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Hooniverse Asks- What’s the World’s Wildest Engine Swap You Can Find?

Robert Emslie January 8, 2013 Hooniverse Asks 109 Comments


Okay my pretties, it’s time to go searching. One of the craziest things one can do to a car is to rip out its heart and soul and plug in that of another. Quite frequently that means the replacement of a timid – or wallet-consumingly unreliable – engine with something more common and accountable – say an SBC for example. 

Other times it’s just because the entire idea, or its progenitor just happens to be bat guano insane. Those are the ones I want you to find for me today. Sure, that’s a lot more work than demanded by your usual Hooniverse Asks, but it’s just after the holidays and I’m sure a few of you could stand a little extra mental exercise to get back in the swing of things.

We’ve seen some crazy stuff right here on Hooniverse, like that insane 510 LT1 mashup from a few weeks back. That’s the kind of crazy I want you to bring me. Slant six in a Saab? I want to see it! Porsche 928 V8 in a ’58 Chevy pickup – yeah, that’s out there, go get it. Fly my pretties, bring me back the ludicrous, the preposterous. . .  and her little dog too!

Image: [Imgur]

Currently there are 109 comments on this article:

  1. Maymar says:

    [youtube f2V7B7-gdRA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2V7B7-gdRA youtube]

    I mean, it's this, or any number of Merlin engine swaps.

  2. Kris_01 says:

    Oh, and I one-up your original photo with a 50 shot of Nas:

    <img src="http://www.tacomaworld.com/gallery/data/500/medium/2jz50nas.jpg"&gt;

  3. muthalovin says:

    I am just going to leave this link here:

  4. Vavon says:

    How about a little 5.7L Oldsmobile V8 in a Citroën 2CV.
    <img src="http://www.2cv.nl/publicaties/v8/5.jpg"&gt;
    Sadly, the only links I could find were in Dutch: http://www.2cv.nl/publicaties/v8/index2.html

    • It was done by a Dutchman, the story tells he lost about 20.000 Euro and six girlfriends during the building time of three years.

      • danleym says:

        Sounds about like what I'd expect. They say behind every good man is a strong woman, or something to that effect. Well, behind every man who finishes "bat guano insane" projects is a lot of debt and a divorce or two (or a woman with some seriously uncommon patience). At least this guy had the wisdom to not marry the girls.

      • Vairship says:

        Given that at least 5 out of 6 must have known he was working on the car before they became serious, you can also read that as: a 2cv with a Buick engine garnered him 5 girlfriends in 3 years!

    • Tanshanomi says:

      A Quad4 in an MGB sounds like an extremely, sane, reasonable, intelligent and practical choice.

      • P161911 says:

        I saw one with the swap, maybe the same one pictured, in the infield of the Runoffs at Mid Ohio in about 1996. It looked really nice. It was a rubber bumpered model with the bumpers painted body color, which looked GREAT. If MG/BMC had installed a 4V engine and painted the bumpers they could have sold them for another 10 years or more.

        • JayP2112 says:

          They were working on a cross flow head. Not sure it it was 16v though.
          It would have taken more than body colored bumpers and an updated engine. The 1980 model was a serious anachronism and only 8 years later the Miata would come and eat its cake.

          But I would have loved to have a 1986 MGB MkXX 16v Euro-style with an IRS.

  5. Hopman says:

    I sadly don't have the pic any more. but it was one I saw at LeMons New England in 2010: a Saab 2.3 turbo dropped into a Nissan 280ZX. Swedish meatball sushi anyone?

  6. DemonXanth says:

    <img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_wLCwqBnLqGI/SKxZyw0FOlI/AAAAAAAAA0w/1BRxD8E5JyI/s1600/IMG_1533.JPG&quot; width=500>
    Buick straight 8 inside a 240SX.

    Why you ask? Vintage engine classes at Bonneville.

  7. DemonXanth says:

    <img src="http://image.dieselpowermag.com/f/10407451+w750+st0/0810dp_06_z+1995_ford_f150_cummins_diesel+rear_engine_install.jpg&quot; width="500/">
    Cummins N14 in an F150 http://www.dieselpowermag.com/features/ford/0810d

    Though technically not a swap since the original 4.9 I-6 is still there to run the accessories.

    edit: skaycog beat me while typing.

  8. engineerd says:

    Jag XJ220's 3.5L V6 making ~540 hp…

    in a Transit Van.

    <img width=500 src="http://www.supercars.net/gallery/119513/2446/940352.jpg"&gt;

  9. SSurfer321 says:

    Rocket powered scooter?

    <img src="http://www.solidsmack.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/rocket-powered-scooter.jpg"&gt;
    Brought to us by the owner of the rocket powered VW Beetle.

    IMG from solidsmack.com

    • trhyne says:

      Damn. Beat me too it. I was looking through these posts to see if anyone had posted this… Because if not I was going to.

  10. I'm not sure if this would be considered a swap or not, but it's one of my all time favorite oddities. The twin engine Tiburon from back in the SCC days. Well, they did swap the trunk for additional engine. :|

    [youtube WlAyaCKVBTQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlAyaCKVBTQ youtube]

  11. needthatcar says:

    The white Zombie. 10 second quarter mile electric BAMF.
    <img src="http://www.acarplace.com/photos/white-zombie/drag.jpg"&gt;

  12. fodder650 says:

    How about a pulse jet powered bicycle? The pulsejet was the type of motor used on the V-1 Buzzbomb. Oh and there is video of this actually running.

    <img src="http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/autopia/images/2008/05/20/jet_bike04.jpg&quot; width=600 />

    • Graverobber says:

      Wow, they used to sell those pulse jets – pop, pop, pop, pop – in the back of Popular Science magazine with drawings of them on go karts and stuff. This is truly something I'd like to own.

  13. mr. mzs zsm msz esq says:

    [youtube ygSOLZY0YrU http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygSOLZY0YrU youtube] These area ll really good so far, thanks! My favorite go to for this question used to be the Danish mid-engined Type I with the Rover V8 (the headers are art too), but now it's this 164 with a Jag V12. I've never been able to dig-up any more on it though.

  14. Tanshanomi says:

    I'll just leave this here.

    <img src="http://tanshanomi.com/temp/P8012795.JPG&quot; width="500">
    Click to embiggen.

  15. fodder650 says:

    I'm surprised we haven't seen more LeMon's entries in this thread. Murilee Martin wrote about this Harley powered Prius last week.

    <img src="http://blog.caranddriver.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/21-BS-Inspection-at-the-2012-Heaps-in-the-Heart-of-Texas-24-Hours-of-LeMons-Photo-by-Ron-Vickers-626×426.jpg&quot; width=600 />

    • LTDScott says:

      Ha, just yesterday a co-worker sent me a link to an article stating the government may soon mandate that hybrid cars have some sort of artificial noise maker under about 20 MPH because deaf pedestrians can't hear them coming otherwise.

      I sent him that photo as my suggested solution to the problem.

      • fodder650 says:

        HA! Loud pipes save…

        • LTDScott says:

          I found this on the LeMons forum:

          "I can feel the Prius idle through the brake pedal!" – Roland, warming up the Simca/MR2 next to the Harley-powered Prius.

      • SSurfer321 says:

        if the pedestrians are deaf, they won't hear the artificial noise either. They're deaf; by definition they can't hear anything.

      • Tanshanomi says:

        I think you mean "blind pedestrians can't hear them coming otherwise." Deaf people can see cars coming just fine, it's blind people who need the sound signature to know the car is there.

        • longrooffan says:

          While this legislation is at least three years old, that LEAF I piloted around a few years ago possessed this technology, when the non car neophites in my office started talking about this, apparently it was also announced on FB where they tend to get most of their information, anyway, they first started talking about deaf pedestrians and how it would affect them.

          Of course, this pompous olelongrooffan waited a few minutes for the twitters to slow down and made the very same point Tanshanomi makes in this comment.

          You could have heard a pin drop on that concrete floored showroom I work in.

          (Smugly returns to my cube and checks out Hooniverse to see the latest)

          But I think it was Rob, or maybe over at REDACTED, who said it best….the most desirable sound these hybrids could make would be "Nice Pants".

      • Alff says:

        What is the sound of one smug clapping?

  16. pj134 says:

    Some day, if I ever grow a pair, the wildest engine swap title will be mine. Something along the lines of this:

    <img src="http://www.wjjeeps.com/i6engine2.jpg&quot; width="500/">

    In something like this:

    <img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-OiNq8J3WEuU/Tzj7uOAIHDI/AAAAAAAAAho/SDwxFAjTgl8/s640/vyper2.jpg&quot; width="500/">

    And it'll never happen.

  17. LTDScott says:

    On the note of LeMons – the Saanda was one of my favorite cars at the last LeMons race I ran. Saab 9000 turbo motor in the back!

    <img src="http://i1215.photobucket.com/albums/cc506/TeamApathyRacing/102_0366.jpg&quot; width=650>
    <img src="http://www.drpneu.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/09-Saanda-Saab-powered-Honda-600-at-24-Hours-of-LeMons-Chuckwalla-626×426.jpg"&gt;

  18. <img src="http://photos.motoiq.com/MotoIQ/Project-Cars/Miatabusa/Miatabusa-intro-lead/823213267_SdhuD-L.jpg"&gt;

    Another favorite of mine that I've been following is Dave Coleman's Miatabusa. I think they were about finished with it when it was discovered that it made a terrible death rattle that's now causing them to have to completely redesign the clutch system to flip it around a different direction. <a href="http://www.motoiq.com/projects/mazda/project_mazda_miatabusa.aspx” target=”_blank”>http://www.motoiq.com/projects/mazda/project_mazda_miatabusa.aspx

  19. CptSevere says:

    Another Tuesday answer. The Honest Charley Ford V8 60 bike (because the Boss Hoss is too obvious). Not really a swap, custom frame, but it looks like it could be. Titled as a '72 or so Honda 750 because of the forks and steering head. I read about this bike years ago, and I swear to God right after I moved here to Tombstone a local antique dealer Hoon bought it, and rode it down the street. I ran up and stared. Like a grinning idiot. This same exact bike, no shit. Stock V8 60, straight pipes, the thing sounded just heavenly. Only one gear, Jim said that he had to slip the clutch to get it going, but once on the road, it cruised along just fine, kept up with Harleys and the like just fine. As long as your ass could withstand the hardtail frame. One of the most unique and just plain badass bikes I've seen. Who cares if you can't feel your ass after riding it for fifty miles?
    <img src="http://www.richmondlabs.com/Automotive/RichmondV8/FH15.jpeg"&gt;

  20. muthalovin says:

    I decided to do a "swap" search on Craigslist. This came up.

    <img src="http://images.craigslist.org/3F63L33N25N15E75F3cc3149c2ad913cd183d.jpg"&gt;

    "2000 GS300 Lexus with 2JZ-GTE VVTI turbo swap – 550+ hp"

    "This is a serious car and is as fast or faster than a Viper."

    Too bad homeslice's reaction time isn't fast at all.
    <a href="http://austin.craigslist.org/cto/3452809626.html” target=”_blank”>http://austin.craigslist.org/cto/3452809626.html

    • CABEZAGRANDE says:

      Not much of a swap though, considering that's the engine the GS comes with in Japan as the Aristo. Actually, being a VVTI engine, it's probably an Aristo pullout, so while it is technically a swap, it's as simple as a swap can possibly be in a fuel injected vehicle.

    • danleym says:

      Yeah, that's a damn fast time, but there's no way I'd be posting pictures of my time slip if I had a 3 second RT.

  21. scroggzilla says:

    Mazda powered Matra Murena, anyone.

    Praise be to Murilee! http://jalopnik.com/matra-murena/

  22. uai says:

    Cummins QSK78 diesel engine with no less than 18 cylinders in a V-bank, has 78 litres of displacement, and 12 turbochargers! It’s typically used to power much larger vehicles than this Austin Mini, such as mining industry dump trucks. This craziness will be displayed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Perhaps it doesn’t run and is more of a ‘sculpture’.

    But my love belongs to brutus
    [youtube wJn7LHE83cc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJn7LHE83cc youtube]

  23. Maymar says:

    <img src="http://www.stanceiseverything.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/northstarcav2.jpg&quot; width=500 /img>
    This is a different kind of crazy, but equally valid. First, J-bodies are fantastic beaters, but not cars you spend time and money on (unless you're from Oshawa). Second, no same person swaps a Northstar into anything.

  24. vroomsocko says:

    1923 Ford Track T Roadster powered by a 1985 Toyota Century Hemi. Not the wildest but I love it!
    <img src="http://image.hotrod.com/f/featuredvehicles/8991402 w794/812large 1923_ford_track_t_roadster front_right_view.jpg" width="600">

  25. buzzboy7 says:

    One of the stranger ones in my eyes. Let's swap out a Turbo'd big six for a Turbo'd big six (2jz in an R32)
    <img src="http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2012/322/7/1/2jzgte_twin_turbo_by_mhyaay-d5lcmuo.jpg&quot; width="600">
    Powerstroked Civic?
    <img src="http://engineswap.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/twin_turbo_diesel_civic.jpg&quot; width="600">
    LS7 Fiero
    <img src="http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r217/dwkraus/DSCF4463.jpg&quot; width="600">
    240SX with a VH45DE
    <img src="http://www.drivingenthusiast.net/sec-blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/IMG_1403.jpg&quot; width="600">
    Frank Insight http://superfastminis.com/FRANK-INSIGHT.dwt

  26. wunno sev says:

    there are a couple of wacky sw20 mr2 swaps that come to mind:
    1. radial engine into an mr2, for lemons:
    <img src="http://blog.caranddriver.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/02-BS-Inspection-at-2012-Showroom-Schlock-Shootout-24-Hours-of-LeMons-626×426.jpg"&gt;

    2. busa swap…with two transmissions in series: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1asUheKCOnE
    i believe they only kept the bike transmission, but it's fun to think they could have had a 30-speed on their hands

  27. Fej says:

    My friends RWD CRX isn't the craziest I've seen but its up there…[youtube RIUC_iFSgLg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIUC_iFSgLg youtube]

    Build thread: http://honda-tech.com/showthread.php?t=2609439&am

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