Cost Breakdown of building a V8 LS swap Nissan 240SX

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I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the overall cost of building a Chevrolet Performance LS3 V8 crate engine powered Nissan 240SX so this story will focus on breaking down the cost of such a build. If you’re looking for the complete Swap Guide it can be found here.

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Remember though, this is merely a breakdown of what I spent, there are ways to do it cheaper but I didn’t want to cut any corners so I used new, quality parts where ever I could. The end result was a car that I couldn’t be happier with. Everything functioned properly and best of all, I had a reliable 430hp and 424ft-lbs on tap almost anytime I needed it.

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The chart below is the going price for every component I used during the build, including items like a complete rebuild of the transmission.

DRIVETRAIN
Chevrolet Performance LS3 Crate Engine E-Rod Kit (Includes ECU, Wiring harness,air filter, sensors, etc.) $7,400.00
Chevrolet Performance CTS-V Accessory Drive Systems with A/C $815.00
(PS pump, alternator, AC, belts, pulley kit for LS3)
Tremec used T56 6-spd manual transmission $1,500.00
RPM Transmission stage 4 T56 rebuild $2,395.00
Quicktime Bellhousing $640.00
MGW T56 short shifter $209.00
SPEC Stage 2+ Clutch $500.00
SPEC Aluminum Flywheel $410.00
MSD Dynaforce Starter $250.00
Sikky LS Swap Kit (mounts, oil pan, driveshaft, oil filter relocation kit) $1,750.00
Sikky Power Steering line $129.00
Sikky front sway bar $289.00
Sikky Clutch Master kit $250.00
FUEL
Deatschwerks 300LPH Fuel Pump $169.00
Earls Fuel lines & fittings $200.00
Corvette Fuel Filter/Regulator $60.00
COOLING
Mishimoto S13 240SX Aluminum Radiator $300.00
Mishimoto S13 240SX Fan Shroud $250.00
Mishimoto S13 Radiator Hoses $100.00
WIRING/INTAKE/EXHAUST
Jordan Innovations wiring service (custom wiring of LS e-rod harness into S13 chassis) $500.00
Custom exhaust system using Vibrant Performance piping (material cost) $650.00
K&N Camaro SS intake System $320.00
Misc purchases (heater hose, fittings, etc.) $100.00
TOTAL $19,186.00

 

As you can see the total expenses total just a tad over $19,000 which I already know has some of you picking up your jaw off the floor. The reality is it’s not cheap to build a car of this caliber, just have a look at most muscle car builds they’re easily in excess of $20-$60K and yet no one bats an eye at it.

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I realize most of the 240SX crowd isn’t going to have this type of cash laying around so I’ve created another breakdown of what I consider to be a bare bones budget build that doesn’t include a lot of the fancy parts and instead uses only necessary items needed to get a reliable V8 swap accomplished.

DRIVETRAIN
LS1/LS2 Junkyard Engine, ECU, Wiring Harness & Transmission from 98-02 F-Body $4,500.00
SPEC Stage 2+ Clutch $500.00
Sikky LS Swap Kit (mounts, oil pan, driveshaft, oil filter relocation kit) $1,750.00
Sikky Power Steering line $129.00
FUEL/COOLING/INTAKE/EXHAUST
Deatschwerks 300LPH Fuel Pump $169.00
Corvette Fuel Filter/Regulator $60.00
Mishimoto S13 240SX Aluminum Radiator (Need an upgraded rad to handle the heat of an LS) $300.00
Wiring Specialties LS Swap wiring harness $650.00
Custom stock header to S13 aftermarket exhaust merge pipe $150.00
DIY intake (metal pipe, 90-deg couple, air filter) $60.00
TOTAL $8,268.00

 

There are a few items that you could still do without, a new clutch or the plug-in wiring harness but in my opinion both are worth spending money on since the last thing you want to deal with is a burnt out or slipping clutch (you’re building this car to beat on it right? A used stock clutch won’t last long) or wiring issues. Electrical issues are pretty much the number one email I get for any of the swap stories on this site so having a harness that’s guaranteed to work is worth its weight in gold, trust me on this one.

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As you can tell, the swap still adds up to over $8K so it by no means is that much cheaper. I’ve read stories and heard folk lores of these swaps being done for a couple thousand but I don’t believe it. I suppose if you take a junkyard truck engine and mate it to a worn out T56, make your own mounts and ghetto rig everything else then maybe… But that shit’s never going to hold up to repeated abuse and punishment.

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Bottom line is, there are expensive and cheap options when doing this swap. Choose wisely and you’ll have a V8 powered S-chassis that will be dead reliable and ready for abuse. Cut corners and mark my words, you’ll be fixing and replacing parts before you know it, adding down time to a car that you want to drive and worst of all spending more money on it. I think it’s fair to say that’s something none of us like to do.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to answer it!

 

2 comments
DanielArmandoDuarte
DanielArmandoDuarte

you can still go cheaper whit a silverado engine the 4.8 or the 5.3 but is a good list men!

capster15gsxr
capster15gsxr

Hi thank you for all the info! But what type of engine management system would you recommend?