Car enthusiasts love creating an amazing machine out of a basic one. They always look for the most extreme engines and car parts to manufacture a street monster. It’s all fun and games, but you must know exactly what you are doing.
The first thing that pops up in a car enthusiasts head when they see an old car is “How cool would this piece of rubbish be if I stuck a big fat V8 in it?”. That’s when you know that they have some big ideas for that old wagon.
Most small cars that have had a big engine fitted will also have turbochargers. Bigger engines in small cars make them heavier and will require more power to move faster. The turbocharger will allow the driver to achieve this without using more petrol.
The most crucial part of swapping engines is the rewiring process. The distributor has been programmed to fire the sparkplugs at the correct time. The person doing the modification will have to test the firing times before fixing it into the bonnet.
The engine will also have to be connected to the throttle correctly in order to drive. It will also have to be connected to the speedometer for correct measurement of speed and how many revolutions per minute (RPM) the engine is doing.
You will also need to find a way to keep the engine cool. The space is smaller and retains more heat. Engine overheating is damaging and the correct cooling system is necessary. Coolant hoses will also need to be wider in diameter for more flow to the other engine parts.
In some cases, you may need to change the gear box for an increased amount of gears. The engine may not be used to full capacity if it doesn’t have a smaller gear to go to. Remember that the first gear is for higher torque and less speed. This means that the gear is bigger to allow for that power. Higher gears are smaller to allow for more speed as there is not as much diameter to go around.
Axles will also need to be changed or enhanced. Small cars don’t have very strong axles as they are not meant to go at extremely high speeds.
Check that the wheels and tyres can handle the speed too. Older and smaller cars have thinner tyres that will wear away at higher speeds. Ask a tyre supplier to advise you on this so that you get the most of the added engine capacity.
A1 Wheel and Tyre is a private family owned and operated company specialising in the warehouse and distribution of wheels and tyres to the automotive fitment trade. The company has a well established operation in Johannesburg, South Africa.
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