How Much Does An Engine Swap Cost (By Model)
Most people purchase a car and never even consider changing out the engine. So, why do other owners decide to invest in such a costly vehicle upgrade or repair? Sometimes, owners are looking to increase their vehicle’s power and performance, but there are other reasons to consider swapping an engine as well.
An engine swap cost is usually between $2,000 and $8,000. However, some people spend $20,000 or more, depending on the price of the new engine and transmission.
The labor cost for an engine swap is typically around $2,000, and the rest of the price tag depends on the parts that you choose.
Sample Engine Swap Prices
|Sample Engine/Vehicle Type||Sample Engine Size||Sample Price Estimate|
|Honda/Acura K20||4-cylinder/2000cc||$1,000 (short block)|
|2002 Honda Accord||2.3L VTEC||$3,225 (remanufactured)|
|2004 Chevy Silverado 1500||4.8L||$1,400 (used)|
|2007 Ford Mustang||4.6L||$2,300 (used)|
|2007 Ford Mustang||4.6L||$3,300 (remanufactured)|
|2010 Honda Civic||2.0L||$2,500 (used)|
|2010 Honda Civic||2.0L||$3,360 (remanufactured)|
|2011 Jeep Wrangler||3.8L||$2,800 (used)|
|2012 Lexus LS460||4.6L||$6,900 (remanufactured)|
|2014 Mazda 3||2.0L||$1,100 (used)|
|2017 Mini Cooper||2.0L, S-model||$3,500 (used)|
|2001 Pontiac Firebird||3.8L||$2,300 (remanufactured)|
|2003 Subaru Impreza||2.5L||$1,800 (used)|
|2003 Subaru Impreza||2.5L||$3,375 (remanufactured)|
|2005 Toyota Camry||2.4L||$1,850 (used)|
|2005 Toyota Camry||2.4L||$3,000 (remanufactured)|
Custom, luxury, high-end, or performance vehicles typically result in a more labor-intensive job that will require more care and time. Additionally, the work may require certain skills that the auto shop will charge a premium for.
Types of Engine Swaps
- LS Swap: Swapping in a General Motors LS engine is a popular choice due to its high power output and availability.
- Hemi Swap: Chrysler’s Hemi engine is another popular option for its power and unique sound. Read our detailed guide on V6 to V8 conversion.
- Diesel Swap: Swapping in a diesel engine can provide better fuel efficiency and towing capacity.
- Electric Swap: Electric engine swaps are becoming increasingly popular due to their efficiency and low maintenance requirements.
|Engine Swap Type||Price|
Factors Affecting Engine Swap Cost
There are several factors that can influence the cost of an engine swap. One of the most significant factors is the type of engine being installed. Engines with higher performance outputs will typically cost more than stock engines. This is because high-performance engines often require additional parts and modifications to the vehicle to handle the increased power.
Another important factor that affects engine swap cost is labor costs. The amount of labor required to perform the swap can vary depending on the complexity of the installation and the experience level of the mechanic. If you have the necessary skills and tools, you may be able to perform the engine swap yourself and save on labor costs.
Additional parts can also contribute to the overall cost of an engine swap. Depending on the engine being installed, you may need to purchase a new transmission, exhaust system, or radiator. These parts can be costly and can significantly increase the overall cost of the swap.
The make and model of the vehicle can also affect engine swap cost. Some vehicles are easier to swap engines in and out of, while others require more extensive modifications. Additionally, the geographic location can impact engine swap cost, as labor rates and the cost of parts can vary depending on the area.
Overall, the cost of an engine swap can vary greatly depending on several factors, including the type of engine, labor costs, additional parts, vehicle make and model, and geographic location. It’s important to consider all of these factors when planning an engine swap to ensure that you have an accurate estimate of the total cost.
DIY vs. Professional Engine Swaps
While some car enthusiasts may choose to tackle an engine swap project on their own, it’s important to understand the risks and challenges involved.
Engine swaps can be complex and time-consuming projects, requiring significant expertise and specialized tools. For those without experience or resources, it may be more cost-effective to hire a professional mechanic to complete the swap.
If you have your engine swapped at a garage, you should plan to spend around $2000 for labor. Most mechanics charge $85-$125 per hour for labor. Swapping an engine is no small task, and it can take anywhere from 20 to 80 hours to do the work.
|Minimum Price Estimate||$800 – $1,300|
|Maximum Price Estimate||$4,000 – $8,000+|
|Average Price Estimate||$1,750 – $2,500|
Which Block Are You Going To Use? Short or Long Block
When considering an engine swap, you’ll need to decide whether to go with a short block, long block, or complete engine. This decision can have a significant impact on the overall cost of the swap.
A short-block engine may be cheaper, but it only comes with about one-third of the parts and components that you’ll need. It doesn’t include cylinder heads or a head gasket. That means that you’ll have to spend more money buying these parts to complete the job.
If you go with a long block engine, it will have almost everything you need, including cylinder heads (unlike the short block). But, you’ll still have to purchase some of the necessary parts to finish the installation.
A complete engine will have everything that you need to swap the engine and you won’t have to go hunt down any extra parts. Of course, this is the most expensive option of the three, but it’s far more convenient and can end up being cheaper than buying everything separately.
Other Important Considerations
Replacement Transmission ($250 – $3,000)
Depending on the engine, you may or may not need to replace the transmission. If you don’t need to, then you will save quite a bit of money. Even if you do need a new one, however, you can save some money by going to a junkyard or salvage yard to find the new part.
If you’re looking to upgrade to a performance transmission, you should plan to spend a little more. Many people who swap their engine choose to convert their vehicle to a manual transmission if it’s not already.
Swap Kit or Parts Cost ($100 – $5,000)
There are many, many parts and components that go into swapping an engine. If you don’t have all the right ones, it may seem like a huge bill to purchase a swap kit.
One option is to go to a junkyard and find the parts you need one by one. Not only is this a time-consuming and tedious task, but you have no guarantee that the parts will fit or function correctly.
The price for an engine swap kit depends on the engine. It may be a few hundred dollars or several thousand. Either way, it will be worth it to know that you have the correct parts for the engine and everything you need for the job.
Reasons to Swap an Engine
The vehicle is very rare or an antique
In this case, an original engine would be very difficult to obtain. If the engine needed to be replaced, an engine swap would be the only option.
It’s too expensive to rebuild the engine
If the engine fails, the owner may find that the cost to rebuild it exceeds the cost to swap it out for a new one.
In that case, it makes sense to swap the old engine for something more updated and with better performance.
The current engine isn’t reliable
There are some vehicles out there that are known for having reliability issues even when they’re in great condition.
If the owner wants to keep the vehicle, they may decide to swap the engine for something more reliable for daily driving.
Towing and off-road capabilities
Some owners decide to swap their engines for diesel to improve their off-road performance and towing capabilities.
In that case, they can keep their luxury import vehicle but have the benefits of a diesel-powered engine.
Adding on parts and upgrading the stock engine is one way to add power and performance, but it can get really expensive.
Sometimes, it’s a more economical option to swap the engine out for a more powerful motor.
Engine Swap Versus Engine Rebuild
Rebuilding an engine typically costs between $2,500 and $4,000. In some cases, this will be the best option to give you a like-new motor at a potentially lower cost than replacing it altogether. However, if there’s more extensive damage, the cost can go up significantly.
If the crankshaft is damaged or cylinder heads need to be replaced, it will be more expensive.
In some situations, a rebuild might not be an option. For example, if the engine block itself is cracked or the engine has seized, you’ll have to swap it out for a new one.
Can You Swap a Gas Engine with a Diesel?
It is possible to swap a gas engine for a diesel engine, but the job is more complex and expensive. There are many extra considerations with this type of swap that you should be aware of.
When considering a diesel engine swap, there are several important factors to keep in mind. First, the weight and dimensions of the new engine must be taken into consideration to ensure that it can be properly supported and installed in the vehicle.
Additionally, if the new engine is more powerful, upgrades may be necessary to the transmission and rear axle to handle the increased horsepower and torque.
It’s also important to consider the vehicle’s electronics, particularly if the new engine is electronically controlled. Compatibility with the existing transmission must be ensured.
Finally, there are specific laws and regulations regarding diesel emissions that may need to be taken into account, as these differ from those for gas-powered engines. Emissions testing and inspection may be required, depending on the state regulations.
Overall, careful planning and consideration of all factors are crucial when undertaking a diesel engine swap to ensure that the new engine is properly installed, compatible, and meets all necessary regulations.
The fuel savings and additional power that you can get with a diesel engine may be appealing, but there will be extra costs upfront that you’ll need to plan for.
Remember To Get Multiple Estimates
Consider the shop’s reputation and what kind of warranty they offer for parts and labor. These are important factors that will add value to the work.
Once you have estimates and a good idea of what the job will cost, you need to think about whether the price tag is worth it for your situation. If you’re looking for improved performance, it may be more cost-efficient to purchase a new vehicle or rebuild your existing engine.
Everyone’s situation is different, so you’ll need to use all the available information to make the best decision for you.