The Engine swap saga


It has become a trend in Pakistan that everyone including their mother in law wants a car with a swapped engine or something of the like. Now I am all in for a nice running car and it should have a little get up and go too. But I’ve seen trends here that just completely baffle my mind, a little thought of mine follows, so please bear with me.

The legendary Mazda RX7 is a great machine in its class, the rotary engine is capable of running with the big dogs and it’s (I know I speak of antichrist) reliable too. It’s just that you have to reprogram yourself to how a car works. Like, not boosting it too much, not gunning it until the engine is warmed up, and once in a while, do a highway pull to clean out the apex seals and combustion chambers.

But sadly in Pakistan the Rotary(s) were destroyed by uneducated owners and equally uneducated mechanics running them on synthetic oil and tap water instead of proper coolant, without the air shroud underneath the radiator etc etc. I’m just giving one example but there are other countless cars too.

What we see in engine swaps in Pakistan is that they’ll try to shove a big engine into a small car not caring about its weight characteristics or suspension geometry. The average cheetah is just interested in drag racing till his car breaks upon which he’ll ask his mechanic to jerry rig something to work.  This ignorance results in disasters and sometimes fatalities

Someone who puts a Toyota 1JZ or 2JZ straight six into an RX7 should consider the fact that when Mazda designed the car, its engine was sitting behind the axle line, for a purpose of weight distribution and not to impress the press or ladies. Recently we saw an accident of an RX7 in Karachi due to miscalculated weight dynamics and also not considering that you need to adjust the bump steer, as you no longer are using the original engine/weight distribution. What was cared for was dragging the car straight and the car ended up wrapped around something

Same happens with FWD cars too, you see little 3 cyl. Cars (Daihatsu Charades) which were meant to be shopping trolleys, beefed up with Honda 1.6 liter 4 cyl. high revving engines that barely fit in the engine bay, ending up with unequal length driveshafts, too much weight up front and handling thrown out the window.

I am all for modifying cars with nicer engines but let’s not forget the companies who made them, spent quite some money deciding the suspension geometry and engine placement etc, unless you are qualified enough to change all that in your benefit. Do not go over the top thinking that you are somehow better than a team of physicists and mathematicians.