Engine Conversion Kits
Engine conversion kits are an important part of any true engine enthusiast's kit. Allowing you to easily convert your cars engine to a more powerful, modern, or maintenance simple engine, an engine conversion kit is a necessity for many engine swaps. Whether you're in the process of building a project car, replacing the engine in an old car to aid performance, or simply replacing a worn out engine with a newer and less damaged replacement, you'll need an engine conversion kit to make sure that your new engine transplant runs smoothly. With engine conversion kits available for many makes and models, including some of the most renowned and powerful engines around, finding one for your specific engine type can be as easy as checking a product manual.
There are several major factors that should influence your choice of engine conversion kit. Firstly, you need to know what type of engine you're transplanting into your car body, and whether it's compatible with the remainder of the old car's parts. Secondly, you need to make sure that your engine will fit appropriately within the engine bay of your transplant car. Finally, you need to survey the needs and fitting requirements of your donor engine to make sure that everything will run smoothly once the conversion is complete.
The first stage of this process is determining how well your donor engine will work alongside the remaining parts from the previous car. There are two situations where this is important. The first is when you're transplanting an identical engine from the exact same year and model, or transplanting a similar engine from a previous or newer years model. The second is when you're transplanting an engine from a model that is different to the original, and has different performance specifications and gearing requirements. Lets deal with the first situation now:
It's likely that your donor engine can be transplanted straight in, without the need to make any changes. This depends on a few things, namely that it is the exact same year and model as that of the original engine. Many types of cars and motorcycles run the same engine for up to 20 years at a time. One notable example of this is the Kawasaki GPX250, which ran with the same engine from 1987 all the way through to 2007. If this is the case, an engine conversion is as simple as fitting the new engine to the frame, connecting it to the remainder of the vehicle parts, and testing the engine for performance and ability.
The second situation is slightly more complex, and often requires the use of a detailed and comprehensive engine conversion kit. When you're implanting an engine that results in a sizable performance gain or change, there are going to be other results that effect the cars handling, abilities, comfort level, and overall engine and gearbox health. Don't just sit your engine in the bay and expect it to fire straight away, you instead need to source an engine conversion kit and work your way through the conversion, micro-testing the performance of individual aspects as you go.
Checking for a proper engine fit is relatively easy, and can be done simply by requesting measurements when looking to purchase a donor engine. If you're already got your engine, this can be as easy as checking the dimensions yourself. However, when buying an engine sight-unseen, the easiest way to check for a proper fit is to request both the dimensions of the engine, details on the engine's construction, and a digital or printed copy of the vehicle's service and maintenance manual. This will give you an idea of the engine's design and construction without requiring you to physically view it yourself.
The final factor to consider when installing a donor engine is the health and abilities of the donor engine itself. While many hobbyists take stock of their current engine and determine their requirements in a donor engine from that, it's important to also apply the opposite factors when deciding on a donor engine. Pick something that is an appropriate fit for the car itself, both in terms of horsepower, performance, weight and construction. There's nothing worse than finding that your donor engine doesn't perform like expected, and the easiest way to prevent this from happening is to survey the needs of your engine long before you buy, or commit to an engine conversion kit.
These small tips and principles should set you on your way towards an easy engine replacement. With a wide range of engine conversion kits available, it's important to pick something that both meets your needs and is relatively simple to convert into your new car body. Don't fret, as the entire process can be very simple with the addition of the right kit. Just apply these principles, pick a quality engine conversion kit, and take careful care when assembling everything, and you'll have your new replacement engine running in no time at all.