Question of the Week: Tell us your dream engine swap

Burning rubber doesn’t prove anything. For a street car, the longest strip of rubber that I have ever seen was by a 1950 Ford six.

True John but, slamming the pedal down and laying a good strip without any brake assistance is pretty fun. Not trying to prove anything except making myself laugh.

Believe it or not, I also have a 66 Silver Blue Mustang convertible. I will finish up a 7 year restoration in a few months. Mine also came with a 302 (circa 1969). I was lucky enough to find a period correct 289 and had it rebuilt. As for Angie…depends on a lot of factors like are you running an auto, 3, 4 or 5 speed? How do you envision using Angie? Weekend pleasure cruises, local shows?

Mostly, it depends on your budget.

From the pic, it looks like a C code (originally a 289-2 bbl). On the lower end of the scale, I’d say go with a freshed up 289 or pre 1971 302. Both have enough horsepower and torque to get you around at a decent clip. If you have deep pockets and a lot of time, I’d consider a 2013 or newer 5.0 but now you’re looking at some other upgrades for Angie to keep her happy (and you safe). With twice the horsepower and torque, you’ll need to make sure the structural integrity is up to snuff. Wiring will need to addressed along with an upgrade to the rear gears. Most important is a decent set of disc brakes (I went 4 wheel disc with a booster).

Good luck with whatever you decide. Angie is a real beauty.

Already driving one of mine – new crate LS3 in my 82 242 Volvo. Pulled out the 5.0L Ford that was in it before to upgrade to the current mill. Next will be to find a clean 71-74 Toyota Corolla and go aluminum LS in it.

call her Greenpeace

This is an awesome build.

I think I have 2. A Honda Fireblade bike engine in an old Honda S600 or S800 convertible, and taking a 32 Ford style hotrod and powering it with a turbo Honda K-series mated to a BMW ZF 5-speed.

1954 Corvette powered by Pontiac OHC Sprint 6. Two speed automatic would appear more correct, but four (or 5) speed would be more fun to drive.

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I’d put in a K code HP289.

Friend plans to put an Arias 496 into a Fiat Topolino for street use. Radical.

215 V8 aluminum Buick into an Sunbeam Alpine…about 170lbs lighter than a Ford V8,

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I owned a 1951 Olds Rocket 88 that had the engine bore and stroke squared (3 7/8 bore and 3/78 stroke or 1/8 inch 125 thousandths overbore) that had plenty of power back in the late 1950’s but I always had dreams of having a 1957 Olds J-2 engine installed (the 3 carb version). Never did it but always wondered what it would be like.

@jguyer_autodrome - That is certainly an interesting combination that I don’t think I would have ever come up with. I dig it!

Trust me, the “Buick guys” would hate you. Lol.2011%20111

I’d drop an Innercooled Buick Grand National V-6 into a VW Bus. It would take some plumbing work getting a radiator & inner cooler up front but it can be done.
Can you imagine the look on people’s faces when their Corvette or Challenger got blown away by an old VW Bus?
With all the weight over the rear wheels I bet it would hook up pretty well & pull the front end once max boost builds.

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Might get some resistance for this one, but back when I worked at a car dealership and these were new, I always thought a Nissan Juke body on an old school lifted pickup chassis would be neat.

For the engine swap, I’m thinking blown-alcohol BBC rear mounted/rear facing, monster truck style.

2011-nissan-juke-front-view-in-motion-view.jpg (1500×938)

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Most of the cars I like came with a great engine in at least one trim level. The Shelby GT350/R, for example. The one car that has always lacked power, in my opinion, is the Mazda Miata. Now that the latest design has improved looks and lost weight, it’s a ripe candidate for a turbo version. Pick your favorite 2.0T available from just about any great source these days. They’re making well north of 250HP, which is a huge gain over even the Miata’s most potent engine. And don’t give me complaints about peaky output–many excellent examples are tuned to provide excellent low-end torque and fairly flat torque curves to near red line.


I am interested in speaking with your son about the ECM chip he is doing. I am doing a single throttle body per cylinder induction system on my LT5 and want the ability to run with the stock computer. I know the injection pulse width will need to be adjusted in order to do that. Not sure how we can hook up, but would like to talk with him about it.

ELECTRIC v-TRUX swap into my '75 Silverado. Similar to the Volt, would provide "amp"le (lol) power support when boondocking, great towing torque plus quiet park entrances/getaways in the wee hours.

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It was around 1998 A customer came in with a Triumph Spitfire that was knocking and smoking. When we started discussing the car’s problems he added that the transmission was pretty much worn out as well. I told him that I could spend 6000 dollars rebuilding his 1500 and make it like new, but even then it would only be a Triumph 1500 and still subject to it’s many faults. As we talked about his options I casually suggested a swap to a Mazda Rotary. We left the subject unresolved, but about a week later a tractor-trailer stopped by the shop and unloaded a pallet that held a 12A rotary engine and 5 speed Transmission complete with all the accessories, with the message to try to “keep it reasonable.” Six months and 6000 dollars later I completed the job. It really transformed the car. The stock 12A engine and transmission combination doubled the horsepower of the car and took 200 lbs off of the weight. The car was an absolute blast to drive and probably performed more like the designers had envisioned.
About a year later the owner moved to Ohio, to a major population center where the emission inspection procedure was more strict than in rural NC. We were concerned that he might have trouble getting the car through the emission control inspection. I had installed the engine using all of the factory components right down to the air cleaner so I was amused to hear from him a month later when he called me and said that the car was inspected by a kid who was too young to remember a Triumph. He raised the bonnet and thought nothing of the big Mazda M on the factory air cleaner. He checked all the appropriate boxes on the form and sent him on his way.