Poll: The Engine Swap Debate

Each time we feature a car with unconventional engine swap, it’s responded to with a mix of opinions. Some love to see people thinking outside of the box with a strange swap or dropping in a proven motor like the GM LSX. Purists on the other hand cringe and that thought of a cross-maker or even a cross-continent engine swap. Then there are those who fall somewhere in between.

Today’s poll and discussion is about engine swaps. Where do YOU stand?

Vote and discuss below.

-Mike


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122 comments
CoryTate
CoryTate

depends on what it's in and what it's used for

BradCockerill
BradCockerill

COSWORTH YB ALL THE WAY HAHAHA OR 4G63 THATS GUD TOO,

Lastspark
Lastspark

Engine swaps are great and all. But everyone putting in crappy GM LSx engines into every car under the sun has gotten old. Do something different, like a M5 engine in a 240z. Or a GM 3800 V6 on a go-kart. Or really just any engine that isn't overly used and put it into something that isn't overly swapped into.

wyatt marion
wyatt marion

when it comes to swaps , who cares? not you're car,not you're problem, everyone needs to stop looking so much as to what is done to the car, and needs to step back and think about how much work the person has put in to it, if you dont like the swap ? okay cool, but dont hate on it, think about the hard work,blood ,sweat and tears that person has put into building it..

suju89
suju89

As a disclaimer since I have been supporting the LSx series of V8s throughout this thread... I'm a Ford guy, and even I can see how good the LSx is, Ford has a chance now with the Coyote though, so keep your eyes peeled for Coyote powered track cars soon!

grandtouring
grandtouring

Variety is the spice of life. Thus engine swaps are ok with me unless the car or engine is of historical importance. However there are a few caveats.

 

Engine swaps in a way hinder development of other engines. If everyone just swapped in the same proven engine then there will be no progress. Why work on gas engines when steam engines work just fine? Why work on rotary engines when piston engines work just fine? Why work on  that small little turbo four banger when V8's work just fine?

 

I find that some of the best racing done are when teams utilizing different configurations makes it that much more interesting like in Le Mans or GT300 class in SuperGT. To me running the same engine in everything gives off a spec racer feel like Nascar, Daytona Prototypes, and even GT500's in SuperGT. While they both have great racing going on, the idea of one team with a small turbo 4 beating larger V8 engined teams(dyson racing),  petrol vs diesel vs hybrids, or a newly developed, unorthodox chassis taking on traditional designed cars and making them sweat when they see it in their rear-view mirrors (deltawing at Le Mans) is just that much more exciting and different.

 

Engine swaps are great and can be innovative, but a wise man once said "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.". There are things yet to found on the road less traveled.

LavarBowers
LavarBowers

I dunno why all the hate on the LS motors  (imo) pushrod kings...i mean it kinda makes sense....tall heavy I6 that makes a shit ton o power till it breaks...OR run an LS which will do the same till it breaks...as for you "balance of the car" guys its simple dry sump it and shove it into firewall as far as your skill/$ lets you not to mention i member reading some where that the LS has MAYBE a 50lbs. difference from a turbo I6 once all the plumbing etc... was included hell the name of this site is SPEED hunters not speed haters so if it makes it faster easier cheaper and more reliable shove what ever in that bitch fuck its your's anyway haters gonna hate im out.

 

PS my Fav motor is 2JZGTE =P

Yezzir
Yezzir

If it fits, it ships!

Boostedrooster
Boostedrooster

It has occurred to me that the popularity of the LSx motor swap is done out of a cost vs performance/reliability perspective. People who don't know cars start bringing up arguments about originality and how the Chevy powered anything is getting lame. I am partially biased toward Chevy V8 swaps due in part to my track rat. In my nearly 10 years of beating an LS6 (The same damn engine) around a race track, it has never failed, misfired, leaked, squeaked, groaned, shivered, puked, or stalled once. I don't baby it either. The tach is usually stuck on the limiter. The fact is, people are allowed to use whatever the hell they want and they shouldn't face grief from other people. You stick to what you know best. If you know your way around a 2Jz but want it in a damn camaro, I am completely fine with that.  If it's wild thats cool, if it's not so wild thats cool too. The only person that can judge which one is better is the driver/owner. 

that one guy
that one guy

Honestly, NOT EVERYTHING NEEDS A FRIGGEN V8 IN IT. There are plenty of other motors out there that make the same if not greater power bands then a V series motor, and some are a lot easier to work on and build up. 

KellanHeatley
KellanHeatley

The way I se it, it's all relative. No, I don't like the idea of someone taking a perfectly preserved Toyota 2000GT and putting an LS1 in it. There are some that need to be kept relatively stock or historical. But there are rusted out shells or low level chassis that can be made great with an awesome engine swap. Like the one pictured, it was a base skyline that has been given more moxy than it ever could as a preserved example. I'm getting stuff together for a 1UZ into an '81 Celica right now, and I don't feel bad because it's not in perfect shape and has no historical significance. Anyway, that's my two cents.

zamm3333
zamm3333

i guess i just dont like seeing the manufactures vision and purpose being destroyed or forgotten. like the miata for example, mazda built it as a perfectly balanced agile roadster. or the ae86 is known for its light handling easily controllable and how insanely light it is. i just hate to see all of that ruined by like an ls1 swap and hear the owner talk about how much horsepower it has. power isnt everything. but on the other hand i do think swaps like an rb26 in an e30 or a 2jz or 1jz in the hachi is dope. and if your drag racing then go ahead and put the biggest fucking engine you can find in that shit. theirs no replacement for displacement. 

Pancakes
Pancakes

The exception would be cutting up rare parts when an alternative is available or butchering a clean car when bodies and non-matching-numbers motors are around.

Bohan
Bohan

To me it completely depends on your needs. If you're restoring a classic or building a street car in accordance to some specific style, that's completely different from trying to be competitive in motorsports where the cost to results ratio is more important than satisfying people you'll never meet.

Bathsalt Barry
Bathsalt Barry

I dont give a fuck what goes into what, if it works and its making the OWNER happy, thats all that matters.

Justified503
Justified503

What ever floats your boat,  BRA!!!!!! 

KE20
KE20

I hate the LS swaps into Japanese cars, I love Japanese cars for what they are and love the Japanese style of tuning. An LS swap defeats the

purpose of owning a jap chassis. I guess you cant expect many people out side of Japan to understand.

 

MERICA fuck yeah!

racecarshots
racecarshots

There was a Starion at JCCS with  Lexus V8, that was rad. haha. I just don't get why some of the really old Skylines there had new turbo motors, part of what I would want out of one of the older Skylines is a nice smooth I6 with carbs.  Such a nice sound.

ORS
ORS

Ugh, doing an engine swap just seems like cheating to me.

Mechne
Mechne

Over 67 percent voted anything goes yet the only people who reply are the national purists/ vh8aters saying the lsx is played out. Like forced induction isnt? Just an interesting trend I noticed: people who are open to any swaps don't hate on other peeps that got stock motors. Just the purists who bring the hate. Maybe they aren't purists at all. Maybe they are just fans of the 2jz, rb's, sr20s, and 3sgtes. Anything that isn't a naturally aspirated v8.

BLK_S13
BLK_S13

To all the people complaining about putting LS motors into Silvias did you ever stop to think why that would be more attractive than putting an RB or SR into that car? I live in the vicinity of 5 GM dealers and that's just within a few miles in any direction. I could drive blindly and get to one beyond my area in a matter of minutes. If I needed to order an OEM part I'd be able to very easily. If this was the same for SR's or RB's it's silly to think that I wouldn't have already done one of those swaps. I refuse to be at the mercy of parts availability and shipping if something were to happen to my car. 

 

Had nissan brought over SR's or RB's to the US this would be a non issue. There's just no way an SR20DET can give me my goal of ~ 400HP as reliably as an LS, and the RB26 being as rare as it is (especially since it's been out of production and didn't see nearly the same run as the SR) it would be stupid for me to consider them. I won't even entertain talk about building the KA because I am not a fan of that motor in its current form and I don't need to be constantly making sure it doesn't blow. 

 

When you balance money, parts availability and power goals the unwise choice would be the motors that were never brought over and made in comparatively small numbers (RB).

 

Also before anyone starts getting on about money to "do it right" just remember why we do what we do. We get these cheap or average cars and take them beyond their original capabilities. If we were all loaded some of us probably wouldn't even do this and those of us that would still do it would have much more expensive factory performers as daily drivers. 

dan1407
dan1407

As long as its tasteful and done right I say anything goes. FYI... Any non rotary swap in any originally rotary powered car is not tasteful.

Lastspark
Lastspark

 @suju89 Computerized, complicated, overused, there is no gain in swapping in either of those junk engines into any car.

Lastspark
Lastspark

 @LavarBowers If I wanted something fast cheap and reliable I'd use a old carbureted engine before I did any LS swap. Since the average person can't afford a 2000 dollar tuning computer, as well as the ECU to run the engine. Then all the wiring and 30 pounds of wires and sensors that need to be connected and calibrated.

suju89
suju89

 @LavarBowers LS motors actually are LIGHTER than RBs due to being all alloy as opposed to iron (unless you go for the iron LS truck blocks, but that is only if you are trying to make over 2000hp)

suju89
suju89

 @KellanHeatley But lets say someone just absolutley loves the 2000GT, but they want it to perform to their specifications....is it so bad that someone would want their own vehicle to both look AND perform EXACTLY as they desire? I think that is totally fair.

suju89
suju89

 @zamm3333 Wait, you do realise that putting an iron-block-tall-long JZ motor into a Hachi would mess it up way more than a short-compact-all-alloy LS V8 yeah? You are right power isn't everything, thats why they go the LS route; power delivery, packaging, reliability and availability are all the other reasons beside horsepower.

suju89
suju89

 @KE20 What is the purpose of owning a Jap (sic) chassis?

Pancakes
Pancakes

 @ORS People have asked me I can build my motor or swap for a more tunable / supported and larger / more power productive block. I always say swap. If you build a motor whats the next step? Sell your $10k engine for $4 and look for the swap? If you swap first you can build it later.

Cheating at?..... you'll have to clarify please. Cheating at making power? Not going broke? If it's your money it's your rules, breaking someone elses rules isn't cheating!

suju89
suju89

 @BLK_S13 Also, compare the weight behind an iron-block RB or JZ and an alloy-block LS

Mechne
Mechne

Not tasteful as defined by you and everyone here trying to define what their limits are. The rotary sounds great and is fun to drive but because of its unreliability it's almost more of a novelty to me. The rx7 is the most agile and flexible chassis that the Japanese have made. To dismiss people's efforts into making it a reliable performer for the sake of novelty is not very good sportsmanship in my opinion.

suju89
suju89

 @Lastspark A version of the Coyote motor is currently the worlds most powerful V8. Complicated and Computerised? You suggest using an M5 engine, how is that less of those things then either of the aforementioned engines. Overused? Well, there is a reason for that. No gain by swapping either of those engines into any car? How? Explain? You make zero sense.

LavarBowers
LavarBowers

 @Lastspark sounds like you just hate tech....you gotta tune a carb plus it isnt as efficient as a fuel injection set up but id bet lots o $$ that you couldn't make as much power per dollar with antiquated carbs....but to each his own i wouldn't come near a carb if you paid me to.

ORS
ORS

 @Pancakes Yeah people always tell me I should swap an evo engine into mine and yes it would be easier to tune etc but Im not keen to as then I'd just end up being very similar to anyone else thats built an evo engine for their car. Id rather have something different than take the easy way out and do a swap but each to their own I guess.

The reply to the post above explains what I meant.

ORS
ORS

 @suju89 I meant it sort of as a figure of speech, in a way it seems lazy to me if you just swap out an engine because its too hard to make power with the current set up you might have. If you dont want to tune the engine you start with why buy it in the first place?

MrCool00236
MrCool00236

 @Mechne incompetence, lack of proper maintenance, and lack of knowledge on the owners part. the biggest down fall on the rotary  is the oil metering pump, it goes silently and kills the engine be cause hey how long will yours run with out lubrication? much less at 7000+ rpm. premix is the way to go, people are just to lazy to take the extra (literally) 10 seconds to premix at the gas station. they rather risk there engine then take 10 sec to do it right.

MrCool00236
MrCool00236

 @Mechne i hate people who call the rotary unreliable, iv owned 3 rotary cars, and they are very very reliable. lend me the keys to your piston popper for the day, i wont "smash" on it, ill drive it the same way i do as my 88 rx7 with its original engine, and i guaranty ill blow it up for you. nothing like driving home from work not letting the revs drop below 5k at any time and usually being higher.

dan1407
dan1407

@Mechne YOU ARE STUPID, end of conversation. If you reply you are even dumber!

Pancakes
Pancakes

 @ORS Totally see your point and when people don't get the swaps others have done the confusion normally comes from crossed priorities. They look at what you might do and think there's easier ways to get that power....     where you may have been looking for some feature other than just power in your choice and that is where it comes down to the person spending their money and their time getting what they want out of the finished (are they ever rally finished?) package.

 

suju89
suju89

 @ORS Because when it comes to the chassis, the looks of a car, that is mostly subjective. Is there anything wrong with wanting your own car to look AND perform exactly the way you choose? Engine conversions are by no means easy, so to suggest that it is lazy doesn't logically follow,

suju89
suju89

 @MrCool00236  @Mechne Haha, You would be surprised how long a no-compression 250 xflow can go without oil, plus 2k rpm past the redline (though that still woundn't be 7k)I'm a massive rotary fan though, just sayin'


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