The Mustang is in a pretty good place right now in terms of engine options. The 2.3L turbo inline four, the mighty 5.0L Coyote V8 in all its variations, and the 5.2L monster that lives under the hood of the GT350 and, supercharged, GT500. Power ranges all the way from 315 HP to a roaring 760 HP. Yet, for some, the standard engines for the Ford Mustang seem a bit mundane.
In the world of modders, as long as there is some way to shoehorn an engine from a totally different car into the front of the ‘Stang and make it work, it will and likely has been done. There are insane build videos out there of modders making a modern Coyote V8 fit into a 69 Fastback, or of an Aston Martin V12 somehow being made to fit into the engine bay in a way that it won’t immediately fall out the bottom.
It is from these insane stories that we have picked five of the craziest engine swaps we could find, and a couple of them you will probably not believe were possible!
Note: We are looking at engine swaps across all the generations of Mustangs, not just the modern 6th and 7th Gen cars
The GulfStang Abomination – 1968 Mustang Coupe
Swapped Engine: 3.0L 2JZ-GTE from the Toyota Supra MK IV
Now, before you start picking up pitchforks and lighting torches, give the GulfStang a chance. Remember, the 1969 and 1970 Mustang did have the 4.1L straight-six as an option, and today they’re considered classics! Built by hardcore Mustang enthusiast Beau Mikelthun, he rescued the decaying body of a 68 Coupe, and got to work doing some light restomodding. During that restomod, however, he found that the engine had deteriorated to the point of being a paperweight only.
He first slotted in a Lima-block 2.3L inline six with a whacking great turbo on it into the car, and while it had plenty of guts, it didn’t really have much punch. In searching for more power, he seriously considered an LS swap, but settled on the 2JZ-GTE because it kept his love of inline-six engines intact. After slotting it in, he decided to paint the car in the 1968 Gulf Le Mans livery colors, and one of the wildest engine-swapped Mustangs was born.
Check out the video below for a short review of the car:
The LM-S550 – 2015 Mustang S550
Swapped Engine: Chevrolet Small Block 5.3L LM7 Crate Engine
This one grabbed our attention right out of the gate because it’s one of the few LS-powered Mustangs out there with its engine not being donated by a Corvette. Instead, it uses one of the derivative small block V8’s, the LM7 that was introduced in 1999 and lived in the engine bays of things such as the Suburban, Tahoe, and Escalade. Originally giving a decent 295 HP, modder Shane Whalley has taken it way, way beyond that.
The previous owner of the 2015 S550 Mustang wanted to sell the car, but keep the engine and transmission for their own restomod project. Whalley agreed immediately, and he chose the LM7 for one very simple reason: It is insanely tunable on the cheap.
A Coyote V8 crate engine starts at $10,500, and yes, they can produce some seriously insane power if you build one up. But it’s also very, very expensive to do so. LS parts for builds are highly available, and more importantly, inexpensive. So, with a Garrett GTX4508R turbo mounted, the humble little LM7 is now ripping out 976 HP and 928 lbs-ft of torque… at the rear wheels.
This is perfectly okay, however, as while Whalley is a fabricator during the day, his evenings and weekends are taken up by professional drift competitions!
Check out the video of his car on the dyno here:
The SmokeStang – 2016 Mustang S550
Swapped Engine: Custom Cummins 6.1L 12-valve straight-six diesel from a Dodge Ram Heavy Duty
In perhaps one of the craziest engine swaps you can think of, Westen Champlin, who is an unabashed “Kansas good ol’ boy” mechanic with a wicked sense of humor, bought a wrecked 2016 Mustang S550 and got to work. The donor engine comes from a positively ancient 1989 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty, and the build was anything but easy.
It leaked fluids like a sieve. It threw the weight distribution off so much that it turned like an oil tanker, not a sports car. The engine needed to be built to handle a cubic butt-ton of power, and was built mostly by Power Driven Diesel out of Utah. Even when it was mostly installed and actually running, this build certainly took a lot of effort as Champlin needed to consider all the electrical rewiring down to details for parts such as theNOx sensors for the custom-built Cummins engine.
Yet, using “Redneck Science,” the SmokeStang made it all the way to the dyno, and on its very first run with a baseline tune it put down 900 HP at the wheels. With a lot of turning, fiddling, and turning the twin turbos attached to the engine up to 110 PSI, the SmokeStang laid down an almost unbelievable 1,264 HP and 2,200 lbs-ft of torque.
It does not run clean, but it goes like a bat out of hell and pumps out about the same amount of pollution as London did during the entirety of the Industrial Revolution in one pass at the drag strip, but you have to admit… It’s impressive!
The Bloodshed Motors Zombie 222 – 1968 Mustang Fastback
Swapped Engine: Custom twin-motor electric drivetrain
Hey, it counts as an engine swap if you lift the old engine out and put in a new powertrain, right? To Mitch Medford of Bloodshed Motors in the early 2010s, it made sense. The big difference is that instead of putting one motor at the front for the front axle, and one at the rear for the rear axle, they are instead placed where the engine would be in a longitudinal serial pairing. The result? 1,000 HP and 1,800 lbs-ft of torque.
For those not familiar with how electric motors provide power, there literally is no torque curve. You get the same torque across the entire range of the motor’s RPM capabilities, which because there is no contact between the coils inside, can be into the mid-ten-thousands. For the Zombie 222, this means 0 to 60 MPH in a time and verified 1.79 seconds, and will break the quarter mile at 141 MPH in 9.89 seconds. It will also cover the measured mile at 177.8 MPH as its top speed.
If you’re wondering what the 222 stands for, it’s actually pretty simple. 2 DC motors. 2 motor controllers. 2 damned fast. To make the point, here’s a short clip of the Zombie 222 in its older 800 HP configuration absolutely destroying a Trans Am:
The Demon Mustang – 2012 Mustang GT Coupe
Swapped Engine: Customized Twin Turbo Dodge Demon SRT 6.2L V8 from the Challenger SRT Demon
Gearhead Fabrications is a shop that likes to go insane with power and engine swaps. Case in point, this 2012 Mustang GT Coupe, which had a ProCharge Coyote V8 originally as it was built to be a race car, recently had the V8 from a Dodge Challenger SRT Demon installed. It has had a ton of work done to the internals, including an all new crankshaft, but the biggest change is that the supercharger from the Demon has been removed, and two Boost Lab 7675 turbochargers installed.
Power is… well, it depends on how high the turbos are cranked up, the fuel used, and the mapping set for the engine, but in general, it’s between 1,400 and 1,500 HP. It is, in fact, the fastest Demon V8 car in the world, which is why it is on this list, as it will obliterate a quarter mile in 7.671 seconds at 163.51 MPH!
Watch that run here, as well as talking with the owner/builder: