We always admire engine swaps done by ordinary people in their own garages. Usually a SHO or Chevy LSx engine into a front wheel drive car or a classic. Often with real challenges in engine placement or electrical wiring.
Here’s a swap that we’re probably not going to see any private individual take on… a state of the art (1994) Formula 1 engine… from Renault… and into a mini-van. We haven’t come across a Formula 1 engine swap before… much less into a mini-van.
The Espace F1 Concept was built by Matra for Renault and introduced at the 1994 Paris auto show. But while Renault labels it as a concept, it would never be built in series production. And not only was it a running concept, it was demonstrated at speed on an F1 racetrack as shown in the images and videos below.
Espace F1 Concept was based on a second-generation Renault Espace, which was built from 1991 to 1997. It has a unique carbon fiber chassis and a body recreated in carbon fiber. The engine is an 800 horsepower 3.5 liter DOHC 4V engine with a 6-speed semi-automatic gearbox as used by the Williams team in 1993. The engine placement is the same as the F1 car, mid-engine. The “van” would accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 2.8 seconds – not fast but just starting to warm up. 0-200 was 6.9 seconds and the top speed was 312 (194 mph). Certainly aero limited!
The Espace F1 Concept is currently located in the Matra Museum in Romorantin, France (south of Paris). The museum is currently open 7 days per week, except Tuesdays and holidays. Check the site for up-to-date information.
As we’ve said many times in our engine swap posts, old SHO engines never die – they do go on to live a second life. In this case, a 1989 SHO engine is swapped into a 1936 Ford Tudor, in a labor of love. And the result shows an extremely high level of creativity and professionalism.Link to original article: http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/mar/03/fourteen-years-in-a-garage-pays-off-for-man/.
As we’ve said many times in past postings, old SHO engines never die – they go on to a second life after a transplant into something else. That something else ranges from 240Z, MBG, Austin-Healey, TR-7, sand buggy, Camaro, and a Lotus Esprit. And of course other Ford products, including a rear-wheel drive Focus and even back into a Taurus SHO converted to rear-wheel drive. Sometimes the swap is a POS hack job destined to be blown up, but more often it’s been done professionally where the person doing the swap can be proud of their work. That’s what we like to see, and that’s what this great engine deserves.
Here’s an example where a SHO engine has been swapped into a Fox-body ’93 Mustang convertible, a very natural home for the SHO engine.
Unfortunately we haven’t found the build-up story of this swap, only the 11 pages of pictures here (with video of it running). We’d like to know more about this 3.2 liter SHO and Aerostar automatic transmission swap. We did learn from what little has been written that the forward engine mounts on the SHO engine interfere with the stock swap bar mounts in the Mustang. One more bit of news to save in case you or we ever do this swap ourselves.
Read more of our engine swap stories here.
The September 2012 Cars and Coffee found us staring – at a V-8 engine swap in a Fiero. We like swaps, and any kind of swap fascinates us. We’d seen one other V-8 Fiero conversion before, quickly, but now we had the opportunity to look one over in more detail.
As you may recall, Pontiac built the Fiero from 1984 to 1988, ending production just after just after significantly updating the suspension and brakes for 1988 but without fixing the breakage-prone fuel tank. The Fiero was originally equipped with a 2.5 liter PV “Iron Duke”, or the corporate 2.8 liter OHV V-6. Given those meager engines, swaps are popular. Period GM Quad-4 and DOHC 3.4 liter V-6 engines are easy swaps. But the hot ticket came when Fiero enthusiasts discovered that the classic small block Chevy V-8 can also be made to fit.
V-8 conversions are more popular than you might think. Here’s one company: V-8 Archie. Archie has V-8 swap experience dating to 1986 (2500 kits sold), and a wealth of parts including big brake kits and a 6-speed manual transmission conversion. Archie supplies a video tape with his conversion kit, but is so confident of his record that he has two detailed documents on his site here and here.
At tonight’s Cobb Tuning First Thursday event in Austin Texas, we witnessed a strange Silvia pulling into the lot with a transverse intake manifold sticking out thru the hood. We immediately recognized it as a US-Spec ’89-’96 Infiniti Q45 DOHC V-8 engine swap. This unusual has been done before, although we’ve never seen one ourselves.
And unless you have a spare GT-R engine sitting around for the ultimate swap, this V-8 would make for an interesting and very rare swap.
The VH45DE engine is a fairly robust engine with very few issues. With 6-bolt caps, forged crank and rods, and variable valve timing (found on most years), this makes for a potent and torque-rich swap.
And it actually fits well! It’s fairly wide, and certainly required extensive custom header work. But there is plenty of room in front of the engine.
Rear window says it all…
Transmission lines up perfectly.
The strange part of this engine is of course the appearance of the intake manifold… which one person was joking at the show would confuse some people into thinking that the engine was a transverse layout. It isn’t, and there are a bundle of snakes under the plenum leading to each port. It certainly isn’t efficient, and we’d be interested in knowing just how inefficient it is. But it is unusual looking, and in this swap it comes right out of the top of the hood by about 4-5 inches. That’s a statement.
It was great seeing this swap in person, and it certainly adds a unique example to our growing list of engine swaps. See our Engine Swap category and Tags for more posts of unusual engine swaps.
The famous Toyota 2JZ engine (3 liter inline 6, iron block and aluminum head, DOHC, and built battle-ship tough as the basis for the Toyota TT) has been swapped into cars ranging from an old Mustang (for the Fast and Furious series) to an S2000. We follow these swaps closely, although unfortunately we’ve never done a 2JZ swap ourselves. We do have an S2000 that would be a basis for one, someday :-)
This time the 2JZ engine is being swapped into a Toyota 86. The results are dramatic, as are the modifications to the car. Much more than that needed to get the engine into the car, it’s been rebuilt specifically for drifting and circuit use.
And fortunately the builder in Thailand also created a great set of videos. Go full screen, turn up the volume – but only after making the boss isn’t lurking nearby!
Follow our engine swap and Toyota 86 posts with the tags and categories below.
We encountered this 240ZX at the Cobb Tuning First Thursday event in Austin, Texas on May 3, 2012. 240SXs are fairly common at these types of shows common, even more so with the JDM nose and headlights transplanted.
But this one was worth a second look – it has a 2JZ-GTE engine from a Supra TT swapped inside!
Interesting fit – the extra length of the engine due to the extra two cylinders isn’t a problem. We have seen swaps of the Nissan RB26DETT engine, from the GT-R, but never a Toyota engine. Why Toyota? Why not – the point of a swap is overcoming the complicating factors, not the ease of the swap. Integrating the Toyota electronics into the Nissan wiring is a challenge that any true swap enthusiast would want to take on.
And note the Supra wheels, front and rear. Nice touch.
There are also Brembos up front, although the rears and stock.
As much wheel and tire as possible was crammed into the back… although the Supra wheel isn’t exactly the right offset. The rear suspension appears to be vintage Nissan, converted to 5-bolt.
The back of the engine gets a little tight, but certainly that was taken into account when the front crossmember and engine mounts were fabbed. And a strut tower brace helps with structural integrity…. certainly a problem in an older and well-=used car with a high-horsepower transplant.
The front received a JDM Silvia clip as well… a very popular transplant on these cars.
This was clearly a project in progress… some details were rough. But it runs well, and it will certainly make for a unique car when it is done. It may be the only one of its type in the world…?
We’ve seen many V-8 Miata engine swaps, as well as I-4 and V-6 swaps. This one is the king of them all: 2 (two!) V-8 engines, inline, and slaved together. You might call it a V-16, although technically it’s not.
In the video you’ll note that, unfortunately, this is one Miata that is not suited to the autocross course :-)
The V-16 Miata was built by one Tony Hair, who used two relatively cheap “Chevy 350″ engines. Why would anybody build such a thing? Answer: just ’cause. In the world of engine swaps, the question “why” is never asked. Once completed, some might call this the “ultimate” Miata. Keep in mind that as soon as something like this is built, somebody, somewhere, is going to start planning something even more outrageous. That is what the engine swap hobby is all about.
It always pays to have your camera handy when you are out and about. This time we caught a V-8 Fiero, something we’d heard about but not see in person. There are very few clean Fieros still on the road, and this is one of the absolute best. Because being clean, and cleanly modified with some good suspension work, it’s also got a very nicely done 350 Chevy swap. The transmission is a factory Getrag, with a custom adapter to mate it to the engine, accounting for bolt pattern and input shaft length.
We’ve been writing about the Lincoln LS and admiring it since it first came out in 2000. As we’ve said many times before, this was a triumph of engineering by Ford and Jaguar, and it’s essentially Ford’s own version of the versatile Nissan/Infiniti “FM” platform. Highly aluminum intensive, weight saving all around, and designed from the start to underpin a variety of cars ranging form a state of the art Mustang all the way up to a svelte and sophisticated Lincoln Continental.
Alas, Ford blew it here, the dealers didn’t know how to sell it, the quality (like all Fords of that age) was poor, Little Billy Ford sliced and diced it’s planned enhancements, and in the end it failed. And, BTW, it’s also exactly what Lincoln needs right now.
But like a lot of great Fords, it has a second and extended life with enthusiasts. Some of us are more or less “normal”, and some others are not. Below, behold, a most definite “not”. This is certainly the only Lincoln LS with a 5.4 liter DOHC “modular” engine. And one big monster honking turbo.
We wish we had more details… but just look under that hood and admire the person who built this one. It’s the pure definition of “Hot Rod Lincoln”. We’ll never see anything like this again from Lincoln, much less Ford. Given the sad state of Lincoln’s plans, it’d be a major miracle to see another rear wheel drive chassis… and even if we do it’ll probably have an EcoBoost 4 and a battery pack. Yes from now we’ll look at this LS, and others, and say “those were the days”.