It might be sacrelidge, but.... | FerrariChat

It might be sacrelidge, but....

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by racedecknc, Feb 29, 2004.

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  1. racedecknc

    racedecknc Karting

    Nov 24, 2003
    Winston Salem
    Full Name:
    Has anyone ever converted a Ferrari to a different drivetrain?

    You see small block Chevy conversions for Jags, etc. With the cost of maintenance on the engines, it seems like it might be a sensible alternative for having power and long term durability?

    don't shoot, just asking a question.


  2. Newman

    Newman F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner Professional Ferrari Technician

    Dec 26, 2001
    Full Name:
    IMO if you have to resort to something like that, then you cant afford a ferrari.
  3. Anteriore

    Anteriore Formula Junior

    Jan 4, 2004
    Full Name:
    It used to happen in the early fifties. There are a number of early Ferraris known that once had been fitted with Chevy or Ford V8's. As far as I know, this was done to make the car more reliable and to avoid the problem of spare parts, which were very difficult to obtain in those days.

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

    Nov 1, 2003
    Victory Circle
    Full Name:
    I head in Cavallino I think that someone put a Diesel engine!!!!!!!!! in an old 50s coupe, LOL
  5. absent

    absent F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Nov 2, 2003
    Full Name:
    mark k.
    Didn't Norwood convert a 308 with a Chevy powertrain in the 80's?
    Not sure if it was them,someone in Texas.
  6. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
    Tauranga, NZ
    Full Name:
    Jaguars suck with this conversion and so will a Ferrari. Why?, because the characteristic of why you buy a Jaguar or a Ferrari has been lost.

    Chev v8's are great engines but their torque curves are completely different to either cars and thus the car will never feel right.

  7. zebra308

    zebra308 Formula 3

    Jan 14, 2004
    All Flimmits
    Full Name:
    Ruffis Leekin
    I think you're right. Bob Norwood installed a turbo big block chevy in a 288GTO to try for a land speed record.

    GTB4NART Formula Junior

    Jan 17, 2004
    When I was 21, I almost bought a 400i with a V8 in it but there were CA smog issues to address. It was $10k. Honestly, a stock Z06 engine with 400hp is a pretty nice motor in ANY car. I think the reason you don't see more Ferraris with conversions is that their value is just killed after a conversion. As Testarossa prices continue their fall, look for conversions to start.
  9. WJHMH

    WJHMH Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 5, 2001
    Panther City, Texas
    Full Name:
    Yes he did. He used a Ponitac Bonneville short block & turbo charged it.
  10. Newman

    Newman F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner Professional Ferrari Technician

    Dec 26, 2001
    Full Name:
    Just think of the hacking and butchering involved in putting a SBC in a 308. I cant begin to imagine what would be involved and in the end, the car is worth $5K.
    Thats the first Ive heard someone mention a TR molestation as a possibility in the future. I dont know how it could be done. Maybe a subaru SRX engine to stick with the flat engine theme but good on gas.
  11. mvespo348

    mvespo348 Karting

    Jan 5, 2004
    North New Jersey
    Full Name:
    I found this and I was amazed at what I was reading.....

    SOLD! - Thur. January 8, 2004 - for $19,500

    News: My brother just came across a wrecked 2000 S281-E Saleen, he purchased the engine and believes he can remove the Saleen Supercharger and install it on the Ferrari's 1996 Cobra engine (they are both 4.6L). If this is possible he will perform the install for only $1,000 for whoever purchases the car (this includes parts & labor), if the buyer is interested.

    Estimated Performace w/ Supercharger
    0-60mph (4.9-5.0 seconds)
    1/4 mile (13.2 or 13.3 seconds)
    Horsepower (370-380)

    Hello, this is my last attempt to sell this car before I move. Although it has only been up for sale since Christmas, I need to sell it within the next 2-3 weeks. I'm moving to Nevada at the end of January with my wife and our new baby boy. I must sell this car locally, I'm very busy and don't have the time to arrange shipping and deal with all that hassle. If you're interested and live in the Virginia/Maryland area then please e-mail me, I will arrange a meeting time for a test drive, etc. Please e-mail me only if you can seriously afford the car, I have not posted my number do to the fact that it's my cell and will only give it out to interested parties.

    Now a little about the car... This is not a "replica/repli-car", it is a real 1995 Ferrari F355 frame and body with a custom 1996 Mustang 4.6L V8 Engine and Transmission mount. You could argue that it's a kit-car, but's it really isn't since the body/frame/dash/emblems are real Ferrari.

    The Ferrari was in a fresh water flood in 1998, the engine was completely shot and the interior was caked with mud and silt, the car was actually moved 30 meters into one of the owners', neighbors yard. The original owner brought the car to my brother, who is an auto mechanic and salvage technician in West Virginia. My brother deemed the car "destroyed" and the owner collected his insurance money, happily leaving my brother with the "Venice Canal Exotic", as he dubbed it. My brother did pay the owner $5,000 for the "scrap".

    I became interested in the car when I visited by brother's shop the next day; he was removing the mud and silt from the interior (which totaled seven buckets in all). I offered to purchase the car when he was done, but he said he intended to sell it for parts. I struck a deal, $2,500 and my assistance on weekends and the car would be mine. But it would take two long years, in which time I would get married and change jobs twice.

    Eventually, the interior had to be removed (except the dash), the engine/transmission/and electrical wiring were also taken out. The car's frame and body was then stored for almost a year in my brother's garage.

    Note: My brother preformed all the mechanical replacement/repair on the car, if a potential buyer has any questions about the procedure, I can arrange for my brother to be contacted.

    In late 1999, my brother called me to let be know he had purchased a wrecked 1996 Mustang Cobra, which had significant rear-end damage. He said the engine and transmission were virtually fine and he might be able to fit them in the Ferrari. This was the opportunity I had been waiting for and much to my new wife's chagrin I paid my brother $3,700 to begin the install. It took him nearly 3 months, in which he custom mounted/welded the engine/transmission and connected the circuitry.

    In early 2000, the interior was replaced for a total cost of $2,800. The work was done by one of my brother’s associates, so the cost was nominal.

    In mid-2000, my brother finished tuning his work, the car was registered as a modified Mustang (w/ Ferrari Body) and the Mustang’s VIN was transferred (the Ferrari was listed as destroyed). I began driving my “Ferrari” for a cost of only $9,000. The Cobra’s engine mileage was 28,172 when my brother installed it.

    For the past two-and-a-half years I have driven the Ferrari as a weekend or special occasion vehicle, it runs extremely smooth and the only way you can tell it’s not a Ferrari is my opening the engine cover. All maintenance is done as it would be on a 1996 Mustang, and no special care is needed (things are just flipped-flopped, front engine-rear wheel is now a rear engine-rear wheel). The car still has a very powerful V8, which I will get into next, but you can tell it’s not the Ferrari engine (still has mustang symbol, but hey it’s a stallion!) That brings me to now…. I have a two month old boy and I’ve moving across the country with two other vehicles, this is not a family car. I’ve had great fun with it but it’s time to share the joy. I’m asking $17,000-$18,000 from a local buyer; if this work were done my another shop it would probably cost three times as much, but since my brother did the work I got a huge “family discount”, which I pass on to the buyer.

    Note: This site is a compliment for my flyers/paper ad.

    Tech Specs:
    The original Ferrari V8 propelled the car from 0-60mph in 4.6 seconds and ran the ¼-mile in 12.9 seconds. The custom mount Mustang Cobra 4.6L V8 is not as fast but still provides a kick in the butt. The engine has 305-hp and 300-lb/ft of torque, it’s a five speed (one less then the Ferrari trans), but since the overall weight of the F355 is less than the Mustang, it helps boost the Ferrari’s power (so does the rear-engine mount actually).

    West Virginia - Madison Race Course (MRC-Circuit Track)
    August 23, 2002 – My Ferrari’s Times

    0-62mph – 5.53 seconds
    ¼-mile – 13.81 seconds

    Overall this car looks and drives awesome, and it has great potential (the engine is prime for supercharging). You can basically have a Ferrari for none of the cost, this is the real deal, and no one will know unless you tell’um… Have Fun!

    James Vicker
    [email protected]
  12. racedecknc

    racedecknc Karting

    Nov 24, 2003
    Winston Salem
    Full Name:
    nah, that's a tad harsh.

    It might be an interesting way to make use of a shell that is missing an engine or trans, etc.

    Plus, an LT5 is technically a small block Chevy, but with 4 cams/ 32 valves, etc. The conversion would be technical enough, but you'd have a bulletproof engine that you wouldn't have to put belts on every three years.

    I can hear Corvette and Ferrari purists passing out from here.


  13. MarkG

    MarkG Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2003
    Colorado Springs
    Full Name:
    Had a customer in Palo Alto when I was in the foreign parts business who had a Chevy V-8 in a 250GTE.
  14. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Oct 3, 2002
    @ the wheel
    Full Name:
    I had a similar question, when thinking about the 400i: It uses a GM drivetrain and of course a Ferrari engine. So I was wondering, whether that combination could be put into other vehicles. Say use the engine of a rust bucket 400i and a GM tranny and put that to live someplace else.

    However some FChatters mentioned, that the GM of the 400i was quite different from a regular GM tranny. Aside from that engine mounts etc are a whole different issue altogether.

    On a somewhat related note: There is a Noble P4 replica that uses a V12 Ferrari engine and a Porsche transmission. So it is doable I suppose.
  15. JaguarXJ6

    JaguarXJ6 F1 Veteran

    Feb 12, 2003
    Black Hawk, CO
    Full Name:
    Awesome! I for one would like to own a conversion.

    I love the marque for what it is. However, just because its a Ferrari doesn't save it from the "if it breaks all the time, it must be ****" mentality. Any other car that breaks as often as it is running is called a POS or a lemon, regardless of money and regardless of mileage.

    The Cobra engine was a good answer to a problem some of you feel its "ok" to throw money into over and over.

    Maybe one day I will own a Ferrari, but proud of its engineering prowess I will not be.

    So, when your having your timing belts changed or your "major engine out" services, going through diagnostics because something isn't "right," or replacing parts due to lack of use, I will make sure to stop by the mechanics and pay my respects to your shop decoration on my way out to enjoy the roads. ;)

  16. gabriel

    gabriel Formula 3

    Spelling "sacrilege" the way you did is the real sacrilege here. Just kidding! :)

    Now, this is the first time I've heard of doing this.
    I've built a few kit cars, including a TR kit, using a Ford SHO engine with a fiberglass exterior on a stretched Fiero, but cut a *real* TR?

    You gotta be kidding. - that's real "sacrilege."
  17. racedecknc

    racedecknc Karting

    Nov 24, 2003
    Winston Salem
    Full Name:
    One of my favorite T-shirts..

    "dyslexics UNTIE"

  18. Newman

    Newman F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner Professional Ferrari Technician

    Dec 26, 2001
    Full Name:
    As far as ferrari's breaking down all the time I believe there are a couple of reasons for this. The age of the vehicle, like my 25 year old 308 and improper maint. If you fix it right the first time, it will not give you trouble for years of use. Also letting them sit rather than driving them as they are intended brings up other issues unique to exotic garage queens. Drive them, maintain them and you will have fewer troubles.
  19. Chevarri

    Chevarri Formula Junior

    Jan 20, 2003
    In a rose bush.
    Full Name:

    Wasnt it two mph slower than the 288, but yet had more HP? I thought I saw this in an old car magazine?

    That reminds me of a shirt that I never got around to buying.

    It said," 4 out of 3 people have trouble with fractions."

    Too funny!

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