Home THE TRIALS CAR Engine by Grant Campbell

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Back End



Front End

Front End 2


Fuel tank




Other cars

The Trials Car engine is a 1600cc VW, runs no cooling, headers, Minnow Fish carburettor, Single port heads, 10.5:1 compression ratio, mild porting around the inlet ports, Piranha Electronic Ignition, 5.2kg flywheel, Ceramic clutch and long advance curve in the distributor.

Although VW engines are probably all past their use-by date, the best thing about them is their light weight. At 65kg all up it is much lighter than any Jap engine I've come across. Sometimes it is an advantage to have a relatively high engine, as a bit of weight transfer can help. In the main a low centre of gravity helps handling though and although I envy the 130 hp of the Toyota 4AG I've yet to be beaten by one on a long term basis.

No cooling or alternator means no need for a pulley. Normally the pulley has a screw on it to prevent oil leaks, but it also screws water/mud into the engine. I used to have a seal & pulley to suit but this is a much nicer idea. Two small self tappers & a bit of 'Silastic' do the trick. I machined the pulley bit off, & just used the screw bit so I could still bolt that onto the end of the crank. Dipstick is a modified version of the system found on the Type 3 engines. It screws in & is prevented from unscrewing by the spring.