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BHP figures to compare engine choice?


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Hello, as part of my project I can fit either a 3 litre 24V Carlton, a 2 Litre Red Top, or a Rover V8.

Does anyone know approximate BHP figures for these 3 engines, or the advantages of each.

I suppose the Red Top would be easiest to fit, the V8 sound best, and the Carlton engine most power?

Any ideas most appreciated.

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I have the 24v Senny (204bhp) and its one of the sweetest engines I have driven, docile if you want and an absolute screamer at the same time, but it can, and does, get thirsty. Also Autobhanstormers do an upgrade chip

7mpg thirsty at that but probably better when hauling the lighter Manta shell around, and easier to fit in the engine bay than the RV8.

Gets my vote every time . . .

Cheers, Colin. :thumbup

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Depends what you want the car to be.

If it's a track day car XE or ecotec or LET as it's light so gives the best handling, also very tuneable with parts easily available. Can get good BHP for reasonable money downside is lack of torque. Also the esayiest conversion.

C30SE from a carlton/senator is a long heavy engine and will make the car nose heavy, still handles ok depending on spring and damper choice, and is a more involved conversion than the XE etc. That said 200bhp and 200lb/ft, maybe abit more without the cats, makes the end result quite quick in a straight line. Not the easiest engine to get tuning parts for anymore and can be quite costly to get big power from.

Rover V8 probably the most involved and expensive conversion of the 3 to carry out, but tuning wise the sky's the limit (and your budget) with parts easily available. Sounds great too.

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Have to be careful with what V8 engine to get (if you went V8 route)

A lot of Rover V8's were very low on power but big on Toirque.

For example there were low compression Rover V8's that were pushing out 125BHP which is not a lot really, but they did have bags of Torque.

Nice thing about the Rover V8 though is you can tune and rebuild them very cheaply to alter the power output of them.

A set of high compression pistons were under £200 when I built my V8.

My choice for any engine would be restricted to

Original cost



Availability of spares

Availability/cost of a decent exhaust manifold/system

Ease of fitment


in that order really

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If I went down the Red Top route, would I be safer using throttle bodies, injection, or twin webbers.

Fuel consumption is not an issue.

Throttlebodies by a mile, if you have a good budget. I've fitted and used all three and there is not even a choice. I Use SBD thottle bodykits, not cheap but 200 BHP as a bolt on item, you cant go wrong.

Here's a set i've just fitted for a customer in his Kadett


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If I went down the Red Top route, would I be safer using throttle bodies, injection, or twin webbers.

Fuel consumption is not an issue.

Safer in what way?

Are you after the most power, the easiest diy instalation, or the cheapest setup?

Throttle boddies should give the most power, and be very driveable but at large £Price

The standard injection system is pretty easy to fit and a nice driveable setup, but the lowest power. This should be the cheapest setup, just needing a complete donor engine with loom, ecu, etc

Plus an injection fuel tank and pipes, or swirl pot setup.

Twin webbers would remove the need to change fuel tanks, but they're not cheap for a pair of 45's and manifold, filter etc

The option you didn't mention is Bike carbs. More driveable than webbers and cheaper to fit. That'd be my option :thumbup

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Bike carbs can be a cheap or very cheap, depends how you do it.

You can pay £150 or more for R1 carbs (40mm Mikuni's) and something like £180 for a Bogg Brothers inlet manifold plus filters, fuel pump, etc.

Or like me you could get a set of GSXR carbs (39mm Mikuni) for £30 or less.

Modifiy a standard XE inj manifold by choping the manifold, face the ends and port the tubes (in progress shot)


The carbs will need spacing out to align with the manifold (just some spacers, threaded rods, and pipe)

Than along with some appropriate hose to join everything together your ready. For a total of £50 so far :thumbup

I still need to sort air filters or a plenum box and a cone filter. But i won't be spending much on any of that either.

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  • 1 month later...

I've had a redtop XE in my Cortina, by far the easiest option for your Manta, only real issue will be ignition depending upon injection/.carbs, as 'mantasrme' states - stick with bike carbs, then you can run ignition only Ford EDIS4 set up & with the engine indstalled conventionally a decent exhaust maifold will allow the engine to breathe properly to punch out 180 BHP

Other choice with the C20XE Red Top is you can either install it flat or at 7 degrees as they were designed......I don't know if you can use your sump too, but Yuk sells them for £150 & an exhaust manifold will set you back near £200, but the engine will push out @ 180BHP when breathing properly...I have a complete set up available with a brand newly built engine, manifolds, sump, injection, ignition, everything you need to drop in & run, but it aint cheap ;)

Then once you've got your engine in, you'll be able to save up for some decent cams - 1601's would get my vote as you don't need any engine mods & will give you near another 20 BHP with an exciting power band too......... B)

PS - one of the lads has a completely standard XE in a Mk2 Escort Estate & that kills everything in sight & does 140+ MPH ....!!!

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