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Discussion Starter #1
Was looking at that Nash Metropolitian on another thread and was wondering, what would it be like with 170 HP? How many small cars of days gone by would be sooo much better with a high performance inline four. Back when Pintos were new, there were several small cars built on its running gear. There hasn't been a mass produced, US certified, rear wheel drive, inline four in decades. It seems to me that dropping an Ecotec in an MGB or Sprite would make for a lot of fun, not that I'd do it, since I'll be crusing in my Solstice. But if I had one in the garage, I'd be wondering if GM plans on selling crate motors. There's a guy here in Texas building a SuperSeven look alike on a Honda S2000 running gear. But I'm sure the car'd cost a lot less with a Pontiac engine and trans.
 

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DreamerDave said:
...How many small cars of days gone by would be sooo much better with a high performance inline four. ...
How about the Alfa Spider? I think it's 4 cylinder was only about 100HP or so. Nice looking car in my opinion, but too underpowered.
 

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Reminded me of several things
a) C&D put a Pontiac cammer six in a Jag E-Type. Don't think it was ever repeated.
b) One of the nicest all around fun cars I ever had was a '68 FIAT 124 Spyder. Five speed, DOHC 4 cyl 1438cc, one hand top and wind up windows. Five air vents. Run 70 mph all day long.Took over the Rocky mountains. Secret to life was periodic cleaning of the secret oil strainer in the front of the engine and a Dodge oil filter. Had 98k miles on it when purchased and over 150k when sold to buy my V-8 Sunbird.
c) Best thing I can say about a Nash Metropolitan is that they sure were cute. No room for real tires and three on the tree kinda limited its appeal. TR-3 had it beat six ways from Sunday.
 

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the Ecotec is gonna need factory support and a healthy aftermarket. G.M. has already thrown it's support behind the Ecotec engines in drag racing and salt flat racing, but it is gonna have to do something for the little guys looking to add 20 h.p. here or 50 h.p. there. If the only two options are stone stock or a 1000 h.p. fire breather not too many people are going to mod their Ecotec engine. That is why the small block chevy is so great, it can be modded from mild to wild and everywhere in between. The aftermarket depends on us, if the demand is there so will be the suppliers.
 

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DreamerDave said:
But if I had one in the garage, I'd be wondering if GM plans on selling crate motors.

They already do. They offer the 2.0 SC motor out of the ION Redline and the 2.2 as crate motors. The only reason I haven't ordered the 2.0 SC to get an early start on engine development for my Kappa is because I have not been able to find out if the fwd and rwd versions are the same block. It would be a bummer to spent a lot of cash on a motor only to learn it won't bolt into you car. link to 2.0 sc just scroll down to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I forgot to mention, Mazda wants an arm and leg for there engine and until recently was only 125 HP. And small truck engines were heavy with more grunt than go (torque vs HP),

But Rik, thanks for the links. Espicially liked:
88958647 Ecotec Engine Handbook on CD-ROM
This engine builder's handbook describes all of the parts needed to transform your stock ECOTEC engine into a high performance racing engine. The information in this book is compiled from the experiences of GM Racing engineers in the sport compact racing series.
I'm sure if they're already crateing the supercharged ION, they'll do the same with the RWD Kappa.
 

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DreamerDave said:
Was looking at that Nash Metropolitian on another thread and was wondering, what would it be like with 170 HP? How many small cars of days gone by would be sooo much better with a high performance inline four. Back when Pintos were new, there were several small cars built on its running gear. There hasn't been a mass produced, US certified, rear wheel drive, inline four in decades. It seems to me that dropping an Ecotec in an MGB or Sprite would make for a lot of fun, not that I'd do it, since I'll be crusing in my Solstice. But if I had one in the garage, I'd be wondering if GM plans on selling crate motors. There's a guy here in Texas building a SuperSeven look alike on a Honda S2000 running gear. But I'm sure the car'd cost a lot less with a Pontiac engine and trans.
I think RWD and FWD of years gone by would have benefited from a 170 HP inline four. Just think of all the old GM cars with the sub 100 HP Iron Duke under the hood could have used the 170 HP ecotec? I wonder how many iron duke powered Firebirds and Camaros in the 80's were sold? Those must have been dogs. This engine would also put my 97 Ford Probe to shame. It had 118 HP out of an all new for 1993 2.0L DOHC 4 banger! In fact, this ecotec out powers the V6 in my Fiero by 30 HP!
 

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I also wonder how much lighter the 2.4L ECOTEC is compared to the older engines. Especially since these newer engines are made with far more light weight alloys then the older ones used to use. There's nothing better then saving weight while gaining more HP.

If the community is there to do it, you can get good solid conversion kits made. Like the 924/944 Porsches. Those are i4 front engine, rear wheel cars. You can buy a complete conversion kit to drop a LS1 engine in the car. It has everything you need to make it happen.
 

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padgett said:
Best thing I can say about a Nash Metropolitan is that they sure were cute. No room for real tires and three on the tree kinda limited its appeal. TR-3 had it beat six ways from Sunday.
Just an off topic historical side note: The Nash Metro was never intended to be a roadster or sportscar by it's designers. It was always ment to be economical commuter transportation. It was one of the first niche cars. It was designed to fill a niche that didn't exist yet. The thought was it would be an ideal second car for Dad to get to work in. It debuted in a time when households were single car. The thinking was, if Dad had a car of his own to get to work, Mom could have the family car to do erands and transport the kids, and if the second car was inexpensive, the family could afford two cars. This was a time when people bought cars in cash. No leases and very few loans.

The Metro design was for comfort and economy, not speed and handleling. Roadsters and sportscars of the period were thought to be too harsh and impractical for daily commuting, and they were probably right. I have owned two Metros in the past, and I can tell you they are comfortable, but they handle like crap and are not very fast. They were reasonably successful in their time, having sold about 98k over an 8 year run. The two car family concept took off and the Metro and imports like the VW Type 1 filled the bill well for a while, but eventually most people just bought full size or compact cars as a second car.

As to the idea of more HP for the Metro, it has been done for years. Hot rod and dragster Metros have been around since the 60's, and if you go to Metro sites you can see pictures of supercharged V8 Metros, but they miss the point. The Metro is about going slow and enjoying life. If you drive one to a Ferrari show, it will draw as much attention as anything there. They are what they are, and people love them for their uniqueness and their oddassity to be a single purpose personal lounge chair on wheels with no pretense to be anything else. I miss my Metro, and if a good deal on one where to present itself to me, I wouldn't hesitate to buy another. For sheer retro grins and good feelings, I highly recommend the Metropolitan. :cheers
 

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My brother used to have a 1972 Triumph TR6 that he put a twin cam 4 cylinder Toyota engine with the Toyota 5 speed in. He got the motor and tranny from one of those used Japanese import engine places. The twin cam motor was never sold here in the States, but you could buy them at these places. Anyhow, it made a world of difference. That Triumph not only became stone cold reliable, but was much faster and more driveable than before. It handled better because the new engine was lighter and made more HP, and the 5 speed was smoother and kept the engine in the proper power band better than the old 4 speed.

When he went to sell it years later, people were sceptical because most don't trust other people's home engineering, but my brother has been putting different engines in things since he was a kid (he once had a Suzuki dirt bike with a single cylinder BSA engine in it because at the time big four stroke dirt bikes didn't exist) and he is an excellent practical engineer and fabricator. The TR6 spoke for itself and sold to the first guy who actually drove it.

So yeah, newer engines like the Ecotec can greatly improve older designs, and GM should try to encourage this kind of use for the crate version, not just dragster Cavaliers and Cobalts. The same way that small block Chevy V8s conversions put new life into countless Jaguars, the same could be done with a host of older roadsters and the Ecotec. Good use for it, and GM should provide technical assistance to creating conversion kits for popular models like Triumphs, MGs, Fiats, Lotus and even Datsun 1600s! With a supercharger these cars would be classic and fast!
 

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Rik said:
the Ecotec is gonna need factory support and a healthy aftermarket. G.M. has already thrown it's support behind the Ecotec engines in drag racing and salt flat racing, but it is gonna have to do something for the little guys looking to add 20 h.p. here or 50 h.p. there. If the only two options are stone stock or a 1000 h.p. fire breather not too many people are going to mod their Ecotec engine. That is why the small block chevy is so great, it can be modded from mild to wild and everywhere in between. The aftermarket depends on us, if the demand is there so will be the suppliers.
plenty of aftermarket already for the ecotec (cams, TBs, cranks/rods/pistons, heads. etc.) only intake and exhaust will be in short supply at first due to the longitudinal placement of the engine. there is a 260/290 TC crate engine out for the j-bodies. hell, IIRC, edelbrock makes parts for ecotecs. aftermarket wont be a problem. :) 20HP can usually be gained simply with some PCM work.
 

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Fformula88 said:
I wonder how many iron duke powered Firebirds and Camaros in the 80's were sold?
i would guess zero, since to my knowledge, GM never put an I4 in an F-body. seriously, that kind of shame only exists at ford, right?
 

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Bizz said:
i would guess zero, since to my knowledge, GM never put an I4 in an F-body. seriously, that kind of shame only exists at ford, right?
GM did in fact drop the Iron Dukes into the F-bodies from 1982 through 1985. The 2.8L V6 became standard in 1986. A good number of them were sold with the base engine too!
 

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Fformula88 said:
GM did in fact drop the Iron Dukes into the F-bodies from 1982 through 1985. The 2.8L V6 became standard in 1986. A good number of them were sold with the base engine too!
unbelievable...:(
 

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Vortec 3500 3.5L I-5

I would prefer to have the least expensive lightest care. I am wondering why the Solstice was not designed around the Vortec 3500 3.5L I-5. I realize it is probable a heavier lower revving engine, but I bet this would be the most in-expensive way to get more HP. I drive a 98 Subaru RS which weights approximately 2800 lbs & has 165 HP. I would like a car with a slightly better HP to weight ratio with out a turbo-charger. Any comments on why this engine was not considered.

http://www.gminsidenews.com/e_guide.htm

Mark
 

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it's too tall. the oil pan to valve cover distance is pretty large, it would not fit under the Solstice's hood.
 

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Bizz said:
unbelievable...:(
You have to remember that generation of F-bodies were being developed in the late 70’s and early 80’s in the middle of the oil crisis. By 1980, gasoline was expensive (more expensive than it is today, weighted for inflation).

In the late 70’s, GM made a big push to get more economical cars in its vehicle lineup since the Japanese were making large inroads on the basis of their vehicles fuel economy. They figured that fuel prices would continue to rise through the 80’s like they had in the 70’s. So as an answer, GM developed its new F-bodies to accept the frugal Iron Duke as well as a Chevy V8. They sold a lot of them too. They didn’t know oil prices would drop and stay very low until the next millennium at the time, so an economy Firebird or Camaro made a lot of sense. It was better than killing the car altogether.

In fact, that was the long term plan at the Blue Oval. Do in the Mustang and replace it with a lighter, more efficient, 4 cylinder , front wheel drive coupe. By the time that car was nearing production reality, fuel prices were no longer high, there were no oil shortages, and angry Mustang fans bombarded Dearborn with hateful letters regarding the rumored demise of their ‘Stang. So for the 89 model year, Ford sold its new frugal FWD creation developed in a joint venture with Mazda as the Ford Probe. The car was a hit right away, and developed its own strong following among FWD compact fans. However, can you imagine today what Ford’s lineup would look like without the Mustang and its 200,000 sales a year, and instead their sportiest vehicle for the masses being a “new edge” Mercury Cougar (the spiritual successor to the Probe).
 

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Horsepower chart for the Ecotec.

I found this online. Most importantly, check out the chart at the bottom of the PDF. It clearly shows the Ecotec going to 400-450HP using the stock block, crank, girdle and head (with port and polish of course). Very nice breakdown of where the power is and what is needed to make and handle it.

Ecotec Engine Mods
 
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