There’s only one place to find these used engines: the venerated Honda S2000. That means someone will have to wreck one and extract its beating heart for you to commit automotive debauchery. But act fast: Honda only built about 110,000 for you to choose from, and we can already think of 50,000 perfect uses for an F20C.
Most of these swaps have involved rare used engines going into common cars, and this is quite the opposite somebody threw one of the used engines from a Honda CBR1000RR into an insanely rare 1964 Honda S600 convertible. The result? Nearly 200 horsepower, or over three times stock, in a car that weighs about 1500 pounds.
Some engines just aren’t worth it. There’s a reason everyone does an LS swap it’s trusted. Even if you do a total rebuild at great expense, some used engines have inherent weaknesses or parts are hard to come by.
Smarts originally used engines under 1 liter in size, and you can pick up a rolling shell for under 3k easy. That means you can have this much fun for under 8k fabrication included. Try doing that with a 5-liter ‘Stang.
One thing used engines from Subarus were practically made to do is power Volkswagens. Beetles, Westphalias, buses, Transporter trucks, even Synchros can adapt 2.5 Subaru used engines with ease. The original mills had well under half the power of even a stock EJ, and most people report an increase in gas mileage as well. Subaru reliability, classic Volkswagen style, what’s not to love?
When you think about crazy cheap cars, chances are good that your mind will jump straight to old shitty Hondas, so we’re starting the list out strong with an old not-shitty Honda instead! The CRX was produced from 1984-91, but the second gen models (’88-’91) are going to be our focus today.
The rest of the car is important. Inspect bearings, bushings, and overall cosmetics to get an idea of whether the previous owners took care of things. Check for oil weeps and coolant residue on the block and heads and for signs that someone’s been in the engine bay before.
We love the Celica. It’s underrated, inexpensive, and reliably built. A vintage example is the perfect pairing for a 22RE. This beauty lives in California, home of rust-free classics parked on every corner. It’s an example of a swap that simply improves on the experience of the original car without losing the spirit of that which came before.