November 27, 2007 at 9:29 am #232349Kent CarlsonParticipant
just purchased a Fiberfab Ford front engine Kit. I am interested
in other’s experience in using more modern drive trains. I have
wondered whether Mazda Miata might work. How about small
pickup truck engines, transmissions and rear ends? I want to use an
automatic transmission so my wife can drive it too. I am
interested to hear your thoughts and experiences. Thanks.November 27, 2007 at 10:14 pm #237226Keith TrueParticipant
You can pretty much use what you want,as long as it is close to the weight of what it was set up for and depending on your talents as a welder and fabricator.If you go heavier then you need to get into suspension changes,experimentation,etc.Why not the Ford with an automatic?There is loads of hop-up equipment made for that engine,or,if you like,the Ford Ranger 2.3 engine is still the basic Pinto engine.There are aftermarket outfits that sell the electronics to use those engines in different applications.That engine,with the 8 plugs and fuel injection coupled with an automatic overdrive will just fly down the road and get 30 MPG while doing it.Finding and figuring out the electronics for the Miata might be a problem.If that engine relys on the ECM to tell it when to fire you could be in for a real plate of worms to work on.November 28, 2007 at 2:14 pm #237227Kent CarlsonParticipant
keith – Thanks for that information, that sounds like the way to go. Does the ranger automatic fit into the kit in a similar fashion to the old Pinto automatic? I can make up a new floor pan, but just wonder if that is necessary. Is the ranger rear end too wide? Following up on your info, I find that the Ranger used the 2.3 until 1997, then had a 2.5 that is probably a dressed up 2.3 until 2001 and since then there is a new 2.3. Does anyone know if any of those will work in the TD? Any experience putting one in? Kent Carlson39419.7376041667December 4, 2007 at 9:19 pm #237228Keith TrueParticipant
I think anything you do will need a certain amount of fabrication.I can”t see the ranger trans taking up more room than the pinto C4.The biggest thing is going to be getting all the electronics that control the engine systems figured out.There are places that make the harnesses and ECM”s needed to make the ranger engine useable in other applications.Remember,they are distributerless,they rely on computer controls.It might be easier to just hop up the pinto.They can be made to fly and still be dependable.I have no idea if the ranger rear end will fit.Why not the pinto rear?The race boys around here just leave them in and pound on them.December 27, 2007 at 10:50 am #237229Mark HendricksonParticipant
Another option for a little more “yank” is a 2.8 or 3.0L GM V6 from an S-10 pick-up or a Generation III Camaro. These are “longitudinal” (Rear Wheel Drive)and are small enough due to their 60 degree configuration to fit.
These are also easier to find than the Ford 60 degree 2.8L V6’s and the GM V6 has a vibrant “aftermarket” for hop-ups. You won’t need a computer either. Edelbrock makes an intake for using a carburetor.
Another choice is a Toyota 2.0L four (C20). These were very common in RWD Celica’s and their trucks. Keep in mind that you want to buy your engine and trans from a REAR WHEEL DRIVE donor. These engines are also popular and have aftermarket stuff available for them to.
I started to build a CMC Ford based TD kit that was powered by a Buick 3.8L V6 and had a TH200R4 over drive automatic trans. It was also getting an 8″ Ford posi rear with 3.55 gears. This car would have been comparable to a small block Cobra…maybe faster?
However, I sold the car as a “roller” to a guy in Sacramento, CA (I live in NJ). He wanted the stock Pinto 2.3L “Lima” and the stock Pinto 3 speed automatic trans. I’m not sure if he ever finished the car.
The Buick 3.8L V6 ended up in a restored SCCA spec racer after I sold it. The TH200R4 OD trans is behind a “worked” 4.3L Chevy V6 in my 40 Ford Sedan. It has the 8″ Ford 3.55 posi rear in it too.
If I ever hit the lottery, my current British Coach Works (Chevette) MGTD will get a V6/automatic set up. I’ve also been toying with the idea of the Toyota or Miata 4 cylinder set ups with a 5 speed manual and turning it into a “Vintage” racer. The Chevette drivetrain just doesn’t cut it.
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