Lsx Vs Termi Swap

Discussion in '1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk-' started by forzalife, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. Hey ive decided on doing an engine swap. Which engine would be the best and or cheapest to swap in? Ls1 vs terminator
  2. I don't want to cross a line but what's the serious budget here . I have priced Ls swaps and they get to be just as expensive as any other swap In my opinion .
  3. Depends on how you do it. IF you are able to piece together parts cheaply and fabricate what you can, it can be reasonable. That goes for either swap. If you are dead set on buying everything fresh and new from the vendor, the price goes way up.

    Either engine can be built to handle big power, so it really is just a matter of which is more accessible and personal preference.
  4. LS 1's by virtue of their rarity in salvage yards are automatically 3000.00+ dollars. Cast iron realtives of that engine that come from the 53 bazillion trucks that are out there are wayy less, and can be made to make just as much power, or more w/ a simple cam, and intake swap.

    Cobra engines are not any less rare in the salvage yards, and so are equally more expensive. A full, complete termi setup would have to be 5-6 grand coming out of a wrecked car, and by virtue of the ease of making more power,..that engine NEVER lived an easy life. Right up to the day the body that surrounds it died.

    Even if it wasn't, there's the issue of the dreaded "tick" that may still be there.

    If it was me ( and it should've been me in hindsight).
    I'd have an LS sitting where that goofy 6 cylinder ford engine will someday sit irrespective of the LS block metallurgy.
    #4 madmike1157, Feb 9, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014
    TOOLOW91 likes this.
  5. Well if they both end up costing the same, then I would do the termi swap. But I have never seen a cobra at the junkyard. Another factor is daily drivability. Im putting this in my daily driver and I want a reliable engine. I plan on making big power out of either engine. Another factor is weight. If the difference of the engine weight is too great that also affects my decision.
  6. I think you may have misunderstood what mike said about the ls. An actual ls1 will cost that, however the truck motor will not. "LS" is more of a blanket term now because the engine codes are confusing and numerous.

    I paid $900 for my 6.0, all I need is a harness and computer, but didn't want the stock stuff.

    Another thing you said worries me - you said you want daily driver reliability and big performance. You probably need to pick one. I'm building mine to be driven and make big power, but it won't be my main source of transport if it pukes the motor.
    90lxcoupe likes this.
  7. Oh yes I know about the ls and lq. $900 for a 6.0 is great thats why im concidering going sbc. As for reliability im sure these engines can take modding without becoming a big reliability problem right? Especially an sbc if I go bolt ons with occasional nitrous. I mean its not like im going for 700 hp
  8. Oh, well when you said big power, I thought you meant BIG.
    forzalife likes this.
  9. Comparatively speaking, Termi engines are only slightly easier to find than unicorns, whereas LS-anything practically grow on trees. It is also not uncommon for people to be asking damn near $10K for termi engines, at least the last time I shopped around for one.

    While the Terminator engine is fantastic in its own right, you are probably better off going the LS route for several reasons.

    If you're never going to make as much as 700 hp, you should also consider a 351 wheezor. It is certainly an easier swap, and depending on how you do it, possibly cheaper than your above choices.
    forzalife likes this.
  10. I agree with Mike and the guys. The availability of the LS make it a "cheap" swap. They can be kept civil and maintain decent gas mileage and longevity. There are some good references on forums and plenty of manufactured parts to stick one in a Ford. I don't know what I'll do it on yet, but eventually I plan to swap one into something. After buying "How to Swap GM LS-Series Engines into Almost Anything " , I look forward to having a much cooler DD.
  11. personally i would go with the termi swap. consider this, you can find 4.6 sohc motors all over the place, and while cobra dohc heads are harder to find, the lincoln navigator came with dohc heads on a 5.4, and the heads bolt to the 4.6 two valve block. just something to consider.
  12. Interseting.. your saying I can make a cobra clone engine... but I would still be missing the supercharger and forged bottom end
  13. I have to say, you guys are making me lean towards an lsx swap. I remember some guys saying the engine is so expensive that im better off buying a cobra as a donor car. I dont have that kinda money! Lol; what are your opinions on a mach 1 swap?
  14. The Mach 1 is a cool engine, but it really only produces similar power and torque numbers to the smallest (4.8L) member of the LS family.

    The stereotype is true, outside of the Coyote, mod motors aren't worth much unless they're force-fed. Severe lack of displacement will do that.
    A5literMan, 90lxcoupe and stangboy like this.
  15. From what I've seen/researched the LS swap will probably be easier and probably cost less. I'm helping a friend do a termi swap in his 93 notch and trying to find detailed info with pics and/or video is the hardest part. I've searched all over the net trying to find a step-by-step, detailed build thread or video and can't find any. I guess not enough people have done the swap and thought about the next guy that wants to do it. Whereas EVERYBODY'S doing the LS swap into mustangs and there are even kits to do it. Nobody makes a kit to swap a Termi into a fox. I guess the demand wasn't high enough.
  16. Idk much about machs but I thought they were just n/a version of termi engine. So I was thinking I could turbo it and have my fast car?
  17. The problem is the bottom end.

    Read up...
    forzalife likes this.
  18. Agreed with the above posts for the most part. You can get LSX engines for fairly cheap out of many trucks. Just going with the lowest cubes a 4.8 from a 2007+ truck makes 295/305 per GM. Now that is with a stock cam and those can be had anywhere from 2-500 bucks. Add a off the shelf cam ($400 about) and dual springs (Maybe $150) and you'll be having a much larger smile.

    With that being said, you'll still need to figure out a transmission, wiring (pretty simple at, exhaust (again simple enough) how you want to run gauges, tranny cross member, K-member, drive line...

    But, this would all be true for the termi-swap too. has a forum for conversions and hybrids where they put LSX motors into anything, even a prius. I would start there.

    A termi-swap is just straight sexy but hard to find IMO.

    krazedstang and forzalife like this.
  19. Check MPS auto salvage. I don't know anyone who's delt with them, so I can't comment if it's a reliable place. I mention them because they offer termi swaps, at least all the parts anyway.
    #19 jetmech807, Feb 9, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014
    stangboy likes this.
  20. the first question you have to ask yourself is, how much power are you going to make. if you are looking at up to 500hp, then a cast crank isnt going to be an issue, the pistons and rods on the other hand will be. also ask yourself what you true budget is for doing this swap. you can source a 2v block, source the heads, and then purchase a rotating assembly from many places, and in doing so you can stroke the engine out to 5.0l and get the forged bottom end you seek. if you are careful in shopping you can do the engine for about $3000 assembled depending on how much work you can do yourself.

    but you seem to have a small budget, while wanting to make big power, and even going with an lsx swap, you are not going to get there from here.