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Old 03-02-2006, 08:13 PM   #1
ChrisV
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Not sure what to do with the Comet...

As you know, I'm building up this '63 Comet convertible. I've had the car for a while and been thinking about the project for almost 2 decades (but with everything else in life taking precedence, it takes time to gather the parts).

This is a custom car. Speed isn't a priority (I'd build race cars for that, like I have in the past). I want it to be different than anything out there, which is why I know what the body and interior, i.e. the visible parts, are going to be. I can do both of those parts for almost no money, just cost of paint materials and some welding time for the exterior...

The problem is in motive power. Originally I had bought an '89 Thunderbird Super Coupe to use the drivetrain. The 3.8 liter uses similar motor mounts as teh 260/289/302, and it would go in it quite well. But, when I moved from Seattle to Baltimore, I couldn't take a dead parts car with me, so I sold it. Last year, I thought that it might be cool to put something else in it, and found a Lexus 1UZE 4 liter V8 for a good price. I like the thought of this engine in there, as it's cool looking stripped of it's late model emissions and luxury bits. No trans came with it. These engines were only hooked to an automatic in stock form, which I normally woudn't have a problem with. But they are expensive and completely computer controlled, which I don't want to deal with. So I bought a Supra W58 5 speed trans for $50 from a friend. Here's the rub.

In order to hook that trans to the Lexus engine requires a custom bellhousing, a custom flywheel, and some custom clutch parts. The ONLY places that make these are in Australia, and the best price I've found for a kit is $1600. $1600 to connect the engine and trans. This isn't getting it running or a driveshaft or anything like that. That's more than I have into the whole car including the car/engine and trans so far. With a family and house, I can't drop that kind of coin on a tiny part of the project. That engine would require a custom frame, as I can't run stock front suspension, as it's 2" too wide.

Right now, I'm setting $200 a month aside for project car money, and I keep having to use it to fix the Fiat or some other little things in the home office. We're tying to get this hose addition done, and my wife recently lost her job (cuting our houshold income in half. Yikes!).

I could get a Ford 5.0 and trans package for what the lexus engine is worth. It would bolt in and run with almost no work. Should I just give it up as a bad job, sell the uber-cool Lexus engine, and go with the Ford so I can stop thinking about motive power and start driving it? What would you guys do?

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Old 03-02-2006, 08:20 PM   #2
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Air bag suspention, paint (pearl) and nice chrome wheels and chrome all of the bumpers..basically restore it and then wheels and chrome accents.
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Old 03-02-2006, 08:35 PM   #3
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Nothing is restored as almost no body panel will be stock. Here it is as it sits now:



I know what I'm doing looks wise, as I can do almost all of it without spending any money. I'm asking about the engine.

The stock 260 and 2 speed automatic are being put in my stepson's '63 Comet hardtop, so I still ahve to find motive power, But I just can't see how to justify spending $1600 on just a bellhousing and flywheel to put this enigne and trans together. If I spend that, I can't afford wheels, and I need the wheels and tires I'm going to use in order to get the chassis to sit right and clear everything (it's a Catch 22... if I use the Lexus engine, I have to hava custom frame. In order to build the custom frame and the suspension, I have to have the whels and tires I'm going to use in order to get everything to fit under the body...).

It's just taken so long to get to this point, and the reality of spending money on a project car when there's a house and family to take care of is wearing on me.
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Old 03-02-2006, 09:03 PM   #4
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LS7?
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Old 03-02-2006, 09:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newyorker
LS7?

Hmm, let's see, i'm lamenting that I'd have to spend $1600 on a bellhousing to make the engine/trans I already have work, as it costs more than I have in the whole car including engine and trans now, and you're suggesting a new 7 liter crate GM engine that costs $13-14k? Even an LS1 is $2500 at minimum and I'd have to find a way of making THAT fit.

Listen carefully: should I wait for a long time and spend what it takes to put the Lexus engine and Supra trans together in it, or sell the Lexus engine and use that money (approx. $700) to buy a complete bolt in 5.0 and trans package out of a Mustang?

I don't even know why I'm bothering to ask you...
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Old 03-02-2006, 09:12 PM   #6
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I would wait and put in the lexus engine and supra transmission
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Old 03-02-2006, 09:38 PM   #7
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I say keep it American and go 5.0
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Old 03-02-2006, 10:15 PM   #8
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Considered a VH45.

List the parts you want and I'll make some local calls for you.

MY XP Coupe will probably have the same engine bay and chassis as yours, so I can do rough measurements.
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Old 03-02-2006, 10:18 PM   #9
salimander13
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Hey chris I think you should make a diagram with pros and cons of the 5.0 engine and the lexus engine. ie. sound, feel, cost, personal preferance ect and go with that.
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Old 03-02-2006, 10:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salimander13
Hey chris I think you should make a diagram with pros and cons of the 5.0 engine and the lexus engine. ie. sound, feel, cost, personal preferance ect and go with that.

You're kidding right? The toyota and nissan motor/boxes are light years ahead in technology.
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Old 03-02-2006, 10:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally
You're kidding right? The nissan motor and box are light years ahead in technology.

just because its a better piece of technology doesn't mean you have to like it more.
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Old 03-02-2006, 10:28 PM   #12
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I meant to include toyota in that post.

OK so you don't think technology is a key ingredient? How about being damned good engineering?
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Old 03-02-2006, 10:30 PM   #13
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well the mustang drivetrain is easier, but the lexus v8 sounds like it would be much better done right, more original too.

i really dont know, if your gonna have big problems down the road with the lexus engine, id go with the 5.0 or if you really want to drive it soon.

but if your more concerned about the finished product over anything else
id have to say the lexus
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Old 03-02-2006, 10:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally
I meant to include toyota in that post.

OK so you don't think technology is a key ingredient? How about being damned good engineering?

don't put words in my mouth. I was just going off of the engines that he said. To be honest I never even saw your post until after I posted so yea.
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Old 03-02-2006, 10:39 PM   #15
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ChrisV has already done his homework and purchased the Toy motor. These are a very good lump. The Supra box is not uncommon here behind Ford and Holden engines because it is superior in weight, size, etc. I assume ChrisV knows this, thus his migration to the combo.

The only barrier to having a nice tidy install is the cost of interfacing the box to the engine. Failing Greek Warrior calling on his thieving Melbourne mates finding an unwilling donor, the exercise is to try to find a cheaper supplier.
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