I need to replace my engine. I've found a 2006 Supercharged engine, at a great price, with low miles. I have a 2002 MINI with a Non supercharged engine. Can I used the 2006 engine on my car, without the supercharger? Will it fit?
Hi mikeroth - I'm no expert on this type of conversion but I'd say you'll need to research this type of swap-over fairly carefully before you commit.
Unless there's a member on this forum that has retro-fitted a supercharged engine (but without the supercharger if I'm reading your post correctly?) that can guide you, you might be better to contact a tuner or even Mini's technical dept themselves and get expert advice first.
There is likely to be a number of issues you'd have to solve. My gut feel is there could be some mechanical issues you'd need to check out (eg: need to check drive-shaft compatibility given that the gearboxes on the two engines would be different - if the newer engine comes with its standard gearbox), injectors could need to be downgraded for the non-supercharged version and possibly some electrical issues too eg: engine tuning or other electrical compatibility issues. Am just guessing really but am sure all technical & mechanical issues could be solved. However its very hard to guess at what cost and how much time would be involved. Would it be really worth the hassle on a car that is over 10 years old?
Let's look at the newer engine for a moment - given that the replacement engine has a supercharger, is there any reason you don't want to leave the supercharger attached when you fit the engine? You'd need to add a bonnet scoop and an intercooler as well as modify the tune on your car but in return you'd potentially get a big boost in engine performance.
Other possible options you could consider:
1) Update (sell or trade) your Mini to a later model or one with less miles or just in newer condition? Maybe this would this be more cost effective in the long term, and save you the conversion hassle and possibly a lot of heartache and headaches?
2) Keep searching for a more compatible non-supercharged engine that might drop straight into your car without having to be modified. eg: Wreckers yards - ask to see the wreck before they remove the engine if possible and see what part of the car was damaged and the mileage on the speedo. A car in a rollover might have a perfectly good engine even though the body is a write-off.
3) Take your car to a reputable workshop and ask them to give you a quote to do a ground-up rebuild of your existing engine. Be aware though that if you want a quality repair done, you have to pay for it.
At the very least askthem to quote you to dismantle the engine, hone the bore, replace piston rings, bearings, re-face valves and valve seats, change valve guides if worn else change valve seals, change the timing chain assembly, water pump, oil pump (very important), renew all gaskets, spark plugs and anything else they recommend eg: clutch if its a manual gearbox, and possibly belt tensioners. You've currently got no supercharger to worry about so there's a cost saving in repair costs.
Don't go to a backyard mechanic or get sucked in by a cheap repair. They will stuff it up for sure and then you're left with a car you can't sell to anyone except a wrecker.
A good workshop will usually acid wash the engine block and should service the cylinder head (eg: crack and pressure test - possibly skim the head too). Change radiator hoses and belts at the same time seeing the engine will already be out. Reliability should be good if they take appropriate care during the assembly and if they really know what they're doing. Ensure you get a written guarantee for the work they do and be sure to read their warranty terms & conditions very carefully so you know what you're service obligations are, in case trouble strikes down the track.
4) Buy an exchange engine that's already been rebuilt if available in your area. Your old engine comes out then goes back to into the workshop to be re-built and later resold to someone else. These companies will usually fit the engine for you too.
My last tip - if Option 1 is do-able money wise, it really might be the least painful and less hassle option given the age of your car. But if you decide to retro-fit the '06 R53 engine into it and downgrade it by removing the supercharger, you could burn a lot of money and time off the road getting it just right if the person doing the job hasn't done this type of conversion before.
Regardless, we'd love to know what you decide to do.
Hope the above helps & good luck with whatever path you decide to take.
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