If you need more power in your car or just need a new engine, you’ll need to complete an engine swap. When replacing an engine in a car, you can choose to simply replace a broken engine with a similar model or to take the opportunity to get an upgrade that can improve your speed, power, and fuel efficiency. Whichever you choose, completing an engine swap isn’t always an easy task, so consult the pros before you get started for some expert advice on what to expect and how to best prepare for your swap.
The Engine Swap Process
Engine swaps can be long, detailed processes. After choosing an engine and chassis, you’ll need to remove the engine. If the new engine is bigger than the old, you will need to install new brackets and mounts to hold the engine. Axles and driveshafts may also need to be replaced. Then it’s time to connect the engine to different parts of the car, including the gas, clutch, fuel system, cooling system, and more. You may also need to adjust the exhaust, intake, and shifter tunnel, depending on your selected chassis and engine combo. This work can take months to complete, so planning ahead is key to ensure that you don’t end up with a half finished swap if you run out of time or resources.
Best Types of Engine Swaps to Consider
If you’re considering starting an engine swap but aren’t sure of where to start or which type of engine to pick, consider one of these popular choices.
Coyote swaps are popular options for Mustang owners, who appreciate the engine’s reliability, efficiency, and power. These swaps allow you to put a modular Ford V8 into the body of a wide range of cars, making it a flexible choice because it’s compatible with other parts designed for other modular engines. Modular parts allow for a large degree of creativity and innovation. It’s also easy to source and purchase parts for these swaps, as you won’t necessarily be looking for anything too specific — just a part that fits. A Coyote swap is an excellent way to pack serious power into your car with less hassle than some other options.
Fuel Injected Swap
Fuel injection replaced carburetors beginning in the 1980s, meaning that many classic cars are lacking this often-sought feature. A fuel injected swap is a great way to improve the performance of your car while retaining its vintage appeal. Fuel injection provides more stable idling, decreased maintenance needs, and better fuel efficiency. There are also several environmental benefits. Thanks to improved fuel distribution among cylinders, fuel injected engines require less fuel for the same power output. Exhaust emissions are cleaner and more consistent thanks to the precision of fuel metering as well.
A hemi swap is a popular choice for owners of certain types of muscle cars, like Mopar, because they drop so easily into place after attaching new adapter plates. Don’t be fooled, though — the remainder of the project can be tough when it comes time to fit in additional parts. As more hemi engines have become available at lower prices, this swap has become more popular, which has in turn made more aftermarket parts available to car enthusiasts wanting to give this one a try. Newer hemi engines weigh less, are more efficient, and have more output per cubic inch. It’s ideal for people seeking reliable, customizable, and modern performance.
An LS swap refers to an engine swap done with any engine made by GM, with the type selected depending mostly on budget. Even at the lowest end of the scale, an LS engine can cost as much as $1,500. Most LS engines are small, durable, and light, with good horsepower at any price point. Motor mount adapter plates are crucial to this swap, so be sure you have the right materials before beginning. LS swaps help save money on fuel mileage and provide better driveability and reliability compared to many other types of engines. With careful planning and a little bit of luck in finding cheap parts, LS swaps are typically budget friendly as well.
Getting Backup For Your Engine Swap
Speak to the team at Rob’s Customs and Restorations for more information about engine swaps or for a consultation regarding your unique vehicle. Rob’s specializes in engine swaps, custom painting, and classic car restorations in the Northern Virginia area. The company’s team can help you choose the best engine swap for your goals and assist in sourcing parts, or complete the entire engine swap for you if you’re short on time. Rob’s can also assist with the restoration of classic, vintage, and antique cars, preparing them for everyday driving or for official competition.