Healey Sports Cars

mods & upgrades for Healey (Nash, Austin, or Jensen) cars, including engine swaps

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manlyjames
James Melander
Janesville, CA
(6 posts)

Registered:
06/19/2013 09:44PM

Main British Car:
1967 Austin-Healey Sprite BMW M30 3.0

BMW 3.0 Straight-6 in my '67 Sprite?
Posted by: manlyjames
Date: June 19, 2013 09:50PM

I found a BMW 3.0 with matching manual transmission pretty close to me for about $200, I was wondering if this would be a good fit in my Sprite. I know I will probably have to do some modifications no matter what I put in it, but previously I had been planning on dropping in a GM 2.8 V6 w/ a T5. The 2.8 has a spun rod bearing however and I'm pretty sure the crank is toast as a result. Total cost to rebuild the 2.8 would be somewhere around $350 plus a different tailhousing for the T5, I'm thinking I may come out ahead with the BMW engine. Does anyone know if the size is prohibitively large for the Sprite? Thanks in advance.


BWA


(317 posts)

Registered:
04/13/2010 08:13PM

Main British Car:


Re: BMW 3.0 Straight-6 in my '67 Sprite?
Posted by: BWA
Date: June 19, 2013 10:54PM

Go into forums and go to the Austin Healey section and you will see a Sprite with a Jaguar straight six in it. I am sure that a BMW straight 6 is no bigger than a Jag straight 6. If you want to do it it can be done but you may sacrifice a lot of space in the foot wells. You also need to consider the possibility that the Sprite will no longer handle very well as the BMW six may be heavier than the Sprite engine.
You should also look into 4 cylinder engines that will swap into these cars. A Japanese 4 banger that will fit under the hood and have double the horsepower would make a real good swap.

Cheers
Byron


Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4411 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: BMW 3.0 Straight-6 in my '67 Sprite?
Posted by: Moderator
Date: June 20, 2013 01:54AM

Welcome the BritishV8, James!

In the gallery you'll also find a Sprite with a BMW M10 four-cylinder engine. IMHO, if you can find one, the four cylinder is a more appropriate choice. The potential for upgrades is enormous because those little engines were used in lots of "real" racecars, including championship winning Formula Two cars.

http://www.britishv8.org/Other/BruceUchida/BruceUchida-BA.jpg

The initial cost of the engine/transmission is one consideration, but the cost of subsequent parts (e.g. replacement clutch disc and pressure plate) will soon overshadow that expense. You might want to make lists of the parts you'll need, add columns of likely prices, and see how the two conversions compare. I expect the BMW swap will cost much more in the end, but you may decide the difference is "worth it".


manlyjames
James Melander
Janesville, CA
(6 posts)

Registered:
06/19/2013 09:44PM

Main British Car:
1967 Austin-Healey Sprite BMW M30 3.0

Re: BMW 3.0 Straight-6 in my '67 Sprite?
Posted by: manlyjames
Date: June 28, 2013 02:44PM

Thanks a bundle you guys, but I simply cannot find a small 4cylinder engine with transmission anywhere within 200 miles of me for less than $500. I went ahead and pulled the trigger on the straight-6, and a week later the engine is in the car, fitting actually quite nicely. Peering down into the top of the cylinder head thru the oil fil hole, it looks absolutely spotless, not even a hint of grime in the nooks and crannies. The clutch also appears to be almost new, so overall this engine looks to be in fabulous shape. I had to do quite a bit of cutting, however thankfully none into the frame (except for that horizontal bar where the old transmission used to mount). I have been taking pictures and will update everyone on this project, I am super excited! Here is a picture of the engine sitting in the car
IMG_20130626_204959.jpg



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/28/2013 02:56PM by manlyjames.


BWA


(317 posts)

Registered:
04/13/2010 08:13PM

Main British Car:


Re: BMW 3.0 Straight-6 in my '67 Sprite?
Posted by: BWA
Date: June 28, 2013 09:29PM

James this will be one unique AH Sprite!
How is it looking for clearance under the hood?
How about space in the foot wells? Remember the more intimate you get with the engine the more heat issues you will have in the interior. If this engine has slid back a fair amount you will have to make sure that the fire wall and the transmission tunnel will be well insulated.
What will you do about the rearend? This BMW engine will have over 3 times the torque the Sprite motor has. You could probably use a rearend out of a MGB as guys are putting v6's in MGB's that have about 200 ft/lb of torque and the rearends seem to be handling it.

Cheers
Byron


manlyjames
James Melander
Janesville, CA
(6 posts)

Registered:
06/19/2013 09:44PM

Main British Car:
1967 Austin-Healey Sprite BMW M30 3.0

Re: BMW 3.0 Straight-6 in my '67 Sprite?
Posted by: manlyjames
Date: June 29, 2013 04:00PM

It looks as though the hood should clear the top of the engine, the only issue is the distributor because it almost sticks straight up. Later M30's had distributors that had a flat, 90 cap, so I think I may get one and try to modify it for point ignition. Either way, the hood would only need minor modification. As for the footwells, the driver side only lost about an inch at the widest point, passenger lost about 5 inches, but it is still reasonably comfortable and enough room for a couple layers of heat shielding. As for the rear end, I might try to shorten one from a Ranger or S15, or maybe order one up from Dutchman Motorsports. MGB's are hard to come by here in my part of the states... The only issue is fuel delivery, it is injected. I have the computer and harness but I am not sure how the computer knows which one to fire at which time... Does anyone know? I can't seem to find a cam sensor anywhere. As near as I can figure the engine is from a 1978 530i if that helps.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/29/2013 04:04PM by manlyjames.


Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4411 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: BMW 3.0 Straight-6 in my '67 Sprite?
Posted by: Moderator
Date: June 29, 2013 05:52PM

Quote:
MGB's are hard to come by here in my part of the states.

New Jersey?



manlyjames
James Melander
Janesville, CA
(6 posts)

Registered:
06/19/2013 09:44PM

Main British Car:
1967 Austin-Healey Sprite BMW M30 3.0

Re: BMW 3.0 Straight-6 in my '67 Sprite?
Posted by: manlyjames
Date: June 29, 2013 10:00PM

Susanville, California. Very rural and in the mountains, 80% of the vehicles are big 4x4 pickups.


djw090
David Witham
Warwick UK
(115 posts)

Registered:
06/12/2008 11:20AM

Main British Car:
MGB 1974 and MG ZT 160 turbo 2005

Re: BMW 3.0 Straight-6 in my '67 Sprite?
Posted by: djw090
Date: July 15, 2013 07:55AM

This is an interesting project for me. Over here one sometimes finds a Bristol 406 for sale without its engine and box as they get taken to go into an AC Ace. I have often wondered about buying one and putting a BMW straight six in. If you manage it into a Sprite I expect it is doable into a Bristol.


manlyjames
James Melander
Janesville, CA
(6 posts)

Registered:
06/19/2013 09:44PM

Main British Car:
1967 Austin-Healey Sprite BMW M30 3.0

Re: BMW 3.0 Straight-6 in my '67 Sprite?
Posted by: manlyjames
Date: July 28, 2013 11:01PM

Fear not, gentlemen, the project is not dead. My updates simply took a brief hiatus while trying to figure out a workable motor mount design. This engine is so heavy I really wanted it to be firmly planted in the car so it doesn't break loose while going around a fast corner. My first 2 designs didn't sit well with me but I have figured something out that I am very confident in. Pictures and more updates to follow. Cheers.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/29/2013 12:02AM by manlyjames.


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