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Re: engine removal and conversions

Subject: Re: engine removal and conversions
Date: Tue, 03 Jul 2001 18:23:19 -0700
You certainly make some good points with regards to #2. Fabrication is a
pain, but I was able to "single source" my swap kit from one
manufacturer (Joe Rodriguez) and my actual swap work from one
source--Smitty.  I realize that that may not be usual, but I spoke with
a local gentleman who did a V-8 swap and also had his version of a
"smitty" to work with, so it's not unheard of.

With regards to #3, those were also excellent points.  There were times
while doing the conversion when I said to myself "this will never be a
modern car, why not just get something new and be done with it"?  But
what I've wound up with is a classic car that looks like a stock
sunbeam, goes better than it used to--and doesn't look like anything
else on the road today.  A modern car would certainly out-perform it,
but they just look so blah!  As for proving that it's faster than a
stock Alpine--well, it's true that I haven't had any stoplight drag
races, but I wouldn't race a tiger with my car--he'd clean my clock. No
reason to expect that I could coax a stock Alpine to race with me
either. But I "know" (seat of the pants) that it's faster than stock and
that's good enough for me.  As for vintage racing--well, I never planned
on that anyway.  Someday when I'm feeling brave I'll learn how to slalom
my car, but that's probably about it for competition for me.  
I just wanted a car that looked elegant and different and had a little
more "grunt" getting on the freeway or passing a slowpoke.  And that's
what I have. 

The Brits have a grand old tradition of "specials".  I'd like to think
that (in a very loose sense) I'm continuing that tradition with my
british car.

As far as getting more money out of it than a stock alpine--heck, I
don't know.  My wife made a good point when we started this: "If you
spend $10,000 (uhhhmmm--maybe) making it into what you want and enjoying
it and we keep it for 10 years, you'll have had a hobby that only cost
$1,000 a year.  That's not bad".
Burgeoning money pit aside, she's got a good point.  I don't expect to
make money on this.  I HOPE that if I keep it long enough I won't lose
LOTS of money on it.  And I'll have FUN with it in the meantime.

And isn't having fun--regardless whether they're stock or
modified--really what owning these cars is all about?


David Sosna
65 S4 GT V6 that's lots of fun and still hasn't finished draining my
wallet:) wrote:
> First, it can only be separated at the engine/tranny.  The bolts holding
> the bellhousing to the transmission are internal.  You can't get to them
> until the engine is off the front of the bell housing.
> Second, on V6 or V8 conversions,my two cents.  #1 - it's your car.  #2 -
> fabrication.  #3 - it will never be a modern car.
> Ok, #1 is self explanatory.
> #2, a conversion relys completely on fabrication of parts, including motor
> mounts, transmission straps, radiators, alternator placement, drive shafts,
> carb linkeage, exhaust manifolds, etc.  This has two components.  The first
> is that most people would have to rely on others for that.  That means
> having to be able to tow the car to different places and leaving it there
> until it can be done as a side job.  I've been able to fabricate some
> stuff, but I was not able to do all of it.  I found that I was very unhappy
> with the major inconvenience and delays from relying on others.  The second
> component means that the quality of the part will rest heavily on the
> skills of the guy who does it. The factory parts might not have been the
> best, but they fit, work, and can be found and shipped to you from various
> people on this list.  Then, you might have problems where one fabricated
> part interferes with another, sending you back to the drawing board for
> that part.
> #3, after all this, what do you have?  You don't have a "stock" car that a
> person will pay extra for.  And, you still won't have a car that will be on
> par with today's rockets.  Get one of those if that's what you want.
> Moreover, though it will be faster - or may be faster - than stock Alpines,
> you really won't be able to prove it because most racing organizations will
> put you in modified classes where you probably won't be competitive either.
> As a side note, Joe Rodriguez mades a great kit for installing V6's in
> Alpines which will take some of the fabrication problems out of the
> equation.  But, most V6s that are used are getting pretty old now
> themselves and there is little performance support for those engines (some,
> just not much).  Of course there is tremendous support for V8's, but that
> conversion is full of all sorts of problems and you'd be much better off
> starting with a Tiger (where, again as mentioned above, the factory has
> already done the fabrication part for you).
> Jay

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