Swap Insanity – Porsche 996 LS Conversion

Images: 1dirtyZ

It seems like that each year LSX conversions become more and more popular.  We believe this is due to the versatility of the LS engine.  LS1 engines have been out since 1997 and can be found relatively cheap, then all you need to do is find an appropriate donor car and you’re ready to rip the streets in a V-8 powered hot rod.  We have seen some pretty interesting LS swaps, but then again there are some cars you just never expect to see with an LS under the hood.

Then we came across a very unique swap over on LS1Tech.  Board member 1dirtyZ has begun a long, expensive journey of swapping an LS engine into a 2001 Porsche 996.

The project began with a 996 roller that was missing some parts, not to mention the damage from an engine fire that burned up the engine bay and some of the interior panels, carpet and wiring.  The owner did some research and found out the all-wheel-drive Porsche drivetrain and G96/50 six-speed transmission wouldn’t have any unsolvable issues mating up to the LS engine.  He was looking for this car to be his daily driver that he could drive cross county and get good gas mileage and still make a respectable 400+ wheel horsepower.

Fire damage in the engine bay...

...and inside the car in the back seat area

First thing that was done was a complete strip down of the engine bay and interior.  Next all the charred body parts were repainted.  The LS engine was fitted in the rear engine bay while he custom made all new suspension parts along with an engine cradle. Because the stock Porsche transmission will be used, a custom plate had to be made so it would fit up to the engine.  All the oil and fuel lines where attached along with a new shorter oil pan to create better clearance.

An early mockup of the handmade engine cradle

An adapter plate mates the LS block to the Porsche transaxle.

The engine and transmission meet for the first time. And yes, the car will remain all-wheel-drive!

The owner wanted an exhaust system that was very sleeper-like at idle but unrestricted at full throttle.  He made a very cool dual custom exhaust that almost looks stock from the rear of the car.  Although the project is not finished we can’t wait to see the finished product.

Shorty headers feeding into 190-degree "bullet" mufflers

The engine in its final position. You thought changing plugs on a 4th gen was hard? Hah!

For a ton of additional images and all the details, visit the build thread on LS1Tech.com – for now, we’ll leave you with a parting shot from the owner:

“Sometimes I think all cars were designed to fit an LS1 originally, but then something happened and they put in some other crappy engine.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves…

About the author

Jon Carmean

Jon is a hardcore fan of F-bodies and anything drag racing. Owning many F-bodies over his lifetime, Jon works on his own cars himself. Jon started freelancing for Power Automedia in 2009.
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