1. Renier

    Renier Puttering Along

    I think most of you are pretty conservative, and are mostly about 601's, but there's also a lot of Americans here (familiar with the 3.8) and I'm sure not everybody would shiver at the idea. So, what do you guys think? Despite that you might think it shouldn't be done, if you're the conservative type.
    Last edited: May 26, 2014
  2. Justin

    Justin Founder Moderator

    I mean, If you took a 1.1 and tried it, why not?

    Personally, I am a purist, but there is nothing wrong with a little modification just for fun.....It would be a beast with that motor.
  3. Andrew

    Andrew Most Powerful Leader Moderator Forum Donor

    I like Justin, am a bit of a purist... but I agree there is nothing wrong with a bit of modification when done right.

    Trabi 1.1 is probably the way to go for chassis, but not sure if you would have enough room to fit in the front... also crazy torque steer if you did FWD.
    My humble suggestion would be find a trabant 1.1 kombi, mount the engine in the middle/rear.... bonus points if you keep/upgrade/replace the front polo engine with something a little sportier and have a trabi 4WD with 2 engines...

    If you are going to do something insane... then why not go to the max :)
    Justin likes this.
  4. Renier

    Renier Puttering Along

    Haha, that'd be insane, two engines! Though I much prefer the limo, while make no mistake I love the kombi too, but it'd need to be somewhat affordable (where as two engines makes it much more expensive in at least three different respects, I know it won't be cheap regardless though even when doing most of the work myself, but still it'd be a huge difference and I would be on a budget). Torque steer is really something to consider, thanks for bringing it up. If I'm going to customize this much I might want to go all the way and do RWD though, but I don't know the amount of work involved into making the rear axle the drive axle.

    Some sort of silent inspiration behind the idea is also to create some sort of 'mini' and/or mock old school American ride ;P possibly with a one-piece seat up front with a small folding arm-/backrest, either finding one that fits but most likely having to shrink an existing one. Hence the American engine, not only for the sound but also for the availability, low-cost and because they are great engines (the GM 3.8), they're like shrunk V8's, also in appearance.. to put it in another way, possibly ideal for the 'shrunk' old school American wannabe ;P

    PS: Wouldn't there possibly be ways to minimize the torque steer for a FWD application to a point where it isn't all that crazy when you do for example pull like you're on the drag strip or just pull hard in highway situation for example?
    Last edited: May 29, 2014
  5. Andrew

    Andrew Most Powerful Leader Moderator Forum Donor

    I would still say go for the 1.1, leave the engine in the front as is.. and stick the 3.8 in the back with an auto box.

    The problem you are going to have sticking a 3.8 up front is
    a) size.
    b) you have to rebuild the entire subframe as you would also need to install a new gearbox. Trabi gearboxes are not designed to handle that much power.
    c) cost, you are going to have to spend the same type of money putting in the rear, as you would modifying the front to make it fit..
    d) torque steer, if you are planning on driving like a grandma then no problems... but I don't see the point of sticking a 3.8L engine in a trabi if you plan to drive like grandma, you would be better off sticking a polo gti engine or similar.
    Most torque steer solutions revolve around computer aided power assist steering, something the trabi doesn't have.

    For the rear, you would probably have to replace the entire rear axle setup... on all trabi setup's I've seen they are just stub axles, so it wouldn't help you at all... so finding a different rear axle setup that you could bolt/weld into place would be the best solution.
    bobonikolov likes this.
  6. Andrew

    Andrew Most Powerful Leader Moderator Forum Donor

    Just to add some sensibility into this, I am sure a few others will agree that a Trabant is so light, that you don't need much extra HP to increase performance... a 3.8L v6 is really just overkill... (it also amazes me that a 3.8L v6 can only get 110-115 HP stock).

    But I think you will find installing up front or in the rear, a lot more difficult and expensive then you are expecting...
  7. Renier

    Renier Puttering Along

    Well, of course it will be very tough and difficult, much more than I can imagine as there will be problems I never even knew existed before.. plenty of them actually! I've done some engine drop outs, even an engine swap, but nothing like this before.. it will be a great pain in the back. But I'm confident that with the right help it could be done eventually; I'm a week away from stopping at the current garage I work at (an old school but also new American cars, especially GM, specialized garage) where I was working temporarily due to having a gap in employment, then right after that I will starting working at a custom shop, and if anything would be for sure it'd be that such a place would be perfect to pick up some tips and tricks and learn about this kind of stuff, and possibly get real help with such a project in due time.

    As for 3.8 V6's, I've always wondered why many of them have such relatively low HP ratings as well, but this is the baby I'm drooling over when considering a swap:
    Up to 240hp stock, which is already so much more than enough for a performance Trabi, with some mods it could easily have a lot more though but I doubt that'd ever be necessary. I just have the feeling that 3.8 engines are great, and oh boy the sound.. they're some of the finest of engines made by GM as far as I know. Imagine a Trabi rollin' on by like a regular old school American ride, having an American ride roll by is already a special sensation here in the Netherlands.. seeing a Trabi ride by is pretty special too already, this would just take it all..

    It'd be the more realistic and still completely absolutely awesome alternative to dropping some V8 in the Trabi, which would not only be 20x as impractical but I feel no need for it when there's this. I thought about a G40 or a VR6, which would still be kind of cool, maybe if I would try to make more of a 'tuner' modern racer kind of car out of it (although very modest on the 'tuner' part) which would also be really cool.. but it wouldn't whatsoever weigh up to this. I love older American cars (I have a '89 Camaro RS as a cruiser), and I love Trabi's, what would be better than to combine the two? Think power window switches like this:
    The engine possibly with valve covers that make it look kinda like a somewhat shrunk old school V8, and styling going somewhat in this direction (if the picture isn't overkill, I really like it though):
    With a dash like one of these:
    Just how awesome would that be? If something like that were to hit the road and every show and meet it can go to?
  8. Renier

    Renier Puttering Along

    But to be honest I'd already be completely and utterly happy if the ride looked like one of these, especially the last one:

  9. turbofiat124

    turbofiat124 Premium Member Forum Donor

    I own a Yugo. I removed the 55HP 1.1 engine and replaced it with a 1500cc from a Fiat X 1/9 and used a T25 from a Saab 9000. I estimate the car makes about 110 hp now and it's a beast to drive. Torque steer is horrible. I would not bump up a front wheel drive car after building this thing.

    I would love to build a front engine/rear wheel drive Yugo using a 2 liter DOHC engine and Fiat 124 drive components but I doubt I'll ever get around to it.
  10. Renier

    Renier Puttering Along

    That's really sweet, and what do you consider will be involved in getting a front engine to drive the rear axle through a drive shaft? Still a valid option as far as I know, and besides, it'd be more 'American' as well ;P wheelstands could be pretty dangerous though, if the creation would be capable of them.

    PS: But where'd you imagine putting the transmission if the engine isn't transversely mounted and if the transmission isn't on the front axle?
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2014
  11. turbofiat124

    turbofiat124 Premium Member Forum Donor

    Lots of cutting around the firewall and floorboard!
  12. Renier

    Renier Puttering Along

    It really, realy is too bad the supercharged series II 3.8L V6 doesn't appear to come in RWD, and none of the options are ideal though, be it space and a lot of extra work or be it torque steer they both have their disadvantages. But I suppose I would, in the end, take a lot of extra work over torque steer as the results will be what matters the most. Or there still must be some way to combat the torque steer, which I doubt, but that'd absolutely be ideal. By the way, how do the GM cars themselves combat the torque steer anyways? Wouldn't it somehow be possible to make it to be carried over?
  13. Renier

    Renier Puttering Along

    I was just Googling '57 Chevy's and came across this:


    Just how crazy (awesome) would it be if I had the styling like that? It'd be a genuine Hot Rod!!
  14. Renier

    Renier Puttering Along

  15. mbeamish

    mbeamish Loyal Comrade

    Last edited: Jun 22, 2014
  16. Renier

    Renier Puttering Along

    Yeah, I've seen it, pretty cool.

    By the way, do you guys think it would be hard to install power steering in a Trabi to combat torque steering? Wouldn't there be some kind of VW stuff that's like bolt on for the 1.1 or something?
  17. bobonikolov

    bobonikolov Newbie

    I agree with that. If he wants to install this engine he must install also all additional items coming from the factory with this engine - a/c compressor, radiator, exhaust system, cooling system and the most important - ECU (Engine Control Unit). Also he has to redesign the brake system, the electrical system of the car etc. If he decide to to this at the end he will have as a result a car with a lot of parts from other cars and only the body will be from Trabant.
    P.S: I think that he has to install a roll cage inside also, because the original body is not designed to resist of such a powerful engine.
    Here is a video with even huge engine 4,5 from Rover:

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