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Swap Options - The V8

Cross-platform 8-cylinder transplants become the norm

Text By Rodrez

The art of swapping is really nothing new in the automotive performance world, and as import enthusiasts we all see it day in and day out. In theory, an engine swap is the most effective way to increase power and torque while getting the best bang for your buck.

Sure, there are variables and unique accounts, but for the most part our obsession with swapping is stronger than ever. But what about cross-platform swapping, and opting for American muscle?

Years ago, talk of swapping V8 power into the chest cavity of an import was considered blasphemy. Pride and a general "we don't need you" attitude prevented the research and development required to make these swaps a reality. Then the drift phenomenon hit U.S. shores and things changed rapidly. Today, walk through the pits of any drift event across the country and 8-cylinder, domestic-powered Nissans, Toyotas and Mazdas are scattered throughout. The raw torque and affordable entry price of LS power plants just makes sense to some.

As with just about anything racing or competition related, technology and theory eventually trickles down to the street level and you can find LS-powered imports on surface streets all over the country. Purists cringe at the very thought, but those who have experienced the melding of domestic and import genes rarely looks back. In fact, more extensive builds with forged internals and/or boost have really caught on.

Though the LS1 seemed to be the most relied upon, the LS6, with its increase in performance, seems to be the engine of choice for many currently. Here's a quick rundown of the LS6 and the most relied upon transmission, the T56.


LS6/T56 Fast Facts:

  • Displacement: 5.7L (5665cc)
  • Compression: 10.5:1
  • Valve configuration: Overhead valves
  • Firing order: 1-8-7-2-6-5-4-3
  • Bore x stroke: 99.00 x 92.00
  • Sequential fuel injection system
  • Horsepower: 405 @6,000rpm
  • Torque: 400 lb-ft. @4,800rpm
  • Notes: 2002 saw slight improvement with air filter; 2002 MAF was better than 2001


    T56 Transmission:

  • Aluminum housing
  • 135lbs (dry)
  • Brass synchros
  • Hydraulic clutch only
  • 700 lb.-ft. capable
  • Multiple shifter locations for versatility
  • Dual speedometer pick-up point for use with electronic or mechanical speedometers

  • LS6 Compared to the LS1:

  • Better flowing cylinder heads
  • Raised port flow
  • Exhaust ports utilize D-shaped design instead of ovals
  • Improved intake manifold flow
  • Higher compression
  • Larger cam
  • Higher redline

  • By Rodrez
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