Bob Chartier's turbocharged Mazda-powered 1965 Austin Healey Spriteas published in BritishV8 Magazine, Volume XVI Issue 2, October 2008
Owner: Bob Chartier
City: Cave Creek, AZ
Model: 1965 Austin Healey Sprite
Engine: turbocharged Mazda 1.6L
Conversion performed by: owner
|Engine:||1992 Mazda Miata MX5, 1.6 liter, stock engine block, cylinder head,
and camshafts. Turbocharger and intercooler. Stock intake manifold,
440cc/min injectors, Walbro fuel pump, Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator,
Miata throttle-body. Electromotive Tec-2 engine management
(and direct ignition) system.
|Cooling:||Volkswagen radiator with 2 electric fans.
|Exhaust:||2" diameter exhaust system, with shortened glasspack muffler.
|Transmission:||Mazda Miata 5-speed (stock) with modified shifter placement.
Stock Miata clutch. Custom made driveshaft to mate Miata transmission
with RX-7 rear axle.
|Rear Axle:||narrowed 1984 Mazda RX-7 axle with limited slip differential.
|Front Suspension:||custom, with new fabricated upper and lower A-arms, telescoping shock
absorbers (which replace the original lever-arm shocks), and stock
Sprite coil springs.
|Rear Suspension:||solid axle with leaf springs, anti-tramp bars and Panhard rod.
|Wheels/Tires:||stock 13" wire wheels and Kumho 155R13 tires.
|Brakes:||Wilwood 3 master-cylinder pedal assembly (with bias bar).
Front: Honda Civic discs and calipers.
Rear: Mazda rotors with Wilwood main and e-brake calipers.
|Electrical:||Painless wiring harness. Dolphin gauges.
|Other Mods:||original bonnet and front fenders replaced with a fiberglass "Bugeye"
style front end, with custom hinges and hold-downs. Body converted to
"round wheel arch" style. Fabricated (oversize) transmission tunnel.
Extensively reinforced chassis. Custom stainless steel wire-mesh grille.
Shaved door handles. Custom badges. Custom lockable storage compartment
(behind the seats). Roll hoop. Stereo audio system.
||May 2008. (Has driven about 600 miles, as of September.)
How It Was Done
Engine Installation and Mechanical Details
Preparing the Sprite Bodyshell
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Test Fitting the Engine, and Making Required Body Mods
Preparing the Modified Body for Painting
Front Suspension and Brakes
Rear Suspension and Brakes
The Completed Conversion