With the frame being nearly complete, the next step with the car is getting the new drive train fitted. I’ve been contacting several people who have done the same swap to their cars, each individual doing their swap slightly differently. I have been chatting with Steve once again with his Miata swapped Spitfire and he has been a bank of knowledge and skill – incredibly helpful. I can’t thank everyone enough that has helped me with this, I couldn’t have done any of this without you guys.
With that being said, the premise is basically the same – measure, cut weld, repeat. I’ve given my head a bit of a shake and I’m ready to get back in gear with the car. Hopefully anyone else that is hoping to put a Miata motor into a GT6 will be able to learn greatly from the next few posts. Let’s get started.
I’ve received nothing but compliments about the cleanliness of the shop, not only from people interested in the restoration but also from people who couldn’t care less about cars. I plan to keep it that way. I decided to start with the “firewall” if you want to call it that.
Busting the angle grinder out, I cut out the required section to fit the new motor. All I have been working with is reference photos so far, so I cut the section out that is the most common. Cutting the firewall to the farthest extent possible while still allowing space for the heater core hoses allows me to push the motor as far back as possible into the cabin which equates to overall better weight distribution. I decided that cutting the body up on the floor would do less damage overall as opposed to cutting it on my frame and getting grinding dust in less than desirable places. I’m happy I went with this route.
After blending down the cut and my knuckle, the shop was swept down and closed up for the night.
Fast forward to two weeks later, I… convinced a couple of friends with Indian/Iraqi cuisine to help me lift the body back onto the car. Originally we were going to have four of us lift the body back on however we were’t able to get another person to help the night that I wanted to make the move. Jokes aside; I was on the front while Mike and John worked the back. After about 30 minutes of talking through a plan, abusing the new toilet at the shop and cracking jokes at one another we were good to go. After about 3 minutes of pain, the body was back on in the correct position with absolutely no issues… weird.
We decided to fit the bonnet on the frame as well to take advantage of our productivity/luck. We looked at it for a half hour, satisfied and happy. This is a huge step in the right direction and I couldn’t have done it without their help. The finished frame looks phenomenal peeking out underneath the body.
I’ve made huge changes in my spending the last little while. The Evolution is gone and a new car is on its way. Combining car payments, gas, insurance and maintenance I should be saving about $500 per month by switching to the new vehicle. This should help push the Triumph along quite nicely and help me save for a house; 2016 should be a fantastic year.
Fortunately, this part of the process is the cheap part. In the near future I will be documenting and detailing every step of this swap. This will include frame modifications, transmission tunnel/body modifications, drive shaft geometry, the hybrid driveshaft modifications, motor mount locations and geometry, fuel tank modifications (I plan on keeping the stock tank), exhaust routing, clutch modifications, electronics, any applicable re-routing of components, hardware and naturally a ton of pictures.
This should be fun – stay tuned.