panamracer
panamracer None
6/6/12 4:39 p.m.

Hey Guys! I'm playing with the idea of using this old Mini body I have that has the floors and trunk gone and building it out with V8 power.

Here's my main goals:
1. It's got to be unique wherever it goes, check. 2. Has to at least be cool when finished, check. 3. Most importantly, has to be able to peform awesome burnouts when asked. With the V8, I think check.

OK, here's my question.
I plan to make a new frame and cage setup with 2x4 box and 1 1/2" tubing. I'm trying to figure out what suspension would be narrow enough to fit the width of a Mini, and also let a V8 sit in there.

The actual shell is 52" wide, that's 4 ft 4 inches at the front wheelwells The usable space across the hood opening is about 28-30"

Now, the wheels on a Mini are quite close to the front of the car, so I think only the front of engine will be near the suspension.

I have no preference between A-arms or Strut gemetry, but the only thing is, it has to be something factory made so the parts are reasonable.

Of course, I am on a Grassroots budget, or life as it is; so I'm trying to keep this reasonable. My guess is, that at the end my biggest single outlay will be the steel for the frame and cage.

I have both Ford and Chevy small blocks and trannies, 9 inch rears and a posi unit from a Caprice. I know they'll have to be narrowed.

Ifigure there are guys out much smarter and experienced than me, and figured I'd pick those brains...

I have built a couple cars for the LaCarerra Panamericana Race in Mexico, so I do have some experience.

Thanks for any help, I appreciate it!

Mike

pimpm3
pimpm3 Reader
6/6/12 5:20 p.m.

Ford: Lincoln continental FWD 4.6 V8 in back

Chevy: LS powered FWD Impala SS drive train on back

Pontiac: GTP Supercharged 3800 V6 drivetrain in back

I think rear engined is going to be the easiest path to making this work. Look at the Little Lamborghini build thread as well as last years Honda 600 build.

MichaelYount
MichaelYount New Reader
6/6/12 5:24 p.m.

Corvette LS3 w/transaxle (minus torque tube) in the back. Mid-engined. As mentioned above - there may not be enough room; you may have to go transverse - although those may be too wide. Anything you try and put in the front is going to put you in the 'back seat'.

If you can manage unique, cool, burnouts, plenty of power WITHOUT the V8 -- Subaru turbo boxer motor/transaxle - in back.

friedgreencorrado
friedgreencorrado PowerDork
6/6/12 6:01 p.m.

Another vote for mid-engine. It's been years since I've spent any time around a Mini, but IIRC, there isn't much room for anything other than transverse FWD up front.

It's been done, but not quite for challenge money (aside to the regulars: yes, there's a clown involved. ):

http://www.classicminis.org/minissan.htm

Ian F
Ian F UberDork
6/6/12 6:21 p.m.

Transverse I4 with forced induction. I've seen this in person and its still a tight fit. Still more than enough power to be Damn near uncontrollable in a car with such a short wheelbase.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim UberDork
6/6/12 7:30 p.m.

There is a company in the UK (damned if I can remember the name at the moment) that builds mid engined, usually bike powered "Minis". Even those don't have a lot of room inside but compared to somehow squeezing a V8 under the hood, I'd think that would be a preferable layout.

44Dwarf
44Dwarf SuperDork
6/6/12 7:35 p.m.

I'd love to find a rusted out floor shell with a title and hang it on my dwarf car chassis. Whats the wheel base on a clasic mini? I've forgotten its been so long that mines been gone.

ronholm
ronholm Reader
6/6/12 7:42 p.m.
BoxheadTim wrote: There is a company in the UK (damned if I can remember the name at the moment) that builds mid engined, usually bike powered "Minis". Even those don't have a lot of room inside but compared to somehow squeezing a V8 under the hood, I'd think that would be a preferable layout.

???

http://www.zcars.org.uk/

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim UberDork
6/6/12 7:45 p.m.

I think that's the one, yes.

BAMF
BAMF Reader
6/7/12 12:39 p.m.

Caddy Northstar V8 in the back.

ultraclyde
ultraclyde Dork
6/7/12 1:15 p.m.

Also a place in North Georgia doing Vtec installs, subframes, kits - even a vtec spun, AWD version.

MiniTec - www.superfastminis.com

And the have a Honda Insight with a mid-mounted Acura moter making 270 hp too. You know, jus 'cause.

I think you will be really hard pressed to fit an american 8 in the front. Even if you cut the block up with a torch. Mid mounted is a much greater possibility. I image the suspension will pretty much hafta be custom, I'm not aware of anything else that narrow that has anything any better than whats there. I guess maybe a mustang II streetrod???

alfadriver
alfadriver UberDork
6/7/12 1:18 p.m.

When I read the thread title- I thought of this car.

mini coopers are nice and all, but a classic cooper monaco V8 would rock.

Conquest351
Conquest351 Dork
6/7/12 1:44 p.m.
pimpm3 wrote: Chevy: LS powered FWD Impala SS drive train on back

The manual transaxle from the Cobalt SS (Chevy F40 transaxle) will bolt to that engine and handle the power. Fiero guys been doing it for a while.

Nashco
Nashco UltraDork
6/7/12 3:54 p.m.

May want to consider some alternative V8 options in such a tiny car, size will be your enemy. BOP 215, Rover V8, 60° transverse V8s (Ford, Volvo, ?) maybe. Note that most all Minis with the kind of powertrain you're talking about end up with big flares to make room for tires and suspension. Fitting a lot more powertrain into such a small car is quite a challenge without doing some bodywork expansion!

Bryce

93EXCivic
93EXCivic UltimaDork
6/7/12 4:49 p.m.

I think you are going to want to widen it via big ass flares. A wider track width would be a good idea on a car like that. But here are some pictures of V8 Minis

amg_rx7
amg_rx7 Dork
6/7/12 8:08 p.m.

Is there enough room for pedals and people in the cockpit with a V8 and a trans?

SVreX
SVreX UltimaDork
6/7/12 8:49 p.m.
MichaelYount wrote: If you can manage unique, cool, burnouts, plenty of power WITHOUT the V8 -- Subaru turbo boxer motor/transaxle - in back.

I don't think there is enough room from the back of the driver's seat to the rear bumper to accommodate the length of a Subie motor + trans.

Though the side outputs are clearly an advantage, the tail stock of the Subie transaxles is much longer than most people realize. You would save space using an AWD trans with the rear output welded up instead of a FWD trans (FWD trans has a rear output linkage, which makes it even LONGER, AWD trans has a side output linkage).

The rear wheels are too close to the rear of the car to make a Subie trans work. The axles would be at a radical angle forward.

Mating the Boxer to a Porsche transaxle might be a possibility.

T.J.
T.J. PowerDork
6/7/12 9:23 p.m.

My Mini has something shy of 100 hp and it is a fun little car that scoots along pretty good. I'm not going to win many drag races, but it more than keeps up with day to day traffic. I could manage a one wheel burnout, but don't want to break anything.

AI can't imaging stuffing a V8 in one. The VTEC Minis are bad enough. It seems like a good portion of the folks who build or buy one end up selling it. There is such a thing as too much. That being said, I'll be interested to see what you come up with. I just want to get a 7 or 8 port head and megasquirt mine, whether it's one of the several heads for sale or the conversion to use a BMW motorcycle head.

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