1 2 3
alleykat
alleykat Reader
12/4/17 4:19 p.m.

I just sold a project car and I am ready to begin my next one. The car will be a street legal track and autoX toy.  I have limited fabrication skills so the swap will need to be well supported with a kit and existing community.  I have two main options I'm thinking about. Mostly because I already own one of each of the cars. I'm looking for pros and cons of each swap. Given the choice of each swap which would you choose and why? Or should I just sell all my junk and buy a 99 C2 :) 

  • K24A2 into a 1994 Miata using the KMiata swap kit. 
    • + I think this has the potential to be the most fun
    • + Consumables will be the lowest
    • + Has the advantage or retaining the Miata drivetrain
    • - Low horsepower per dollar
  • LSX swap int a 1994 325i using Vorshlag kit. 
    • + High horsepower per dollar
    • + Robust drivetrain
    • + Retain BMW differential
    • + Retain E36 cross-member (motor mounts only)
    • - Will be difficult to complete for $10k

 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
12/4/17 4:46 p.m.

KSwap into Miata all day, everyday and twice on Sunday.

But I'm hoping you already have suspension/brakes, etc on the Miata because to properly do the swap is going to eat up every bit of that $10k and maybe a bit more.

buzzboy
buzzboy Reader
12/4/17 5:29 p.m.

Use Kmiata kit to swap K24 into BMW. I've already been dreaming about it.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
12/4/17 5:38 p.m.
buzzboy said:

Use Kmiata kit to swap K24 into BMW. I've already been dreaming about it.

Why would you want to put a high revving, relatively low tq 4 cylinder in a 3200lb+ car vs a 2300lb Miata?  Especially with myriad of more powerful I6s that bolt right in?

singleslammer
singleslammer PowerDork
12/4/17 5:55 p.m.

I vote k swap Miata. I imagine that is just a better car on many levels.

Furious_E
Furious_E SuperDork
12/4/17 6:23 p.m.

That's a tough one, would yield two very different cars. Do you prefer a V8 hammer or lightweight screamer?

Not too familiar with the Miata K swap, but I've had a thing for LS swapped e36s for going on a decade now and nearly went that path myself before starting my FC RX7 LS1 swap. 

Big issue in the E36 seems to be that everything is shaped for a long, narrow I6, and you're trying to stuff a relatively short and wide V8 in it. Clearance to the steering rack is a major issue and I don't think any stock exhaust manifolds will fit. Engine management is super easy with the GM ECU and HPTuners. 

Have you done a swap before? The RX7 was my first and I was really pleased with the level of support for that swap, I agree that is key for success. You WILL spend a lot more than you anticipate, regardless of how well you think you have everything planned and priced out. You will probably also end up doing at least a bit of fab, something somewhere will need a bracket or some such doodad. 

 

buzzboy
buzzboy Reader
12/4/17 7:11 p.m.

In reply to z31maniac :

A 325 sedan with a K24 would weigh closer to 2800lbs after the swap. A K24 with bolt ons make it have the same power level as an F20C but with more torque(driveability) so you end up with a BMW sedan that has a better power to weight ratio than an S2000 yet maintains the awesome chassis and brakes of the e36.

Also, it's unique. This is GRM right?

Furious_E said:

Big issue in the E36 seems to be that everything is shaped for a long, narrow I6, and you're trying to stuff a relatively short and wide V8 in it. Clearance to the steering rack is a major issue and I don't think any stock exhaust manifolds will fit. Engine management is super easy with the GM ECU and HPTuners.

 

He mentioned using the vorshlag kit which solves all of those problems with custom headers and steering shaft.

Robbie
Robbie PowerDork
12/4/17 7:30 p.m.

Oooh. This is a good dilemma to have. Do you want a soft top or not? I think that is basically your most important question right now.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
12/4/17 8:08 p.m.
buzzboy said:

In reply to z31maniac :

A 325 sedan with a K24 would weigh closer to 2800lbs after the swap. A K24 with bolt ons make it have the same power level as an F20C but with more torque(driveability) so you end up with a BMW sedan that has a better power to weight ratio than an S2000 yet maintains the awesome chassis and brakes of the e36.

Also, it's unique. This is GRM right?

Furious_E said:

Big issue in the E36 seems to be that everything is shaped for a long, narrow I6, and you're trying to stuff a relatively short and wide V8 in it. Clearance to the steering rack is a major issue and I don't think any stock exhaust manifolds will fit. Engine management is super easy with the GM ECU and HPTuners.

 

He mentioned using the vorshlag kit which solves all of those problems with custom headers and steering shaft.

Everything I'm seeing put thems around 3100-3200 stock. I don't think a K24 swap is going to drop 300-400lbs.

I know this is GRM, but remember, unique does not necessarily mean good. :)

Andy Neuman
Andy Neuman Dork
12/4/17 8:11 p.m.

Why not an LS swap FC RX7? Huge amount of support. 

KyAllroad (Jeremy)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) PowerDork
12/4/17 10:29 p.m.

I just started the reconstruction of the Monster Miata.  Ford 5.0 into a 93 Answer. Swap was already done and after a catastrophic engine failure I picked it up.  If you want the easy button swap I'll sell it along to you.  Literally everything is already done, just needs to be assembled.

alleykat
alleykat Reader
12/5/17 1:05 a.m.
KyAllroad (Jeremy) said:

I just started the reconstruction of the Monster Miata.  Ford 5.0 into a 93 Answer. Swap was already done and after a catastrophic engine failure I picked it up.  If you want the easy button swap I'll sell it along to you.  Literally everything is already done, just needs to be assembled.

I'm kinda into doing the build myself. But thanks.

alleykat
alleykat Reader
12/5/17 1:06 a.m.
Andy Neuman said:

Why not an LS swap FC RX7? Huge amount of support. 

This is an idea. I looked at the 944 ls swap too. Is there a particular vendor  I should look at for a kit? 

alleykat
alleykat Reader
12/5/17 1:10 a.m.
Furious_E said:

That's a tough one, would yield two very different cars. Do you prefer a V8 hammer or lightweight screamer?

Not too familiar with the Miata K swap, but I've had a thing for LS swapped e36s for going on a decade now and nearly went that path myself before starting my FC RX7 LS1 swap. 

Big issue in the E36 seems to be that everything is shaped for a long, narrow I6, and you're trying to stuff a relatively short and wide V8 in it. Clearance to the steering rack is a major issue and I don't think any stock exhaust manifolds will fit. Engine management is super easy with the GM ECU and HPTuners. 

Have you done a swap before? The RX7 was my first and I was really pleased with the level of support for that swap, I agree that is key for success. You WILL spend a lot more than you anticipate, regardless of how well you think you have everything planned and priced out. You will probably also end up doing at least a bit of fab, something somewhere will need a bracket or some such doodad. 

 

I swapped a 1.8 into my 90 Miata a few years back. I drove the snot out of it for years. I'm looking for the next level to cut my teeth on. An FC with a V8 sounds fun too. 

alleykat
alleykat Reader
12/5/17 1:13 a.m.
buzzboy said:

Use Kmiata kit to swap K24 into BMW. I've already been dreaming about it.

A K24 into an early m10 e30  or a e21 might be fun. I have had 2 e30's and I really prefer the E36.  However, I'm looking for something with a high quality kit to help me out.

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
12/5/17 6:33 a.m.

Neither.  LS swap the miata

MazdaFace
MazdaFace Reader
12/5/17 6:42 a.m.

Vorshlag makes some nice stuff. Eventually going to use their kit for the e46 

ProDarwin
ProDarwin PowerDork
12/5/17 7:20 a.m.
z31maniac said:

Everything I'm seeing put thems around 3100-3200 stock. I don't think a K24 swap is going to drop 300-400lbs.

I know this is GRM, but remember, unique does not necessarily mean good. :)

Weights I've seen on STX 325s for sale are right at 2800lb, into the high 2700s.  I could see a K24 E36 in the 26xx range.  I don't think it would be cooler than a LSX E36 or a K24 Miata, but I can see the appeal of a K24 E36.

Andy Neuman
Andy Neuman Dork
12/5/17 7:27 a.m.
alleykat said:
Andy Neuman said:

Why not an LS swap FC RX7? Huge amount of support. 

This is an idea. I looked at the 944 ls swap too. Is there a particular vendor  I should look at for a kit? 

Ronin Speedworks They have the current go to mounting kit for the LS in an FC. It allows the most room for things like headers. 

edizzle89
edizzle89 Dork
12/5/17 7:32 a.m.

I'm currently LS swapping my z31. Dirty dingo makes mounts, g-force makes an adapter plate for late turbo z31/any z32 transmission, and shaftmasters makes a z31 driveshaft in any length you need. Depending on what amenities you want you can get them to under 3000 lbs.

klodkrawler05
klodkrawler05 Reader
12/5/17 7:41 a.m.
buzzboy said:

Use Kmiata kit to swap K24 into BMW. I've already been dreaming about it.

I've been dreaming about this too, but you have to do the swap in a slicktop 318i e30 instead. With euro bumpers and a few weight conscious part selections I think you'd wind up coming in around the 2000lb mark. There's a whole list of "anorexic e30's" and many of them come in at the 22-2300lb mark with 400+ lb inline 6 motors so you're already starting out 150lbs ahead of them on the nose.

A k24 can easily match the hp of the commonly swapped s52 but with 150 # less on the nose I think it'd be awesome.

Throw some ITB's onto it and you'd have a modern day spirirt of the e30 m3 high revving  NA 4 cylinder car. But with a reliable fuel efficient cheap engine instead of the S14 motor that are worth as much as some nice sports cars

 

Furious_E
Furious_E SuperDork
12/5/17 7:52 a.m.
Andy Neuman said:
alleykat said:
Andy Neuman said:

Why not an LS swap FC RX7? Huge amount of support. 

This is an idea. I looked at the 944 ls swap too. Is there a particular vendor  I should look at for a kit? 

Ronin Speedworks They have the current go to mounting kit for the LS in an FC. It allows the most room for things like headers. 

Yup, Ronin is who I went with and would recommend, very nice quality and reasonably priced. Granny's Speedshop, Jags That Run, and Hinson are also options for swap kits or various components. Ronin's mounts set the engine farther back and the transmission crossmember allows ample clearance to run the exhaust beneath it, which makes fabbing the exhaust and retaining ground clearance a heck of a lot easier.  Also, their kit allows use of an off the shelf driveshaft from an automatic C4 'Vette, which saves some coin.

The kit is less comprehensive than the Vorschlag E36 kit, you get engine and tranny mounts and that's it. They do offer headers separately (although IIRC F body manifolds are supposed to fit), and just about everything else you may need is offered between the vendors mentioned above - it's a really well developed and supported swap. The LS fits astonishingly well in the FC's engine bay - nearly the whole motor sits behind the front axle and everything is accessible. Biggest issue with the swap is the N/A diff isn't quite up to the torque of the V8, but starting with or swapping to a TII diff solves that, or there are kits to swap a Ford 8.8 IRS diff. 

Check out norotors.com, and this thread in particular. Joel is one of the guys who started Ronin and his thread was my bible throughout the project. 

alleykat
alleykat Reader
12/5/17 9:45 a.m.

In reply to Furious_E :

That is some excellent information. Thank you.

docwyte
docwyte SuperDork
12/5/17 10:30 a.m.

I don't think you can LS swap a 944 or an E36 for $10k.  You'll need both the LS and T56 for the E36, plus all the swap parts.  That stuff right there can cost more than $10k.

I wouldn't LS swap a 944 again, I did it to my 951.  The E36 engine bay is MASSIVE compared to the 944's.  Plus if you start with a anything but a 951, you need to upgrade the brakes, suspension and transmission. 

These are hard swaps to get done for under $10k unless you're a good fabricator and do all the work yourself, plus get the car/shell for next to nothing.

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe UberDork
12/5/17 11:38 a.m.

I really think this is the answer here, unless you want to use it as a daily. 

1 2 3
Our Preferred Partners
kwlC4IYUyfmAHrsZRRii2X6P0Cb4yoXS