgD#tbm=isch&q=triumph+gt6+rear+suspension&imgrc=2YIZv6_cc0cdpM%3A

Philip



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/13/2016 03:20PM by MGBV8.



Richard/SIA
Richard Brengman
No. Nevada
(351 posts)

Registered:
01/17/2014 07:47PM

Main British Car:
1969 Triumph GT6+ 225" Buick V6

Re: engine options for Spitfire
Posted by: Richard/SIA
Date: May 15, 2016 02:29AM

Here is a thread on the Locost forum with some pretty good pics if you decide a 60 V6 might suit you.
Seems they are a fairly decent swap since you can get them behind the steering rack without too much trouble.
Does still require frame and firewall mods.

[www.locostusa.com]


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