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Motor options for Toronado transaxle?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by modrod, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. oldcarfart
    Joined: Apr 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,437


    Marine applications use reverse-rotation SBC's and BBC's in twin engine applications.
  2. Not even close, its the computer - the box stock 5.3 is quite impressive. Actually responds well to a simple cam change. with a performance tune on the computer the 5.3 really wakes up. Cam, converter, and tune the thing is a monster.
  3. modrod
    Joined: Dec 18, 2008
    Posts: 46


    The whole reason for not using the whole assembly is the wheel track is about a mile off. It's way to narrow.

    The Ultravan is 8 foot wide. The Toronado's brake drums are almost flush with the fenders. So with a set of 10 inch mags on the back, it should fill out the rear pretty decent. it will depend on offset too.

    You got me thinking though. perhaps leave the suspension and driveline intact in the coach, and put in a 3.8 motor and tranny by itself in it. then I would only have to make 50/50 custom axles.

    would the stock transmission that came attached to the 3.8's be tough enough?
  4. niceguyede
    Joined: Jan 19, 2009
    Posts: 633

    from dallas

    Twice I've gotten the wrong trans for the application. 1st was a column shift for a floor shift truck, the second was a floor shift trans for a colomn shift car. I just made brackets to reverse the mechanism from the shifter. Do what ya gotta do to make what you want work! Or, just buy a kit.
  5. Fairly tough transmission-I personally drove one 165000miles with no work on the trans.....
    Another point to be considered is in a FWD configuration the power is transmitted more efficiently than in a differential such as a standard solid rear axle,placing less resistance on the parts.
    the supercharged versions of the 3800 was easily tweaked to 320HP with a simple chip and pulley change on the blower.
    That blower puts out 10psi and is running only 3psi stock....
  6. I would think you could pull around 15 with the Toro if you were gentle on it, if that's the concern. My old 455 4bbl Grand Ville would do about 13 in average driving. It should move that motorhome like it's not even there. I've seen all kinds of crazy things done to Toronados and Eldorados of that vintage, including some that got a long bed welded on behind the seats to turn them into car haulers.

    I have a whole front stub from a '69 Toro with a 455 stashed, cut it off with the torsion bars, crossmember, and all, even has the bumper on it yet.
  7. What about putting a stock turbo on the corvair?????
    More power and still retain the fuel mileage.
  8. poprockcrusher
    Joined: May 17, 2009
    Posts: 123


    a well built small block will smoke a stock olds
  9. poprockcrusher
    Joined: May 17, 2009
    Posts: 123


    use a 3800 from a 97 up camaro with adapter
  10. Natedrag
    Joined: Nov 28, 2007
    Posts: 35


    "a well built small block will smoke a stock olds" -well, thats a vague stupid statement.

    anyway..Using a 5.3 with an adapter to the toro transaxle sounds like a good idea for mileage and good power. Myself, I would use the Olds, but the 5.3/4.8 swap sound like fine choice.
  11. poprockcrusher
    Joined: May 17, 2009
    Posts: 123


    hey , thanks a lot
  12. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,829

    Tech Editor

    The Th425 is just stupid heavy.

    And with a rear engine its all hanging outside of the wheelbase.

    I have one for a possible future project.

    But its weight, size and the fact that its offset to one side of the engine is something to keep in mind.

    I'd hate to suggest any non HAMB friendly powerplants, but I could think of a couple...
  13. Scarebird
    Joined: Sep 26, 2006
    Posts: 908

    Alliance Vendor
    from ABQ, USA

    My 66 442 had a 425 - nice, all forged bottom end, much better than a long stroke cast bottom 455. Got up to 17 mpg with Q=Jet and M21 - 3600#.
  14. BHfanGB
    Joined: Jun 22, 2009
    Posts: 243


    I have to admit that I knew little about the Ultra Van when I started to read this, but I did know a bit about Toronados. In the Toronado, the engine actually sits between the wheels rather than behind them (like in the Ultra Van and normal Corvair installations), so all the weight wouldn't be hanging "outside" of the wheelbase. It would still be inside, but just barely.

    A quick Yahoo search led me to this link:

    It is a little history of the Ultra Van and its creator Dave Peterson. In it, it relates how Mr. Peterson actually built several later Ultra Vans with Toronado powertrains. From the link, written by Norm Helmkay:

    He often stated, "Had there been a Toronado in 1960, the Corvair Ultra Van, as we know it, would likely never have been built."

    By the way, there was also a Corvette powered Ultra Van available!
  15. wisdonm
    Joined: Jun 20, 2011
    Posts: 444


    There is an error in your thinking metalshape. The Eldo/Toro package is balanced over the axles. Therefore when installed in an originally rear engined vehicle, you move the weight distribution forward and have better handling.

    That room in the back, where the engine used to be, is a good place for the radiator.

    The Porsche 912 comes with about 60 lbs of lead weight in the front bumper overrides to help balance the stock rear banger. These are removed with the Toro package and it handled better, went much faster, and got about 18mpg.

    1. Because the Toro is tall and needs room forward of the axles, you might not have room for it in your van, without loosing valuable space.

    2. When turbos are in use, they do not have a mileage advantage. It takes X amount of fuel to make Y amount of power.

    3. The SBC might be the best all around answer, but you will have to find a place fo a cooling system. The 'vair trans has Muncie insides, but will probably need a 4 side gear dif kit.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011
  16. oldspert
    Joined: Sep 10, 2006
    Posts: 1,263

    from Texas

    But how about comparing apples to apples? A well built Olds will do more than smoke a small block chevy, no matter how well it is built.
  17. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,712


    I'm liking that line of thinking....huge trunk, plenty of forward weight...

  18. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,829

    Tech Editor

    No, there is not ( in ths case, anyway..)

    The Toro Transaxle is stupid heavy
    I know, because I own one.

    And it does hang outside the Wheelbase in a RWD setup.
    Part of the engine is inside of it, but I was not talking about that.

    If anybody thinks they can use one with a SBC or bigger engine bolted to it and have less weight over the rear wheels, they probably need to go back and do some more measuring and weighing of the components...

    And we were not talking about a 912 with all kinds of crap removed to compensate, but since you brought it up...
    I did talk to a guy with a 911 with a Toro conversion.
    He told me he was bitterly dissapointed in the results.
    His car just did not handle like it did with its Aircooled 6...
  19. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,829

    Tech Editor

    Just to explain some more...

    I'm not afraid of a bit of rear weight bias.

    I own some racecars with about 60% over the rear wheels.

    Not afraid of some weight outside of the wheelbase in the rear either.

    Having owned and road track raced many rear engine cars, and daily driven them too.
    For many years.

    But I know there is a point where it gets unstable.
    I had a rear engined car with the engine moved about 3" back for a different kind of transaxle.
    Its handling was absolutely diabolical on wet or slick roads.
    I completely cured that with its regular short bell tranny...
  20. Frankie47
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 1,878

    from omaha ne.

    I know right......if it's even mildly ignorant it seems to pass right through brain pan!:eek:I wouldn't begin to have any idea of how to make something like that viable.
  21. chubbie
    Joined: Jan 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,318


    small block??????????????? am i to assume.. then i'm sure to assume its also a crate motor?
  22. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,613

    Rusty O'Toole

    Couple of suggestions.

    The 3.8 V6 and front drive transaxle from Buick, Pontiac etc may be just what you want IF it is man enough to handle the weight and air resistance of the MH.

    If you want the heavy duty Toronado transaxle for reliability, use the Olds 350 engine with it. It will bolt up to the same transaxle the big block did, or you could get the complete package from an eighties Toronado or Eldorado or Seville.

    The Olds 350 has it over the Chev 350 like a tent. More power, smoother, longer lived, and better mileage to boot. For your application should be ideal. Examine an Olds 350 up close one time, every single part looks like it cost twice as much as the Chev and probably does.

    For a mondo heavy duty last forever bulletproof engine shop the junkyards for an Olds based Diesel 5.7 and convert to gas by adding gas 350 cylinder heads, intake and camshaft. The diesel 350 or 5.7 got most of its heavy duty parts from the olds Super Duty 455 hi perf engine.
  23. I want to air a couple points to consider here...
    I have done a few wacky swaps myself too-one was a 425" Olds in a 66 Dodge SW-base van....:eek:
    It got from zero to 80[top speed] in an awesome flash of smoke and noise you had to behold to believe and got a religious 8MPG...
    back to the drawin board.....
    I think in any swap you have to consider the space available in the vehicle as the utmost of importance over all other issues.
    The 3800 and it's trans/differential combo[engine sets transverse]THUS is far more compact in =LENGTH= than the Olds Toro as the Toro's engine sets frt to rear with it's tranny hangin BEHIND the centerline of WBase...
    I see this as a potential problem as in [what is inside] this camper that will have to be MOVED or :eek:REMOVED to install any of the aforementioned driveline components.....
    I am guessing here that in [front of the centerline of rear wheels] there is limited space -without redoing the camper's inside facilities severely?

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