Your Projects: Mustang Ecoboost Engine, Meet Datsun Roadster

By Colin Wood
Feb 24, 2021 | Datsun, Ford, Mustang, ecoboost, roadster, Your Projects

For forum user damarble, all-original survivors rescued from decaying barns are great, but a restomod is better. That’s why, after acquiring a 1968 Datsun Roadster that “languished for the past 44 years,” damarble is ditching the stock powerplant for a 2.3-liter, four-cylinder Ford Ecoboost engine out of a recent Mustang.

The original plan was to use a Nissan SR20DET from a Silvia, though “those have dried up and for the current prices I knew I could do better.”

So far, the old engine has been removed, the new transmission has been fitted and, most recently, the dash pulled in favor of a custom setup.

See the whole projects, as well as any future updates, over on the “1968 Datsun Roadster powered by 2.3L Ecoboost” thread over on the Builds and Project Cars Forum.

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View comments on the GRM forums
Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
2/23/21 3:25 p.m.

I'm excited to see what other kinds of applications the Ecoboost four gets used in, and I'm sure this Datsun is going to be nothing short of an absolute rocket when its done.

ChrisTropea Associate Editor
2/23/21 3:26 p.m.

After filming the video at the two Datsun Roadsters at the 2020 $2000 Challenge I have put one on my dream car list to own one day. Ill definitely be following this Ecoboost swap build thread. 

wlkelley3 UberDork
2/23/21 8:15 p.m.

There's an Ecoboost Mustang that autocross locally. Been impressed with the power it has for the car. Yeah sure, a Mustang GT is faster. At least in the straights. Even my Miata is faster but still think it has potential. Always wondered what that drivetrain could do in a smaller lighter car. Been watching the build. I think when Ecoboost Mustangs start being more common and prices go down, may see more of this swap into light cars. I've bench built one in a MGB GT, Opel GT, a Spridget and even an old Mustang II Cobra (gotta be the Cobra II for the body work, best looking Mustang II) in my mind multiple times. Just don't have the resources to follow through.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
2/24/21 9:12 a.m.

This will be interesting. My own experience in Datsun 1600 Roadster ownership was plagued by unreliability and soccer moms with faster cars. The ecoboost  will be pushing 3x the power I had to work with, so that's got to be a good thing.

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