If you’re a true auto enthusiast, you should be able to tell when your car’s engine needs to be replaced. You may be tempted to perform this type of swap on your own, although you should know beforehand that there are certain precautions to take that can prevent disasters from occurring.
There are also certain laws to consider when swapping an engine. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) dictates that it is prohibited to remove or render inoperative “any emission control device or element of design installed on or in a motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine” before it is sold and delivered to a buyer. Anybody who violates this section of the Clean Air Act can be fined up to $2,500 (or $25,000 for dealers and manufacturers).
Whether you are looking to swap a V8 engine for a Diesel engine, whether you are aiming for an LS swap or a Coyote swap, there are certain steps you should take prior to starting this activity. Here is a guide on how to do an engine swap on your own, even though you will be much better off enlisting assistance for this project.
Many people struggle to understand an engine’s wiring system, and understandably so. In order to fully grasp this type of system, one needs to be familiar with the relays, wire gauge, amperage and overall circuits. You should ask for help if you are struggling to comprehend whether the wiring system requires one or two relays.
Older engines such as the Rotary/Wankel engine (which cars like the Mazda RX-8 have) can often allow mechanical fans to work with them. However, modern-day engines become hotter more quickly and require significantly more cooling. Be sure to keep this in mind and don’t simply choose to use a cheap electric fan with insufficient flow.
A car’s exhaust manifolds (which guide the gases from the cylinders’ ports toward the exhaust pipes) must be modified for an engine swap. However, all of the wires and spark plugs can make this appear overwhelming. One of the most important precautions you should take regarding this component pertains to verifying that none of the tubes come into contact with the body or frame. The consequences of this can be devastating.
Given the fact that the space where the engine is can be extremely tight, a remote mount reservoir may be necessary in certain cases.
The driveshaft should be measured as accurately as possible, especially for cars with engines that have high horsepower (e.g. 800 hp). Also, be sure to choose the correct flange (flat ridge or rim that strengthens a wheel and keeps it in place) or yoke (a piece that allows the driveshaft to flex or “slip”).
Other aspects of your vehicle to inspect closely before performing an engine swap include the fuel systems, the oil pans, and pick-up tubes, as well as the torque converters. “Hybrid” converters are sometimes available for sale as aftermarket parts for modern cars.
Why You Should Not Swap Your Own Engine
You should not perform an engine swap all on your own unless you have extensive knowledge of mechanical engineering and of what the potential consequences of choosing certain vehicle components over others are. Even then, it is highly recommended to ask for help from a body shop professional who can more accurately work with your car’s layout and compare/contrast it with other classic car models. One ill-fitting part can affect your vehicle’s fuel efficiency and its ability to handle the road.
Also, be sure to remember that modern engines are generally more fuel-efficient. According to fueleconomy.gov, only around 12-30% of the energy from the fuel added to an average automobile is utilized to move it forward (depending on the drive cycle, of course). The remaining energy is attributed to heat and friction, among other things.
Research also shows that hybrid vehicles will become increasingly more popular over the next few years. Statista recently projected that by 2030, there will be more hybrid (34 million) and electric (44 million) cars sold in the United States, China, and the European Union than combustion automobiles (4 million). In contrast, there were 61 million combustion, 1 million electric, and 2 million hybrid vehicles sold in these regions in 2017.
Get a Professional Engine Swap Done Today
Contact the experts at Robs Customs & Restorations in Manassas, Virginia for help with an engine swap. We have experience working with classic, antique, muscle, and vintage vehicles and can perform four different types of swaps: LS swaps, Fuel-injected swaps, Coyote swaps and Hemi swaps. Whether you hope to add power to your car or are simply looking to stand out while driving, we are here to assist you and can even create a unique engine swap plan for you.