Selecting an engine/tranny combo for a swap?

Any topics pertaining to engine transplants (non-BMC powerplants). If you've dropped a big-block in your bugeye, this is the forum for you.

Selecting an engine/tranny combo for a swap?

Postby dan » Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:26 am

The threads going in this forum have prompted another question:

How do people originally come up with the idea for an engine swap?

What I mean is, how do you decide on a Toyota, Honda, Mazda, or whatever engine? Is there a way (other than a general "eyeball it") of telling if the swap will fit?

Do you just happen to have an extra engine in the garage, and one too many beers and say "hmmmmm"? :)

Certainly you can make anything "fit" with enough work.

I guess I'd start by looking at things like HP, weight, etc. and find an appropriate candidate, then eyeball the geometry (maybe make a dry fit into an empty Spridget to see how close it is) and go from there?

Is that what people do, or is it more scientific than that?

Curious more than anything else, but I've wondered about "modern" swaps (like a Honda S2000) rather than "old" swaps (like a Datsun engine). Seems many swaps are from cars already out of production...
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Postby trevor » Tue Jun 08, 2004 9:15 am

Most any engine/transmission can be put into/onto a Midget if you have time, vision, patience, skill, and money. What you end up with is a "whole 'nother story." You generally outlined the variety of means that people decide. Some people want to pioneer, others like to improve upon someone elses attempt, and others like to do via "kit".
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Postby RobocopHWH » Tue Jun 08, 2004 11:35 am

When we decided we had tons of factors to take into account. Heat, reliability when pushing alot of power, weight, how easy it would fit, how CHEAP we would get the parts for (my rx-7 was 200 bucks with a perfectly running 12A :D ), and the list goes on..

I guess it boils down to what type of power you like. You like like peaky revvy power say from a rotory or a short stroke 4 banger, or do you like a low end torque monster to rip the chassis in two. (i wanted to put a 302 in, but weight distribution would be horrible).
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Postby dan » Tue Jun 08, 2004 1:39 pm

So it sounds like having a cheap engine source was a factor :)

I agree with everything you've stated (and certainly we've all at least heard of successful rotor-motor spridgets). I just wonder about other lumps.

Virtually anything modern is going to have at least 100 HP (even Harley's are well over 100 HP & 100 Lb-Ft of torque now). I'd think the best way to really do this would be to own (or have your best friend work in) a junkyard.

What will you do for cooling? Electric fans?

Electrics should be straightforward (assuming you've got all the fuel-injection sensors and such from the donor car).

New driveshaft should be easy.

What about mounts? For something like this do you use the donor engine mounts (and fabricate a bracket to fit the Sprite) or vice versa (use the Sprite mounts and fit a bracket to the donor engine) or is there a source for custom mounts of some kind? (Not sure what you'd do here?)

What about the Spridget rear end? Anyone know the maximum safe HP and Torque that unit can handle? (Based on my personal experience, it seems to be the "weakest link" in the Spridget drivetrain).

Comments?
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Postby Matt » Tue Jun 08, 2004 1:42 pm

Virtually anything modern is going to have at least 100 HP


Most of the newish small cars in the UK are sub 100 Hp, but they are nearly all FWD too........
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Postby RobocopHWH » Tue Jun 08, 2004 2:34 pm

my friend who races midges was saying he's had a couple snap when he's putting down about 170ft/lbs
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Postby HAN5L778 » Tue Jun 15, 2004 9:18 am

In my case it was because the car I bought already had the engine swap done. The 2.8 Chevy V6 fits in a Spridget pretty well, but the front frame rails had to be moved outward a couple of inches on each side. The previous owner did a great job in fabricating brackets and other things to make the engine fit, except he made solid engine and transmission mounts so I have spent a lot of time re-making the mounts to isolate the engine and trans from the chassis. Now that I have that done I can start rerouting the fuel and brake lines to the rear end so that they are away from the exhaust pipes, plus fabricating an exhaust system. I also have the flared fenders from Spridgetech that I will be installing so I can put tires on it so I can get the power to the ground. Plus other details like a wiring harness and interior.

This wouldn't have been my first choice in doing an engine swap. I will, probably, someday do an engine swap but will stick with a 4 cylinder motor that will take less chassis modifications than a V type engine. Not sure which engine I will use yet, but will be looking more closely at what other people have done and decide from there which way to go.
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Postby dan » Tue Jun 15, 2004 10:31 am

Do you have any pics you'd like to share as you proceed on this project?

I'd love to see what you have so far, and how it proceeds...
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Postby Peter M » Mon Jun 21, 2004 2:19 pm

Matt wrote:
Virtually anything modern is going to have at least 100 HP


Most of the newish small cars in the UK are sub 100 Hp, but they are nearly all FWD too........


Has anyone ever thought of doing a FWD conversion on a Sprite?

Would that even be possible?
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Postby Matt » Tue Jun 22, 2004 7:48 am

I know someone who is making a 4wd minor based on sierra 4x4 componants, so presumably you could so the same thing to a spridget
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Postby george » Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:39 am

I am planning a transplant into my midget. Still narrowing it down. I am considering nissan sr20de or toyota four banger. Nissan = 160+ ponies, Toyota truck engine= 250,000 miles without blinking. I also assume from everything I'm reading that MG rears are crap. so, I guess I gotta swap that too. By the way, this is my first excursion into spridgetland!
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Postby george » Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:40 am

I am planning a transplant into my midget. Still narrowing it down. I am considering nissan sr20de or toyota four banger. Nissan = 160+ ponies, Toyota truck engine= 250,000 miles without blinking. I also assume from everything I'm reading that MG rears are crap. so, I guess I gotta swap that too. By the way, this is my first excursion into spridgetland!
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Postby trevor » Sun Aug 15, 2004 10:31 am

Do you know any dimensions on the sr20de? What type of transmission would you couple to that?
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Postby Peter M » Tue Aug 17, 2004 8:42 am

Good idea for a new thread...
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Postby george » Wed Aug 18, 2004 3:43 pm

I'm not positive on the dimensions, but I am pretty good at stuffing 50lbs of crap in a 5lb. bag
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