Home THE TRIALS CAR Engine by Grant Campbell

More to come later on this engine section

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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.

I would definitely not recommend running a VW without cooling like this for more than about 5 minutes at a time. It works OK for trials if we have about 12 - 20 sections a day. A two or three minute run, a break of twenty minutes, then the next run. Try to get out of a 'stuck' situation as quickly as possible, i.e., don't rev the daylights out of the engine for more than twenty seconds, turn it off at every opportunity, use very good oil, (I use Castrol R Synthetic 10-60) use Avgas and just have some pity on it & it'll be OK.