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Alex

Re positioning a 6 pot

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I’m currently rebuilding a herald 1200 convertible and I’m intending to fit a 2.0 6 pot with a 3 rail gearbox. 

Id like to move the engine back but am unsure the easiest way for maximum reward. 

Ill be fitting hs4s if that makes any difference ?

I’ve already decided to fit a Gt6 heater and I’m fitting the battery in the boot. 

Any ideas,tips etc?

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Hello Alex,

Welcome....... I'm presuming you are the Andover Alex...... finally done with that Spitfire and getting on with a real car.  Though I don't recall a 6 cyl in the plan before??

Overdrive gearbox?

Nick

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Hi Nick hope all is good with you?

Yes that’ll be mE :-)

The simple answer is I found a nice recon overdrive box for a very good price so plans changed.

I did intend to go for a 1500 spitfire engine ( which I have) but the gearbox came up and as a result I was offered a 2000 engine so thought why not.

Now I’ve decided that if I’m going to build it then why not build it and have some fun too :-) ......but here lie the problems.

I don’t know what I’m doing :-)

Alex 

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Hi Alex,

Sounds like some project drift setting in.  Now, as you know, I do like a Vitesse. However I'm going to play devils advocate here.

You may also remember that I had scrufulous old Herald 1200 with 1500 Dolly running gear many years ago. It was shed to look at but actually a very capable vehicle that covered many miles as my daily transport. At peak development it had about 90 bhp totally docile, OD, Vitesse brakes (decent pads in type 14 callipers would have been mostly adequate) and 3.89 diff. It was fast enough, cruised happily at 80+,handled nicely and was good on fuel.

My point? You can make Vitesse-alike from a Herald but it's quite a bit of work and takes many more parts than engine and box to do properly (bigger brakes essential). With the engine in the usual place the Herald poise is lost. You are onto this, but the engine shift is a lot effort with all kinds of knock-on effects. Not seen this done with a Vitesse before, though surely someone has...... Conversely, a 1500 conversion will get you 90% there for 40% the effort and minimal concerns over legal/registration aspects. Of course, if you've become hooked on 6 cyl music then....... you have a problem. Welcome to my world!

Nick

 

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To be completely honest I think it’s the sound of the 6 as much as anything. 

Ive driven a vitesse and enjoyed it but prefer the look of a 1200 bonnet. The way I’m figuring is if I’m building it why not build what I really want. I think I’d always feel I was missing out with a 4 pot. For proper handling I still have my spitfire and I fully understand the herald/6pot will be somewhat of a compromise in this area. 

Oh and I’m looking to make it a daily driver .... if I’m allowed :-)

Alex

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Ah yes the wail of a Straight Six at full chat!  Once you are seduced by the Pipes of Pan you are enslaved forever  :smile: However as Nick points out getting a Vitesse to handle with all that weight out front (like 50%) more and forward from the Herald position isn't easy, unless as you plan you move it back about 6" which means chopping out the bulkhead where the heater matrix sits and strengthening it all up.  Also not sure (but no doubt other will chip in) whilst moving a 4 speed box back 6 " is easily achieved, I think doing so with an OD unit does require cutting and reworking the chassis rails, I also think you start running into chassis clearance issues for the starter motor/bell housing bulge, and likewise you are into custom made exhaust headers as it very tight in there.

Its fairly easy to get 90bhp out of a 1500 engine, whilst still having good torque and road manners, which compared to the quoted 100 bhp (ish) for the 2ltr six is fairly good value, and when you start rebuilding/tuning the 6 remember everything is 50% more expensive.

I'd have thought it wouldn't take much to mate the 3 rail OD box to the 1500 engine,  Nick?

Not trying to talk you out of it, everyone should have a 6!

Alan

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Good words from Alan, and Nick, as always.  I'll add that the Six was always a tight fit in the Herald engine bay.   There are subtle differences to the radiator mounts, front valance and possibly the cross bar behind the bumper, without which the engine, radiator cleatnce is zero.

So moving it back a bit is a good idea.    If the side engine mounts go behind the turrets, this can gain you a full half inch! Substantial spacers could get more.

  Next, using a saloon front mount, like a Spitfire one, part of the front engine plate, will get you NINE inches, and a while world of pain, as Alan described in major bulkhead and chassis mods.   And gearbox extension too!

But good luck, whatever you decide to do!

John

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I have pondered before, but done nothing more than visually measured, but I think there is a neat 8"  further back mounting position that retains existing Vitesse/GT6 engine mounts.

If you swap the suspension turrets left to right, you end up with the mounting holes on the back side of the turrets. Has to be Vitesse or GT6 turrets as Spitfire/Herald ones are not symmetric on the engine centre line.  I think when I measured this it was about the depth of the bulkhead where the heater matrix sits, so didn't require chopping into the vertical part of the bulkhead.  Won't save the chassis mods though!

Alan

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Turning the turrets is the way the GT6 boys do it - and there are a few of those about.  Mostly the same challenges.

Getting the OD perched comfortably without butchering the chassis and still having somewhere for a handbrake is a challenge. As is creating space for the inlet tract without leaving the clutch master homeless.

My Vitesse has the engine back maybe 1" from the factory spot, just by slotting holes and with the other (mild) suspension mods it actually handles pretty well. Doesn't have the sharp pointy-ness of a good Herald though.

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4 hours ago, Alex said:

The way I’m figuring is if I’m building it why not build what I really want.

And with those sixteen words, you guaranteed you'll always have a place here...

 

:biggrin:

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I have exploited every trick to move the engine back in the GT6 and I believe the benefits are there.  Without cutting the bulkhead my race motor is fractions from touching.  I know nothing about the Vitesses but I do believe it's worthy

 

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Thanks for the input so far.....

Does anyone know how close the bellhousing will be to the floors in the standard position?

I have to bulkheads.....one has no floors and is on a chassis the other has one floor but is on end in the garage as I’m replacing the floors.

What if I added an extension to the engine mount cage? That bolts to the block......perhaps could just get away with a few inches here and there so half way between a 4 and a 6 pot?

 

alex

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Vitesse is a 4 seat (well almost) GT6 with fins. And a rubber chassis. All the torsional rigidity of a warm credit card.

Predume you mean every trick within the rules of your race series Steve?

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I think anything you can gain will help weight distribution and the perennial space problems at the front (worse with 1200 bonnet).

IMO the best approach is get the engine and box bolted together (you'll need a Vit/GT6 backplate, saloon one is different), get some Vit/GT6 engine mounts then sit the chassis on some stands and improvise a trolley the engine can sit on so you can move it around in the chassis. Bell will hit the chassis inner flanges before the floors. These flanges can be bent down and away with adjustable spanner. You can then pop the bulkhead on to see how much shit you caused yourself and eithe reconsider or get chopping!

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32 minutes ago, Nick Jones said:

Vitesse is a 4 seat (well almost) GT6 with fins. And a rubber chassis. All the torsional rigidity of a warm credit card.

Predume you mean every trick within the rules of your race series Steve?

LOL, yes.  The rules are very important to me and I will never endure the dishonour of cheating.  That never goes away if you are even once identified as such

 

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22 minutes ago, Nick Jones said:

I think anything you can gain will help weight distribution and the perennial space problems at the front (worse with 1200 bonnet).

IMO the best approach is get the engine and box bolted together (you'll need a Vit/GT6 backplate, saloon one is different), get some Vit/GT6 engine mounts then sit the chassis on some stands and improvise a trolley the engine can sit on so you can move it around in the chassis. Bell will hit the chassis inner flanges before the floors. These flanges can be bent down and away with adjustable spanner. You can then pop the bulkhead on to see how much shit you caused yourself and eithe reconsider or get chopping!

Thanks Nick,

Sounds like a good plan! 

Im not sure what back plate is currently fitted....anybody know how to tell?

The engine has no ears on the front plate so I’m assuming it’s been in a small chassis car already however the sump touches the rack so maybe not.....

 

alex

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35 minutes ago, Alex said:

Im not sure what back plate is currently fitted....anybody know how to tell?

If it fits your gearbox it's the right one. If it doesn't, it isn't.

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Here's a picture of a GT6 Alloy one for comparison.

http://www.jamespaddock.co.uk/rear-engine-plate-alloy211514a-2

Just thought I'd unzip the Vitesse and take a peek just in case she was lonely since Shelsley last week end, and also to eye ball a few measurements for you.

The engine will move back an inch before removing the heater matrix or starting to cut the bulkhead (although I think I have seen a thread somewhere "maybe on here" where someone reduced the thickness of the heater matrix by maybe an inch or two. 

I could move the engine back 3" before the carbs foul the bulkhead, I don't think there is as much room with the MK2 head and manifold.  Anyway at that point your into relocating the clutch master cylinder, However looking inside there is loads of room up out of the way to mount a clutch master inside the bulkhead behind the peddle.

I was wrong about the starter bulge on the bell housing that sits well above the chassis rail and looks as though it could move way back.  I recon the engine back plate would start fouling the chassis rail after moving engine back about 4 ", but it would first hit the flange and as Nick says these could be bent to give more room.

On tother side  I think the once you have trimmed a bit off the bulkhead to clear the engine plate next problem is going to be oil filter. Don't think it would be practical to retain a spin on or angled spin on, but I think a remote filter take off like I have would slide back their neatly without having to cut into passenger footwell bulkhead, and a remote filter is just so much nicer to work with.

Alan

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Now Alan I can’t help but think your drifting to my way of thinking just a little bit?

Thank you for taking the time, that’s a big help!

Im still at the cutting and chopping out rust stage at the moment so will be a while before really gain any ground.

I decided to use a saloon bulkhead as the convertible one is just so far gone!

F2988EEA-04D8-45D3-9376-1DA3AA346BAF.jpeg

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So this is the current state of play......chassis has been done for about 3 years but other projects stopped play. 

Tub is almost fully welded....just a few little areas forsurface rust around the hood area.

 

7095C4AE-6565-4F5D-93C6-795ABF403237.jpeg

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1 hour ago, GT6Steve said:

LOL, yes.  The rules are very important to me and I will never endure the dishonour of cheating.  That never goes away if you are even once identified as such

 

Indeed, my point being that it's the rules that are the limiting factor rather than your creativity 

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11 minutes ago, Alex said:

So this is the current state of play......chassis has been done for about 3 years but other projects stopped play. 

Tub is almost fully welded....just a few little areas forsurface rust around the hood area.

 

7095C4AE-6565-4F5D-93C6-795ABF403237.jpeg

Bulkhead seems to have a bit (quite a bit) missing....... getting that back in the right place will be a challenge!

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You think I’ve done it wrong?.....oops

How hard can it be ....bit of metal glue should sort it then I’ll just try a big hammer to reposition?

 

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The fun part comes towards the end when you are trying to fit the whole meccano set together and matters like door gaps, bonnet fit and whether the hood frame will meet the screen surround, all loom large. These cars are cow to do even when all the parts are fairly original.

The front outrigger position and the bulkhead attachment points are key datum points and even quite small errors can be a big headache.........

Just saying be careful and good luck really!

 

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