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engine swap question

Posted: Fri May 20, 2022 9:30 pm
by Jonathan Bradbury Bigelow
I am sure I am not the first one to think of this next idea.

Has anyone taken a Boxster/Cayman turbo 4 cylinder and put it in a 356?

yes yes I know its water cooled but if they can do a Subaru engine I am sure this is possible.

Re: engine swap question

Posted: Fri May 20, 2022 9:48 pm
by Martin Benade
One thing that would keep me from doing that is that even if you modernized the rear suspension (to 1963 technology) you’d still have a rather primitive front suspension. It’s not really ready to steer 300 Hp. I enjoy thinking about crazy modifications but I love the balance and simplicity of what the factory built.

Re: engine swap question

Posted: Fri May 20, 2022 9:53 pm
by Jonathan Bradbury Bigelow
that is true about the front suspension. it is all balance. Also I don't know what the engine weighs. Also its a much more computerized engine.

Re: engine swap question

Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2022 6:29 pm
by Chris Davis
It is kind of cool that a modern Porsche flat 4 cylinder is available (first time since what, 1976?) and I imagine that by using a donor Boxster/Cayman you could move all the computers/harnessing over to the 356 easily enough. Transmission/suspension upgrades would be a bit of a challenge though. Assuming your donor still had a good transmission, you could convert your 356 to mid-engine (you are solidly in the Outlaw camp anyway) but the subframe adaptation would require some serious math/TIG welding skills and we still haven't looked at front suspension and brake upgrades... not to mention radiators. Would be an amazing machine when done, but for about the same money (and considerably less effort) you could have a mild outlaw 356 with a 150HP 912 engine AND a (maybe on the higher mileage side) 2016 Cayman sitting next to it in the garage.

Re: engine swap question

Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:07 pm
by Martin Benade
Did you ever see the wiring harness in a modern expensive car? I think that would make you think twice.

Re: engine swap question

Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:57 pm
by Chris Davis
'05 Mustang to '74 Capri... yes, it is a lot of work, but plug and play if you take your time and the cars are similar size/layout. (Also helps that we moved over the Mustang instrument panel, engine, transmission, axles/wheels/brakes, etc.)
2005MustangHarnes.jpg
But we are on the same page in principle... it's not easy. I'm just saying that if you take ALL of the wiring and computer/sensors out of the modern car, it is a little less challenging than the motor/transmission/suspension/brake adaptation is going to be.

Re: engine swap question

Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2022 8:40 pm
by John Brooks
Go buy a fiberglass speedster clone, or a JPS coupe and adapt it to the boxter chassis. That would be easier.

Chuck Beck did that when he took Tim Herman’s 550 copy. Replaced the Porsche ladder frame with a VW chassis, made the body a little longer and presto the Beck550. Yours will need to be a little longer and wider but putting a body on a running chassis is easier than ruining a 356 by putting water in it.

Re: engine swap question

Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2022 8:43 pm
by Martin Benade
Once you have hi and lo speed CAN systems, evap, immo, blis, etc it gets too complicated and too far from a pure and simple old car. It does sound like you’d have the skills to do it, but in my mind I’d rather drive and compare the flavors of a 356 and a Boxter, as two cars.
I am entertained by thinking about such projects, but I’ll save a ton of hours by not doing one.

Re: engine swap question

Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2022 11:03 pm
by Mike Wilson
If you are looking at a Boxster engine install, my guess is that there is helpful info from those that have installed Subaru engines. Details like the computer system,suspension, braking, steering, etc. might be helpful.

Another option I would suggest is a Willhoit 2.2L engine.

Mike

Re: engine swap question

Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2022 7:15 am
by Bill Lawless
It all depend on the "Year" of the Donor Car...
I put a 2015 Subaru Forester Engine in a VW and there are about 8 Computers in the subaru.
ECU, BIU (Body Integrated Unit), Traction Control, Air Bags, Key Immobilizer, One in the Speedo Cluster etc..
They all talk to one another over CANBus (Invented by Dr. Bosch) If any of the computers is not working/missing the engine will go into Limp Mode.. So all the missing
computer have to be emulated by an external source and tell the ECU everything is "good" to run the engine properly.. It is Doable, but takes some thinking on the wiring side!!

-Bill

Re: engine swap question

Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2022 2:18 pm
by Mike Wilson
That sounds like a lot of things to fake out the computers on a 356.

Mike

Re: engine swap question

Posted: Fri Jun 24, 2022 7:11 am
by Bill Lawless
Yes it is, Makes you appreciate how simple a 356 is in its original form..

Re: engine swap question

Posted: Fri Jun 24, 2022 3:13 pm
by Mike Wilson
The simplicity of the 356 is just one of the things that I enjoy about it.

Mike