Many of you know of us from our very first LS V8 powered race car build – the BMW E36 “Alpha” car, shown below. We started this swap in Terry’s garage back in 2001 – years before Vorshlag even became a business – and raced it until we sold it in 2009. We have tackled V8 swaps on a total of eleven different chassis since that first one. This blog post will cover some of the chassis we have swapped and the products we offer for each.
Many people who have not driven an LS powered car always ask: Why do you do these swaps? Maybe you have to drive one to understand, but we feel that most cars could be improved with more horsepower – and the easiest power there is at the moment is from an LS series V8. Light, compact, inexpensive, abundant, with incredible potential, and aftermarket support like no other engine family on the planet.
The image above says a lot. On the left is a DOHC V8 from Ford called the Coyote, sitting in an S197 Mustang. On the right is an LS V8 in an S550 Mustang, which has roughly the same engine bay size. Due to it’s size the LS V8 is just easier to swap into more cars than any Overhead Cam V8, costs less to make the same power as virtually any other modern engine, and has the potential for 8.0L of displacement inside the confines of the OEM block. What’s not to love?
BRZ/FRS/86 LS Swap – Production Headers!
Lots of you have watched our LS swap development with the 86 chassis ever since we built our first back in 2015. We have been supplying LS engine mounts, LS / T56 transmission cross-members, and more since then. Finally, in November 2019, we have production LS swap stainless steel, 1-7/8″ long tube headers. These are in stock and ready to ship! Check them out on this page. These headers fit around the steering rack and swaybar without any shenanigans.
We are very excited about this swap and are currently building a Vorshlag shop 86 LS build – which we used throughout 2019 to develop our new production headers. Our red FR-S is getting a Horsepower-Research 7.7L stroker LS7 engine, T56 Magnum XL, Tilton clutch, carbon nose over a tube front bumper beam, Wiring Specialties CAN integrated plug-n-play engine harness, and has flares for 335mm tires. Look for this car on track in 2020!
BMW E36 – World’s First!
After hand building the first BMW LS swap on the planet, we released our production E36 LS V8 kit in 2007, and have sold hundreds of kits since. Many of these parts also fit the BMW Z3, and we make specific driveshaft and steering shafts for that chassis. Our core product for the E36 LS swap is the “Stage 0” kit, which includes all of the parts needed to fit the LS and T56 drivetrain into the Left Hand Drive BMW E36 chassis: engine mounts, transmission crossmember, long tube stainless headers, steering shaft, and driveshaft. Of course we have many more parts than that – check them out here.
We have seen competing shops offer similar V8 swap kits for this chassis over the years but they never seem to stick around. Short cuts with mount designs, cheap import headers, crude craftsmanship – there’s a reason we have been in the BMW LS swap game for over 18 years: we will not compromise engineering, fabrication, quality, or performance for V8 our swaps.
New! BMW E36 Right Hand Drive Kit
After a decade of requests, we finally rounded up a customer with a Right Hand Drive E36 BMW chassis and started LS swap development. After a year of design, testing, and fabrication we came up with a solid list of parts to make this swap happen in 2019. We have sets of our RHD E36 LS long tube headers in stock and can make engine mounts and transmission crossmembers quickly. Worried about shipping overseas? Give us a shout for special shipping prices!
BMW E46 Swap – Our Most Popular Kit!
Vorshlag has produced our E46 LS swap kit for a half dozen years and we have sold more of these lately than any other V8 swap kit! Why? The E46 chassis was made in huge numbers (4 million) and now can be picked up for great prices. The E46 has more engine bay and tire room than any E36, while the M3 variant has a stronger rear axle and flared fenders that hold even more tire. You can use an E46 325 all the way to an M3. We are currently building several of these E46 LS swaps in our shop, including a Team Vorshlag build for WRL endurance racing. Interested in an E46 LS build? We have four more Texas chassis standing by – give us a call! Also, check out the E46 swap kit page for the parts we make.
New! BMW Z4 LS Swap Kit
In 2018 we developed LS swap parts for the E85/86 BMW Z4 chassis. These cars have an enormous engine bay that just swallows these V8s, and it uses our existing E46 LS swap headers and mounts. This kit just needed a unique transmission crossmember and the longer T56 Magnum XL 6-speed. We have everything we developed for this swap right here.
What Chassis is Next?
If you have been following Vorshlag for the past 2 decades you might have seen some “one off” LS swaps, like a BMW E30, NB Miata, ’69 Camaro, among others. But what other swap kits are planned or in the works? There are several chassis undergoing swaps in our shop at the moment, and we will share one – the #LS550 swap! We call it #Trigger
We started with a salvage 2015 Mustang GT “S550” chassis. We are building a shop race car and we have already developed a production LS / T56 transmission crossmember and long tube headers (see above). The LS engine mounts and driveshaft should be listed soon on our LS550 swap page.
Our 2015 GT is currently on a serious diet, but already has the MCS / SPL Parts / Whiteline Suspension, Sparco racing seats, Forgestar wheels, Powerbrake 380mm 6 piston brakes, Anderson carbon hood, and Auburn Pro equipped 4.09 aluminum rear housing from our 2018 GT – which we competed with for the last two seasons. You can follow the progress of that build here.
We Do More Than LS Swaps…
Of course most of you know Vorshlag is primarily a suspension company. Vorshlag designs and builds the world’s best spherical top mounts and camber plates for dozens of cars, plus we sell MCS & Ohlins dampers, wheels, brakes, and safety gear. We also build cars for customers. Give us a call or email if you need any help with any of these parts or an LS swap. Thanks for reading!