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New/replacement engine suggestions  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 05-06-2007 07:05 pm
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smithda
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My 1974 Jensen Healey engine looks like it may have died. I've had a mechanic friend of mine look at my engine and it looks like that I'm going to have to replace it. Does anyone have any suggestions on engines that may work well  to replace the current one. Thanks for the help.

Doug

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 Posted: 05-06-2007 07:29 pm
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jgreen
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Doug,

Are you intent on replacing the engine with a different one or would you consider rebuilding the one you have?

If you are looking for more Power....... Judson Manning ( Atlanta) could custom build you  a 2.2l 907which can easily keep up with all the mordern stuff. From what I hear he does great work at a fair price.  I definately plan on using Judson when it comes time to rebuild mine.

Jack

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 Posted: 05-06-2007 07:41 pm
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Ron Earp
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I'd second the use of Judson in a minute, good work, did my race motors.

However, an engine swap would be a lot of fun in a JH.  A Ford SB would work well, with a T5 transmission. I've had many in my garage at the same time as the Jensen and measured it a few times over beer, it'd fit well and would even allow more room than the JH motor, particularily on the tight driver's side. A Chevy SB would work as well.  Both can be had in aluminum versions that will add very little weight to the car.

Another great choice would be an all aluminum Buick215/Rover V8 motor. Cheap, light, and wouldn't completely over power the chassis it the way the Ford and Chevy could do (although you could build the 215 to make serious power).

R

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 Posted: 05-06-2007 07:48 pm
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smithda
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Thanks for the suggestions so far. I'll check into those engines, also, how would I get a hold of Judsen? I want to make sure I look into all the options.

Doug

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 Posted: 05-07-2007 05:45 am
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Pat Connor
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I installed a 327 ci chev V8 in my Jensen. It is a lot of work and while it fits quite well the height of the carburetor with air filter requires a rather large hole in the hood. Also with a V8 you will be adding quite a lot of weight to the front end of the car. There are many V6's around these day which make lots of HP and are lighter than a V8 also some of the new high tech I 4's are very light and make decent and in some cases indecent HP.

Good luck with whatever you choose. The Jensen Healey is a fun car to drive whatever the configuration.

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 Posted: 05-07-2007 12:28 pm
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Ron Earp
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Pat, sounds like you have a iron block iron headed 327. If he goes ally head/block the weight difference is only about 50-85 lbs depending on what accessories/intake/flywheel have to be used. We weighed the fully dressed JH motor (iron flywheel) versus one of the ally 342" Ford SBs we have, also dressed with alternator, and only got about 73 lbs difference - and mine isn't a super light one, but not cheap. That little Buick 215 motor we mess with in the TR8 is lighter still with the right bits, and cheap to build if you know the shops.

But I agree choosing careful with some of the ally V6s could net a light motor - maybe even lighter than the JH motor. The latest versions of GMs 3.8L push rod V8 are very light and make a lot of power these days. They are lighter than the equilvalent DOHC design due to the weight savings of the single cam and simple heads. And plentiful.

Shoot me an email at "rlearp at gt40s.com" and I'll send Judson's email back to you. Don't give up on the JH motor just yet, Judson can hook you up with one for I suspect less than you'll have in obtaining another non-JH engine and then fabbing up all the swap stuff.

Ron

Last edited on 05-07-2007 12:29 pm by Ron Earp

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 Posted: 05-07-2007 02:19 pm
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Judson Manning
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Doug,

I'd be more than happy to discuss some options for getting you back on the road.  Ron and Jack, thank for the endorsement!

Motor swaps are often pondered, but as Pat points out, there tend to be some real challenges to overcome.  V8s are fun, but the JH chassis can't handle the power (suspension derived from the Chevette/Viva).  As Ron suggests, a fuel injected 3.8 out of a late-model Camaro or Mustang with a T5 trans would be very cool.  Then there is the guy who installed a 3.0 from a 300zx into a Jensen GT.

That 3.8 will pump out close to 200hp and the T5 is fantastic.  Conversely, a well-built 907 will reliably produce 160-180hp, while a 2.2 will net 200-240hp.  Make the switch to the Toyota 5-speed and the engine swap argument becomes a little harder to justify.  Besides, the 'most cool' thing about the JH is the uniqueness of the 907.  How many people can say their car is Lotus Esprit powered?

Judson

 

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 Posted: 05-08-2007 11:04 pm
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smcmanus
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The only thing that makes the JH interesting is the engine.  If you remove that, then you are left with a homelier version of the Spitfire.  Sure it cost more to repair and parts are harder to find, but when you open the hood your friends will say WOW!  What is that!  Then you can tell them the history of Jensen and Lotus and Donald Healey and Colin Chapman.  Otherwise you are just another stride-by at the show and shine.

Have a nice day

Steve 

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 Posted: 05-16-2007 02:31 pm
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Sylva
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When I was looking to replace my 910, I had a good look at the Nissan 20Sr, in line 4, six speed box option and up to 280 bhp, you can buy engine and box in Japan for around 500Us with all the wire bits and with a short gaurantee. Problem is that you ain't got a Lotus engine and if you open the bonnet (hood I think you call it) no one is interested.

In the end I'm building my 910 again

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 Posted: 05-16-2007 08:12 pm
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Joel
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Pat:

I've got a line on a 907 that's supposed to have like 45K miles on it.  Hopefully I'll have it here in SD in the next couple of weeks.  I have another line on a nicely tricked out motor out of an Elite.  If it all works out - I'll have the sweet Elite motor and the JH 907 will be up for grabs (I've already got 2 other spares if I need 'stuff'). 

If you're interested  PM me your phone # and I'll let you know how my scheme works out. 

I'm in San Diego.

Joel

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 Posted: 05-16-2007 08:18 pm
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Joel
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Well - I guess this is as good a place as any to hi-jack a thread!

Per the earlier message - I'm really close to buying a built 900 series motor from a 74 Elite.  I know they didn't go to the 2.2 until 80 but this has been rebuilt (and never run!!) with head work, Dells, 9.5 pistons, etc.  We don't know if it's the 2.2 but it was rebuilt in the late 80's or early 90's so I'm betting it is.  I'm getting some pics of the motor tonite and might get it as early as next week. 

Other than the oil pan - what would I need to change to drop this into my JH? 

I'm thinking the Toyota conversion is a must. . .even though the car has a 4spd with only 50K miles on it. . .


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 Posted: 05-17-2007 02:03 pm
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Judson Manning
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You know....

If you could get the Lotus 5sp that came with that original engine, THAT would be a unique set-up.  Of course the Lotus 5sp wasn't know for its reliability. 

There is risk in everything.  To be safe, you'd want to open up the engine and verify all the dimensions, quality of work, etc.  If it was done right, there are $3k worth of parts and machining in there.  If done wrong, you could have an exploding $3k lump of aluminum.

I'm guessing the Elite did have a unique pan like the Esprit which means it may also have a unique oil p/u pipe.  To replace it, you need to pull the Accessory housing.  There are sure to be other 'minor' differences that should be easily fixed with parts from your old engine.

 

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 Posted: 05-31-2007 03:01 am
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Joel
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Judson - sending you a PM.

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