Take a step down memory lane with our Top 10 Engine Swaps previously featured in Super Street. You will find everything from the GReddy 2JZ Scion FR-S built for Ken Gushi to a Top Secret Toyota Supra rocking a 3S-GTE. The art of the engine swap is forever engrained in our tuner culture. Today, V8 engine swaps are becoming more popular on the drift end for its consistent torque, availability and affordability but long-time champs like the 2JZ will forever be a favorite. Let us know which engine swap below best grabbed your attention in the comment's section below.
Top Fuel Honda del Sol
When June 2001
Why When it comes to the fastest cars in Japan, Top Fuel always comes to mind. This del Sol might not have had much time on the track or on the street, but its engine swap conversion is one of the sickest we've ever seen. Top Fuel converted the little del Sol to a rear-wheel drive, mid-engine monster. They dropped in a Type R B18C powerplant that was rebuilt and turbocharged using a modified HKS GT3240 for quicker spool all equating to 550hp. The del Sol also received a custom tranny, mounts, axles and suspension arms. You might not like del Sols much, but this 10-sec mid-engine creation deserves the props!
Top Secret Toyota Supra
When September 2001
Why Absolutely legendary! This Top Secret Supra wasn't just the boss for its gold paint and widebody kit, but under the hood was a 720hp four-cylinder. Yup, they left the 2JZ out of the equation for a lightweight engine swap which meant a more balanced car for top speed runs. The motor is a 3S-GTE four-cylinder commonly found in the second-gen MR2. Top Secret punched out the motor to a 2.2-liter and gave it a massive Trust turbo. With the power, aerodynamics and everything else, the Supra doesn't break a sweat reaching 200+mph!
Signal Auto's Nissan Fairlady Z
When November 2004
Why Still one of the most recognizable Z33s to date, the Signal Auto Fairlady is a breathtaking beauty, especially in drifting form. It was originally designed for sliding and then rebuilt for time attack duties. Under the hood isn't what you'd expect—a radical SR20 engine swap using a Toda Racing 2.2-liter, plus it's boosted via an HKS turbo for plenty of tire-shredding power.
Rywire's Honda CR-X
When October 2009
Why Ryan Basseri is the man behind Rywire and this immaculate second-gen CR-X. While this Honda isn't the fastest or craziest Honda we've seen, the beauty of this car is all in the details. In the bay sits a K20A, but no component was left untouched. We're talking about chrome-dipped crossmember and brackets, custom hard lines for the radiator, tucked radiator, custom cooling pipes, brake booster delete, Rywire's engine harness and much more. The execution of the engine swap and bay is so clean you won't find a cleaner EF around to this day!
Paul Bischoff's Nissan Skyline
When March 2010
Why Ask any one of us and you can bet one of our dream cars is an original Nissan Skyline like Paul Bischoff's example. His is a '71 Skyline, a GT-X model, but we can forgive him since it rocks a RB25DE from an R33. Paul kept it old school using a non-turbo motor but reaps the benefit of a newer engine. The RB25 received the individual throttle bodies out of the RB26DETT and is mated to an RB20 tranny. The car is pretty much perfect with the factory paint and flares, Nismo front and rear spoilers, Watanabe wheels and lowered suspension. It's hard to argue against engine swaps like this.
Karl Lindgren's Mazda RX-7
When April 2010
Why We've seen our share of swapped Mazda RX-7s but Karl Lindren's takes the cake, cake, cake! It looks purely badass with its Lambo paint job, mega widebody and massive wheels. And it has 876whp under the hood to back it up—not from a rotary, 2JZ or V8, but an RB26. The motor's built like a tank with new rods, pistons, wrist pins and polished crank, plus given a ported and polished head, Garrett GT4202 turbo, custom manifold and dry-sump system. Karl also added nitrous for more power and bragging rights.
Kazama Auto's Lexus IS 250
When May 2010
Why Sometimes it's absolutely necessary to put old parts in a new car like our FR-S cover car. Take this Lexus built by Kazama Auto for example. Originally an IS 250, Kazama modified the engine compartment, floorboard, suspension and driveline to make a 2JZ-GTE run like butter. They even ditched the IS electronic steering for a UCF30 rack out of the LS430—not an easy task at all! When all was said and done, the custom widebody Lexus sedan makes upwards of 600hp and is one of the baddest second-gen ISs to date!
Rocky Auto's Nissan Fairlady Z
When October 2010
Why Building badass old school cars since '85, Rocky Auto hit a grand slam with this Fairlady Z. The S31 is fully-restored, not to factory-spec but to insanity status. The car's loaded with carbon goodies like the crazy flares that allow the Z to run 295s out back. Under the hood isn't one of the engine swaps you'd suspect either—an RB26 with an HKS turbo kit. With the car's light weight and 581hp at the rear wheels, this Z has no problem handing out beat downs.
Dai Yoshihara's Nissan 240SX
When January 2012
Why Because it won him a championship in 2011! Yep, pro drifter Dai Yoshihara piloted this S13 to victory a few years back. The S13 is powered by America—a 7.0-liter LS7 V8. But on the outside it still looks pretty hard with a TRA Kyoto/6666 Customs GT Rodeo kit and Dai's own Yoshihara wheels. It's basically a JDM car with all USDM work and for that, we love it!
Scion Racing/GReddy's FR-S
When August 2012
Why Ken Gushi's original FR-S when it debuted for the 2012 Formula D season. Before a 2JZ was even in the picture, GReddy dropped a Subaru EJ25 into this bare chassis that became Gushi's weapon of choice for the last two years. Cosworth perfected the motor while GReddy took care of the turbo, intercooler and exhaust. It's still one of the most badass FR-S ever made.