There is something for everyone in our shop this week. We have a 1275 engine upgrade project (yellow car), an electric conversion (at right), and this blue car above, a race car needing a new engine installed.
The car came to us from California in pieces, which arrived in a cockpit jumble.
The 1275 race engine was rebuilt in Florida, and arrived on a skid. We assembled it, added a baffled large capacity oil pan, and installed it in the racer.
The lightened flywheel is a work of art and super light.
The Tilton clutch is even more impressive… compact, light weight and ceramic.
Many race Sprites, like this one, have the exhaust fed through the tunnel, so the the car can sit as low as possible to the track. You’ll notice that this car really looks like a bug, with short legs.
This car also has very trick suspension components. The right silver and gold set up is the adjustable rear sway bar. The left link is a rigid joint to replace the rubber mounted shock “dog bone.” You can also see the solid and adjustable radius arm in the background on the left. These hard joints make for a very hard ride and are for track use only. Notice also the rear axle check strap, which in this case is chain.
Every seven years you need a new fuel cell bladder and this one was overdue. We dropped the red fuel cell through the boot floor …
… and removed the pick up assembly.
Next, the new bladder (below) goes into the box, followed by 115 octane race fuel. This engine has a 14:1 compression ratio and requires race fuel.
Note that the fuel cell is more of a (yellow) foam matrix than a bladder.
Once installed, the cell is now marked for another seven years. Fill access is through the hatch above the tank. Vent line at left goes overboard.
Here’s the nearly completed car ready for testing. The electric street Bugeye is parked in the background.
And come for a short video drive below… here, we are still breaking-in the engine, and making sure we can shift into all the gears. The engine sounds wonderful! She’s quite quick and very addictive!
Here, the happy owner and race driver arrives. You might recognize Jeff, who also owns a supercharged blue street Bugeye, that he has also taken to track days. Look for this car, his vintage racer, at Lime Rock, Watkins Glen, VIR and more this fall!