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MRGUMBY 08-10-2009 10:34 AM

MPG rod? Does it need a big, American engine?
I lurked here for a while but I need to know your opinions, so I am making my first post a question.

I have a 1/2 ton Econoline frame sitting here and I keep staring at it.

I have ways to cut it down and some interesting ideas for it. Part home made Lotus 7 on steroids, part rat rod...100% like nothing else.

What if it had a Toyota engine in it?

Not because I love them, but because for 500.00, I can get a WONDERFUL running little 2.0 liter 4 banger that will rev like mad and last 150,000 more miles...all the while getting better than 30 MPG with my weight/drag/ratio's.

I will be under what a Camry weighs. These engines move a Camry around just fine. (I drive a 2.0 liter Camry daily now.)

Light trans, light radiator, light motor...all on 15 inch rubber with huge brakes for the weight...etc.

I like the idea, but the local people who have heard tell of it...they laugh at me. (They also drive 10 MPG 4X4 pickups daily with one guy in each truck 40 miles each way to work. I own a BB Suburban myself, but I do not drive it unless pulling the car trailer or carrying 6 people.)

So, as a daily driver, if the cool factor was there, would a light 4 banger make you puke?
I have a SB 305 and a T400 sitting in a van that could go in it too, but by the time I freshen the V8, I will have more into it than the 'Yota motor. I already have a tranny for either way it will go.

If you were building a rod for everyday driving...with fuel prices like they are...would you not consider a F.I. 4 banger?

Would it be that big of a deal that it was a Japanese engine, not a Pontiac?

OneMoreTime 08-10-2009 11:15 AM

One thing about what we do here is that you can do your own thing whatever that is..It is not always about the money but what works and turns your clock..Myself I have thought about getting a Speedway T and putting the Ford Focus 4 banger in it for a traditional rod with a modern spin...


speede5 08-10-2009 11:52 AM

IMO most hotrods don't get driven enough for mileage to be a concern. That said I think using modern FI 4 and 6 cylinder engines is a great alternative.

Oldguy48 08-10-2009 03:07 PM

I think the Toyota engine would be a good choice, and you would certainly have a unique vehicle. I'd say "Go for it" , and have a blast building it. :D

moontanker 08-10-2009 03:43 PM

Go man rock your boat.I have had 3cyls.4's 6's and straight 8's V 6's t's ,A's .So what.Plugs were over 3 bucks a piece the other day .I need a toy engine.WellI wont go that far but I know a guy that has an Anglia ,all steel and he has a datsun engine in it.Ac.sses your scene man and do what makes you happy. :cool: :cool:

cboy 08-10-2009 04:05 PM

Let your local friends laugh all they want. I've seen nicely prepared 4 bangers that will leave V8 powered behemoths gasping in their dust...AND get about double the miles per gallon while doing it.

As others have said, this is a sport where the individual's taste comes first and foremost. Build what YOU want to build and you'll never go wrong.

NEW INTERIORS 08-10-2009 04:26 PM

I think a blown 454 would be nice..But that's me.. :thumbup: Look man,If your worried about someone laughing at you,Get out of this hobby now,,No matter what you do and this hobby,There's always someone that won't like what you do..Build it like you want it.And don't ever worry about who like's it and who don't..Believe me when I tell you this..It's the story of my life..I know there's people that don't like what I do,But I don't worry about them..''Please yourself in life'' and don't worry about them...Remember they are just jealous they can't do it... :thumbup:

scrimshaw 08-10-2009 05:46 PM


Originally Posted by NEW INTERIORS
Look man,If your worried about someone laughing at you,Get out of this hobby now,,No matter what you do and this hobby,There's always someone that won't like what you do..:

HAHAHA That's a great line. People laugh at what I do all the time!

I agree with everyone else. Do what you want to do. You might be surprised to find out how many people like to see something different.

mgold 08-10-2009 05:56 PM

I think you should do what you want! Some people might laugh at you, but it's your car and your project! If you want something cool and that saves gas I think that's fine!

Blazin72 08-10-2009 09:04 PM

Put a small turbo on that 4 banger... :thumbup:

Being a Toyota though I'm pretty sure it would be from a front wheel drive car (?). What RWD trans would you use?

ramzoom 08-10-2009 09:47 PM

Go for it! I am all for nice and sneaky with some good mileage..... :D

85_Olds 08-10-2009 09:55 PM

no matter where you go, what you drive, or how it looks, there are always ALWAYS going to be people that sneer and turn their noses up if its out of the ordinary. dont worry about those people, they just want to be in it to be cool. the people that know cars, that really care about them, the people that do it for the love of cars and not the "bling factor" so to speak-they will see what you have done, they will ask questions and they will know how much it really took to make your vision a dream. those are the people you should care about. and they will love your idea! and to top it off-its going to be your car-not theirs, so you should make it your way! if it works for you and you like it thats all that matters. the only thing that might suck is that your are going to have to post a bunch of pictures so we can all bask in the glory! good luck man-and have fun!

Chevrolet4x4s 08-10-2009 10:10 PM

You might be surprised, but you should be able to pull off better mileage with an ls1, from what I understand low - mid 30s highway are fairly common with the 6 speeds in the vettes/f-bodys

NEW INTERIORS 08-10-2009 10:14 PM

The LS is a very nice way to go.. :thumbup:

Blazin72 08-10-2009 10:16 PM

Mid 30s? I think that's probably pushing it. I'd believe mid-high 20s though. I get 27+ if I keep my 4.6L Mustang around 60-65.

How about two four bangers inline? How hard would that be? Maybe you could couple them with some sort of one way clutch so you could shut down or idle the front engine when it's not needed. When it is needed you could fire it up and they could run together for double the horsepower.

Yes, I know that's very elaborate and probably incredibly expensive but I'm bored and feel like sharing silly ideas.

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