View Full Version : Engine options for an Austin taxi

08-31-2004, 02:26 AM
I have an opportunity to pick up an FX4 Austin London Taxi for free, but it lacks an engine and tranny. Does anyone out there know of a viable alternative to the original powertrain? I know several have had the 2.3 Ford installed, but it wasn't a very good package. I was thinking of dropping a GT6 2 liter in it.
I would prefer the original diesel, but something tells me this just ain't gonna happen.
Thanks, gang.

Trevor Triumph
08-31-2004, 02:58 AM
The London Vintage Taxi Association (UK)has a web site that might be helpful: <www.osfn.org/britishcabs/>. The American section of the LTVA does not yet have web site. It will soon, I'm told. Kip Motor Company has parts for many orphan British cars including Austin Taxis: kipmotor.com>. Be aware that with the FX4, depending upon the year, many parts are used on nearly all British cars. For example the turn signal and running lights that Kip Motors sells for $35 are avilable through Victoria British for under $20. Call Norm Gandia at Anglonor Motors in Cutchogue, New York 631.734.5747, he may be able to help. I had a chance to use an Isuzu diesel and transmission in my wife's '66 FX4, but decided to repair the Austin engine. It is true the 2.3L Ford was used, as well as a Rover diesel and a Nissan diesel. I imagine one could make just about anything fit. My concern with the Isuzu engine might be too powerful for the tall, narrow bias ply tires and unassisted drum brakes all around. The UK members plan to offer a disk brake conversion for the earlier FX4s. We liked the "charm" of the diesel clatter and all of thirty-five horsepower. I hope this helps. T.T.

08-31-2004, 03:51 AM
Thanks a bunch, Trevor. As I said, I would much prefer the original diesel, but would imagine the availability here in the states would be rather poor.
As I am totally unfamiliar with these things, I'm going to be doing a lot of research before I even decide whether to get the car or not.
Thanks again,

08-31-2004, 08:34 AM

The Isuzu-built Chevette diesel is pretty similar to the Isuzu diesel installed in the taxis. These Chevette diesel-engines might be a good choice, but might be a bit tough to find nowadays. The gasoline Chevette engines are still common and are likely to fit easily...probably get a whole car for under $300. Older gas Chevettes are non-computer carbureted, so easy to deal with. They are 1600 cc, make about 85 HP and can be gotten with 4 or 5 speeds.
The Triumph six is pretty long, heavy and probably more fragile than the gas Chevette motor. A 4 cylinder mini-pickup engine (Ranger, S-10, Toyota, etc) might be a good choice too, but some are pretty large.

08-31-2004, 08:38 AM
Thanks for the pointers, Nial. I haven't even looked in the engine bay of this beast yet, to see what dimensions I have to work with.
Heck, I suppose an "A" Series would work ok, if the Chevette diesel would fit. I've got a bunch of those lying around.