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Engine Swap, Rebuild and Conversion Warning for Beginners

Ever wonder how much money and how much time an engine swap, an engine rebuild (or even an engine conversion kit) related work can take? Find out now with one of the most honest assessments you will ever find on what it takes and what it costs in time and money and mental anguish before taking on or hiring out these kinds of projects.


Fixing the Old to Run Like New

I’m a big believer on fixing up old vehicles and getting them back on the road again. And as long as the repairs are not overly expansive and there are replacement parts available, you would be surprised at just how many old vehicles that have taken a beating, been neglected, or technically decommissioned in someone’s backyard can be brought back to life and running well enough as a daily commuter while your Black Beauty is stabled in the garage and out of the elements.

However, when it comes to taking something old and making it look and run like new---that’s an entirely different story. Especially when it comes to more involved repairs that requires an engine swap or an engine rebuild with some conversion work thrown in toward improving performance.

That’s the message in a recent Car Wizard YouTube channel episode where he tells viewers that one of the truths you will discover the hard way by not heeding his advice is that more often than not, whatever you’ve budgeted in costs for an engine swap or rebuild you will need to multiply that by 5 and the time spent from beginning to end you will need to multiply that by 3.

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

The Biggest Mistake Car Owners New to Engine Rebuilds and Swaps Make

If I had to pick the biggest mistake someone new to having an engine rebuild or swap done can make is not having a backup vehicle to tide them over until the repaired car is finally done. And borrowing your spouse’s car does not count as a backup vehicle. Trust me on this one.

Why? Because it is not unusual for a rebuild or swap take a year of more. It’s just the nature of the beast. Of course there will be exceptions and you will find plenty of forum comments out there claiming they’ve done it relatively quick and easy…but it’s a gamble.

Reasons why this is true:

• Murphy’s Law
• Tendencies to hope toward the positive that the repair/rebuild/swap is not that complicated
• Lack of parts needed
• Plenty of inferior parts available
• Having to return to a critical task early in the build that needs redoing again later
• The desire to use new old stock to “keep it original” buffeted by the reality of what’s still available
• Knowledge and skill set needed to adapt to mechanical challenges along the way
• Understanding that goals will likely change over time
• Murphy’s Law (bears repeating again)

That said, here’s the video posted below, watch timepoints 0:00 to 8:20 for the primary points of some very good advice for anyone considering an engine swap, rebuild and conversions for their old or a new-used vehicle. Watching the entire video is also recommended as the Car Wizard explains why he will not be working on older classics any longer that re-enforces his warning to those new to engine swaps and rebuilds.

No Easy-Peasy Engine Swaps! How could something so common go sooooo wrong for the CAR WIZARD?!?

And finally…

For additional articles related to the topic, here are a few for your consideration:

Ford Mechanic Catches Engine Rebuild Scam

What a Used Toyota Engine Rebuild Can Cost

Repair Scams Only Another Mechanic Could Catch

COMING UP NEXT: Best Economical Reliable Used Car Today

Timothy Boyer is a Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily new and used vehicle news.

Image Source: Pixabay