QOTD: Are Cross-Marque Engine Swaps Blasphemous?

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
qotd are cross marque engine swaps blasphemous

I’m a big fan of goofy engine swaps, but I must admit that I get tired of seeing small-block Chevy engines in everything. Still, engine swapping is an American tradition that goes way back, and the rise of online discourse has led to a huge increase in the level of heretic-seeking, brand-loyal, anti-engine-swap sentiment in the last decade or so. Why, our very own Crabspirits may have to go into a witness-protection program after stuffing a Nissan VG30 V6 into his Toyota Cressida, and I’ve received some disapproval for putting a GM engine in a 1941 Plymouth (not a huge amount, because prewar Plymouth fanatics tend to be 115 years old and not so online-savvy). AMC guys wig out when they see an LS in a Javelin, BMW fanatics get all red-faced when they see an E30 with a Detroit V8, and so on with just about any cross-marque swap you can name.

How do you feel?

Are all such swaps evil and wrong? Some of them? Which ones? So far, fanciers of British cars are the car freaks I’ve found whose members nearly always approve of weird engine swaps, partly because of the tradition of hacking the hell out of British machinery and partly because so many British engines were 50 years obsolete when new.

Whaddya think?

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5 of 96 comments
  • Athos Nobile Athos Nobile on Jul 14, 2015

    I'm ok with it. Actually, I'd love to swap a Coyote V8 into a C3 Corvette. And I like Corvettes. A Falcon Barra turbo would be awesome under the hood of an American Mustang. One of the FFs movies did a Skyline into Mustang swap. Some OEMs have even done it: GM put Honda engines in the VUE, Nissan engines in the Commodore. BMW put a Chrysler engine in their first MINI, which now graces Brazilian FIATs. Ford put Volvo engines in their Focus, Toyota has the Subaru F-4 in their 86... and that is before we go into the diesel engines, or heavy trucks, where things really get incestuous. If the OEMs do it, it's fair game for everyone else. I rest my case. The only blasphemy I could see would be a halfa$$ed hack job.

    • See 2 previous
    • JohnTaurus JohnTaurus on Jul 16, 2015

      @Athos Nobile Youre not making sense at all now, just stop. Lexus V-8? The most common engine swaps are done because the engine being swapped in is easier to modify for a lot more than factory HP rating, and cheap to buy/build/repair. None of that applies to a Lexus V-8. I understand why people put LS engines in a Mustang, I just wish theyd go with an F-body instead because its a GM emgine. [I mentioned putting a Lexus V-8 in a Toyota pickup above for the novelty of it, CERTAINLY not because I thought Id get more out of it than with a SBC. SBC has many advantages if my goal was to heavily modify the engine for high output. As I said, if that was my goal, Id start with a Chevy S10 as there is huge aftermarket support for it (not to mention I think its much better looking) and use an LS engine.] Volvo designed the 5 cylinder? And that changes my point, how? When FORD OWNED VOLVO AT THE TIME, everything Volvo (automobiles) was Ford's to do with as it pleased. It used their platforms to develop next-generation full size cars in North America, it used their engine in a limited number of compacts in Europe. In turn, Volvo got a small car platform, engines, cash to develop future models, etc. Not to mention I made a point of saying I had no problem with factory equipped non-oem engines. Your "OEMs do it" BS (by the way, love the part about how you "proved" they do it as I acknowledged as much many times in my responce, even refrencing an blatent example) became null and void when I said equipping the car with another automaker's engine *at the factory* is very much different than doing it after it leaves the factory. If it leaves the factory with it, then it was intended for it. Automakers share things all the time, usually with mutual benifit, and there is nothing about it that I have a problem with. This especially applies to muscle cars/sports cars, as they tend to represent the performance of the automaker that built them (even if its engine isnt the 100% the same brand at the factory, as in the co-developed Yamaha engine in Taurus SHO), and taking out the car's factory engine to replace it with something from its rival's stable betrays that car. As has been said before, this is especially frowned upon when a modified engine from the original make's arsenal could be used instead and/or a suitable car from the automaker donating the engine exists and is common enough to aquire Your point about inginuity being required in such swaps betrays your ignorance, for it takes just as much work to put any engine in a car not designed for it, and some of the popular swaps that have been mentioned here in this thread are almost always availble with kits that make the install go very smoothly. If youre putting a Coyote 5.0 in a 1970s Ford, lets say a 71 Torino GT as those were pretty cool, Id venture to say it would take a lot more effort than if you were to put a SBC engine in it, due to the aftermarket support of such swaps which means putting one in virtually *any* car is relatively simple affair. Out with the old, in with the new. BTW, comparing Chinese econo crap cars equipped with vastly superior (Im thinking) Mitsubishi engines to legendary American sports cars being discussed here is equally absurd. You need to quit while youre behind. You dont have a problem with cross-make swaps (even if you dont understand them)? Fine. But this pathetic "proving" it your attempting isnt helping.

  • Raph Raph on Jul 15, 2015

    An LS into a Foxbody is Satan's own hands at work. Plenty of 3rd gen F-bodys around for that and as an added bonus GM's crappy interior materials will disintegrate when touched leaving the need for only a vacuum cleaner to take weight out of the car.

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