Spent today at a Honda dealership looking at their 520 side by side, then on the way home past our Lowes noticed they had several new UTVs on site, so we U-turned and ducked in there. We were impressed that all that came for $9,999 metal whole length skid plate, nice sized bed, roof, windshield, side mirrors, winch, upgrade looking tires… all of which would have added thousands of dollars to an already expensive Honda 520. Now Honda does have a great reputation from my trusted UTV experienced buddy, so it has that going for it.
Folks, how do you possibly narrow down the many choices and options for a quality side by side.
something with power, built to last, 4 seater, for farm and camping and kentucky hills and mountains….
25k or less.
So, I have found a very possible and very interesting engine swap after looking for quite awhileBTW I am still looking and researching. I present to you the 1.4L cylinder out of a Chevy Cruze.
Let me first caveat this by saying I have NO problem with my Chery engine. But it seems to have only so much potential and there is not enough technical support and R&D out there. Considering there are thousands and thousands of Chery 1100s out in the world (mostly in other countries) we should have WAY more options than we do.
The problem I DO have with the Chery 1100 is the transmission it is bolted too. Even if you BORE, Supercharge, Nitrous this engine the tranny just too weak. I would be more inclined to do motor work if there was a stronger gearbox we could strap to it. My experience has shown me the output shaft is weakthats a stock motor. If you power it up what is next to goprobably clutches.
NOW--Why the 1.4L turbo out of a Chevy Cruze?
ITS AN ECOTEC!
They are plentiful (fleet car motor) and can be had for relatively cheap ($500-$2000 depending on condition and if it comes with or without the turbo).
They are compact and lightweight--all aluminum block and cylinder head.
They are decently powered (138hp) and even better torque (148 ft/lbs)!!! Most smaller engines, to include ATV/UTV gas powered engines, the hp numbers are always higher than torque numbers. I care about TORQUE! In this case torque is the king over hp and it peaks at 2500 rpm!!! This motor was specifically designed to produce low to mid-range torque.
Also, keep in mind factory engines are designed to be economical. This engine could be easily tuned or a bigger turbo installed to go well over 200 hp.
Now, the most IMPORTANT partputting the power to the ground:
The stock Cruze comes with either a six speed manual or an automatic/hydramatic six speedwith manual shift capability!!! Now, I know what you are thinking. We need a low first gear. Now, I cant find anything online about the Troopers first gear ratio. I called Joyner and I am waiting for a call back. If anyone knows please post. My best guess is its around 5:1???
More intriguingfirst gear in the manual of the Chevy Cruze is 4.27 which is quite low in comparison to most cars being in the 3:1 range. EVEN BETTER the automatic comes with a first gear ratio of 4.58 to one. That is the lowest factory first gear ratio I have found in any FWD 4 cylinder car so far. If you know of one lower please share. Now that may not be low enough for us, but when you keep in mind WE ARE DOUBLING OUR TORQUE it should offset the need for a granny gear. Last, it comes with the manual shift option. This means you can just push the lever forward to shift and back to downshiftNO CLUTCH!
Now this is just a birds eye view of this potentially sweet drivetrain swap. Outside of the normal custom intake/exhaust, mounts, rewiring of any engine swap here are some of the bigger things that need to be figured out/answered:
How do we lock up the differential in the gearbox differential like the trooper is? The trooper has basically a spool (fully locked). In RWD buggies Joyner turns the motor and tranny 90 degrees and opens the differential (I hear some models are full locked).
How would auto/hydramatic transmission handle the stress of offroad?
Will technology get in the way of making things simple? Nowadays if you disconnect a seat belt sensor the car wont start (exaggerating herea little). How hard will it be to simplify the ignition system and get the electronics for the transmission of in harmony?
Interested to hear your guys thoughts and concerns