Bugeye + A15 + 5 speed = ??

Any topics pertaining to engine transplants (non-BMC powerplants). If you've dropped a big-block in your bugeye, this is the forum for you.

Bugeye + A15 + 5 speed = ??

Postby Bugstr60 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:24 am

Hi all
I'm rebuilding a 1960 Bugeye with my 15 YO son here in New Zealand. The car had a hard life before we got it - we think people tried to make it shorter by squashing it between 2 other cars at speed!
We've done a fair bit of panel work and are getting there slowly.

Along the way we've decided to go the Datsun A15 + 5 speed route as it's been done many times before & seems fairly straightforward.
Looking at the posts though, there is a difference in opinion as to just what needs to be modified to get it to fit and we'd like to canvass an opinion on the 'best' method from the knowledge & experience of others.
Some of the posts are quite old and so we were hoping for some words of wisdom from those earlier conversions & how they've worked out over time. Any pictures of modifications needed would be appreciated too.

Thanks in advance for any & all assistance.
Cheers

Mark & Matthew

P.S. - we had trouble adding this post so apologies if it appears a few times!!
Bugstr60
Pit Crew
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:18 am

Re: Bugeye + A15 + 5 speed = ??

Postby Rod H » Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:10 pm

I'm not sure about the A15 engine, but, some of the datsun engine are kind of tall. With the carb on top of the manifold, keeping it under the hood with an airfilter might be an issue. You might look into the availablity of side draft carbs.
Also, when incresing the power in these little cars, rear axles tend to break or twist. I used the mazda RX-7 pre 1986 rear-end and it has worked out well.

Rod
User avatar
Rod H
1098cc
 
Posts: 257
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 12:12 pm
Location: Yorba Linda, CA

Re: Bugeye + A15 + 5 speed = ??

Postby bugeye1600 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:41 am

Hi Mark and Matthew,
Prior to building my Ford 1600 powered Bugeye, I owned a Mk 3 with a Datsun A14 and 5 speed box and the thing was a misery.
The engine is quite tall compared to a Sprite engine and, in the Mk 3, which has a less sloping nose than a Bugeye, the engine was nose down in the engine bay to get bonnet clearance. I did a bit of work on it and managed to get the engine to sit level (This was the best I could do under a standard bonnet line) and sourced an early Pulsar manifold (same engine but east/west) to get the carby to sit level. The sump hung well below the chassis rails. Not a good conversion at all.
I would never have a Datsun powered Sprite again, especially in a Bugeye, for this reason and the fact they are not a particularly powerful engine, parts for both engine and box are getting hard to find and mine sounded like a road registered vacuum cleaner!
If you want to talk Ford Kent 1600/Celica 5 speed as a conversion, drop me a line!
Steve
bugeye1600
Pit Crew
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:40 am

Re: Bugeye + A15 + 5 speed = ??

Postby Bugstr60 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:59 pm

Hi Steve, I'm having trouble replying to this post so if this works, I'll reply properly.
Mark
Bugstr60
Pit Crew
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:18 am

Re: Bugeye + A15 + 5 speed = ??

Postby Bugstr60 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:01 pm

I don't know what I did that time but it worked!
I've tried to reply heaps of times and when I submit, I'm told to login although I already had. So then I login and the post I had typed is lost!
Anyone know what I'm doing wrong?
Cheers
Mark
Bugstr60
Pit Crew
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:18 am

Re: Bugeye + A15 + 5 speed = ??

Postby Bugstr60 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:33 pm

Hi Steve, hopefully this post will work.....all I have done differently is to preview my post & then submit it & it seems to work, so here goes again!

Thanks for the info about the Ford crossflow - I'm pretty familiar with them as I used to rally a Ford Escort in England back in the early 1980's. Initially we ran a Lotus Twincam and later a crossflow - great memories!
There was really two reasons for looking at the Datsun option. Firstly I was told about the connection between the Datsun A series and the original motor and secondly, I was offered a good running A15 + 60 series 5 speed for around NZ$600 which kind of sealed the decision really.

I don't know why I haven't been able to get the posts to work but things have moved ahead in the meantime.
We took the standard manifolds off as the standard carb would give clearance issues but then with the Datsun motor & box sat on the ground next to the original, there really was very little difference - yes things are a different shape so there would be clearance issues but overall the sizes were very similar.

We weren't keen on cutting back the front crossmember & so we removed the sump & pickup pipe which then allowed the unit to be slotted into the space. We made a timber packer for the rear of the gearbox to simulate a rubber mount and then positioned the motor where we wanted it and fabricate engine mounts. I was going to reuse the originals if I could but it was easier & neater to custom make new ones.

The steering rack crossmember is an issue so we cut it and fabricated a new support a bit like later Midgets. This is a boxed in affair, welded to the main crossmember. We have also made provision for a detachable brace to bridge the gap although this isn't made yet.

Although not really needed, we 'relieved' the bottom edge of the heater plenum slightly just to give a little more clearance when installing/removing the motor & box. We also ground off the cast rib on the top part of the gearbox bellhousing for the same reason.

For the sump I will slice the bottom off it, turn it around & then reweld to create a rear sump with a lengthened pick up pipe to suit. We've dummied this up & it gives enough clearance for the front crossmember. The sump will hang below the chassis rails and so we may reduce it's height but incease it's width to maintain oil volume - we'll have to work that out as we go.

The bottom of the front crossmember needed replacing so we took the opportunity to add an extra brace inside the section before welding on a new bottom made from thicker steel - hopefully this should help to withstand the knocks and the misplaced trolley jacks a little better than standard!

Lastly, we've added gussets between the front crossmember and the chassis rails.

So, I think we've made some progress although it's taken a while. We have some photo's so I'll ask Matthew to try & upload those - he should probably have done the post, as the teenager he probably would have got it to work first time! Ah well!!

Hopefully we'll now be able to post more regularly.

Cheers Mark & Matthew
Bugstr60
Pit Crew
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:18 am

Re: Bugeye + A15 + 5 speed = ??

Postby nomad » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:13 am

I have done the A15 and 5 speed swap and love it. It was put in a mk2 midget using the rivergate trans mount and home made intake and exhaust. Stock carb sits to high but the engine in general is shorter than most overhead cam units. Front left motor mount fits on the stock spridget mount, right clamps on the frame rail using mgb mount. exhaust was fabbed from an old mgb header and intake uses a HS6 SUon a welded plenum intake. Not a world beater but I don't want to break axles either. It gets better fuel econmy and will run with modern traffic easily. I chose it because the 5 speed is so popular and it fits rather easily. I modified the pan and cut the front brace as well.

Kurt.
nomad
Pit Crew
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:59 am

Re: Bugeye + A15 + 5 speed = ??

Postby Bugstr60 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:01 pm

Hi Nomad
glad to hear someone has followed a pretty similar route. We were going to use the standard mounting position on the LH side and I even fabricated the bits etc and mounted the motor in place. It worked fine but the mounts supported the motor at slightly different angles which I wasn't so keen on and the more I looked at it, the more I thought that I was going to be happier if the mounts were the same on both sides. So... out came the motor again and we now have a mounting welded to the frame each side and a fabricated bolt on mount for the motor - this allows us to use a standard 'universal' off the shelf rubber mount from the local parts shop.
Regards
Mark
Bugstr60
Pit Crew
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:18 am

Re: Bugeye + A15 + 5 speed = ??

Postby nomad » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:21 am

Glad to here your swap is coming along. I'll admit that I have a bit more engine vibration felt in the car than I would like. Only at idle. Have you come up with a radiator yet? I used an late midget radiator out of the 1500 car and turned it upside down so that it offsets to the cars left and does'nt interfere with the fresh air intake. Works well with no overheating problems even in 100+ F temps. You are in the land of the H89 datsun head. i was lucky to get one of these that were never used here. I attribute my good gas mileage and good power to that head. If you know of any I'd love to get another since my Datsun swapping into spridgets isn't threw yet.
BTW, my mum is from NZ! I've got a bunch of relatives down there and plan on visiting kiwi land one of these days.

Kurt.
nomad
Pit Crew
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:59 am

Re: Bugeye + A15 + 5 speed = ??

Postby Bugstr60 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:49 pm

Thanks for the radiator ideas, we haven't got that far yet. Next is to replace the chassis extensions (already cut off) and this will give me the radiator supports back in place, so we can start loking at the cooling then. Also have some repairs around the bulkhead area and need to fit the outer A pillars & get the front end fitting, although that needs some repairs too. We decided to sort the motor fitment out and then refit the front suspension temporarily so it could be sat back down on its wheels to make sure we get the panel alignment right - just waiting for some bushes to arrive.

We're new to the datsun engines so learning as we go. A friend of a friend used to race the same motor & is pretty clued up so I'll ask the question about the head.

We need to get a hydraulic clutch fork and a new datsun slave cylinder but they were used on LHD and so we never had them here in NZ (RHD) - I've checked on ebay and you see them listed so will probably go that route.

Where was your Mum & family from?. We're in Auckland.
Bugstr60
Pit Crew
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:18 am

Re: Bugeye + A15 + 5 speed = ??

Postby nomad » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:30 pm

Hello, wanted to mention while I'm thinking of it that a friend is running the stock radiator recored with an extra row off core's. My rad guy would'nt do that since he thought he could'nt guarantee that it would be reliable.(little room).

Yes you will need the hydraulic throw out arm but don't bother with the Datsun slave cylinder. If you fit it you will find the clutch pressure to be unbearable. The stock Datsun master is around 5/8 " and the slave around 3/4" but your stock sprite master is 7/8" or 3/4" if you have changed to disc brakes and disc master. I tryed it since Rivergate uses it in their kit then I did some investigation and math! I ended up using the brit 7/8" slave cylinder mounted upside down with mods and homemade mount. I have the 3/4" master of course. I would recommend getting hold of Gerard at http://gerardsgarage.com. He hangs out on the British Car Forum mainly on the Spridgets list. He has the old Morris Service kit now which uses the Datsun clutch to swap the 5 sp onto 1275 brit. He has an adapter for the brit slave to the Datsun trans which I was going to use but could not fit it with the power unit in the car. No room because of the frame rail so the adapter would have to be fitted before the engine go'es inthe final time.

I have relatives in Auckland just not sure who. My sister keeps up with them all and I only know a couple. My mothers maiden name was Weatherall so I'm sure there are some in the phone book. She grew up around Christchurch.
nomad
Pit Crew
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:59 am

Re: Bugeye + A15 + 5 speed = ??

Postby Bugstr60 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:57 am

Thanks for the comments.
Haven't looked into yet but was thinking a larger core may do the job especially as we don't get really hot temps. An alloy one would be good but is probably going to be too pricey!
Interesting comments about the slave cylinder etc. We haven't changed yet but intention is for 3/4 MC and my understanding was that the Datsun slave was 3/4 giving a good 1:1 setup. I've seen some of Gerard's posts so I think it would be worth sending him an emai.

Checked the directory & you may well have a few relations in the Auckland area! I hope that your mum's family were ok thru the Christchurch earthquakes - it's a real mess down there, almost unrecognisable as Christchurch but the Contabrians have amazing tenacity.
Bugstr60
Pit Crew
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:18 am

Re: Bugeye + A15 + 5 speed = ??

Postby nomad » Wed May 02, 2012 8:56 am

Been gone awhile! I have a cousin and niece in Christ Church who both came thru OK. My mother recieved some papers from there and it is really a shame such a beautiful old city was hit so hard. My uncle used to own Lake Ohau station on the south island and I hope to get down there to visit someday. Its now a resort and I won't be able to do the hunting and fishing my dad raved about when he was down there but still wnat to see it.

I think you will find, as I did, that a 1 to 1 ratio on the clutch is unbearable. I don't remember exactly how the math worked out to copy Datsuns ratio but a 3/4 to 7/8 worked out closely and gives me a nice clutch.

If your friend could come up with a head I would make it worth while. Can't find them over here. A twin SU setup would be great as well!!!

Good luck
Kurt.
nomad
Pit Crew
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:59 am


Return to Lumps

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest