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modern motor in a Model A?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ChrisMejia, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. ChrisMejia
    Joined: May 10, 2007
    Posts: 173

    ChrisMejia
    Member

    I have a buddy that's currently in the process of building a '31 Model A pick up. He's run out of money and made a very strange decision for the motor. He wants to put a Ford Focus 4-banger in it (which he has lying around). I've tried to convince him that it would be taboo to do it. The truck is pretty traditional over all, but the engine idea will kill it in my opinion. His decision is only a temporary one as he plans to eventually drop a '65 cadillac motor in it that he has to rebuild completely. Strange? What do you guys think? Has anyone here built something similar with a modern engine in it?
     
  2. tjm73
    Joined: Feb 17, 2006
    Posts: 3,404

    tjm73
    Member

    I think it's his truck and if that's what he wants to do until he puts the Caddy in it, that's his call.
     
  3. Aren't those cars front wheel drive? By the time he turns that into a north/south rear wheel drive he could probably build a couple caddy engines. Maintain your intervention attempts.

    Charlie
     
  4. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 5,058

    continentaljohn
    Member

    I think it's a great idea and not sure how much you can hop her up? I would run a hood and they would never know the better as long as you don't put one of them Coffee can on the exause pipe??!!??!!?
    Had a buddy that raced Pinto 4bangers for years ran in the 10's and 11's. It would be a true sleeper. Did you see the guy with the sedan in the UK ? a banger motor running Very Strong . It was posted here a few times ,nothing wrong with a Banger!
     

  5. i gotta agree with charlie on this , but you know a real good friend would help push the truck down the road and make vroom vroom noises:D

    just kiddin man! maybe your friend will come to his senses if you keep after him and hopefully he will wait on the caddy motor..
     
  6. ChrisMejia
    Joined: May 10, 2007
    Posts: 173

    ChrisMejia
    Member

    Yes, it is a front wheel drive set-up. He said he seems to have figured it out. Like Tjm73 says though, it's his car, so there's not much I can say to convince him. Ha ha ha. I'll just poke fun at him until he breaks that idea. He's pretty crafty when it comes to fabrication so it should be interesting to see what he comes up with.
     
  7. ChrisMejia
    Joined: May 10, 2007
    Posts: 173

    ChrisMejia
    Member

    Yes I did see that post. I was really impressed with it, although it sounded like a car you'd see/hear on the autobahn. That was a definite sleeper. I guess the hood would hide the motor.
     
  8. Old Fart 1941
    Joined: Jan 28, 2007
    Posts: 58

    Old Fart 1941
    Member
    from Oswego IL

    I thought the 59A flathead was the modern motor for the model A.
     
  9. ncranger05
    Joined: May 10, 2007
    Posts: 74

    ncranger05
    Member

    if i remember right the focus makes like 140 hp and about 130 torque should run pretty quick IMO
     
  10. ChrisMejia
    Joined: May 10, 2007
    Posts: 173

    ChrisMejia
    Member

    the Focus 4 is free though. He's broke and impatient. He he he.
     
  11. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 5,058

    continentaljohn
    Member

    I didn't know it was front wheel drive? might be a challenge And what the hell do I know I drive a old car ever day:D
     
  12. Straightpipes
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,084

    Straightpipes
    Member

    Hey, Thats what hot rodding is all about. Experiment, innovate, build something that nobody else has done. As long as it goes down the road safely let him do it. I once put a 409 Chevy in a Javalin:rolleyes:. Oh, shit, I tried to forget that! Now I won't sleep tonight:eek:
     
  13. I would think you could sell the Focus motor as a running take out for more than enough to hit a you-pull-it yard and pull your choice of whatever is out there, most of the ones here get $100-$150 plus a $50 core charge and depending on your luck you can find your choice of V8 - Ford, Mopar, Chevy, Olds, Pontiac, Buick, once in a while even 455s turn up. AMC/Jeep now and then too. How much more can they get on the west coast?
     
  14. temper_mental
    Joined: Oct 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,718

    temper_mental
    Member
    from Texas

    Some times we spend more money making free sh t work than its worth .Take your time save your money do it right .My 2 cents
     
  15. HotRodFreak
    Joined: Mar 25, 2005
    Posts: 1,935

    HotRodFreak
    Member

    There is no taboo in hotrodding.
    Dare to be an innovator.
     
  16. tjm73
    Joined: Feb 17, 2006
    Posts: 3,404

    tjm73
    Member

    Definitely some truth in this line of thought.

    If he had time and materials to make it work, then do it. If he has to buy a bunch of stuff to make it work, then he should do some thing else.

    Bottom line you gotta look at the total costs involved. There are three things that are needed. Parts. Skill. Money. You can manipulate any two of the three to compensate for the missing or lacking of third. And universaly you can manipulate time to help with the three.
     
  17. jonny o
    Joined: Oct 26, 2007
    Posts: 836

    jonny o
    Member

    I have to agree there. Keeping the opinions of the motor out of it, the swap is going to mean modification, money and time. He would probably be better off dropping a $50 running sbc in the thing for the time being.

    The other concern is that once you have a running mill in the thing, it's going to be harder to convince himself that he needs the bitchin' caddy. I don't know about you guys, but i work harder when the car isn't on the road, but I'll take months to change a burned out bulb!

    His car, his choice though.
     
  18. ChrisMejia
    Joined: May 10, 2007
    Posts: 173

    ChrisMejia
    Member

    I honestly am thinking that he just wants to be different. I have also suggested the junkyard option. Thing is, he has the Cadillac engine sitting there. It just needs to be rebuilt. The focus is fresh and has low miles. That's simply his argument.
     
  19. 40chev
    Joined: May 28, 2002
    Posts: 209

    40chev
    Member

    Not too sure how easy of a swap it would be with the computer control on the ignition and fuel system, if he can figure out how to wire that mess up or convert it to carb and dist I say go for it, probably be a really reliable engine, hop ups are available for those engines.....I've always been one to do something just because I was told it can't or shouldn't be done.....doing something like everyone else is no challenge, I say be different and do it the way he wants, soo what if others don't like it, they don't have to drive it...
     
  20. mattcrp1
    Joined: Aug 20, 2007
    Posts: 401

    mattcrp1
    Member

    there is a few hop up parts from ford motorsport depending on which motor he has but i was wondering what trans he would use?
     
  21. Ole don
    Joined: Dec 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,915

    Ole don
    Member

    The Focus is the same as the Ranger 2.3, so a five speed will bolt right up. If you use all the modern electronics, you will have a light, quick model A that gets about 30 miles to the gallon. There is a 170 HP version of that motor available.
     
  22. BOBBY FORD
    Joined: Oct 6, 2007
    Posts: 700

    BOBBY FORD
    Member

    I agree with jonny o.:D
     
  23. ChrisMejia
    Joined: May 10, 2007
    Posts: 173

    ChrisMejia
    Member

  24. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 5,058

    continentaljohn
    Member

    Yes this is true but:D the whole point to building a rod is trying things, going faster, efficency ,going faster, cost and speed. I'm working on a 31 Vicky and could have called the 800 number for all the parts I needed. How's that innovative and going to improve ones skills? I just love it when someone tells you it can't be done;) and take the easy way Love the challenge and thinking out of the Box..
     
  25. Darwin
    Joined: Oct 14, 2002
    Posts: 505

    Darwin
    Member

    You could just "drop in a $50 running SBC" in there but it's not likely to be any less work than installing the Focus motor. Either way you gotta find or fab a rear crossmember, relocate the radius rods (or come up with an entirely different suspension) and convert the axle to open drive. The SBC might even be more work 'cuz the Focus motor would not threaten the A axle overmuch whereas even the mildest V8 could shred the genny axle if you weren't real careful so you'd have to replace it along with all the other work that would entail. And don't forget the firewall mods needed for the 8 that the 4-banger might well not need.

    Slide the Focus motor in there and it might be even lighter than the car it came in. Don't know about the 30mpg part but for sure it would be a fuel sipper compared to any SBC.
     
  26. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,188

    1950ChevySuburban
    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    Actually, close. The aluminum DOHC Ranger 2.3 is the same. Not the Pinto 2.3 used until the mid 90s. Using the trans and stuff from a '01 Ranger would solve a lot of his problems.
    We have a few of these at work in our fleet. fast little trucks for what they are. I'm considering the same engine in my 29 Sedan.
     
  27. tjm73
    Joined: Feb 17, 2006
    Posts: 3,404

    tjm73
    Member

    Mid-2001 is when the DOHC 2.3 showed up and replaced the 2.5 that was a stroked 2.3 and replaced the 2.3 in 1998.

    I would like to know if the DOHC 2.0 and the DOHC 2.3 have the same bellhousing pattern. I have never been able to confirm or disprove that.
     
  28. 1931S/X
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 667

    1931S/X
    Member
    from nj

    i say go for it. what fun is the car while its sitting i nthe garage not being able to be used. i keep thinking of putting an ecotec in my essex.
     
  29. ChrisMejia
    Joined: May 10, 2007
    Posts: 173

    ChrisMejia
    Member

    Speed, reliability and fuel economy are always a big plus.
     

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