Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Engine Swap Cost

Engine Swap Cost and Dangers

Whether you’re considering an engine swap to replace a failed engine or to improve performance, there are many factors to consider besides just the engine swap cost. For example, late model computer systems, transmissions, and wiring harnesses are engine specific. If you change to a different engine, you’ll need the matching computer and complete wiring harness. That alone can add at least $1000 to the engine swap cost.

Cooling system design affects engine swap cost

A lower more powerful engine will have different aluminum racing radiatorcooling needs which means you’ll probably have to install a different radiator and perhaps different radiator fans. If your current setup includes electric radiator fans, you’ll probably have to change those out for larger fans to handle the increased airflow needs of a larger engine

Transmission modifications will boost engine swap cost

Placing a more powerful engine in your vehicle most torque converteroften requires a transmission rebuild to handle the extra torque. Even if the old transmission mates up against the new engine, chances are it will fail if you don’t modify the clutch packs and valve assembly to handle the higher torque of the new engine. A transmission rebuild and a beefier torque converter will probably add at least $3,000 to your engine swap cost.

Exhaust mods add to engine swap costs

A more powerful engine requires changes in the exhaust system and most likely a different catalytic converter as well. The converter alone can easily add $1,300 to the cost.

Suspension changes may be needed to handle the extra weight

The suspension in your car or truck was designed to carry the weight of the factory engine. The instant you change the engine, you change the entire handling characteristics of the vehicle. An engine swap most often requires spring and strut modifications as well.

Different engine affects steering

Again, since you’ve changed the weight of the front end, you’ve also changed the way the steering behaves. You may have to swap the rack and pinion gear to one rated for a larger engine and that will add to the engine swap cost too.

Fuel system modifications will add to the cost

If you’re lucky, you may be able to reuse the existing fuel pump. However, even though the old pump may output the same fuel pressure, it may not output the same fuel volume, and that’s going to be a problem. Add a new fuel pump to the picture and you’re looking at an extra $800

©, 2020 Rick Muscoplat

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat

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