Engine swaps have long been considered the ultimate challenge for car enthusiasts. While the level of difficulty will vary depending on the type of swap selected (replacing the exact same engine will take much less time than popping a brand new type of engine into a different car), all engine swaps take tremendous skill and patience. But you might be asking yourself, How hard is it to swap an engine, really? This guide will walk you through the road ahead for several types of swaps.
Types Of Engine Swaps
Several popular swaps are available, though your imagination is limited only by the materials you can find, buy, and install. Here are some of the most common types of engine swaps and what you can expect to invest for each one.
Coyote Engine Swap
Coyote engines are a popular choice for cars thanks to their modular structure, which allows mechanics to build onto the engine as necessary. This flexibility makes it an excellent choice for people who want to be heavily involved with each step of the swap process and make their own modifications. Keep in mind that a less experienced or less enthusiastic person may find this process daunting. However, the modularity makes the coyote engine compatible with parts designed for other, non-Ford engines, so sourcing parts is typically less work, depending on whether the body you selected originally had a modular engine attached.
Fuel Injected Engine Swap
A fuel injected engine swap changes out the entire fuel delivery system, making this a high maintenance swap. Electronic fuel injection systems, which require specific tuning, are particularly tricky. To complete this swap, you’ll need to remove the carburetor and install injectors, throttle body, and sensors before setting up all of your electronic systems, which can be made easier by using aftermarket systems. This swap can help you save a significant amount in gas, making it worthwhile for older cars that are not practical to drive.
Hemi Engine Swap
Hemi engines can drop right into place, depending on the type of auto body chosen. However, all the additions needed to make it run, such as the oil pan, headers, cooling system, wiring and transmission, are far more complex. This is because the volume of parts available is not the same as it is for other swaps, thus requiring a great deal of custom engineering, a new fuel system, and all the necessary electronics as well. The lightweight hemi can therefore be deceivingly difficult to swap, though the power it provides is an intriguing reward for many.
LS Engine Swap
LS engines are made by GM and come in a range of prices, from $500 at a junkyard to thousands for a brand new model. Most cars that have an LS engine swapped into them will require the engine to be moved forward from the original location due to firewall clearance issues. Also, if you want to keep your factory low-mount AC compressor, you’ll have to notch the crossmember for the right fit. These are just a few of the modifications that an LS swap will require, and many others will require the use of adapter brackets and other similar items. Thankfully, the wiring harness and computing systems are relatively easy to put together when completing an LS swap.
How Difficult Is It To Perform An Engine Swap?
The difficulty of performing a swap varies based on the combination of the auto body and the engine you are working with. Even the most straightforward swap, however, can be tricky. Each engine requires its own electronic system, and your transmission, fuel delivery, and steering may also need to be updated. Many engines also require different amounts of space than the original engine, as well as modifications, such as adapter plates. Consult an engine swap specialist for more information about the specific needs of your ideal swap.
Why To Hire A Professional
As you can see, an engine swap is not as simple as adding a new engine and connecting it to your car. Engine swaps require a range of skills and knowledge, meaning that you can save a lot of time, money, and stress by letting a professional handle the swap for you. Hiring a professional can save you from costly mistakes, saving you more than if you had attempted the swap yourself, thanks to their experience in swapping engines. A professional can also complete your swap in a more timely manner, since work like this is their full time career.
Speak To A Custom Auto Shop Today
For more information about engine swaps and how a professional can help you with yours, speak to Rob’s Customs and Restoration. The team at Rob’s specializes in engine swaps and can help you create the car of your dreams in a safe, efficient, and affordable manner. The shop also completes antique, classic, and vintage car restorations and custom auto body work.