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Engine Transplants


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Right, i've just finished my triumph and feel some what lost now I can drive it.. it was just as fun sorting it out!

A friend of mine has just sent me some photos over the net of a lovely white mk3 spitfire, been barned for 9 years as the big end went on it.

I've literally just got off the phone with this chap who owns it and he says i'm more than welcome to come along and have alook, and if I want it as long as I trailer it away I can have it. :D (presuming its not a rust bucket).

I've also done some quick research and have the possibility of a dry stored 2Litre Vitesse engine with gearbox, dry stored for 7 years (never used donar engine) but last running..

I've got a good friend who will spot weld for free for me, I can do the electrics myself if I bother to get my teeth in and can do bodywork & paint.

How hard is it to put an engine like this into a spitfire?

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yeah, there was this guy who worked in a mortuary and he had different weight corpses for different conditions. It's recommended to preserve the corpses well, of course, especially if you're driving around in hot weather.

... alternatively you could go the Dave Picton route. He's done a fair few 2 litre Spitfires with mods to mount the engine rearwards. Surely you've seen his adverts in the Club Magazine ;-)

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Engine and gearbox will go in fairly easily as a nuts & bolts job, but you will need more than just the engine & gearbox.
As an absolute minimum you will need to change the front suspension turrets. The Spitfire had lower engine mountings than any of the other small-chassis Triumphs. Towers from a Herald (post 1962), Vitesse or GT6 will do the job. You will also need to create a bulge in the bonnet, or replace with a GT6 bonnet.
That's it for the absolute necessities, but in practice you will need more. The Spitfire diff will last a very short time, go for a Spitfire 1500 3.63:1 unit for longevity and the most favourable ratio. The brakes will also need uprating, go for the Vitesse 2L or GT6 setup as a simple upgrade.
This will effectively give you a GT6 Convertible. In standard form a GT6 is more of a cruiser than a sharp handling sportscar (like a Spitfire), the result of having so much engine hung ahead of the front wheels. Nevertheless, they are fun as long as you know what you're getting. The engine CAN be moved back, but you are then getting into a whole different ballgame, it all depends what kind of project you want.
Personally I would stick with a four cylinder engine, I've always preferred the 6-cylinder in the larger Triumphs, the 4-cylinder in the small ones.

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Tom, If your keen to do a project and your a relative new beginner to this business I'd keep it relative standard and simple....

There's enough challenges and frustrations (for a first timer) without making the whole process much more complicated...

One advantage for you guys in the UK is that there are proably 1000's of project cars out there waiting for an enthusiastic restorer.

You've already got a Spit, why not get your hands something similar but different... If you want a 6 Cylinder, GT6 or Vitesse for example....

I'll say mind, your on a slippery slope, you'll soon be like many others on here, more cars than you know what to do with... Getting them is easy, fixing them is a challenge, selling them is impossible (they become a part of you).....

P.S. 97.3% of potential projects will be buckets of rust.... Any that aren't have been found long ago. Just a fact of life, you come to accept it in the end..

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mhuk wrote:

That's what I'm going to try and fit into my mk4 spitfire.

if it is a dohc pinto then WHY??

better to use a zetec, much easier to get hold of (ok you have one already) but the zetec is a better engine, and lighter. Lots more stuff available now too I reckon. And it all bolts up to a type 9 nice and easy!

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  As long as you except that you will prob' eat up a good deal of money if you want to do a decent job and a massive amount of time and frustration , I say go for it . It will teach you a vast amount  and if you see it through will give you immense satisfaction . Even if you realise in the end there were better routes to take .

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