Tag Archives: Putting engines in cars not designed to take them

OK I scaled that picture

And that is one tall engine, 29.25″ ±. And about 27″ wide. That means while it will fit nicely between the frame rails that are 27″ inside to inside it won’t fit under a hood that matches the contour of the firewall at 22″ tall. Heck, it’s more than 2″ taller than the entire 27″ tall body, and that’s not even counting the crossmember that needs to go somewhere near the bellhousing to triangulate that plane of the frame. Even without the rather tall intake manifold the engine is 23″ ± tall to the cam boxes on top of the heads, which are also 23″ wide.

This is doable, but I’m going to have to put the driver up a bit to see over/around the engine, and the hood is going to look funny sitting higher than the rest of the body. Possible workaround would be to mount the body higher over the bottom of the frame instead of just on top of the bottom rail, while keeping the driver in the same location inside the body with the seat bottom 3″ above the bottom of the body. This will raise the driver 7″+ in relation to the frame. This is not a good thing from a handling perspective as the driver is one of the heaviest items in the car and needs to be kept as low as possible. But a car you can’t see out of forward is not safe to drive even on a drag strip, so I guess the only choice is raising the body to raise the driver’s eyeline above the engine and put the floor at 11.5″ below the seat. Now how to raise the body 7″+ above the top of the bottom frame rail without adding too much weight to the frame? Since the body is not structural in this car, maybe some thin aluminum structure between the frame and the body, or dropping everything the 7″ and making a bellypan to cover the bits. No that part wouldn’t fly as I wouldn’t have the frame to protect everything should I run over spike strips and get 4 flat tires or as it is put in the original design spec nothing below the bead of the rims except tire at normal ride height. But raising the body does improve the space for people as the driveshaft tunnel would be dropped below seat height, making the possibility of a passenger bench seat next to the driver’s race seat for taking someone to the races or on a ride-along at the race.

I guess I could get someone to print up a manifold that drapes over the camboxes on either side and get a smaller vertical profile that way, and maybe even free up a little horsepower without having to raise the body if I get the top lower than the bottom of the windshield at 24.5″ from the bottom of the body, but that still requires a funny-looking hood that sticks up above the top of the firewall. Not to mention the throttle bodies hanging off the sides of the engine, that would stick out the sides of the hood.

And I really should link to the source of those pictures I have been scaling from in this forum thread . Thanks to myduster360 for starting this thread with the build.