Local just did an LSx IS300 swap. Bought a high mileage clean body car for around $7K, sold the stock drive train to recoup some funds. It was a pretty easy/straightforward swap, as in he was done in a couple months.
He ran it in Hot Rod's Drag Week and it came though without any problems.
It's what I will eventually sell my V8 Miata for if I do sell it in the future. I have one locally that has been parked for three years that is "technically" not for sale. FD with twin turbo LS1. Spun a main bearing. Runs, but knocks. He lost interest. It's a short block away from a really nice car.
I'm very close to agreeing with all of you about the RX-7, however, if the FD RX-7 is 98% flawless, the MKIV Supra 99% flawless (from an aesthetic standpoint). Neither is 100% because IMHO both could use different (subtle) wheels and a (subtle) front lip, and be slightly lowered. But I think the Supra needs it slightly less. In either case, I will never argue that the FD is not a near perfect looking car, but I do think the MKIV Supra is the best looking car of all time.
I spied a silver IS-300 sitting in the paddock of HPT the other day.. Have always wanted one of those and it would absolutely fit the ticket...
Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack
I think we need a bit more detail in terms of:
Budget for swap recipient chassis
Budget for mods and/or restoration of said chassis
Type of driving to be done
What is your daily commute like (1 hour stop-and-go on the highway; 15 minutes on surface streets; 10 minutes through secluded mountain roads; etc)
What type of high-performance driving will you do (road course vs autox vs drifting vs drag racing)?
My first thought was: just buy a C5 Corvette. You would be shocked at the amount of stuff you can stuff in the hatch.
Alternatively, V8 RX-7. The FC chassis is relatively cheap (and has a hatch). The FD definitely ticks the right aesthetic and sporting boxes (and has a hatch!). Both have lots of documentation online.
Some of the options mentioned above will probably nickle and dime you to death with rust repair and electronic gremlins if you are unlucky.
The C5 vette has actually entered my mind, but I still think they're a little too flashy and while it would save me the expense and hassle of a engine rebuild and swap it'd be a little over my budget.
Mentioning nickle and dime is a concern I hadn't thought about. Sadly I've been down that road with almost every vehicle I've owned. Whatever the choice is (If I actually get to make the choice) the car would ideally be sourced from AZ or CA. One of those Jag's on ebay had Carfax showing it had never lived outside of the state of CA since it was sold. Definitely can't come from the Rust belt which I reside..
I'd like to keep the entire swap under $5000 + Transmission. I've seen 5.3 truck motors on craigslist for little as $200 before, but the transmission either way is going to be a killer so that'll be outside of my immediate "Budget." Understanding that odds and ends add up quick, I still believe that $5k should more than do it.
I'd prefer very little supporting modifications required on the vehicle if possible.
This will be a daily driver. My drive is between my house in Overland Park and downtown Kansas City Missouri. Obviously nobody on here is going to know what that entails, which is a lot of boring 35mph city streets with a **** ton of traffic signals, or a really boring 40mph freeway. Either way takes about 35 minutes start to finish.
I don't really autox much anymore but that would be a possible use of the car, along with a few track days. Nothing major. Would like the car to be quiet as possible with little to no indication of anything aftermarket has been applied. Driving my friends LS1 FD a couple years back pretty well made up my mind I want a very very quiet car. Sitting at a light some kids pulled up in a fox body and were eyefucking the car then the driver asked what was done and if I wanted to race. After telling him the motor was bone stock I agreed to run him, by the end of 2nd gear I had about 2 car lengths on their car and they were shitting their pants in disbelief.. They had no idea of the 275hp (it was weak but still ran a 12.2) monster living under the hood of this completely stock appearing vehicle. Is that the type of activity I'd like to build a car for? No, it was just amusing to surprise the **** out of two kids who didn't know any better.
I wanted to ad to this thread for a while now, I just never got around to it. In reality, if I ever got rid of my Miata and wanted a car to drive around in and be a total bad ***...it would be this:
This is a pre 1970 Volvo P1800. Mine would look like this, but without those horrid wheels. I'm thinking something similar to a 17" torq thrust. It would also most likely have a 5.0 with a 5 speed and around 300whp. That photo is how one could look restored. This photo is how one could look with many modifications to the body:
Its for an IS300 swap, and the prices aren't out of line. As Pusha said, small businesses in a niche market have to stay afloat somehow. The only thing I'd omit is the clutch slave cylinder bracket. That can be fabbed up in an hour or less with some cardboard and normal shop tools. I'd be ecstatic if they made LT headers that actually gained power over the shorties and didn't cook the oil in the process for only 1k.