View Full Version : V8 powered Mini (still fwd!)

07-14-2004, 07:08 PM


07-14-2004, 10:12 PM
Man, that is one tight fit!

Back in the early 70s I remember seeing some pictures of a prototype Austin 1800, fitted with the Rover V8. Leyland Australia were tinkering with it to give their large car a bit more performance. They adapted it onto the old 1800 gearbox but must have used bevel gears in the geartrain to alter the direction of the power flow as the engine was installed normal way, not east west. They didn't procede with it because it was far too hard on the front end.
I always thought that was radical but putting one in a mini makes that all seem quite normal ! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

07-14-2004, 11:47 PM
I think you'd have to get new front tires every time you filled the gas tank!
Neat that they used an Austin fwd gearbox.
I helped pull a Cooper S engine out of a classic Mini last week....I can't imagine putting a V8 in that spot. You'd need a real large shoe-horn.

07-15-2004, 12:33 PM
Well, now I know what to do with that old Rolls-Royce Merlin V-12 that I've got in my basement. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

07-15-2004, 01:32 PM
That Merlin will never fit in a mini. Now I might be willing to volunteer my Escort /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/devilgrin.gif.

I was kinda surprised at the Austin gearbox, there is a fwd Caddy/Oldsmobile transaxle that is designed for V8s that I would have thought of first.

07-15-2004, 02:30 PM
Hey XRacer, If you have a RR Merlin V/12 in your basement, I might suggest selling it, you can probably buy a new (expensive) car with the proceeds!

07-16-2004, 12:48 PM
Naw....if I sold the Merlin, the P&W 4360 and the Saturn booster would get lonely.

07-16-2004, 01:14 PM
When it comes to V8s, why stop with Minis?

The Mother Of All Power Tools (https://www.curbsite.com/roadtrips/portland/v8chainsaw.jpg)

07-23-2004, 08:17 AM
What's the point, other than saying it can be done? I forget the numbers but the aerodynamics of the mini need large increases in power for very modest increase in speed. The concept worked quite well in the MGB using the Rover/Buick small block V8 which was around the same weight and didn't seriously affect handling.Engine removal/fitting was a great problem in the race mini until we 'sawed off'the front end and replaced it with removable fireglass. In our experience the main limiting factor in developmet of the mini engine was the three bearing crank. I've heard of Honda power being used which would make sense. comments?

07-24-2004, 02:39 PM
The Honda option would indeed make sense. I had heard that BL were experimenting with their 'O' series engine in the Mini, which would have been a good set-up. Mind you, it would be relatively easy to install the 1300 turbocharged engine from the MG Metro in a Mini, still an 'A' series lump, but considerably modernised........now that, in an otherwise standard (except for uprated brakes!!!!!!!) Mini would be a bit of a hoot!

08-02-2004, 12:49 PM
Looks a bitch to change the spark plugs.

Bruce Bowker
08-03-2004, 10:33 PM
It uses both the new never change spark plugs and the easy engine drop out system. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/lol.gif

09-01-2004, 06:09 PM
The Honda swap has been done - somewhat common


09-29-2004, 04:48 PM
Hello all

I looked at this site months ago I saw your post and thought of it


10-09-2004, 04:58 AM
Yes the Vtec really intriques me.........I think the full on 245hp and up are way too much for the car but it sure would make for one heck of a test drive

11-21-2004, 10:51 AM
First, the photo from 78Z does show one essential tool for building any car...a roll of duct tape!

Second, contrary to the too much power idea, as a Sunbeam Tiger owner, there is NO such thing as too much power.

V8's forever!

11-16-2005, 01:13 PM
good god! i cant believe he was able to keep it front wheel drive! it reminds me of that mini truck i saw with a corvette 350 in a back issue of truckin'