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Thread: What is the “easiest” engine swap thats most reliable to most HP?

  1. #11
    Not a DeLorean Guru
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    Stage 2 is 'okay' at best, and MASSIVELY expensive for what you get. 30 horsepower for a few thousand dollars, plus the work to either pull the heads or the whole engine? Eeeeesh. When my block rotted, I went LS swap.

    Let me be perfectly clear - while I think this is the best engine swap option because of the incredible reliability of the LS platform, as well as the monstrous horsepower, it is neither easy nor cheap. I spent around 100 hours and $12,000 on my swap. And I still have to finish installing air conditioning.

    Thinking really hard about why exactly you want to do a swap, and be realistic. I think it comes down to two choices - if have a dead PRV and just want to get your car running again, go with the 3.0 swap. If you want TONS of power, go LS. In my opinion, the stage 2 is not worth the time or money.
    -Mike
    1981 DeLorean, Carb LS4 swap completed
    1999 Corvette, cam/headers/intake manifold, 400 rwhp
    2005 Elise, stock
    2016 Chevy Cruze

  2. #12
    Delorean Guru
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    While a Stage II is not the most powerful option, it is a lot cheaper and easier than an engine swap. If a Stage II is not enough of an upgrade then you will spend a lot more money. Since the OP already has the Stage I, going to the II is not going to cost him as much as if he had a stock PRV. If he decided to do a swap he will lose what was spent on the Stage I. In this instance it makes the most sense to go for the Stage II IMHO. No way to know if it will be enough to satisfy him but it is a definite improvement over the stock PRV or even a Stage I PRV.
    David Teitelbaum

  3. #13
    Not a DeLorean Guru
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    Saying that the stage 2 isn't the most powerful option implies that it has any power at all. It doesn't. Even if it is less expensive when one already has the proper exhaust, it still is worth neither the time nor the money for it. This is particularly true when one considers that since the camshafts are merely re-grinds of stock shafts (not from billet), the lobe separation angle can't be changed. This means that at best, the power curve remains identical to the stock cams until the new profile 'kicks in', or at worst, there is a loss of power down low.

    One has to ring the stage 2 cams out fully to experience the already minute gains. This idea that the stage is 197 horsepower is a complete crock. 150 horse tops, and that is at the crank. And that's still staying with the very poorly designed PRV platform.
    -Mike
    1981 DeLorean, Carb LS4 swap completed
    1999 Corvette, cam/headers/intake manifold, 400 rwhp
    2005 Elise, stock
    2016 Chevy Cruze

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by opethmike View Post
    I spent around 100 hours and $12,000 on my swap.
    So if you paid someone $50/hr to do the swap for you that’s $5,000 for labor, or $17,000 total. Versus $7,000 for a Stage II.

    For some people, the $10,000 difference is worth it. For me, it’s not. I have no idea how much horsepower a Stage II actually delivers (I doubt it’s as low as 150) but in my experience it’s definitely worth it.

  5. #15
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    My VIN:    04194: 5-Speed, Black Int, 79 Peugeot 604 Manifold, 05052: 5-Speed, Gray Int, 78 Peugeot 604 manifol

    The "easiest" engine swap is by far a Volvo B28F swap. However, good B28F's are very scarce these days. I did this swap on 4194 back in 2016. It took about 2 hours worth of work to convert a Volvo B28F to a Delorean B28F. The swap involved transfering the DMC lower crankcase, crank pulley, alternator bracket, oil pressure and coolant temp senders and valve covers, etc. Once the parts were swapped over, the Volvo sourced engine looks almost identical to a stock DMC engine.

    I also had to swap the coolant Y-pipe as the 84 style Volvo water pump and pipe assembly would not clear the Peugeot manifold that I'm running.

    One of my long-term project ideas is to build an Eagle 3.0 engine with a 2.8 heads, performance cams retimed for even fire and a modified AMC distributor. But that is about 4 projects down the road :-)
    Andrew
    4194 Since 7/98
    5052 Since 7/14

    1972 Buick Riviera
    1974 Bricklin SV-1 177
    1982 AMC Eagle SX/4 (4.2 I6, 4 Speed)
    1983 Pontiac Trans Am (Knight Rider Conversion in progress)
    1985 Oldsmobile Toronado (daily driver)

    Solex carb and antenna television guru.

    "My carbon footprint is bigger than yours!" :-)

  6. #16
    Not a DeLorean Guru
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    Stage 2 is definitely 150 crank. They dyno about 130 wheel, so adjust for drivetrain loss, and that's about 150. The 33% loss figure thrown around for the DeLorean is hokum.
    -Mike
    1981 DeLorean, Carb LS4 swap completed
    1999 Corvette, cam/headers/intake manifold, 400 rwhp
    2005 Elise, stock
    2016 Chevy Cruze

  7. #17
    Delorean Guru
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    Without getting "into the weeds" about dyno numbers, the buttmeter will tell you a Stage II is a noticeable improvement over a stock PRV. The problem with performance improvements is that you very quickly adjust and want more. More costs and the more you want the more it costs by factors of magnitude. We get to the famous question "How fast do you want to go? Fast costs money so how much do you have? On an unlimited budget you have more options. Don't forget all of the systems of the car also need to be enhanced to handle more power like brakes, suspension, cooling, electrical, and fuel. At some point it makes more sense to get a better performing car rather than going for a transplant. This is exactly why I got a Lotus V-8, for the performance. IMHO it is the car the Delorean would have become if DMC survived.
    David Teitelbaum

  8. #18
    Senior Member
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    I don't tend to think of big projects or working on the car in general in terms of it being 'easy' or what is 'easiest.' You might be after what is the most 'straight forward' or 'simplest' but not what is easiest. I might ask what engine swap options need the fewest amount of modifications or custom fabricated parts or brackets. Then weigh those options against what the engine's are going to deliver in terms of horsepower and parts costs too.

    That might be what you meant anyway. Straight forward versus easy. Of course, I can think of some things on the car that are actually easy. For example, it is easy to fack things up and make it worse when tackling a project you thought was going to be straight forward. Although that's kind of a given and covered in the manual


    Sept. 81, auto, black interior

  9. #19
    LS1 DMC Nicholas R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by opethmike View Post
    Stage 2 is 'okay' at best, and MASSIVELY expensive for what you get. 30 horsepower for a few thousand dollars, plus the work to either pull the heads or the whole engine? Eeeeesh. When my block rotted, I went LS swap.

    Let me be perfectly clear - while I think this is the best engine swap option because of the incredible reliability of the LS platform, as well as the monstrous horsepower, it is neither easy nor cheap. I spent around 100 hours and $12,000 on my swap. And I still have to finish installing air conditioning.

    Thinking really hard about why exactly you want to do a swap, and be realistic. I think it comes down to two choices - if have a dead PRV and just want to get your car running again, go with the 3.0 swap. If you want TONS of power, go LS. In my opinion, the stage 2 is not worth the time or money.
    Whoa whoa whoa; you only estimate that you spent 100 hours on your swap?? That cannot possibly be true. When I was in the thick of my swap back in 2012, there were weeks where I spent 100 hours on it. I began disassembly Saturday January 14th, and had it back together and running with the new engine and manual transmission (after the transmission swap) on Saturday May 12th, 2012. My estimate was that in that 4 months, I spent around 1000 hours working on it, and I had roughly 1000 additional hours of support from other people (friends, family, etc.). Obviously I had a lot more unknowns, also did the transmission swap which included a body frame separation, and had things like 50 hours making a flywheel, but still. 100 hours seems grossly underestimated to me.

    Even after my swap was "finished," I'm sure I spent a couple hundred more hours refining things in the following months. Things like a better intake, better exhaust, wiring cleanup, part improvements, AC work, tuning, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by David T View Post
    Without getting "into the weeds" about dyno numbers, the buttmeter will tell you a Stage II is a noticeable improvement over a stock PRV.
    Agreed; we should definitely omit measurable empirical data and instead compare numbers based on the "buttmeter"...
    Last edited by Nicholas R; 01-21-2019 at 09:10 AM.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Josh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas R View Post
    Whoa whoa whoa; you only estimate that you spent 100 hours on your swap?? That cannot possibly be true. When I was in the thick of my swap back in 2012, there were weeks where I spent 100 hours on it. I began disassembly Saturday January 14th, and had it back together and running with the new engine and manual transmission (after the transmission swap) on Saturday May 12th, 2012. My estimate was that in that 4 months, I spent around 1000 hours working on it, and I had roughly 1000 additional hours of support from other people (friends, family, etc.). Obviously I had a lot more unknowns, also did the transmission swap which included a body frame separation, and had things like 50 hours making a flywheel, but still. 100 hours seems grossly underestimated to me.

    Even after my swap was "finished," I'm sure I spent a couple hundred more hours refining things in the following months. Things like a better intake, better exhaust, wiring cleanup, part improvements, AC work, tuning, etc.



    Agreed; we should definitely omit measurable empirical data and instead compare numbers based on the "buttmeter"...
    I will agree mike is underestimating his time, However it is all garage time and minimal engineering time. That is what really soaks up all those hours!
    but at the end of the day we all have bad-ass engine swaps that give us much more power than a delorean should have

    As for stage 2 power numbers - everyone seems to forget it is pretty much just cams and exhaust on a 100whp stock setup. Furthermore there is no dyno information supplied by DMC.
    Mike had DPI cams and exhaust as well as a meticulously tuned EFI setup and it just crested 150whp. You would be crazy to think DMC stage 2 is anywhere north of this.
    For 7k (or whatever they charge) it is certainly not a good value to me.

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