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The Best Engine Swap to Choose Explained

Which V8 engine swap is the best choice for you? The LS, the Gen 3 Hemi, or the Coyote? Find out the pros and cons with this mechanic’s recommendation after having done all three in one car as an example.


Do you have a relatively new vehicle that has a blown engine that needs replacing, but everything else about the rest of the car or truck is a keeper? Or perhaps you really want to have something from back-in-the-day when cars and trucks looked like cars and trucks and not the SUV look-alikes of today; but, with the performance (i.e., fuel efficiency) of a modern vehicle?

Related article: Consumer Reports Analysts Reveal the Used Cars Most Likely to Need an Engine Rebuild and What to Buy Instead

Taking the Time to Make a Good Decision

The above reasons for having an engine swap are very reasonable and can actually save you money when done right as long as you take the time to do your research and figure out what it is that you want and how to go about it.

That was part of the message in a recent The Questionable Garage YouTube video episode where the host goes over the pros and cons of three popular engine types used in swaps that focus on the LS, the Gen 3 Hemi, and the Coyote.

Basically, it comes down to which engine make you want, the performance characteristics of an engine, if sound is really important to you, how easy or difficult the swap is for a particular vehicle, and what it will cost you.

Related article: Engine Swapping Expert Reveals the Realities About Engine Replacement

The importance of these considerations and desires cannot be overstated and have to be made before purchasing any of the three whether as a new, rebuilt, or pulled-out-of-an-old wreck car project. Otherwise, you will find yourself going down a dark, dark rabbit hole experience that can easily become a money pit as well.

The Value of This Video

While this video is not a step-by-step how-to on engine swapping, it is a good start on the research road whenever considering whether an engine swap is the right choice for you and if so, what kind of engine you will want and need.

More importantly, however, the video goes into the practicality of doing an engine swap that can make the difference between “I wish I had not gone this route” and “Man! I want to do this again with another model I really like.”

In the video you will learn:

  • A little history behind each of the V8 engines.
  • The variants of each engine and why this is important.
  • Saving money on choosing the most of what is available.
  • Size matters when it comes to your engine bay.
  • Weight matters when it comes to Aluminum versus iron blocks.
  • Owning a high-performance big block does not mean you are a carbon polluter.
  • Why choosing the correct manufacture year is important.
  • Factors to consider when choosing the correct engine for your application.
  • How each of the engine sounds on the track revved up.
  • Which engine did the best on the track.

That said, follow along with the host in what is an informative and enjoyable video to watch. If you want to avoid a long, hosted advertisement, skip the first 3 and ½ minutes of the video.

For additional related articles about engines, here are a few for your consideration:

Timothy Boyer is an automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on  “Zen and the Art of DIY Car Repair” website, the Zen Mechanic blog and on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites  and Facebook for daily news and topics related to new and used cars and trucks.

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