1 2
Toyman01 HalfDork
10/19/09 5:43 p.m.

500ci FWD package out of the Caddy Eldo in the 70. Stupid HP and torque. I have read they aren't much heavier than SBC. GM also used to build a FWD motor home with a monster engine.

I would probably go with a supercharged 3.8 out of the Buick.

tuna55 Reader
10/19/09 6:38 p.m.

andrave - there are black boxes to do that work for you.

I now second the caddy option from the eldorado, also the toronado from the olds had the 455 - an equally awesome engine that's not too heavy. Either would be easier than the 'bu drivetrain, but the bu engine would make more power, but a lot less tree pulling torque.

RossD HalfDork
10/19/09 6:45 p.m.

If the 455 isnt too heavy, what is?

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
10/19/09 6:49 p.m.

Let's go out on a limb and say the engine should be transverse because it will be going in this:

From Bug of Love and Bug Ugly, the eVil twin.

I am really liking the 2.4T Dodge, 3.8L Buick and similar ideas. MAX engine budget will be $750.00.

Vigo New Reader
10/19/09 6:51 p.m.

Wiring is not that hard.. i think if you're starting with a fuel injected 3.8 fwd mid 80s buick, just put in a supercharged 3.8. You can probably get an obd1 harness and pare it down to bare minimum without too much difficulty, and you can probably make over 300 lb ft of torque with minor mods.

My aries has the plain-jane turbo 2.5 they put in so many things back then and put down 320 lb ft to the wheels on stock everything but injectors and intercooler. The wiring is simple in my opinion but i have no idea what means in your context.

Also, my engine and all wiring and intercooler came in a van i got off craigslist for $450 and sold almost $400 off of, and the injectors came out of the junkyard for almost nothing.

** oh i see you are starting with a beetle. Will you be trying to use the stock tranny or not?

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
10/19/09 7:01 p.m.


This particular car was a parts car for a few other projects I had, then it got "sent down to the farm league". Paul is intrigued with our Challenge stories and asked if I would help guide him through a build for $1000.00 or less. So far we have recouped enough for him to afford a set of used 16" wheels and tires.

Toyman01 HalfDork
10/19/09 7:21 p.m.

This for the challenge? Use the caddy or olds and mount it in the back for rwd win. May not autocross too well, but the drag will be quick if you can keep the front wheels on the ground.

patgizz Dork
10/19/09 8:17 p.m.

4.9 cadillac v8, get the HEI from a 4.1/4.5 and swap out the computer guts for vacuum advance ones, and find a carbed intake or cut the top of the TBI intake off and weld in a squarebore adapter? no wiring or computer involved.

Nashco SuperDork
10/19/09 8:24 p.m.

How about you recruit somebody to help you do wiring? It's not that tough, as others have mentioned. If you are using something pre OBD-II it's very simple, later stuff is still doable, just takes a bit more question asking.


CLNSC3 New Reader
10/19/09 9:29 p.m.


MrJoshua SuperDork
10/19/09 9:33 p.m.

Budget rebuild and Megasquirt on a 1.8T? (violates your minimal wiring clause, but sheesh, this is GRM and we have MadScientist Matt of DiyAutotune here so man up! )

mndsm New Reader
10/19/09 10:03 p.m.

No one mentioned the 4g63? Those go in ANYTHING!

Greg Voth
Greg Voth Reader
10/19/09 10:09 p.m.

If you are going through the hassle of putting a 3.8 GM you may as well put the L67 in. Supercharged 3.8. 240 HP with 280 TQ stock. Throw on a slightly smaller pulley for more power.

A home depot intake smaller pulley made my 200k mile 1998 Park Avenue run a 15.5.

RexSeven Dork
10/19/09 10:16 p.m.


One word: TORQUE! It's already turbo and made by VW. No idea how much they cost, but I've heard getting more HP out of one is relatively simple. GRM did a story on a TDI New Beetle not long ago and Top Gear USA had that story of dropping a TDI into a Mk1 Rabbit.

1 2
Our Preferred Partners