Engine Swaps


Let’s face it, most of us are working within the confines of a set of unwritten, yet clearly defined, rules of hot rodding. Stance, engine choice and wheels are for the most part selected from a menu of items that come “pre-approved” by our peers. Sure these rules work most of the time, and they provide a degree of certain acceptance when you’re building a traditional pre-’49 hot rod. But all in all, it also makes us a group of conforming nonconformists. However, for some hot rodders (and they are in the minority) building hot rods is about pure ingenuity, a total lack of peer pressure and joy of mixing parts from various sources and making it all work.


First-generation Camaros are all the rage these days, and no wonder. With so many ways to bring them into a new era, they make great selections. So, while the big-block power and a five-speed trans served owner Gary Johnson well over the years, rocketing gas prices led him to a more efficient LS2 option.


After recently purchasing a ’62 Thunderbird, it became obvious very quickly that the car needed a new engine. Our plan was to turn the car into a daily driver, and so, as long as we needed a new engine, we figured we’d add air conditioning to the car while we were at it. And if you really know your Ford history, you also know that the ’62 was the last model T-bird to come with a generator rather than an alternator—one more reason to consider an upgrade.

The Injection Connection

In 1999, Stotts decided to replace the carbureted 350, which was installed in 1991, with a Corvette TPI motor. Stotts wanted to bring the car into the new millennium with style, adding the extra convenience of electronic fuel injection. A resident of Mena, Arkansas, Stotts visited nearby Street & Performance to get started on his project. The S&P guys are well-known for being wizards when it comes to figuring out how to stuff an EFI motor in an older car and actually making it work.

LS Swapping a Classic Jeep CJ

In 1981 this Jeep, that now belongs to Clinton Campbell of Dallas Texas left the factory floor with a straight 6, but he drove it away from Street & Performance with a 5.3 truck LS-1 type engine and a 4L60E transmission. Clinton wanted more performance, drivability and, with the recent enforcement of emission laws in Texas, he needed to be able to pass emissions.


For 1933, Dodge had a full line of automobiles, and the salesmen of the day no doubt touted that there was a Dodge model perfect for you. But of all the sedans, coupes, convertible sedans (of which only 13 four-door convertible sedan eight-cylinder models were built) and station wagons, the convertible coupe was no doubt the most stylish of the bunch. The ’33 Dodge convertible coupe was a rare car in 1933, with only 1,563 units being produced, and, of course, there were 56 more built with the eight-cylinder engine. So, while the convertible coupe was a strikingly good-looking automobile, it was not the best of times, and the practicality and affordability of coupes and sedans far outsold the convertibles of the time. Today, finding a ’33 Dodge convertible coupe is truly a challenge.



Be Cool is no newcomer to cooling heavy metal. For years it has provided cooling solutions for some of the most impressive high-performance engines to rumble down the streets and dragstrips of America. The folks at Be Cool understand that having the proper cooling components in any car or truck is vital to keep an engine safely within its operating temperature range. They also understand that to make cooling and installation easier, they had to design a full bolt-in system, a system that would fit hundreds of applications for classic cars and trucks, as well as more modern vehicles that also need cooling help.



The owner of this ’77 Chevy pickup got tired of the performance and poor fuel economy of the truck’s 350 small block, and rather than rebuild the engine, he decided to replace it with something better. If there’s an engine better than a small-block Chevy, it’s one of Chevy’s new Gen-III small-block engines, which include the Vortec truck motors, LS1/LS6, and even the new LS2/LS7.



Those who longed for their engines to look as they did back in the old days of multiple-carb setups were out of luck. Cool as they were to look at, there are lots of reasons why the multi-carb setup fell out of favor, and most of them had to do with the fact that they were a bear to sync. The advent of the four-barrel carb was the death for these systems, though the purists among us prayed for a breakthrough. Thanks to Ken Farrell and his company, Retro Tek, those prayers have been answered. Farrell started off converting old mechanical fuel injection systems (Hilborn & Enderle) when the first aftermarket EFI systems became available. His new system, which uses the latest in EFI mated together with the classic Stromburg 97 design, came about when Farrell saw that there was interest in the benefits of EFI, but he also knew that they were lacking in the looks department. The idea was simple take the best aspects of both and add them together.



Ford engines are hot, and everyone—even non-Ford guys—are talking about it. The small-block Ford is an awesome package that is made even more awesome by Ford Racing and aftermarket parts. It has continually gained popularity as a high-performance buildup, as a Ford In A Ford engine transplant and as a replacement performance engine for vehicles that were optioned as such but were less equipped when new. With all of this activity surrounding the small-block Ford engine, it is safe to say that it is quickly becoming the small block of choice.

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