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Santana 23rd November 2020 16:16

Help me or shoot me....
Good afternoon,

So here are my options for an engine:

Ford 3.0 V6 (ST220)
Volvo 2.5 T5
Saab 2.8 V6
Mazda 2.3 DSI (MPS)

Will somebody please make a decision for me as I am clearly incapable of doing so on my own.

If I don't decide soon I'm going into the study, I'll take the Webley from the top drawer of my desk, pour myself a stiff brandy and do the decent thing....

…….I haven't actually got a Webley....or even a study....but that's how frustrated I am right now having been kicking this around in my heads for months.

The car is an Aeon GT so I need a transverse engine. It's not the lightest at around 550KG sans motor so I think it needs 200+ horses.

3 out of the 4 options above are turbocharged and there is a part of me that keeps saying Turbos are not right for a kit car but would the NA Ford lump be too "leggy"

Any advice appreciated.

PS: I don't want a Honda engine.

kon 24th November 2020 08:22

Not really a different option from your list, but might be easier to source.. like the ford, there's the Jag AJ30, which was fitted long in the S-type, but trans in the X-type and XF. Alloy block, so fairly light, and makes around 250hp. Can have issues with cylinder liners if its not been looked-after, but it's fairly common.
And again, I believe it's roughly the same as the Saab, is the GM/Vauxhall v6 from the Insignia SRi/VXR. Might be easier to find for a decent price, given that Saab closed down, but might actually be the opposite, in that no-one wants a Saab, but a lot of the parts should be interchangeable, so might just give you more to look for. Also the police use them, so you might be quite likely to find one written-off but with a fairly low mileage on the engine.
Happy hunting.

Lucky@LeMans 24th November 2020 09:37

Audi engines from the A3 range ? Even the 2.0 TDI would give your power requirement but with loads of torque in almost standard tune.
Alfa twin spark or V6 another option.....

Santana 24th November 2020 13:02

Thanks for replying guys,
Firstly I think there must have been a typo in L@LM’s reply as it looked like he was suggesting putting a DIESEL engine in it..!!!
Just imagine if I go to heaven and Colin Chapman comes over and asks “so what engine did you end up putting in it?” I can see the disgust on his face when I tell him I went for a VW-Audi Diesel. “But Colin, I get 50mpg on a run”…………….come back Colin.
I can actually see the benefits but no… I just couldn’t do it.
At one point I drove a couple of 2.0TFSI VWs and we had settled on this engine and were looking to buy one. Then a drive in a Volvo S40 T5 (which I now own) changed all that. The Volvo made the VW look really sluggish by comparison.
Volvo became the new first choice but I still have a nagging doubt about turbo charging in a kit car.
So V6s. The Alfas are too expensive. GM, now there’s a thought. I have always looked passed these engines, I don’t really know why as they fit the bill and are very cheap in Signums and Vectras etc. Any idea what they go like?
The Saab has the big power figures which is what makes it attractive but I’m thinking lag again. The Jag/Ford is what I have been looking at most recently. Basically the same engine with the Jag being a little more developed with VVT etc.
My worries are that an engine from an S type is longitudinal and auto. From and X Type it’s AWD. Would the AWD box work correctly if I just disconnect the rear prop shaft or would the front axle only get some of the torque. Would the 3.0 V6 Ford box bolt straight on. Would a box from a 2.5 ford V6 fit as these really are very cheap. And in any of those configurations what would the ECU make of it all.

Mister Towed 25th November 2020 06:16

Not sure how much space you have to play with, but, thinking outside the box, how about a Porsche Boxster drivetrain?

Options from 2.5 litre 200bhp to 3.2S 250+bhp, normally aspirated, six cylinder wail, 7,000rpm, low centre of gravity, the option to legitimately run 'powered by Porsche' decals and Martini stripes (if that's your thing) and a manual or auto/tip gearbox and gear linkage engineered from new for a mid-engined car.

Not a cheap option but not that expensive either. The result would be one hell of a 550kg GT car.

Santana 25th November 2020 07:37


I thought about a Boxster in the early days. It would be perfect but as you say it's an expensive option. Before I bought the kit I spent many hours reading/sketching/researching and in reality dreaming about taking a Boxster and trimming it back to just the central monocoque safety cell and engine mounting. Then replacing the rest with a spaceframe chassis and swoopy bodywork. Well beyond my ability and expertise but I reckon it would have been quite special. But back here on earth, the Boxster option also hints at the possibility of a Subaru set up as well.
I've never been in a Scooby. My understanding is that they too are very laggy but when they go they really go.

Lucky@LeMans 25th November 2020 08:50

Boxster wouldn't need to be expensive if you buy a complete car. £2500 would get you a reasonable donor, take out the bits you need and then sell all the parts you don't. Do it that way and you will end up with a free engine and box with cash left over to fund the rest of your build. I've done that before with BMW Z3's and in the process of doing it now with a Scimitar GTE.

Bellicose 25th November 2020 09:35

None of the above.

VAG 1.8 20v turbo

Billions of them about, dirt cheap and 300 horses is easy!

Mister Towed 26th November 2020 08:24

I was going to suggest the Subaru flat four, but you specifically said 'I want 200bhp with no turbo'.

I haven't driven a turbocharged Subaru but I did have use of a naturally aspirated 130hp Forester for two years as a Police patrol car.

It was a great engine, really smooth to 7,000 rpm, torquey and full of character, but needed super unleaded to run right. Our fuel/mileage log also showed that we typically got 7mpg out of it....

Okay, it spent a lot of its time running flat out, and even more sitting idling with the blues on for hours on end at RTC's, but that's still pretty poor when the Mondeo TDCi estate that replaced it returned low to mid 20's mpg under the same workload.

Anyway, I digress, so good luck finding the right motor.

Lucky@LeMans 26th November 2020 15:45

7 mpg !! Drive it like you stole it Mister Towed !

Santana 26th November 2020 16:29

You may not have driven a Scooby turbo....but c'mon, you must have chased a few!!

Santana 26th November 2020 16:30

And at 7 mpg I'm thinking you probably ran out of petrol before you caught them....

Mister Towed 26th November 2020 17:49

Ha ha, it takes a thief and all that.

I never had to chase a Scooby Turbo, but I did once pursue a stolen Audi RS6 Estate with a still smoking cashpoint machine in the back.

I was in a Focus 1.6 TDCi with something like 200k on the clock so it was a bit of an unequal struggle. It got away from me (somehow), but the gang were caught not long after -

I wrote my pursuit up for the Octane magazine letters page about three years back and won a very nice Swiss watch for my troubles.

Just goes to show, it doesn't matter how fast your car is, you can't outrun the long arm of the law, especially when it has a free Raymond Weil watch strapped to it!

Santana 27th November 2020 10:30

I hope you declared that bri…..sorry prize, to AC12.....or have I been watching too much Line Of Duty!

Now we are way off topic. I need to make a decision so let's focus (and I'm not talking 1.6 TDI).

Returning to my earlier questions about the Jag gearbox configurations, does anyone have any experience with these. ie what transverse 2wd boxes fit straight on. Does the ECU get confused if it's expecting to talk to an auto, and how does the 4wd box behave if you disconnect the rear drive?

And one last question. I can squeeze an Audi V6 (3.0 or 3.2 not VR6) in the bay longitudinally and get the drive shafts to line up...just. Problem is the gearbox would stick out quite a long way at the back. Does anyone have a dimension for the distance between the centre of the drive shafts to the very end of the gearbox? Can seem to find anything conclusive on the web.

Thanks again for all your replies.

Mister Towed 28th November 2020 07:13

Sorry for the thread hijack :(

I wrote up the pursuit three months after I retired so no need to declare it to PIU (Performance Improvement Unit, previously known as PSD - Professional Standards Department and oft known as 'Rubber Heelers' because you never hear them sneaking up behind you).

Anyway, back to cars. I'd seriously consider an Alfa V6 motor. 2.5 16v is close to 200bhp, sounds glorious, is mounted transverse on a manual gearbox and has a certain caché to it.

Can be a cheap option too if it's sitting in a rusty 156, this one's under £600 -

Lucky@LeMans 28th November 2020 09:07

The Alfa engines are great, just make sure you change the cam belt regularly. I've owned three Alfa's, two of which had the belt snap on me ! One was a brand new 2.0 twin spark 156 that failed at 40k miles, luckily the warranty paid for that ! The second was a 2.4 diesel that just went out of blue, that one was scrapped ! I still rate them highly, just keep up with regular servicing.

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