Mark Warner's 1959 Bugeye Sprite with Nissan L18 4-cylinder engineOwner: Mark Warner
City: Tucson, AZ
Model: 1959 Austin Healey Sprite
Engine: Nissan L18 four cylinder
Conversion performed by: owner
|Engine:||mildly "built" Nissan L18 four cylinder, with "peanut" head and all the
usual stuff including porting, dual Weber 40 DCOE's on a Cannon manifold,
Mallory electronic dizzy.
|Cooling:||the radiator is a Griffin Scirroco, modified to fit the car and it uses
a large diameter pull-thru electric fan.
|Exhaust:||the header is a hand-built, long runner type that dumps into a 2"
exhaust and "turbo" muffler.
|Transmission:||Nissan 200sx "dog-leg" 5 speed (drive shaft is 6" long from U-joint to U-joint!)
|Differential:||Datsun 510 (R160), with 3.7:1 ratio.
|Chassis Mods:||tube frame with integral roll-bar and under-dash hoop. Optimized via
FEA (finite element analysis) for weight and torsional stiffness.
|Front Suspension:||stock Austin Healey bottom A-arm, modified for coil-over. Aftermarket upper
A-arms and Carrera-clone coil-overs (actually, they're from a NASCAR catalog).
Ford spindles. System is very strong, and fully adjustable for camber, caster,
toe, and ride-height.
|Rear Suspension:||based on the Datsun 510's 3.7 ratio R160 (R160 and half-shafts are not
installed in the under-car rear-end photo). Very light/strong rear suspension,
including custom, unequal-length 4130 A-arms and coil-overs. Hub/bearing carriers
are from an early Datsun 280z. Half-shafts are shortened to fit narrow width of car.
The entire suspension is fully adjustable for toe, camber and ride-height.
|Steering:||fast-ratio Sweet Engineering rack and pinion. It's fully adjustable and
currently has zero bump steer, though a good alignment on the car is still needed.
For the time being, I've installed a cheapo, small diameter steering wheel on a
quick release adapter.
|Brakes:||the front brakes are Ford, 10.5" vented disks with Chevy calipers. Rear brakes are
200sx solid disks and JFZ calipers on custom mounts. Dual CNC-made master cylinders
on Neal mount with bias bar. Braided stainless steel flex-lines at all four corners.
Weighing less than 1600 lbs, this car should STOP.
|Wheels/Tires:||(front) Weld Racing 5-lug 16x7's w/Yokohama A520's (205/40VR16s).
(rear) currently, old 4-lug Centerlines with BFG rubber. (5-lug hubs / Weld rims & 225 Yokos are planned.)
|Weight:||1590 lbs w/ perfect 50/50 F/R and side/side distribution.
|Interior:||Paddy Hopkirk racing bucket seats. Aluminum dash (though I'm thinking about
building a carbon-fiber version. (I've always wanted to try that.) Custom
electrical harness is being built this month. Full complement of VDO gauges
(speedo, tach, oil pressure, volts, amps, water temp, fuel).
||not quite completed as of 2000... when we lost touch with Mark.
||The only pieces that remain original British are the body, wipers,
rear-view mirror, front and rear lights, and gas tank. Everything else
on the car is either custom-made, from another car, or heavily modified
from the original. The car is essentially the result of 12+ years of
on-and-off work. Lately, I've been motivated to work on it. I'm hoping
to get it road-worthy soon and to bring the car to Shasta this year.
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