Circle Auto Protect Blog

Engine Swap? If You’re Considering It, Keep in Mind These 7 Things

Nov 25, 2019
Michael Robinson

Are you thinking about removing your car’s engine and replacing it with a different one? It’s become a trend to the engine swap, whether to replace a broken engine or to upgrade to a newer different engine that will make your car more powerful or economical to drive.

For example, there’s a common practice of engine swapping to a diesel model for better fuel economy (especially since modern high-efficiency and torque diesel engines won’t sacrifice performance). 

For many car enthusiasts with vehicles over 10 years old and beyond, an engine swap is an intriguing way to bring new life to an older car. If you’re thinking about an engine swap, here are 7 considerations to keep in mind: 

1.    Automotive Wiring

Automotive wiring can be complex, especially when you’re swapping modern engines. You need to make sure you have a good understanding of the overall circuit system for your vehicle. 

For example, it’s not enough to run a power wire and ground wire for your electric fan. The circuit needs to be connected to the vehicle’s cooling system and air conditioning system with wire relays.

2.    Fuel System

You may know you’ll need high-quality fuel lines and improved filtration when you engine swap for a newer, more powerful engine. But it’s also important to use the right kind of fuel pump.

One recommendation is an in-tank fuel pump with a factory-size fuel line feed to help eliminate noise and engine failure.

3.    Cooling System

Will your current cooling system be able to handle the heat of your new engine?

While mechanical fans can work fine for older engines, many modern engines require more cooling and airflow to make sure your vehicle won’t overheat. It may not be enough to just re-install your current fan or try to get by with a cheap electric fan. 

4.    Power Steering Reservoir

Oftentimes, all the fluid reservoirs of your vehicle will need to be changed when you do an engine swap.

One of the trickiest reservoirs to change can be the power steering reservoir. A remotely mounted reservoir may be necessary depending on the make and model of your vehicle and the type of new engine you want to install.

5.    Steering Linkage

Figuring out your steering linkage can also be tricky, especially when you’re trying to accommodate several new parts.

It’s common to upgrade your steering systems and suspension when doing an engine swap, but it may require an unusual configuration of the steering linkage to get everything working together and running smoothly.

6.    Air Conditioner

Some engines come with mounting brackets for air conditioning compressors, and these brackets are typically located on the lower end of the engine. While this can be convenient, it can also create problems when you’re trying to get the new engine to fit between the frame rails. 

When this happens, you can try to mount the compressors in a different location. But then it can be tricky to figure out how to best layout the air conditioning system as a whole.

7.    Oil Pans

Engine swaps can create problems for the location of pick-up tubes and clearances for oil pans because many chassis and cross members will be in different locations.

While there are plenty of oil pans on the market, you want to be careful to figure out just the right fit.

If you go ahead and swap your engine, we’d love to hear all about it!  

And, if you decide you’d rather let an ASE-certified mechanic work on fixing your engine, you’ll probably benefit from one of our coverage plans here at Circle Auto Protect.

You can give us a call at: 833-247-2530 (833-CIRCLE0). Or, get a quote on our website!



Vehicles up to 140k miles are eligible for our Auto Plans.

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