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Most fuel efficient drivetrain for an A roadster build?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Aoneday, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. I can remember my Dad telling me, the inline 6 is heavier than a sbc. I wouldn't doubt it. So the inline6 sounds like a hinderance, more than a gain to me.
  2. '46SuperDeluxe
    Joined: Apr 26, 2009
    Posts: 255

    from Clovis, CA

    If you are that concerned about milage to and from work, Y not buy a good used Korean ricer, and cruise the A-bone on the weekends with a V-8. Get some collector car insurance and keep the milage low. I've been considering the "Baby Nailhead" 215 idea myself, with a T-5 or other modern 5 speed for v-8 sound and creditable milage for rod runs and such. The Buick aluminum engine weighs something like 345 lbs. wet, and you could go 3-2s with progressive linkage, and mid 3's for the gears. Can be stroked to 294" by using a (choke) 1995 (choke) Land Rover 4.6 block with 300 heads and crank. Auto trans adapters are available. Certainly per pound, cheaper than a Dart block 302 or what have you. Weight savings translate to a bit more miles, with proper gearing.
  3. Buick 300 with a TH200-4R if you want a V8 with an overdrive automatic. A little long for the Model A engine bay. Supper looks. Speed equipment is almost nonexistant. But all you want in a mileage motor is a custom cam and headers. Both are available.

    A 283 with a 2 barrel and a T5 manual will give you better mileage than the same motor with an overdrive automatic.

    With a Model A cruising speed has a big impact on mileage. They have the aerodynamics of a dumpster. The mpg difference between 60 and 75 mph is significant.

    Finding 30 MPG will be hard to do.
  4. 63ChevyII
    Joined: Dec 9, 2005
    Posts: 559


    I have a printout that came from a 1977 issue of hot rod that says the Chevy L6 (194/230/250) engines weigh 410 lbs.

    The same articles lists chevy v8s (262-265-283-302-305-307-327-350-400) as 575 lbs.

    In my '63 Chevy II with a 194, powerglide, and 3.08 rear, I got around 18 in town and 22 on the freeway.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  5. Go with the lightest motor you can find, run a modern overdrive trans, and a mild (3.5 - 3.7) rear gear. Stick this combo into a light car and enjoy.....

    if you can. The point of building a hot rod is building a car you can have fun driving.
  6. 63ChevyII
    Joined: Dec 9, 2005
    Posts: 559


    Weights of some of the engines that have been suggested:

    320 lbs

    365 lbs

    400 lbs
  7. How about a Toyota 22R, with a pair of Webers and a five speed? Of course you'd have to run a hood...
  8. Buy a new KIA or Honda. Or a Hybrid turd If you want milage. Drive your hot rod cause its fast and fun.
  9. poweredbylincoln
    Joined: Feb 12, 2009
    Posts: 181


    you can also run a cummins 4 banger...u can get 28+ mpg with it in a model a not naming names..who has that set up
  10. mart3406
    Joined: May 31, 2009
    Posts: 3,055

    from Canada

    If your really want maximum fuel mileage with a
    V8 - (and still some decent power and drivebility
    as well, too) I think you pretty well have to bite
    the dreaded 'late-model" bullet and go with EFI
    instead of a "traditional" carb (or carbs). To my
    mind, if you want mileage with with resonable
    power, I don't think you go too far wrong with an
    EFI 302 from a 'late-'80's to mid-'90's 5L Mustang
    or other Ford product. Combine that with either a
    T5 or AOD - also from a Mustang - and some rear
    gears in 3.00 to 3.25 range and I think you'd have
    pretty good set-up capable of highway mileage in
    the high 20's or better mpg range - and with enough
    power to still light the tires up, for the times you
    want to do that too! :)

    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  11. lewislynn
    Joined: Apr 29, 2006
    Posts: 1,605


    My buddy's daily driver he built in the 70's is a Model A PU with a V6 from a Monza (we had a faux energy crisis then too). I don't know what his mileage is but knowing him it's probably pretty good and the thing not only looks good but it sounds pretty sweet too.

    I heard a high up government official (the highest) say all you have to do is keep your tires properly inflated to improve your mileage..
  12. Kerrynzl
    Joined: Jun 20, 2010
    Posts: 2,283


    Are you going to hide the engine under a hood and sides?
    Chuck a Toyota 2C-T turbo diesel in it.

    These thing go like stink! A Toyota Townace turbo diesel van can do 100 mph. plus they run on the smell of an oily rag.

    my next project will probably be a Ford F1 body dropped on a Jap Ford Courier diesel pickup chassis [ for the same reason ]

    It's only an engine swap away ,if you change you mind later on.
  13. Jonny69
    Joined: Jul 24, 2007
    Posts: 275

    from England

    They ended coming over to the UK and were in Rovers and Range Rovers up until the late 90's with fuel injection and bigger displacement. The early ones had no power, no torque and drank fuel. Later injected ones were much better on fuel and put out a lot more power. Expensive to tune, though nice and light if you like throwing your rod round corners ;)

    However, I read in a mag ages ago that you can shave a lot of weight off the average smallblock by switching from iron heads and intake manifold to ally.

    I get about 30mpg (=26mpg US) out of my trad T with a stock 24 stud flattie, 5 speed manual and stock V8 banjo axle. An old auto will slay that economy.
  14. johnb11
    Joined: Jun 16, 2009
    Posts: 14

    from Washington

    If your not afraid of a little wiring work.... 4.6 Mod, 5Speed T5, out of a late model mustang... full setup fan all the way back to the yoke, with ECM and harness with 43000 miles will set you back 2200 bucks at your nearest wrecking yard.... possible thoughts? I have this setup now in my 36 Ford Truck.... very happy, bout 25 m/g around town, 28 hiway, my foot's always in it... If Im out of line here or this isnt the direction you were looking towards my appologies...
  15. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,989

    from Tampa, FL

    Find something like a 2000 V6 Camaro / Firebird with a stick. 3100cc I think, or perhaps 3400. They also came with 4spd autos. Gary

    Forgot to add.. they are small in size and with the 4spd /OD auto you can still have something like a 3.50 gear to keep it fun.
  16. Aoneday
    Joined: Jul 29, 2010
    Posts: 19

    from Arkansas

    I appreciate the suggestions so far.

    I already drive an uncool econobox ('91 merc tracer, 5spd) and get 35mpg, so I've got the economy already, so I guess I'm spoiled to great mileage.
    I don't want to cruise the roadster on the weekend only, I wanna drive the crap out of it!

    I'm not saying 30mpg is a requirement, just a target for a V8 in such a light car. I'm sure it would be simple to get 25mpg, I'm just greedy for more, but I don't want the performance to totally suck.
  17. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,594

    from Garner, NC

    It was the 216's and 235's that this comes from, the L6 that the v8's replaced. They were heavier than the SBC by about 50 lbs.
  18. I was gone only a few months, what happened to my beloved HAMB?

  19. Bone Daddy
    Joined: Aug 19, 2005
    Posts: 328

    Bone Daddy

    I know this an ugly motor to some but the 175 slant 6 in my 65 valiant w/ automatic tranny could get exactly 27 miles a gallon on the highway stock. I could do 70 mph all day long. I don't know the rear end gear ratio it had. If the motor was slightly opened up it would do even better. There was an Hot Rod mag issue a few years back that showed the slant 6 in all kinds of performance mods during the early 60's. I will attach a pic of aBonneville 2 door sedan with a slant 6 that was super cool as soon as I find it. Joe

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  20. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,594

    from Garner, NC

    Well the guy can't fill out his profile, can't do an intro, and asking this. I'm figuring he's lost. :rolleyes:
  21. CarGar
    Joined: Oct 19, 2009
    Posts: 26


    X2 (5? 7?) on the efi. That LT1 you useta have had a baby brother called the L99. It was externally identical to the LT1, even used the same PCM, but was 4.3L (265 ci) instead of the 5.7L/350 ci of the LT1. Note that that was the same size as the original sbc. IIRC it was rated at something like 200 HP stock. There's a ton of info out there about tuning the PCM, mostly for more HP, but if you are willing to learn, it might be fun to play with it to try to maximize mileage. Software for datalogging and tuning are readily available making the entire process fairly straightforward.

    PM me if you want to explore this further, because, you see,

    the haters are gonna hate, so you'll need to have a thick skin when you're hanging out here. I'm putting on my nomex skivvies as soon as I hit the post quick reply button, myself.

    Cheers -- Gary

    We must always seek to ally ourselves with that part of the enemy that knows what is right. -- Gandhi
  22. Aoneday
    Joined: Jul 29, 2010
    Posts: 19

    from Arkansas

    negativity doesn't bother me much. i appreciate any and all suggestions for my question.
    Not everyone wants a blown BBC powered rod. I'm after look, sound and major fun.

    zman, thanks for the welcome. I signed up in a hurry last night and posted my burning question cause I knew i'd get good input quickly. let me go do some updates to the profile.
  23. Aoneday
    Joined: Jul 29, 2010
    Posts: 19

    from Arkansas

    Mart, you're dead on except for the EFI part.
    I love the reliability/drivabilty and economy of EFI, but hoping to do it with the simplicity of a carb. Although i don't mind the look and relative simplicity of the SBC with TBI although I'm not sure what mileage it's capable of (more crude than most version of EFI).
    I will want to light the tires on occasion, which shouldn't be hard with skinnies on a light car.
  24. Streetwerkz
    Joined: Oct 1, 2008
    Posts: 718


    heres what I'm putting in my A, it'll have the most fuel efficiency when turned off, and the most fun efficiency when turned on:D

    Attached Files:

  25. D.R.Smith
    Joined: Jan 12, 2009
    Posts: 294


    Ok I am ready to get Flamed.Think BMW 3 series inline 6,the 2.9 Runs about 250 hp,A m motor will be about 300 hp,they are light and get 30 or better mpg.I had a 2.5 in a 99 z3 that was a ball to drive with plenty of power and great mpg,split the pipes and run different would this be.
  26. Aoneday
    Joined: Jul 29, 2010
    Posts: 19

    from Arkansas

    different indeed. i'm still trying to go simple and cheap tough. not sure this would qualify.

    a for a previous question, I was thinking no hood and sides, but anything goes at this point.
  27. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,594

    from Garner, NC

    that would throw a whole lot of them out for being HAMB friendly.
  28. Aoneday
    Joined: Jul 29, 2010
    Posts: 19

    from Arkansas

    hmmm....still not sure what HAMB friendly would be, fast loud american V8 power, with no hood?

    i know I'm in the right place to learn what I need to know, but not sure if my willing ness to be different fits in.

    School me zman!
  29. Weasel
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 6,693


    Isn't it called "progress"?:confused::confused::confused:
  30. OldBuzzard
    Joined: Mar 8, 2008
    Posts: 878


    Take a hint from Detroit. I have a 1992 Buick Roadmaster. It Uses a Chev 350, TBI. 700R4 w/od and a 2.56 rear. Curb weight 4200 lbs. Good power and gets over 30 mpg highway. It is a high torque, low rpm engine. Turns about 2000 @ 75 mph.

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