Peugeot 203 Engine Swap
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Thread: Peugeot 203 Engine Swap

  1. #1
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    Default Peugeot 203 Engine Swap

    Hi Fellas,

    Currently restoring a Peugeot 203 and it has come to the engine stage. Currently has no engine and really set on fitting a 202 Red or EH Holden 179-HP in it. Cant go wrong with the note of a straight 6. I have read about people swapping original 4 to a 202 red in this forum before and told it fits well, just wondering if anyone could give me advice on:

    - Complete gear box conversion (202) or adapter plates to fit original box (if possible and worth it)
    - Tail shaft fabrications (inner tube makes it tricky)
    - Engine mount set up
    - Engineering certificates
    - Radiator set up
    - Any other obstacles I'll face

    Look forward to some great feedback,

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    Thanks,

    James

    p.s have some spare parts for a 404 if anyone wants to swap or whatever (front grills, axels, etc)

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    James..of all the engines one can pick as donor for that 203..you select a red motor to replace a beautifully balanced wet sleeve four cyl Peugeot engine...
    I'm going to go out on a limb here but I'm guessing there are a few reading this shaking their heads politely wondering why someone would do that..
    And then add the effort which is no longer cheap or for that matter cheerful to make that red lump breath and rotate properly..not to mention gearing woes yet to be discovered by yourself..

    Sent from my SM-G900I using aussiefrogs mobile app
    robmac, Dano, tok403 and 1 others like this.

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    James , I will add one word to the reply by svengaliO - sacrilege. Why do it with all the attendant engineering problems ? the 203 was the first design by Peugeot for chassis less construction ( monocoque? ) and left a lot to be desired as far as body strength was concerned - after the first Redex win 1953 modifications were done to strengthen the body. If yours is a pre 1954 , mods would be required but more importantly any engineer worth his salt will be looking carefully at a heavier engine. Then you have substantial issues with mating up your gear box , tail shaft and diff. Some years ago there was a member here who grafted 505 running gear , engine and everything under a 203 in England where I suspect they then had less stringent RWC requirements. Sadly he passed away and his posts may have disappeared , if you can find them - a worthwhile read - see catshamlet - his user name.

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    Good old Catshamlet....I remember him, Horatio. A fellow of infinite jest....

    For your convenience in seeing his posts, here is his profile. View Profile: catshamlet - aussiefrogs - The Australian French Car Forum Since 1999

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    historically, putting Holden engines (grey motors) into 203s
    was not unknown. this current project might be viewed more
    generously as a homage to less precious times.

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    A much better solution is to sleeve up a 203or 403 motor to 404 1600 sleeves a mild cam a bit of head work and a set of extractors and twin solex carbies.
    hypermiler and James Gelido like this.

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    Good point! Would love to put the original engine back into it but unfortunately it doesn't exist I am now thinking a Datsun L series as they would work well with an adapter plate and not as a huge job as a 202. Thoughts?

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    I like that idea!! Have you done this job before or know anywhere to source parts? Great

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    I originally got the idea from this forum, funny that , haha

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    Thanks Beano!

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    Holden motor fits easily, I know someone who did it in a day at a cost of $20! There were Holden powered sports sedans racing at Oran Park in the late sixties so some precedent there. Datsun L series will also fit. I don't know of any others that will fit. You want to keep the Peugeot rear suspension though, otherwise you may as well just go and buy a Commodore.

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    Hi,

    Thanks for that info. I agree. I'm going to scrap the idea and try to source an original. The main reason I wanted to go with that engine was its note but thats not enough reason for the amount of work. iF i source an original engine would you know details about the carby they used. inlet manifold, extractors, sourcing gasket kits, any info you think would be useful .....

    Thanks!

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    Thanks Graham! Glad to hear it actually was done, and for $20?! Unbelievable. Any idea how they went about the gearbox and tailshaft fabrications or they just used adapter plates and kept original tailshaft and gearbox? Everything in the Pug would be staying stock but the engine. It was a beauty of a car and way ahead of its time in terms of handling, suspension etc. At this point I'm considering either sourcing an original engine (may be tricky) or going with a Datsun L series (a little bit tricky but more available than the 203). All I want is a nice enough note and a bit of grunt/give.

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    It was in a 403 which is harder than a 203.Just filed out the bell housing bolt holes I think, Used original clutch and gearbox. Don't know details. Was a 202 with X2 twin carbs. Did 16.5 for the standing quarter at the Calder Street Drags, Almost 10 seconds quicker than standard. The Holden and Datsun are the only two I know of that have clearance for the cross member and not 100% sure re the Datsun.

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    What about a 13b wankel engine? Braaap!
    Nice and compact, light...and the quarter-mile time would be good. I think it's been done before, too...
    Bridgeport it, and I'm sure you'll enjoy a good exhaust note.
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    Why go with something as boring as a Holden engine?

    In Canberra, in the 1970's, there was a 203 with Daimler V8 engine, and 403 Wagon with a Studebaker V8.

    Ian.

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    Holden engine would be good if it was at least in XU1 spec. Standard one wouldn't have much of a note.
    James Gelido likes this.

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    Consider the 203 ute in the Shoalhaven area which had a Holden six and now is much better balanced with a Peugeot 505 OHC 'Douvrin' motor.
    That's another alternative

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by IWS View Post
    Why go with something as boring as a Holden engine?

    In Canberra, in the 1970's, there was a 203 with Daimler V8 engine, and 403 Wagon with a Studebaker V8.

    Ian.

    wow!! That would have been a site Not too keen on cutting up and oxy welding the engine bay. But man, that would have been a site.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bahay View Post
    Consider the 203 ute in the Shoalhaven area which had a Holden six and now is much better balanced with a Peugeot 505 OHC 'Douvrin' motor.
    That's another alternative

    John
    Fair point.

    Thanks John

    Getting some great ideas here, keep em coming!

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    Quote Originally Posted by GRAHAM WALLIS View Post
    Holden engine would be good if it was at least in XU1 spec. Standard one wouldn't have much of a note.
    Hi Graham,

    Turns out my father has a 403 engine sitting under his house. Good news is that it turns over, bad news is that it hasn't been running in over 35 years. I will work to get it up, cleaned and prepared as I am going to go with 404 1600 sleeves a mild cam a bit of head work and a set of extractors and twin solex carbies. Least amount of work, and easily adaptable.

    Would you have any idea if I would need an engineers certificate? as it is technically not the original engine. Also, would anyone here know where I could get a 403 workshop manual or someone I could take the engine to for a rebuild?

    So eager to get the beast going!

    James

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    Quote Originally Posted by callipygous View Post
    What about a 13b wankel engine? Braaap!
    Nice and compact, light...and the quarter-mile time would be good. I think it's been done before, too...
    Bridgeport it, and I'm sure you'll enjoy a good exhaust note.
    I seriously love a good Rotar, but just too expensive and unreliable. The note is amongst my favourite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by James Gelido View Post
    wow!! That would have been a site Not too keen on cutting up and oxy welding the engine bay. But man, that would have been a site.
    Clearly recall the LOUD noise of the Daimler powered 203 tearing up Amaroo hillclimb years ago...not easily forgotten that very rapid 203!
    Last edited by bahay; 14th July 2018 at 12:42 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bahay View Post
    Clearly ecall the LOUD noise of the Daimler powered 203 tearing up Amaroo hillclimb years ago...not easily forgotten that very rapid 203!
    I can imagine! Flathead V8, my favourite note of all time! Its a shame all this red tape, engineers certificates etc certainly don't make it viable for young enthusiasts.

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    Peugeot 203 Engine Swap-enginebaybr2.jpg- in period, as mentioned by lozenge


    while technically not the original engine a 403 would be what is found in 203s more often than not - and most engineers wouldn't know the difference anyway.
    FWIW i had it on the best authority your engine bay is wide enough for a ford windsor (whatever that is).
    i doubt the Daimler V8 was a flat head, so guess you meant a flat-plane, like the lancia D50? They do sound good, Fangio filmed at Monaco is one of my favourites ...
    Last edited by fnqvmuch; 13th July 2018 at 01:37 AM.
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