Other Engine Conversions - non V-8 Discussion of non-rotary engines, exc V-8's, in a car originally powered by a Rotary Engine.

Please help, what motor and why?

Old 07-15-16, 10:49 PM
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ON Please help, what motor and why?

So A long story short I used to have a gxl fc3s. My first car and I was absolutely in love with it. Had a few things done to it and ran strong until it got stolen. It is now many years later and I have gotten back into owning a rx7 again but this time it has no motor or transmission. I am looking for what I should put in it. I have searched build threads, did a ton of reading and really open to anything. Right now I'm thinking either 1jz/2jz or ls1 motor. I would like some of you to chime in and maybe provide some feedback on your builds and get some decent feedback before buying my setup. Here in canada the Toyota motors are very readily available and easy to come by. The ls1 with trans is a whole different story, like finding a needle in a hay stack! Anyways fire away....
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Old 07-15-16, 11:36 PM
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#1 is how much do you want to spend?..followed by:what do you want to do with the car?..track?,daily?
are you mechanically capable to do this?..or are you sending it to a shop to do?(no offense).
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Old 07-16-16, 04:42 PM
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No offense at all. I will be daily driving this vehicle and just looking to build a fun car. I would like to pay anywhere from 2500-3500 for the motor set. I'm not worried about fabrication as I will be doing all the work.
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Old 07-16-16, 05:29 PM
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Take that number, $2500-3500. Now double it. That is your new budget.

It doesn't matter if you do all of the fab work yourself. A proper swap is costly and time intensive. I get that you can get an engine for cheap, but once you start adding up the small purchases, it adds up in a big way.

I just did a quick and dirty google search to come up with a quick idea on the actual cost.

1/2JZ-GTE
Engine and Trans: $1500-3000 (stock ECU may or may not be included)
ECU, harness, and Sensors: $1000-2000 (depending on brand)
Driveshaft: $400
Mounts: $100-350
Radiator: $200-500
Misc parts: $200-1000 (belts, hoses, gaskets, clutch, etc.)

There is so much more to a swap than just the engine. Many times, a JDM package will not come with the ECU and all of the sensors with an uncut harness, so now you are having to track them all down. This is why many people just go to a standalone with a swap. It allows you the freedom to run whatever sensors you need and you can build the harness to suit, versus modifying a factory harness that may be damaged.

While you are there, you will want to freshen up whatever pieces are on the engine to help make it more reliable, such as belts, hoses, t-stat, gaskets, plugs, wires, etc. This all adds up and people don't mention these hidden costs in a build.

You still would have to get the clutch hydraulics working and potentially replace the clutch and pressure plate while you are there.

I would never recommend reusing a stock RX7 rad in any swap. Always upgrade and improve for the long run. It would be a shame to have a running car just to have the upper tank rupture and cook your engine.

Driveshafts can be had premade for a 1/2JZ swap (thanks drifters), but you may want to end up installing a T2 rear diff. I'm unsure if you have an NA or Turbo roller, but generally the driveshafts off the shelf are for Turbo diffs. A turbo diff requires turbo axles. You could be extra baller and get the Ronin 8.8 swap mounts and go that direction. That adds about $1500.

With what I have listed as a dirty estimate, your'e at $7500 easily. I know fabrication can be handled on your own, but getting the parts is another story. Now you may know someone who can hook you up and get you all set for far less than what I put together, but be aware that many attempted swaps fail due to cost overruns.





I would write up a LS1 swap, but that is already documented on NoRotors. Basically, buy a wrecked SS Camaro and then get all of the pieces together for a swap. An LS swap nickels and dimes people to death. Not sure if they have nickels and dimes in Canada, so ummmmmmm......*insert small coin names here*


Not sure if I'm allowed to link, but just google "norotors ls1 rx7 fc" Look for Joel's build thread.

Last edited by ACR_RX-7; 07-16-16 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 07-17-16, 06:58 PM
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Haha this will be a progressive bill I understand that. Just basing things off the initial cost of things. The ls swap is looking like it will be an expensive route. The transmission I am looking for which is the t56 runs from 2500-3500 in Canada and have to travel far to get it. The 2jz swap is looking like a decent option but I am having problems finding a decent importer to grab the motor set from here. Now I come down to another possible motor set which would be the rb25 neo out of a r34 gtt. I can get the entire swap for 2000$ and start with that. I'm just trying to see what happened when you guys were doing these swaps, headaches you ran into and if people would avoid certain swaps all together. I do my reading that's for sure. I saw a lot of build threads and different ways of accomplishing a finished product.
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Old 07-17-16, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Cschepp View Post
Haha this will be a progressive bill I understand that. Just basing things off the initial cost of things. The ls swap is looking like it will be an expensive route. The transmission I am looking for which is the t56 runs from 2500-3500 in Canada and have to travel far to get it. The 2jz swap is looking like a decent option but I am having problems finding a decent importer to grab the motor set from here. Now I come down to another possible motor set which would be the rb25 neo out of a r34 gtt. I can get the entire swap for 2000$ and start with that. I'm just trying to see what happened when you guys were doing these swaps, headaches you ran into and if people would avoid certain swaps all together. I do my reading that's for sure. I saw a lot of build threads and different ways of accomplishing a finished product.


The RB25 is not a bad option to consider. I personally am not a fan of Nissan engines for a multitude of reasons, but the RB could work.

Now, you say you can get the "entire swap" for $2000. Hopefully that includes the harness, ECU, trans, MAF sensor, and all other bits needed. Otherwise, you may be forced to go the standalone route.

The list of costs I came up with was based on what I see in almost every swap thread on this site. Everyone goes into it thinking it will be less than $3k and end up almost always spending close to $10k once it's all said and done.

In the states, we do not have the RB engines available to us, so all RB parts are import only. I do know that you can now get Skyline parts at some dealers, due to our 25 year old rules, but I personally am not a fan of that route.

I used to work with a guy who had a pig nosed 240SX. He bought a halfcut from a SR20 Silvia and did the Sileighty conversion. By the time he was done, he spent over $9k on the swap. This didn't even include a standalone or a tune. Just a basic stock swapped SR20 with a front mount and 3" exhaust. He got nickeled and dimed to death on all of the fiddly bits. The swap was hacked together too. The shop he had do the work was less than professional. He only paid the shop $2k for labor, so even on his own he would have been into it $7k.
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Old 07-17-16, 09:32 PM
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Thanks for the input.... Really like to hear opinions. What kind of issues do you think I'd run into with the Nissan motor? I have had the rb20 and a rb25 in guys skylines I have owned and also 2 separate versions of the rb26 and had 0 issues at all. This and it being readily available is a huge plus. Also since I have dealt with these for years now I know the ins and outs of these motors and compatible parts which can save someone money. If I went with a rb25 motor I would be looking close to 300 hp. The 2jz would run more money and get just a little more out of it with some huge potential behind it. I do think the cost behind that swap would hurt the bank account a bit. And then we come back to the ls1. I'd serious love to do the v8 in a fc just because the it's a win win scenario. I love the body styling of the rx and then the power behind it with a lumpy v8 is just awesome. But once again don't want to start selling limbs to fund my build. Just want to put a decent motor in and have some fun.

Funny enough I even checked into a sr20 with a 5 speed/6speed trans and they run for the same money as a rb25. I rather have the extra 2 cylinders with some strong internals.

Right now I guess I'll just keep an eye out for a corvette that has been in a accident or eventually just cough the money up for the neo rb25. They do come 100% complete and there are a few importers that do decent job at removing them so the swap wouldn't be looking all over the place for stuff. But if I did need someone they are a text or a phone call away in the same city to give me the parts I need.

Still curious to see everyone's thoughts on the motor. I didn't plan on building another car this soon but I got my car at a killer price that I just couldn't say no too and still love the fc.
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Old 07-17-16, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Cschepp View Post
Thanks for the input.... Really like to hear opinions. What kind of issues do you think I'd run into with the Nissan motor? I have had the rb20 and a rb25 in guys skylines I have owned and also 2 separate versions of the rb26 and had 0 issues at all. This and it being readily available is a huge plus. Also since I have dealt with these for years now I know the ins and outs of these motors and compatible parts which can save someone money. If I went with a rb25 motor I would be looking close to 300 hp. The 2jz would run more money and get just a little more out of it with some huge potential behind it. I do think the cost behind that swap would hurt the bank account a bit. And then we come back to the ls1. I'd serious love to do the v8 in a fc just because the it's a win win scenario. I love the body styling of the rx and then the power behind it with a lumpy v8 is just awesome. But once again don't want to start selling limbs to fund my build. Just want to put a decent motor in and have some fun.

Funny enough I even checked into a sr20 with a 5 speed/6speed trans and they run for the same money as a rb25. I rather have the extra 2 cylinders with some strong internals.

Right now I guess I'll just keep an eye out for a corvette that has been in a accident or eventually just cough the money up for the neo rb25. They do come 100% complete and there are a few importers that do decent job at removing them so the swap wouldn't be looking all over the place for stuff. But if I did need someone they are a text or a phone call away in the same city to give me the parts I need.

Still curious to see everyone's thoughts on the motor. I didn't plan on building another car this soon but I got my car at a killer price that I just couldn't say no too and still love the fc.

Don't buy a Covette. The transmission is in the rear, as in. Its a transaxle, not a regular RWD transmission.

My biggest issue with Nissan engines in the brittle nature of the electrical connectors, the small sump capacities (in general, SR20T holds 3.5qts), and how heavy they are. I know that the 2JZ is not light either, but damn are they heavy. A fully dressed RB25 weighs about 750 lbs. A 2JZ dressed weighs about 700 lbs.

The RB engines have oiling issues, head gasket issues (when pushed hard), and inferior cooling systems to the Toyota engines. A stock block 2JZ can take 700-800whp. An RB generally requires major work about 450-500 whp.

We don't have Skylines in the states natively, but there have been scores of them imported in the past two years due to the 25 year law. I know a handful of people with R32s with RB25s and 26s and they have had a few issues. Mostly with getting parts, but that's a USA problem, not a Canada problem. Every RB I have had my hands on in the flesh just didn't feel right to me. I know that's a **** reason, but I can open the hood on a Toyota and feel good about what is happening. Every Nissan I get a, "Well here we go again." feeling.

Every Nissan engine I have worked with has thermostat issues, knock sensor issues, crank/cam sensor issues, oiling issues, and coolant leak issues. Nissan seems to like running coolant pipes and hoses all over their blocks that are a pain to get to.

It's just me personally, but I simply do not like Nissan engines. I like Toyota engines and a few others, but I always look at an engine as a time-bomb. Some of them take 300k to go off, some sooner than that *cough*13B*cough*.


My advice to you is this. Sit down and decide what kind of car you want to build and your potential uses for it. Then, plan a budget. You need to be realistic here. If you want to do it right and do it once, come up with a number and add 10%. That should help get you an idea of issues you may run into.

I have no idea what Canadian emission laws are like, but you need to take that into consideration. No use building a car you can't drive.

Your next course of action should be coming up with a list of common parts that any engine can use, that way you are not pigeon-holed into a single engine choice. Generally, fuel pumps, radiators, fans, body wiring, and fluids are universal.

Get the shell of the car ready for whatever you plan on doing, first. Get the body harness trimmed back so that you only have the necessities in place. Get your engine bay cleaned and painted. This way, any engine you drop in becomes a standalone item that should only need power and ground to run. Be aware that you will probably need to relocate the battery and build new cables. I am in the process of this on my car now.

It's all straightforward stuff, really. You just need a plan and a realistic expectation of cost. You never mentioned what shell you have, but be aware that the rear diffs on NA cars usually are open centers and don't like power above about 350 whp. They start to make noise. Bad noises. A turbo rear diff swap is a good course of action, provided you can find the axles. For some reason, the diffs are easy to come by. The axles are made of leprechaun gold and unicorn farts.
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Old 07-18-16, 12:25 AM
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I can see your point with the rb motors now. The connectors are horrible especially the coil pack harness and the coolant lines drive me insane! But after a while you get used to a million and one extra coolant lines. As for the oiling issues, there were many in the 26 but the 25 and the 20 didn't have similar problems. When I built my rb25 I did a tomei oil pump and it ran solid. I have confidence in the motor just need to make sure you address known issues.

For my shell I have a nice clean 1988 gx fc3s. Blue on blue that has a mint interior and back seats . The bay has been stripped and I will be repainting this weekend while doing a complete body job on the rest of the car (makes sense to do them both at once).

As for laying out parts I have needed and being realistic I completely get that. For me the major one was deciding the motor and that's why I started this post. Once that's know it's pretty straight forward what I will need for the swaps and have priced the 3 different swaps we have talked about. Financially it goes rb25
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Old 07-18-16, 12:29 AM
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Well, if the RB is the flavor of choice, then do not go alone into the wilderness without some guidance.

This thread is still in progress, but this FC is getting an RB25

https://www.rx7club.com/build-thread...b-7-a-1095866/
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Old 07-18-16, 08:12 AM
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Thanks man. Looks like a decent setup but not too impressed with the steering column. I was hoping to not run into any clearance issues with that. Everything else is clock work.
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Old 07-18-16, 10:24 AM
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he went with a non stock column and I'm guessing will be using a quick ratio rack. I don't think clearance will be an issue with an RB and a stock rack
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Old 07-19-16, 09:22 PM
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I am still thinking of every possible option. We shall see where this takes me. Even considering tossing in a turbo two motor again
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Old 07-19-16, 09:50 PM
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I'm a bit of a purist, in the loosest sense of the term. I like a rotary in an RX7. I know LS swaps are really about as good as it gets, but for me it kinda ruins the appeal. If I wanted a V8 powered RWD car, I would buy a Camaro or a Corvette.
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Old 07-20-16, 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by ACR_RX-7 View Post
I'm a bit of a purist, in the loosest sense of the term. I like a rotary in an RX7. I know LS swaps are really about as good as it gets, but for me it kinda ruins the appeal. If I wanted a V8 powered RWD car, I would buy a Camaro or a Corvette.
I find it kind of funny that you post that in the "other engine conversion section"!!
Everyone here IS Rotary..but IF you can Build it,it will HUM..lol!
I'm a Rotary Guy too,but I am trying a different approach..(meh..got bored with Tacos..I want DIP..lol!)
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Old 07-20-16, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by misterstyx69 View Post
I find it kind of funny that you post that in the "other engine conversion section"!!
Everyone here IS Rotary..but IF you can Build it,it will HUM..lol!
I'm a Rotary Guy too,but I am trying a different approach..(meh..got bored with Tacos..I want DIP..lol!)

You have a good point. I personally like the rotary, but I'm not going to hate bash someone over doing something else.

One engine swap I would like to see is a Mazda MZR engine. Those are only in true race cars and are not affordable to get your hands on, but they have the potential to make stupid power.


In your case, Styx. I like the 5.0 swaps. I'm not a Ford guy, but at least you can dump in a 5.0 out of almost any of the Ford catalog and parts bin a working car together. May not make as much power as an LS, but at least Ford/Mazda were in bed back in the day, so it could be seen as less sinful.

My father-in-law has a '66 Mustang Coupe that has been sitting for years. I've thought about yanking out the 289 and dropping in a PP13B, just for the lulz.
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Old 07-20-16, 12:57 PM
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go to the you pull it junkyard, find a WRECKED car with the engine you want..

i got a vk45de from an 04 m45... 270 dollars. with ECU.. immobilizer, key, BCM fuel pump, fuel tank, fuel pump control modual.. i was at about 400 by then.
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Old 07-20-16, 01:08 PM
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That's also a good plan. There is a gent on garage journal who bought a wrecked 2011 F150 with a turbo V6 that he is putting into a 55 Ford F100. IIRC, he paid about $2000 for the whole truck.
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Old 07-21-16, 01:39 PM
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Well I have to say I didn't expect this but it looks like I will be going with the turbo two motor. Got a good deal on a motor set and I know it won't be too much of a hassle. This as a combo I feel pretty good about making a few changes in wiring. I will need to see what I will need to change. For the most part though I don't see it being horrible.
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