The Chevy LS V8 is one of the most ubiquitous elements in car customization. Any forum post or Facebook group thread about engine trouble usually has at least one comment along the lines of: "Just LS swap it!" An engine swap of any kind is never trivial, but this neat mockup tool stands to make unusual LS swaps easier than ever before.
For some common cars, you'll be able to find LS swap kits that will put mounts where they need to be and give you a relatively straightforward plug-and-play experience. But even then, one of the most physically challenging aspects of an LS swap is getting the heavy eight-cylinder unit into an engine bay and figuring out exactly how and where it's going to fit.
The SoloSwap Mock Up Engine Swap will give you a huge edge there—it's basically a steel placeholder in the shape of an engine with provisions to bolt things like intake manifolds, water pumps, headers, and an oil pan on to give you an exact impression of how your new V8 will fit into whatever car you're messing with.
So instead of heaving an entire engine block in or out of your car—they weigh more than 400 pounds—you can just move this engine mock-up skeleton around to the exact position you want as you design your project car. The SoloSwap only weighs 23 pounds as a short block, or 39 pounds as a long block. One person could easily pick that up and position it over and over, making the task of cramming a Chevy V8 into a small car a lot easier to attempt.
Plus, since it's got mounting spots, you can fit your exact intake, exhaust, and other ancillary parts to really understand precisely how you need to shape your hood and engine bay to accommodate an LS.
Similar mock-up engines have been made before, sometimes made out of foam, but this steel unit should be much more durable. At any rate, this was fresh enough to receive SEMA's Best New Product award in the Tools and Equipment category for 2023 and I think it's pretty sweet.
You can buy the SoloSwap now from Speedway Motors as a short block ($299) or long block ($375.99) plus shipping.