Welcome to my Bugeye project

Welcome to my latest project. I am building a 1959 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite with a little twist. I'm putting in a 3.0 V-6 SHO engine.
Be sure to check back for updates on the progress and please leave a comment if you have any questions, feedback or advice for me.

The work continues!

yes i'm still alive and yes the project continues. Haven't blogged about it in some time.
Been working on little things here and there. Started the transmission tunnel frame today with the help of my dad who was in town on a visit.
More to come... trying to get the steering and front suspension started next
Posted by Picasa

Motor Mounts

Here are some detailed pics of the motor mounts. They mount to the brackets where the origional motor mounts mount to on the engine with a lot of modification to those brackets.

I'm not using the airconditioning, so that part of the bracket is cut off.

I'll post some pics of these mounted to the engine soon, but here are the mounts. I got the bushings here: http://www.suspension.com/4-bar.htm

I'm back and the car is upside down

Ok, long time since i posted anything. Finally got around to working on the car again. With the help of my friend Joe i got the car up on the rotisserie and started working on fabricating the subframe i'm building onto this car to give it some strength.

the start of the subframe. two 2x3 rails running the length of the car

more to come...

I got a steering wheel!

Don't you just love it when things work out?

The RX7 steering rack and column might just work out perfectly for this car. Cut a bunch more material away and did some fittings today. And wouldn't you know it all lines up perfectly....after a lot of cutting.

Here is the steering wheel in the car but first...how it got there
cut away the old mounts for the old suspension
more cutting

And then more cuttingfitting the rack. Would you look at how those mounts line up with the frame! Like it was planned!
So far the length of the column and the fittings line up perfectly.

had to cut a bit more out than i wanted to...
and a little more..

but thats it. I need to put the engine back in and make sure it clears everything, but it should (crosses fingers).

Also need to tweak the mounts a little on the rack and column, but its in place and looks like its a winner.

Making progress...


I'm still alive... so is the car

OK we've had some friends stay with us for a while and our driveway is looking like a small british car show. We now have, a Riley Elf, a Morris Minor Woody Wagon, and another Bugeyed Sprite in the driveway. And the fun thing with these cars is that all of them have been broken once, or twice or more in the past several weeks so i've been helping out fixing those as well.

But in addition to that, my friend Joe who is staying with us has been helping me with my project bugeye so progress has been made.

The engine is mounted!!

Joe helped me set the engine in and i made up some engine mounts

Here are the final mounts

We also made it to the junkyard to get some more parts for the project. Picked up a steering rack and column from an RX7, and some front hubs from a Lexus and a driveline from a Ranger.

yeah progress!!!

next is to get the front suspension set up. Need to do more cutting on the front frame to start to get some of those pieces to fit. I'm happy to get back into this project and get this thing moving forward.

Looking for some bushings

anyone know where i can find some polyurethane bushings so i can make some motor mounts like this one?

back to work

Ok i've been tinkering for a bit, but haven't posted lately. Yesterday i was able to get in a full day of working in the garage.

i'm still in the cutting phase. had to get rid of more metal to make stuff fit. I'm starting to work on the front suspension so the fenders had to go
Left fender gone
and now the right
also started the rear bracket for the rotiserie. its almost done.

Geek tool hack

I'm a car guy, but i'm also a big computer nerd. Here is a nice geek tool hack tip for you. If you have an old harddrive laying around before recycling it tear it appart and remove the magnets from it. These are rare earth magnets and are very powerful. They are especially good for holding tools etc.
I put one on my engine hoist. This gives me a quick place to throw the lever that pumps the hoist up and down on the hydraulic piston.
Here it is hung on the magnet. Its works great and i can just throw it there and it grabs the pipe every time. No more fiddling to put the pipe in the holder.
The little magnets are very handy and are great for keeping a tool where you need quick access to it.

starting motor mounts

Still figuring how this thing is going to fit. More cutting today. Starting figuring out motor mounts. To do that i need to cut the exisiting motor mount brackets as they are too big. Here is one getting cut down.
cut and painted and ready to go.

plugging transmission

The rear seals of the Ranger transmissions are notorious for leaking. You can replace the rubber plugs with metal expansion plugs. The right size for these are the 16.2 dorman 555-108 and you can pick them up from Kragen for a little over a buck each.
New seals in place
ready to rock

New design and now back to work

Hello all

I decided to change up the design a little bit. The old one was bugging me. So here it is, new design and now back to work. I'm hoping to get the engine set in place this weekend and start fabricating motor mounts.


modifying Ranger transmission to fit SHO engine

For commenter Daniel. In the upper left corner of the bellhousing you need to cut away a bit of material so it clears on the engine
better detail. its not pretty, but it works great.

There is another picture of this cut somewhere on the internet, but for some reason i can't find it right now. I just cut it out with a grinder and a thin cutting blade. It all bolts up no problem now. And yes i am getting those freeze plugs to fix the leaky seals. Thanks


putting it together

And here is the beast coming together. Modified the trans slightly to get it to fit and it does fit quite nicely. Now i have to get a custom clutch plate made to fit and i'll be cooking.
Posted by Picasa

Behold...the new new new transmission

Yes this is it. Third times the charm. This is the correct transmission for my project. Its a 5 speed transmission out of a 98 3.0 Ranger. 3.0 is the key. First i bought a 4.0 on some bad advice that that would fit. It does not. Then i bought a 2.9 which i thought was a 3.0. It was not. This time i got it right. And i tested it and it fits. Needs a slid modification to fit, but that was expected.
And the project moves forward!
Posted by Picasa

I'm still here

sorry for the lack of updates. I took some time off of the car to do a major remodel on the house. I'm done with that and itching to get back to the car. I think/hope/pray that i just found the transmission i need on craigslist. I'll call the guy tomorrow and hopefully pick it up. Not surprisingly with that engine that i'm using the transmission i need for it is impossible to find. Such is the way with this engine thus far. Hopefully with a right transmission i can get this project back on track.