Remember when swapping a K-series motor into a Civic was a big deal? Or perhaps when an SR20 into a 240SX was a sight to see? The days of engine swaps being a rarity are long gone, and these days if you're not happy with your powerplant, simply replace it with whatever you can dream up.
The sky's the limit, really - it's no longer a matter of will it fit, but how much time and money are you wiling to invest? When I first saw photos of the LS-powered V-8 S2000 featured this month, my jaw nearly dropped. It's one thing to fit an inline-6 engine in that car, but a V-8? I didn't think it was possible, yet sure enough, it is. More and more of these types of engine swaps and projects are starting to pop up. No swap is too complex or timely. If there's a will, there's a way.
The rest of this month's feature cars are equally as impressive: a Nissan 200SX that's had the heart of Godzilla transplanted inside it; a 300ZX whose owner didn't like the original complex and cramped VG30DETT engine, so he opted for a 2JZ-GTE motor; and then there's our cover car, a deceptively stock-looking 350Z that puts down around 750 hp, thanks to its turbocharged LS2 V-8 engine. The owner has done everything himself - including the wiring, installation and turbo setup - in his own garage. He even tuned it on the street himself, hence why we have estimated power numbers rather than actual dyno numbers. This Z is an inspiration to all of us with high hopes of building some killer street machines while doing so on a modest budget.
All this talk of engine swaps has got me thinking about my next project, and I'm really starting to sway toward doing a GM LS-series engine in either a 240SX or RX-7. With an easy 400 hp and 400 ft-lbs on tap, the LS motors are a great choice for big power and great reliability. They're also very easy to get running, needing only a few wires to be hooked up to operate. There's a reason why we're seeing more and more platforms with GM V-8s.
If my pocketbook can afford an RX-7, then that'll be my first choice, but with the current value for a decent road-going version still cresting $8-$10K, I think the more economical and popular chassis will be a 240SX. Besides, that'll leave me more money to spend on mods, and I've got my eye on GM's latest LS3 e-Rod engine package that's a carb-legal engine swap in California. Who would've thought a GM V-8 in a Nissan 240SX would appease the air resources board? It almost sounds too good to be true. Maybe it's time I find out.
A Sneak Peek At Excerpts From This Issue
The Stage 1 kit will include parts designed for the rigors of rallying, including a rollcage, ball joints, engine performance upgrades, dampers and a limited-slip differential.
The lines carry well throughout the rest of the car and the bulging wheel arches and wide track make for a sharp, intimidating stance.
Using a MagnaFuel external fuel pump and a Venturi in-tank system from a Lexus, Mark was able to adequately supply the thirsty beast without starving one side of the Z's twin-tower tanks.
6.0 Liters OF Z
Thankfully, someone by the name of Tony Collette, owner of Motordyne, has spent countless hours doing all the hard work and calculations for us to figure out that adding resonance chambers to normal test pipes will actually increases exhaust gas scavenging and power output.
The disadvantage with these tires being a softer autocross-oriented compound is that their life is quite short.