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Another high-tech engine that can be fitted in a Mini is the Suzuki. There are several variants ranging from 1,000cc to 1,300cc. There's even a turbo-charged version! Read on for examples of how Suzuki engines have been used to replace the A series...

Chris Burgess's Mini 

Video Footage!  

Want to see Chris's car match a 5 litre V8 Ford Mustang 5.0 GT at the drag-strip? Click here for the video complete with sound...

I originally put the engine in the car by accident, I really wanted the turbo of the engine to put on the mini lump, but after that was done the engine was not up to the job so out came the minis and in went the Sprint's.

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The first time I put the engine in I underestimated the power of the 3 cylinder power plant, see I didn't have any specs on the engine, and I didn't known what I was in for. Well, in went the engine, and really after many days or was it weeks of just staring at both pieces I managed to get the assembly into the Mini's sub-frame The thing is I didn't really know much about this sort of conversion in the beginning. The problem was that I started cutting before adding metal in key places, so I actually weakened the frame instead of making it stronger, lesson learned, measure twice, cut once!

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I cut away part of the right side tower which was a no no, in order to keep the alternator at the back of the engine, eventually I located it at the top next to the intake that worked out well. the other problem was I did not take angles on the engine the first time so things were out of whack.

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Basically the engine fits well, I put 1 inch box tubing along the side of the frame and welded that into place, then put a 2 inch piece across the front of the frame, the two sides were angled, and space was left on each side to to allow the frame to be secured at the front, the small cutout at the right front is for the oil filter. The other thing that has to be done is to cut away a portion of the sub-frame where the Minis axles pass through.

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So the part where the bolt goes through the frame to hold the lower arm was also cut away and a new part was put in and a new bolt reinstalled, gussets were also added throughout the frame as extra stress points. The holes on the back side of the frame were also enlarged to allow the back of the gearbox to clear the frame. mounts from a Geo Metro were modified slightly and were fitted at the back and the right side by the timing belt for better isolation and strength

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The engine is now at the proper angle, axles are now straight and the whole conversion feels so much better. By the way the engine is rated at 70 BHP, and 106 ft lbs of torque and the engine assembly only weighs 120 lbs that's with the transmission but does not include starter, alternator, intake manifold or exhaust manifold.

The rest of it I would guess is about another 50lbs maybe, I should be taking the car to the drag strip next week to see how fast it is in the qtr mile. I'll keep you posted!

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Chris can be contacted by email:


The following account is taken from a magazine article and describes Tony Yager's Suzuki Swift engined, 1300cc, turbo-charged, 16 valve, twin cam Mini Clubman.

Tony Yagers Clubman

Turning the engine over results in a modern purr from the 2.5" mandrel bent exhaust that says "I'm not an A-series". Shoe-horned into the standard Clubman engine bay is a turbo-charged G13B Suzuki Swift GTi engine and 5 speed box. Delivers 150BHP at 6,500 rpm and about 320 ft/lb of torque at 4,500 rpm (surely this should be 120). Tony is pleased to tell me that the car has clocked a 14.1 second standing quarter mile reaching 108mph.

Pressing the go-fast pedal results in the most awesome, white knuckle Mini experience I have ever had. The torque steer takes some work to master as the engine tries to climb out of the car. We pass 100mph in a few seconds and I do a quick calculation to ensure my life insurance is still adequate. Tony finally eases off the throttle, probably due to the lack of colour in my face and the fact that I have gone very quiet. Thankfully, Tony assures me that the upgraded Cooper S discs are up to the task and the suspension has been tricked up with Hi-Los all round and adjustable caster and camber in front and rear. I start to relax and actually enjoy watching the world blur past at warp 10.

Tony said the initial conversion to Suzuki Swift running gear was fairly straight-forward, once a few technical problems were sorted out, and an engineer's certificate was obtained without much trouble.
Tony says "The whole engine is fitted to line up the drive shafts. Drive shaft angle is everything, once you get the angle right, that is where the engine is and you can't change it!

A brace was fitted to the right side to take the Suzuki engine mounts and to stiffen the front of the car. "Mini engine mounts are very close to the suspension tower, which gives good stability, but the mounts on the Suzuki engine are further forward and load up the front of the car too much. I fitted the bracing on the driver's side to avoid having to change the mount position on the engine. The engineer didn't like that very much but it stopped the grille rattling under power which I used to hate."

Tony Yager's Clubman

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Engine Bay showing the Suzuki Swift 16v turbo-charged 1,300cc engine.

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14.1 quarter mile time, 150BHP and 120lb/ft torque!

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While no body modifications were necessary, Tony did a few mods for logical reasons. "I originally wanted a fibreglass front end, to be able to remove it for easy access to the engine, but I didn't really like the look of them. The engineer was not fond of the idea either so I played with the existing panels a bit. The front beaver panel (!) is held in with just 6 bolts and the whole front section is easily removable"

The inner guard has also been removed to gain access to the right side of the engine, easing the frustration of trying to change drive belts in such a tight space. "It took me every weekend for twelve months but to do this one now would only take three to four weekends because I've already done all the hard work figuring it out. The engineer was happy with the result and the RTA is happy as long as the engineer is, so it has all worked out well".

The engine was normally aspirated for about 18 months providing the standard 100BHP, about the same power as a well worked Cooper S unit. This was all well and good but everyone wants more sooner or later, "Changing to the turbo was not really a lot of work. The exhaust had to be modified to fit the extra plumbing for the turbo, and a standard 13 row oil cooler was added. The turbo is an Air Research (Garret) T25, which puts out about 7 to 14 psi and the injectors are from a Japanese Turbo Corolla controlled by an Injec EM3. Ignition is via a pair of direct line coils which means there is no distributor."

Other under-bonnet modifications include a Datsun twin brake master cylinder, a power isolation switch and a modified Morris 1100 radiator. "The radiator lies on its side across the top of the gearbox. The inlet and outlet were modified and the cap was moved to the side which is now the top.

Five years after the conversion, Tony Yaegar's Mini is now owned by Con Torrisi. Here's some additional information he sent me recently and a few pictures, but Con also details the car on his own web site Worth a visit to see the latest pictures of the car and details of his excellent 1968 Mini Cooper S restoration project and I believe the featured Turbo-charged Suzuki-powered Clubman is for sale!

I'm still in the process of making it fully Queensland legal and until then I'm on limited use. Local laws say I must comply with later Australian Design Rules (ADR's) than the actual vehicle because of the modifications. Some are reasonable, like dual circuit brakes etc, some are silly like the need for a carbon canister. Exhaust emissions have been measured and comply and engineers certificates and modification compliance plates fitted. Now
the final step, local registration and I can drive it as much as I like. It's been a long process and frustrating because it was legal in New South Wales where it was originally built and registered. Here we are very strict on what you can do and how you do it. But it will be worth it in the end.

On the trip to and from the MINI-40 last weekend I averaged 35 MPG for fuel over the 150 miles covered. There is a small fault with in electrics that causes the computer to shut down over bumpy roads. Annoying but its just a bad connection if I can find
it. Apart from that I think it will be very reliable. I posted a message on the Mini-Mania site under the Suzuki engine swap thread describing a "full power" run. Awesome power!!!
Even in 4th gear (its a 5 speed) when the turbo comes on full boost (10 psi) and the cams come on at around 3500rpm the power is so sudden that the first time I did it I thought we had been rear-ended by a truck doing twice the speed.

Under certain conditions there is some torque steer but its controllable and only a surprise the first few times it happens. The engine is lighter than a mini setup and its lower in the car so handling is actually improved. Although I think the weight is a little more forward and I'm not sure how that effects it. It's so much quieter than any mini I have ever driven. Exhaust note is clear and crisp but not like a mini. More like a modern
engine. Cooper S brakes are just not up to the job with this much power. Brake upgrade on the way and booster to be fitted.

As I get a few more miles up on it I'll do a full analysis and compare it to my '68 Cooper S with worked mini engine. Not a fair comparison I know but an interesting one (I still love my Cooper). If the mini had been developed far enough I think this is where it would probably be now, maybe minus the turbo.

Meanwhile I have attached a few photos of the engine bay. You still don't see much of how its been fitted. Its low and there is very good clearance all around for working on it. Actually its easier to work on than the mini engine. I'll try to get some photos of the sub-frame and mounting points and other modifications to help out where possible.


Con Torrisi's Clubman

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5 years on, more refined, even more power and 35 mpg!

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More recent engine bay views

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Love this view - looks like a factory-fitted unit!