An engine swap does not necessarily have to be a challenging process, but that does not mean that it is not time intensive. How long an engine swap takes depends on a variety of factors, and you should be aware of what impacts the timeline for a swap so that you can plan accordingly.
Determining how much time you should budget will hinge on whether a skilled mechanic is the one performing the swap or whether you, as a car enthusiast, are tackling the project on your own. Also consider some of the following aspects when you plan your engine swap to estimate how long until your vehicle is operational.
What Effects How Long It Take To Swap An Engine
While there is not one definite answer, factors can contribute to the amount of time that an engine swap will take. Below are a few of the different factors that need to be considered.
The DIY Approach Vs. A Skilled Mechanic
As you may expect, a professional mechanic with years of experience—and especially experience in auto body repair and engine swaps specifically—can accomplish this task much faster than you can on your own by doing it yourself.
The top range for complex engine swap projects performed by a skilled mechanic tends to hover at around 15 hours, but very simple swaps can be conducted in as few as four or five. That being said, this accounts only for work time; do not forget the following additional areas, which could add more waiting time to the process.
The Age Of The Vehicle Body
As vehicles have continued to develop and change over the years, one trend that has carried through is that the free space in a vehicle’s body has progressively gotten smaller. If you are working with a car from the 1970s, it will contain quite a bit more space in the engine compartment compared to a car from the 2010s.
Not only were older cars designed with mechanics in mind, but they simply had access to fewer technical components with which to take up space. This increased space makes an engine swap much easier—unless your old car is full of rust and needs body work first, which will increase the time.
The Type Of Engine You Are Swapping In And Out
Not all engines are created equal, and some are simpler to swap than others. In general, you can expect diesel and gas swaps to go faster than swapping in newer engines like hybrid and electric. The former often contain fewer elements that need to be connected and calibrated prior to operation, making the swaps easier and quicker to complete.
However, you may experience some delay in that once you have both the vehicle body and engine in hand, you might need to order parts and see what adjustments must be made before the swap can take place.
How Many Components Are Being Installed And Removed
It may go without saying, but the fancier you want your vehicle to be, the longer it will take to complete a swap. The more optional components you are adding during the swap, either to improve performance or simply to add a feature that you like, the more time you can expect to dedicate to the swap and procuring the proper parts. Throughout the process, each component must be tested and adjusted multiple times.
Backordered Parts And Other Considerations
One of the most common issues with an engine swap, no matter the type, is the frustration of getting ready to do the swap only to find that you are missing a mounting bracket or other crucial piece. When it is time to order it, you find it backordered, hard to find or more expensive than you thought.
It is important to remember that this will likely happen at least once during your swap, and you must budget in this delay as part of your consideration of how long your engine swap will take. However, hang-ups such as this do not add any time to the engine swap itself, only the preparation phase.
You can still expect anywhere from four to 15 hours to swap an engine depending upon the features you want, the type of engine you choose, the body it is being put into and who is doing the work.
Trust The Pros To Swap Your Engine Quickly And Safely
Whether you are getting ready to swap an engine and are looking for the right mechanic for the job or are considering an engine swap but are not sure whether it is the right choice for you, a good first step is establishing a relationship with a mechanic you can trust. The experts at Robs Customs & Restorations would be happy to answer any questions you have and perform an engine swap for you. Reach out to discuss your project goals.