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The genesis of a Power-Smart

A V8 engine with 400 hp und 5.4 liters displacement in a Smart C450

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Above you can have a quick glimpse into my design laboratorium. Especially for you I've wiped the floor! Approximately like this it shall look one day, the little fellow with the big musclesSmiley.
The model of this Smart C450 has been modelled from blueprints and was rendered then with C4D. The image will be updated in case there will be any progress in design.

The idea

It happened in a night in October 2011 during a long drive from Hamburg back to beautiful Frankonia.
While my Smart Diesel flew with breathtaking 110 km/h over the A14 my thoughts sensed to the coming of the winter time. Winter, a cruel imagination after this beautiful summer time. Darkness, cold and rain, ahhh.
And just about this time, while thinking about the expected cold, I had the idea!

I built myself a Smart with a better heating! And why not putting a little bit more power to it at the same time???

The concept

At this stage of the project the plan is to place the 327-V8 small block engine into the front and add a third party gearbox to it via an adapter plate. The motor power shall then be transmitted by a cardan shaft to a third party differential gearbox. The entire chassis suspension will also be replaced by something that can take the expected 10 times higher motor power.

I didn't like the idea to use my own Smart C450 for this project, because the success of this project is at this stage of the project more than questionable. So I went to my friend Frank to keep on and on at the need of a old Smart C450. And you know what? A week later I had one of these beautiful cars on my yard.
The question about a useful replacement engine was solved fairly easy too. The Peacemakers on the other side of the Atlantic ocean have built in the years 1962 til 1969 this legendary V8 engine, the 327 Small block V8.
It had to be just this engine and nothing else.
With its abnormal thirst for petrol and its energetical inefficiency I could expect enough waste thermal energy for my new heating smiley.
It's not that easy to find an affordable 327 small block V8 engine here, because it is compared to the 350 V8 engine a rather rare item. But destiny wanted it that just one of these 327s appeared in the electric bay after a short time of searching. Ofcourse it was a piece of crap, dirty and partially incomplete. But it did not really matter, because it was still complete enough to use it for my purpose. I won the bid and went to Dreieich near Frankfurt to get it home.
Now it was about the time to spend some thoughts on the drive train. I went through the drive train concepts of several different cars made in the last 15 years and ended finally up with BMW. To be more specific, I ended up with a BMW E36, a 318 type.
This car has the engine built in lengthwise and it has a rear wheel drive. Its gearbox is surely able to transmit the motor power to the rear axle. The rear axle has a useful differential gearbox and the front- and rear axle can perharps also be used.
Yes, you're guessing right! I went again to my friend Frank to have a moan about the lack of a lovely nice BMW E36. And this time he surprised even me. The next day (A Sunday!) a nice green BMW 318i parked in front of my shed.

The raw material for my project was now complete.

The protagonists of the show in detail

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1. The Smart C450
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The BMW E36
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The 327 V8-Engine

The Smart C450: Technical Data

  • Type: Smart City Coupe C450
  • Year of built: 1999
  • Motor: Displacement 599 cm3, three ylinder in a row, Ottomotor
  • Type of fuel: gasolin
  • Motorpower: 37 KW, 50 PS
  • Powertransmission: one disc dry coupling
  • Gearbox: sequentiel automatic six gear Shifter gearbox
  • Length: 2500 mm
  • Width: 1515 mm
  • Height: 1549 mm
  • Wheel base: 1812 mm
  • Track width: front 1272 mm, rear 1354 mm
  • Tires: front 145/65 R15, rear 155/65 R15
  • Rims: front 4 J x 15, rear 5.5 J x 15
  • Weight: 730 kg
  • Carrying capacity: 260 kg
  • Mileage: 160 000 km
  • Purchase date: May 2012
  • Cost: 900 €

Dismanteling of the Smart C450

Dismanteling Smart C450
Click to see all pics.

The pics in this collection are just quick snapshots with no special requirements for extrem quality. I beg your pardon. The pics may be of some interest for somebody who just dismateled a Smart and doesn't know anymore how it looked at that time.

The BMW E36: Technical Data

  • Type: BMW 318i
  • Year of built: 1996
  • Engine: Displacement 1796 cm3, four cylinder inline, Otto engine
  • Type of fuel: Gasoline
  • engine power: 85 KW, 115 PS
  • Power transmission: One disc dry clutch
  • Gearbox: Five speed shifter
  • Length: 4433 mm
  • Width: 1698 mm
  • Height: 1360 mm
  • Wheel base: 2700 mm
  • Track width: front 1408 mm, rear 1422 mm
  • Tires: front 185/65 R15, rear 205/65 R15
  • Rims: front 6 J x 15, rear 6.5 J x 15
  • Weight: 1205 kg
  • Carrying capacity: 460 kg
  • Mileage: 160000 km
  • Purchase date: Sep. 2012
  • Cost: 250 €

That's one big step for a man, a small leap for mankind
Today, 31.Oct. 2012 was a good day for my project!
I've managed to get the engine out of the BMW and got the gearbox isolated. To celebrate this day, here a few pic's about the status Quo.

The BMW at High Noon 3.Oct.2012
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The V8 engine: Technical Data

  • Type: General Motors, V8 327 Small Block
  • Engine type: Eight cylinder in V-design, Ottomotor
  • year of built: 1962 - 1969
  • Displacement 327 inch3 5,4 Liter
  • Type of fuel: Gasoline
  • Power: 375 HP (235 KW, 320 PS)
  • Power transmission: one disc dry clutch
  • Bore: 101,6 mm
  • Stroke: 82,5 mm
  • Block-Number: I have to look it up
  • Purchase date: Dez. 2012
  • Cost: 400 €

Here and there I redesign all the parts of the V8 with 3D-CAD. But due to the fact that I am not always in the moood an update can last for a while. Finally I ought to end up with a 1:1 scaled 3D-CAD model of the engine. Click to enlarge
The design progress.

The above shown glass-engine will be "eqipped" with all redesigned parts for progress control. You can look at the individual redesigned parts here

Recently (May 2013) added are the clutch and the EDELBROCK PERFORMER SERIES 1405, 600 CFM, MANUAL CHOKE Carburator.

The Smart mentioned above will ofcourse supply the Tridion Frame and the other body parts to the project, to make sure that the car will remain a Smart after completion Smiley.
The BMW will be the organ donor for front and rear axle, gearbox and differential gearbox.
The V8-engine will ofcourse be the new power pack.

At the moment (October 2012) is the concept as follows: Motor in the front, the BMW-gearbox will be flanged to the 327 with a adapter plate, a shortened cardan shaft will drive via the BMW_differential the BMW-rear axle. And in case this doesn't work I will try a front wheel drive with the V8 in the back.

Front and rear axle will be exchanged for the BMW axles, to consider the 10 times higher power in the drive train.

I would really have preferred to solve the whole project in a CAD-system in the first instance. Unfortunately the essential 3D-CAD data of the components involved are fully missing. I am hunting for these data at the moment and I may will even ask Daimler-Benz and BMW for some support.

The project is therefore at the moment on a trial and error basis. This is a bit sad because I am used to design everything first on the computer. So this is some sort of a painful experience for me Smiley. could now say: "Well, you have a 3D-Model anyway. You displayed it in the upper image.". Yesss, that's right, but the model displayed is just an outside skin, which can't be used for any technical design work.

13th Nov 2012
Today I am starting to prepare for the removal of front and rear axle from the BMW. My friend Daniel offered his tractor to toss the BMW a bit around. Daniel had just arrived when suddenly my friends Frank and Rudi apeared on the scene too. Well, you don't throw a car upside down every day, do you. Smiley.
Anyway, these boys were so hot, they just threw the car over just with their well sized arms. Smiley.

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The Tractor
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Sixpack at work
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The result

Thanks again boys!!!

14th Nov. 2012
The axle job is done. Both axles were removed in about two hours of relaxed work. They will now go to the Smart laboratorium and wait there for future things to happen.
The car body goes also the lab. I may use some of the sheet metal from the body for the Smart. Smiley.

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Rear axle
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Front axle
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Job done
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BMW in front
of the Lab building

09th of May 2013
The Project "Powersmart" ist activ again.
Today the rear axle of the smart has been dismanteled. The Smart rear axle shall be replaced by the rear axle of the BMW E36. I can't tell you at the moment how I will do it. I have to spend some thought on this item first.
In the mean time I have built a little trolley to move the car body around when the axles are dismanteled.

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Smart Rear axle
Front view
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Smart Rear axle
rear left
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Smart Rear axle
rear right
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Smart Rear axle
top view
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Smart on Trolley
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Smart without
Rear axle
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Smart on

22nd July 2013
BMW E36 dismantling for nothing!
In the beginning of the Powersmart project I started to work without any hope for getting a valid title for the Powersmart at all. But here and there I have some strange ideas. So one day in the middle of June 2013 I suddenly got the inspiration to have a discussion with the TÜV in Kulmbach, to check out wether there would be any chance for getting an official registration for the Powersmart.

For you who are not familiar with the "TÜV": TÜV ist a technical supervisory association which inspects cars and other motorized vehicles for technical condition. A passenger car has to be introduced to this technical inspection depending on the age of the car every 2 or 3 years. When the car passes the inspection a new sticker will be glued on the rear license plate. The sticker shows the next date of inspection. When the car fails to pass the inspection one has to reintroduce the car after fixing the problems. And ofcourse this TÜV is the agency to contact when it comes to the issue of building a crazy car like the Powersmart. When they sign a document that approves the car as fit for the road then the car can be registered for normal use on the roads. Without this TÜV certification you can drive the car only on race tracks or you put it into a glass cabinet. No fun at all.

Well, during this meeting with the TÜV it got clear that there in deed is a way of getting the so highly desired document. The biggest problem ist the engine, because at its year of built there was no emmision limitation at all for car engines. What at time at those days :-). This means that the car which will be the base for the Powersmart has to be made before 1985 (according to german laws). The title of the SMART shows 1999 as the year of built, the BMW E36 is made in 1996. So none of the two titles can be used as base for the Powersmart. The other alternative (to use a newer V8-engine with proper emission specs) is no fun at all, because I want to use the old small block engine in any case. Therefore I agreed with the TÜV-man to provide a car with a title from 1985 or older. That's how it came to the introduction of the BMW 728i.

I decided on a 728i, because it is quite close to the motor power of the V8-Engine, meaning that brakes, clutch, gearbox and differential gearbox will withstand the power of the V8 quite well.

And now the dismanteling proceedure will start all over again with this new BMW. Well, no effort is too high for an official car registration at the endSmiley.

The BMW 728i: Technical Data

  • Type: BMW 728i, E23
  • Year of built: 1984
  • Engine: displacement 2769 cm3 (169 cui), six cylinder in row, M30, Otto engine
  • Fuel: Gas (petrol)
  • Power: 135 KW, 184 PS
  • Power transmission: One disc dry clutch
  • Gearbox: Five speed-Shifter
  • Front brakes: Disc
  • Rear brakes: Disc
  • Length: 4860 mm
  • Width: 1800 mm
  • Height: 1430 mm
  • Wheel base: 2795 mm
  • Track width: Front 1502 mm, Rear 1517 mm
  • Tires: Front 195/70 VR14, Rear 205/70 VR14
  • Rims: Front 6 J x 14, Rear 6 J x 14
  • Weight: approx. 1600 kg
  • Milage: 288000 km, 180000 miles
  • Date of purchse: July 2013
  • Cost: 750 €
  • Transfer cost: 150 €

Starting all over again

As you can see from the technical data, the Powersmart will probably be 5 cm wider than long. Uhhh Smiley

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728i, 23rd July 2013
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728i at 31st Aug. 2013

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Engine 728i
at 31st August 2013
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Gearbox 728i
at 31st August 2013

At the beginning of September 2013 is the body of the 728 completely naked. The isolated gearbox will be used later as the gearbox for the V8-engine. It will be flanged to the V8 with an adapter plate. Here I am hoping at the moment for some cooperation of the gearbox-manufacturer GETRAG, because I need some information about the precise location of all the boltholes in the gearbox flange.

The next step will be, to introduce both car bodies, the 728 and the Smart body as well again to the TÜV. At this occasion we will hopefully agree to some next steps. Nothing will happen in the workshop until this meeting has taken place.

Many people ask me, where the engine will be situated and how to reach the engine when service or maintenance is due. Below is a little design study which shows the engine in its approximate position. The idea is right now to move the full front part of the car body downwards to get entrance to the engine.

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Smart with V8 engine "assembled" V8-Motor and downwards moved front

To be continued soon! Stay tuned.

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