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Saxon Engine

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Saxon Engine

Post by rverruni on Sat Oct 01, 2016 5:38 pm

I am looking to replace the 4 cylinder chevette engine in my 1985 Saxon; has anyone done a swap and used the V8 Aluminum Buick engine 218 that I believe was in Ranger Rovers until the year 2000? The engine is very light and weight is about the same as chevette with 3x horse. Rich

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Re: Saxon Engine

Post by aronhk_md on Sat Oct 01, 2016 8:34 pm

Sounds like something I doubt anyone has pursued...yet. I think one of the most popular swaps these days in any vehicle is the LS based engine. Let us know if you do it and keep us informed how it goes.
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Re: Saxon Engine

Post by Hotrod on Sat Oct 01, 2016 10:00 pm

You might check with Sebring International in Britain. I don't know how close their chassis is to ours, but the bodies are supposed to be the same.

They might be able to help you since the Rover/Buick V8 is as common over there as the small block Chevy is over here.

The Saxon chassis is different from the Sebring in that the track is narrower due to the standard Healey width body.    The PDF build manual I have talks about taking 3" out of the steering rack, so I can only guess that the track of the Saxon is 3" narrower than the Sebring.   I don't know if the frame rails are closer together.

I know I have seen one with a Ford V6 which I think was a 60* engine and would be narrow.   I  think I did see some pics of one with a SBC, but I may be mistaken.  The Rover V8, SBC, and SB Ford swap has been done on original Healey's many times so it should be doable on a Saxon.

The dimensions I found online show the Rover at about 26" wide, which makes it pretty wide (a sbc is about 22").  The Saxon should have plenty of room lengthwise, width and exhaust routing is going to be the issue.  A quick check with a tape measure should tell the tale.

If the Saxon uses an engine mount system similar to the Sebring, building frame adapters for the motor mounts should be simple.

Engine dimension chart:
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Re: Saxon Engine

Post by rverruni on Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:42 pm

What is an SBC engine? Rich

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Re: Saxon Engine

Post by bwdz on Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:23 pm

Small block Chevy, like a 350 or 5.7l as it may be called. As stated above, people have managed to put a SBC into every car out there as over 60 million of them were produced since the 50s including swapping them into original Healeys. You will need an engine and transmission. You can find one on Craigslist for around $300 for some stock well used one. If you need to do mock up many places sell a plastic Chevy 350 that is dimensionally correct so you can trial fit it and see what kind of mounts and everything you will need. If you want to stick with a narrow engine I would try a Jag 4.0 inline 6 from a 90s XJ. You can buy a self learning stand alone EFI for under $1000 and keep it fuel injected and have that "British" theme still in the car. There are bellhousings out there that allow you to use a Toyota 5 speed with that engine if you want to go stick shift.

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Re: Saxon Engine

Post by rverruni on Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:25 pm

Thanks. Would the Saxon frame hold the engine? Rich

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Re: Saxon Engine

Post by Hotrod on Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:37 pm

I would think so. In the pictures I've seen of them, they look to be at least as substantial as the Sebring frame.

FWIW - Many street rod chassis' are built out of 2x3 rectangular tubing. That's the same material used in the Sebring chassis and most likely the Saxon.
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