Joe Curry's 1963 Spitfire, with VTEC Engine from a Honda S2000as published in BritishV8 Magazine, Volume XVII Issue 1, July 2009
Owner: Joe Curry
City: Sahuarita, AZ
Model: 1963 Triumph Spitfire
Engine: Honda VTEC (2L 16V inline 4)
|Engine:||Honda "VTEC" 1998cc, 16 valve, dual overhead cam, four cylinder engine from a 2000 Honda "S2000". Stock Honda ECU.
|Cooling:||Pontiac Fiero radiator.
|Exhaust:||single 4" Corvette-type side pipe, fed by a Honda tuned header.
|Transmission:||stock Honda S2000 6-speed gearbox. Custom driveshaft with slider at the rear
to mate with Corvette Dana 36 differential.
|Rear Axle:||Dana 36 with 3.55:1 ratio and limited slip differential, from a late 90's Corvette.
|Front Susp.:||300 pound custom springs with SPAX adjustable gas-charged shocks.
|Rear Susp.:||custom dual wishbone suspension, featuring Koni aluminum coilover shocks
and 250 pound Hypercoil springs.
(front) stock Triumph GT6 disk brakes.
(rear) stock Triumph GT6 drum brakes.
|Wheels/Tires:||Panasport 15x6 wheels with Kuhmo Supra Ecsta 205-55R15 tires.
|Electrical:||Pioneer AM/FM/ CD with electric antenna.
|Instruments:||Autometer gauges (speedometer, tachometer, water temperature, oil temperature,
oil pressure, and fuel level).
|Interior:||custom upholstery, including embroidered "Spitfire" motif on the headrests.
|Weight:||~1850 pounds, including roll bar and hardtop.
|Completed:||May 2000. (Driven approximately 2000 miles, as of March 2009.
|Comments:||I installed the water and oil temp senders without affecting the stock ones so
I wouldn't need to mess with the ECM. I wanted to be able to monitor the temp of both
fluids from gages in the dash. The oil temp sender mounting was unique. I didn't want
to mess with the finned aluminum oil pan so I rigged up the drain plug with the
sender in it. The water sender is mounted in a housing that I made in the connection
between the heater inlet and return hoses. I took an in-line shut-off valve and
stripped out the guts, then threaded an adapter into it, and in turn installed
the temp sender.
The only difficulty I've had so far with the engine installation is that you have to trick the ECU into believing that all the stock sensors and emissions equipment is still functioning. This is mostly working, but occasionally I get a "check engine" light. I installed an ECU reset switch on the dash so I don't have to stop the car when that happens.
How It Was Done:
I had to make a massive hole in the firewall to fit the engine because it's mounted
about a foot further to the rear than the original engine.
The two collector tubes off the Honda headers were cut off short to later be modified to fit.
A hole in the bonnet was made for clearance to the top of the engine.
Before sidepipes were mounted, the original design involved mounting the exhaust in the passenger side
floor area. An elaborate shield was fabricated to keep the heat contained.
The driveshaft is only 25 1/8" long.
The cowl induction hood scoop had to be cut down, since it was about 1.5 feet too long.
How It Turned Out:
Joe originally built the car for autocrossing. Later, he made it more civilized...