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· Oldpiler
218 Posts
Ah yes, the quest for more power. Which brings up the old saying, "Speed is just a question of money, how fast do you want to go?"

Since you ask what mods can you do and keep it kind of affordable I will assume you can't afford to do any kind of V-6, especially turbo V-6, properly. Properly is the key word. You could do it half-ass and have a half finished project or something unsafe or undriveable, but what's the point in that.

Therefore I suggest modding the stock engine. You could swap in a 2.2 or a 2.4 easily or just build the 1.9 or punch it out to 2.0. A warmed over 1.9 can make 130hp easily on a single carb. 130hp will be very fun and quick in your GT. 150-160hp is a bit more effort but very doable out of the 1.9.

To swap in a V-6 will require a lot of fabrication. A turbo V-6 even more so. And the cost of the engine and installing it is only a fraction of what you will end up spending. Because once you put a really powerful torquey engine into the car everything behind it is going to start breaking. Time for a bigger clutch, bigger transmission, bigger rearend and driveshaft. Suspension will have to be upgraded all the way around, especially in the front to handle the extra weight. Brakes will have to upgraded to handle the extra weight. I'm not just talking better pads and slotted rotors, I'm talking bigger! Which will require larger diameter wheels to fit them.

Want a real world example? I built a Volvo rally car for a customer/friend of mine. Actually, we both built it. It started out as a normally aspirated 3.0 V-6 Volvo 262 model. With about 145hp in fairly stock trim it was pretty reliable and he won a divisional class championship with it. Then he decided he wanted more power! Now John doesn't do anything by half so we went for it. We put a TO4 turbo on it and a SAAB 9000, then later a Ford Powerstroke Diesel intercooler on it. Engine management was Electromotive Tec II. We were hoping for something like 250-300hp. Well, after tuning on the chassis dyno we ended up with 504 ft/lbs of torque at the rear wheels at 4000 rpm! At only 11lbs of boost! That's somewhere between 500-600hp at the crank! Oh my god is that car fast!
But guess what? Everything behind the engine started breaking and had to be upgraded. First thing to go was the rear end, and Volvo Dana 30's are not weak. So we had to adapt a Ford 9 inch. Then the tranny went, even though it had a Quaife straight-cut gearset. Broke two of them. So we had to adapt A Jerico dogbox out of a Winston Cup stock car. Along with that came a Quartermaster triple disc clutch and a Ford F250 driveshaft. And let's not forget the Porsche Brembo brakes on the rear and the Ford Group A Cosworth front suspension and AP brakes.
You can see a web album of the build up of the car here: http://www.printroom.com/ViewAlbum.asp?userid=oppositelock&album_id=124351

So my point is, if you can't afford to re-engineer the entire drivetrain then you can't afford to do a V-6 or V-8 swap properly. A warmed up CIH will be affordable and lot's of fun.

-Dave Clark
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