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Old 10-05-2011, 06:38 AM   #1
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Default Car: What would you build?

Running some ideas around for a new project and I'm curious what MT.net would do. Have some simple personal ground rules for the vehicle choice to keep it smart, this will be a daily driven (except snow):

Engine: Simple V8, already selected. Chassis should easily accept a V8.
Transmission: Depends on the vehicle choice, either T56 or 4L80E
Drive axle: Rear wheel drive. Axle depends on vehicle, would prefer to retain factory unit.
Body: Something Elegant, no convert but moon roof okay. Does not have to be sports car, but doesn't have to be boring. Must be classified as a car, no truck.
Seating: Prefer 4, 2 acceptable.
Storage: Fair to average amount.
Cost: Has to be cheap.
Vintage: See Above. Should be affordable, something I could obtain and not spend a fortune to 'restore.'
Modus Operandi: Keep It Simple Stupid.


The rules still leave too many vehicles to choose just one, so what would MT choose? Looking mainly for something that would easily accommodate grocery shopping, my golf clubs, rifle cases, camping gear, whatever..
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:02 AM   #2
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I shudder to even say this word...but a Mustang ticks a lot of those boxes.

Mainly for the cheap factor.

We dyno'd my buddie's 347ci turbo'd and MegaSquirted SN95 Saturday and he was pushing close to 500whp on a conservative timing map.

IF you don't plan on going over 500whp (limits of stock block) then the price of entry and price of parts are going to be lower than anything LSx based. Cheap early '90s Mustangs abound, and the 5.0 parts market (check local forums) is unreal. I'm literally having parts -thrown- at me for my swap.

Plus you have your pick of two body styles with the same drivetrain.


And...they make a MSPnP for it.
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:24 AM   #3
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If I was going to start another project car and it was going to meet your criteria (V8, RWD, no drop top, affordable, etc) it would be a Datsun 240Z.

I've always loved them and always wanted one. They are the perfect candidate for a nice project V8 and can be had for pretty cheap. Lots of aftermarket availability and potential.

Here's a few pics that tickle my fancy.

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Old 10-05-2011, 10:26 AM   #4
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I'm a little confused, is this gonna be a V8 swap, I'll assume so. Also assume it's a LS swap unless otherwise indicated.
3rd gen Camaro/Firebird
E30/E36 BMW 3
E34/E39 BMW 5
Datsun 240Z
Datsun 510/610, with a Ford 302
Ford Maverick with a 302 or 351
RX7
Porsche 944

I know you don't want a truck, but a second gen Dakota R/T (maybe clone) with a T56 swap and some suspension/brake work would be pretty cool and more then capable of hauling around you stuff or small - medium sized children.
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:15 AM   #5
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E39 5 series. A couple LS swaps have been done with them so it's not totally uncharted territory. Elegant looks IMO, not a cop magnet but not totally boring, comfy seating for 4, good storage space in trunk, and they are fairly cheap. I have a pretty serious hard-on for an E39 M5 since I need a 4-door daily pretty soon and if I have to get a 4-door car it might as well have ~400 hp. M5s ain't cheap but I haven't got time for a swap project. You could swap your V8 of choice into a non-M car and make more power than the M5 for less money. For bonus points you can then throw an M5 badge on the trunk of what was originally a 525 to really **** off the snooty types. Win.
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:15 AM   #6
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Sounds like you want an E30 sedan

As far as I can tell it checks all of your boxes (maybe not the Elegant body part but to each his own), plus LS swaps have already been done on e30s so a lot of the footwork as already been done.
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gospeed81 View Post
I shudder to even say this word...but a Mustang ticks a lot of those boxes.
Depending on your definition of "elegant", a 60's or 70's vintage american car, up to and including the Ford Ranchero, also ticks most of the boxes.

elesjuan, how involved of a build are you looking for here? I mean, you can put a V8 into a VW Karmann Ghia (I have seen it done) and that's easily the simplest and most elegant car in the known universe, but you'll need access to Williams Racing's F1 construction shop to make it happen cleanly.
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Old 10-05-2011, 02:46 PM   #8
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Factory Five GTM Supercar with a 4 rotor... body/chassis starts at 20K (cheap if you're a baller) - you add motor/trans



Depending on your definition of cheap, I'd have to go with an E class as well... or an old school 80's regal

Last edited by GeneSplicer; 10-05-2011 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 10-05-2011, 02:56 PM   #9
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I can't believe I'm about to suggest this, but have you considered a 944? They are CHEAP and you'll have no problem shoehorning most of the popular V8s into one. I wouldn't call them elegant but they aren't bad.
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Old 10-05-2011, 03:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I can't believe I'm about to suggest this, but have you considered a 944?
This may be the least stupid thing Pusha has ever said.

The only downside I can see is that the 944 has the transmission in the rear. You could obviously come up with a bellhousing adapter to accommodate this in a V8 design (maybe just steal one from a C6) but who knows whether this gearbox would tolerate 400 ft/lbs.

Plenty of room for golf clubs in the estate version, though:

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Old 10-05-2011, 03:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
The only downside I can see is that the 944 has the transmission in the rear. You could obviously come up with a bellhousing adapter to accommodate this in a V8 design (maybe just steal one from a C6) but who knows whether this gearbox would tolerate 400 ft/lbs.
with the rate C6s were getting wrecked two years ago, I would be surprised if you couldn't sort an entire drivetrain.
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Old 10-05-2011, 03:32 PM   #12
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Small block Ford in an MGB

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Old 10-05-2011, 03:33 PM   #13
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Small block Ford in an MGB

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Old 10-05-2011, 03:51 PM   #14
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Oh this isn't going to be easy, I've liked every idea so far.. The Z car would be awesome but might be hard on a budget..

Couple of the choices I've bounced around:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Nice-...b8236d3f#v4-56

I've always had a place for the style of these, the color does nothing for me but the newer wheels look great on that series. Interior is pretty boring, though looks in very very good shape for this specific model. Aftermarket audio would be very limited in that configuration, this type of car I'd like a double din if possible.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1996-...ht_32275wt_896

I've actually seen several in this body style for this price or lower typically with bad motors.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1989-...#ht_500wt_1182

By far my favorite of my search thus far. Only has 50k miles on it, would be a great driver until the rest of the package was ready to swap in but I'd be mad at myself for taking such a beautiful functional machine apart. Gauge cluster would be an absolute nightmare and goes against KISS- I had a 1984 300zx with the digital dash. Started out the fuel gauge malfunctioned which was an easy fix, then the coolant temp, trip odometer, odometer, oil pressure guages all stopped displaying over the course of a month. No ******* digital dashes.

Other cars I've pondered include 1980s Merc 300S series, 1990s Merc 190, 1990s Merc S500..




The ideal candidate would literally accept new mounts and a V8 with room to spare so that leaves the F1 built VW out, and while I like that factory five kit it would be very far over budget.
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Old 10-05-2011, 03:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
The only downside I can see is that the 944 has the transmission in the rear. You could obviously come up with a bellhousing adapter to accommodate this in a V8 design (maybe just steal one from a C6) but who knows whether this gearbox would tolerate 400 ft/lbs.
Funny you should mention, I have a source with about 10 C5 vette driveshaft assemblies in his garage..
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Old 10-05-2011, 03:55 PM   #16
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Well, dude! If you're remotely contemplating an XJS, then do it!

I had no idea that you could get one in running-ish condition for that kind of money.
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Old 10-05-2011, 03:57 PM   #17
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Lexus something. I know I'm going to catch a lot of **** for this but this meets everything I think.
Comfortable, gets groceries, looks good.

Doesn't need to be hellaflush super low stancemax mexipoke because I know it isn't everyones style but lowered with some good looking wheels and a good amount of power would be awesome.





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Old 10-05-2011, 03:57 PM   #18
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I know of a guy who runs with NASATX who has an LS2 swapped 944 and we joke that its the most reliable Porsche on the track...it's also blisteringly fast. I think that is an excellent idea.

I really, really like the idea of an SBC E34 5-series. Eventually I want to build a car like that to use as a daily driver.
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Old 10-05-2011, 03:59 PM   #19
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The XJS with an LS would be soooooooo cool. Just think about all the purists you could **** off. Better yet, build it with a 4v modular ford motor, if it would fit.
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Old 10-05-2011, 04:05 PM   #20
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Last year I met someone at Summit Point who was tracking a Jag XJ... XK... whatever has a V12 in it, for HPDE. He said he bought it for about $3K and spent a few days replacing head gaskets and some other leaking seals. He found some Hawk pads for it and was hustling it around pretty good considering it was heavy as ****, on T1Rs, and he left the A/C running so his instructor would be comfy.
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