The Most Common & Reliable Engine Swaps - My Auto Store (2023)

Engine swaps are common among car enthusiasts and mechanics alike. Some do it for fun and others do it because they have to, in order for their vehicle to continue its life. People decide to do an engine swap for many different reasons:

  • To replace a broken or old car motor with an identical one that isn’t broken or has less mileage.
  • To replace a broken or old engine that is very rare or difficult to replace/find parts for with a different engine that fits well in the vehicle.
  • To replace a car motor that keeps breaking down or needing repairs with a more reliable engine.
  • To swap the engine out of the vehicle’s original stock engine with an engine that will enhance the vehicle’s power and is easier to modify for speed and power.
  • Some people just have a car motor laying around they decide to put it in a vehicle because, why not?

Making modifications to a car can be pricey, so you want to make sure you are picking engines for an engine swap that you can count on. If you have the money to lose, you could try swapping insane engines into your vehicle, like the person who dropped a Hellcat engine into a Toyota Prius, after some work they created a Prius with 1000 horsepower, but it was no easy task. It is important to keep in mind that the engine is not the only aspect of an engine swap that matters. There are components that go into deciding to swap an engine.

What should I consider before doing an engine swap?

The vehicle matters. If you put a nice engine in a car known for its poor suspension or heavy body, you could be wasting a good engine on a terrible body.

The car transmission matters. There are other parts that are attached to the engine that you should make sure compliment your engine choice and not hinder it. The transmission for an engine swap is one of the most important car parts to make sure mate well with the car motor. It should work well with the engine you are picking because a weak transmission paired with a strong engine is a recipe for disaster.

(Video) So You Want to Swap Your Engine

Other car parts matter. Aside from the transmission you should make sure the motor mounts, wiring, MSD box, etc all work well with the engine you are about to install. The swaps that will be covered in this article require the original engine harness to either be replaced or redirected to an MSD box. To learn more about an MSD box check out Dragzine, they give an awesome explanation to those who might not be sure what this box does. This allows the new motor to get the correct fuel and air ratio since it will be substantially more than whatever motor was in it before. Most of the time you will have to buy custom motor mounts that fit the new motor and the chassis they are putting it into. Sometimes the fire wall (this is part of the vehicle body that separates the engine compartment from the passenger compartment) has to be cut or bent in some spots so that the new motor and transmission can fit directly.

Replacing car parts matter. Also, other than making sure they work well with the motor being installed, make sure the other car parts are new, fairly new or are in decent condition, so you don’t have a faulty alternator or cracked belt. Small parts not working correctly may seem unimportant compared to an engine, but they can be the difference between your car starting and it being a fancy piece of art in your garage.

If you don’t know what engine you should swap into your car, you are in luck. We’ve decided to put together a list of the top five common and reliable engines that you can swap with ease into your vehicle knowing they have a track record of leaving people satisfied with their swap.

GM 5.3 LS Engine

The Most Common & Reliable Engine Swaps - My Auto Store (1)

(Video) Top 5 Engine Swaps | The Build Sheet

Let’s start with the LS series, this GM engine is the most notorious engine ever produced, many of the engines in this series could be used for a swap. For now we are just going to focus on the 5.3 LS engine, also known as the 5.3 Vortec. This LS model is frequently found at used car part stores and scrapyards, so it will be easier for you to find, depending on the generation you are looking for. As GM created different generations of the LS series, they improved the designs of the engines. The 5.3 LS, along with many in its series, is commonly known for its ability to withstand abuse. This V8 engine is light compared to other V8s and it fits into many smaller cars making them lightning fast.

Racing enthusiasts love this motor because they were made well by the factory, making the addition of nitrous a job that requires minimal effort and there is no need to worry about it blowing up from the extra power. Unlike many other V8s, these motors don’t need many modifications to make insane power. You can rebuild the top end of the motor, put a camshaft in it and you got yourself a 350-500 horsepower race motor ready to drop into the car of your choice. These cars are the number one swap for rear wheel drive car owners looking to add cheap power. Besides changing the motor mounts, the only other thing you need to do is rewire anything pertaining to the motor with an MSD box. Get yourself a transmission that can handle this new found power and you’re ready to ride!

Honda B Series Engine 1.6 L

Hondas changed street racing forever. Imagine putting tens of thousands of dollars in your souped up V8 Camaro and getting absolutely obliterated by a 1700 pound 4 cylinder Honda; the motors make great power for their size. They are obviously very light and are very easy to work on. These cars were widely reproduced and the parts for them are cheap. The addition of performance parts to these motors are still pretty cheap and again very easy to install. Unlike any motor on this list they are found in front wheel drive cars. This combination delivers unbelievably quick power to the wheels and why they are feared when it comes to a ¼ or ½ mile drag race. When it comes to swapping this motor into your car it doesn’t get much easier. You will need to first have a front wheel drive vehicle, second get the matching housing so that your engine will fit whatever transmission you have.

Ford 5.0 Engine

The Most Common & Reliable Engine Swaps - My Auto Store (2)

(Video) How To Buy a Junkyard Engine to Save Money (Swaps & Replacements)

This Ford made 302 cubic inch motor was made notorious with the Ford Mustang. This V8 engine is a favorite to Ford lovers, when it comes to engine swaps. It’s pretty lightweight and can be made to have a ton of power with keeping the block mostly stock. Throw a camshaft in it, lift rockers and pushrods and get ready to grip the wheel. These motors are loved by street racers because they are durable and pretty easy to “bore” or “stroke” out. What this means is they resurface the head on the vehicle so that the motor has more displacement (open space inside the motor) and therefore has more power. They are another favorite for all rear wheel drive vehicles and like the LS you will need to rewire the motor to an MSD box, install new motor mounts to fit your vehicle and possibly make some adjustments to the transmission to withstand however much power the motor makes.

Ford 3.5 L V6 Engine

This is Ford’s most powerful V6, although it is an ecoboost. It comes from the factory with a whopping 350 horsepower and 450 ft pounds of torque. These engines can be found in 2010 and later Ford F150, GT, Expedition, Explorer, Flex, Police Interceptor, Taurus, Transit, along with the Lincoln MKS, MKT and Navigator. Unlike any engine on this list, they come with either a twin turbo set up or single turbo from the factory. This is what makes it more difficult to swap into other cars but it’s gaining in popularity quickly. People with RWD vehicles that are looking for power but dont have the space to fit a v8 quickly find this motor as their best choice. To do this swap into your vehicle you will need to have a good understanding of engine wiring and how to tune them, you will also have to make custom tubing for the turbos. Along with these changes, you will need to get motor mounts that will fit the vehicle and a car transmission to back up all of its power.

Jeep 4.0 Engine

The Most Common & Reliable Engine Swaps - My Auto Store (3)

The final engine swap we are going to cover is more for our off-roading enthusiasts. This motor was also produced by GM and was used in almost every Chrysler made Jeep for many years until it was discontinued in 2006. While these motors are not typically modified for more power, they are still a favorite for engine swaps. This is because they are lightweight and can take a beating. Jeep lovers rave about them because when it comes to reliability, it does not get much better. They can run off of anything from 5w30 oil to 15w40 diesel oil when you hear the engine valves getting a little noisy. These motors were vastly reproduced and so were the parts for them, so they are very cheap to work on. These engines don’t require much space and will be fairly easy to install. These motors are typically only used in Jeeps so it’s not like you have to make it fit. Make sure your wiring harness is for a 4.0 liter and everything else is plug and play.

(Video) Which engine is BEST for tuners, swaps and mods?!

Where Can I Find Used Car Motors For Sale Near Me?

Now you might be wondering where you are supposed to get these engines to do your swap? We recommend getting a car motor from a car parts store, a good place to start looking is right here at My Auto Store! We have used engines for sale for a fair price and we ship your engine replacement to you in 2 days, for free! Not to mention, we give you a 6-month warranty, so you can have peace of mind when buying with us.

Why buy a used motor? Well, buying a brand new one is either impossible because they are no longer made or unimaginably expensive and may not even be put together fully, giving you more work to do. Rebuilding a car engine can be expensive and tedious, if you do one thing wrong, the entire engine won’t work. A used engine is already built and has already been taken out of a vehicle where the engine was perfectly fine until something else went wrong with the vehicle. If a transmission goes or if the back end was smashed in an accident and the damage is not worth repairing the vehicle, many people just scrap it. The engine still works perfectly fine though and that’s where companies like My Auto Store come in!

We take each car part, especially used engines, and we quality test them with our 4 step quality control process. These parts have to pass our tests to be put into our inventory, so we know we are giving our customers a working OEM engine to make your swap successful. If you need a transmission for an engine swap, we have the car transmission you need! Whether it’s a Ford Focus transmission or a Honda Accord transmission, we have an inventory full of transmissions ready to sell. Luckily, we not only sell used engines and transmissions but we sell them online too! So now you don’t need to wait for normal business hours to come into our store or to call one of our team members. Just check out our website and browse through our inventory online for a quality OEM engine for a quality price!


What is a good engine swap? ›

Cheap engine swaps include GM's LS, Honda's B-Series, and Toyota's JZ—and expect to spend around $2,000. GM's LS V8 is very popular. Honda's B-Series are a good place to start your research on cheap engine swaps. The company's K-Series and F-Series are great but they're more expensive.

What is considered the most reliable automotive engine of all time? ›

The OM617 engine from Mercedes-Benz is definitely a legend when it comes to reliability. It's an inline-5 diesel engine that can go over half a million miles without having to be rebuilt.

How much does it cost to do an engine swap? ›

An engine swap typically costs between $2,500 and $10,000 for parts and labor—but some swaps can cost up to $20,000 or more! The make and model of your car, the type of replacement engine you use, and several other factors all affect the price.

What is the best V8 engine to swap? ›

The Chevy LS V-8 engine has become the de facto engine swap suggestion for anyone seeking to add power to their existing platform, regardless of where the original vehicle might have been built or how many cylinders it left the factory with.

What is considered the best engine of all time? ›

1) Small-Block V8: Chevrolet

The iconic American V8 engine has been sold in more than 100 million vehicles. Thanks to its innovative pushrod system, the engine was easy to upgrade. In fact, some race teams have been able to push out over 2,000 horsepower by making modifications to the original design.

Is swapping an engine worth it? ›

Improved performance and efficiency – the majority of engine swaps are carried out with enhanced performance in mind; it's considered the pinnacle of tuning up a car to get the most output from it possible.

How long does an engine swap take? ›

You can still expect anywhere from four to 15 hours to swap an engine depending upon the features you want, the type of engine you choose, the body it is being put into and who is doing the work.

Is it cheaper to rebuild an engine or swap it? ›

A scheduled overhaul is almost always less expensive than a new engine. Rebuilding to repair is usually cheaper than buying a new engine, too. You may save up to half of the cost of a new engine by rebuilding. However, sometimes rebuilding is not a good option.

Who makes the longest lasting engines? ›

Ranked: the longest-living car engines
  • Rolls-Royce L-Series: 1959-2020 (61 years) ...
  • Rolls-Royce L-Series: 1959-2020 (61 years) ...
  • Chevrolet Small Block: 1955-present (64 years) ...
  • Chevrolet Small Block: 1955-present (64 years) ...
  • Volkswagen Type 1: 1938-2003 (65 years) ...
  • Volkswagen Type 1: 1938-2003 (65 years)
17 Sept 2021

Which car company engine lasts longest? ›

(iSeeCars) – Consumers looking to buy the longest-lasting, most-reliable cars should consider Toyotas and full-size SUVs. These are the longest-lasting vehicles with the highest chance to reach 200,000 miles or more, according to the latest study by automotive research firm and car search engine

Which car brand has the longest lasting engine? ›

Toyota vehicles are known for their longevity, and they are proven to last longer than any other brand. Toyotas are built so well they have below-average maintenance and repair costs, which helps contribute to why they remain on the road for so long.

How much will a shop charge to install an engine? ›

The shop rate can vary greatly, from as little as $90 per hour to over $150 per hour. So using a low-end shop rate of $110 and a high of $150, the labor on a typical engine replacement can run anywhere from $1,100 to $1,800. See 100 easy car repairs you can do yourself in your garage.

Do I need a new transmission for an engine swap? ›

Depending on which engine you decide to swap into the vehicle, you may need to change the transmission. Generally speaking, the more different the engine is that you are putting in, the higher the chance you'll need to swap the transmission.

Does an engine swap reset mileage? ›

An engine swap or engine replacement will not reset the odometer as the odometer doesn't just measure the engine but all of the components of the car. In fact, it's illegal to reset the odometer as it would not accurately reflect the age of other parts of the vehicle.

What V8 is the most reliable? ›

10 Of The Most Reliable V8 Engines Ever
  • 8/10 Ford 5.0 Coyote.
  • 7/10 Nissan 5.6.
  • 6/10 Hyundai 5.0.
  • 5/10 Chrysler 6.4.
  • 4/10 Toyota/Lexus 4.0.
  • 3/10 Chevy LS3 6.2.
  • 2/10 Chrysler 5.7.
  • 1/10 Chevy Small-Block 350.
17 Dec 2021

What is the best V8 engine ever built? ›

Ranking The Best V8 Engines Ever
  • 8/10 Mercedes AMG 'Hot-V'
  • 7/10 BMW 4.4-liter Twin-Turbo V8.
  • 6/10 Rover V8.
  • 5/10 Ferrari F106 V8.
  • 4/10 LS1.
  • 3/10 Ford Flathead V8.
  • 2/10 Ferrari 3.9-liter F154 Twin-Turbo V8.
  • 1/10 6.2-liter Hemi SRT Hellcat Supercharged V8.
17 Nov 2022

Which car brand has the strongest engine? ›

Bugatti Chiron (8.0 litre W16)

The Bugatti Chiron boasts a four turbo, 8.0-litre W16 engine, which is undoubtedly the fastest in the industry. This engine can produce 187.5 horsepower per litre, totalling 1,479 HP. In addition to that, this car also has an incredible torque of 1,600 Nm at 2,000 to 6,000 rpm.

Do you need to reprogram ECU after engine swap? ›

Short answer is no, you will not need to reprogram the ECM. You can swap engine and sensors over but keep your original ECM, it will work no problem.

How hard is it to swap the same engine? ›

Even the most straightforward swap, however, can be tricky. Each engine requires its own electronic system, and your transmission, fuel delivery, and steering may also need to be updated. Many engines also require different amounts of space than the original engine, as well as modifications, such as adapter plates.

What can go wrong with an engine replacement? ›

Common failure components could be bearings, gaskets, seals, timing chain, valve springs, and the oil pump. Major parts like camshafts, crankshafts, pistons, or even the engine block are replaced in only the most severe cases, as often parts that have been warped can be machined.

Is a rebuilt engine as good as new? ›

Frequently, rebuilt engines are superior to even new car engines because better parts are used, or design changes in parts correct problems with the original engine. Rebuilt engines are dependable, reliable and are backed by the engine manufacturers warranty program.

Is swapping engines easy? ›

(3) Engine swaps are never easy---even when it is done with an exact engine replacement or a recommended substitute engine. In the real world you can (and should) expect some problems will develop that will require some repeat visits or work done.

What is better a rebuilt engine or a used engine? ›

Rebuilt engines typically deliver even greater performance and reliability than the original engine, thanks to advances in technology that have been made since the time of your original vehicle purchase.

Which is harder to rebuild engine or transmission? ›

Engine Repair. At first glance, engine repair appears to be more complicated than transmission repair, simply because the process can take longer. In fact, pulling an engine from the body of a vehicle is extremely challenging.

What is the most durable engine? ›

The Most Durable American Engines Ever
  • The Ford 300/4.9L. ...
  • The AMC/Jeep 4.0L. ...
  • The Buick 3800. ...
  • The Ford 4.6L 2V Modular V8. ...
  • The Iron Duke / Tech IV 2.5L. ...
  • The Chrysler 318/Magnum 5.2L V-8. ...
  • The Ford Lima 2.3L. ...
  • Chevrolet Small Block Gen I/II.
9 Sept 2022

Which transmission is most reliable? ›

Before you scroll over to the next one, the CVT gearbox actually has a lot of advantages. It is easily the most reliable of the lot, it is very fuel efficient and if you can drown out the noise, it is smoother than any other gearbox.

Which engine gives more life? ›

The first is that a diesel engine returns better fuel efficiency and the second one is that they last longer. Man people know about the first one, but the long life of diesel engines is something that people are still not familiar with.

How can I make my car last 500000 miles? ›

How can you make a car last 500,000 miles?
  1. Study the owner's manual and adhere to the exact maintenance schedule.
  2. Keep the car's interior and exterior clean.
  3. Regularly check the engine to make sure it's running to the best it can.
  4. Use high-quality gasoline and never, ever drive on empty.
  5. Drive as carefully as you can.

How can I make my car last 300000 miles? ›

The key to making your vehicle last 300,000 miles or more is regular maintenance. That means changing your oil at the recommended intervals and following the manufacturer's maintenance schedule. It's all there in that extremely valuable but underutilized piece of literature in your glove box.

What is the most unreliable car brand? ›

Most unreliable car manufacturers
  • Jeep – 77.0%
  • Land Rover – 81.4%
  • Fiat – 86.4%
  • Alfa Romeo – 87.3%
  • Peugeot – 87.4%
  • Ford – 87.8%
  • Jaguar – 88.7%
  • Nissan – 89.3%
4 Oct 2022

What's the highest mileage car ever? ›

CAR. Irv Gordon of East Patchogue, New York set the world record for most miles on a personal car by racking up over 3.4 million miles in his 1966 Volvo 1800S.

How long does it take a shop to install an engine? ›

Replacing a car engine typically takes eight to 15 hours depending on the make and model of your car and the mechanic you choose. However, your mechanic may quote you for a longer wait time, especially if the parts in your engine are hard to find. For an exact repair time estimate, contact your mechanic.

How long does it take for a shop to put in an engine? ›

The time it takes to pull and replace an engine is 8-15 hours depending on the car's model, age, the skill of the mechanic, and type of engine work (replacement vs. repair). Some cars are notorious for having harder than usual engines to replace or repair. Ask your mechanic for a quote and compare options.

Does a new engine increase car value? ›

Replacing the engine usually increases the car's overall value. On the one hand, it's true that a new engine generally increases the car's value. However, there's one important drawback you need to consider first.

How do I prepare for an engine swap? ›

  1. Do your research ahead of time. ...
  2. Find the right partners for custom parts. ...
  3. Consider how more horsepower changes the rest of the car. ...
  4. Make sure the engine isn't too heavy. ...
  5. Get all the other parts you need to make the engine work. ...
  6. Put safety first. ...
  7. Only start a swap you know you can finish.
20 Dec 2016

How much is the labor cost to swap a transmission? ›

The labor to remove and replace a transmission ranges from $500 to $1200 for 4 to 10 hours of billed time. Differences between rebuilt vs remanufactured? Check out our complete guide.

How long does new engine last? ›

In most modern cars, engines are designed to last the life of the vehicle — and an engine replacement at 20,000 miles, 30,000 miles or even 100,000 miles would have us wondering exactly what the previous owner was doing that damaged the engine so badly that it had to be replaced, not repaired.

How many miles can an engine last? ›

Average engine lifespan

For some time, the average lifespan of a car's engine was eight years, or 150,000 miles. New designs, better technology and improved service standards in recent years have increased this average life expectancy to about 200,000 miles, or about 10 years.

Can mileage correction be detected? ›

It can be difficult, but not impossible, to detect whether a vehicle's odometer has been altered. The following is a list of tips to help used-car buyers detect odometer fraud: Ask to see the title and compare the mileage on it with the vehicle's odometer.

What is the most common engine used? ›

The four-stroke engine is the most common types of internal combustion engines and is used in various automobiles (that specifically use gasoline as fuel) like cars, trucks, and some motorbikes (many motorbikes use a two stroke engine).

What are the 5 most commonly used engine? ›

It makes sense considering Google is undoubtedly the most popular search engine, with over 80% of the search market share.
  • Google. Image Source. ...
  • Bing. Image Source. ...
  • 3. Yahoo! Image Source. ...
  • Yandex. Image Source. ...
  • DuckDuckGo. Image Source. ...
  • Baidu. Image Source.
19 Oct 2022

What is the most common car engine? ›

The most common engine configuration is the four-cylinder, which is found on a variety of vehicles from small to midrange. A four-cylinder engine is set up in an inline design and offers a good amount of engine output.

What is the most common engine for cars? ›

Inline or Straight: This is the most common engine found in cars, SUVs, and trucks. The cylinders are upright, side by side which makes the engine compact and effective.

What kind of engines last the longest? ›

Diesel engines continuously run 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 miles before major overhaul. They are 3 major reasons why they last so long: Design. Fuel.

What car brand engine lasts the longest? ›

Earning the top spot is Toyota, with 2.0 percent of its vehicles reaching 200,000 miles, or double the average for all vehicles. In second place is Honda with 1.6 percent of its vehicles reaching the 200,000 milestone.

Which Motor Company has the best engine? ›

Top 10 manufacturers – most reliable engines
ManufacturerFailure Rate
1Honda1 in 344
2Toyota1 in 171
3Mercedes-Benz1 in 119
4Volvo1 in 111
6 more rows
24 Mar 2014

What is the number 1 search engine? ›

Specifically, Google currently holds a whopping 92.18 percent of the worldwide search engine market share.

What are the 3 main engine systems? ›

Systems required to run the engine. There are three major engine systems necessary to keep an internal combustion engine running. They are the ignition system, the lubrication system, and the fuel system.

What cars have the best engine? ›

Beating Hearts: The Greatest Engines You Can Buy Today
  • Porsche 4.0-liter Flat-6: Porsche 718 Cayman GT4, Porsche 718 Spyder. ...
  • Ram High Output Turbocharged 6.7-liter Diesel: Ram 3500. ...
  • Volkswagen Auto Group Twin-Turbo 4.0-liter V-8: Too Many Vehicles to List. ...
  • Quickest Pickup Trucks We've Ever Tested.
7 May 2020

What car has the best engine and transmission? ›

Engine and gearbox top 10
ModelClassCategory Score
HONDA CR-VMid to Large SUV94.04%
MINI HATCHBACKSupermini92.47%
TOYOTA C-HRMid to Large SUV91.72%
6 more rows

What engine is easiest to service? ›

Four-cylinder engines are easy to work on; the cylinder head is the highest point which makes spark plug jobs and valve train access very easy. Four-cylinder engines require lower manufacturing costs.

What is the most balanced engine? ›

The most naturally balanced engine in its basic state is an Inline-6 cylinder. Due to the timing of the pistons, the six cylinders move in pairs but fire on alternating cycles. This results in a uniform and constant gap between each cylinder movement.

What's the most reliable V8? ›

10 Of The Most Reliable V8 Engines Ever
  • 8/10 Ford 5.0 Coyote.
  • 7/10 Nissan 5.6.
  • 6/10 Hyundai 5.0.
  • 5/10 Chrysler 6.4.
  • 4/10 Toyota/Lexus 4.0.
  • 3/10 Chevy LS3 6.2.
  • 2/10 Chrysler 5.7.
  • 1/10 Chevy Small-Block 350.
17 Dec 2021


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