interesting x-1/9 engine swap engine

Dr.Jeff

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One thing that @Longitudinal mentioned when comparing potential candidates for a swap is the torque (vs HP). I am a big believer in a high torque engine for a street car. And I should clarify that all of my comments regarding swaps are referring to a street car, not a race car (I'm not sure what classes you could even race a engine swapped car in, other than one of the comical events like Lemons). The power curve for any engine being considered should be a decision factor. That's one thing I like about adding a small turbo to most engines, it bumps up the torque a lot (I mean "small" in regards to quick spooling). So a swap candidate that may not have the top power figures, but is a good easy turbo build, would factor high for me (and by "easy" I also mean affordable).
 

Longitudinal

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Lots of good discussion on this thread. One thing that's not mentioned enough is the weight of the potential drivetrain of various options. It seems to me that the weight of the potential swap drivetrain is a primary consideration.
Plus or minus 50lb, I don't see any concerns. I know that the K is a heavier powertrain than the Lampredi engine and FIAT trans, but I certainly couldn't feel any difference in weight on the swaps I built. They never felt any less stabile than they did with the stock engine. 50lb isn't a significant percentage of the vehicle's weight to affect weight distribution noticeably for normal drivers like us. Ari Vatanen could feel the difference if you dropped a peanut under the passenger seat, but I can't feel 50lb in front of the rear axle on an X. And it's always there, compared to the point about the fuel tank's changing weight.

Put an all-iron GM 3800 back there and that's a different topic.
 

MikeHynes

True Classic
Plus or minus 50lb, I don't see any concerns. I know that the K is a heavier powertrain than the Lampredi engine and FIAT trans, but I certainly couldn't feel any difference in weight on the swaps I built. They never felt any less stabile than they did with the stock engine. 50lb isn't a significant percentage of the vehicle's weight to affect weight distribution noticeably for normal drivers like us. Ari Vatanen could feel the difference if you dropped a peanut under the passenger seat, but I can't feel 50lb in front of the rear axle on an X. And it's always there, compared to the point about the fuel tank's changing weight.

Put an all-iron GM 3800 back there and that's a different topic.
50# isn't too much for a car that isn't driven hard as most conversations will be. Choice of tires would probably affect handling more. Adding a passenger, or a frunk full of stuff makes a bigger difference. So yes, 50# isn't a big deal for most conversations. The additional weight might even be a plus if you intend to drive your car on snow covered roads :)
For a car that's raced 50# makes a difference. 50# is about equal to 8 gallons of gas, a difference you can feel as it burns off in a frunk mounted fuel cell. Bottom line, try to reduce weight in the rear when you can. 200 HP, and less weight would be an interesting swap!
 

Longitudinal

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Bottom line, try to reduce weight in the rear when you can. 200 HP, and less weight would be an interesting swap!
Certainly.

FWIW, I test drove the K20 cars I built...let's say...the way I anticipated they would be used by their owners. That's not to say that I abused the cars, but I drove them with spirit. They felt as controlled and as variable as any stock engined X that I drove. In fact, I say more so because there was ample power to use the engine to induce oversteer. And when the car went sideways, it was under control at all times.

But yes, a lighter-than-stock package would be especially neat. That might be difficult with modern engines, though, as the blocks have been beefed in order to reduce thrash and NVH. The K is an aluminum blocked engine that weighs more than the cast iron blocked Lampredi. Maybe the Mini or 500T options would weigh less. Cycle power would certainly weigh less, but then comes the complication of making a cycle engine work in a car with a car's transmission.
 

kmead

Old enough to know better
Certainly.

FWIW, I test drove the K20 cars I built...let's say...the way I anticipated they would be used by their owners. That's not to say that I abused the cars, but I drove them with spirit. They felt as controlled and as variable as any stock engined X that I drove. In fact, I say more so because there was ample power to use the engine to induce oversteer. And when the car went sideways, it was under control at all times.

But yes, a lighter-than-stock package would be especially neat. That might be difficult with modern engines, though, as the blocks have been beefed in order to reduce thrash and NVH. The K is an aluminum blocked engine that weighs more than the cast iron blocked Lampredi. Maybe the Mini or 500T options would weigh less. Cycle power would certainly weigh less, but then comes the complication of making a cycle engine work in a car with a car's transmission.
The twin cam G13b 1300 meets your stated criteria, it can also withstand being heavily breathed on with a turbo, it comes with a nice forged crank. All aluminum and generally overbuilt.

You just have to find one.
 

Dr.Jeff

True Classic
I'm of the general opinion that roughly 200HP (as a relative comparison of power level, assuming there is about that much torque as well), is plenty for a street driven X. Much above that and traction can become an issue given the car's low weight. Not to mention general drivability and safety; excessively powered cars require skills that most drivers simply do not have (to be safe). Not to say it wouldn't be fun to have 500 HP in a 1000 lb car; I'd love to have one purely as a toy that I could thrash on in a safe environment (i.e. not on the street). But for a street driver (not a exhibition vehicle) it's a different story. So I guess it depends on what the application is; race track, occasional 'stunt' driving, daily driver, etc.


I test drove the K20 cars I built...let's say...the way I anticipated they would be used by their owners. That's not to say that I abused the cars, but I drove them with spirit. They felt as controlled and as variable as any stock engined X that I drove.
By comparison, about what level of power did most of those K conversions have?
 

Dr.Jeff

True Classic
The twin cam G13b 1300 meets your stated criteria, it can also withstand being heavily breathed on with a turbo, it comes with a nice forged crank. All aluminum and generally overbuilt.
Talking about these?

If so, it looks like there may not be much availability in the US as you say. However there are some 16 valve SOHC ones to be found:
G13BB[edit]
The SOHC 16-valve G13BB (introduced in March 1995) has electronic multi-point fuel injection (MPFI), generating 56–63 kW (76–86 PS; 75–84 hp) and 104–115 N⋅m (11–12 kg⋅m; 77–85 lb⋅ft).[5] The G13BB uses a wasted spark arrangement of two coils bolted directly to the valve cover. This engine uses a MAP sensor to monitor manifold pressure, similar to the G16B series. This engine has a non-interference valvetrain design. It uses the same G series block found in many other Suzuki models and so it is a popular conversion into the Suzuki Sierra/Samurai/Jimmy 4WD, which uses either a G13A (85-88) or G13BA(88.5-98). This allows the engine to fit into the engine bay simply as engine and gearbox mounts are identical and both engines are mounted North-South. It was used in the following vehicles (I eliminated the ones from other countries):
If that is a cross flow head, the general description sounds like a easy turbo conversion.
 

Longitudinal

True Classic
The twin cam G13b 1300 meets your stated criteria, it can also withstand being heavily breathed on with a turbo, it comes with a nice forged crank. All aluminum and generally overbuilt.

You just have to find one.
Yeah, that's a pretty good option--even a little more powerful than stock power with less weight. I am not aware of how strong the engines are, but Suzuki has a pretty solid reputation for building tough engines. How strong are the transmissions?
 

Dr.Jeff

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Suzuki has a pretty solid reputation for building tough engines
They also design - or contribute to the design of - some of the most powerful engines made, past and present. I think they may be a underrated source of engines in the US. Perhaps in part due to the relative lack of them here. But think of them as a bike engine for a car.

Good question about their trans. Are they even FWD? It seems most of the applications with these engines are AWD (at least in America)? Sure you could just leave that rear drive shaft off, but that certainly wouldn't be ideal.
 

Longitudinal

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I'm of the general opinion that roughly 200HP (as a relative comparison of power level, assuming there is about that much torque as well), is plenty for a street driven X.
Certainly!

Much above that and traction can become an issue given the car's low weight. Not to mention general drivability and safety; excessively powered cars require skills that most drivers simply do not have (to be safe).
I don't have any experience with an X above mildly tuned K20 power, but I think that there's a little more room for a reasonably safe street car as long as the tires and suspension are there with you. In straight line acceleration on dry pavement, 200 isn't nearly enough to make the car feel unstable. My sense is that 300 is the upper limit for a stable car, but that's only speculation based on my experience. Full disclosure: I prefer overpowered cars and might be biased.

By comparison, about what level of power did most of those K conversions have?
About 220 crank. All of the ones I built were fully stock K20A2 and K20Z1 with a fairly free flowing exhaust (usually a straight through muffler and a chopped eBay header as seen in practically every K conversion) and an open filter with a mild retune. On Hondata equipped cars, I used a base map provided by Hondata and did some mild tweaks for drivability and road manners. Stock power was rated at 205HP from Acura.
 

Dr.Jeff

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In straight line acceleration on dry pavement, 200 isn't nearly enough to make the car feel unstable. My sense is that 300 is the upper limit for a stable car
I'd agree. Keeping in mind a regular street driven car isn't just straight line acceleration on dry pavement. Maybe closer to 250 might be a safe limit? 300 seems a bit high - but I'm only basing that on other vehicles and trying to extrapolate things to the X, so I really have no direct data to speak from. It would be fun to find out though. :D

I guess my point with the power limits is more about what engine choices are realistic keeping that in mind. For example one that makes >300 HP might not be a great choice, especially assuming such engines are typically larger, heavier, more costly, and harder to swap. On the other hand, one that can reliably make no more than 150 HP also isn't a great choice, especially considering the amount of work required to do a swap. So this might help reduce the number of good options for swap donors, in addition to considering availability, accessory/component selection, support, cost, weight/size, etc. I think all those are factors that made me like the "B" engines (with a mild power adder) - even over the "K". But it appears the "B" availability might be changing somewhat.

The Mazda/Ford units I referred to previously were also cheap to find in complete donor cars.


The Swift/Geo Metro certainly is. But I know very little about this engine and the cars it comes in.
True, I was thinking about those little 4X4's ("Tracker" I think?) that have created something of a cult following - and they aren't cheap anymore. But they are not the Suzukis we're talking about, sorry for my confusion. I bet you could get a complete donor Swift/Metro very cheap. ;)
 

Longitudinal

True Classic
I'd agree. Keeping in mind a regular street driven car isn't just straight line acceleration on dry pavement.
Certainly not. But you're not going to apply 300HP through a turn on street tires any more than you can apply 200. The stock K has plenty enough to break the tires loose--and destabilize the car in the wrong hands. 300 does the same thing, but with more smoke. :)

On the other hand, one that can reliably make no more than 150 HP also isn't a great choice, especially considering the amount of work required to do a swap. So this might help reduce the number of good options for swap donors, in addition to considering availability, accessory/component selection, support, cost, weight/size, etc.
Certainly not! To my way of thinking, any swap is comparable to any other in terms of effort required, given that the "last 20%" takes 80% of the time--fettling with wires, plumbing, instruments, so on and so forth. There is no way I would do a swap for myself for any less than triple stock horsepower. But my goals are different from some others'. I'm going to do a swap for wild performance gains. Somebody else might find all necessary justification for a swap in increasing reliability. Others, "adding lightness." Others, fuel economy. Others, serviceability. Others, "because I can."

The Mazda/Ford units I referred to previously were also cheap to find in complete donor cars.
The Speed3 engine is a great performer for sure. The Eco Boost engines, too. Even the older Zetec engines, worthless because they were so reliable and thus never needed replacement, would be a good fit for some.

The only thing I don't like about a turbocharged "small" (relative term) engine swap is the lack of off boost power. Having owned several 3500lb Audis with 2.2L turbocharged engines, I can say that even if the engine makes 500HP, waiting for the turbo to spool on a small displacement engine that doesn't make much power without the turbo can be a real drag. A modern engine of at least 1.8L displacement is going to be much more enjoyable to drive, especially when competing with modern drivers moving at modern speeds with modern attitudes about their fellow drivers.
 

Bjorn Nilson

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The only thing I don't like about a turbocharged "small" (relative term) engine swap is the lack of off boost power. Having owned several 3500lb Audis with 2.2L turbocharged engines, I can say that even if the engine makes 500HP, waiting for the turbo to spool on a small displacement engine that doesn't make much power without the turbo can be a real drag. A modern engine of at least 1.8L displacement is going to be much more enjoyable to drive, especially when competing with modern drivers moving at modern speeds with modern attitudes about their fellow drivers.
I think it depends on what kind of turbo you have. Comparing my 2l 308hp/400Nm Golf R with the X1/9 with 1,3l UT engine with 240hp/267Nm, there's a lot more turbo lag in the Golf. The turbo lag in the X is almost not noticeable. It's mostly about matching turbo size and displacement. Type of turbo may also have an impact. Modern turbos spools up much quicker than the old ones from the late eighties. But if you are looking for 500hp without turbo lag, you probably need a 3l or even a 4l engine
I could probably get more hp from the tiny UT engine with a bigger turbo but with more turbo lag and less drivability as a result.
 

Dr.Jeff

True Classic
I think it depends on what kind of turbo you have. Comparing my 2l 308hp/400Nm Golf R with the X1/9 with 1,3l UT engine with 240hp/267Nm, there's a lot more turbo lag in the Golf. The turbo lag in the X is almost not noticeable. It's mostly about matching turbo size and displacement. Type of turbo may also have an impact. Modern turbos spools up much quicker than the old ones from the late eighties. But if you are looking for 500hp without turbo lag, you probably need a 3l or even a 4l engine
I could probably get more hp from the tiny UT engine with a bigger turbo but with more turbo lag and less drivability as a result.
Exactly. The size, design, mounting location, and boost control of the turbo will make a huge difference in lag. Also as @Bjorn Nilson says, like most things it is a trade off between top end power and lag. If you're seeking the ultimate in maximum power then you will also get more lag, and vice versa. Take a look at most of the current factory turbo systems on typical production models. They tend to use a bit smaller turbo, engineer the whole system accordingly, manage it closely with the ECU, and have virtually no lag. But start swapping components to aftermarket stuff for bigger power gains and the lag begins to show...depending on what components are chosen. There are some power improvements that can be made without any noticeable lag increase; for example variable turbine geometry (VTG) turbos...the best of both worlds.
 

lookforjoe

True Classic
I would say 300hp/325ft/lb torque would be very nice in the X. In my C30, I have that power level, and it was annoying until I did the AWD conversion - too much easy wheel spin off the line. RWD is definitely preferable to FWD.

As nice as the K24A3 NA is, it's not enough to go with the way my X1/9 looks & handles - it needs more than 225ft/lbs to pull away from small BMWs, Audis, Acuras, and other cars that want to 'play' with me. The suspension setup & BFG's I'm running I'm confident could handle it. I may have to get a turbo on it DTR.
 
I also found that power level to be about it for my T5R (FWD). Not too terrible off the line but too much inner front wheel spin in tight turns, especially on steep grades. An LSD would likely help. I'll figure it out when I pull the drivetrain.
 

lookforjoe

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I also found that power level to be about it for my T5R (FWD). Not too terrible off the line but too much inner front wheel spin in tight turns, especially on steep grades. An LSD would likely help. I'll figure it out when I pull the drivetrain.
Did you do a manual conversion on the T5R? I've never looked at LSD's for the auto box - Quaife, WaveTrac & now MFactory makes LSDs that will fit the M66 FWD box, not sure about the M56.
 
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