Drivetrain swap

boomdart

Senior member
Jan 10, 2004
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Okay, so I have an '89 Probe GT (Don't say anything; I love these cars) and I want to install a 240sx drivetrain/engine/transmission in the car. Cost is not really a concern, but I need help in the procedure.

What would be the best way to do this?

(And don't talk to me as if I don't know anything; I've already got an idea of all that is needed.)
 

boomdart

Senior member
Jan 10, 2004
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What kind of question is that?

I just want a RWD ford probe w/ 205-230hp. I really don't care about it's speed (but with 205-230hp it could easily hit low 14's).

I really don't care how many people don't like Probes, but they're great cars regardless what people may think of the name of the car.

Also, '89 GT's are much more aesthetically pleasing than all other years/models imho.
 

Heisenberg

Lifer
Dec 21, 2001
10,621
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Umm...no offense, but transplanting a RWD setup into a FWD platform involving two completely different manufacturers ranks on the far side of the "Damn near impossible" line.
 

Shockwave

Banned
Sep 16, 2000
9,059
0
0
Engine
Tranny
Possible new rear end
Crossmember for mounting motor (Again, possibly)

That'll take some steel stock, welding and a good bit of know how. Its not something you try for advice from the internet.
 

Eli

Super Moderator | Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 9, 1999
50,422
8
81
Originally posted by: boomdart
What kind of question is that?

I just want a RWD ford probe w/ 205-230hp. I really don't care about it's speed (but with 205-230hp it could easily hit low 14's).

I really don't care how many people don't like Probes, but they're great cars regardless what people may think of the name of the car.

Also, '89 GT's are much more aesthetically pleasing than all other years/models imho.
Yeah. That's why you want to replace the whole drivetrain with something that doesen't suck, right? ;)

It's certainly not impossible, but unless you have like 10k to throw at this project, forget about it.. It is going to be expensive, unless you have extensive fabrication skills.

Apparently, it's not that unheard of, but why the 240SX drivetrain? The V8 option seems to be more popular.

Unless you mean you want to put a SR20DET in it..
 

If cost isn't a concern than open up the phone book and call some custom fabricators.

"hi look at me" posts don't net much good information.
 

boomdart

Senior member
Jan 10, 2004
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It is a great car, but I really want RWD. My dad suggested using a mustang drivetrain, but I don't want the v8.

And yes, I plan on using a SR20DET, hopefully from a Pulsar GTI-R.

As far as money goes, no worries. My dad and I can do a lot of the fabrications ourselves (he owns a machine shop).

Edit: If there were any way to extend the FWD drivetrain, or add a transfer case, that's a perfectly legit option for me...
 

Shockwave

Banned
Sep 16, 2000
9,059
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Originally posted by: boomdart
It is a great car, but I really want RWD. My dad suggested using a mustang drivetrain, but I don't want the v8.

And yes, I plan on using a SR20DET, hopefully from a Pulsar GTI-R.

As far as money goes, no worries. My dad and I can do a lot of the fabrications ourselves (he owns a machine shop).

Edit: If there were any way to extend the FWD drivetrain, or add a transfer case, that's a perfectly legit option for me...
You havent done much wrenchin have you?
I dont think I'd start with this type of project if I were you unless your dad or a good close friend has some experience in this area. Well, unless you can live without the car for a few months, dont mind shooting from the hip and trial by error. I guess I assumed you wanted a decent trun around time on the car. If time isnt a big issue, hell go for it.

 

boomdart

Senior member
Jan 10, 2004
825
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Time isn't an issue either, this is definetally my project car and I have made room in my mind for fvcking up :p

My dad has had experience doing this, and I have done a good bit of engine work (albeit nothing this extensive) myself. My friend Brandon and I used to work on his Talon all the time, replacing head gaskets, pistons, turbo, cams, etc. We did mostly all of that work ourselves w/ a chilton's manual. :p Had to learn somewhere, eh?
 

geno

Lifer
Dec 26, 1999
25,074
4
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If there were any way to extend the FWD drivetrain, or add a transfer case, that's a perfectly legit option for me
Uh what? If you're going to go RWD your drivetrain will consist of a RWD tranny, driveshaft, and a rear end (most likely from a 240SX if you can get it to match up to a Probe's body)

BTW:
What would be the best way to do this?

(And don't talk to me as if I don't know anything; I've already got an idea of all that is needed.)
I have a hunch you don't know the whole story. Do you even know if the driveshaft will clear the gas tank?
 

Shockwave

Banned
Sep 16, 2000
9,059
0
0
Geno caught the reference to transer case too i see... ;)

Hell, if its a project car and you've dont mechanics before and have people to help..... Go for it. Alot of those weird engine mods started out with nothing more then a car and an idea, it IS possible. It just takes alot of work.
 

GalvanizedYankee

Diamond Member
Oct 27, 2003
6,986
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It would be easier to put the Probe body on the 240 chassis. In the "end", what do you have??

Much improved fabrication and welding skills...That will be your net gain. End of story.

It would be cheaper and better to sell the Probe and buy a Celica AWD. That would be worth the time&money :)
 

mAdD INDIAN

Diamond Member
Oct 11, 1999
7,804
1
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You might also have to transplant the rear suspension from the 240SX into the Probe. Or better yet, see if you can manage to transplant the entire rear subframe and somehow fabricate it to the chassis of the Probe. Will your 240SX donor car be an S13? Probably should be as it would be a) cheap and b)dimensionaly closer to the Probe than a bigger S14.

Although what I would do is get the Japanese spec 2.5L Mazda V6 and swap that into the Probe, you'd get 14s and it would be much easier. Altho it would still be fwd; which shouldn't really matter cause Probes are very good handling cars to begin with.

Either way, good luck and post pics.
 

Balthazar

Golden Member
Apr 16, 2000
1,834
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Originally posted by: Shockwave
Engine
Tranny
Possible new rear end
Crossmember for mounting motor (Again, possibly)

That'll take some steel stock, welding and a good bit of know how. Its not something you try for advice from the internet.
I hate to say it, but that pretty much sums it up. If you come to ATOT looking for advice on this project, you should REALLY reconsider it. Unless this is a car that you don't care about scrapping.

I mean don't take this the wrong way or anything but, seriously, is this the best place you could think of asking? Theres maybe a handfull of people here I would listen to for advice on changing my oil let alone a drivetrain swap....
 

flot

Diamond Member
Feb 24, 2000
3,197
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This is a completely stupid project. You want to take one mediocre car and transplant the entire driveline from another mediocre car into it.

The two cars are made by different manufacturers.

On top of that, one is FWD and the other is RWD.

Terrible idea.

If you really like the probe, then work on beefing up the engine. If it's an 89 GT doesn't it have the turbocharged 4, or is it still the smallish 6? If it's the turbo 4, you have plenty of opportunity to upgrad.e. if it's the small 6, then not sure what your options are. But anything would be better than trying to do a transplant like that, you'll kill the car - assuming you can even get halfway through the process without having to give up and scrap it.



 

Brutuskend

Lifer
Apr 2, 2001
26,558
2
0
You need to start off with a whole new frame, and go from there.

It would be easier to just switch the body onto a different frame IMO than to switch drive lines.
 

CFster

Golden Member
Oct 16, 1999
1,903
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76
I've just got to ask..."why?"

Considering the Probe is a "unibody" vehicle with no "frame" per say, extensive modifications would be needed. There's no tunnel under the car to accomodate the transmission and driveshaft - so you'll have to rip out the floor and fabricate something -yikes! I'm not even getting into the logistics of mounting an longitudinal engine where a transverse one was before, but you'll need to completely fabricate both the front and rear suspensions now. Also, what about the engine electronics - how are you going to wire the PCM into the Probe wiring harness? Do you have a Nissan "Consult" scan tool to diagnose problems?

If you guys have experience building race cars from scratch then I suppose more power to you. But if not, you are in for one big nightmare. And by the time you decide "this will never work", you'll be stuck with a car that's so butchered it will never be the same again.

And, why a Probe - those things kinda...well...suck don't they?



 

hippy

Senior member
Oct 9, 1999
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Once you figure out how you're going to modify the firewall and install a tunnel so the tranny and driveshaft will fit... the rest will be a walk in the park.
 

Balthazar

Golden Member
Apr 16, 2000
1,834
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Originally posted by: CFster
I've just got to ask..."why?"

Considering the Probe is a "unibody" vehicle with no "frame" per say, extensive modifications would be needed. There's no tunnel under the car to accomodate the transmission and driveshaft - so you'll have to rip out the floor and fabricate something -yikes! I'm not even getting into the logistics of mounting an longitudinal engine where a transverse one was before, but you'll need to completely fabricate both the front and rear suspensions now. Also, what about the engine electronics - how are you going to wire the PCM into the Probe wiring harness? Do you have a Nissan "Consult" scan tool to diagnose problems?

If you guys have experience building race cars from scratch then I suppose more power to you. But if not, you are in for one big nightmare. And by the time you decide "this will never work", you'll be stuck with a car that's so butchered it will never be the same again.

And, why a Probe - those things kinda...well...suck don't they?
Shhh he said he doesnt want to hear the obvious.
 

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