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Looking for an engine

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Not for our Gold Wing.  The Bride was talking with (to) me at supper last evening and said one of those statements that are highly tinged with being an order.  She wants the Star Ship One put on the road while she can still drive it.


So now I am going to have to find a Renault engine to replace the one our grandson cooked by driving it when it had very little coolant in it.  So options are as follows:  Try to find a 37 year old replacement engine, try to find some other power plant to fit into the space available.  Being the Star ship is built around the LeCar drive train swapping in an LS-1 Chevy is way out of the question.  Even trying to find a small 4 cylinder from another make would be tricky.   So what to do?  


The Star Ship does not need blazing speed as I seriously doubt she driving it more than a few miles from home (she has always liked driving the unusual).  The original LeCar only had about 40 HP and this one was the bigger engine that I think was 56 HP.  


I am leaning toward trying to find a motorcycle engine that had a chain drive from the left side.   I think I could mount a sprocket onto the clutch hub of the Renault power train and use a simple shaft bearing to support the front end of the transmission input shaft.  The Renault clutch is very open with the bell housing only supported by 3 of 4 post.  So running a chain thru, or around a post in the opening should not be a big problem.  Of course being the Renault engine was mounted behind the trans-axle and turned clockwise like most engines the rotation of a motorcycle output would be correct.  Depending upon the size of the donor engine I might have to run a jack shaft for clearance.  The bike engine clutch would be the only one needed.


If the bike engine had 5 speeds and Space Ship One has 4 speeds forward and 1 in reverse the drive ratios would be almost infinite.  There would be 5 gears for each one of the trans-axle gears giving 20 forward speeds and 5 reverse.  Then the chain sprocket ratios would add ?? more.  Having already built vehicles from motorcycle power the shifting linkage would a simple cable and the clutch the same.  Would put the shifter lever with the clutch lever on it right down by her right hand.  The was the problem with the shifter in the original car.  It would have been clear up between her feet.  So I had to make a new linkage that would move the lever back and outboard.  Estella has limited mobility in her right arm so having all controls down by her right side was paramount.  To reach some of the controls i.e. the shifter in her Fiat she has to lift her upper arm with her left hand to get her hand on the shifter.  Having the shift lever with the clutch lever in it at her side would stop those problems.  A air cooled engine would be no problem as mounting a 12 v. radiator fan or fans with some simple ducting would suffice.


So now the search starts for a donor.  A single cylinder or 2 cylinder do.  And if she had power like a old Honda CB 750 it would be have to tie an anvil behind it to keep her from leaving orbit.  At least this will be a challenge for me to get out of the house and back into the shop.  Maybe that is her plan.

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Roaming craigslist for 3 states and have come to the conclusion that there are only TWO (2) Harley Davidsons with their motors still in them.  Did fine a Honda Night Hawk up by Chicago that was all there but for the crunched forks.  Too much motor, too much money and too far to haul it.  It would be fun though, put the star ship in 2nd gear and go like a rocket thru the 5 gears on the bike motor.


Years ago I saw a retired rear engine Indy car that had 2 Kawasaki 900's driving a jack shaft connected to each half shaft.  They would take that thing out in the parking lot at the Hot Rod show at the Indiana State Fairgrounds for demonstrations and it was a here you see it and then you see it on the other side of that big lot. 

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