Re: Are you happy w/ your 1.3?
Depends on what you intend to do. I was happy with my 1.3 and its beefed up condition. I had the Calmmini cam, Weber carb, Splitfire plugs and wires, header, exhaust wide open. Nice gains in HP. No matter what you do to that engine, yer not getting more than 55 ft lbs of torque out of it. So I grew tired of having to gun it at 3500 rpms to get up over an obstacle. Bouncing my way to the top of a rocky hill was starting to take its toll on the vehicle and me! I have snapped one crankshaft and sheered three pistons on 4 different hard bounces. No amount of HP gains will allow the 1.3 to idle over rocks, yer gonna have to gun that engine and gun it hard.
70 mph at 4100 rpms was killing the lifespan on my daily driver. The 1.3 was not engineered to be driven at 4k rpms for sustained lengths of time. As a result, it suffers under normal US driving conditions. Keep it at 55 mph, don't take it off-road, keep fluids topped and changed regularly, and it will last forever.
You can do alot to "stud up" the 1.3 and the 1.6, but you cannot really do much about its durability. It's a high rpm motor engineered for low speed, low mileage use. If the piston rods don't snap, the block will wear on you from the high rpm usage.
Is this to say I won't own another Zook with a 1.3? Absolutely I will. But for now, I'm swapping out for a V6, because I want to do things the 1.3 just cannot do for me now. It's all about what you want to do. It's a good engine for some applications.
Neal the Zukiguy
88.5 Weber carb, header, 4.16 t-case, 31x10.5 M/T's, 2" s/r, 2 1/2" bod lift, front tube, Swift seats, on-board air