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Old 09-22-2008, 02:37 AM   #1
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Default Which kit is best for a V8 swap?

Yes I know this is miataturbo.net, but I started to think about all the work I will be doing on the car this winter. I can't help thinking that maybe I'm going in the wrong direction. The more I read about LSx swaps the more interested I get. What's everybody's opinion about the current kits that are out there. I'm asking here because everyone that I have talked with over on .net seems to only push whatever kit they have.
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:40 AM   #2
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Not too sure anyone here has any personal experience but the "kits" that are available ar v8roadsters (through either them or flyinmiata) boss frog, or good 'ole monster miata's ford 5.0 swap.

EDIT: v8roadsters.com has a forum, but it's v8 roadsters site so there will obviously be a bias to their kit.
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Old 09-22-2008, 06:57 AM   #3
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I will quietly admit that a few months ago I did a lot of homework into a V8 swap. No matter how you go about it... it's $10k to do it right if you get lucky with your motor find. That's with an LS1, any of the front-end (k-member, etc) kits and the Caddy rear-end. If I had to do it, I'd budget $12k to make sure I didn't skimp on anything. Most guys who do it start out with a "winter" plan or something that will take a few months. I see just about everybody taking a full year.

The kits are fairly inclusive now, making the hardest part the enlargement of the tranny tunnel. It's an easy job as far as that kind of stuff goes... but probably not something you want to tackle on jackstands in the garage. There are still the issues with wiring harnesses and integrating the stock dash instruments (if that's the way you're headed).
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Old 09-23-2008, 08:40 AM   #4
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There's only 1 kit on the market that is being delivered. That's the v8roadsters/FM kit. Racing Concepts isn't delivering there's and a lot of people are out $5K+ for undelivered kits. Boss Frog is in the engine conversions forum at m.net asking questions so his kit certainly isn't ready. Martin is developing an LSX kit but he's a long way away. Zenspeed has been promising a kit for a while but it's on the back burner.

I'm biased as I have the v8roadsters kit but FM doesn't pick their business partners without doing some research and their partnership will certainly benefit customers who go with that kit. Shandelle has been excellent to work with at v8roadsters.

IMHO, you get what you pay for with the LSX swap choices. The fact that their kit keeps the stock steering geometry, puts the shifter location in the exact same place as the Miata, and uses a lightweight rear end sold me. You do need to modify the firewall and trans tunnel a bit with heat/cutting/welding though.

On the NBs, the wiring and instrumentation is pretty straightforward, and the tach/speedo works well with a simple GM PCM/ECU reflash of a few parameters (gearing, tire diameter).

Frank
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:02 PM   #5
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I'm going to wait a month or so to make my decision. I think Boss Frog will have something at that point and that's the place I would like to spend my money if possible. I also could be using a combination of parts from different vendors.

Keeping the stock steering geometry isn't really all that important to me. I'm more interested in having an automatic transmission, a good set of long tube headers and a rear end setup that not only has many gear options, but will hold up to a lot more power than a stock LS1. I want to over build it if possible.

When I complete the swap I expect to be starting at over 500 or it just isn't worth it to me.
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Old 09-23-2008, 02:05 PM   #6
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That's fine. I was just pointing out that Boss Frog just started his car for the first time two days ago so getting everything ironed out and ready for prime time and for sale in stock with prices in a month might be a bit optimistic. v8roadsters will set you up for a Ford 8.8 if you ask.

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Old 08-19-2010, 06:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samnavy View Post
I will quietly admit that a few months ago I did a lot of homework into a V8 swap. No matter how you go about it... it's $10k to do it right if you get lucky with your motor find. That's with an LS1, any of the front-end (k-member, etc) kits and the Caddy rear-end. If I had to do it, I'd budget $12k to make sure I didn't skimp on anything. Most guys who do it start out with a "winter" plan or something that will take a few months. I see just about everybody taking a full year.

The kits are fairly inclusive now, making the hardest part the enlargement of the tranny tunnel. It's an easy job as far as that kind of stuff goes... but probably not something you want to tackle on jackstands in the garage. There are still the issues with wiring harnesses and integrating the stock dash instruments (if that's the way you're headed).
Sorry for my necro..

I am tentatively planning to do this swap next winter, using FM's kit. You mention most people spend ~ a year on it. Are these folks working on it in their spare time or taking time off to do the swap? I can budget about a month that I can dedicate myself to performing the swap, in a garage wired for welding (for the rearward location). I'd originally budgeted 11k but upping that to 12k to cover all my bases wouldn't be difficult.

Edit - As long as I'm at it, FM's kit can use LS1, 2, 3 engines, yes?
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:11 AM   #8
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Our first swap is running and driving as of Tuesday. '02 SE, LS2/T56, Ford 8.8, V8R kit. I don't recall exactly when it came into the shop, but it was sometime around June 25th. Most of July was spent waiting on parts - I don't think the tranny crossmember showed up until late July, so we worked at a very leisurely pace.

If you're extremely proficient with Miatas (like you could drop the motor, tranny, diff, front subframe, and pull the interior/dash/HVAC in a long Saturday) then a month is doable. Any delays will come from stuff like the diff cover and oil pan modifications, or waiting on parts.

We can do the swap for $5k labor + parts. You can supply your own motor/transmission or we can source everything for you (turnkey). We are a V8R dealer as well.
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Old 08-19-2010, 02:58 PM   #9
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I'm going to try to have everything already present before I pull the B6. I figure if I order the kit NLT June 2011 and have the engine, trans, diff, etc. all lined up before I start that should remove some of the drama and wasted time.

So Sav, your shop turned one out in ~6-7 weeks including a delay in receiving the tranny crossmember. How many people were working on it, etc? Also, can you answer my above question - which engines can be used, or are all of the LS series good for swapping? Is there one to avoid? I see most of the Miatas are using LS1s, 2s, and 3s. Is this just a coincidence or should the LS6 be avoided?
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Old 08-19-2010, 04:42 PM   #10
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Nathan Sumner put an LS6 in this car: http://swaptastic.net/david/index.html, but it was using the BF install kit. He completed it in just one month (+ a few days due to some clearance issues), that was working on it full time though. It's an awesome and very capable engine/setup.
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Old 08-19-2010, 04:50 PM   #11
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The LS6 is a modified LS1. Basically the LS6 has better porting and windows for flow, better oiling system, slightly bigger cam, better intake manifold, etc. The LS1 is rated at 325 hp and the LS6 is 385. Either way, you most likely will have to modify the oil pan on any LS engine, and when you do, I would recommend installing baffles as well.

http://www.streetfire.net/video/91-3...ata_163123.htm

Also you can find the same LS powerplant in a truck or SUV for much less than that of a car (around $1000), you just have to make sure it is an all aluminum block and find a separate T56 transmission as most likely it will be mated to an automatic. For instance, the L92 engine found in later Escalades, Hummers, Sierras, and Yukons is basically an all aluminum LS3 and has heads essentially the same as an LS7. You just have to source an LS3 intake manifold and obviously a different oil pan to make it fit.

Last edited by Cococarbine3; 08-19-2010 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 08-20-2010, 04:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kotomile View Post
So Sav, your shop turned one out in ~6-7 weeks including a delay in receiving the tranny crossmember. How many people were working on it, etc? Also, can you answer my above question - which engines can be used, or are all of the LS series good for swapping? Is there one to avoid? I see most of the Miatas are using LS1s, 2s, and 3s. Is this just a coincidence or should the LS6 be avoided?
Nick did the vast majority of the work. I assisted on a bunch of small things, like dashboard removal, cutting the firewall shelf, motor/subframe installation, frame rail installation, etc. If we had all the parts lined up and both of us worked on it full-time, it could probably be running in 2 weeks, with a third week spent on shakedown and final touch-ups.

We used an LS2 but I can't think of any reason why an LS6 would be less appropriate. You can save a little money by getting an F-Body motor/trans to start with, since the rear sump pan is a requirement (the GTO pan was a front sump). I'm sure there are some small differences that make a certain motor more desirable vs. another, but I don't know them off the top of my head.

Oil pan baffling is a waste of time and money, IMO. If you plan on driving an LS car hard, you need need need an Accusump.
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Old 08-20-2010, 05:19 AM   #13
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Thanks for the replies, and thanks Coco for explaining that.

I ran across a 2002 Camaro (w/ LS1 & T56) for $5250 yesterday. Not bad, and it would be nice to know for sure that the engine I'm swapping in does run.
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:04 AM   #14
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I finally got mine running right (LS6) but need to pull the dash again to fix the steering column mount and redo some wiring for WB02s. I also need to pull the Sanderson header again as I'm not comfortable with the clearance for the steering shaft so I'm going to get someone to move the runner over 1/2 inch for better clearance.

Mines been less than part time though and I've done another swap in my wife's Sebring in the middle of doing this. Stupid stuff has been a delay and when I started, I was basically getting wiring info from V8R for a 2000 that didn't quite jive with my '01.

Looks like I'll be pulling the welded Fbody oil pan too and probably replacing it with the fabbed V8R pan since the welded pan seems to be leaking in two places at the weld.

Frank
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:36 AM   #15
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I have seen a V8R car at the Tampa vs. Orlando Miata meet a while back and I was impressed with the fact that it was such a clean looking conversion. It looked like that engine was designed to be in that NB. Everything fit well. I was quite impressed.

I have some pics of it somewhere that I will try to find for you.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:02 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cococarbine3 View Post
The LS6 is a modified LS1. Basically the LS6 has better porting and windows for flow, better oiling system, slightly bigger cam, better intake manifold, etc. The LS1 is rated at 325 hp and the LS6 is 385. Either way, you most likely will have to modify the oil pan on any LS engine, and when you do, I would recommend installing baffles as well.

http://www.streetfire.net/video/91-3...ata_163123.htm

Also you can find the same LS powerplant in a truck or SUV for much less than that of a car (around $1000), you just have to make sure it is an all aluminum block and find a separate T56 transmission as most likely it will be mated to an automatic. For instance, the L92 engine found in later Escalades, Hummers, Sierras, and Yukons is basically an all aluminum LS3 and has heads essentially the same as an LS7. You just have to source an LS3 intake manifold and obviously a different oil pan to make it fit.
Wow I never knew that. that is pretty cool.
I thought all LS variants that were put into trucks/suv's were cast iron.

Last edited by 18psi; 08-23-2010 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:05 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KPLAFIN View Post
EDIT: v8roadsters.com has a forum, but it's v8 roadsters site so there will obviously be a bias to their kit.

v8miata.net > v8poonsters.com
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:57 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
v8miata.net > v8poonsters.com
v8miata.net did not exist at the time
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:00 PM   #19
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i know
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