Plan of Attack

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Having built and modified several cars in the past, with this build I knew it was vital that I laid out exactly what I wanted to do before I even picked up a saw or file.

I’d had projects that started with live axles, swapped for IRS then back to live. They’d had Pinto’s, Nissan Turbos, Rover V8s and Chevy Smallblocks before even a key had turned in the ignition. I am my own worse enemy.

Before I designed this chassis, I had some initial investigation and purchasing to do.

I always wanted Sierra Cosworth 4×4 running gear. With adapter plates available for the Ford gearbox to fit almost anything, I’d have a large engine choice.

However, Sierra 4×4’s are getting thin on the ground and prices for even rough ones are starting to rise quite swiftly. Staying with the Ford family, the Jaguar X–type is a satisfying car to drive. The only problem is the Mazda derived Duratec V6 is mounted sideways and the only box to fit it longitudinally is the Getrag 221 (from the S–type) and that is 2wd. Size, weight and power wise the V6 is perfect (lighter than a pinto and twice the power). The MT–75 4wd gearbox from the Sierra is a great box but the bellhousing is integral. Therefore, a custom adapter plate would need to be sourced or fabricated to mate the two together. Rumour has it, some Transit based V6 ambulances have such an adapter plate.

So it’s either Cosworth 4×4 or a Jaguar Duratec v6 / Sierra combo….

I’ll let Fleabay be the decision maker. (I hope it’s a Duratec ☺)

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