After the successfull hunt for VW was over and we had banished the remains to the crusher,there would be a celebration with lots of German beer and dancing, while our spirits were high and we were feeling all sporty , everyone would rush out to the shed and help build one of these :- A little VW ( new born Porsche) little VW (new born Porsche)
The invasion of V W 's from Europe caught me off guard for a while and I went off on a tangent into kit -cars, the Spyder is more of a replica while being a classic , however it is really a modified in the true sense when you take the power unit into consideration . Full Big-bore ( race spec ) Type 1 Air-cooled 2-3 litre "SCAT",straight out of California USA with a suggested ? power output of 235BHP .. Just think of the power to wieght ratio and the difficulty transmitting that much power through those tiny rear tyres ? the car was a form of missle !!
Guess you thought I was joking when I suggested dropping the giant Scat motor into the Spyder ? But no ! I do get these crazy ideas once in a while, so here goes, witness the heart transplant for yourself !
I need to continue the story on the MG Midget V8 which got underway earlier but managed to get side tracked by VW and other things so here goes:- The first problem was to ensure that I could actually get a V8 together with a suitable transmission into the chassis. It was originally decided that an auto-trans was going to be fitted so that would reguire a much larger tunnel area to be made in order to accommodate a torque- converter, housing and scatter shield ,which involved considerable modifications to that section of the bulkhead as seen in the following photo's :-
The next stage was to locate the engine in situ and start to solve all sorts of problems with things like manifolds, down -pipes etc , there were a few headaches but nothing a few beers and a big hammer would not fix. All the time this was progressing I had to bear in mind every step had to take into account future developements that might be needed to improve the installation as more power was needed.
I decide to experiment with the cooling system in order to get a bit more room to install a big radiator and so the water pump went in favour of a constant displacement electric water pump which could be controled by a manual switch over riding a thermal coupling and allowing circulation to continue after the motor was shut down.Plus this was less power drained from the engine .
One area of importance with a small installation like an MG Midget is access to the various ancillaries like starter motor, manifolds , etc it is very annoying to discover that you have a mall function with something like the starter and then realize that to repair it necessitates removing the whole power unit. As a technican I am often confronted with ridiculus situations where access to one bolt can mean the difference between engine out or not, particularly with german built vehicles. To improve under bonnet access for rapid component change a two piece front -end was manufactured which solved all sorts of problems and saved considerable wieght at the same time.
Quite a stretch from the old relic that dragged itself into our workshop a few months earlier,nearly ready for the first test run, thats always a fun day !
This is the old dog that dragged itself into the workshop a few months earlier !!
The rear end (Diff) in the MG was never going to hold up with the power of V8 engine so while converting to another axle I used the opportunity to change to 4LINK COIL-OVER rear suspension with a panhard rod which allowed for some ride-tuning and height adjustment . The narrowest axle available with the possiblity of standing up to the power turned out to be a Triumph TR4 live-axle (Rally- spec ) with an LSD which proved to be an excellent choice. A race foam filled safety fuel tank went in and we were ready to go testing.