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how 'tunable' is the Spitfire 1500 engine?


Sam C

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Hi all

I'm trying to help my friend decide whether to get either:

(a) a midget / sprite with the 1275 A-series engine; or
(b) a midget with the 1500 engine (which I understand is the same as the Spitfire engine).

(he doesn't want a spitfire / GT6 - because I've got one!)

The reason he's thinking of the smaller bore engine as a starting point is that we're both very familiar with the A series and know there's a wealth of info. and parts to tune it up to a reasonable power.

However, if the same range of tuned cylinder heads etc. is available for the spitfire engine then obviously the bigger bore wouldn't be a bad place to start.

He doesn't think the likely maximum useable and reliable power of 100bhp from an A series (with normal aspriation) is going to be enough. What's feasible with the 1500 spitfire engine (assuming new semi-race cam, ported head, mapped ignition etc.)?

Cheers all

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If he doesn't think 100HP from a 1275 is going to be enough, I don't think he will be happy with the 1500.  Now all my experience is from the 1500 US models, but they really don't like to spin.  More torque, but much less revvy.  Bottom ends are weak and pitiful thrust washer design.  Don't forget, our 1500 engines I think put out 49 HP.    There is a LOT more to choose from when upgrading a 1275 engine than a 1500 engine.    

If someone here has the magic answer for the 1500 I sure would like to hear it.  

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The 1500 is very tuneable although it's never going to rev. But the 1500 Midget is a horrible rubber bumpered thing! If he wants a Triumph engine tell him to get a Triumph!
If it must be an MG, 1275 all the way, bored out to 1340 perhaps  :) Or even fit a K series...

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That's great - very helpful, thank you.

He doesn't especially want a triumph engine - it's rather that all (or at least most) of the rubber bumper midgets come with the 1500 spitfire engine.

This is going to essentially be kitted out as a track car - debumpered and fairly stripped -and it would be a shame to do this to anything other than the rubber bumper model.

He's also quite keen to hone tuning skills rather than shoehorning in modern engines - something he's done once already with a VTEC mini he built (hence the need for really quite bonkers power in order to create somthing similarly fun!).

I think, from what you've said, a turbo'd 1275 / 1330 may be the way to go - perhaps with a fairly ropey midget or sprite as the starting point.

Thanks for your help.

Cheers

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When installed in the Midget, the 1500 engine has a reputation for throwing a rod through the side of the block.  I heard that this was due to oil cooling problems - the air flow around the bottom of the engine is much restricted in a midget compared to a Spitfire.

The 1500 is not a revvy engine, unlike the Triumph 1300 or A-series 1275.  I run a tuned 1500 in my Spitfire which has been fully balanced but, after advice from other owners, I am still reluctant to spend too long above the red line for fear of throwing a rod.

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