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Devinspecial
Kreg Jones
Jenkintown, PA
(2 posts)

Registered:
06/21/2020 04:07PM

Main British Car:
1951 Henry J Devin Special w/ '57 Hillman Minx eng '57 Hillman Minx side valve engine + extra '55 Hil

authors avatar
'57 Hillman motor swap question
Posted by: Devinspecial
Date: June 22, 2020 01:11PM

I have a '51 Henry J, Devin bodied special with a '57 Hillman Minx side valve engine. It is non-running and has been sitting for over 40 years. I keep being told to swap out the engine instead of rebuilding it. Stating that I will not be happy with the performance. I probably won't be. I was wondering if any other motor will bolt up to the Hillman four speed transmission? Maybe some other Rootes engine with more power?
Or, take it all out and do a Buick / Rover 215 V8? A full swap it a little intimidating to me. I'm trying to read up and see what it takes.
Thanks for the help.
Hillman Minx Sm.jpg



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/22/2020 02:44PM by Devinspecial.


BWA


(329 posts)

Registered:
04/13/2010 08:13PM

Main British Car:


Re: '57 Hillman motor swap question
Posted by: BWA
Date: June 22, 2020 04:28PM

That looks like a pretty small engine bay.
I have no idea of what would bolt to that transmission.
If you go the engine swap route you would be better off to go with a four cylinder engine.
I think a perfect engine and transmission would be a Mazda Miata drivetrain.
A number of people have swapped this engine into Triumph Spitfires so you can get help form them.
Could you post some pictures of this vehicle?

cheers
Byron


88v8
Ivor Duarte
Gloucestershire UK
(760 posts)

Registered:
02/11/2010 04:29AM

Main British Car:
1974 Land Rover Lightweight V8

Re: '57 Hillman motor swap question
Posted by: 88v8
Date: June 23, 2020 04:03AM

It would be a major task. Presently you have, what, 40 bhp? Nothing in the car would be ready for a major power uplift. Gearbox, brakes, suspension, axle.

And more to the point, before you contemplate spending hundreds of hours and thousands of $$$, how do you know you would even enjoy driving the car?

If the engine is not stuck, give it a full service, change the brake fluid (or does it have cables), gearbox, axle oil, and get it going.
It will leak from the oil seals, but never mind. Drive it a few weeks, then decide if you like the car enough to commit to all that work.
Or you might decide that it's fun just as it is.

Never commit to major work on a model of car you haven't driven.

Ivor



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/23/2020 04:04AM by 88v8.


Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4464 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: '57 Hillman motor swap question
Posted by: Moderator
Date: June 23, 2020 04:15AM

Buick 215 always seems like a good idea to me. I suppose though, there's a case for choosing an earlier drivetrain to keep "period correct" with the rest of the car. I've only carefully looked at (and photographed) two Devins. One of them is featured here: [www.britishracecar.com] - the other had an MGA engine and chassis. In my view, TR3 engine and MGA engine are your two most obvious choices. The Triumph engine can be bored to a little bit larger displacement. In either case, a suitable steel adapter plate between engine and gearbox can probably be arranged... but I'd look to source a complete engine/transmission package instead.

Yes, please post more photos of your car!


Devinspecial
Kreg Jones
Jenkintown, PA
(2 posts)

Registered:
06/21/2020 04:07PM

Main British Car:
1951 Henry J Devin Special w/ '57 Hillman Minx eng '57 Hillman Minx side valve engine + extra '55 Hil

authors avatar
Re: '57 Hillman motor swap question
Posted by: Devinspecial
Date: June 23, 2020 11:21AM

Thanks for all the input! Pictures attached. Ivor, You have some very good points. I haven't driven the car yet. Maybe, I'll try getting it moving first and then I will be able to make a more educated decision.
Nice Devin picture Curtis, that's a cool little car.


Devin 2.jpg
Devin 3.jpg
Devin 4.jpg


Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4464 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: '57 Hillman motor swap question
Posted by: Moderator
Date: June 23, 2020 09:01PM

Kreg, that's a great looking car you've got there!


88v8
Ivor Duarte
Gloucestershire UK
(760 posts)

Registered:
02/11/2010 04:29AM

Main British Car:
1974 Land Rover Lightweight V8

Re: '57 Hillman motor swap question
Posted by: 88v8
Date: June 24, 2020 04:17AM

That's really handsome.

Yes, I think to get it going would be a very good idea.
I recall the advice in Wheatley & Morgan never to begin restoring a car you haven't driven. After all, the driving position, the driver's comfort, in the end is key to enjoying the car.

There was a chap in the TR Register - I used to have a TR6 - who spent a looong time on a concours resto of a TR6. He assumed that driving it would be like his TR4, only better. But when he got it on the road, he found he didn't enjoy it at all.

Different perhaps if you're familiar with the model. And if you know that your partner will want to ride in it. Not much fun, a solo driver.
But that certainly is a handsome car.

Ivor



spridget
bill green
Maine
(62 posts)

Registered:
03/22/2008 01:29PM

Main British Car:
3 1980 TR8, 1 TR7 2 Bugeye Sprite 1 MG midget TR8 3.5 and 5.0, Sprite 1098 and ?

Re: '57 Hillman motor swap question
Posted by: spridget
Date: June 26, 2020 10:07AM

If you decide on a swap vs original rebuild the Ford Zetec DOHC is one you should consider. Reasonable size, plenty of power, readily available, and several options for rear wheel drive conversion.


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