A new tuning shop in the northeast United States started a swap project last October to put an LS2 from a Pontiac GTO into a new Subaru BRZ. The results allegedly match the name of the shop, “Weapons Grade Performance“.
But - there are no drive videos, dyno, or track runs yet. We’ll give them a break because of the tough winter in Connecticut… but let’s at least have some indoor idle video! This is an interesting project, and look at that terrific fit in the BRZ engine compartment.
Reincarnation: a religious concept that the soul or spirit, at biological death, moves on to a new life in a new body that may be human, animal or spiritual depending on the moral quality of the previous life’s actions. If that quality has been good, upon reincarnation, you move to a higher form.
Except this time, where the SHO engine takes a major step down into a Mercury Topaz. What did it do in its first life to deserve this cruel fate?
Trackforged of Portland Oregon, United States, has done what only the factory attempted once: Built a V-6 powered S2000. The engine is a J32A2 engine from an Acura TL-S, with 260 HP and 323 torque. It’s currently running on the factory ECU, but future plans include a special AEM computer. The engine is also running with the factory transmission. With only 25 pounds of added weight, and the engine even further back in the chassis, the “S3200″ will retain all the great dynamics it’s known for.
This is an interesting swap - for areas of the United States where emissions checks are a requirement (like ours), this swap – if done with the factory computer – could yield an emission inspection legal all-motor S2000. With the option of going forced induction later on. Lets hope that Trackforged puts the swap parts into production!
The following videos show the engine in the car and running as of August 2012. That, of course, is not enough: the swap must be completed with further engineering, a final wiring harness, possibly (hopefully!) provisions for the stock dashboard instruments (very closely tied into the original S2000 computer), parts that are able to be put into production, instructions written, parts mass-produced and stocked, and more. This takes a major investment in time and money and is not a fast or easy process (and any vendor who suggests it is should be avoided by you). So we’re looking forward to seeing more of these parts when they are ready.
Trackforged also has a cold air kit under development for ITB s2000s, and also has great experienced with turbocharged S2000s. Trackforged is clearly one of the best and most experienced S2000 shops in the country.
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This 1983 Lotus Esprit Turbo is packing something different in the engine compartment: a 1989-vintage Yamaha SHO 3 liter DOHC V-6 engine, courtesy of a Ford Taurus SHO. Catch it for sale on eBay, before it expires on 13 Nov, 2012.
This is the second Esprit we’ve seen with an SHO engine swap. This example is a 1983 S3 model. It’s original Lotus 2.2-liter belt-driven SOHC engine is an “interference engine” – meaning that when (not just if) the timing belt breaks, the valves and pistons will collide. Religious replacement of the belt is a must, a thankless task which requires very serious close-quarters wrenching skills if not an outright engine removal (depending on who you ask). So unless you’re an absolute purist, the SHO engine makes better sense with the advantage of more power out of the box as well as more potential.
The transmission adapter was built by Kennedy Engineering, who has a long list of available adapters available on their site. The engine features professionally ported heads by Star Racing, extrude honed and fully polished intake manifold, 24 lb. injectors, 77 mm MAF, and a custom exhaust system.
We’ve been keeping a close eye on V-8 Miata swaps [click for large gallery of images], with an eye towards possibly building one ourselves. That means very closely looking over Miata V-8 swaps at car shows, as well as reading all the literature and examples on websites we can find. Here’s an interesting post over on LS1Tech.com (active thread this week), with images of a LS3 swap performed by Flying Miata themselves using their extensive array of swap parts and kits. The car is now in Canada, being tuned by Champion Motors.
The dyno numbers are very good:
But what interests us most is how clean the swap is. And particularly the air intake:
Notice the Corvette-derived air intake tube, feeding from a filter mounted ahead of the radiator. Most V-8 Miata swaps end up with an air filter directly behind the radiator or off to one side due to space constraints under the hood - which would feed the engine hot air from the radiator or the headers. Very inefficient, and a tuning and drivability issue. Here are two examples.
The following Ford swap (unusually, a 94-95 Mustang/T-Bird swap, instead of the much more common 86-93 “T”-manifold and engine swap as in the original Monster Miata) is typical of Ford swaps in that the air filter ends up behind the headlamp to the left. Presumably it can pick up cold air here and it isn’t terrible. But it’s still a problem when moving slow, and it will be a problem in wet weather. The filter would be full of water in a rain storm. The very appealing V-8 Miata with the Toyota 1UZ-FE swap we encountered also had the same layout.
And here’s the worst location: right behind the radiator and too close to the right exhaust header. In real-world use, when moving slowly thru traffic or stopped, this engine will be breathing very hot air.
And real-world is our main interest here for a V-8 Miata swap. While we wouldn’t be driving it very often in daily use, we would be driving it on back-country drives here in Texas. These types of drives are tough on the car. An air filter very much lower than the bumper level will pick up water from the multiple water crossings we encounter on some of our favorite routes, and the typically low exhaust systems forced by Miata space constraints would be constantly dragging when on rough roads where suspension travel and ground clearance is crucial. Those are the two issues that must be resolved for us before going further. The adapted Corvette intake tube solves the first issue. Now we are going to pay more attention to exhaust systems as we encounter further examples.
We’ve covered various S2000 swaps before, particularly the Supra 2JZ-GTE engine swap (also here and here) that to date has produced the wildest S2000 ever. V-8 swaps are starting to become more common, probably because the S2000 offers a better platform for a V-8 swap than does a Miata. It’s slightly larger and it’s also a considerably more rigid platform.
But in both cars, anything above the original 4 cylinder engines is going to torque the chassis far beyond it’s design spec. Trips down the dragstrip will be a torsional nightmare for sheet metal integrity. And trips around a roadrace circuit will play havoc on parts such as spindles that were never designed for such torque. But those factors are not of primary consideration for engine swap enthusiasts: it’s the technical challenge and the sheer power that are the main attractions.
So here is what is probably the ultimate S2000 swap: a Viper V-10 engine. This swap is in progress right now, and you can follow the story over at www.V8S2000.com. We’ve saved some of the supplied pictures for the sake of posterity.
Be sure to follow our Engine Swap posts via their category and tags. We’ve got a considerable set of swap stories, and are always looking for more.
In our ongoing search for unique engine swaps, here’s one we almost walked right past. At the November 1st Cobb Tuning First Thursday event in Austin Texas, we spotted a very clean early Miata and didn’t pay it any particular attention. After all, at Cobb Tuning, the emphasis is on turbocharged cars with considerably enhanced output. What could a Miata offer to the attendees?
Looking closely, we were surprised to see a V-8 swap – but not the usual Ford or Chevy engines this time. Meet the Toyota 1UZ-FE engine swap: an all aluminum 4-liter DOHC V-8 used in Toyota and Lexus luxury cars from 1989 thru 2002. And note how well it fits: short, compact, room for headers, and the hood is at stock height. With an oversquare (big bore, short stroke) design, this engine revs well and already has a well-deserved reputation of reliability as delivered by the factory (which in this case, certainly did not foresee this use of their engine).
Unfortunately, the owner was nowhere to be found, so we don’t have any details as to the transmission, and we didn’t see any cutting, but the rest of the swap was terrifically clean. Clearly the car was stripped down to the bone, and painted inside and out. Overall this is probably the cleanest and most professional V-8 Miata swap we’ve seen, and certainly the most interesting. In our humble opinion, V-8 Miatas are becoming a bit common these days, when powered by Ford or Chevy. It’s time to put modern engines into these cars, and the Toyota UZ engine appears to be the perfect choice.
Use the category tags below to follow our series covering engines swaps, or our series specific to V-8 Miatas.
What to do with your lowly 92 horsepower Civic hatch? The usual and most popular swap route is a 1.8- or 2-liter VTEC DOHC 4, and the extreme route is a Chevy small block and rear wheel drive. This particular swap took the middle ground, but still the road less travelled. How about an Acura V-6 - pulled from its wrecked donor in an apartment complex parking lot!
We spotted this swap in person at Texas World Speedway, where it completed a weekend open track HPDE event. All in all, a very nice and clean swap with even more potential.
Follow our series of engine swap posts using the “Swap” tab below!
If any one engine swap that we’ve covered highlights the need for expert welding skills, this is the one.
This is a swap of a Viper V-10 engine and drivetrain into a Saab 9-3 wagon. Right at the start you know it’s not going to be straightforward (and that’s always the point of swaps – people don’t do them because they are easy), so an entire new frame and corresponding front and rear subframes must be built, along with a transmission and driveshaft tunnel. The end result is an extraordinary piece of work. And it leaves us thinking – maybe this is the car that Saab should have built to keep the company in business…?
Follow the original story here: http://www.zatzy.com/projekt/374743-mrspringer-saab-9-3-srt10-megapower.html. This post in the original Swedish language has the full story including hundreds of detailed pictures of every step in the swap.
We’ve seen a lot of different V-8 engines swaps into Miatas over the past few years and covered many of them in posts here. We’ve seen neat swaps performed by individual builders, but we’ve also seen poorly executed swaps and outright hack jobs. Last night at the Cobb Tuning First Thursday car show in Austin TX, we saw the cleanest V-8 Miata that we’ve encountered to date. Built by Flyin’ Miata themselves – note the brass badge on the radiator support. As close to “factory” as it gets, and it looks it.
But here’s one more feature of this particular swap that we really liked. Note the original Corvette intake tract. Besides being neat and efficient, it also keeps the air intake away from the hot engine compartment. Which is a major problem with all the other Miata swaps we’ve seen, where the open air filter is usually just behind a headlamp, just inches away from the exhaust manifold. And sometimes behind the shock tower, up against the engine firewall. Not smart: it’s not going to work in hot traffic, and even at speed the engine will still be ingesting extra-hot air. This approach is far better.