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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:54 pm 
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New Here...
Apologies! my question Probably covered here somewhere, just getting used to "Locost Lingo"

Engine Question
Are there adaptors available to use a engine that was originally a front wheel drive & bolt to a more readilly available 5 spd

Tks Gents


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 Post subject: Re: Basic Question
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:52 pm 
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Always Moore!
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Search for "bell housing" or "bell housing adapter".

Most people that have gone that route have simply made an adapter plate for between the engine and the bell housing.

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 Post subject: Re: Basic Question
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:18 pm 
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There is plenty here to read about that here, searching will help too. It's something we should cover in a FAQ though. Just a simple list of FWD motors and the RWD transmissions they bolt to. I think that Ford Zetec will bolt to Ford Ranger (and maybe other T5's) and Ford Duratec will bolt to Miata Transmissions.

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 Post subject: Re: Basic Question
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:24 pm 
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You will very often find that most manufacturers use a very similar if not identical engine block for both front wheel drive, and rear wheel drive versions of the same engine.
It is usually just a case of sourcing a rear wheel drive gearbox for that particular engine type, and it will most likely bolt straight up.

The biggest problems with using a front wheel drive engine in a rear wheel drive car, often have more to do with a different cylinder head and manifolds being used.
It is not uncommon to have the thermostat and water outlet from the cylinder head at the flywheel end of the motor, for example.
Or an ignition distributors that sticks straight out of the back of the cylinder head.
But usually (?) bolting up a suitable rear wheel drive gearbox will be the very least of your problems.


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 Post subject: Re: Basic Question
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:37 pm 
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Also don't forget oil pan and pick up differences. Since the forces will be acting upon the oil in the pan at 90 degrees to how the pan and pickup was designed.

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 Post subject: Re: Basic Question
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:04 pm 
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Another problem is often the inlet manifold height.
The hood slopes gently up towards the windshield, and the inlet manifold on a front wheel drive car may be the highest point of the engine. Plenty of room for it up near the firewall with the engine mounted east west.

But with the engine turned around, that inlet manifold can end up looking mighty tall stuck way out to one side. Plenty of things to think about, but it is not impossible, it has been done many times before.


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 Post subject: Re: Basic Question
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:41 am 
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The main sources for adapters are Trans-Dapt and KEP. Unless you're mating a small block Chevy to a Toyota 4wd box or a flathead Ford V8 to an early Cadillac three-speed manual, Trans-Dept doesn't have much to offer a Locost builder.

KEP (Kennedy Engineered Products) appears to have come out of the sandrail market, long ago. If you want to put a 502 Chevy up against an early VW transaxle, they make an adapter for it. They also make adapters to put various American V6s and V8s, Toyota fours, etc. up against VW, Porsche, Audi, and Subaru transmissions.

A handful of other companies make one or two specific adapters, but they don't have a product lineup like those two.


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 Post subject: Re: Basic Question
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 7:20 am 
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So, for a first time builder, seem like the best course would be to try to find a complete (drive train) RWD doner.
That said, looks to me like the field is pretty narrow.
Miata's look to be in the 1000.00 range these days
Hmmmmm!!

do most of you guys purchase the doner first, to help decide on dimensional info for the build?

Tks again Gents
f


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 Post subject: Re: Basic Question
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 7:40 am 
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Miata, S10, Camaro, Ranger, Mustang, Pinto, RWD Corolla, RWD Celica, any of the varius MG, Triumph, AH, etc British roadsters - there are quite a few options and I missed several. The only real requirements are RWD and the right price.

I stumbled on this car last week for instance (I'm sure stuff like this pops up locally if you watch): http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/cto/2579584281.html

The price is a little high for a Locost donor but it has potential depending on your goals. Cash talks when people want to sell stuff. ;)

Any time I build a car I let the stuff I can't change define the stuff I can change. If a good donor dropped into my lap for the right price, it shouldn't take much to make it work. The biggest constraint will be rear axle width as many axles are too narrow for the +4 cockpits everyone seems to be using. If you stuck with a more traditional width chassis or found some wide offset wheels it would probably be fine.

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 Post subject: Re: Basic Question
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:20 am 
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Quote:
do most of you guys purchase the doner first, to help decide on dimensional info for the build?


If you are trying to build it low cost and use as many donor parts you can, you can't get very far without the donor parts. Yeah, you could rough out the frame in a weekend but then what? You can't build control arms or set the suspension pickups on the frame. You'll need the final tire sizes and wheel offsets to continue the design too. In the most basic case, unless you have the engine and trans (etc) you can't even determine the size frame you will need to fit it all.

So, yes, I'd suggest getting the donor and stripping it down to the parts you will use and parts you might use. Get rid of the rest'cause it will just take up needed space. Then decide on where to go with the parts you have......

Most builders that use the Miata, end up selling off the un-needed interior and body parts and some close to a net-zero or negative cost. That is if thay buy a non-rusted, non-dented donor with a good interior. There are not too many other donors that can claim that. If you buy a wrecked miata for $1k with a trashed interior, then you may not have many parts to sell off. You'ld have to check your local Miata action scene to see if there are any potential buyers.

Another option is to buy a pallet donor from Flyin Miata. It is a bit $$$ compared to tearing down a donor though.

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 Post subject: Re: Basic Question
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:31 am 
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GREAT info!
Logical
Thank You!

now I can start to put together a plan

I know this is a really broad question,
can you tell me the engine bay size in a "book build" Locost? ...just so I can have an idea of what to work with

Heading to the local bone yard this weekend with tape measure in hand

Trying to get my head around this


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 Post subject: Re: Basic Question
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:46 am 
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Fritz, Welcome to the forum. Yes, visit the boneyard to see what's available locally, and get measurements. Might turn up something. For actual shopping though, your best friend will probably turn out to be E-bay & CraigsList. C/L is where I found my (Miata) donor. When you're on E-bay, be sure to look for their listing for "Salvage" cars, too. Some good possibilities there. A lot also has to do with what part of the country you live in. Where i live, sports cars are few and far between (lots of trucks and SUV's, though) so I had to go about 250 miles out to find my Miata. Whatever you come up with, this forum has got so much combined knowledge you shouldn't have any trouble finding the solutions that you need.

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 Post subject: Re: Basic Question
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:39 pm 
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I would strongly suggest having the donor before building the frame. If you use a Miata, you will find that the engine and drive train are offset to the passenger side. This might make you move the transmission tunnel. Little things such as the clutch slave cylinder can cause problems with a standard book or even a plus 4 frame. The Miata seat might not fit on the passenger side. Having these parts available before finalizing the frame will result in fewer things you have to change later. With the Miata, many people have to make changes to the frame in order to get the engine as low as they want. Just my 2 cents.


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 Post subject: Re: Basic Question
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:29 pm 
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I used a Ford Zetec (front-wheel drive Ford Focus) engine, mated to a rear-wheel drive Ford T-5 transmission, using a www.quad4rods.com bellhousing. They make bells for GM front-drive conversions, as well. No issues with the oil system, fuel injection (although I ripped that all off and bolted Webers on - I'm old skool...) etc. I like the fact that it's a modern motor (with modern metallurgy) that will go gazillions of miles without rebuilding.

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 Post subject: Re: Basic Question
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:32 am 
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I bolted a Zetec to a 1972 2.0 liter Pinto 4 speed (FOG Type-E). The block is missing one bolt hole due to the starter being in a differnt location than on the Pinto engine.

If you use the bellhousing from a Ford of Germany (FOG) Type-E and the five speed from a Xr4ti (FOG Type-9) you can get a factory Ford Zetec 5 speed combo without doing much extra work. I've covered this in multiple threads, so do a search for the specifics.


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