Rear wheel drive Magnas. 3.5L V6 engine conversions. This story has it all!
There’s been a total of one ‘cool’ Mitsubishi Magnas ever customised in Australia, and that’s not up for debate. The diamond brand’s sedan replaced their Sigma (which is currently experiencing a nostalgia-fueled renaissance that nobody asked for) and was exclusive to the Australian market, albeit centered around modified platforms from the Japanese market.
Like most unloved platforms in the Australian market, the bell curve of ‘Cost vs. Availability’ has reached a critical point for the humble Magna, where they’re both cheap and plentiful enough that thrifty enthusiasts are busting out the butcher’s paper and embarking upon wild Magna builds - a sentence I never imagined I’d write - like Melbourne’s Jory Breitkopf who’s converting a run-of-the-mill Magna to rear wheel drive using parts pinched from Mitsbuhi’s Pajero, mated to the Magna’s east-west engine which has been modified to run in a north-south configuration.
Furthermore, he’s documenting the whole thing on his YouTube channel, and the project is scarily close to being finished!
As we asked the obvious questions, ‘why a Magna?’ Jory was quick to respond.
“Why not? As a kid I used to see the 3.5L badges on the back of the Pajeros and the same badges on the Magna and always thought it’d be a fun project,” begins the Diesel Mechanic by day, and automotive mad scientist by night.
In Jory’s defense, it’s not all Magnas and obscure engine swaps. The project is a distraction from his Pro Am S13 drift car which features a (currently blown up) 350kW SR20 that he’s raced all over Australia.
“With the drift car blown up I sourced an all-wheel-drive Magna from Marketplace and a Pajero and it began!” he beams.
The Pajero donated the manual transmission, which Jory and his helpers have modified to remove the transfer case, and while there are a few aftermarket power parts for the 6G74 V6, the boys are initially focussing on getting it up and running.
“The rear diff’ in the AWD Magna is allegedly from an Evo 4 so they’re pretty strong, but the driveshafts aren’t,” chuckles Jory, fully aware of the torture that both he and regular cameo on the video’s Brenden ‘Bubba’ Medlyn are likely to subject the poor thing to.
“We don’t really have any firm plans for it. We’ll probably take it drag racing to begin with because we don’t need a roll cage, but I can see it drifting at some stage,” he adds.
“If you compare the 3.5L 6G to the 2JZ and RB30 platforms, they’re very popular but they’re only 3L in capacity. With a 3.5L engine we should need less cylinder pressure to see some good numbers,” he says in closing, hinting at the poor Magna’s almost-certain boost-filled future.
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