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


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]


      1. Do we have an official Hooniverse Seal of Approval? If not, we should, and if so, I think this is deserving.

      1. Thanks to both of for saving me a search, since radial Goggomobil was the first answer I came up with too.

          1. Thanks for the link! I'd never heard of it before. I've also never seen that Chain Lightning before- also a cool write up, btw.

      1. 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.

      2. 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!

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

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

  1. 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?

    1. I wasn't going to ask why. There doesn't need to be any more reason than "I thought it would be cool."

    1. We all know $kaycog is talented and able to multi-task, but why would she beat you, while typing? What did she beat you with? Baseball bat? 1:18 Ford GT model?

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. The guy who developed this has created a series of pulse jets actually. I'm trying to remember his name so I can link the Youtube video's. He has gotten some very impressive power of them as well.
        edit – found it go to this guys channel [youtube Wb2Cl03E3t4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wb2Cl03E3t4 youtube]

  2. [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.

    1. 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.

      1. HA! Loud pipes save…

        1. 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.

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

      3. 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.

        1. 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".

    1. A 4.0 is a damn big engine for a motorcycle. I'd think you would have to build the bike around the engine, rather than be able to fit it into an existing bike frame.
      But, if you could pull it off, yes, you would be a serious contender for the wildest engine swap title.

  3. <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

  4. 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;

  5. 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

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  6. http://s2.paultan.org/image/300610cummins.jpg
    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]

    1. I've always wanted to put a Northstar into the back seat of a Cimarron.
      But you did say no sane person.

    1. Frankly, I am surprised that Toyota hemis V8s are not more popular with hot rodders. Glorious engine.
      [Edit: I was attempting to refer to the current UZ-FE series, not the older hemi pictured.]

      1. I'm surprised the UZs aren't more popular with everyone. You can pick up a nice 1UZ out of an old LS400 for like $300. Or you could buy the whole car for $2000. The R154 or W58 5 speed goes behind it with little effort, it's easy to get 300 whp out of them, they're very light and compact for a DOHC V8, and they sound MEAN. You can get pretty big with displacement using a 2UZ block, and they take to boost like a fish to water. One of the cheapest great V8s out there, and one I'm surprised a lot more people aren't using. [youtube wFuOzqvYBOU http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFuOzqvYBOU youtube]

  7. 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

  8. 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

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