What Would You Swap This LS1 Crate Engine Into?

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Essentially every car is better with an LS swap under the hood.

Some of us have friends that literally spend all day scourging sites like OfferUp, Ebay, Facebook Marketplace, and Craiglist for deals on used car parts. They post constantly about the deals they find even if they would never actually buy them. That concept is understandable, window shopping is a fun sport and pass time for a lot of us. So we decided to play a little game in the spirit of that “sport”.

We recently found this LS1 for sale on Craigslist in Fontana, CA. Southern California natives will know that V8 engines like the LS1 are heavily subjected to something called “drift tax”. This essentially means that if its a popular item for drifting, the price of this item is usually increased by at least 50%. Crazy, we know, but, the market is what it is. We were lucky enough to find this ready-to-go LS swap without any sort of drift tax at $4,000 for the whole swap.


From the description of the ad, it looks like this LS1 is for sale from an auto dismantler, and not a private party. This usually implies that this engine should come with at least a basic 30-day return warranty just in case anything goes wrong. This is always nice to have when you don’t know anything about the car it came from or its history. While 83,000 miles is not too much, you never know what can happen in that time period. This engine comes with a transmission, wire harness, ECU, radiator, and condenser, etc, so it’s a complete swap.


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Now for the downsides of this package. Unfortunately, its an automatic transmission, and not a T56. However, that doesn’t necessarily make this a bad thing. It just opens up the possibility to some even more interesting sleeper setups. If we were interested in swapping a LS1 in the near future. I think the best candidate for this engine setup would be a sleeper sedan, like a Lexus IS300 or an E46 Wagon.

We would probably keep the whole exhaust system as quiet as possible, and then have a post-header cut-out for those long tunnel moments. Then, essentially, you could run almost any car off the line with some V8 fury before they even know what hit them, only to seamlessly cruise back into traffic like nothing ever happened. What would you guys swap this LS1 into? Let us know in the comments.

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Daud Gonzalez is a lifelong car enthusiast, and automotive writer with a specialty in modified and race-ready rides. Gonzalez is a regular contributor to the Internet Brands Auto Group websites, including Corvette Forum, 6SpeedOnline, and Honda-tech, among others.

He spends most of his time modifying his cars, and ruining them in the process. He is the owner of a track build BMW 335i, a semi-off road spec 1981 Toyota Hilux, a drift-ready 1990 Nissan 240sx and a 1990 BMW K75 motorcycle.

Most of his free-time is dedicated to making sure his vehicles survive to see the next day. You are likely to catch him at one of Southern California's race tracks on the weekends.

Daud can be reached at [email protected], and followed on his Instagram account.

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