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Engine Modification – Engine Swap

One of the most cost efficient routes to increasing engine power is to swap engines, where possible use an engine from the same make and model as the gearboxes should be from the same range and engine mounts should be easily obtained rather than fabricating custom mounts. Often engines from high powered saloons from a manufacturer will fit the smaller family type car from the same stable.

The key to a successful engine swap is the engine bay – so long as the planned new engine fits any engine can be made to work. If you want to go the whole hog and make a professional job of the engine swap then ideally the car should be stripped to a complete shell to enable to enable a custom drive train to be fitted and complete new loom fitted to handle the new engine.

Beware if the engine swap you are looking to conduct means you will be increasing power in the region of twice the original engines output you must plan to change the gearbox.

Before starting have a look around one of the many forums on the internet to see if the change you are planning has been done before, there will be plenty of tips and people willing to provide information to help you. Also check the requirements for the swap for example will you need shorter drive shafts, new wiring loom or engine management upgrade? junkyards near me

When setting yourself a budget (which must be done if you are realistic about finishing the job) add additional funds on top of around 40 – 50% for those nasty surprises that can and will crop up. When looking for a donor engine look for engines that have been running recently and not stood around – these will need a total strip down increasing your costs and delaying the end of the project.

If you are not planning a total strip down you should at least replace the following items – core plugs, head gasket and cylinder head bolts. Whilst the head is off it is worth checking the engine for further damage and if the work is required then best to put it right now to avoid more expense later. If your budget allows then whilst the engine is stripped down you have the ideal opportunity to complete further modifications such as engine balanced, crank and flywheel lightened and improved gas flow with a machined head. At this stage replacing the water pump, fuel pump and oil pump is advised as any failure of these cheap parts will ruin all your other hard work.

When fitted the new engine needs running for a few seconds, prior to this check all leads and hoses are fitted correctly. After the initial run check the oil pressure and level, water level and check the engine and ground for leaks.

The bedding in period should be taken carefully keeping the revs low and keep a constant eye on the oil and temperature gauge. The oil filter needs changing at 200, 500 and 3000 miles to remove the metal fragments that will collect. After following this running in period then you can start to enjoy that increase in performance you were planning for when you started this project

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