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Re: V8 in a Spider
I once aspired to putting a Montreal V8 engine in a '71 GTV. I purchased an
engine over the phone, but after I drove 450 miles to get it the seller
changed his mind. Boy was I mad!
Later on, boy was I glad!
Instead of doing the conversion I sold the GTV and bought a real Montreal.
Only then did I realize how close I had come to building an expensive and
useless abortion. One only has to look at the Montreal engine bay to see
HOW MUCH SPACE a V8 takes up. You have to realize that Alfa Romeo did their
best to make the basic 105 car work with a V8 power plant, but it really
stretched the limits of that chassis. Wheel spin and power oversteer can
really be a problem. It is nose-heavy, and therefore the steering is heavy,
I estimate the Montreal engine weighs 150# more than the 4 cyl. The Ford
289-302-Windsor weighs 200# more than the Alfa 4. A Chevy small block
weighs another 100# more than the Ford. A 60 degree V6 would be a better
bet, both from a width and a weight standpoint. Hans Milo says his Alfa V6
conversion ended up weighing only 50# more than the 4 cyl., altho my
information shows a 110# difference in the engine alone (he used a different
tranny, and made many other changes to the basic car). But how would you
like a 4" tall hood scoop on that Spider? Remember that any V6 with cam or
cams-in-head is probably going to be wider and heavier tha, say, a pushrod
The Olds/Rover V8 is about the lightest out there, maybe 75# more than the
stock Alfa 4. The Mazda rotary in it's various forms would be a nice fit
(weight and size) but where's the power advantage?
To end up with a practical street conversion with V8 power, putting a turbo
on the Alfa 4 is definitely the way to do it. You can produce all the HP
your wallet can stand, up to probably 300, with no weight penalty, and the
stock hood will fit. If you put a V8 in that car we'll see you at the
Oakland Roaster Show.
(currently searching for a better engine for my X1/9)
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