I've run into a bit of problem with a drivetrain discussion with another email ring. I was hoping some of you may be able to help me out.
As some of you may know, I am building a V8 powered Kelmark GT midengined kit car. I'm trying to get the highest performance out of it while maintaining the lowest cost possible. So far, I have done this, with a (now) rebuilt 350 for $150, the kit itself for $1500, and various other gear for a total of $1800 give or take. There is a long way to go still.
The question was asked: What is the best drivetrain for the Kelmark GT?
One person replied and said that we should stop looking to 30 year old technology and instead start building engines with newer gear (like NSX or similar). Basically, whatever is popular today.
I replied and said that a v8 engine offers a performance to cost ratio UNMATCHED by most anything out there. Parts are readily available, and adaptor kits are plentiful for porsche 901 transmissions, which are also cheap (porsche 914).
Another person replies and says that the weight of the v8 would add something like 900 Lbs to the car. I'm thinking, this guy is insane.
A VW flat four is rated at 200lbs,
a Chevy SBC is 575 with Iron heads.
That just doesn't add up. Then he brought up the idea of turbocharging, which I replied quite simply adds weight and decreases reliability, especially in non-factory turboed cars. I brought up how easy a carb is to tune, compared to ECU's and turbo's and fuel injectors.
I could easily fill up a full page with what I've written, and what he's replied.
Basically, it comes down to the fact that he claims the weight of a v8 will be so great as to ruin the cars handling. I disagree.
He also claims that a 901 transmission is too weak to handle the power of a v8. But i have to ask, why would they make adaptors for something that doesn't work?
So I ask you loyal motarista, what is the truth? Will the V8's weight ruin the handling of the rougly 1800lb car? Is the weight difference more negligable than that? What would the ideal drivetrain be, including cost, durability, drivability, performance?
Iran's so far awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay...
"If you look at all the engine/transaxle choices in that list most of them
are 20 or even 30 or more years old. Why would we build sports cars with 30
year old technology today??
There are so many great 4 and 6 cylinder front wheel drive cars available
today (many Japanese) that would make terrific choices for a Kelmark that I
fail to understand why anyone would want to build a car today with an
Oldsmobile (they're out of business you know) cast iron V-8 and incredibly
I suggest an Acura NSX donor. 290 HP V-6 with a 6 speed transmission and
great brakes. Buy a severely bent body and graft all of the suspension and
drive train into a Kelmark and you would have a REAL sport scar.
If we don't have the budget for that start with a Honda 4 cylinder engine
and transaxle. (today's Small Block Chevy equivalent) There is so much
affordable "hop up" equipment available for this setup it's ridicules. Over
the ensuing years you could supercharge it or turbocharge it. You can
intercool it and more and it seems there is almost no limit to how much HP
you can extract. Look at what today's kids are doing with their "ricers".
This is the path we should be on!
I don't want to hurt anyone's feeling on this list, and if you have a car
built 20 years ago (as I do) and it makes you happy then why change it, but
I don't understand why so many of the people on this list who are building
new cars, or doing major overhauls are so concerned with how these cars were
built 20 or 25 years ago. Why would we discuss a Corvair master cylinder???
I don't want to get on a rant here, but the Corvair was deemed unsafe in the
1960's!!! There were books written about what a poor automotive design it
was. There were law suits and people died!!! Why on earth would we consider
using parts from a Corvair in the 21st century???? I don't know America,
that just my opinion. What do you think?"
You have to massage the hell out of a 4 banger in order to get it to
perform like a stock v8. The weight penalty is not huge, but the
difference in performance is. You would also have an incredibly high
powerband that makes for not the best street performance.
Cost is another issue. I rebuilt a "siezed" 350 that turned out not to
be siezed, and with the mods the engine ALREADY has, it should put out
around 300/300 hp/torque. Most civics can't even dream about those
numbers without MAJOR modifications. The other problem
is....turbocharging a midengined car? Where are you going to put the
intercoolers? That's going to require an awful lot of work and ducting
in order to get even adequate cooling. A NA v8 requires a radiator put
up front...and that's about it.
Also, I have porsche rear suspension, and in order to convert to honda
I would have to change EVERYTHING on the back of my frame. Why change
what works? There are many options for 914 v8 conversions available,
and if I wanted more power there are things like the 930, or G50
NSX's are so rare that I would wager you'd have a tough time finding a
complete setup for less than the cost of a tuned v8, conversion kit,
and the cost of putting it in your car.
V8's may be old but they certainly aren't outdated. I agree that a
Toronado transmission might not be the best option because of it's
weight and placement, but it gives you the ability to have high power
without major mods.
I think the corvair was deemed unsafe due to its suspsion setup.
Replacement brakes and master cyllinders are sometimes easier to
rebuild than replace with something different. Plus, people who don't
quite understand how to change everything around (or can't afford to)
would rather replace stock or fix it than to swap for better (or
This is just my opinion, but when I compare the Civic that I drive to
the kelmark I am building, the kelmark should easily destroy my civic
even with its 30 year old technology. I'd love to have an NSX setup.
Or even a maxima. Or a ZF pantera Trans. What i'd really love is a 20b
three rotor and g50.....but I can't afford any of those....so I'll
stick with what works and what's easy to tune.
> You have to massage the hell out of a 4 banger in order to get it to
> perform like a stock v8.
This is clearly not true. There are low budget 2.3 EFI Turbo Pintos turning 10.7X quarter miles. It is harder to do this with a Honda for instance w/o spending mega buck, but I am not advocating that.
< The weight penalty is not huge, but the difference in performance is.
Again not true. The weight penalty is 800 to 1000 pounds on a car that can weigh 1700 pounds. That makes it HUGE. On a 4000 lb car it is still significant. Performance is a matter of power to weight ratio. The higher the ratio the quicker the car. A bone stock 250 hp SHO motor in an 1800 lb Kelmak gives us a P/W ratio of ~.14. A 325 hp 350 SBC in a 2700 Kelmark gives us a P/W ratio of ~.12. It is important to remember that 325 hp out of a SBC is no mean feat, no matter what your buddies say. That takes good heads, intake, headers and a cam. Your smogger Caprice motor isn't getting anywhere near that. In addition to all that, as the drivetain gets heavier so must the suspension and brakes. It is a viscious cycle. Light is where everything gets better.
> You would also have an incredibly high powerband that makes for not the best street performance.
This is not true of a Z-34 Chevy or a SHO Ford or a lot of others.
> Cost is another issue. I rebuilt a "siezed" 350 that turned out not to
> be siezed, and with the mods the engine ALREADY has, it should put out
> around 300/300 hp/torque. Most civics can't even dream about those
> numbers without MAJOR modifications.
Nobody here was advocating a Civic motor, and you don't need 300 hp to equal the performance of the SBC since the car will be MUCH lighter. P/W ratio remember?
The other problem
> is....turbocharging a midengined car? Where are you going to put the
> intercoolers? That's going to require an awful lot of work and ducting
> in order to get even adequate cooling. A NA v8 requires a radiator put
> up front...and that's about it.
This is a silly argument. Where do they put the intercoolers on a Turbo Carrera or an Indy car?
> Also, I have porsche rear suspension, and in order to convert to honda
> I would have to change EVERYTHING on the back of my frame. Why change
> what works?
Don't be silly. ALL you would have to modify in the rear suspension is the axle shafts. No big deal. I am going to use 914 rear trailing arms with an SVO or Northstar engine/transaxle.
> There are many options for 914 v8 conversions available,
The problem here is cost vs durability. The 901 transaxle used in 914s is pretty weak. It will take the power of a V8 if never abused and if 1st gear is NEVER used. (Its too short anyway). The 915 transaxle used in the 911 variants will handle the power, but will cost ~$6,000 when ready to go behind a V8. Check the Lambo pages if you think this is inaccurate.
> and if I wanted more power there are things like the 930, or G50 transaxle.
Either of these will likely cost way more than the whole car will be worth. The Turbo Audi transaxle of the '80s may well be the way to go. Cheap and probably strong enough for most applications. (Way stronger than the 914 transaxle)
> V8's may be old but they certainly aren't outdated. I agree that a
> Toronado transmission might not be the best option because of it's
> weight and placement, but it gives you the ability to have high power
> without major mods.
They also shift very sluggishly even when modified.
Iran's so far awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay...
I agree on some of your points. Lighter is better. However, I
disagree with your weight qoute of 800-1000 lbs. I've heard that V8's
weigh some 150-300 lbs more than say an inline 4. I seriously doubt
the weight difference neglecting transaxle would be more than 400lbs.
Maybe I'm wrong, but unless you go toronado, the weight won't change
that much, and I feel the added power would make up for the weight
difference. Not only power, but torque. Not only that, but I
seriously doubt the weight difference between a SBC and a large v6 a la
thunderbird 3.8 would be very much.
Not only that, but I have no experience with Engine control modules,
but I know at least 8 people who have worked on carberated engines in
the past. There's a lot of things you miss out on if you use an older
engine. There's less technology to mess with, and when you're building
a car yourself, that could be very important.
Turbocharging a 911 might be easier because those cars are so tuned
over the ages that they know where the best place to put the
intercooler is. On top of that, I've heard that some 911's use Three
different radiators...that seems like a lot of clutter to me, so the
intercooler must be disrupting something. I believe that in order to
get proper cooling you'd have to add ducts, which means fiberglass
work, and another paint job if you're already done. I personally can't
do fiberglass, and I probably can't afford to pay somebody to do it for
me. It just doesn't seem viable to me, not when you could get a
slightly bigger engine to do the same job. Don't forget turbo
routing/intercoolers/downpipes all add weight. I would wager that a
twin turboed v6 would easily be very close to a v8. Turbocharging is a
pretty big pain in the arse, and doubly so on a midengined car.
I also have been looking at a nissan v6. The new ones are incredibly
well engineered, and you can get a slightly older one for a very good
price. The problem is, and the one that was touched upon, is that you
have to alter things. Cut half-shafts means worrying about welds
breaking. I'd have to weld new transmission mounts, as well as new
engine mounts, as well as any modifications to the frame to clear the
new engine and setup. On top of that, I'd need to route the shifter
However, for me personally, I want as much performance for as little
cost as possible. I also want the best performance I can get, and I
think the simplest way to do that is through the v8. There would not
be major mods required, and I don't think I could easily get the same
engine specs from another engine without spending major dollars. Keep
in mind kelmarks are cheap cars, you don't see many going for over
5000. And if you invest that much in the engine, you won't get it
back. By no means am I putting down japanese components, i just think
that a v8 offers the best power, price, and availability of any engine
option possible. I think 300 HP is an ideal figure to shoot for. The
914 trans should be able to hold that much without death. I've seen
930's go for 2500, by the way.
Engine choice is very much a matter of opinion, so don't think I'm the
wisest of the bunch, and again, in no way am i trying to put down you
or anybody else. I just think that's the BEST option for a Kelmark
drivetrain. Others are viable, just not, in my opinion the best.
You are forgetting that the car companies have been spending million and millions of dollars to pare weight from modern drivetrains. The new stuff is LIGHT. A 4 bolt main 350 Chevy goes out the door at between 600 and 625 lbs with an aluminum intake, The 3.8 Ford weighs 350#, the V6 Buick at about 365 with an aluminum intake, not that I would advocate using either of them. If you don't go with the TH 425, them what. I know of no affordable, light weight options that will take the kind of abuse that I would like to dish out. In addition to all of that, how do you expect to put all of that V8 torque to the ground? If you could get a Kelmark to say, 2000# you will fry the tires any time you try to put gobs of torque to the ground.
> I also have been looking at a nissan v6. The new ones are incredibly
> well engineered, and you can get a slightly older one for a very good
> price. The problem is, and the one that was touched upon, is that you
> have to alter things. Cut half-shafts means worrying about welds
Nobody in his right mind would try to splice axles. Recutting the splines to match whatever CV joint you are adapting to, is the way do this safely. It is done all the time to narrowed rear ends.
> I'd have to weld new transmission mounts, as well as new
> engine mounts, as well as any modifications to the frame to clear the
> new engine and setup. On top of that, I'd need to route the shifter
If this gives you pause, perhaps you should stick with a VW set up.
> However, for me personally, I want as much performance for as little
> cost as possible. I also want the best performance I can get, and I
> think the simplest way to do that is through the v8. There would not
> be major mods required, and I don't think I could easily get the same
> engine specs from another engine without spending major dollars.
Don't be silly. The Northstars are 300 hp in the late cars, but you are stuck with an auto magic transaxle. Lots of others are getting close to that mark, to boot.
> in mind kelmarks are cheap cars, you don't see many going for over
> 5000. And if you invest that much in the engine, you won't get it
> back. By no means am I putting down japanese components, i just think
> that a v8 offers the best power, price, and availability of any engine
> option possible.
The bug a boo here is the Transaxle. What are you going to use?
> I think 300 HP is an ideal figure to shoot for. The
> 914 trans should be able to hold that much without death.
Instant death if you use 1st gear, and if rebuilt and never abused, it will last a while. But not a long while, and not with a heavy flywheel or big tires. Check out the V8 914 sites if you think I am exagerating.
> I've seen 930's go for 2500, by the way.
I believe that used ones can be had for that, but by the time you get the ring gear flipped and the box rebuilt with the parts that will take the torque of a V8, and add the adapter and the special clutch you have to run, into the mix you still end up with six grand or so. Now if I was going to use one, I guaranty I would get it for less than that, but I am tenacious and cheap. I still would be in it $4,000. I am I a big enough lunatic to do that? Sure, but I can't see any reason to go that route. Why put up with 30 year old technology and drivability when I can have a faster, quicker, better handling, better riding car that is as civilized as a stock Ford Taurus or a Coupe de Ville?
Not all of us can afford or find Northstar engines to put in our
cars...and I don't think there's any way I'll ever put an automatic in
Also, if you invest in the 930 transaxle, you can go right up to 700HP,
according to renegade. That would make for a hell of a car, and with
the V8 that kind of performance is readily attainable.
If I could drop 2500 on an Olds Aurora engine, I would. But I don't
have that cash. If I could put a 20b in, I'd do that first, and that's
about as techy as you get. It's just not affordable, and not easy
> Not all of us can afford or find Northstar engines to put in our
> cars...and I don't think there's any way I'll ever put an automatic in
> my car.
The engines go for less than $1,500 on eBay. I can buy a whole rolled Cadillac for $1,200, and sell the stuff I don't need to defray the cost of th car. I agree about the auto magic. I will look into whether you can set up an electronic override for the Northstar gearbox. If it is feasable, the idea of an F-1 "paddle shift" set up would be VERY cool. I just need to do the research on the servo control of the valve body when business slows down toward Christmas.
> Also, if you invest in the 930 transaxle, you can go right up to 700HP,
> according to renegade. That would make for a hell of a car, and with
> the V8 that kind of performance is readily attainable.
Yes, but you will be in it $6,000 +
> If I could drop 2500 on an Olds Aurora engine, I would. But I don't
> have that cash. If I could put a 20b in, I'd do that first, and that's
> about as techy as you get. It's just not affordable, and not easy
Its no harder than putting in a SBC.
Iran's so far awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay...
Here are some snippets from various websites:
"Q. What is the weight difference with a V-8?
A. About 150 pounds when swapping from a 4 cylinder engine to a V-8 and
about 85 pounds difference when swapping from a V-6 engine.
Q. Is a V-8 going to ruin my handling?
A. As you have read already there will be some added weight to your
car. If your car handles badly before doing a V-8 Swap the extra 100
pounds or so isn?t going to help it any. But for the most part the
extra weight will not adversely effect the handling. "
This is from the V8 Archie site, which is used in fieros.
J-spec 20b Motor (the minimum) 4500.00
Rebuilt/Ported 20b Motor 10000.00
Turbonetics T-66 w/ bb option 2000.00
Custom 20b Exhaust Mani. 321 S/S 529.00
Greddy Type C (recommended) 925.00
Tial 46mm 600.00
Oil & Water lines
Custom for Turbo 150.00
Custom (if you go AN on the radiator)200.00
SX 90 GPH 329.00
Weldon 2040 225.00
Fuel pressure gauge 100.00
Braided Steel Line & AN Fittings 300.00
New hard lines (tank to firewall) 75.00
2x 720cc injectors RP 225.00
2x1600 cc Bosch (pair) SR 280.00
Terminated Harness 150.00
3 Bar Map Sensor 112.00
Used Laptop 300.00
Additionaly IG4 to run trailing ign. 400.00
O2 Sensor 329.00
A/F meter (Autronic, Fueltronic) 1000.00
Clutch 5.5" Q'master (MazdaComp price) 650.00
Fresh hydraulics (M/C, slave) 120.00
S/S lines 80.00
Rear counterweight 50.00
Pilot bearing and seal 30.00
Relocate Battery 35.00
BOV (need 2) 300.00 ea.
Downpipe w/ Wastegate conx 150.00
N1 coversion to 3" 50.00
FMIC w/ piping 1200.00"
This is from http://www.se-rx7.com/20b/shoplst.html , which is a
website of somebody who actually did an FC3S Rx7 conversion. Now, some
of those things you don't need, as you aren't putting the engine in an
Rx7, and some others you do need may be neglected. The price
difference and difficulty level is huge. While I may have my engine in
by christmas, most people qoute 6 months at a minimum for a 20b
The ultimate option for a V-8 conversion is the 930 (911 turbo) four
speed transaxle. Originally designed for racing applications, this
tranny can handle 700+ HP. This is the best choice for mid engine V-8
applications because it can be modified to be used for mid engine kit
cars without turning the box upside-down. Or, if you have a 911
chassis that originally had the 901, 911, or 915 transaxles, this 930
transaxle can be shortened to fit in a stock 911 chassis. Plus, the
stock gear ratios are very nice for higher performance V-8 power
plants. At 6000 RPM?s, with 25 inch diameter tires, expect speed
Rebuilt 930 transaxle and electric speedometer modification: $4400
Add: Flipping of ring and pinion for mid engine use: $1100
Add: Shortened bellhousing and main shaft for space limited
applications (911,914 or Corvair) or for lighter clutch components: $500
Add: Adapter plate & hardware, flywheel & bolts, Kevlar
high performance clutch disc, HP pressure plate, throw out
bearing, and pilot bearing: $1790
Grand Total (all above): $7790"
This is a qoute from renegade's letter on prices of transaxle options
they have. You're very close in your qoute of 6000 for the transaxle.
But if you consider that you can get a 930 trans for 2500, rebuilt,
you'll need to add the flipping of the ring and the shortened
bellhousing, for an additional 1600. You may even be able to drop the
shortened bellhousing, as this is a custom application and not going in
a 914. Then there's the adaptor kit, which appears to be identical to
the one you'd need for a 901 anyways. So the final cost of an upgrade
to a 930 could be as low as 3600$. That's a big "if", but when you
consider the almost limitless performance of such a big transaxle
upgrade, it may be worth it. On a side note, is it just me, or if the
914 adaptor kit was such a terrible idea, why would three different
companies make one and profit from it? Renegade, kennedy, and Rod
Simpson Hybrids all make adaptor kits. I understand that some people
have problems, but I would think people would stop buying them if they
You can install any small block Chevy V8 in your Porsche. Cost and
choice of transaxle are your only consideration. I chose the small
block Chevy because of its length. It is the only V8 I found that would
fit with no cutting or modifacation to the engine compartment. The
Chevy V8 with cast iron heads weighs 490 lbs. The 930 engine weighs 510
lbs. The standard Porsche 911 engine weighs 410 lbs. You can shave
approx 50 more lbs off your Chevy by using aluminum heads.
901: Good choice for basic conversions, engine should be limited to 300
ft lbs of V8 torque or 225 ft lbs of V6 torque in 1st gear and 340 ft
lbs of V8 torque or 255 ft lbs of V6 torque in 2nd thru 5th. Top speed
will be approx. 148 mph @ 6500 rpm with the stock 31:22 (ZA) 5th gear
set. If you want a taller 5th gear, it can be replaced with a 19:32 (H)
2nd gear reversed (32:19), where the driven gear in the set becomes the
driving gear. Then 6500 rpm is approx. 179 mph and 55 mph is a
comfortable 2000 rpm. The stock 215mm pressure plate with the RSH disk
will hold up to 350 ft/lbs of V8 torque. The stock disc will hold up to
915: In 1972 Porsche started putting the 915 transaxle in the 911 and
916. It will handle 450 ft/lbs of V8 torque. In 1977, Porsche
Strengthened its mainshaft and it will survive 600+ ft/lbs of V8
torque. 915 ring and pinion must be flipped for mid-engine
Application(914). The 911 SC clutch assembly will hold up to 325 ft/lbs
of V8 torque. The RSH disc will hold up to 450+ ft/lbs of V8 torque."
One more from RSH. 300/340 seems good to me.
I'm all for new technology, but it makes you wonder when there are V8
conversion kits for jaguars, rx7's, datsun/nissans, triumphs, porsches,
and fieros, among others I did not list.
\> "ENGINE CHOICE
> The Chevy V8 with cast iron heads weighs 490 lbs. The 930 engine weighs 510
> lbs. The standard Porsche 911 engine weighs 410 lbs. You can shave
> approx 50 more lbs off your Chevy by using aluminum heads.
While they make this claim on the website, it is pure fantasy. A SBC with aluminum heads, intake, and water pump weighs about 500 lbs. They are also weighing the motor sans water pump, flywheel, clutch, and exhaust, since that is how it is used in the 914 swap. (Special offset waterpump and tiny $1,500 flywheel with "puller" clutch)
> TRANSAXLE CHOICE
> 901: Good choice for basic conversions, engine should be limited to 300
> ft lbs of V8 torque or 225 ft lbs of V6 torque in 1st gear and 340 ft
> lbs of V8 torque or 255 ft lbs of V6 torque in 2nd thru 5th. > One more from RSH. 300/340 seems good to me.
Excxept that if you actually talk to them they will cop to the fact that you will munch the transaxle if you use first gear with any amount torque. That is why part of the available mods is REMOVING 1st gear. In addition, the 300 ft/lbs is w/o ANY abuse. Have the slightest bit of fun with it and it is junk.
> I'm all for new technology, but it makes you wonder when there are V8
> conversion kits for jaguars, rx7's, datsun/nissans, triumphs, porsches,
> and fieros, among others I did not list.
The part that you fail to see is this: All of the above are 3,000 lb or heavier cars to start with. For these a V8 swap makes sense. Making a 1700 lb Kelmark into a 2600 lb car so you can use a V8 is not the best choice.
NB: In case you haven't noticed, all of the Jap conversion/modification shops are aimed at rich kids who have no imagination, skills or patience. Consequently ALL of the stuff for them is vastly overpriced. That is why I am not advocating any of the "rice boy" set ups.
Iran's so far awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay...
While I have seen and gotten a ride in a V8 RX7, I believe it is a very foolish option. I have a '86 RX7 and a Turbo Rotary in my Kelmark and am sold on the rotary. Pound for pound the rotary has got the V8 beat.(I'm an old V8 motorhead going years back!)
The rotary has got fewer parts, likes to rev, loves a big turbo and puts out lots of HP for its size. On the downside, they make a lot of heat and don't have a lot of low end torque(unless you supercharge them, but then you have to watch the high revs so as not to overspeed the supercharger.)
Watching a first Gen. RX7 turn in the high 9s in the quarter kind of sold me the first time I saw it and there are rotary cars out there now that are a lot faster. BTW ,the rotary car I saw turn in the 9s had 150 runs on the engine without a rebuild, try that with a piston engine! I still love the sound of a V8, but its like a Harley-Davidson, something from the past (the last harly I owned a couple of years ago I had to sue harley because it was such a piece of junk!)
and finally, me:
Where on earth are you getting your weights from? I really want to
know. Does putting a v8 in your car include putting 300lbs of sand in
the trunk? I'm pretty sure the MAXIMUM weight difference is 375 lbs
for a non-aluminum v8 compared to a VW flat four. That's 575 for the
chevy, and 200 for the VW. I don't get where the extra 600 lbs comes
into play? If you really want, I'll give you 200 lbs for headers and
chassis stiffeners, let's just say you WON'T need them in a car with a
smaller engine (and you might). That's still only 575 lbs of
difference, NOT 900. 200lbs of difference is a LOT of weight for 2
extra tubes coming off your engine and the 2 chassis stiffeners (which
are almost sheetmetal). Not only that, but with an aluminum intake
manifold you'll save yourself 40 lbs, and if weight is that big of an
issue you can add aluminum heads to save almost 100 lbs total.
(http://www.team.net/sol/tech/engine.html). The VW is the LIGHTEST
engine on that entire list, by the way, so real world savings would be
And all of those cars that I listed:
Mazda: 2500 in 1979 to 2900 in 1992 (for a turbo)
Triumph Tr8: 2640
These are not 3000lb sedans, they are sportscars of the 80's. I have a
few friends with Rx-7's, both First gen and second, and the one with
the second has a tuned motor and is considering dropping in a ford 5.0.
It's the most cost effective way of gaining horsepower around.
What kind of engine do you suggest, if not a v8?
I understand this is insanely long, and you don't have to read it. However, I would really appreciate (all) your advice, whatever it is.
looks like i decided to post it....let's see if anyone reads this mumbo jumbo
Iran's so far awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay...
Is the design above yours??
it looks like a brazilian sportscar of the 70´s, the Puma GTI
I Love These Races!!!
The 56th member of this Forum.
nope, it's a kelmark, similar to this:
and i think it was built in texas or something
Iran's so far awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay...
Way cool ride !!
I finally finished your post .....
My personal opinion is to run with the 350, as you stated it really is the cheapest way to get serious power. With a dual plenum aluminum intake (Edelbrock performer or such) a 650 - 750 cfm carb, a street/strip camshaft of between .430" and .500" lift, and some minor head work .... port & polish the ports, heavier than stock valve springs ... even better if you can get your hands on older performance heads with the 2.02 intake valves .... do a search for casting numbers, they are still around.
This would give you approx. 270 - 325 hp and be a nice reliable, totally drivable powerplant for your lightweight car that should not be too stressful on your Porsche tranny( I know nothing about that tranny) or suspension components.
As far as the extra weight of the V8 over a 4 or 6, I really don't think its that big a factor considering your mid- engine layout, if it were a front engine car then maybe a V8 would ruin its handling making it really nose- heavy, then again I have a friend of a friend that has a 540 GM monster block in a Cobra kitcar, and I've been told that its really not all that bad.
If I were in your shoes, I would probably try to fit a 5.0 from a wrecked Mustang into it, if nothing else to have a car that is fuel-injected, easily tunable (think Vortec supercharger later ) and known to be a reliable performance engine, but I do have a personal preferance for Ford small blocks.
Hope I've been some help, good luck
BTW: where do you find Kelmarks? ....I really like the look of it
I wrote this entire email once and then it deleted itself...let's see what I remember.
First off, the best thing to do would probably be to either get an audi transaxle out of a 5000, which is supposed to hold up to 400-450, or to get a FWD engine and Tranny, like a ford SHO. I realized that longitudinal engine mounting is not so necessary as in a larger car. With the short wheelbase that the kelmark has, it doesn't put it far off from an MR2 or Exige/elise. Of course, I didn't realize this until a month ago.
Which brings me to another important point. My father just bought a GT40 replicar. I'm not sure if you're familiar with the Fiberfab Valkyrie, but he may have bought the one on the front cover of the advertising brochure. This will be a midengined, rear wheel drive car, and at least as much of a project as my car. That doesn't leave a lot of room for my project, which would be almost identical.
The other point....I don't have a huge amount of cash right now. In six months, I might, but I also no longer live with my parents in NY, so I don't have room for the car in boston. Makes it difficult to work on.
And lastly, I've gotten a severe case of rally fever. I'm in love with subaru's and lancers and mostly lancias. I can't afford any of those right now, so I'm looking into other Awd's, but that brings me to yet another point.
Is it possible to make the Kelmark 4wd? I kept looking at an AMC eagle drivetrain. Relatively simple, straight six, tranny, transfer case, two axles. Independant front, solid rear. The engine was almost perfectly centered over the front axle, making a good weight balance. So could I flip it? I pondered this for a long time...and I came up with two ideas. One was to flip something in the transmission to make it rotate in reverse. The other was to flip the differentials on either end of the car. This would keep the driveline rotating in normal format, but the wheels should be rotating in reverse, effectively giving 5 forward speeds in a midengined car. I'm still not sure if this is possible. I'm now trying to figure out what kind of suspension to use for it. I was originally thinking of eagle fronts and rears, but I'm not sure the front end would clear the body. If i used it for the rear, i'd have to fix the steering linkage and get new calipers to have an emergency brake. I also considered a chevy setup with jaguar IRS and something in the front, i don't know what. That leaves me with one MAJOR issue any way you look at it. Where am I going to fit all that engine and transmission without disrupting the passenger seat?
So that's where I am. I still have the car, but I'm seriously considering selling it to get something that's less of a project so I can drive it as well as drool over it. I don't know if you have any ideas, but I'll definately listen. I'm not sure whether or not I'll lose my garage space, so that's also a factor.
Iran's so far awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay...
Last edited by sandwich; 01-21-2004 at 08:28 PM.
Are you serious about wanting to rally ?
How much do you want to have as a budget ?
How desperate are you to win or is it for fun ?
First, if you want to be competitive in rallies involving twisty roads or non-tarmac stages then DO NOT run a live rear axle. You'll never be able to set it up to compete !
AWD means you're in a class with teams who can spend serious money.
So if you want to win it will be expensive.
Most big teams spend the money to have other drivers recce stages and routes and provide detailed notes. Murray Grierson does this for Colin McRae and he's just bought hiimself a helicoptor. So although he doesn't talk about it, it's clear he's paid pretty well
2WD puts you in a different class.
This gives you a chance of class wins, but unlikely to achieve outright win.
Also, you can chose to compete in 'showroom class' - old GroupN (not sure what it's called now). These have limited scope for improvements which keeps costs down but are amongst the most competitive classes as lots of VERY good drivers are in the starting list ! EVO's have ruled this class in the UK for a long time now !
One make classes also exist. Nissan challenge, super1600 etc. These vary by country.
Special on-offs usually puts you in the top class even if your car isn't THAT special ( look under the skin of a WRC car and it's amazing ) Do you think you can put together a design to beat Peugeot, Citroen, Subaru, Ford etc ?
Hahaha...no, I know i have no chance of competing in this car. It's more of just for fun. Besides, custom one-off's are not legal in Rally racing, at least in SCCA as far as i know. I just thought a car with 500 reliable horsepower and AWD would be fun...especially if it handles well.
PS. the above post was in a reply to a PM, so i apologize if it's written funny. I couldn't fit it in one PM so I just posted it here. Besides, I still don't know if it's actually possible to do, so I'm hoping somebody will tell me.
What do you mean by Live rear axle? A limited slip? Open differential?
Iran's so far awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay...
If I were you I would stick with the V8 because it gives you the most bang for your buck. A modern DOHC engine like one in the NSX would be to expensive and not as powerful as a smallblock V8. Plus SOHC and DOHC engines are usually larger and way more complicated for a do-it-your-selfer. Not to mention repairs, there is a lot less to worry about with the V8. The Ultima GTR uses a smallblock V8 attached to a Porsche G50 5 speed gearbox.
Where the diff and rear axle are one unit with half-shafts .
The alternative is independent rears, of many varieties.
The most common performance one being wishbones, fixed diff and drive shafts.
Matra used cast trailing arms on the Bagheera's and torsion bar so there are many options
Independant gives you more scope for getting the hadling right on the rougher stuff.
As you're not going competitively, it's whatevers cheapest as both setups be fun on the track
Ok, i thought you meant live as in independant.
There's no way I'll stand for a solid axle...it just won't happen. I think i can fix the steering linkage so it doesn't turn, in which case I may use the front end from the AMC pictured above.
Iran's so far awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay...
Call For Help
Help me route my call for help about my 1998 Subaru Forester. I bought it 3 months ago. I later discovered that the previous owner had overheated the engine for a long time. First the engine blew a head gasket and fried. I was broke down in San Diego and found a swap shop that specializes in replacing blown motors with imported engines from japan that are 3 years old with low milage. I paid the shop $3000 to replace the dead engine with a 3 year old dual cam engine from Japan with only 16 thousand miles.
A month later, just 2 weeks ago while driving on the freeway; an unknown heavy load suddenly killed the engine. When trying to restart the load is still present and has the engine bound/blocked from rotating. It does this in all possible ways to attempt starting.
I do not have the money right now to put it in a shop. I am an excellant engine swap, rally and MX suspension, front and rear clip fabricator. I could easily do the repair work but I do not even know where to star with a Subaru. I bought it because I have never seen anything faster on wet train tracks. Plus my never ending desire to build and run the fastest rig possible in the winter up at Cascade Idaho. I love racing along the shoreline road at the base of West Mountain. Subaru has everything beat there.
It cost me $350 to tow it home. Without a scan tool to download the computer codes, where should I start?
Should I suspect the Transmission?
Is it likely that the shop that installed the replacement motor did not properly torque the connection points of the I dunno to the engine.
I have built and raced small block chevy's all my life and I dont know Jack about this drivetrain that is now demanding my fullest attention.
Please advise, Monty
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