While the spare no expense car builds are certainly the ones that car enthusiasts find themselves drawn to the most. With all the most extraordinary modifications that make us daydream about what we wish we could do ourselves. But realistically, not everyone can afford to go crazy and blow their entire paychecks on our cars. So we car enthusiasts must choose carefully how to spend our little money. If you’re planning an engine swap, one thing is for sure. a General Motors Small Block V8 engine (AKA: the LS Swap) is the way to go. And it doesn’t matter if you’re spending big bucks, or on a budget. There’s an engine for you out there. Even if the Chevrolet Performance catalog doesn’t carry it.
Small Block V8 Swap Comparison Test
The guys at Donut Media have an entire series dedicated to Hi Car, Low Car builds, and this one takes a pair of Nissan 350Zs and swaps the engines out with V8s. The lucky Hi Car is getting a $20,000 GM 525 LS 6.2 crate motor, where the 525 in the name refers to its potential horsepower. The blessed Z is also earning a further $10,000 of other mods to make the most of the beautiful motor, most importantly, to make sure it can fit into the space designed for a V6.
Meanwhile, the unlucky low-car team extracted a cast iron Chevy LQ9/Vortex V8 from a truck at a junkyard. While technically not an “LS engine,” this salvaged motor displaces 6.0-liters and was rated at 345 ponies when it was new, which suggests the Low Car will be left in the dust when both cars are taken to the track. However, things turned out in the budget car’s favor as on the dyno, it pushed out 392 HP, while the Hi Car was ahead with 430 HP, which is not what you might have guessed given the more significant price tag.
Once the builds were completed, the two Nissan 350Zs battled it out for 0 to 60 honors, and while we won’t spoil anything here. We’ll at least say it’s clear that an LS Swap is the way to go when you want something power dense, potent, reliable, and abundant with available parts.