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Low power car conversion

Ordinary car with only 10 hp
  [vote for,

I've got a 1977 Datsun Z car with a bad engine, and I have an engine.. 10hp horizontal shaft Briggs OHV. I'm only interested in golf-cart performance, and superior fuel economy. 10 hp 1600lb car (estimate based on engine weight reduction of 400 lbs.) top speed: 20 mph? "Neighborhood" car with some style.
n81641, Jun 05 2008

10 Hp Chevy http://www.utterpower.com/10hp_chevy.htm
[MisterQED, Jun 06 2008]

Bicycle http://www.vintagep...ike/power-bike.html
fenders.. just need the raincoat. [n81641, Jun 11 2008]

Smallest car http://www.treehugg...jeremy_clarkson.php
[MisterQED, Jun 11 2008]

Citroen 2cv http://en.wikipedia...ki/Citro%C3%ABn_2CV
Originally 9hp [pocmloc, Aug 06 2009]


       // Datsun Z car with a bad engine //   

       Yes, but it was built with that.   

       // I'm only interested in golf-cart performance //   

       Buy a Renault ....
8th of 7, Jun 05 2008

       This has been baked and the car was drivable. The key is to start with a light car. The car I read about was something like a VW Golf with a Chinese 10 HP air cooled diesel engine. I'll have to find the link, it was on one of the green websites.
MisterQED, Jun 05 2008

       You would need more then ten horsepower for twenty mph -- Atleast I would assume. As we all know once a car starts moving at a certain rate, per se 50 mph, it is only using a small portion of the cars available power. So it;s possible to do that, but i'd start with atleast a 25-30 horsepower engine. And I would go with 2 or 3 cylinder diesel enginefor more torque since your not going to be going fast. Just my .02 cents
Cardude, Jun 06 2008

       Well if you calculate (or measure) the power required to maintain 100km/h in the average family car, it works out to be about 20hp at the wheels. Getting it there is another thing altogether though.   

       Ideally you would start off with a smaller car. I think it was a Honda 'Z' that had a two cylinder engine in a car that could carry two people. Performance wasn't as bad as you would think either.   

       Start with something like a Moke, and put a modern 250cc motorbike engine in it. You wouldn't lose that much performance and it would use less than the old A series (I think that's what they called those engines) that used to be in it.
BLSTIC, Jun 06 2008

       well at 20hp -- for about 60mph -- that engine is going to have to be spinning pretty fast, fixable with gearing and all. You just do not want to have to keep on running that engine hard (which its not designed to do) unless if its a 2-stroke and thats another story. BlSTIC good idea with the 250cc motorcycle engine
Cardude, Jun 06 2008

       Found the link, they got to 50mph with a Geo Metro.
MisterQED, Jun 06 2008

       Eh, Yugo ahead with that, I'd rather walk.
Noexit, Jun 06 2008

       Base thee carrr on a Vauxhall "Nova", Senor .....
8th of 7, Jun 06 2008

       would your economy really be better? the inline six could probably drag you around at idle more efficiently than the high friction high speed single in the B&S. I an dubious.
WcW, Jun 07 2008

       It is notable that the Shell Mileage Marathon vehicles tend not to be idling inline sixes, however.
david_scothern, Jun 07 2008

       10hp Chevy, Great link! It has much better than golf cart performance. The Z is not so heavy, and with a few tricks, like tires @ 80 psi, it might not be so bad at all. There is also a ton of room form the six, so I could put two transmissions in a row. Main and Brownie.   

       I like to push this as far as it will go: smallest engine, biggest car that is usable at all. Maybe 15 hp in my almost dead '66 Toyota Land Cruiser. It only goes around the property anyway....
n81641, Jun 07 2008

       //would your economy really be better? the inline six could probably drag you around at idle more efficiently than the high friction high speed single in the B&S. I an dubious.//   

       I wonder too... B&S not too efficient, but OHV better than old flathead. Thought of just taking out 5 pistons, and 10 rocker arms, plugging the oil holes in the crank, and putting a little carb on the single cyl left. Would probably shake like crazy, though.
n81641, Jun 07 2008

       the Datsun was an OHV. A direct acting camshaft too (i believe) so it had a lot going for it economy wise. A slower turning engine is almost always an economy winner. There is a kit to EV the Datsun worth a look. For low distance work an EV can be cheap and peppy.
WcW, Jun 08 2008

       Twenty miles an hour at 5 bucks a gallon? Get a bike, sir!
GutPunchLullabies, Jun 09 2008

       it's raining.
n81641, Jun 09 2008

       get a raincoat and fenders, sir!
GutPunchLullabies, Jun 11 2008

       OK...., but now I have no motor for the Z. (see link)
n81641, Jun 11 2008

       Or go with a very small car (link).
MisterQED, Jun 11 2008

       A 24hp Honda engine mounted in just about anything Neon sized and smaller would probably cruise very happily at 60mph, and deliver around 45mpg. I'd drive that.
elhigh, Jun 12 2008

       I'm really more interested in the other extreme: SUV with 25hp industrial air cooled engine. Not small car small engine, but big car with small engine. What's it like to go from 300 hp to 25? Totally useless? or Ok for trips to the local store?
n81641, Jun 12 2008

       This isn't a bad idea overall, even though I personally would probably have no use for a 20mph car. However the thing about small engines and especially single cylinder ones is that they tend to be far less efficient than larger ones. I know part of the blame might be that most small engines have very low compression ratios (if you look at Honda engines on their website, it ranges pretty much between 7.7:1 to 8.2:1).
acurafan07, Jun 12 2008

       You could either 1)take out all the spark plugs, bar one or 2) get a kei-car engine, 600 cc engine comes with all the car type bits, like trans and exhaust. Driving one of those is like driving the worlds fastest supermarket trolley.   


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