The 17 Best Cars for a V-8 Swap

Looking for a fun project? Consider dropping a V-8 into one of these cars.

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via Bring a Trailer

A V-8 swap is one of the coolest things you can do for certain cars. If you're interested in doing one yourself, consider one of these cars as a base.

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DeLorean
DeLorean DMC-12

The DMC-12 was far from perfect, but those stunning lines, gullwing doors, and Back to the Future fame make it lovable. What would make it perfect, though, is a nice old-fashioned LS swap.

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Jaguar
Jaguar XJS

One of the best parts about the XJS is also one of the worst parts. That silky V-12 under the hood of many XJSs is perfectly suitable for a grand tourer like this, but it's about as unreliable as anything. Swap a V-8 in, and you've solved the biggest problem without spoiling anything else about the car.

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Pontiac
Pontiac Fiero

The Fiero never really lived up to expectations, and we're not sure a V-8 engine would've fixed it. Still, people do it all the time, and it's not like it makes the car worse.

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Porsche
Porsche Cayman

The flat-six engines that came standard in the 987-generation Cayman aren't bad. But a V-8 fits, so why not? Renegade Hybrids, the same company that makes V-8 conversion kits for various 911s, also offers one . It requires a bit of firewall modification (and a transaxle from a Boxster S), but it can be done.

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Not everyone in Vermont drives a Volvo 240, but sometimes it sure can feel like it. The 240 is the kind of car that will last far longer than it has any right to, and if you're looking for a winter beater, that's a huge . If you happen to make a mistake and put it into a snowbank, you probably won't break anything, either.
Volvo
Volvo 240 Wagon

Want to make the ultimate sleeper? Drop an LS V-8 engine into a stock-looking Volvo 240 wagon and call it a day. No one will look twice at your car until you lay down a massive burnout and confuse everyone.

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Datsun
Nissan Z

The Nissan Z platform already has a fantastic straight-six engine to go along with it, but if you're not a fan of it, or just don't want to deal with the maintenance that comes with vintage engines, a V-8 swap is the perfect solution. And the car is just as pretty, no matter what sits under the hood.

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Ford
Ford Ranger

Ford's smallest truck powered by a high-horsepower torquey V-8 engine? Sounds like a tire-smoking fun machine to us.

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Chevrolet
Chevrolet S-10

The S-10 is another small pickup worthy of having an eight-cylinder engine. Though it was never built with one, we're sure fitting a true LS engine under that hood won't be much of an issue.

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Saroyan Humphrey
Mazda MX-5 Miata

No matter what generation, the Miata is one of the most eligible candidates for a V-8 swap. , a company specializing in Miata upgrades, built a fantastic example that we love to death. It's all the fun of driving a Miata, just with 400 extra horsepower.

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Tjofs Media
BMW E30 3-Series

The E30-generation 3-Series is a fun, balanced machine right out of the box. But if you're looking for something different (and want to anger the purists at your next BMWCCA meet), V-8 swaps are definitely an option.

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BMW
BMW E36 3-Series

Of course, the E30 isn't the only BMW out there worthy of a V-8 swap. In recent years, its replacement, the E36, has become a popular choice among swap enthusiasts and drifters looking to extract the most performance out of its light, rear-wheel drive platform.

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One of the most iconic Japanese cars of the 90s was the rotary-powered FD RX-7.
R&T
Mazda RX-7

Rotary engines are nice, but sometimes it's hard to put up with the lack of reliability. Luckily, It's pretty easy to drop an LS engine into any generation RX-7 and keep the fun factor intact. Just don't be surprised if your FD drives exactly like a C5 Corvette afterwards.

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Mazda
Mazda RX-8

The RX-8 makes an even better case for a V-8 swap. Unlike the RX-7, it didn't get a turbocharged engine, and never really lived up to its predecessor. With some real muscle under the hood, you could really make the RX-8 shine.

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The standard 944 might actually be the better car, but adding a turbocharger definitely made the 944 faster. In fact, the 944 Turbo is fast enough that it'll run all the way up to 157 mph. Finding deals on these can be harder than some of the other cars on the list, but a smart buyer can pick one up for around $10,000.
Porsche
Porsche 944

If you're looking for real power from a 944, you could spend the money and get a Turbo model. Another choice is finding a cheap broken example and dropping in a V-8. Honestly, the V-8 option sounds more fun (and more reliable).

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Jeep
Jeep Wrangler

No, the Jeep Wrangler was not built to have big power from the factory. That doesn't mean you can't drop in a nice fat V-8 block under the hood. Take this brutally cool Lexus V-8-powered Wrangler as an example.

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The Smoking TireYouTube
Nissan 240SX

Drifters around the globe use the 240SX as a base for their drift builds, and for good reason. It's incredibly easy to swap in a bigger engine, the balanced chassis and long wheelbase make for a great setup on track.

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eBay / dion211280
Porsche 911

As much as the purists protest, V-8 swaps have become a popular choice among 911s with tired or broken drivetrains. Why spend tens of thousands on a flat-six engine rebuild or replacement when you can just pop in a V-8 instead?

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