Don’t Hate On V8s
Eight Is Better Than Four, Or Is It?

I’m going to be blunt about this. I don’t get the resentment that some of our V8-swap posts usually get. Seeing that I predominantly cover the Japanese scene, this is a solution that isn’t quite so popular in this part of the world yet. The Japanese have been modifying and fine tuning their small displacement turbocharged engines ever since they came to be, so dropping a big capacity V8 into any car is still pretty unusual. But not bad – not at all. In fact, it’s seen as something pretty cool, and why the hell shouldn’t it be? In the majority of cases we are talking of motors that develop decent power, a good deal of low-end grunt all topped up with a sound that no car guy on the face of the planet can say that they don’t like.

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Yet, somehow, the popularity of these swaps in the US – mostly LS-based – has created a sort of stigma. Judging from some comments, it’s seen as if people are cheating if they avoid tuning their stock engine, and by fitting a V8 they’re taking the short cut to more power, more reliability and potentially lower running costs. Now, if you are racing or drifting your car, I ask you – is there anything wrong with that?

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Sure, you loose out on all the great aspects of a high-power force-induced engine, the character, that hit of torque when peak boost kicks in, and of course the scream of an atmosphere-venting external wastegate. If I stop generalising here, there are of course many other ways that a V8 swap can not only be cool, but also make total sense, and hopefully our V8 Swap Theme has shown you that. Or not. But hey, you can’t keep everyone happy, right? I’m going to wrap things up by taking a quick look back at some of the most memorable V8-swapped cars I’ve come across in my Speedhunting travels. Let’s begin with the motorFIX KE70 Corolla I shot a couple of years back…

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This was one of the first V8-swaps we saw in the Japanese amateur drift scene and a car that made quite a name for itself for that fact alone. What makes it special? Well, the engine for starters is a Toyota 1UZ-FE out of a Celsior, aka Lexus LS400. It’s 4.0L of unstressed, naturally aspirated eight-cylinder goodness – but not too much goodness though as this unit is a little on the lazy size, barely producing 265hp in stock trim. But that’s still more than double the power, capacity and torque of a 1.6L, 4A-GE 16V four-banger, and that my friends classifies it as a win-win on all counts in my book.

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I guess you really have to see and hear this Corolla in action. It’s so strange seeing a car that one would normally associate a totally different sound with, blare out an unsilenced V8 concerto. In this case it’s all helped along with an eight-throttle set up and a straight through exhaust.

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Another memorable V8 swap that has stuck in my mind since last year’s Gatebil event in Mantorp is this Finnish-built S14. I loved how the car came out looking so good despite being built to a strict budget – a great example of the resourceful nature of our Scandinavian friends.

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Providing the power here was a BMW V8 out of a 740i. The M62B44 unit is another four-litre motor that was engineered to offer smooth linear power and effortless acceleration thanks to readily accessible torque. To spice things up a turbocharger was added, supplying only low-boost but enough to get some decent numbers out of it. Sadly the engine gave up during the event but the owner managed to swap a spare motor in at his pit/camp site.

Must Mention Gatebil
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Another car from Gatebil that after shooting has quickly become one of my very favorite V8 swaps, is the recently-featured Fail Crew S13. This car really has it all – from the sort of aesthetics you would want on a pro-drift car, to a totally un-drifter-like attention to detail.

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Oh yeah, and an LS3 under the hood to supply a very reliable 500 horses.

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I’ll agree that some of these swaps send shivers down my spine at a first glance. I’m a lover of rotary power as much as the next guy, but let’s not kid oursevels here – if there is one thing these engines can’t do well it’s reliability. It takes a very good driver to drift a high-power rotary – just look at our own Mad Mike to see what I mean. For those that can’t be bothered with narrow power bands and high running costs there’s always the V8 option.

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I spotted this FD3S a few weeks back at Gatebil Rudskogen and while it was hard to digest initially, it was actually a very well-executed conversion, and I’m sure an easy to live with car out on track.

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But let’s take a little step away from the race track and drifting. What about road cars? I’ve come across some pretty interesting ones over the past few years, like this Swedish Porsche 912.

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This car, which dates back to the late ’60s, was initially produced to offer a more affordable option to the 911 which was proving hard to sell after it replaced the successful 356. That’s why it got a VW 2.0L flat-four, making it a very nimble and fun to drive alternative to its pricier, six-cylinder big brother.

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Except this particular car has done away with that stock motor, something I quickly realised when I saw it lining up for the Gatebil registration in Mantorp after seeing a familiar shiny round object through the grill section of its whale tail.

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Doesn’t that Chevy 357 look nice and cozy tucked away back there? As the owner of this 912 told me, the big motor has messed with the weight balance, but it makes it more fun as you can really play with the pendulum effect and indulge in some tail-out hooniganism when called for.

Never Underestimate
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Yep, it’s another Porsche – this time a 930 and yet another sporting an IROC RSR feel about it.

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This Supermachine 911 bring back at lot of memories of a very cool zero-yon drag event that MotorHead magazine organized a couple of year back up in Fukushima.

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It was the first time I had seen a V8 tucked into the back of a 911 and I was really impressed.

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The LS7 was far from stock, built up to close to 600hp and providing incredible acceleration off the line – mostly thanks to all that mass hanging out over the rear wheels.

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It looked sensational too with a very authentic feel about it all.

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One thing that gets me about the negativity on V8 swaps is the lack of understanding of just how much work it actually takes to get it to work well. Before you even get to the headache that wiring and wiring looms can present, you need to consider chassis modifications to accept the engine, mounts for the motor itself, gearbox choice and the adaptation needed to the driveline to make it all fit and line up.

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Oh, and depending on the chassis, one must consider how the weight distribution changes. This is something that needs to be taken into account when addressing the suspension, brakes as well as wheel and tyre choice.

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And while we are on this controversial subject I have to bring yet another car into this – Rocky Auto’s V8-powered Hakosuka. This is another one of those cars that made quite a bit of noise when it was released – but that wasn’t the intention. It was a simple request from one of Watanabe’s clients who wanted a smooth and reliable motor to power his old school Skyline.

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That’s when the Toyota 1UZ-FE came to the rescue. Reliability, drivability and effortless acceleration from as low as 1,000rpm.

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Does the swap make this Hakosuka any less of a Skyline? Obviously everyone will have differing opinions, so let’s hear yours!

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I’ll end this retrospective piece with another car from a few weeks ago as it backs up the point I want to close this with: experimentation.

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If it wasn’t for crazy car guys the world-over screwing around with cars and doing things for fun just for the hell of it, global car culture would be far less interesting to us all. I mean, where would Gatebil be without engine-swaps in general? Long live the swap I say, V8 or anything else that might take a particular owner’s fancy.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino
dino@speedhunters.com

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1

You don't get the resentment? Its just boring. You guys keep talking about how its all about the unique nature of the build, and that the maker of the vehicle is the only opinion that matters. 

Where I get bored and resentful is when we consider the difference between a cool engine swap, and a v8 swap. Shoehorning a corvette engine into countless (and I mean countless) 240s, rx7s, etc. Its just boring. Fine, the power is there, and other times the builds are extravagant like a few of the ones above. You don't get the resentment? Most of the builds we see are boring, non-creative methods of putting boringly huge horsepower numbers into a car from the 80s..... 

Basically, you can mod and tune your subaru impreza, but instead of doing it in a cool way just throw a corvette engine inside and let your horsepower figure on the spec sheet do the talking. That's a lot of the time, and that's where the resentment comes from. If you choose not to understand then you're not being smart and taking the high road, you're being ignorant to the fact that v8 swaps are about as original (usually) as a new Pitbull feature on a radio hit song.

2

It's not that I don't like V8s, I'm just not such a big fan of engine swapping in general. And hell, I love the sound of a screaming V8, but the whistle of a turbo is just something which I simply love even more.
Dang, that's so hard to explain lol

3
ToyotaSupraMan

"One thing that gets me about the negativity on V8 swaps is the lack of
understanding of just how much work it actually takes to get it to work
well. Before you even get to the headache that wiring and wiring looms
can present, you need to consider chassis modifications to accept the
engine, mounts for the motor itself, gearbox choice and the adaptation
needed to the driveline to make it all fit and line up."
Maybe you could help with that? Why not have an educational article about the difficulties of doing a V8 swap? Show the readers WHY it's not easy. They get that it's a practical and reliable way to get power, but they may not get that's it's more complicated than

1) take old engine out 
2) put new engine in 
3) connect some tubes 
4) HORSEPOWER YAY!

4

I'd love to know how many ''V8-swap-haters'' actually ever pulled and engine from a bay and swapped in something that was never intented to be there in the forst place.
That is a lot of work kids. And don't give me that ''it's played out yO'' attitude.That shit belongs with the Hellaflush movement and 6K wheels on a 2K Honda crowd.
Furthermore, I'd love to know how many have actually ever turned a wrench on their ''stock'' engine and managed to actually get a 50+WHP or more out of it... Real bonafide honest reliable pump gas 50WHP is not easy nor cheap.
And once you do manage to get that bump in power, it usually doesn't last very long.
Long live the V8 swap, at least ''purist'' guys will have the left over stock blocks those V8 guys throw away to play with.

5

God that blue 911 is good looking. SO much want.

6

DoBeriault I don't care how much work goes into it, that doesn't make me like it more. Couldn't the same thing be said for ANY engine swap that wasn't meant for the new chassis? I think Dino is generalizing in his article because I don't think V8 swaps get a bad rap in general. It's the LSx swap that started this hate. The reason is because they are so common now, and common things eventually become boring. "Oh look, another V8 (LSx) swap... yawn." There are so many more V8s out there if people are looking for the benefits of a V8 yet still want to be creative, just like some of the examples above.

7

johnbezt  Um...Subaru's were probably the worst example to use here there is no "cool" way to make significntly more power in a Subaru without dropping the entire engine and spending an ass ton to make it last, which is the author's point. 

While hating on a robust V8 isn't hard and has been around since the import movement began...Throwing a big turbo (and an expensive one if you want it to spool) and a catalogue of expensive parts made to extort the fragile ego's of import owners at the advice of some Tuner magazine is not exactly difficult, either.  THAT is boring.

8

DoBeriault You are a nerd and you should close your face.

9

Difficulty is subjective. I don't consider most, if any, engine swaps "hard" which is why I appreciate that you reference the amount of work rather than difficulty. They are just time consuming. By the very nature of how cars are made it's reasonably easy to move parts around and everything is documented very well. Sure, changing an engine means a lot of supporting parts change out, but that's a matter of time and money, not difficulty. Difficulty comes into play if you are working with really weird cars, parts, or materials, for instance having to weld into a magnesium body of an early Bugatti or trying to merge a modern 12v electrical system into the systems of a 40's Chevy harness.

Most of the hate v8 swaps get is because a lot of people see it as taking the easy way out. To swap in a turbo charged 4 cylinder with VVT vs dropping in a carbureted v8 is a massive difference in work and time... which is why someone chose the latter. The reality is that it was probably a logical choice for that project. If someone doesn't mind the draw backs of that engine/supporting modifications vs the benefits, then let them have their day. It just means they get to spend more time actually driving their car than fiddling with electrical gremlins on an engine no one outside it's country of origin really understands.

As long as someone understands the pros and cons of the engine swap they are doing, I don't care what they use. They are the ones who are stuck driving the car if it ruins the cars character/purpose.

10

1J/2J all the cars.

11
Iamthetrollhunter

Self-proclaimed passionate, international auto blog polarizes followers by requesting they ignore personal preference, like everything.

12

I am not into V8 engines, but there are some cars (even ones with swapped V8) that are just *gawd dayum*! That depends mostly on the build itself.

13

jdmRob this is why my V8 sings through a turbo.  best of both worlds.

14
Gianluca FairladyZ

Being a car guy, and NOT having all that budget to build a high performance VQ35HR or RB26DETT or SR20, or etc. with forged and reinforced internals and everything around it i absolutley understand the swaps! It's cool and it seems to be a new trend.But in my opinion it depends on which role the car has to play. Give me a Drift car and i privilege a lot of V8 engines over the 13B or SR or 2JZ engines.. Let's face it ( and please dear V8 guys don't get pissed when i say that ) these god ol american V8's are build relatively robust and in some way primitive. Again, i want to precise, as i worked many years as a BMW mechanic i would not put in a BMW V8, i'd still prefer the US V8 motor because of its very good reliability.


Now give me a street car that you maybe track once a year, so in this case I'd swap it just for fun to have some nice sound, power and the Wow effect.

Now give me a track focused sports car, then I'd say no. IMO power is not everything, the car should be balanced and have a good wheight distribution. Best example change a very light 13b for a LS3. I don't know if a FC or FD would still have that famous agility that a RX-7 is famous for. That's my opinion, please correct me or give me advices if i'm wrong or you expierienced other situations.

15

Octane, compression, displacement, revs. Displacement is by far the easiest and most reliable way to increase output in a drastic way. Two valve American v8s are wicked simple and robust. Pushrods and rockers may not be sexy or have optimal valve angles but they pull the (considerable) mass of the engine to the center of a compact package you can stuff into the most claustrophobic of engine bays. Chevy, Ford and Chrysler v8s have been stuffed into any and all vehicles built from 1922 onwards excepting the ultra rare pieces. a truck motor is for torque, torque is cheap fun. 
p.s. the porsche swaps do make me tear up a little.

16

I love V8's!  They are just awesome, but then again, I love burgers, ZZ Top, and apple pie... and I support gun rights... Go figure...

17

midgeman DoBeriault On the internet all the swaps are epic and all the cars are drivable. We are looking at a small percentage of a minority. The swaps get attention because in short they make most cars faster, a lot faster, and we hunts the speeds.

18

Growing up around V8's all my life(Chevy, Ford,Chrysler, Dodge/Mopar), I've always loved the sound and power that comes from them. I'd rather swap with something I know that I can get sideways with, make low times on the track or 1/4 mile and not be harassed by the law if the swap is legal or not. 
First thing kids want is an RB, SR or some weird swap that they know is not going to fly and is crazy expensive. I'd rather a junkyard Chevy small block and hit my nearest Auto-zone, rebuild it and run it. Reliable power, parts that can be found easily, add on a super/turbo charger and still keep $$$ in my pocket. I'm even impressed with the Euro V8's and what they bring to the table.

19

Speedhunters commenters logic: You are an unspeakable bastard if you say anything remotely negative about stance, but shit talking V8s is a-okay.

20

Is it V8 week on speedhunters ?... I hope next week is tiny cars with high revving motorcycle engines.

21

midgeman DoBeriault 
Just drive a LSX swapped anything... and see if you yawn.
BTW, thats what cars are for... driving.
If you want to be creative, here's a box of crayons and some paper, have at it.
I'll be watching Roadkill.

22

@Yassss lol that's the perfect solution

23

I love V8's and I'm up for V8's in most things....I have my own even.

Cant help feel a little sad about the 912 though. They didn't have VW flat four as stated but a revised 356 four cylinder and I'm led to believe the reduced weight in the back made them handle a lot better than the equivalent 911 and I've got a real hankering for one. Seems a bit of shame to the opposite way put all that weight back in...ah well I'll get over it. I'm sure its a hoot

24

Hang on, that doesn't look like a 60's 912 that looks like a later one, which was a bit of a stone by all accounts and deserving of weird things being done to it.

I retract my previous statement, V8 away!

25

DoBeriault  I don't come to SH for driving pleasure. I come for reading pleasure. So, yes, seeing yet another V8 swapped car bores me.

26

I don't hate on V8 , I just don't like GM V8 swap ... unless it's a GM car (like Pontiac Solstice with GM V8) , of course this is just my opinion .

I really like the BMW-powered Volvo Amazon , BMW E28 (just appear on previous article) , and the Nissan S14 ; the Ford 302 V8 swap on Impreza Coupe & HEMI V8 swap on Ford big sedan (I forget the name already) is quite awesome in my book too ... and my favorite ? 1UZ swap .

27

T dice I agree. the 912 made plenty of power if the carbs are set up well, and had vastly improved handling over the 911. My dads is a '67 with twin webbers and that car will haul ass.

28

In my opinion theres only one issue with swapping an inline or a flat 4 or 6 to a V8. weight increase at the wrong place..and of course you can cut off the firewall and squeeze it into the engine bay as far back as possible. But I think big v8 just dont belong in compact cars like a corolla, because with a big engine you lose that compactness and low weight and high rpm fun. But the main thing behind V8 swaps in drift cars for instance is not only reliability is the ever desirable low end power, and the smooth power delivery which makes drifting easier because with low end torque you dont need too much speed to initiate the drift also its not that scary not that dangerous, and easier to learn but not that spectacular either. Its only a whole fucking lot of smoke. Thats why i think that races like DriftMuscle or D1SL are/were by far the best drifting events.

29

Wrong. The LS is lighter than most iron block inline engines and smaller and lighter than any overhead cam engine. An LS engine is 430lbs, a 2JZ is almost 600lbs, an S65 something around 400lbs.
Displacement does not equal weight or size. The LS engine is smaller and packages better than any other OHC V engine and most turbo engines and usually weighs less as well.

30

Sorry, I meant smaller and lighter than any overhead cam *V* engine.

31

I dont hate V8 swaps, I'm just not a huge fan of interracial sex between cars and brands. If you want an 8 cylinder Corolla, pull the UZ from a Tundra or whatever they use in the IS-F and drop it in there. LS swaps are fine in my book, as long as they stay within the GM family (Pontiac, Chevrolet, GMC, etc). BMW makes some badass V8's, find an E92 motor and use that for your E36, not an LS. Its not just 8 cylinders though. Mike Essa, cool dude - awesome driver, cant support the 2J in a Bimmer though. Its just a principle of mine. I appreciate all the work put into the swaps, I just think it would be cooler if brand stayed with brand. 
Just my 2 cents, take it or leave it, but don't take this piece to a level where people are arguing over something when we're really all on this page for the same reason. Debate, but don't let it blind you from the love of cars. Unless its your build, don't really worry about it. Focus on what you do like about these cars, not what you don't.
Peace

32

JohnTruitt

My sentiments exactly sir.

33

JohnTruitt  except essa runs a turbo s54

34

axelillo JohnTruitt What you said ^

35
mbretschneider

In brazil, engine swaps are illegal (though plenty, its barely neglected by law agents). The most popular tuning engines are 1600 to 1800cc VW Engines from the 80s (like the old turbo volvo engines in the swedish scene). 
These engines are cheap, easy to find and easy to source on performance parts. In fact, so easy it is, that on an overhaul, the price to build it with all forged internals good to 500+ hp and stock internals is basically the same.


Those engines have a ton of enthusiaist and are the equivalent (locally) of the plentitude and ease-of-use of the V8 in the american scene.
What i believe that is part of the v8 rant (the same as they rant about the "AP VW" engine we have here) is because people actually see it as a shortcut to reliable power , but they see it from their POV only.
A 1960s v8 here, on carbs, making somewhat 300ish hp costs around 10.000 USD, with nowhere-to-find parts, so yeah, a turbo 4-banger is our reliable power on local standards and everything else is seen as exotic, and everything VW+turbo is seen as "cheapass shortcut"
I think if most of the people account for that to get an american v8 in japan, europe or latin america is a big pain regarding PRICE, accessibility, imports, smog certification... that a v8 swap in those places isnt exactly a shortcut, but as much work as tuning the original engine of the car! if not more! A v8 swap in here (and i believe in asia too) would be such a pain that people would drool over it for certain!, and certainly the turbo is the "easy way" around here

36

mbretschneider thanks for the perspective! great to see things substantiated from another direction

37

I stand corrected. Glad to see he's running Bimmer in Bimmer. His hood was down when I saw him in the pits at FDmia, so I just went on what I heard lmao. Ive seen Bimmers with 2j's though and they're pretty rad I just can't get over the fact that its powertrain doesnt match. Again though they aren't my cars, I'll worry more about swaps when I go to drop a Cummins in my Jeep.

38

The thing is, you get all excited to read about a V8-swappy, just to get dissapointed that it's ANOTHER LS# swap. I get that engine is good and all, but it's just everywhere, so much that when someone mention V8 swap, the first I could think of is an LS#. LS here, LS there, LS everywhere. Van or truck, grip or drift, big or small, off-road or stance, you can LS-swap them all ! Go-kart get an LS ! Prius get an LS ! Maybe I'll shove some up on my bicycle too, just for the sake of the game -_- 

Long story short : LSes are too mainstream, they make it boring

39

JohnTruitt 
I agree!  I really enjoy seeing work done when parts from same brands are used. Not just engine, but all components.

40

zapsnyder boy it seems so engineering lazy to put a low compression american v8. At that point it is vital to say that BMW V8's  are far more mature engines with half the displacement and 30% more rpms. We love lightness and that motorsport scream of an engine

41

mbretschneider I like your take. Practicality shouldn't be seen as "cheating". I could never afford to BMW v8 swap a car in the states, but it wouldn't take too long for me to find a wrecked small block chevy donor car. The same way the japanese can pick up pristine used sports cars at prices we'd only dream of

42

@Zenith 430lbs is a little low, but It does slip under the 2jz. You're absolutely right on deck height though. Good luck fitting ford's coyote in enything that didn't leave the factory floor with 8 cylinders

43
Gianluca FairladyZ

Madgreek zapsnyder  Of course the Bimmer engine is more mature, but also more fragile. It has been buildt for another markets that have other demands.

44

JohnTruitt who gives a damn about the sacred brand name? i see it from an artistic standpoint, everything is born from the same damn sheet metal, and everything is distinguished by a little shiny logo stuck with two-sided tape. Hell, i may put a toyota badge on my volkswagen and call it a corolla with a 1.8L swap. What you are saying is just simple minded (not to offend you)  but sit back and think, if you have the means, why the hell not, after all thats the paved road to Speedhunters stardom. I have yet to see an off the lot corolla or an ugly ass 2015 corvette stingray on here. Be creative, think outside the box. hell, take that LS1 out of your corvette, and throw a Maserati  v12 in it. why else would everyone be taking their hearts out. BTW thanks for the article Dino, it was a pleasure as always

45

JohnTruitt Exactly how I feel, thanks for typing it all out for me :)

46

90% of the people that come on here and hate on V8's are people that have never actually put a wrench on a motor. People will always swap in V8's especially LS's motors because they are  stone cold simple to work on and by far the most tuner friendly swap out there. When it comes to actually taking cars out on a track everyone knows the worst kind of day is the day you show up and spend the entire day trying to fix the car, LS motors are very good at avoiding those days. 

People are to concerned with the "look" these days because the most work they have put into there car is a coilover swap and a set of expensive wheels and they usually dont understand the undertaking it is to get a swap to work no matter the motor. Most the people i know that actually build there own cars completely understand the V8 swap as they all have gone through there own KA, B16, etc...turbo builds and know what a total nightmare those kind of builds can be. Anyone who's ever really dug into a motor before understands that keeping it simple is key and there is nothing simpler than an LS swap. As a person who has stuck an LS into a 240, "the most common boring build out there" I could care less what other people think of the swap im to busy having fun ripping pavement apart at half throttle and not working on my car basically ever cause its so damn reliable. and for people that say its to "common" or "main stream" how many have you actually seen in real life? One more quick note the LS motor is lighter than the KA 240's come with so weight isnt even a matter to discuss (now that Porsche however is another story) I love all swaps and the rule should be dont go hating until you have done it your self.

47
mbretschneider

Off topic: can anybody enlighten me why over the past weeks we have seen many builds where one or more turbos feed big horsepower engines without intercoolers? (Like the thousandish hp volvo amazon or the two-thousandish hp ford escort from the v8 theme readers ride)

48

Dino,

A lot of points made below are a pretty good explanation of the hate on V8 swaps, but one of the more important reasons why there's such a rift is the general car culture in the US. 

In the US there's always been a rather large rift between old and young, import vs. domestic (or fast & furious vs vanishing point if you will). My old man is all about the V8's and it's old hat to me. The guy just doesn't get me and I get bored easily by muscle cars and V8's. 

In being a white guy driving an import there's hardly ever a time I won't get called a ricer when rolling anywhere near a domestic car show. Go to any Cars and Coffee show and you'll hardly ever see lowered Honda's, S13's or anything else that's been highlighted in a F&F movie - not because import fans don't want to go, but because the amount of shit-talking and hate isn't worth it - especially in the South.

There is no domestic equivalent to the term "ricer" - no negative one-word summation of an entire scene. No one looks at someone driving down the road in a muscle car, rat rod or classic and has a single derogatory word to say. I sure as shit don't get any attitude when I'm in my '69 Camaro. When I drive that thing dudes be like "nice car, wanna fuck my wife?"

But, by swapping a V8 into an import a lot of import fans see it as crossing that divide. Somehow, swapping an American V8 means you're turning your back on the scene and not a real enthusiast. A big V8 swap makes you a corner-cutting turncoat that took the easy way out. I think the hate for the V8 is a lashing-out because of the amount of negativity import car owners/tuners have received since the dawn of import tuning in the US. When you get constantly shit-on for no other reason than owning an import it's understandable people respond in-kind.

Hope this helps explain at least some of the hate.

49

IshMel Could tell you had an LS swap from the moment your comment began... Don't take it so personal. If you like putting a V8 into almost anything, that's your taste, but if others don't, then let them have theirs.
Your intolerance is no better than the other person's. I'm pretty sure you don't know what 50% of the people on here do, let alone 90%, making any kind of comments.

50

FunctionFirst That was some valuable insight... I also think some people are just purists at heart or even just fans of a particular car or company. I love muscle cars, and I love imports, and I love Porsches even more, but I don't like to see the mixing between them for the sake of "reliable power".
I really appreciate when I see someone took the time and effort to track down an engine of the same lineage or even just turn a lemon into lemonade by tuning the stock motor. Btw "effort" can also consist of working to save up the money to do a same DNA swap over just another LS. It's not just about turning wrenches, it's about dedication and attention to details.

51

Basically people just hate the LS motor because it is too good. Im sure people felt the same way when they switched from flatheads to small blocks. Also I am willing to bet there are quite a few people who do most of their speedhunting online and are a bit jaded to the amount of effort that actually goes into a swap like that.

52

FunctionFirst As someone from the south I couldn't have said it better myself. If i show up to a show every single young person comes by and talks to me for hours and most older car guys stay 100 yards away. Then I pop the hood and young people just scoff and walk away and the older guys seem to come out of the wood work to check out the car. I never thought about it in the way you said it, its perfect.

53

CabbyMatt JohnTruitt Woah man, relax. Alls I was saying was that I think its cooler when everything is matched up. I mean yeah its cool to see cars with parts from everywhere but its just not my thing. However it's different when it comes to aftermarket. Im trying to find a pair of Bride racing seats and Takata 5 points to put in my Jeep. Nobody has done that. So its not that I don't like being creative or being artistic and thinking outside the box, I just have a preference of seeing powertrains matching the lineage. Chris Forseberg is one of my favorite examples. He uses a V8 in his 370z, but the motor is out of a Titan. How badass is that? Plus he's the only one I can think of running that set up other than Jhonnattan Castro, his teammate. But again, you're entitled to your own opinion, just remember that so am I.

54

c3o5nnect FunctionFirst Amen sir.

55

JohnTruitt CabbyMatt 
Ever thought he might've been told/sponsored by Nissan to use that engine???

56

@JohnTruitt and all I'm saying is why set this standard of "matching parts"? I see creativity in meshing drivetrains. Shawn hibmacronan is an artist out of california, he is currently building a 63 Ford Falcon, now don't get flusterd.. with a VW TDI and a Toyota transmission.... if that doesn't spell crearivity, I don't know what does. That is doing something that's never been done before. (Not beating down the jeep with brides, that's pretty rad) but cars are a reflection of the owner. I personally don't want anything that I haven't made my own... whether it be a crazy swap or just the body made to my liking.. I don't see a vehicle in the road now that I don't want to change. I actually would love a 13b mk1 rabbit.

57

DoBeriault JohnTruitt CabbyMatt You're probably right, but my point still stands.

58

http://shawnhibmacronan.com/current here's a link to his site. The title of the projet is "love, inertia and the pursuit of the perfect stance".

59

CabbyMatt Thats definitely an awesome project, and its definitely creative and artistic and everything that car building should be. I would just rather see someone who pays attention to the history of the company and uses that in there builds, not to take away from what he's doing. I personally would rather see that 13b go into a Miata, but if you ever come across an old dub and decide to drop a rotary in it, it's not my place to tell you "oh no, don't do that" cause at the end of the day its not my car. But there are well respected enthusiasts out there who are doing brand-brand swaps. Look at Marty and Moog on MCM and the Gramps build. There is a much easier way to make that little wagon an 11 second car, which is a V8 swap, but instead they took the initiative to throw a 6 cylinder boxer from a Tribeca and then put a turbo on top of that and wire it up with all brand new Haltech gear. That's pretty cool and unique too, but it also employs the same principles I have at heart.

60

Marty and moog are a couple of my favorites.... but a ve in a vw has been done, it's a rediculous redistribution of weight in such a short wheelbase car. Danny George is gonna be drifting with an ls in his miata... built to almost 700 hp I believe was the number. It's not just about a unique swap to me though, keep it proportional, i could give a shit less about a quarter mile time, if it's fun on windy roads and quick of the line, I'm a happy man. This v8 hate is off, but I do personally see more ls swaps than I'd prefer, but a build is a build. Mike Burroughs of stanceworks did a '28 model a ford with a bmw v8. It's cool to crosbreed. A vehicle brand is nothing more than a badge. If it wasn't for a tiny logo, nobody would say "keep swaps within the same brand".

61

Nico Leone  Ariel atom per chance?

62

Just a quick note: the M62B44 is a 4.4 liter V8 that was put in E39 740i and 740iL models.  Not a 4.0 liter.

63

CabbyMatt A vehicle brand is more than a badge... It's the lineage, culture, and inspiration behind the car. A lot of people take newer cars and swap in engines from older cars they love from the same family but rather not restore, or the other way around. If all you see is a badge, then you're probably missing out on the history that made that "badge" recognizable in the first place. 
Swaps are all a matter of preference, but history is undeniable.

64

Oh, don't cry child.... sorry I hurt your feelings. All I'm saying is look at a car and disregard anything you know about it, then think about how you would build it. From just a shell. I love automotive history, in all cultures. I'm not bias. I just think about cars as blank slates.

65

Fantastic write up dino! You've raised quite the debate here!

66

CabbyMatt lol the irony of your first statement... I'll let you be on your way.

67

You're a funny guy. But for real, be open minded about swaps, the work it takes to put any drivetrain into a car that was never meant to be is serious work. Why hate?

68

CabbyMatt You see hate; I see preference.

69

If those preferences are so strong then build one, then get featured here so I can see it.

70

CabbyMatt Yup. 964 project on the way, soon as the Datsun 240RBZ is buttoned up.
I don't do it for the spotlight, but maybe they'll grace the pages of SH. If anything just for the great photographic work I'll get out of it with these SH guys.

71

That's pretty rad, do you have an instagram? Would love to follow progress.

72

c3o5nnect CabbyMatt Hey guys, please refer to the last paragraph of my first comment. Thanks

73

JohnTruitt c3o5nnect CabbyMatt lol did my replies not fall into that last paragraph?..

74

Nope, nothing came through @c3o5nnect

75

DWQuattro 
Dino

76

DWQuattro 
Since he was talking about four liter v8, Dino took artistic licences with it and rounded the displacement for it to flow with the rest of the article.

77

IshMel  "I couldn't care less what other people think..." - Fixed that for you. You're welcome. 

John

78

IshMel FunctionFirst

WOW.....that's 'Murica for you!

79

@Nate 'zactly. Even same-family swaps are a bitch and a half

80

mbretschneider Probably spraying water-methanol

81

c3o5nnect IshMel 90% haven't done an engine swap...............................................................................................................................................................................................

82

c3o5nnect  It's about the owner's vision and goal for the car. A smooth build with more horsepower over stock that looks factory is a beautiful thing. A 600hp 2JZ Fairlady Z that lives up to the builders ambitions is special in it's own way too

83

JohnTruitt yeah, rather stay in the brand, this is what ot's about for me

84

Any chance of ever stopping by the Lotus shops you talked about earlier?

85

Each to their own. Everyone below...hug it out.

Nice write up Dino. I'd drive any of them.

86

I don't hate v8 swaps but I don't get excited about ls swaps. I love the idea of have a v8 and as a miata owner, I dream of having 500hp in such a light car when my current 150whp is fast. LS swaps are just at the point where you can buy motor mounts and headers and everything you need for almost any FR so it is more of a spending 6000+ on only an engine. I also don't care if different brands are used but like other people said, that's just my 2 cents.

87

Not all V8 swaps, just LS ones.

88

The issue I have with V8 swaps is that the vast majority of them are done on the cheap; it's not often I find an LS swap that did more than transplant a stock Corvette drivetrain into another car. The cars featured on sites like this are more the exception than the rule, but if you look around a bit, you'll find that most people doing these swaps are really just looking for the simplest way to get their car pushing 300hp+. Granted, there's nothing wrong with a budget swap, so long as it's done right, but the common smack against these swaps of "laziness" doesn't come from nowhere. Using a stock Corvette transmission is nothing short of unacceptable in a car meant for any kind of semi-serious racing, and yet the vast majority of LS swaps still use the slushbox known as the T-56.


One of the common arguments I hear for LS swaps in particular is that they have extensive aftermarket support, and that they don't cost as much to modify as most import engines do. Yet, most of the LS swapped cars roaming the streets don't have so much as an aftermarket cam. When I look at how cheap performance parts for the LS engines are, I can't help but think that the people doing these swaps simply can't be assed to learn how to properly tune an engine. You can buy a set of ITB's with velocity stacks for an LS series engine on eBay right now for a little over $1300, yet how many LS swapped cars do you see rocking ITB's? Or anything besides a stock throttle body, at that?
It all just seems like a lot of effort for fairly minimal return. Is a lightly modified LS in an FD really any faster than a lightly modified C4 or C5 Corvette? I'm going to wager no. Yet you'll spend over $10k to shorehorn an LS into an FD and tell the people keeping their FD's basically stock that they're making the poor financial decision.
Keep in mind that I'm not talking about the guys who do no-nonsense swaps on their street cars, or the guys that actually race/drift their cars. They can keep doing what they're doing, as far as I'm concerned.

89

I love my 1uz with junction produce exhaust. i love jdm and i love american muscle so i get a lil bit of both worlds.

90

The T56 is a manual transmission...

91

Because if you have a 240 and swap an LS in it, all you've really done is made an expensive different looking Camaro.

92
Jonathan Casey Woland

Wow, beautiful V8 powered 911's!

93

You raise some valid points, but let me tell you about a friend of mine here in London. He was heavily into the import scene, but he's getting bored of driving a bland belly button hatchback that looks like an electric razor on wheels. He's always been a classic car buff, so he decided to do a build on a 1960s Jaguar MKX. His plan's to restore the body, chrome and interior back to original condition, then drop in a small block Ford from a Fox Body Mustang, and uprate everything else to E-Type spec. He's considering an LS motor, but he's thinking of making it look period looking.
Getting back to what you said, everyone who knows him supports his decision to some degree because you can't make a Honda B18 make torque to suit a Jaguar. Many asked him why he didn't use a Jaguar V8, so he tells them that they never had one in 1964 and the Ford unit's more compact, being a pushrod engine. It fits in the engine bay nicely and it's also lighter than the straight six. Some of his friends are now considering V8 swaps and even older cars from the 50s and 60s.

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