By on December 7, 2009

Steve from Seattle writes:

As regularly mentioned on Piston Slap, the LS-X engines are the best in the world for their compact size, low weight, simplicity, reliability, cost and ability to make more power with simple bolt-ons. So I wanted to share my project to TTAC’s readers: we put a ’99 LS-1 and T56 into our BMW E30.  Everything works, A/C, cruise control, etc.  Seriously.

It’s a sleeper, except for the “357i” numbers on the trunk (nice of BMW to make a “735″ that we could cut apart) and our “E30-LS1″ license plate!! Only those ‘in the know’ get it.

We published a “How-To” CD, which documents how to build the E30-LS1.  It contains pictures from the build, Catia drawings, wiring, fuel system, driveshaft mods, engine mounts, radiator system, A/C, HydroBoost, etc.  I also have more pictures here.

Thanks and I hope everyone likes it.

Sajeev replies:

How can I not promote the hard work you did on this BMW? And you took the time to document and self-publish everything?  Perfect.

I hope you motivate the Best and Brightest to tackle their own automotive projects. Which embodies the spirit of Piston Slap: the E30-LS1 is automotive lunacy and perfection in one package, likely to tick off every BMW fanboi.  And shame them into silence with a command performance.   Regarding your how-to CD: maybe TTAC needs another project car…maybe not. But a closer look with a Product Review is certainly in order.

Bonus!  A Piston Slap Nugget of Wisdom:

The E30 is a fantastic platform from stem to stern.  But don’t take my word for it, look at it’s racing success in the 24 Hours Of LeMons. But the engines are more than a little outdated for any other event.  And what better upgrade than a lightweight LS-X motor for AMG-levels of grunt with proper BMW poise in the corners?  Epic Win.

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62 Comments on “Piston Slap: E30 + LS1 = WIN...”


  • avatar

    What are the specs on the engine? Finished curb weight?

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    Everyone “in the know” knows that a GM Small Block makes anything and everything better.

  • avatar
    chuckR

    Seattle? Catia CAD files? Wonder where Steve works…..

  • avatar
    educatordan

    Pojects like this always make my own ideas seem less crazy.  My ideas usually involve mixing and matching engines from the same manufacturer, usually ones that where offered in a similar platform.  Like taking an early 90s Escort Wagon and dropping the Escort GT componets in there.  Or take a Buick Century from the end of the production run and making a 3.8 supercharged.  Or taking a last generation Malibu and seeing if a 3.9V6 from an Impala will fit.  Or take an old turbo-4 Chrysler Town and Country Wagon and seeing how fast I can make it go.

    • 0 avatar
      segfault

      “…taking a last generation Malibu and seeing if a 3.9V6 from an Impala will fit.”
      http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/car/06q1/chevrolet_malibu_maxx_ss-road_test
       

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      Damn no orginal ideas anymore! LOL.  Actually that car (the Maxx SS) sold so poorly I had forgotten about it, and I’m even a Car and Driver subscriber! 

  • avatar
    swc7916

    Same comment as chuckR.

  • avatar

    Forgive me my ignorance, but I have no idea what an LS-1 or LS-X engines are, although I am able to deduce that they are (probably) VERY powerful BMW engines. And although from spending countless hours on TTAC I’ve learned that E-something usually refers to a beemer, I’m sure that a lot of new people, and maybe some old ones, are lost here. As a science writer, I always put descriptions of stuff I refer to that may be known by the cognoscenti, but unknown to others, in parentheses. For example, here is a sentence from my article in the Feb. 2007 Microbe on bacterial flagellar (flagella are appendages which bacteria use to move around) motors:
    “On the level of nuts and bolts, interactions between the stator and the FliG proteins of the rotor (part of the switch complex [previously described in my article]) generate torque.”
    An explanation for LS-1 like “a turbocharged 4.5 liter, 6 cyl BMW engine” (or whatever the thing happens to be) would have made this much easier for me to read.

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      LS-X: a series of engines made by GM from 1997 to right now.  Most famous for powering the Chevrolet Corvette but versions are also found in Chevy trucks.  Preceded by the LT family of engines, which when I was a wet behind the ears kid were the one’s I lusted after.

      Personal note:  One of my personal goals is to get a late 70s Corvette and replace the weak, smog choked, factory V8 with either an LT or an LS engine.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      Yes…the LT1 powered Impala SS from 1994 to 1996.
       
      LTx/LSx = GM V8s.

    • 0 avatar
      Boff

      I friend just did such a swap with his ’77 Vette, but with an older small block (a 383 stroker IIRC). Well it’s not done because of a long list of things that still need to be ironed out. He is only a year behind schedule. These swaps are really really tough…Bob had to fabricate a whole bunch of stuff…re-engineer stuff. Wow. Major props to anyone with the skills and guts to take on such a project.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      @educatordan:
      I’ve always wanted to see the Buick 3.8L turbo V6 put into a C3 Corvette.

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      IIRC a about a 1/2 dozen years ago, Hot Rod magazine had a reader who dropped a turbo Buick 3.8 into a Chevy II coupe.  Needless to say he was really, really happy with the results. 

  • avatar
    Boff

    3 comments:

    1) Brilliant!!!!

    2) To really piss off a Bimmerphile, do this swap into an E30 M3.

    3) I wish someone would do this for the RX-8.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    3) I wish someone would do this for the RX-8.
     
    The RX-8 is one of those cars you can’t really do this to (easily) without losing something.  The LS has great packaging, but Renesis is smaller and lower still, and endows the RX with much of what makes it great.
     
    The best you could hope for in the RX would be a flat six or a hybrid.

    • 0 avatar
      Boff

      Yeah I’d hate to give up an ounce of the RX-8′s nimbleness, but I think it could be done. The LS-7 with its dry sump (or the LS-3 with dry sump from the Gran Sport) would be heavier but could be mounted very low. Move the battery to the trunk, lighten some underhood componentry, and I think there’s a shot at making it decent.

      Of course, the main thing inhibiting progress on this project is probably the 100,000 mile warranty on the Renesis. haha

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      Hmmmmmmmmmmm.  Flat 6?  I can’t really picture a Subaru flat 6 in an engine bay without AWD.  That would turn the RX into the bastard child (ideas wise) of an Eagle Talon… Oh I’m liking the idea better already but I’m pretty sure you’d probably have to just about fabricate EVERYTHING. 

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Flat 6?  I can’t really picture a Subaru flat 6 in an engine bay without AWD
       
      Subaru is not the only company that makes a good flat six.
       
      One might question why you’d do this instead of getting an original, but to that I’d answer a) the RX handles better and b) I could look myself in the mirror without wincing.

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      At least Subaru installs their engines under the bonnet and not under the boot.  (rimshot) Sorry, couldn’t resist being a wiseguy. 

  • avatar
    ott

    That is a nice looking piece! Well done.
    Also, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a kit available to stuff a 350 into a RX7 body, albeit the older bodystyle, mid 80s. They also made a wide body kit and hood to accommodate the extra power and requisite larger wheels/tires.

  • avatar
    oboylepr

    Automotive Blasphemy!

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    ^ Blasphemy can be an awful lot of fun. 

    I’m looking forward to the day when someone does this to a Volt. 

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    People have been sticking small-block Chevs into things they weren’t supposed to be in for the last 40+ years.

    How about something interesting/different like one of the BMW V12 into a 5 series wagon swaps?  Or the V10 Ford into the Crown Vic PI? Or the CAT diesel in the 928? The ‘Busa in the Smart? The radial engine motorcycle? The 5L ‘Benz into the Gen-I SLK? The Viper with twin twin-screws?  Even transplanting most of a 911 TT under a beat-up microbus is more novel.

    Sorry. Sticking an SBC or SBF into anything is as challenging (and as newsworthy) as falling out of bed.  From motorcycles to Jeeps to aircraft to shopping carts and little red wagons, it’s ALL been done before. If not dozens or hundreds of times.

    Don’t get me wrong. If you’re doing it for your own enjoyment, hallelujah brother. If you are doing this as a project with your son/daughter, god love ya. Regardless, it’s your car, and as long as you like it and it does what you want, then it’s a beautiful thing.  It’s a safe and easy starting point for someone who wants to learn swaps and building. Can’t disrespect the effort, work is work.

    BTW- In order for an LS engine to generate serious and reliable HP, you’ll be replacing every part that GM ever got near. Including the block. It will become a Chev pattern engine, and it’ll cost nearly as much as building a BMW V8,  Porsche V8, MBZ V8, to the same output.

    @educatordan,

    Google up ‘turbo minivan’ or something close. I imagine he’s still around. There was a factory turbo Chryco minivan sold for a while. Crank up the boost, do a little tuning. Go to the drag races, smoke the wahoos in ‘Vettes and bitchin’ Camaros. Priceless…

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      There’s an article at Allpar about that turbo minivan guy, that was a pretty sweet ride.  I’m so demented I’d make the T&C wagon a manual transmission unit too while I was at it.  You do have a point about orginality.  I have drempt before about a powerstroke turbo diesel in a Town Car, wonder what the performance stats would be on that?  If you really want to cheese somebody off you could do a Viper V10 into a classic Corvette, but you’d probably have to take the body off the frame and fabricate a tube frame chassis for it, having said that, it would still be a BLAST.

      Don’t forget that back in the 80s the Chevrolet skunkworks took a Caprice Classic and dropped a BMW V12 into it, just to explore what the advantages of a V12 were over a V8.  BMW wouldn’t sell them just the engine so they actually went out and bought a 7-series BMW just to rip its heart out!  Too bad they didn’t seem to learn anything from the exercise.  (BTW my source for this story was an article in Hot Rod in the mid 90s when they toured GMs “special projects” warehouses. 

    • 0 avatar
      Mike66Chryslers

      Look-up the 1971 Pontiac Firebird Pegasus, another GM “skunkworks” engine swap, but this time a Ferrari V12.

    • 0 avatar
      Victell

      I think this swap is appropriate, well thought out, and it make for a very functional and well-balanced car.  While the swap added 80lbs total, the ls engine is lighter than the stock motor and will set the bulk of that weight further back in the vehicle.  The stronger t56 ( I would have used a world-class T5) puts weight further back.  And the ls engine is lower profile so the weight is lower in the vehicle. 

      Most folks dont do ls swaps to impress internet engineers or for the “novelty” of it.  This isnt something ridiculous and pointless as the swaps you mentioned.  CAT diesel in the 928?  Brilliant.  Busa in the Smart?  Good luck with that at the next HPDE.  This BMW was made to run.

      In order for an LS engine to generate serious and reliable HP, you’ll be replacing every part that GM ever got near. Including the block. It will become a Chev pattern engine, and it’ll cost nearly as much as building a BMW V8,  Porsche V8, MBZ V8, to the same output.

      This is all kinds of wrong, I dont have time to refute it all.  I’ll just sum it up as Porsche snobbery.

    • 0 avatar

      BTW- In order for an LS engine to generate serious and reliable HP, you’ll be replacing every part that GM ever got near. Including the block. It will become a Chev pattern engine, and it’ll cost nearly as much as building a BMW V8,  Porsche V8, MBZ V8, to the same output.
      Spoken like someone who knows very little about the robustness of modern Corvettes.  Out of the box the LS1 is on par with the latest naturally aspirated V8s from anywhere, and they accept loads of NOS, Boost, or a hot cam with little to no changes other than a ECU reflash. Not only do you make the E30 better/faster/lighter/lower center of gravity, you do it for cheap.
      There is no downside unless you are brand loyal and can’t stand to see GM’s finest improving someone else’s design. And in that case, you deserve to get your ass handed to you by an E30-LSX.

    • 0 avatar
      Bimmer

      How about something interesting/different like one of the BMW V12 into a 5 series wagon swaps?

      I’ve got a better one, done by Racing Dynamics. It was called K55, based on E36 Compact (E36  is 3rd generation of 3-Series BMW, Compact is a BMW speak for hatchback (such as 318ti and 323ti). Here are the specs:
      Racing Dynamics K55 Compact Specs

      Engine:5486cc,V12,24 valves
      Gearbox:6 speed Manual
      Max Power Output:427hp/5900rpm
      Max Torque:405ib ft/4100rpm
      Top Speed:306Km/h  (190mph)
      0-100Km/h:4.5s
      Priced at the time at £ 70,000

  • avatar
    ott

    So, then why do most drag racers and hot rodders prefer to use the small block Chevy?  I’ll tell you why. It makes reliable and dependable power, and can be had, built and rebuilt for a song. No  BMW or Porsche engine can do that. It would be interesting to see a cost sheet for an engine build comparing two of these engines.

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    Ott,

    It’s initial cost is relatively low, and there are upgraded aftermarket parts readily available. I’m not trying to suggest that they aren’t. But any high output GM race engine is a pattern job – aftermarket block, crank, rods, slugs,heads, you name it. None of it is manufactured by GM.

    Comparison?  600-ish streetable, reliable HP can be done for around 10K on either a 5.7 chev or a 3.5 BMW.  (Both force-inducted). 

    Yes, you can rebuild a stock 5.7 Chev to stock for about 1/3 what you’d spend to rebuild a 5.7 Porsche V8 to stock.  But, start building and the price of the Chev goes right up with the cost to build the Porsche. Yes, the Chev parts will be in the Jeg’s catalog and Porsche parts will require some phone calls.  

    • 0 avatar
      Victell

      porschespeed the Chev parts will be in the Jeg’s catalog .  None of it is manufactured by GM.

      Wrong again.  Intake to oil pan, and everything between.  2000+ hp support for LS generation.   http://www.gmperformanceparts.com/_res/pdf/GMPP_2009_Catalog.pdf

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    Ott,

    It’s initial cost is relatively low, and there are upgraded aftermarket parts readily available. I’m not trying to suggest that they aren’t. But any high output GM race engine is a pattern job – aftermarket block, crank, rods, slugs,heads, you name it. None of it is manufactured by GM.

    Comparison?  600-ish streetable, reliable HP can be done for around 10K on either a 5.7 chev or a 3.5 BMW.  (Both force-inducted). 

    Yes, you can rebuild a stock 5.7 Chev to stock for about 1/3 what you’d spend to rebuild a 5.7 Porsche V8 to stock.  But, start building and the price of the Chev goes right up with the cost to build the Porsche. Yes, the Chev parts will be in the Jeg’s catalog and Porsche parts will require some phone calls.  

    • 0 avatar

      porschespeed,
       
      if 600 reliable HP is your goal, an LS1 out of a wrecked 98-02 Camaro/Firebird can be had for $2000, and a 10 psi intercooled procharger kit can be added on for another $6k or so. As long as you aren’t kissing the rev limiter everyday, the stock LS1 is more than strong enough to support this level of power. I have 20,000 miles on my blown LS1 Vette on the untouched original drivetrain, right down to the clutch, and it makes 570 rear wheel HP on 93 octane all day long.
      Or, a brand new LS3 crate motor from GM for $6500 with a bigger cam can give you 500-550 HP all day long with OEM level reliability.
       
      No German motor offers this kind of bang for the buck. Period.

  • avatar
    ott

    That is a nice looking piece! Well done.
    Also, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a kit available to stuff a 350 into a RX7 body, albeit the older bodystyle, mid 80s. They also made a wide body kit and hood to accommodate the extra power and requisite larger wheels/tires.

    Speak of the devil… http://www.usedottawa.com/classified-ad/9762602 But man, this is ugly. Riced, anyone?

  • avatar
    ott

    Porschespeed, Good points. Especially about Jegs and the phonecalls. I guess there should be some sort of patience/frustration quotient relative to build/rebuild either one of these excellent engines.

    As to my earlier post:

    That is a nice looking piece! Well done.
    Also, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a kit available to stuff a 350 into a RX7 body, albeit the older bodystyle, mid 80s. They also made a wide body kit and hood to accommodate the extra power and requisite larger wheels/tires.

    —Speak of the devil… http://www.usedottawa.com/classified-ad/9762602 But man, this is fugly. Riced, anyone?

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    I hope they at least had the decency not to trash a good 325i for this.

    The only Frankenswap I’d like to drive is the MkIV Supra with a twin-turbo’d V12 from the Toyota Century: 2JZ output with a much nicer powerband. That, or maybe the electric S2000.

  • avatar
    George B

    I agree with ott.  In the United States the various small block Chevy V8s are inexpensive with lots of aftermarket support.  Small block Chevy V8s also easily mate up with tough GM automatic transmissions that are well suited for drag racing.  In addition, small block Chevy V8s can survive an amazing amount of abuse and remain functional or at least repairable.  Bonus points for the V8 exhaust note.
     
    I found it sad that cash for clunkers destroyed so many V8 engines that, if liberated from SUVs, could have lived on in this type of engine swap.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    I’m looking forward to the day when someone does this to a Volt.
     
    It was reasonably common to stuff K20s into first-gen Honda Insights, so this isn’t entirely unprecedented. 

  • avatar

    My favorite engine mix was to put V8s, I think from Ford, into RWD Volvo wagons. That way, you’re hot, but the police do’nt know it.
    Educatordan: Thanks!

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      You’re welcome.  BTW Chevy small blocks and Ford small blocks seem to fit equally well in Volvo wagons, you even see them for sale on Ebay every once in a while.  Check out Jaguars That Run if you want to see some more senarios using Chevy V8s, the site seems to be abandoned almost (lack of updates for many years) but they list manuals for installing Chevy V8s in everything from Datsun Zs, Jaguars, Volvos, S-10s, and Astro Vans.  Advanced Adapters http://www.advanceadapters.com/ handles mostly 4wd truck engine/transmission combo swaps.

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    Wrong again.  Intake to oil pan, and everything between.  2000+ hp support for LS generation.   http://www.gmperformanceparts.com/_res/pdf/GMPP_2009_Catalog.pdf

    Most, if not all of those parts are subcontract products. If you get in with some serious engine builders, they can tell you who makes what for GM and GM performance. The same people that build parts for GM performance sell to the public, or at least, the racing world.

    Let’s take pistons for example. Mahle is one of the largest manufacturers of pistons and rings in the world. They not only supply Porsche and MBZ, they also sell just about every piston in every NASCAR engine, as well as a lot of Formula stuff.   

    If you are GM and want to sell a custom forged race piston, likely you will call Mahle and have them make them for you. No, I don’t know who GM has do their pistons, and yes, the sub will vary by part.

     Another example, EFI on Fords was a licensed Bosch system, and Bosch made about half of the hardware. So, I could go buy a higher rate injector from the Ford Motorsport catalog, or I could use my Bosch cross-ref and get the same part without the Ford packaging and middleman markup. 

    So, in a sense Victell you do have a point. Mine is that dollars to doughnuts, most if not all is subcontract and you are paying GM’s middleman fee when you buy from them. The part comes is made by someone else, buy from them. Make sense?
     
    I can tell you who makes pretty much every piece of Porsche hardware. Hint: It ain’t Porsche.

    @Sanjay,

    At the low end, no argument there is some advantage to working with an SBC or SBF. Once you start seriously building, your per HP costs level off rather quickly until you start pushing the upper 20%.

    I get 500 at the wheels out of 5L of Porsche for about $5K-  RMT or a twin-screw. For $10K, I have everything cryoed, coated, new forged low-comp pistons, new ARP studs,etc.  That setup does over 600 at the wheels. 

    Granted, I do my own work.  

     Interestingly enough met a cat the other day with a 780 at the wheels F-body. It was a ‘Vette engine transplant with upgraded internals, aftermarket manual trans and clutch (stock couldn’t hold), upgraded driveshaft, rear end, radiator… Same parts cost as it would be do a 5.7L Porsche to the same output.
     

    • 0 avatar

      I get 500 at the wheels out of 5L of Porsche for about $5K-  RMT or a twin-screw. For $10K, I have everything cryoed, coated, new forged low-comp pistons, new ARP studs,etc.  That setup does over 600 at the wheels.
      I hate to burst your bubble, but 500 at the tires is stupid easy and dirt cheap on an LS1. Stock long block with a blower and exhaust will get you that magic number.  Forget about the LS2, LS3, Ls7, those are even easier to make that much power.
      Want more?  Change the cast pistons on an LS1 and the sky’s the limit.  Thats the only weak spot, the blocks and crank are good for much, much more.

  • avatar

    Check out Jaguars That Run if you want to see some more senarios using Chevy V8s, the site seems to be abandoned almost (lack of updates for many years) but they list manuals for installing Chevy V8s in everything from Datsun Zs, Jaguars, Volvos, S-10s, and Astro Vans.
     
    There are a few companies that do the SBC conversion for Jaguars but it seems to me that while changing the transmission in an XJ from the AW crapbox to a GM THM makes a ton of sense, the XK six cylinder is a great engine and pretty reliable.

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      Ronnie, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with the Jag equipment.  But honestly if I found a Jaguar XJ with a bum engine (and there’s more than a few of them on eBay BTW) I’d sooner replace the Jag engine with a Chevy driveline just so any mechanic in the middle of nowhere could work on it.  Let’s say I decide to drive my Jag cross country to visit my parents who live 2,000 miles from me and about 4hrs from the nearest Jag dealer.  My car breaks down, what kind of engine/transmission would you rather have? 

      Now I don’t think all those Jags with bad engines are on eBay cause the Jag units are crap, I just think lots of people who buy used Jaguars buy them and then can’t afford the upkeep.  Kinda like the housing bubble, I’m gonna buy the biggest, most expensive, most prestigious car I can get for the loan the bank or dealer will give me.  Then something goes wrong with the car, they can’t afford to fix it, and they have to get out from under it. 

  • avatar
    E30-LS1

    The LS1 added 85lbs to our car, as measured on a 4-corner scale.  Final weight 2865lbs with a half tank of gas.  As for “power adders”, the LSx series has by far the biggest range, from cams ( a 4-hour swap) to superchargers.  All are very simple to do.  None of that liner-less cylinder bores, either.
    We find that the hp we have is more than enough — any more is just bragging rights.  The car is extremely quick; it has enough power to bite you pretty hard if you go at it without care.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    e30s/e36s are popular transplant patients/victims here
    usually the Nissan SR20DET, RB25DET and Toyota 1JZ/2JZ-GTE are common
    recently the LS1/Ls2 is getting some love as well
    a lot of labour though…

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    I hate to burst your bubble, but 500 at the tires is stupid easy and dirt cheap on an LS1. Stock long block with a blower and exhaust will get you that magic number.  Forget about the LS2, LS3, Ls7, those are even easier to make that much power.
    Want more?  Change the cast pistons on an LS1 and the sky’s the limit.  Thats the only weak spot, the blocks and crank are good for much, much more.

    Not bursting my bubble at all. I know what can be done. Hell, 800+ at the wheels with bolt-ons is completely doable. Saw some kids do it with a Mustang at PRI like 4 years ago. Lingenfelter used to do bolt-on HP too. He also used to have a lot of it blow up.   

    My macro point is just racing reality:  Fast. Cheap. Reliable. Pick any 2.

    At the lower levels of output (500-600) it’s a bit cheaper for someone who buys off the shelf to play with LS stuff.  But if you want 800 at the wheels for more than a few minutes, you’ll spend the same to get it out of a Chev V8 as a Porsche V8. 

    @educatordan,
    Ronnie’s right about the engine. That old Jag 6 is like the 1300/1500 Fiat engines – the mechanicals are way better than the electricals and ancillaries.

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      I never said there was anything wrong with that engine per say.  Here’s the scenario I’m talking about for a Jag + Chevy V8.  Lets say I find somewhere (lets say eBay for example, cause I saw one like this on there two weeks ago) a Jag that somebody had electrical/ancillary problems with and started to tear the engine apart, got frustrated, never put it back together.  Parked it in a barn for 10 years, engine disassembled, finally frustrated family member elects to sell it for a song.  I’m sorry guys but I don’t love Jags enough to lovingly restore the engine.  I’m gonna yank it, see if any Jag restorers want a engine block ect and then drop a Chevy V8 between the frame-rails.  What’s so hard to understand about that.

    • 0 avatar

      At the lower levels of output (500-600) it’s a bit cheaper for someone who buys off the shelf to play with LS stuff.  But if you want 800 at the wheels for more than a few minutes, you’ll spend the same to get it out of a Chev V8 as a Porsche V8.
      Granted you said you did all this work with your own two hands, but I have yet to see a Porsche Tuner charge anywhere near the prices of an LS-X shop.  Kudos to you, because you sound like the exception to the rule.  Correct me if I’m wrong on that.

    • 0 avatar

      Cheapest way to get a reliable 800 rwhp is to put a 4 liter Whipple and bigger injectors on a completely stock Ford GT500 motor. The Blue Oval Boys really overbuilt that one. On the 16 injector Al blocked Ford GT supercar version, even the stock fuel system is good for 1000 at the wheels. You just supply the turbos and 109 octane fuel.

  • avatar
    dolo54

    Nice build. I’ve been thinking about doing the same swap to my 300zx, a swap which has been done quite a few times and is pretty straightforward. An even more ambitious idea is to convert it to electric with a turbine generator. When I have the time and money…
    Your engine mounts look a little scary to me, would like to hear how they hold up.

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    Nice work, but don’t let this person anywhere near the M versions.

  • avatar

    Nope.  I know it’s very, very right.
    FWIW, I know my 4.6L/5.0L Fords would be better/faster/lighter with LS-swaps in them, but I wouldn’t do it either.  But I’m not delusional: I know I am missing out on a superior design…no doubt about it.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    Hm, Could I drop a used LS1/3 into my STi for an engine upgrade?  I’m not a do-it-yourself’er, so I’d have to pay the local shop boys to do it.
    What kind of  $$$ are we talking?

  • avatar
    E30-LS1

    We first thought that the 5.7l Hemi crate engine would be fun, but then moved on to the 4.6l DOHC Mustang Cobra engine (FordRacing had some left-over, brand-new, complete drivetrains from the Panoz project for about 6k).  We did some research on the 4.6, including a card-board cut-out, but at over 30″ wide across the cam covers, it was just too wide.  The E30 framerails are about 690mm (27.16″) apart, and the spring towers not much more.  So we settled on the LSx series for their compact size, low weight, availability of PCM re-flash, etc.

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    Granted you said you did all this work with your own two hands, but I have yet to see a Porsche Tuner charge anywhere near the prices of an LS-X shop.  Kudos to you, because you sound like the exception to the rule.  Correct me if I’m wrong on that.

    Sajeev, I’m not talking about bolt-ons. If you’re talking about some of the hardcore 911 guys, well, not my market. Perhaps some shops charge a premium, because they feel their base should pony up.  And sure, getting a one-off cam is going to be pricier than an off the shelf Chevy cam. But a custom Chevy bumpstick  costs the same per cam as one for a Porsche. Flowing a head on a wet bench  costs the same per hour Citroen or Chevy. Balancing a Porsche (or Sube) crank and rotating assembly takes less time than a Chev, but I pay my guy flat rate, same a Chev. Cryo and coating costs the same, doesn’t matter what you build.
    @Sanjay,  Yup, the Ford will show some pretty impressive HP. For the average driver who gets in it for less than 20 sec at a time, it’ll be fine.  

  • avatar
    E30-LS1

    Well, I guess there is only one thing to do with a 911:
    http://www.renegadehybrids.com/911/Pictures/LS-1Pic01.jpg
     

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    If you’re gonna do a 911, use a Toro/Eldo trans and get the engine in the back seat. People have been doing that since the mid-70s.  

    If you want performance, I think Ron Simpson’s probably still around. They do V8s into 914s. Of course, one could just get a used TT flat 6 and keep it as a VW-Porsche…

    @educatordan,  I was just saying that the Jag engine is solid. I understand the desire, you make the call.


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