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plasticbadger

What engine to use in a competition truck

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With out giving the game away, I'm currently hatching a build plan for a truck to use primarily in European competitions, TAT, Croatia, Ladoga are all possibilities. It will also be used occaisionally in the UK. Rough plan is:

90% tube frame, some chassis/bulkhead from a donnor car purely to simiplify build

Portal axles

39 - 42" tyres

Built as small and light as possible with the above!

The question is what engine to use? I don't have a blank cheque budget, so I need engine, box and transfer box for £500 to £750, or even better in a donnor car that I can break and get some money back from. It needs to be able to run in water and it needs plenty of power for the faster Euro type events. Thoughts are at the moment:

LR 200/300 Tdi - cheap, easy to tune, but still lacks power and quite heavy. Good in water

LR V8 - cheap, easily available, good power and light weight, but will need Megasquirt to run in water, which adds extra cost

Td5 - could be within budget, but cost loads to tune. Electronics a problem in water?

Toyota 4.2 6 cyl diesel - Loads of power potential and within budget, but heavy and big. Simple and like water

Toyota 3.0 4 cyl diesel - Lower weight than above, and seem hard to get, don't know about electics or tuning.

Steyr 4 cyl diesel - loads power potential, but conversion kit to LR transmission costs more than my budget. Can anybody suggest sensible donnor cars?

What have I missed? Izusu and Nissan diesels? Suzuki petrol engines? What do you guys think?

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With 42" tyres anything will have to have bags of BHP / Torque, a 200 TDi driving potal + 42s ? :rofl:

I would say a std ish Rover V8 will also struggle,

More look at LS1 / 5.7 SBC / big cube / big BHP Torque engines -

is the only way to go, then you have the drivetrain probs to contend with

.....42s + 200 TDi .............. :rofl:

Nige :)

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.....42s + 200 TDi .............. :rofl:

Nige :)

I agree Nige, it's just got to go in there as the most simple option. I don't want to do it, trust me :P

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All depends on how technically minded you are!

I reckon you could build a 200/300tdi engine with a roots type blower and turbo with a bit of methanol injection etc to give an easy and reliable 200+ bhp and give quite a bit of low down torque to boot!! Or even better, start with a TGV, (does Will Warn still have his old one) and a bit of work etc you could be flying!

I like the TD5 but for a comp engine there is no reason a tdi will not be fine! just lacks the finesse of the TD5 (if you can call it that :P )

BUT

If you need to pay someone to help then you are better off getting a cheap Chevy V8, But not sure what the answer is for transmissions if this is your route!

Loud pedal + speed + big boots all rotating very fast and then + a sudden stop when you hit grip etc = Big bang :lol::lol::lol: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ if your running gear isn't up to it!

Lara

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A BMW 3L 3.2L or 3.5L M 6 cylinder petrol engines

A reliable 300hp all day long and with the BMW 2.7 that was put win the SA land rovers and 2.5L put in RR it should be eraser than some.

BMW 2.5L/2.7L 6 cylinder diesel

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Anything worthwhile for £750 all in is tricky - tunng a TDi beyond the basics is going to break the budget just as easily as any of the other options.

Tyre size is not such an issue as the gearing will decide what load the engine sees, although obviously you're going to need something in the trouser department to attack serious stuff.

The smaller/car engines can make the numbers at higher RPM but lack the low down torque, I've been round that loop a few times with silly engine ideas and it's actually quite hard to beat the original LR lumps overall.

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A mate of mine is building just for playing with a 440 yank engine with superchargers and NOS but he is more interestingly using the base engine gearbox and running gear from a Cherokee chief which he bought the whole car from a scrappy for a few hundred pounds and its all going into his 100" hybrid.

Its the big chap my wife and I are always chatting to at the club socials

a small note I find I have to spend a while getting used the cars manners when I have changed for a different engine this could also be worth looking into better the devil you know.

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Some interesting ideas. So some more info then:

The axle ratio will be 7.5:1, so gearing will be very low therefore tyre size wont be like trying to pull those meats on a standard LR.

I quite like the BMW idea, I do a fair about of work with marinised versions of the diesel engines and have always been impressed - light, powerful and torquey. If you used a RR P38 transmission what transfer box could you use? Obviously I don't want to use the stupid standard one.

LS / Gen3 engines are an obvious choice, but just too much money, sure I could get one for the figure I suggested, but it would be iron block and need a transmission swap. Older V8s tick all the right boxes, but are darn heavy. On the plus side they come with gearboxes and transfer boxes built to take it.

At this point, please nobody mention chevy V8 diesels, as I have very strong views of under 100 hp 5.7L engines which weigh 500 kgs (boat anchor anyone?).

For my £500 to £750 budget I could buy a donnor car and get money back into the pot by breaking it that would then go towards water proofing, intercoolers, tuning, transmission mods, etc. So I'm welcome to ideas that stretch that figure. It's more an indication that I can't just give someone £1500 for an engine and start from there.

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like said above the sreight 6 3ltr bmw diesel engine would fit the bill but you need an ecu and an ecu box to get them to run out of the car which could be costly.

sorry just read the above, post edited.

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a small note I find I have to spend a while getting used the cars manners when I have changed for a different engine this could also be worth looking into better the devil you know.

We just crossed posts Jules, but I agree having gone from the 200 tdi Disco to the 3.9 V8 RRC on the same suspension/axles etc. it changed everything.

However this will be a build from scratch, the aim being to save weight by only putting in what's needed, rather than adding to my existing truck. So it will be a case of having to learn the new vehicle from scratch, that said I do like the control and instant power of the V8 petrol/auto combination.

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There is no point in throwing money at something until your completely happy that’s the right way to go don't just listen to the loudest talker they may not be the best people to listen to loads can talk a competitive truck but few can build or drive them. what engines and drive chains have you use in the events you have competed in up to date what is wrong with them....I don't know what your using currently

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go cheap, go strong, go Jap or US, dont go big diesel - forget tuned diesel!

(you get combat survivability and more control with a manual btw :) )

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Jez, I've seen you post about manual vs. auto somewhere before, and although I've been enjoying my auto it was my aim to go manual for the battle survivability reason

- KISS Keep It Simple Stupid, if the engine and box have no electronics and will run full of mud then you get to the end of the day.

For information I used to run a 200tdi/manual and now run a 3.9 V8/auto. I found the 200 lacked power and the V8 died when I drove it under water. The new car will be a clean slate, built to do want I want it to do, not to suit my current taste.

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Simplest is going to be spending the money waterproofing a Rover V8, A Thor 4.6 on 'squirt will give plenty of power in all the right places, and should be waterproof if you do it right.

It all depends how much power you want and how much your prepared to spend. The rover route means you can keep the standard transmission etc, which might be a useful thing to have.

If you go silly big (LSx/440ci etc) then your going to need a different gearbox, and thats when things start getting very expensive indeed.

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perhaps a step back from the engine bit? just a suggestion but the answer might come from a different approach

its an unfashionable concept but reverse engineering has a lot going for it - work out exactly what you want the car to do, what kind of environment it needs to operate in (and not just the geography), how you want to operate it and for how long at a time, whos going to be fixing it (and where), etc etc dont forget to consider what class you want to compete it! (class rules can affect projects!)

personally I find it a lot easier to build something when I know what the end result is going to be ;)

Think about real estate needed (measure stuff!) and how the whole car will work as a single entity (a monkey frame with no doors, no cab space and switches you can only use when stationary would be a prime example)

Spend a heap of time "virtually" building it in your head (and a notepad), explore every option in terms of drivetrain, suspension, cooling, winches, cup holders and cigarette storage and then try to knock each option to bits with pro's and con's - the winner is the idea that survives. Using this process never wastes time and always saves money :)

only you know what you want out of it - build it to suit you and enjoy the process!

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Edit, following Jez's wise words above.

I have a pretty good idea of the kind of event I want to compete in, I've researched the rules of those events, the logisitics involved in transporting the vehicle getting fuel etc. that effect the vehicle choice. That said I'd rather build what I want than build to win a particular event, if that means I'm an also-ran then so be it, as long as I have a machine I'm happy with that I can use for a number of different uses. I have in my mind / on paper / on CAD the starting points of layout, suspension setup and minimum sensible size.

The one question that keeps coming up in my thought process is what engine to use, there's so many things that could work, but what will make me happy? That's why I asked for suggestions. And the problem with not knowing such a fundimental piece of the plan means that every time the engine choice changes I have to re-think everything else.

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Buy a cheap Yank 4x4 and use as much as possible! Sell the rest and have fun!

Lara

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Having just done some numbners in my head, working on ~250-400 quid for a 3.5/3.9 V8 and box (again, a donor breaker may be the way forward) you can do MegaSquirt'n'EDIS within the budget especially if you build the ECU yourself.

Pros:

Engines are proven, available, cheap (as are parts & ancillaries)

Although it has electronics, it's fine with water and has full diagnostics.

Decent power & torque (~180hp & ~180lb/ft ish)

Cons:

Requires more than one wire to run

Not the most power & torque in the world

Unfashionable :P

...and whatever else people can come up with (my brain is on strike today :P )

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Have you looked at jag V8s, Any post 2001 as earlyer have some liner issues,lots of ponys and already coil on plug set up, it is not the simplist route as adapters are needed and a stand allone ECU but a lot of engine for your money, building 2 up at moment, both 4.0l one a supercharged onto 4l80e auto with lt230 trans box,

Carl.

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lexus 4.0 £275 on ebay the other day including loom and ECU, happy running standalone, easy to tune the t*ts out of, bullet proof

Jag nicosil liners - cure it with aptec.

Rover, take lots of spares because you wont find anywhere that sells them in countries where you'll need them :lol:

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Again for running repairs it comes down to "how engine mechanical are you" some people can fix anything anywhere but the more "modern" it is, the less likely you are to be able to fix it if something **** happens!

We have finished rallies before with 1 of the 6 pistons removed and the pushrods removed to keep the valves closed! wouldn't want to try to do that with a modern chain driven OHC multi valved turbo nutter!! :lol::lol:

A lot to be said for a simple approach and a little less power! and as Jez says, when you need parts, ??????????????

Lara

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I like the idea of an older style engine for that reason, I'm pretty confident that I can keep a 200 Tdi / Landcruiser 4.2 / Yank V8 running no problem - I've got 200s re-started after hydraulicing in 10-15 mins no probs. I've built plenty of small OHV / OHC car engines in the past, so old tech is good.

Newer engines I've played with are Peugeot common rail diesels and Ford Zetecs + BMW, Steyr and Volvo modern diesels at work, so again I know what's going on, but as you say Lara I wouldn't be happy running one on 3 cylinders for a day (although I did do that with a Pug HDI, it didn't have too much power though :lol: )

For longer European events it's got to be good to have something that you can keep going with a hammer and a pair of tights, the same reason why a manual box is good. I think on that basis the Landcruiser engine or an older Chevy V8 would be top choice. However, they're heavy and I really wanted to keep the car light(ish).

I'm quite interested in the all alloy V8s metioned above, presumably you could hook the Lexus engine up to some of the older Toyota manual boxes, anybody have any ideas what?

The Rover V8 still sits in the middle, engine technology you can fix with a hammer, but injection technology that if you loose a sensor you're f%$^*d

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The Rover V8 still sits in the middle, engine technology you can fix with a hammer, but injection technology that if you loose a sensor you're f%$^*d

The only sensor you absolutely must have with MS is the crank sensor, not only are they very reliable but they're bolted to almost every ford made in the last ~20 years so taking or finding a spare is hardly tricky. All the others can be ignored.

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lexus 4.0 £275 on ebay the other day including loom and ECU, happy running standalone

That's interesting. Had been looking at this as a possibility for a mates racer but the steer we where getting (well know jap 4x4 specialist) was that it wasn't easy getting them to run out of the vehicle using original ECU.

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