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jfbrink

My latest engine swap

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Hi,
 
I thought I would share the engine swap that I recently completed. I got a Suzuki G13BB engine from 2001 Chevy Metro, bolted it to a 5-speed transmission from a 1987 Suzuki Samurai and mounted it in the car with custom brackets and three stock Samurai mounts. While I was at it, I re-plumbed and re-wired the entire car, from end to end.
 
The result is wonderful to drive. Super smooth and quiet at all speeds. I can actually listen to the RetroSound head unit I installed, now. The engine power/torque specs are almost identical to the stock 1.3L, but the engine/trans combo weight about 200lbs. less, and neither is 50 years old, so the car is much zippier and gets 35mpg around town.
 

 

411_swap_G13BB_engine_bay_complete.jpg

I made three short videos, which are linked below. I plan to put together a build page at some point, but in the meantime I'm happy to answer questions, here.
 

Engine Video

 

Interior Video

 

Trunk Video

 

 

 
 
 

 

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Looks good man!

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I feel like this should make me want to mock you, but it looks so clean, I can only applaud you. That is a smart swap for those little cars.

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@Draker - Thanks!

 

@Lockleaf - I know, it all sounds ridiculous. Chevy Metro? Suzuki Samurai? Same power and torque as stock? On paper, I'm doing it wrong. But, for the cost of rebuilding my dead 50-year-old J13 sewing machine, I got a car that drives nicer than any of three cars the parts came from. It's like a Datsun 411 manufactured in 2001.

 

Mind you, as much as I love this swap, I'm putting a V-6 in my 411 wagon.

 

Jesse.

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Hm. Interesting.

 

What made you think Geo Metro?

Any work need to mate the trans to the FWD motor?

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Can't knock it, looks really clean and well executed, and it could almost pass as stock to someone who didn't know better

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@flatcat19 - I spent a lot of time at the Pick-a-Part measuring engines. The engine bay in the 411 is super short. And, I am not interested in cast iron blocks, which ruled out a lot of options. Two engines I liked were the Suzuki G series and the GM Ecotec. Both are compact, but the Ecotec has a big protrusion in the block right where the steering box is. It also had the hassle of CANBUS delete and expensive RWD transmission options. That left the G13BB in the 1998-2001 Metro, which is OBD-II, but pre-CANBUS, and the Suzuki Samurai transmission simply bolts directly to it (with a Samurai flywheel, clutch and starter). Super easy and affordable. I got the engine, with ECU and harness for $232 at Pick-a-Part and the transmission with output shaft, starter plate and shifter for $200 off Craigslist.

 

@thisismatt - Thanks. I think it's kind of a pretty engine, and I tried to make it look like it belonged in there.

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Just out of curiousity, where did you hide the battery?  Also, any particular reason for relocationg the horns?  A very neat and thorough conversion!  Congratulations..

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Well, I think the swap turned out great. Clean install.

 

Kudos.

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@MikeRL411 - The battery is in the trunk -- a small AGM unit from a Miata -- with the cable running from a circuit breaker, up the C pillar, along the roof channel and down the A pillar. I moved the horns to clear the radiator, which is wider than stock.

 

Some arbitrary process photos....

 

1. The empty engine bay shows the small pocket I had to make to clear the cam angle sensor housing. The engine had plenty of room in front, but the transmission face would hit the steering cross shaft if I moved it farther forward. It also shows the two mounting pads I welded to the crossmember.

 

411_swap_g13bb_engine_bay_empty.jpg

 

2. I mounted the transmission by turning the stock 411 trans crossmember upside down and welding a custom pad to it that fits the oddly-shaped stock Suzuki Samurai mount.

 

411_swap_g13bb_trans_mount.jpg

 

3. This is a 96/97 Geo Tracker oil pan extensively modified to clear the 411 crossmember and steering rod. It still has sufficient capacity below the anti-aeration plate.

 

411_swap_g13bb_engine_pan_mods.jpg

 

4. Cooling hose layout was tough, as this is one of those modern engines that expects constant flow through the heater lines. The valve shown provides that flow without sending continuous water through the heater core the way most modern cars do.

 

411_swap_g13bb_cooling_hose_layout.jpg

 

5. Although the "hot" water outlet is out the back of the block on the G13BB as installed in the Chevy Metro, the block has an outlet in the front, which is how it is routed as a G13B in the Suzuki Samurai. Since I had very little room in the back, I modified my intake manifold to make use of the front outlet, with a tube and face that the stock Chevy Metro thermo housing bolts to.

 

411_swap_g13bb_cooling_intake_mod.jpg

 

6. Just a cool hook loop I made for the front right of the engine. The stock loop wouldn't fit with my new coolant outlet.

 

411_swap_g13bb_engine_hook.jpg

 

7. The Suzuki Samurai has a cable clutch, so I made a bracket, and push rod adapter to allow the use of a 510 clutch slave and master.

 

411_swap_g13bb_clutch_slave_bracket.jpg

 

8. The fuel injection pump required a sump, which I successfully approximated by locating the pump pick-up in a sunken part of the stock tank and adding a baffle panel. The little panel mounts to a threaded hole I tapped into the BSPT plug I used to seal the stock fuel outlet bung. You can also see in the lower right that I had to clearance the top of the stock baffles to accommodate the Honda fuel pump carrier.

 

411_swap_g13bb_fuel_tank_baffle.jpg

 

That's it for now...

 

Jesse.

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More please. Very neat stuff going on here

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Innovative and very sucessful modification!  Let's keep these jewels on the road!  I hope you used a Marine sealed container to house the trunk mounted battery!

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More more more!

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Looks clean! What V6 are you planning for the wagon?

 

Yeah, inquiring minds want to know since my 411 wagon currently has no engine/trans. Was thinking the easiest option is an R16. I have an RL411 front cross-member, but the engine mounts are unobtanium and different than a roadster, so would have to fabricate something. Was also thinking KA.

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Yeah, inquiring minds want to know since my 411 wagon currently has no engine/trans. Was thinking the easiest option is an R16. I have an RL411 front cross-member, but the engine mounts are unobtanium and different than a roadster, so would have to fabricate something. Was also thinking KA.

 

And the driver side and passenger side are different lengths!  Suggestion, put a "wanted" in the classified.  Tana or Erich just might have a pair in their parts pile!  If you can find a worn out set, a tire recapping place just might be willing to vulcanize a replacement rubber mount set.

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I have a set of good condition used E1 motor mounts for what it's worth... Sorry for the threadjack jfbrink!

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Yeah, inquiring minds want to know since my 411 wagon currently has no engine/trans. Was thinking the easiest option is an R16. I have an RL411 front cross-member, but the engine mounts are unobtanium and different than a roadster, so would have to fabricate something. Was also thinking KA.

 

When motor/trany mounts turn out to be Unobtanium, this might be of help to someone with moderate manual skills and commonsense:

 

http://www.nicoclub.com/archives/diy-build-your-own-transmission-mount.html

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@SwedishCadillac, et al. - I'm sorry, I replied about the V6 weeks ago, but I must have never clicked "Post". I'm using a 1.8L Mazda K8 V-6, the little brother to the more famous KL-DE 2.5L V-6. It was an upgrade option in Mazda MX-3s. I'm building a custom intake (really just an aluminum box) and running it with a MegaSquirt ECU from Stratified. For transmission, I'm going with a JATCO 4N71B four-speed A/T, sourced from a second gen RX-7, to give me a rear-facing starter. I've designed a 1/2" adapter plate to join the engine and transmission. I was going to use a Miata 5-speed, but my vision for this build became making the wagon a cruiser. I will probably even put A/C in it, if I can fit a Vintage Air mini unit up in that tiny dash space (I think I can). Here is the engine sitting in my mock-up car:

 

411_swap_k8_fitment_1.jpg

 

@difrangia, et al. - On the topic of motor mounts, I've cast a few of my own, and I've had "professionals" cast them for me, and the durometer (hardness) is a real issue. The stock ones appear to have been about 50/55A and I've found the 411 is very sensitive to anything harder than that. By "sensitive" I mean it's a crappy, vibrating, rattling mess at all RPM with harder mounts.

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jfbrink,

 Thanks for that durometer figure on the mount rubber compound. I'll plug that into my data storage with the stored casting thread.

 

Steve

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BTW, this is a well thought out and executed installation. Superb work !!

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To continue the hijack of my own thread, just before I started the swap, I came up with this engine mount solution, using a set of mounts that a custom mount guy wrecked by fusing 90A+ off-the-shelf rubber pads to the stock 411 metal. I went with this approach because it just seemed way easier than fabricating analogs to these ridiculous shapes myself. I have a lot of latent anger about the complexity of these J13 mounts.

 

I don't know how smooth this simplified result would run but I figured it would be in the neighborhood of good given that the rubber pads are from MGs using essentially the same engine. These MG pads are 55/60A.

 

411_engine_custom_mounts_mg_pads.jpg

 

The two metal plates would get two holes drilled in each for the upper studs of the MG mount and be welded into the upper portions of the stock mount at the positions indicated by the red sharpie lines.

 

Best,

 

Jesse.

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Best of luck!  If it works, let us all know with all too many PIX!  I was lecky enough to get new Nissan engine mounts many moons age when I rebuilt my RL411 engine.  Better safe than sorry really worked out well with that purchase.

 

Words for the ages!  "You are really in trouble when the vehicle you have just turned in for servicing is older than the mechanic assigned to work on it."

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hi there, having had the pleasure of owning an 89 Suzuki swift GTi for a number of years, I am curious if you thought about running the FWD g13B twincam head on the Sammi block?. That little engine would sing. Yamaha design as I understood it. I thought about it for my 1959 datsun 1000, and recall the distributor location made it a little long. But there are other ways to get spark. I dont know how tough it would be in actuality,, but i would dream about it.

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The beauty of the G13BB engine is that it is distributorless coil-on-plug. The distributor on the G13A (Samurai) and G13B (twincam) does stick out for miles, and I figured why come up with my own ignition system when I can go stock with the G13BB. I do love those Swift GTi engines, though, and this little Datsun would really scoot with that extra 30ish HP.

 

By the way, all the G13 engines bolt right up to the RWD Samurai transmission with no fuss.

 

Best,

 

Jesse.

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