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

I have more data

I finally found out the weight of a couple of different Subaru transmissions for comparisons with other engines and their intended transmissions. Especially for the Subie, using a transmission designed to bolt to the engine saves a ton of work.

Anywho, what I found out was the 2002 5 speed weighed in about 135-140 pounds, the later model 6 speed was 155-160, and the automatics were about 200-210. Also removing the front drive differential and drive shaft and welding the center diff solid took about 35 pounds off when converting AWD to RWD. So for the normally aspirated 2 liter engine bolted to the 5 speed with the front diff removed we are looking at an all-up weight of about 300 pounds and about 200 HP, to 460 for the 2.5l turbo bolted to the late automatic with the front diff propelled by 300 HP. And those power numbers are factory ratings, tuning for higher octane can raise those numbers considerably especially for the turbocharged engines that can refuel with E85 and really crank the boost.

And thinking about this kept me awake most of the night and caused me to wake up way early, after only 4 hours of sleep. I need to go back to bed now. Except I need to clear my inbox before I sleep.


Clear the deck I’m thinking again

That’s old sailor talk for “Take Cover!” I’m thinking about another potential powerplant for the Sprint-T that might actually fit and leave room for a clutch pedal, and not cost a pair of limbs in the process. There is a 300+ HP I4 DOHC turbo engine from Ford that gets pretty good gas mileage, is pretty narrow near the bellhousing, but is tuned for 93 octane and setting it up for a diet of 87 or E85 depending on if it’s freeway or race might be a little tricky. Just a bit tricky! And it’s about 20% heavier than the Subie. But on the positive side it’s the base engine for the last few years of Mustang production, I.E. the “chick car” version, and it also comes as a crate engine. The fact that it comes in the base Mustang means I might be able to snag one backed by an automatic transmission in case there isn’t enough space to install a clutch pedal with the right side against the inside of the body.

And for some reason that jogged my memory about the Pentastar V6 from FCA that comes in everything from minivans to muscle cars and trucks, and has similar weight and peak power to the Ford EcoBoost 4 cylinder, and also has a better torque curve for autocross, but FCA haven’t seen fit to sell it as a crate engine, and Mrs. the Poet has put a hard veto on donor vehicles unless I move the build to another location. If I get the Pentastar it will have to be from a junkyard and cleaned up before bringing it home. Well if I get any used engine and transmission, I’ll have to get it cleaned up before I can bring it home. Manufacturer doesn’t matter, not bringing dirty parts home is what matters.

And my head hurts again, so I need to get to bed now.

Yesterday was very nice

We finally managed to get to the upscale burger place for my free burger after taking care of various errands at the bank and other places where we paid bills. Then we set about the circuitous bus ride to the burger place, and about an hour later we had covered the 2.9 miles between the bank and the restaurant, arriving just before 1700. This is the route that doesn’t run on weekends and why we didn’t go on my birthday.

Mrs. the Poet got the free burger and I spent my money on the MadLove Burger which is quite a mouthful. This was yet another ½ pound burger this month, after the one we had in the restaurant in Lewisville the week after our grandson’s birthday when the family friend visited from England, and also the ⅓ pound burger from Whataburger this week, so I think I have had my allotment of ground beef patty for the month. To go with the burger was what they call “bottomless” fries, and I got two rounds and the waitress offered another round of fries and another round of my Diet Coke to go. This was after we had a chocolate sundae big enough to split for dessert. When I got home I was pleasantly stuffed.

I am still thinking about the T-Bucket, and how to power it. I’m still flexible about using a FWD power unit as a mid-engine unit because I’m not sure what will fall into my lap. Now obviously I will not be legal for Goodguys autocross that requires the engine to be sorta close to the stock installation, which is not what I would have with the FWD power unit mounted in the back. But, I would have a SCCA A-Mod legal and street legal T-bucket to drive and race. I fact I was planning on doing just that with the 3.8l V6 and automatic transmission a few years back that I almost got from someone who wanted to get rid of a minivan that wouldn’t pass safety inspection. I think Mrs. the Poet managed to talk the van owner out of letting me have the vehicle because she didn’t want a mess in the driveway. But since I really need something for a RWD drivetrain, to be Goodguys legal, I’m hoping I get something I can at least convert easily to RWD if it doesn’t come that way in the car. And my research has shown there are many such engines available and I discussed some of them before in this blog. So I have to remain flexible about potential candidates for the engine, especially with the (extremely) limited budget. So if you know anyone with a car or truck with a running engine who needs to get rid of it and is somewhat local to me, have them contact me at this blog with a private comment (I think that is still an option with the plan I’m using) about how to get it.

And I need to get off the computer now, so bye until later.

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.