Vauxhall Chevettes with different engines.

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Paul-R
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Vauxhall Chevettes with different engines.

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doctle wrote:
15 Jun 2020, 19:21
Paul-R wrote:
15 Jun 2020, 17:48
doctle wrote:
15 Jun 2020, 17:43
I Once put a ford pinto into a vauxhall chevette.
I mated an Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1300 twin cam to a Getrag 5 speed gearbox and put that into a Chevette!
These young chaps don't know what a Chevette was, they maybe think we are Americans! How did your swap work out? I had Weber twin 40 side draughts and the driveshaft was wobbly. Straight line fast cornered like a 2cv with a wardrobe on the roof
I built mine for rallying to go in the under 1300cc class. I dismissed the standard 1256 Vauxhall lump from consideration and a friend persuaded me go the Alfa route as he was breaking Alfas in those days.

The cylinder head didn't require much attention as it was already well shaped and the valves didn't have any space around them to go larger so that just left the cams to be changed. I don't remember what grind was on them. I decided to put twin 45 DCOE Webers on but had some special choke tubes turned reduce the size of the venturis. I made up a 4-into-1 exhaust manifold using welded together pieces of tubing and fed this into an exhaust system that I made up along the lines of the DTV Chevettes. I was fortunate that I had contacts in Peco who were based nearby! For the massive rear box I used something that came from a Rolls Royce model. I must have had an intermediate box to satisfy the regs but I don't remember what it was.

I only got to run it on a rolling road once. A chap (I forget his name) who used to be at Minisport of Padiham and then subsequently based in Rochdale, gave it a preliminary tune-up and got about 95 - 98bhp at the rear wheels. But he was puzzled as he expected it be more than that. It was also suspiciously quiet the faster it went. We eventually realised that the big box wasn't a straight-through, as I had been told, but a baffle type. And as the revs went up and the pressure increased the baffles became compressed limiting throughput. Something to be looked at later!

doctle
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Re: Vauxhall Chevettes with different engines.

Unread post by doctle »

Another guy in my village had a Chevette with the Victor 2.3 in it. He had the wrong shocks and springs in the front it was very nose heavy. Actually the carbs on the Pinto came off an Alfa I forget the model now it was the one with the engine in front and the gearbox in the rear. They used to rot away before your eyes.
We also had a Polenez with a 131 Mirafiori engine which bolted straight in it was badly geared and the drum brakes were good for making your passengers sweat. Happy times wasting money and petrol

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Re: Vauxhall Chevettes with different engines.

Unread post by doctle »

Of course at one stage you could easily enough put any engine into any car with a little effort. They were all back wheel drive only 2 or 3 wires and a few pipes. I seen a Zeypher V4 in an Anglia a Peugeot diesel in a Ford Consul/Granada and a Toyota engine in a Morris Minor. Few tools were needed the hardest thing was making engine mounts, Landy series were great. It's almost impossible to do it today without a serious budget and huge workshop. My Chevette, green over green, was mostly done in the lay bye outside the house. You can't work there any more either!

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Re: Vauxhall Chevettes with different engines.

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[img]file:///home/paul/Desktop/limited-edition-vauxhall-chevette_360_ad85e717dbbc93c02986c5bf96b5048b.jpg
[/img]
Mmmm
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NewcastleFalcon
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Re: Vauxhall Chevettes with different engines.

Unread post by NewcastleFalcon »

If you haven't come across Vauxpedia, for a nostalgia wallow, it has the best and most comprehensive set of brochures articles and information about Vauxhall Cars I have found.

The Chevette and other T-Cars around the globe are well covered.
screenshot
screenshot

Here's the UK market Brochures, page after page after page of them, as comprehensive a record as there is.

http://vauxpedianet.uk2sitebuilder.com/ ... -uk-market
brochure examples
brochure examples
Regards Neil

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Re: Vauxhall Chevettes with different engines.

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With inline engines it wasn't to difficult. I fitted Perkins 4/99 - 4/108 diesels into about a dozen cars over the years. I stopped doing conversions when I drove my first diesel CX. 8-)

Peter

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Paul-R
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Re: Vauxhall Chevettes with different engines.

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My Chevette was built using two (!) hatchback bodyshells and a new roof panel (I still have a spare unused roof panel in my lock-up). I decided to make the bodyshell into a group 4 type but retained standard wheel arches as I didn't intend to use a 2300cc engine (but I'll come back to that another time).

I used panels from a chap called Ian Jemison for five-link rear suspension and larger propshaft tunnel. I also bought an adjustable pedal box and then bashed the bulkhead around until it fitted (you were supposed to cut it out and weld new bits of sheet steel in). I replaced the tailgate and bonnet with glass fibre items and fitted perspex windows in the tailgate and rear sides. For safety I retained the standard glass in the doors and a new laminated windscreen. At the front I fitted an HS airdam but modified similar to the Gp 4 fronts so that the bottom lip could be replaced separately. As far as I am aware I was the only person to have this modification to the standard airdam.

My intention was to make the bodyshell as near to a Gp 4 as possible but narrower. I bought a back axle off a Mk II Jaguar and then shaved the brackets off with the intention of welding suitable five-link brackets on but then realised it would be too wide of course! So I obtained an English Ford narrow back axle (possibly off a MkI Cortina) and fitted the five link the brackets on that. Unfortunately I didn't get the position quite right (the diff nose pointed towards the floor too much) so I had to reposition the top link mounting holes further along the bodyshell to retain the parallel position and length compared to the bottom links.

At the front I took the subframe and strengthened it. I also welded the bottom part of GpIV engine mounts there. I took a deep breath and bought quick rack internals from Blydenstein's and then had to buy an Opel Kadett type rack to put it in as the British rack wasn't compatible. I converted the bottom suspension arm to rod end bearings and on the upper arm converted to the larger HS type of ball joint. I started off with the standard anti-roll bar but that was too stiff and then made a thinner one (9/16" IIRC) later on.

I wanted Ford centres so that wheels would be easier to find and after spending hours studying bearing books discovered that the Mk1 3l Capri used the same size. The disc offset was slightly out but fortunately after machining the rust off they just fitted inside the calipers. The calipers were new Girling M16 types (Girling had a factory in nearby Bromborough at the time). The 3l Capri also supplied the rear brakes which were essentially four stud versions of the five stud brakes fitted to the MGC so I had a good source for further spares.

Whoof, I'd better stop there for now. I apologise to anyone to whom this is not new as I have posted bits about this project here before now.

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Paul-R
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Re: Vauxhall Chevettes with different engines.

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A couple of photos from waaaaay back when the bodyshell was under construction. The bear in the first photo is the author in his prime.
Scan_20191211 (6)-1a.jpg
Scan_20191211 (6)-2.jpg

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Re: Vauxhall Chevettes with different engines.

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Paul-R wrote:
16 Jun 2020, 20:57

Whoof, I'd better stop there for now. I apologise to anyone to whom this is not new as I have posted bits about this project here before now.
Keep posting until someone tells you to stop :-D I'm finding it interesting :)

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Re: Vauxhall Chevettes with different engines.

Unread post by doctle »

I didn't really have the knowledge or skills to do what you did. It was more I think I can do this and just doing it to a standard car. It was way easier than modern cars, even replacing a like for like engine is a real pita. I never really drove it or told the government what I had done. Eventually the Pinto was sold to a guy with a mk2 Escort Mexico replica he did a load of work on it.

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Re: Vauxhall Chevettes with different engines.

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Peter.N. wrote:
16 Jun 2020, 09:49
With inline engines it wasn't to difficult. I fitted Perkins 4/99 - 4/108 diesels into about a dozen cars over the years. I stopped doing conversions when I drove my first diesel CX. 8-)

Peter
Not something that I ever did but a friend of mine back in the early 70s also used to fit Perkins diesel engines to various different cars. He put one into a Jag (a MkIX I think) but without a petrol engine to supply a vacuum to the servo, braking became a real problem. It was almost a case of putting your hands out the windows, grabbing the roof and PUUUUUUSH against the brake pedal. This would then slow the car ever so slightly. [-o<

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Re: Vauxhall Chevettes with different engines.

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bobins wrote:
16 Jun 2020, 21:22
Keep posting until someone tells you to stop
I'll try for some more tomorrow. It's such a long time ago it takes quite a while to remember various things. I still haven't remembered who had the rolling road up near Rochdale (I think it was actually Milnrow) yet.

EDIT I think he was called Harry something.

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Re: Vauxhall Chevettes with different engines.

Unread post by Peter.N. »

Paul-R wrote:
16 Jun 2020, 22:54
Peter.N. wrote:
16 Jun 2020, 09:49
With inline engines it wasn't to difficult. I fitted Perkins 4/99 - 4/108 diesels into about a dozen cars over the years. I stopped doing conversions when I drove my first diesel CX. 8-)

Peter
Not something that I ever did but a friend of mine back in the early 70s also used to fit Perkins diesel engines to various different cars. He put one into a Jag (a MkIX I think) but without a petrol engine to supply a vacuum to the servo, braking became a real problem. It was almost a case of putting your hands out the windows, grabbing the roof and PUUUUUUSH against the brake pedal. This would then slow the car ever so slightly. [-o<
I eventually devised a cure for that problem. I cut a metal disc that fitted into the air intake manifold, with a shaft made from radiospares volume control extension shafts which were flat on one side, and coupled it up to the throttle via a lever and cable arrangement so that when you rook your foot of the throttle it almost closed the off the air intake, this provided a healthy dose of vacuum for the brakes and was very successful.

I should have patented it as a few years later when the diesel Sherpa van came out they used virtually the same idea. It also had the advantage of making the air intake quieter as it was almost closed at tickover and low throttle openings, it also made it tickover more smoothly as it had the effect of reducing the compression.

Peter

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Re: Vauxhall Chevettes with different engines.

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Peter.N. wrote:
16 Jun 2020, 23:07
I eventually devised a cure for that problem. I cut a metal disc that fitted into the air intake manifold, with a shaft made from radiospares volume control extension shafts which were flat on one side, and coupled it up to the throttle via a lever and cable arrangement so that when you rook your foot of the throttle it almost closed the off the air intake, this provided a healthy dose of vacuum for the brakes and was very successful.

I should have patented it as a few years later when the diesel Sherpa van came out they used virtually the same idea. It also had the advantage of making the air intake quieter as it was almost closed at tickover and low throttle openings, it also made it tickover more smoothly as it had the effect of reducing the compression.

Peter
The idea predated the Sherpa as I was shown (by the same guy who did the Perkins conversion) this idea on a diesel Land Rover of some kind. He was think of putting this into the Jag.

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Re: Vauxhall Chevettes with different engines.

Unread post by Peter.N. »

In the days of CB I got chatting to a chap who had fitted a Commer TS3 engine into a Mk9 Jag. For the uninitiated its a big 3 cylinder horizontally opposed 2 stroke diesel with no cylinder head and two crankshafts. I thought I had done a lot of work on some of my conversions but nothing compared with this one.

He lived in Honiton, not far from me so I went to have a look at it. He had to move the inner wings outward to accommodate it and modify the top of the engine to get it under the bonnet, he also had to modify the steering. The engine was fitted with an auto box but between that and the axle was a back to front 4 speed manual box which was used to give him 4 overdrive ratios.

I never went in it but am told it was very noisy - and fast I would imagine.

Peter