Zachary Mayne
Zachary Mayne
1/9/18 10:21 a.m.

Transplanting an engine from one car make into another is nothing new. Since the advent of the automobile, imbuing a car with additional power and ending up with something unique has been widely practiced.

Since the introduction of the Porsche 914 more than 40 years ago, numerous copies have received engine swaps–and the new powerplants haven’t been exclusively from Stuttgart. There are a few reasons why Porsche’s mid-engined machine is a popular starting point for a hybrid. For one, they’re still relatively common and also happen to be pretty inexpensive in today’s market. You can buy a decent rolling chassis for a grand or less. Spend a few bucks more, and it’s possible to have a rough but drivable example.

The 914 also boasts an optimal mid-engined layout. However, unlike some other cars with similar chassis configurations–the Fiat X1/9 and Toyota MR2 come to mind–the Porsche has a relatively large engine bay. They’re also pretty light. Add in some real power–whether from a Subaru WRX or a NASCAR racer–and the 914 quickly turns into a missile. At the same time, chassis balance remains good.

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FPZguy New Reader
1/9/18 3:44 p.m.

Beautiful car and well thought out build.  I've taken a similar approach to my 240-Z build.  Although it weighs considerably more (1,875 lbs.) it makes a little more HP with the mildly prepared 280 engine.  Removing weight is the cheapest way to increase overall performance (acceleration, braking, turning).

TexSquirrel New Reader
1/9/18 3:48 p.m.

Very nice!  

Robbie PowerDork
1/9/18 4:32 p.m.

Yes, excellent!

accordionfolder Dork
1/9/18 4:52 p.m.

This is easily one of my favorite cars now. So little dogma, so much pragmatism. 

10/10 would read again. 

Polopharm New Reader
1/9/18 8:18 p.m.

What is the vertical metal square tubed thing to the right of the steering wheel?  My first glance I assumed a shifter. But either way seems to me would be a safety/ tech inspection issue. 

 More power less weight solution - Hayabusa 1300!

Title could be "tube framed autocross car with some Mazda and Porsche bits and pieces"





mistanfo UltraDork
1/12/18 11:24 a.m.

Hayabusa engines might make more horsepower, but the article states that he wanted availability and aftermarket. Sure, it exists (Hayabusas cans make stupid levels of power for not terribly stupid amounts of money), but how available, inexpensive and reliable are they? Also, what kind of torque levels are they seeing? I know my FJR1300 is around 140hp and 99 ft. lb., figure the Suzuki is higher on HP but maybe not on torque (stock v stock)... good for a light car, it would get worse with something heavier.

pres589 PowerDork
1/12/18 11:42 a.m.

When I saw the title I assumed rotary 914 combination.  Was not expecting a BP.  Cool car.

JimMurphy New Reader
1/26/18 5:27 p.m.

After working on an E Mod Solo 914V8 through two frustrating years I traded it for the E Mod solo yellow Jeep.  I wished that I had known Jeff BEFORE I took on that project.  One thing that I would have done IF I kept it was to significantly reduce the torque on the Chevy 350ci V8 by replacing the crank with one from a 265ci Chevy V8 - the excessive torque made it hard to drive AND it broke a lot of stuff along the way.  With its light weight, high torque is not needed.

motomoron SuperDork
6/21/18 12:08 p.m.

In reply to mistanfo :

I've raced a stock Hayabusa powered SCCA C sports racer / P2 sports racer since 2012, and the engines are as reliable as anvils. I'm still using wet sump lubrication, and motors look new, and have perfect compression and leakdown after 2 full seasons. I imagine in a track day environment where you're leaving a few percent on the table they'd go a long, long time, and if you manage to pop one, (checks his watch)...
some kid just totaled their 'Busa just now.


DesmoDog New Reader
6/21/18 5:38 p.m.

Not for nothing but the Ducati 916 didn't use carbs. It was fuel injected just like the 851 and 888 Superbikes before it. The Keihin FCRs were/are the hot ticket aftermarket carbs for the lower tech two valve, air cooled twins used in the Monsters and Super Sports of the day. 

Tom1200 HalfDork
6/21/18 7:54 p.m.

First I use FCR carbs on my Datsun and I'm a big advocate of them. My Beta dual sport bike uses a FCR carb and all of the magazines raved about how well the carb works. Both vehicles carburete perfectly.

Once upon a time I had a D-sports racer and the bike engines are pretty flawless. 

The reason I have FCR carbs on my car is all the sports racer guys went to bike engines rather than the 1300cc Nissan engine. So the 39mm carbs they were using were no longer needed.

If I wasn't wanting to keep my car vintage legal I'd use a Miata engine and tranny because they're quite good. 

Kreb UberDork
6/21/18 9:58 p.m.

Love that car! Although I prefer the engine that a friend put in his 914: The Honda V6. Fits right in there like it was made to and makes a lot more power at a comparable weight.

6/22/18 9:58 a.m.

In reply to Kreb :

I too think that is a great swap. The one I drove just needs a better gearbox or shifter. Looking forward to his newest swap with Camero 3.6 V6 and Boxster transmission swap!

Kreb UberDork
6/22/18 10:03 a.m.
Mike94531 said:

In reply to Kreb :

I too think that is a great swap. The one I drove just needs a better gearbox or shifter. Looking forward to his newest swap with Camero 3.6 V6 and Boxster transmission swap!

Can I have the congregation stand up and say "amen brother!"  That tranny's also going to mean not living in fear of an uncareful clutch dump.


BimmerMaven New Reader
7/19/18 10:24 a.m.

I, too follow the Colin Chapman "add lightness", and mid-engine bias.   First gen MR2's work for me.  Camry 1mzfe swap is nice. 


So, for my records, any recorded performance specs of the finished (is it ever really finished) product? 

0-60, 1/4 mile, top speed, turning - g, braking....? 

2/27/19 10:49 a.m.

Love me a 914....  Despite what the article says, 914's are hard to find these days.. I would love to get my hands on one...

rdcyclist Reader
2/27/19 4:16 p.m.

I remember reading this article in print and thought is was an interesting approach to building a tube frame mid-engine Miata. The FCR carbs are another interesting approach to fueling as most of us would view that as a step backwards considering how much effort went into making the rest of the car up to date. A consideration about the FCR's that Jeff apparently ignored was the lack of velocity stacks. IIRC, they are very sensitive to length of stack and don't work well without them. I believe he's leaving a considerable amount of power on the table without stacks and a large airbox. Then again, I could be wrong since it's been about 20 years since I've even touched an FCR...

rdcyclist Reader
2/27/19 4:18 p.m.
terracer said:

Love me a 914....  Despite what the article says, 914's are hard to find these days.. I would love to get my hands on one...

914's have been going up in value for the last coupla years. Two years ago you could get a good builder for a grand or so. Now that number is about three large. Why I remember when... [insert emoti of old man shaking his cane]

TheRX7Project Reader
2/27/19 4:41 p.m.

In reply to Polopharm :

I think that is a camera mount, it does appear to be in sort of an odd "this could be bad if I crash" spot.


I also assumed rotary swap, quite surprised to see Miata swap! That truly is quite the car.

300zxfreak New Reader
2/27/19 6:33 p.m.

In reply to TheRX7Project :

Methinks we’re looking at a support for the partial cockpit cover.

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