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Sprinter Engine Swap

Is this possible in a cost effective long term solution?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Maybe

  • Possibly

  • KickStarter you're drunk learn sentence and paragraph structure

  • This is a dumb idea


Results are only viewable after voting.

KickStarter6

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So in my normal life I'm really into cars, in the automobile world engine swaps are extremely common. Lots and lots of cars and trucks have ended up with a small block Chevy under its hood. My car is how difficult would it be to replace the engine on a sprinter that's had a terminal engine failure with a 4.8L GM engine? I use that engine for several reasons, it's cheap, plentiful, an LS platform so tons of aftermarket support, decent power, and reliability. I realize new motor mounts and transmission are required for this but the LS platform has EMS which would get the engine running. The 4L60E, 4L80E, or even an old 700R4 are easy to find and not outrageously expensive.


Could this engine swap be a potential alternative for sprinter owners that have to pay far more money whenever it's services, when parts need replaced or when that diesel decides to go see the big mech in the sky. In my research I've found drop in ready 4.8L engines for as low as $300 for a high mileage example. The transmission for a good used one runs in the neighborhood of $700-$1000.


I think this could be an option personally for folks that already have a sprinter that's older, seems cheaper than the big cost repairs just because it's a diesel alone. Depending on how much labor would be, which depends on how much massaging the engine transmission combo would need. After than a driveshaft and EMS should get it going.
 
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greasytshirt

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Crap, I'm the first person to vote.

I guess I should have read the whole post first. I did an engine swap on a sprinter once, and it was a giant pain in the ass.

What you are suggesting is probably not emissions legal, but I like GM's LS engines, so two thumbs up.
 
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KickStarter6

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Crap, I'm the first person to vote.

I guess I should have read the whole post first. I did an engine swap on a sprinter once, and it was a giant pain in the ass.

What you are suggesting is probably not emissions legal, but I like GM's LS engines, so two thumbs up.
If you keep the engine in stock form and put stock catalyic or how ever that's spelled on it wouldn't it remain just as legal as the engine was in its previous host vehicle? Or does completely changing the engine to another manufacturer completely void that by law? I'm thinking full on conversation not just putting in a SBC with a carb. I really want to do this because I have all the parts just don't have the know how to actually do it Lol.
 

greasytshirt

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If you keep the engine in stock form and put stock catalyic or how ever that's spelled on it wouldn't it remain just as legal as the engine was in its previous host vehicle? Or does completely changing the engine to another manufacturer completely void that by law? I'm thinking full on conversation not just putting in a SBC with a carb. I really want to do this because I have all the parts just don't have the know how to actually do it Lol.
You would need everything, catalytic converters, evaporative emissions system, etc. Federally speaking, this is required. Your state may not have a means (or desire) to enforce federal emission requirements.
 

KickStarter6

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I live in Kentucky but I haven't found the right sprinter yet. My dads 2012 with about 150k miles on it catalyic converter got stopped up and that's what made me think about the idea
 

mugurpe

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I think if you paid yourself $.50 per hour to do the swap it would still be cheaper to not mess with the truck. Of course, if you did it you'd be my hero but no one has ever found that to be a worthwhile renumeration for anything. Also a lot of states will require a re-titling of the truck after an engine swap like that. California, Massachusetts and CT for sure, probably others.
 

KickStarter6

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I think if you paid yourself $.50 per hour to do the swap it would still be cheaper to not mess with the truck. Of course, if you did it you'd be my hero but no one has ever found that to be a worthwhile renumeration for anything. Also a lot of states will require a re-titling of the truck after an engine swap like that. California, Massachusetts and CT for sure, probably others.

A.)I doubt very many people has a wreck pickup to get parts from and a sprinter that needs an engine
B.)people aren't overly creative
C.)I have never been to California and doubtful I will in a cargo van with major amounts of overpay
D.)Ive been with MY current carrier 3 times to Connecticut and only threw Massachusetts
E.)it would be as legal as a stock 2002 4.8L GM engine and 4L60E transmission would be in its normal applications
F.)I highly doubt anyone has ever put those numbers together. The people that want a gas powered can buy ford or chevy/gmc
G.)everyone thought the Wright brothers were stupid for trying to fly. I'm just trying to put a popular engine swap platform(LS series engines) in a new vehicle. Way easier than being the first person to achieve powered flight
 
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blackpup

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A.)I doubt very many people has a wreck pickup to get parts from and a sprinter that needs an engine
B.)people aren't overly creative
C.)I have never been to California and doubtful I will in a cargo van with major amounts of overpay
D.)Ive been with MY current carrier 3 times to Connecticut and only threw Massachusetts
E.)it would be as legal as a stock 2002 4.8L GM engine and 4L60E transmission would be in its normal applications
F.)I highly doubt anyone has ever put those numbers together. The people that want a gas powered can buy ford or chevy/gmc
G.)everyone thought the Wright brothers were stupid for trying to fly. I'm just trying to put a popular engine swap platform(LS series engines) in a new vehicle. Way easier than being the first person to achieve powered flight
 

KickStarter6

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I figure the mileage would be about the same as a single wheel cube. I'm looking at it as I know the things I'd be giving up compared to the diesel but what about the gains? Oil change, replacement parts, cheaper fuel, no worries about fuel turning into jelly, and it'd sound cooler which is a bonus
 

greasytshirt

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I figure the mileage would be about the same as a single wheel cube. I'm looking at it as I know the things I'd be giving up compared to the diesel but what about the gains? Oil change, replacement parts, cheaper fuel, no worries about fuel turning into jelly, and it'd sound cooler which is a bonus
Another advantage is that if you blow it up, you could buy an engine on Craigslist the same day, slam it in the next day, and not be down for weeks and lose/spend hundreds/thousands.
 

KickStarter6

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Another advantage is that if you blow it up, you could buy an engine on Craigslist the same day, slam it in the next day, and not be down for weeks and lose/spend hundreds/thousands.
Exactly! On EBay the 4.8L LS engine could be bought drop in ready as low as $350 for a high mileage engine. That's what an oil change costs at a Mercedes dealership. A low mileage engine still only runs about grand
 

greasytshirt

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KickStarter6

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I've been in love with the 4.8L since the first time I drove my truck. In high school I raced it against anything and everything I thought I could stay close too. Even smashed a fox body once but it had a very very tired 302. This just confirms my already strong love for the little guy lol
 

mugurpe

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The LS is a great engine, no doubt about it. And a gas sprinter is also a good idea. If you pull it off and it's not an epic pain in the ass you should quit driving and just do LS sprinter swaps. The Isuzu NPR trucks that have gas engines aren't put in there by ISUZU. There's an american company that gets empty NPR trucks and puts the engine and tranny in. You and up with an ISUZU warranty on most of it and a separate engine warranty I think. I have one actually and it's the 6.0 LS engine and the truck is frankly WAY too fast. It should have the 4.8 in it if you ask me.
 
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BobWolf

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If anything it would make an awesome project. I would check up on your state emissions inspection.
Mechanically and drivability wise I would think it would be fine if all the emissions parts are there and working.
You will have to carryout some creative wiring for the engine, transmission, and body control computers but as long as they wire and sync up the only thing left would be drill out the check engine light (LOL)
Due to the weight difference in the engines you might need to modify the front springs.

It is very doable because, I did an engine swap I put a 3.3 liter 1995 caravan engine with a garret turbo custom mod and transaxle into a friends a 1995 Neon about 15 years years ago. It took about a months worth of weekends.
We did it because we thought It would be fun to drive, take to a few shows, and most importantly, just because it was wrong.
By the time we were done we had an over powered sleeper. Yeah, it was an awesome ride, and we put a few Camaros in their place.

If you do this post some pictures, and a how to.

Bob Wolf.
 
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