Barry's Spitfire, with a EuroFord 2.8L V6

Barry's Spitfire, with a EuroFord 2.8L V6

(as recorded by Dan Masters)

The following is a copy of a post made to the Triumphs/Spitfires internet mailing list by Barry, and is reprinted here with his permission, along with some photos Barry provided especially for this web page.

The engine (Ford 2.8) is almost stock except for a mild street cam and tube headers (required for installation). I had to modify the oil pan for frame clearance, which consisted of notching the front of the pan for the steering rack and angle notching the right side of the pan (for clearing the suspension mounting assembly). You must use the Capri rear sump pan and oil pump assembly. The EuroFord V6 was derived from a V4 with a balance shaft mounted in the right side of the block. When mounting the engine crankshaft centrally in the frame the engine will appear to be offset to the right. This is the extra material left over from the V4 balance shaft casting, the same basic casting with two extra cylinders added to make it a V6.

Ford Mustang II engine

Ford Cologne engine

Stock mounting locations were used on the frame but required new mounting brackets for the engine. GT6/TR6 engine mounts were used and cooling is handled through a custom-made, four tube, large, crossflow radiator with dual thermostatically controlled electric fans. This car never overheats, even in the hottest weather! The intake system is basically stock with a slight modification to the intake manifold. I milled approximately 1/2 inch off the carburetor mounting flange for under-hood clearance and removed the divider (to alter the two separate plenum chambers into one open plenum). A Weber 40 DFAV carb (siamesed opening of the throttles) feeds "regular" (87 octane) unleaded fuel to the engine. MOBIL-1 15-50 synthetic oil does the oiling job through a heavy-duty high capacity TRW oil pump.

Modifications to the bellhousing consists of machining out the area where the starter mounts, welding in a new section for mounting of the 2600 CAPRI starter (smaller than the stock MUSTANG for frame clearance), and re-drilling/tapping for the starter mounting holes (it sounds worse than it actually was). I also moved the throwout bearing actuating arm from the left to the right side of the bellhousing (again, for clearance). The stock Mustang uses a cable operated clutch and I wanted to keep it hydraulic.

modified bellhousing     Spitfire rebuild

Moving back to the transmission, gear ratios are stock MUSTANG V6 ratios, and seem perfectly suited for the car. The transmission is a Borg-Warner SR-4 MUSTANG V6 4 speed (the newer 5 speed would probably fit but I just haven't gotten around to finding out. I plan on installing one in the next couple of months [see footnote]). I used a Courier/Ford/Mazda clutch slave cylinder mounted on a fabricated bracket to the right side of the transmission. The only other modifications I made were to change the tailshaft extension. This was to bring the shift lever into the stock TRIUMPH mounting location. The extension used was from a 1978 AMC SPIRIT (GREMLIN). This along with the required main shaft was all that was needed. Unfortunately, this modification required making a new transmission yoke to match the rather smallish u-joints TRIUMPH uses.

Mounting of the transmission was handled by manufacturing a new cross member using the 78' transmission mount. Shortening the drive shaft the required amount for the new installation we move on to the rear end! This is the weakest part of the drive train. I blew up three carriers until I finally got it right! I was using the stock SPITFIRE swing spring rear suspension, which is adequate if you use a carrier from a 76 or later Spitfire... but I just couldn't leave well enough alone! I decided to adapt the all-independent GT6+ rear suspension.

The modifications required were to make and weld new mounting brackets for the lower wishbones (now you can buy them), also to manufacture and weld the upper shock mounting brackets into the inner wheel well arches (you can buy these now as well). 1/4" spacers were required at the rear to clear the shocks (wider than stock tires) at the upper wheel locations hence the 49.50" rear track. I also replaced the rotoflex joints and axles with TR6 sliding axle shafts by re-manufacturing the hubs and differential mounting flanges to accept the bigger (stronger) TR6 U-joints with axles. I got real tired of replacing the rotoflex couplings about every three months! Apparently the torque of the little V6 was just too much for the rubber u-joints!

Triumph Spitfire half shafts

Triumph Spitfire rear suspension

As this car is constantly evolving I also just completed installing a Quaife torque sensing diff. I had to replace the 3:27 gears with 3:63 because the Quaife wouldn't accept the 3:27's. With the lower ratio I really could use the 5 speed's overdrive!

I have installed the T5, but that's a whole 'nother page. LOTS of work, involving some frame trimming, tunnel fabrication, mod's, machining etc. but well worth it for this engine and this rear-end ratio!

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