As car manufacturers seek to reduce development and production costs, modular engines are becoming increasingly popular. BMW‘s B38, B48 and B58 inline-three, four and six-cylinder units, for instance, are all part of the same engine familiar. The bore and the stroke are the same for each – BMW simply lengthens the block, head and crankcase and adds pistons to make it bigger.
But what if you were to make a ‘modular’ engine in a workshop? Can you simply hack an engine in half and it’ll still work? In a word, no, but with a lot of extra work, preferably using a near-indestructible Lada four-pot, it’s possible. Just ask Garage54.
Prompted by a viewer suggestion, the ever-inventive Russian YouTube channel took an angle grinder to a Lada engine. But it wasn’t as simple as simply cutting down the middle – the separation point had to be chosen carefully to avoid hitting any head bolt threads or oil channels. The crank had to be bodged and welded, and the open end of the downsized engine crudely but effectively closed off.
The time put into creating this DIY parallel twin was worth it. The engine didn’t just fire up – it was able to power a Lada for some time with no issues other than some oil spitting. In the world of Garage54, that’s barely a cause for mild concern.
The little Lada lump sounds like an old, very basic motorcycle, and struggles to drive the car up even modest inclines. But regardless, we can chalk up this experiment as a success.