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scottzg
scottzg
1/22/11 9:04 p.m.

Arright homiez, check it. I have a 45 minute commute each way over an absolutely splendidtastic driving road. I want a somewhat inexpensive, good handling, economical (to gas and own), pre-74 car to take me to work in back in satisfaction and style. I've come up with two potential projects, and i want to hear your insightful imput and possibly proffer alternate suggestions.

1) a ej22 (suby 2.2) powered karmann ghia. I have an attachment to newer VWs, and i can get a reverse drive gear to make the suby engine run backwards. I think a post-68 won't lead me backwards off a cliff, but the integration of disparate drive systems is intimidating.

2) My bmwophile housemate suggests a 2002 with a bmw m-42 (318ti) engine. He can't remember if the trans bolts up, but the engine mounting stuff has been figured out before, and the original engine was water cooled, at least. Over all this seems like a more straightforward build with more conventional road manners, but it would be heavier and less 'interesting.'

I can't come up with anything else from that era that fits the bill so well, so i'd like to know what you think and etcetera and ideas and things. Thank you so much!

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard SonDork
1/22/11 9:16 p.m.

2002 with s14 out of a wrecked M3?

JohnW
JohnW Reader
1/22/11 9:18 p.m.

An m20 is an easier swap into a 2002 than an m42 and yields better performance. Plus, the last m42-powered BMW I owned committed suicide at ~155k miles. IIRC, the m20 is lighter than the m42 and only about 50lbs. heavier than the stock m10. (My 2002 has an m20 so I'm biased; but it has been VERY reliable.)

Where do you live? I wouldn't daily drive a car that old if they salt the roads during the winter.

JFX001
JFX001 SuperDork
1/22/11 9:52 p.m.

Datsun 510 with a KA swap....or a 240Z.

Saab 95 or 96.

Mini.

Raze
Raze Dork
1/22/11 9:54 p.m.

Fiat 124 spider?

scottzg
scottzg New Reader
1/22/11 10:00 p.m.

I live south of San francisco, there's no salt on the roads.

A s14 is somewhat cost-prohibitive, and, i'm guessing here, but i recon a m20 2002 wouldn't net much better fuel economy than a 325is that would be much easier to futz with to suit my needs.

A KA 510 is appealing, but isn't it difficult to find a solid chassis?

I'm pretty cost-sensitive, otherwise i'd just get a mr-2 spyder and be happy.

I don't really know, i'm conjecturizing.

Xceler8x
Xceler8x SuperDork
1/22/11 10:54 p.m.

Engine swapped cars will keep you under the hood. They're stupid fun but you're best bet for a reliable commuter is a car that is not modified.

2002's are awesome but getting up in years. If you have to have something from Bavaria I'd go for an E30 of some type. 325is is the big dawg but if that's too pricey I wouldn't turn my nose up at a 320 or 318is.

An under appreciated car, in my mind, is a Mazda Protege or 323 sedan. All the power and fun of a BMW with 1/4 to 1/2 the cost. All that with Mazda reliability. Doubt me? Drive an early 90's example and get back to me.

Sentra SE-R's are an even better option. I used to own a 2002 and I swore that the SE-R was the improved version.

pres589
pres589 HalfDork
1/23/11 1:30 a.m.

Capri.

Evan
Evan New Reader
1/23/11 3:50 a.m.

What's your budget?

Luke
Luke SuperDork
1/23/11 6:26 a.m.

Fiat 124 as suggested before, or an Alfa GTV? If you could find a not-too-rusty one within budget, they have a very simple/reliable engine with decent factory performance.

VonSmallhausen
VonSmallhausen New Reader
1/23/11 8:09 a.m.

Well MGBs and that british lot are all pretty cheap and have great support if you are willing to be brave

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon SuperDork
1/23/11 8:27 a.m.
Xceler8x wrote: Engine swapped cars will keep you under the hood. They're stupid fun but you're best bet for a reliable commuter is a car that is not modified.

Not necessarily. With some forethought and a little extra effort during the process swapped cars can be very reliable. Case in point: the ex b-i-l's KA24 powered Dime had one fuel leak at the pickup under the tank (the banjo bolt's aluminum washer did not seal properly) but otherwise has required ~zero~ work since the swap was completed (well, we did replace the rear axle U joints but nothing else swap related). It's been more reliable than it was with the stock L16. His all stock Volvo wagon has barfed on a few occasions.

I like the EJ22/Karmann Ghia idea. But to make it really handle well, put the engine in the middle. That gets you around that pesky reverse rotation thing as well.

Luke
Luke SuperDork
1/23/11 8:38 a.m.

Couple more thoughts...

Old Volvos. 122 in particular.

Cheapest 911 you can find...scruffy-but-usable Targas can be had for $7-8K, right?

WilberM3
WilberM3 HalfDork
1/23/11 9:23 a.m.

another 2002 based idea is if the original m10 engine is still in good shape, you could fit early e30 318i intake manifold and fuel injection (or MS it). no trans or mounts issues and a not so futzy setup that should start every cold morning.

Luke, i've always liked the 122 volvos but never driven one. I found a 67 Amazon wagon near me that i'm sort of considering for a DD. Do they drive anything like a 240?

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim SuperDork
1/23/11 9:41 a.m.
Luke wrote: Cheapest 911 you can find...scruffy-but-usable Targas can be had for $7-8K, right?

These usually tend to be a money pit waiting for a place to happen.

From the period, maybe a Z-car?

Without the age restriction I would have said C4 Corvette as they're surprisingly cheap to run.

Javelin
Javelin SuperDork
1/23/11 9:47 a.m.

To ignore the 74 time-restriction (and still be classic), I'd say 1st Gen RX-7 and be done with it.

forzav12
forzav12 Reader
1/23/11 10:33 a.m.

89 Shelby CSX

tuna55
tuna55 Dork
1/23/11 10:34 a.m.
WilberM3 wrote: Luke, i've always liked the 122 volvos but never driven one. I found a 67 Amazon wagon near me that i'm sort of considering for a DD. Do they drive anything like a 240?

I've never driven a 240, but the 122 doesn't drive like my 940. The 940 drives like a fast highway cruiser with the comfort of your living room. The 122 drives much more like a sports sedan, but they are fairly slow stock. I loved it. Once prepped for Lemons, the handling was downright good and it got light enough to actually be pretty quick. One of my favorite cars that I've driven.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim SuperDork
1/23/11 10:39 a.m.

The 940 doesn't drive anything like the boat a 240 is.

I would expect a 122 to be more nimble than a 140 or 240. Another option would be a 164...

Junkyard_Dog
Junkyard_Dog Dork
1/23/11 10:47 a.m.

Volvo 140. A nice blend of modern and old, plus you can update some things using 240 parts if you don't mind doing the work.

02Pilot
02Pilot Reader
1/23/11 10:49 a.m.
WilberM3 wrote: another 2002 based idea is if the original m10 engine is still in good shape, you could fit early e30 318i intake manifold and fuel injection (or MS it). no trans or mounts issues and a not so futzy setup that should start every cold morning.

If you go with the 2002 as a DD, do this. The M10 is a ridiculously reliable engine internally, the early E30 318i stuff should be readily available, and I'm sure you could squeeze more power out of it with some MS tuning. And if you get bored, you can always flip the exhaust manifold over, weld on a flange, mount a turbo, tune, and go.

JohnW
JohnW Reader
1/23/11 12:36 p.m.

This 2002 is potentially a little pricey, but it has some great upgrades and sounds like it's already been well sorted for daily driving:

1974 BMW 2002

pres589
pres589 HalfDork
1/23/11 1:23 p.m.
Luke wrote: Cheapest 911 you can find...scruffy-but-usable Targas can be had for $7-8K, right?

Like this thing?

http://forums.pelicanparts.com/porsche-cars-sale/582254-1985-911-euro-carrera-3-2-road-ready-cheap.html

Last I checked the ebay bidding was hanging below $7,000 with a couple days to go. There's a certain appeal to the thing and I think it could clean up alright but there's probably, what, $1k in rubber seals on that car that should probably be replaced and then whatever it takes to get that top looking decent again? I do loves me some phonedials though, and it's not a bad color although I'd want to lose the whale tail if it were to be mine... I'm still obsessively watching that slice of the Pelican forums for a good 911 for a DD.

Maroon92
Maroon92 SuperDork
1/23/11 1:33 p.m.

I want a 70 mustang with a new BOSS Hurricane 302. You should too!

Travis_K
Travis_K Dork
1/23/11 1:54 p.m.

First gen RX7 in california=constant problems with emissions testing. Probably not a great idea.

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