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Old 06-22-2009, 12:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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small pickup engine swap for better mpg?

Hi all,
I've been doing some searching for examples of small pickup trucks that have had a more efficient engine swapped into them, with no luck. I need a small pickup in the worst way, but my options here in Puerto Rico are limited due to money and availability. The newer ones from the mid-80's to the present are awful on fuel economy; I'd do just as well with a bigger truck with a 6-cylinder. The older ones that had much better economy like the Chevy LUV, etc. are very rare, and if there is one for sale it is either an extreme rust/bondo joke or extremely expensive. Are there any real-life examples of a small pickup having a different motor swapped into it for better fuel economy, like maybe a Honda 1.3 liter or Suzuki 1.0 liter. I know it sounds crazy and probably underpowered for a truck, but with a manual trannsmission it wouldn't be too bad I don't think. I guess the greatest challenge would be the front-wheel drive issue, since all trucks are rear-wheel drive.
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Old 06-22-2009, 03:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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VW Caddy Pickup is front wheel drive. It is based on the VW Golf. Most are diesel powered. They demand higher $$ considering the age of the vehicle.
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Old 06-22-2009, 03:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The only thing I can think of is getting an older Dodge Dakota w/ a 2.5 in it. You can then swap in a 2.0 from a newer Neon, but you'll have to use the starter and all from the newer engine. (The starter ends up on the other side.)

If you have access to export Neon engines, you could also swap in a 1.8, which is the same block as the 2.0.

The next choice is a Ford Ranger, which comes equipped with a 2.3 4 cylinder. The engine from a Ford Escort (1.9 or 1.6, either one) will fit directly against that transmission. You use the flywheel and pressure plate/clutch disc from the Escort engine.

I don't know if the diesel engine is the same bellhousing from a Escort as the regular gas engine or not, so I can't say if you can use that one.
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Old 06-22-2009, 03:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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There is a toyota pickup with a vw tdi over on tdiclub.com
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Old 06-22-2009, 04:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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How about a small car and a trailer? Or get a 4 banger pickup that has higher ratio rear axles available. So you'd swap the 4.11 rear axle out for 2.73 or whatever the big engine version of that truck had.
I like the neon engine swap too, make sure its a SOHC as they have a bit more torque than the DOHC.
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Old 06-22-2009, 04:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Stick shift 4 cylinder Chevy S10? That thing will get you over 30mpg.

Otherwise, i'm still looking for a VW Caddy Pickup. the thing is diesel, and will get you over 50mpg easy.
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Old 06-22-2009, 06:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have seen pickup conversions that have put in a Mercedes OM617 turbo diesel. The OM617 is a 3.0 liter engine. I suppose the smaller 2.4 liter OM616 would work but its not turbocharged and lacks power.
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Old 06-22-2009, 09:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christ View Post
The next choice is a Ford Ranger, which comes equipped with a 2.3 4 cylinder. The engine from a Ford Escort (1.9 or 1.6, either one) will fit directly against that transmission. You use the flywheel and pressure plate/clutch disc from the Escort engine.
Even the stock 2.3 isn't bad. Long before I heard of ecodriving, I acquired a basket case '86 Ranger (5 speed, tiny wide ghetto wheels) and still managed 24 mpg driving like hell.
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Old 06-23-2009, 11:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I had a '91 s-10 2.5l 4cyl., 5-spd, no a/c, no ps, regular cab. It would get 28 mpg highway (80% of what I drove).

My dad had a '91 s-10, 4.3l v6, 5spd, a/c, ps, extended cab. (it would get 32 mpg highway (80% of what he drove).

Funny thing that low end torque.
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Old 06-23-2009, 04:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonR View Post
I had a '91 s-10 2.5l 4cyl., 5-spd, no a/c, no ps, regular cab. It would get 28 mpg highway (80% of what I drove).

My dad had a '91 s-10, 4.3l v6, 5spd, a/c, ps, extended cab. (it would get 32 mpg highway (80% of what he drove).

Funny thing that low end torque.
Could be gearing too. I imagine the more powerful engine comes with taller gears.

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