I’m always browsing Craigslist for my next project, even though at the moment I don’t have any place to put it. I came across an ad for a Porsche 924 that was free! It had no running gear but was a complete car either way. All I would need is an engine and transmission and I would be good to go. A free car, boy do I wish I had some room.
So what would I do with this car? One option would be to find a proper motor for it and just pop it in. Maybe find a donor car that was destroyed and just swap out the motor and transmission. I would then have a complete running car for probably not too much cash. I would also be able to swap out any parts that I needed to get the car complete. This seems very doable and would most likely be the route that I would take.
Another option would be an LS swap! Now that’s what I’m talking about! This now puts the car into fantasy build territory. How would I accomplish this? What transmission would I have to use? I know that the transmission for the 92x series Porsche’s are in the back of the car for better weight distribution so could I just take a wrecked Camaro/Firebird and swap it out? I’m about to find out!
It seems that there are always a lot of things that I don’t think about when dreaming of a V8 924, or any fantasy build or swap. According to 944hybrids.com forum, you need to make sure you have the correct brake package, and setup to make this a safe and fun swap. Not that the brakes cannot be upgraded but it is something that I did not think about and will obviously add to the cost. It also seems that the 924 platform is not so ideal to perform this swap with, since the transmission seems to be the weak link in the swap, and nothing that I’ve seen on the internet has stated that I could use something different easily. I am not a fabricator so I would be looking for something that has been done before and there are parts that can be purchased to make it work. Therefore I would be looking for a cheap 944 to perform the build. So, to answer one of the above questions, I could absolutely take a wrecked GM F-Body and rob the motor out of it, but I would need to mount it to the stock transmission of the 944. From the research that I have done, it seems that the turbo series car would be better but the NA one would work just the same, the difference being the gearing of the transmissions. I would just need the proper mounts, correct headers (which are mentioned in this post), the right bell housing and clutch components, and the proper wiring. All of these items should be easily obtainable and would probably make the swap well worth it! I am personally thinking of the 5.3L truck motor that is becoming popular to perform the swap unless I can find an LSx motor somewhere for a reasonable price.
For a proper price layout, I am going to list out the approximate budget for this project below. I am sourcing my prices from actual listings on Craigslist, Ebay, and classified ads so they are within an acceptable range, and could possibly be reduced quite a bit. The only item that would be absolutely set in stone would be the installation kit, and that is because I wouldn’t want to take the chance of screwing up the important stuff! This is also assuming all the work being performed is by the project builder and not a shop. Also, I will be pricing a GM Vortec 5300 motor which produces between 270-320 Horsepower and 315-330 ft-lb’s of torque. Of course you can source a different V8 but will need to budget accordingly.
Used Porsche 944 – $2000 (I have seen them cheaper but I’m taking an average price that I’ve seen on Craigslist)
5.3L GM Engine – $700 (I’ve seen them from a shop on Ebay for $450, but once you add the $225 for shipping you’re looking at $675. I’ve seen multiple listings for V8 motors on Craigslist for anywhere from $150 for a bare block to $700 for a good used motor.)
V8 Installation Kit – $2500 (This is from Texas Performance Concepts. I believe if I were to attempt this swap in my garage I would get the deluxe kit so that I would have all the parts necessary to perform the swap successfully. I may piece it together from other manufacturers but I would get all of these parts. It would probably cost about the same.)
Miscellaneous Items – $1000 (This is probably high, but I would rather budget for the possibility of running over than not having enough money to complete the project. This amount is probably going to be used to upgrade the front brakes and the front springs)
Total Cost – $6200
That price doesn’t seem too bad since I’ve seen these cars going for $10k plus online, and since my main goal would be to drive it for awhile and then sell it that would be quite a nice turn around. Now only if I can get the money to attempt it…….