Sandrail Engine swap

  1. Wightsparks

    Wightsparks Forum Supporter

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    I have a Beetle based Fugitive Sandrail with a 1600 air cooled engine in it.

    2017-12-17 11.19.27.jpg

    Just finished replacing the rear beetle swing arm suspension for an independent (IRS) set up from a Porsche 944, adding some large disc brakes and changing the gearbox for one from a VW Camper. Drove it a couple of miles - suspension much better, engine still old and about 45hp.

    2017-12-09 14.57.25.jpg


    Next project is to replace the engine with a 140hp 1.8L MX5 engine I have from a MK2.5 I stripped down last year.

    2017-12-24 15.54.56.jpg


    Today is Day 1 :laughing:
     
  2. Wightsparks

    Wightsparks Forum Supporter

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    First job is to take a look at the 15kg wiring loom and have a first pass over what I need and what I don't.

    2017-12-24 15.54.33.jpg

    Helpfully all the engine and ECU form one separate loom. The rear loom of lights, and locks etc can go, as can 90% of the main loom, but from that I need things like the immobiliser, clutch sensor, exhaust gas sensors, ignition feed etc. Got a good idea but will use as-is to get the engine running before I start snipping bits out. Need to track down exactly what is fed into the ECU and what is done electrically.

    Also started to take a look at engine mounting, fortunately I have the original front subframe so I can make a jig for the mount positions (the 2 rectangular cups).

    2017-12-25 00.18.05.jpg

    I will need to build extra framing onto the rail as the VW engine just hangs off the gearbox.
    I have a plan for the gearbox to engine join - but not worked out the details yet..
     
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  3. PhillipM

    PhillipM Member

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    1,801
    Rotherham
    Get that man down the road to 3d print you some engine mount polybushes :D
     
  4. Onoff Member

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    Sevenoaks, UK
  5. Fazerruss

    Fazerruss Member

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    2,331
    West Yorkshire
    If it's already registered with an old engine running on carbs why not ditch the ecu and get a set bike bike carbs and use nodiz or megajolt for the ignition.
    I would do the same if my engine wasn't brand new and needing to meet modern emissions standards.
    I'm going down the megasquirt route on separate throttle bodies.
     
  6. rcx132

    rcx132 Philip

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    Location:
    London, UK
    Nice project!

    How will you mate the new engine to the current gearbox?

    With the engine wiring loom, for my next project where I'm fitting an EFI engine into an older Suzuki Samurai, I thought it would be better to make a new engine loom than use the original one. The original loom won't be the right length and will have a lot of cut wires. These 1990's engines aren't that complicated to wire up, for my project it's only about 20 wires. I also started the wiring loom for my Lexus V8 engine which will be going into my planned buggy, and even that isn't a lot of wires, only issue with the more complicated Lexus engine is that I'll never be able to quiet the check-engine light as it will always be freaking out because it's looking for the rest of the car.
     
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  7. Ruffian Member

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    1,630
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    I know a guy who spliced a whole lexus ls400 engine and loom into a triumph stag, kept most the original loom and worked a treat.

    As for the mazda engine they are relatively simple engines so even if push came to shove building a manifold and putting it on a weber car (old pinto style) won't be difficult.

    I will be watching with interest as most people fit the subaru engine and gearboxes into vw's now, (I know I pull the engine boxes and full looms regularly for a conversion company)
     
  8. rcx132

    rcx132 Philip

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    Aside from simplicity I don't see the advantage of downgrading to a carb. I think the reason a lot of people ditch EFI for carbs is just that it's a familiar technology and they don't want the hassle of having to program an aftermarket ECU like Megasquirt.
     
  9. Wightsparks

    Wightsparks Forum Supporter

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    1,061
    Location:
    Wight
    He's a bad influence - There are now 3 Fug's on the island!

    You sir are an absolute star! I had the ones from the Mellons site but those are awesome!
    Thanks very much!:clapping:


    Main reason.... about £3K! Engine swap is not much of a DVLA hassle as I have the V5 for the MX5

    Thanks! I have a mating plan, ...well in fact I have already cut the transmission in half, but I will cover it in more detail later.

    The wiring is relatively easy BUT the accepted route is to do the engine install and use the loom whole before chopping bits out to make diagnosis of any issues easier. For one example there is a burglar alarm box - but is that connected to the immobiliser - and if so will chopping off the door lock wires break it?

    Yea, the Scooby engine is the usual route and the other island Sandrail has done that, twice in fact. But I have an MX5 engine so that's what is going in!
     
  10. Wightsparks

    Wightsparks Forum Supporter

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    Location:
    Wight
    Nope I just tell the DVLA I have changed the engine. The car is one of the minority correctly registered as exactly what it is!
     
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  11. Wightsparks

    Wightsparks Forum Supporter

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    Location:
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    Just to highlight what i was saying about the looms, taking a look at the Schematic above, the earth for the relay that energises the entire engine system - is on the same earth block as the headlights, indicators etc- all of which I had earmarked for the chop!
     
  12. Fazerruss

    Fazerruss Member

    Messages:
    2,331
    West Yorkshire
    Yes mine is a new build with a post 1995 engine
     
  13. rcx132

    rcx132 Philip

    Messages:
    1,842
    Location:
    London, UK
    Looking forward to seeing how the engine is mated. Yeah with my projects I was lucky that simple ECU wiring diagrams were online from people who had already figures it all out
     
  14. gavcarter

    gavcarter Member

    Messages:
    412
    Location:
    Hartlepool
    In lack of a diagram the easy way is the old way.
    Take all the tape and cloth off and work from ecu out over, taping it all together.
    You then end up with 2 looms joined by the odd earth and sometimes sharing connector blocks.
    Makes it easier to see what can be snipped off
     
  15. Wightsparks

    Wightsparks Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    1,061
    Location:
    Wight
    To join the engine up to the 002 VW Micro-bus (said with an Arlo Guthrie accent:laughing:) I intend to create "Frankenbox"
    Helpfully the 002 box splits at the section that houses the clutch. VW box on the left, clutch housing in the background. Input shaft is removable.

    2016-11-16 20.05.43.jpg

    This is the MX5 transmission housing, at the red line there is a bearing mount and oil seal for the output shaft
    2016-11-16 20.07.42.jpg

    So I cut it in half and will mill it flat

    2017-12-25 23.47.39.jpg

    Then I have a 25mm ally plate drilled to fit the VW side and relieved to clear the VW diff which sticks out 18mm, I then have that welded (the casing has been tested and is weldable) to the mx5 half case. also bolted using the bearing housing bolt holes seen above. - There is no stress on this joint as the bearing remains in its original housing, the lower hole is unused.

    The gear box end of the MX5 shaft (seen above) will need modifying to a female spline and the VW input shaft modified to fit.

    The MX5 bit will be bolted to the engine then the two shafts engage as it is bolted to the VW box.

    This way I keep all the MX5 clutch gear and starter, and I gain a shaft bearing.

    Hopefully I can find a CAD drawing of the VW 002 box end.
     
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  16. Olderisbetter

    Olderisbetter Forum Supporter

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  17. PhillipM

    PhillipM Member

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    1,801
    Rotherham
    Mine had a Mazda engine in, just not that one :D
     
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  18. Wightsparks

    Wightsparks Forum Supporter

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Thanks for the link - I wondered where he had gone! They posted on a couple of dedicated forums, but to be honest those forums are pretty quiet.

    I originally got the MX5 for an Exocet build. My daughter and I stripped it then decided when we actually saw one for real that we didn't like it. The engine is all that's left - apart from a few bits I already put on the rail. Nope I have not seen an MX5 engine used either. Weight is not far off the beetle motor and size is comparable but a little longer.

    Phil - what's yours got in it at the moment (you should start putting the engines in with Velcro!) and are you updating a log somewhere?
     
  19. PhillipM

    PhillipM Member

    Messages:
    1,801
    Rotherham
    :D
    Swapped the Mazda rotary out for a supercharged S2000 motor. There's a thread on here but unfortunately the photobucket 3rd party thing killed a lot of my logs, I'm trying to redo them slowly. There's a thread on RetroRides though.
    It goes on the dyno for mapping next month, at last.
     
  20. Turbo Member

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    3,144
    Location:
    Fermanagh, Northern Ireland
    I can see how you can use the Subaru engine with it having a similar flat 4 layout but I can't see how you can retain the Subaru gearbox as the shafts will be turning the wrong way giving you 1 forward & 5 reverse speeds! Do you somehow mount the box upside down?
     
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