What RWD motor (past or present) offers the best fuel economy to performance ratio? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:42 PM
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What RWD motor (past or present) offers the best fuel economy to performance ratio?

I have a couple of projects that are leftover from my days driving SCCA sedan series and have been thinking of taking my leftover 1973 MG Midget and making it into something cute for my wife to drive around.
She suggested I use my leftover 1.3L Mazda Miata motor because it would be fast and get good gas mileage.
I don't think it would be easily done, but wondered if there is a reliable rear wheel drive platform out there that could offer the same performance to economy ratio in a 2000 or less lb. car.

I considered using a motor from an old 1970's Mercedes 190D once, but ended up making a nice generator instead.

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Old 08-21-2008, 06:18 AM
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Are you looking to stick with carb'd or are you willing to go with efi? Your economy will go up a fair amount with efi. Your best bet would be something along the lines of a 1.8 miata motor, a 2.4l NIssan 240sx motor, or even a porsche 944 non turbo motor. From your days at SCCA, you prolly know that the miata motors are pretty killer for power vs. performance, and the aftermarket is endless, and the cheapest of the three.

-Greg
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Old 08-21-2008, 09:55 AM
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I believe I need a motor designed for a RWD platform so anything that is designed for FWD is probably out.

I have successfully used a Toyota 22R in the past, but the gas mileage wasn't as good as you may expect it to be.

The customer was happy with the swap and the conversion parts but claimed that he got 20-25 MPG all of the time.

I suppose I am looking to see if there has been something else produced that I don't know anything about o maybe a new way to do the conversion.

Several people have mentioned crotch rocket motors, but my experience with those is very limited and I remember those bikes to be maintenance intensive.
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:15 AM
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Take a look at the the Ford Duratec as used in the Ford Ranger that is rwd and the one in my Focus gets 35mpg and the performance is fine..Should go like stink in your spridget..Might even find one in the wrecking yard for reasonable..

Sam
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Old 08-21-2008, 01:27 PM
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Thank's Sam

Thank you Sam.

That is more likely the direction I am looking in.

I had a Sprite with a 2.3L turbo motor in it once.

The conversion was done in a crude way and it never ran well as it was so I pulled the motor and trans and filled the spot with a 302 Ford and T-5.

I still have that car, but have not driven it since 1998.

It needs to be finished one of these days.
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Old 08-22-2008, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ret_marine2003
Thank you Sam.

That is more likely the direction I am looking in.

I had a Sprite with a 2.3L turbo motor in it once.

The conversion was done in a crude way and it never ran well as it was so I pulled the motor and trans and filled the spot with a 302 Ford and T-5.

I still have that car, but have not driven it since 1998.

It needs to be finished one of these days.
Also consider the Ecotech from GM. It's available with 260 HP in RWD turbo form in the Solstice/Sky. There is also an aftermaket supercharger available from GM.
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Old 08-22-2008, 04:54 PM
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What about a 3800 supercharged V6 (the 3.8s were also used in rwd cars) add a t5 manual transmission and it should get well over 30 mpg.

Shane
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Old 08-22-2008, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevrolet4x4s
What about a 3800 supercharged V6 (the 3.8s were also used in rwd cars) add a t5 manual transmission and it should get well over 30 mpg.

Shane

I would need greater width to run that 3.8, believe it or not.

I have never had any love for that series of V-6 motors.

They seem to be a popular ticker for a disposable car, but I don't need another one of those.

Some swear by them others swear at them.

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Old 08-22-2008, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_padavano
Also consider the Ecotech from GM. It's available with 260 HP in RWD turbo form in the Solstice/Sky. There is also an aftermaket supercharger available from GM.

I would love to have more information on that mill and access to one to see it myself.

I suppose what I am looking for does not have to be a performance motor, the car is light enough to make anything designed for RWD work.

I was looking for import stuff. There used to be several brands of little compact pick up and utilities available.

Nearly 15 years ago I lived in Japan and drove a compact utility truck.

The motor was a tiny but carried that ugly cab over block of sheet metal up to 80 KM an hour and got good enough gas mileage to make it across the island and back to base where gasoline is cheap.
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Old 08-23-2008, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ret_marine2003
I would need greater width to run that 3.8, believe it or not.

I have never had any love for that series of V-6 motors.

They seem to be a popular ticker for a disposable car, but I don't need another one of those.

Some swear by them others swear at them.

How much extra width would you need,I'm thinking of doing this to a triumph or mg sometime.

Thanks
Shane
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Old 08-23-2008, 04:27 PM
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Look at the Gm 60 degree V6, like the 3.4l
They mate up to a T5 or a metric 700r4.
they are all aluminum and well supported.
Check out 60degreev6.com

Run a wideband O2 and an aftermarket computer...

Keith
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Old 08-23-2008, 08:20 PM
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SR20 nissan. (detuned racing engine)

can get a complete engine and trans for less than 3K.

210hp stock (6 psi of boost). 30+mpg in a light car
350hp with 15 psi of boost with stock turbo
450hp+ with 20 psi of boost with bigger turbo

do a sr20 you-tube search. lots of videos.
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Old 08-23-2008, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevrolet4x4s
How much extra width would you need,I'm thinking of doing this to a triumph or mg sometime.

Thanks
Shane
Shane,

If you take the time to mock it up you will find the 3.8 V6 and other similar V6 motors that are related to be too wide, especially when you are working with the exhaust manifolds. It is a short enough block to fit, but cooling and accessories are going to be a problem from that perspective too.

I chose the 302 Ford last time because it was the best small V8 option besides the Range Rover motor and the little Buick or Olds aluminum motor that one was based on.

There used to be a resource dedicated to modified Austin Healeys called "The Wheel Spinner" printed by Leroy Joppa?

There would often be articles that showed modified MGA, Triumphs, MG's and Austin Healeys.

If you look at pdljmpr.net you may see some detailed areas that illustrate other people's builds.

I think one of mine is still over there.
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Old 08-23-2008, 09:58 PM
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Not RWD, but...

May be out of the ball park, however, years ago, with my Cadillac Eldorado running with the n*star; I could get nearly 500 miles per tank of gas running on long, straight TX highways (33 mpg). You could bolt the N*star to a 700-R to make it RWD; 289 ci, all aluminum, hemi-head, dual overhead cam engine might fit into what you want to shoehorn it into....had lots of power! Many like it in a Fiero or Saturn base chassis; why not an MG?
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