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fobermueller

engine transplant advice

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I've owned a Esprit once and loved the car but it didn't have the low-end kick of a touring sports car. I've seen a BMW V12 and Mercedes V12 transplant done but little flow up of how it worked out. The V12s are out of aluminum so it's not like dropping in a Hemi.

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Welcome to TLF Frederick. :welcome:

If you can give me a clue as to which model you want to do this to, I will move the post into the correct forum.

It's not really in the right place here for people to see it that may be able to help.

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There was once a guy in the USA who fitted a V12 BMW I think it was.

He had to cut the firewall so the engine came into the cockpit.

Over the 15 years I’ve been on this forum I think there are 4 conversions Ive seen that have been completed to a fully working car, 3 V8s and one V6.

I’ve seen possibly 50 people who have started and have never finished. I’m not saying it’s not possible but statistically its not looking good. You are even more unlikely to get finished with a V12 in my opinion.

Here is the vid of the V12 car. Its was in but hardly a refined product!

 

 

buddsy

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The V12 was a great conversion,  but a heavy lump and 6 banks forward is a long way into the esprits engine bay,,   The owner above in the vid that Buddsy on here posted needed to cut a hole in the firewall and have part of the engine in the cockpit,    I would strongly suggest for sound would be a modern V10,,  the M series engines are fantastic, but very expensive.   

The merc V12  is very large,  and nort much hp for the effort,    The Audi v8 conversion is a nice option, it offers 6 speed transmission,  an engine sound better than a lambo and fits well in the bay,    another option would be the fairly modern audi V6  asn engine,  it can have a 6 speed box bolted on without any hassle and pushes 230 bhp in standard form. You could use the factory ecu also to keep costs down. 

Plenty of options and many engines that have come out over the years,  Vw VR6 engine is also an option as 034 motorsport do a kit to make it inline compatable,  one of the best sounding engines around imo,  and can be fitted with a turbo conversion these days also,,  downside cast iron block, upside cheap used engines and a massive selection of conversion goodies for this engine,  one has been fitted into a Delorean iirc.  

My advice, plan it well,  and make sure you see it threough to the end, and make sure you can return the car back to standard if required :)

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1 hour ago, Advantage said:

Or just buy a V8 Esprit, preferably from 1998 onwards. 

Us pre '98 owners resemble that remark.

Seems to be that, now the liner sealant issues have become a thing of the past, most posts relating to engine failiure occur on post '98 cars. Wear and tear on the block castings and machining tooling could have had an impact on tolerances. 

It's just something I'd noticed.

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And with regards to engine transplants.

The Mercedes AMG 4.0 V8 or Audi A8 W12 are incredibly compact and both near 500bhp in standard trim.

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2 hours ago, Steve V8 said:

Us pre '98 owners resemble that remark.

Seems to be that, now the liner sealant issues have become a thing of the past, most posts relating to engine failiure occur on post '98 cars. Wear and tear on the block castings and machining tooling could have had an impact on tolerances. 

It's just something I'd noticed.

My preference is more about the revised interior, better gearchange and resolved braking system.

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I was hoping to find somebody who has done the transplants or put an ear out for any projects that look promising to complete. I had a Countach project (back in the 90's) which proved to be a real money pit (sold it bought a Piper PA23/160...another money pit (so much for pre-buy inspections)  sold it and bough a Porsche 928 which now won't start...

The Lotus V12s were built by LotusRoss and asside from the youtube videos how successful were they? Did LotusRoss blow the tran?

BTW V12s wont fit in most kit cars but they are not much longer then a V8 but there is a problem routing the exhaust...at least in the F5 GTM

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Lotusross,   Sold the car on,   he did not blow the tranny,  i think it just needed some bits finished off,   which is the final bit of getting all the snagging issues out the way after a transplant,  which to be quite honest is the part that seems to end up been the most head scratching part, such as cooling, tuning etc  :)

12 hours ago, Steve V8 said:

And with regards to engine transplants.

The Mercedes AMG 4.0 V8 or Audi A8 W12 are incredibly compact and both near 500bhp in standard trim.

Very expensive lumps to purchase used  :(

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Do you know if LotusRoss did the work himself. His video didn't show a lisf or even the hoist

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If anybody necomes aware iof any Lotus/V12 projects available or can offer assitance i'd appeciate the contact

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Hi like I said at the start of the thread I’ve been here pretty regularly over the last 15 years and LotusRoss is the only attempted V12 I’ve ever seen. I just don’t think there are many people to have attempted it. There have been quite a few V8 attempts with maybe 4 or 5 people getting a conversion to a driveable car. There have been many many attempts so your chance of picking up a part done V8 project maybe something you can find.

 

buddsy

 

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You could always look for a stripped down car mid restoration,  i.e body has been taken of the chassis,   This would make it far easier to get the v12 lump in and latched onto the tranny, then adjust the bodyshell if needed.  

Plenty of projects pop up on bring a trailer stateside,    My advice is start with standard car in bits or not,  rather than buy a semi built converted car imo 

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How about Volkswagen W12? 

It is supposed to be shorter.

Mercedes 5.5amg engine might be possible too.

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Thank you for all the advice, I have much to think about, Like many gear heads I started with 1/2 owner ship in an AUdtin Healy Sprite and worked my through, Triumphs, Prosches, Lotus, and Lamborghinis. I remember checking out a Miura in 1993 when I still had the S1 Esprit. I was overwhelmed by the complexity (ie cost) of the Miura. The asking price was 18.5K (nowadays their too expensive to drive) but the hook was sent and much like patron of strip bar I kept being lured to the L section of the NY Times classified and Hemmings. When Miura came up in the times for 28K I  bit. Eventually sold the car and bought another 2 years later. I then traded it for a 4 litre Countach which I then traded for a 6 lite Countach project. This turned out to be a good deal because the new owner of the 4 litre spun a bearing. 

What this all means is that I want my last car to be the capstone. The mid-engine V12 was not well realized in the Lamborghini P400 and LP400S and LP5000S

They were heavy and truthfully felt like the Pontiac Firebird. I know the LotusRoss V12 was on craigslist for under 10K and fixable

I think the advice to watch ebay, craigstlst, bring a trailer and this forum for a project is the way  

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Easiest / most reliable and most valuable route is buy a V8 or improve the 4cylinder turbo to the 350 hp mark. All power and related torque above will kill the gearbox. 

For sure don't go for a VAG W12 which is a horrible engine on all aspects. 

But if you would like to go special, I have seen a V8 build from something like a Rover base block with 2 Lotus 4 cylinder 16v heads. They displayed it at the autosport show a few years ago. 

https://jalopnik.com/this-rover-lotus-biturbo-v8-is-the-ultimate-franken-eng-1694045433

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I had seen that rover V8 with lotus heads a while back,, I think someone posted it on here,  however iirc the heads are just bolted on in place, i.e water ways and oil galleies do not line up yet.   It looks a fantastic kit,   and i like the idea of a kit hopefully been developed,  my concern thought would be getting hold of all the lotus cylinder heads for the future builds !

I have not looked into the W12 MUCH,  But from what i gather they have a few issues, the same as the D3 AUDI V8 with timing chain dramas causing catashrofic damage :)

If you go the audi v8 go the D2 route with cambelts,  bullit proof and thousands of engines tested over the years burning up the autobarns :thumbup:

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If I wanted to go faster reliably, I would -  

  1. Upgrade the brakes all round.
  2. Upgrade the gearbox.
  3. Use an S4s engine with stand-alone ECU for accurate control.

Final step would be to buy the aforementioned De Tomaso Pantera.

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