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Thread: Two engines down - Time for an engine swap!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    London
    Posts
    11

    Two engines down - Time for an engine swap!

    Hi all,

    I've had a look through the forums but couldnt see anyone else talking about this (apologies if a thread already exists! - please point me to it if it does)

    Have an '04 roadster which has devoured two engines in its short lifespan - logic says perhaps i should just get another car but I'm finding it impossible to part ways!!

    I was looking into doing a refurb but after two engine implosions, I'm thinking, reliability wise, perhaps an engine swap is the better route forward. I'm looking for this to be a daily driver so although a smartuki would be nice to own, I've heard as a daily there not too good.

    Two potential options: I've been looking into are the Ford 1.0T Ecoboost or the 1KR-FE. Both are three cylinder small blocks so space wise there should be no issue.

    Currently the 1kr-fe is coming out on top. Main reasons are dressed weight = 77kg and durability. Also I've found that you can strap a supercharger to this and bring it up from 80 to 120bhp and 90 to 150Nm torque. Price is pretty reasonable averaging between 300 - 600 for a used lump.

    Has anyone had any experience with this engine or done a swap for something other than bike engines that works well?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    301
    I've know a little bit about doing an engine swap, any comments I make are not to put you off but to certainly consider.

    Your going to need an engine with a gear box, which also means adding a clutch pedal and a method of selecting a gear as any way the Smart is currently using to change gear won't work.

    Here are a list of additional engines I would consider.

    Nissan 1.2 Dig-S (Supercharged) 3 cylinder engine (98bhp)
    Nissan 1.2 Dig-T (Turbo) 4 cylinder engine (115bhp)
    Toyota MR2 Engine (Done before, google)

    Don't go for anything that is CVT or Automatic as there's a good chance the electronics would get too complicated.

    I'll now list out other aspect you'll need to consider.

    • Throttle Pedal
    • Dash
    • Cooling
    • Rear Subframe
    • General Electronics
    • Exhaust
    • Driveshafts
    • Diff
    • Wheel (Offset and PCD)


    Have a look through my build thread for my Hayabusa powered Smart Fortwo to get an idea.
    Follow the Hayabusa powered Smart Fortwo build here

    YouTube Video's Here

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by 42Haya View Post
    [*]General Electronics.
    Unless you can integrate adequately the electronics of a modern engine into the smart then probably 100 times easier to rebuild (including identifying why it keeps going pop - there is a reason) its own engine. These motors have been tweaked to 130hp.
    You need to know and have functioning sensors that the new engine's ECU reads from and be aware of any that if not recognised in the pre-flight systems check prevent the engine starting or impede its running (eg limp mode). Traction control? - then it will need signals from the ABS sensors. Also, getting a functioning gear change to a mid mounted engine that was originally designed for FWD (rear linkage entry to box) is very difficult and a a crap change makes for a crap car. Read what is said of many (recent) Lotus models and realise that even Lotus have struggled with this.
    I also mirror Haya's view ie, not trying to put you off but making you aware of what you need to be on top of before committing to anything.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
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    Also, a bike engine will be more fun
    Follow the Hayabusa powered Smart Fortwo build here

    YouTube Video's Here

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by 42Haya View Post
    Also, a bike engine will be more fun
    R1 engine (and all ancillaries to make it run) available here surplus to requirements....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Somewhere on the Wirral
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    120
    I have seen a 1.6 Citroen VTS engine with a Automatic transmission in a Roadster before. The engine had to be detuned in order to not ruin the gearbox but it looked pretty stock looking from the outside. TBH though, unless this is something which isn't your daily driver and you are prepared to deal with all the complications that come with this sort of thing, as Haya says, I'd rebuild the original engine again rather than go down the new engine route, though you'll get plenty of kudos for pulling it off.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Wells
    Posts
    1,536
    More to the point how the heck have you killed 2 roadie engines!! we have loads of customers over 100k with very little issues, some have needed timing chain replacement but unless they have been poorly treated, usually lack of servicing, they are much more robust than the 450 ones!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by lil.smartie View Post
    More to the point how the heck have you killed 2 roadie engines!! we have loads of customers over 100k with very little issues, some have needed timing chain replacement but unless they have been poorly treated, usually lack of servicing, they are much more robust than the 450 ones!
    I've been wondering about the same. Must be a bad driver and Roadster owner not looking after his car.
    Drives a Smart Cdi - 65 to 85 MPG

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    1,958
    Same here - having just sold a Roadster with 150,000 miles on the clock and running like a dream and knowing of 6 roadster engines that have passed 200,000 miles without rebuild, makes me wonder what level of bad luck, or neglect, was involved to kill two engines?
    ==============================
    2004 Roadster-Coupe SB2 Brabus
    2005 ForTwo Brabus Numeric
    2014 Skoda Yeti 4x4 DSG
    ex 2002 City Coupe 600cc Pulse
    ex 2003 City Coupe 700cc Passion
    ==============================

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
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    To echo all the comments above...

    Over the past 10 years, I can probably think of 15-20 Roadsters that have at some stage had work started on an engine conversion. And only 3 were ever finished. The rest failed due to the costs involved and the amount of work needed.

    One has a Mini Cooper engine in and the total conversion (last I heard) was upwards of 6k.
    Shawn has a Toyota Glanza engine in - I am sure I have heard roumers of 20k spent on that one.
    And Nikolay has a Citroen VTS engine. He did the work himself, took about 2-3 years not sure how much he spent.


    300-600 for the lump soon turns into 10x-20x that figure once you get to electrics, running gear, fabrication, roadworthiness, safety systems etc.
    Compare that with the cost of rebuild of your roadster engine - about 1000. Or buy a used replacement Brabus one from Scott for about 1500.
    ==============================
    2004 Roadster-Coupe SB2 Brabus
    2005 ForTwo Brabus Numeric
    2014 Skoda Yeti 4x4 DSG
    ex 2002 City Coupe 600cc Pulse
    ex 2003 City Coupe 700cc Passion
    ==============================

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