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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Triumph Spitfire V6 conversions

I'm starting on a V6 Triumph project and would love to see what others have done.

I wil check out the British car conversion website, but does anyone know of anything other conversions? V6, V8 I4 or rotary? I would love to see what obstacles had been overcome. Alot has to do with the differential, but I would love to see what others have fit.

Thank you in advance!

BMC Brian McCullough

Meet Ye Beast (450 HP from a 383 CID Chevy v8):

And of course, there is the recent Grassroots Motorsports project RoSpit:

Jerry Causey

Brian, years ago my brother-in-law was looking for a spitfire and I found him one with a 90 degree chevy V6 installed in it. The owner was selling it because it was too fast. We finished up the exhaust system, put a new hood on it, took care of some other details, and he and my brother took it for a ride as I was out of town. They said it was extremely loose in the back end, lost traction easily on acceleration, and dearly loved wagging it's tail. He sold it.

I think that is a problem you will need to address somehow. This car had the stock rear axle (Mk-II).

Jim Blackwood

Jerry and Jim,

Thank you for the info!
Seems like the rear axle is the worst part about these.. I kinda gathered that at the track as a kid, back in 1980. ;-) Makes us all want MGs more. Anyways, I really apreciate it because we need to start gathering ideas for differential alterations.

One other thing I have been looking into is engine location and how much of the frame/ body was cut in each transplant to get an idea of the best way to set this and give it the best handling capabilities. Basically, did the racks get moved and if not, where is the engine sitting in relation to ceertain items.


BMC Brian McCullough


For an outstanding example of a V6 Spitfire, check

The workmanship on this is outstanding!
Dan Masters

Very little room on the T S There is 0ne in Camarillo with a Ford V8 only for straigh line and even at that the car is scary.
An employee of Moss Motors had a T S with a Rover V8 he use two hoods to make one, the car was extended alot to fit the V8, same, not a very good handler specially with swin axles in the rear.

The key to a good swap 3 points #2 Is the location of the engine 3. Chassis choice. The pictures of the T S that Dan supplied is one the better T S swaps that I have seen. Please notice where the front of the engine sets in relation to the front axle, it shows that the car is nose heavy.
But then anything is possible, it all depends on what we want. # 1 Purpose of the engine swap this helps to choose the right engine for the choosen chassis.

The engine should set behind the front axle to maintain some balance on the car. this is not to say that the car is not fun to drive under normal conditions, with some suspension mods it could be a real fun car to drive (perhaps that car has such mods)
Bill Guzman

The Grassroots motorsports project Ro Spit is a monster. They built it using a massaged rx-7 engine (which responds to porting like a two stroke), and they re-engineered the rear end at least twice. However the end result- by all reports- is outstanding supercar quick, supercar handling, new Honda Accord price.

looks good in canary yellow to boot.

If you want to get ideas about the various shortcomings and fixes for this platform, there is alot of good information in their 17 or so back issues documenting the project.
Brian Corrigan

Bill Guzman wrote:

"Please notice where the front of the engine sets in relation to the front axle, it shows that the car is nose heavy.


The engine is sitting very near in the same location as the 4-cylinder it replaced. I don't have a Spitfire handy to look at, but from memory, and pictures in books I have, it appears that one cylinder of the stock engine is in front of the axle, and three are behind. In Barry's car (although it's really hard to tell from pictures), it appears that two are in front, and four are behind (with the left bank placed well rearward of the right bank). I would not be at all surprised to find that the V6 actually weighs less than the old 4-banger, so the car should handle better than original.

Whether or not the original handled well is another subject.

You are right, though - engine placement, especially in a small car like this one, is a very important parameter of a swap.

As for the rear axle, there are kits available to improve them considerably. Joe Curry, I believe, markets such a kit. You can see his Honda VTEC engine powered Spitfire at An e-mail link can be found for Joe at the bottom of the above page. I have seen Joe's car in person, and it is awesome!
Dan Masters

There is also a Hemi powered Spit out there somewhere. I used to have a photo and link on my site. It's a 2nd generation car and was upgraded at the last rebuild to over 500 cubic inches. The entire chassis is custom.

Jim Blackwood

How 'bout a 460ci Chevy Spitfire?

No, that is not a typo - it's a 460ci CHEVY, not Ford! You can't believe how many irate e-mails I get from folks telling me how stupid I am because Chevy never made a 460ci engine.
Dan Masters

You know what? I think it was this Bugeyed Sprite I was thinking of:

Jim Blackwood

As much as I am going to enjoy this project, I wouldn't mind a Spridget project since I am a Die-hard Sprite fan... But then again, I love modding the original 'A' series motors too. Doing a 1275cc streeter for a Morris Estate right now that we are taking to Mexico in La Carrera Panamericana race. and
Sorry for sidetracking my own thread, but I am very excited about that as well!

Dan, guys, I think if these guys can shoe horn a BBC, BBF and Chrysler HEMI under there, then I hope to be able to figure out a way to place a little V6 under there... I want it to be a good handling SAFE car to drive for the owner.

As for the rear end, we dont know which way to go yet, but have seen on a few of the conversions how these guys fixed there cars to stay together... Although I think a good 'ol fashioned GM or Ford rear end may be quicker and possible less expensive/troublesome???

BMC Brian McCullough

This thread was discussed between 24/09/2003 and 30/09/2003

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