Swapping a Suzuki Swift
1.3 liter Twin Cam
Engine Into A Bugeye Sprite
Use of this information is at your own risk

The receiving Bugeye can be seen at:



New set of pictures.















Bugzuki came back from the paint shop today, all except the hardtop. The hardtop goes in on Monday for the stripe.


I think my motor mounts are too stiff. Feels almost like solid mounts. I will have to look at them at some future time.

BUGZUKI went to the paint shop today. Paint will be black with 8" wide racing stripe and a 1/4" stripe on each side of the main stripe. The Paint scheme includes the hardtop. I will post pictures as soon as I get the car back and trim reinstalled.


BUGZUKI is finished mechanically. I have been driving it about 40 miles a day since last week. Goes like stink and pulls hard in every gear.

My paint job sucked so I have blocked it with 400 grit sandpaper and am looking for someone to paint it.


Finally after all these months, I painted the bonnet and the hardtop last week. With luck I will paint the tub next week.

The new custom header is finally finished, at least the construction of it. It will be cleaned up and sent out for Jet Hot ceramic coating soon.

The fabricator tried to design a 4 into 1 but never came up with anything that would fit due to the lack of room between the head and the footwell. Cutting the footwell was not an option. We think it could have been done using "donuts" instead of "U tubes" but it would have added to the already high cost. "U tubes" limit the curvature.

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From the side

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From the back

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From the top


Went for a few spins around the block this morning and this thing is going to be super quick. Clutch slips a little and it still goes like stink.


Wiring is pretty much complete. Engine starts and runs ok. Ran for about 30 minutes with no leaks. First test drive was backing out of the garage and driving back in. Ran it through all the gears while up on jack stands. Nothing unusual happened.

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Carbon Fiber Dash is finished except for Tach and Speedo.

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Slowly making progress.

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It's been a while in coming but Bugzuki was primered today.

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Finished the remote oil filter, oil cooler and oil thermostat plumbing.

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Things are moving along. I've added 2" air cleaners to the Webers, installed the radiator, oil cooler, remote filter and the oil thermostat. The plumbing for the water cooling system is finished but is not installed in the pictures. I'm currently waiting for a couple of fittings to finish plumbing the oil cooler.

The front air cleaner is a tad close to the inner fender but should be ok. If not, the fender will have to be tweaked a bit.

I've installed the brake lines using the set of brake pipes as sold by Moss and VB. The only ones that were a problem was the right rear (too long) and the pipe from the 4-way union to the left front (too short). The right rear can be used but the crossover will have to be replaced. I only screwed up one of the pipes, the one from the union to the right front. I could not remember how it was supposed to be routed and ended up putting a crimp in it. Brad from British Classics gave me a pre-bent replacement for that one.

I finished installing the rear suspension except for the shock links and axles.

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Well I finally got around to getting the intake manifold made. I kicked around the idea of going with downdraft Webers and using a set of IDF's like used on Ferrari's. In the end I decided to go with the sidedraft DCOE 40's. Mike Pierce at Pierce Manifolds in Gilroy CA custom made the manifold and it came out pretty nice. Now I have to plumb the cooling and the oiling system and then see if I can actually get the engine to run :-) In the side view shot you can see the seams where the tubes were welded. I did not have them smoothed and polished so I could save a little money.

Click on the picture for a larger view.

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Picture of exhaust header.

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Car has front and rear suspension with four (count em) wheels on the ground. Engine is back in the car so now I can get serious.


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Well the Bugeye is down from the rotisserie and the front suspension is installed. The rear is almost finished and should be this comming weekend. Getting closer to actually starting the engine installation for real.


Things are slowly moving forward. I've painted the bottom of the car and started installing the suspension. Final body work will be done after the car has wheels and can be removed from the rotisserie.

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The engine is complete except for intake manifold as the Swift exhaust manifold will probably be used initially. In the second picture (above) you can see the short piece of water pipe coming from the pump. The outlet pipe is behind the distributor. You can understand the complicated routing required for the radiator plumbing. 

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The new shortened oil pan.

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Starting to put the front suspension together. New rebuilt shocks are on the way from Peter C. at World Wide Auto Parts - Madison to replace the old ones in the picture. They should be here this week and the front suspension can then be completed. The next step will be to fit the "Big" brakes using MGB calipers and Spitfire rotors and to install all the new brake lines. After the front brakes and brake lines are finished, the gas tank and gas line will be installed. At this point the car will be removed from the rotisserie and the rear suspension, axle, brakes and wheels installed.


I've found a shop to modify the oil pan and oil pick-up tube. I will be getting it done around the end of next month (April), after a short vacation in Colorado.

Also on my return from vacation I will be painting the bottom of the Sprite. After paint, I will install the new suspension and get the car down off the rotisserie. At that point it will be easier to get the engine in and out as required for fitting all the various crap. The engine compartment and the rest of the car will be painted as soon as the engine installation is finished. The Sprite is going to be painted BLACK.

Engine  Engine

The engine is starting to come together. Head is back from the shop and installed on the block. In the picture on the right you can see the pipe out the back of the water pump on the right side of the engine. This has to be connected to the bottom of the Sprite radiator on the left side of the radiator. As you can see, the plumbing will be complicated. The return comes out the back of the engine and goes to the top right of the Sprite radiator.

DOHC Cams And Drive Gears  DOHC Head And Valves

Duel OverHead Cams And 16 Valves, This is What It's All About.


Clutch Slave MountClutch Slave MountClutch SlaveClutch Slave

Slave cylinder bracket mounted using the top right transmission to
engine bolt and the top starter bolt.

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Deep side of oil pan followed by the shallow side. Pan and oil pickup
will be modified to the depth of the shallow side.

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Right motor mount, left motor mount, transmission mount.

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Shifter exits at the rear of the Bugeye shifter hole. This is the Samurai shifter
not the one to be used but you can see that the Bugeye can and boot should work.


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1. The frame cross member has been removed because the Samurai tranny, while smaller in overall dimensions, is taller at that point and will not fit in the tunnel. All but the rear 2",s of the battery tray has been removed to clear the distributor and the water outlet. Radiator plumbing will be "creative" and battery will be relocated to the boot.

2. The bonnet clears the front of the engine without the EFI manifold by about 1". It would take a pretty good "Power Bulge" to clear the EFI intake so dual Weber's will be used.

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3. The alternator will clear and use the stock Swift mounts.

4. The double belt pulley sets back about 3",s from the lower cross member. The shifter lines up in the original spot.

5. The oil pan will need mods and a skid plate. Because of the FWD nature of this engine the pan is not symmetrical and extends about 3" below the frame on one side of the pan and about 1" on the other side. After final mods it should extend about 1" below the frame. I will be constructing a skid plate.

6. The passenger footwell upper corner does not interfere with the rear carb as feared and the starter clears the side of the footwell by about 1/2".

7. Custom intake manifold is being constructed by a friend.

8. Custom exhaust header will need to be constructed.

9. Front motor mount brackets were constructed and a universal "bolt through" mount was used. Because of the location on the oil filter and the alternator the brackets are not symmetrical from side to side.

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10. The oil filter will be relocated because of the proximity of the new header. The down pipes from the header will be located slightly forward of where the original manifold down pipe was located. The Swift filter thread and size (16-3/4")is the same as most Ford & Chrysler products.

10. The rear tranny mount was trouble. The only existing place to attach a mount to the tranny is at the very rear of the tail shaft. There are four holes on the bottom of the Samurai tranny that appear to be for alignment only as they were not tapped. I tapped them and a mount bracket is under construction.

11. A Samurai clutch disk along with the Swift clutch plate, release bearing and pilot bearing will be used. The Swift starter will not fit the Samurai tranny so it has been replaced with one from a Samurai.

12. The Samurai cable actuated clutch will need to be converted to hydraulic.


Here are some weights and pictures of a 948 compared to the DOHC.

948 with the Rivergate rear plate and no flywheel or manifolds: 163
DOHC with an automatic tranny flywheel and no manifolds:
Datsun 210 Transmission:
Samurai Transmission:

Total weight of the Suzuki combo should come in under 200 pounds with ease.

These weights may not be totally acurate but they were all on the same scale so the difference should be valid.

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948 "A" series with a Datsun 210 5-speed transmission.

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DOHC Swift with the Samurai transmission attached.

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Datsun 210 5-Speed (left) and Samurai (right) transmissions looking at the bell housing.

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Datsun 210 5-Speed (bottom) and Samurai (top) transmissions side by side.

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Distributor and water inlet on the Swift DOHC.

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948 with DOHC superimposed (by Gerard)
The shifter hole lines up. The DOHC does not have the dizzy installed.

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DOHC with 948 superimposed (by Gerard)
The shifter hole lines up. The DOHC does not have the dizzy installed.

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A clipped version of the DOHC (by Gerard)


Online Swift GTi Manual can be found here. It's 55.8 MegaBytes so you need a BIG pipe to download. Found out that the Samurai clutch is cable operated so will have to be converted to hydraulic. May have spoke too soon on the Pierce Manifold for the 1.3 DOHC. What they have is a dual Weber manifold for the 1.3 SOHC. Doug Sharp at Pierce is checking around for one to fit the DOHC.


I picked up an engine on Saturday. All of the engines in the boneyard were automatic so needed a flywheel and found one through the Suzuki BBS.

Click on Picture to Enlarge

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Received the following reply from Chadil in Belgium:

The Suzuki manifold "SUZ4120" is 80mm thick (about 3.15") and the price is 250 Eur + carriage.


The Suzuki Swift GTi series was released in ‘86 and was made until '89.
The Series II (AA34S) was made from ‘89-‘90
The Series III was made from ‘91-’97. The series III used the same (AA34S) chasis as the series II.

All '89 to '94 Swift GTi’s (and maybe the GT's) appear to use the same 1.3-litre, twin Cam, 16-valve - 74 Kw engine.

Engine  Units :         mm (in) 
Type                    G13B 
No. of Cylinders        4 
Bore                    74.0 (2.91) 
Stroke                  75.5 (2.97) 
Pistion Displacement     1298cc (79.2 cu.in) 
Compresion Ratio       10:1 

Suzuki Samurai 5 speed transmission (or maybe the SJ-413 in Canada) is the same in a 2WD as in a 4WD. The transfer case is a separate unit that is attached simply by a short driveshaft. All information leads me to believe that this transmission will bolt directly to the DOHC engine. The Geo Tracker has the same transmission as the Samurai.

Dimensions For The Samurai Transmission:

Front of bellhousing to end of tailshaft = 20"
Front of bellhousing to end of shift lever housing = 24"
Bottom of trans to top of shift housing is 10"
Bellhousing is 14" wide.
The widest point of the transmission (except for the bellhousing) is 8 1/2" forward of the end of the tailshaft and is a hair more than 7" wide. Bellhousing tapers from 14" to 7" in about 7"

Gear Ratios are:

Samurai          Datsun 5-Speed
1st 3.652  
2nd 1.947            2.170
3rd 1.423            1.378
4th 1.000            1.00
5th .795             .821
Rev 3.466

Rough Measurements of The Suzuki DOHC Engine:

Length from crank pulley to the end of the distributer and water inlet: 25"
Length from crank pulley to transmission bell housing: 21"
Width including intake and exhaust manifolds : 22"
Height from top of intake plenum to bottom of the oil pan : 25"

A-Series Dimensions:

Height: 22"
Width (generous including carbs etc): 25"
Length (pulley-bellhousing): 17-1/2"
Length (bellhouse to shifter - Datsun): 24-1/4"

Based on these numbers the Suzuki is 3" taller and 3.5" longer. Width is probably a wash when carbs are considered for both engines.
The DOHC dizzy comes directly out of the rear of the engine (when installed inline). This may pose a problem with installation in a Spridget.

Suzisport in Oz makes a 90 degree adapter for the dizzy (see picture below) to allow the DOHC engine to be installed into a Suzuki Sierra. It sells for about $255 USD. Not cheap but this would really help with the installation of the DOHC in a Spridget.

I hear tell that there is also a Mazda distributor (maybe a mid 1990s Mazda Protege) that is a direct swap and also resolves this issue.

I think the following three pictures show motorcycle (maybe Mikuni?) carbs mounted on the DOHC Suzuki.

Cutaway drawing of the Suzuki DOHC engine.




1.3L 1298cc(79.2.cu in) 16valve DOHC


100HP @ 6500RPM


83 lb-ft of tourque @ 5000 RPM


EMPFI (Electronic Multipoint Fuel Injection)


Compression Ratio 10.0:1


Redline 6800RPM (depends on model)



0-30 MPH - 2.6 Secs


0-40 MPH - 4.5 Secs


0-50 MPH - 6.3 Secs


0-60 MPH - 8.3 Secs


0-70 MPH - 11.5 Secs


0-80 MPH - 14.6 Secs


1/4 Mile time - 16.6 @ 84.7mph


The following picture shows dual Weber 45DCOE's mounted on the Suzuki DOHC engine.

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The Aluminum manifold is made by a company in belgium called chadil (http://www.chadil.be/).

A Suzuki Swift BBS is located at http://pub83.ezboard.com/bteamswift

Web Links


Suzuki Owner's Club
Grassroots Motorsports Magazine The best racing/modifying/driving magazine around

Transforming Suzuki's Swift GT into a commuter car with an attitude (Part 1) Motor Trends Magazine, July 1991, by C. Van Tune

Transforming Suzuki's Swift GT into a commuter car with an attitude (Part 2) Motor Trends Magazine, July 1991, by C. Van Tune

Suzuki Swift GT: Suzuki's Pocket Rocket Redefines the Term, Grassroots Motorsports Magazine, Nov/Dec 1990, by Randy Pobst

One Swift Champion Grassroots Motorsports Magazine, Nov/Dec 1990, by Marjorie Suddard

1990 Editor's Choice Awards Grassroots Motorsports Magazine, March/April 1990, by Marjorie Suddard

My Experience Racing the Suzuki Swift GT by Kevin Melsheimer

Parts Suppliers

Superchips for the GTi

Important Companies not on the Web:

Rospen, Suzitech, and AVO in Australia also provide performance parts.