A List Of The Best Engine Swap Books

No one is born knowing how to swap engines. It’s an art one has to master over time. One of the best ways to learn how to swap engines is to read books. We rounded up the 5 best engine swap books for you to read. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an expert looking to learn more about swapping engines. The following books may benefit you:

1. GM LS-Series Engines: The Complete Swap Manual

Engine swap manual
Image Credit: Motorbooks

This manual was written by engine specialist and technician Joseph Potak. It’s one of the most popular books about swapping LS engines. It’s a comprehensive guide that walks you through:

  • Mounting the new LS engine in your vehicle
  • Configuring the EFI system to match your new engine
  • Designing the fuel and exhaust systems in your vehicle to accommodate your new LS engine
  • Sourcing the right accessories for your application
  • Installing performance upgrades and power-adders
  • Troubleshooting issues that may arise at any point in the swap process

This book comes complete with color photos, diagrams, spec tables, and – of course – clear instructions. Many GM engine swappers – beginners and experts alike – swear by this book. We rounded up a few reviews from Amazon:

I really liked the list of engines and which vehicles they came in. Makes looking in the junkyard or Pick-a-Part much easier.

This has been a great comprehensive manual for an LS swap into my 73 Monte Carlo. This has been the single best source for information that I have come across yet. Makes it easy and interesting to learn about the differences in the LS platform motors and how to make power on a budget. Lots of interchangeability information and parts sources listed. Worth its weight in gold!”

Provides a comprehensive overall perspective of the swap process. Combined with the various information sources on the internet, it provides a sound foundation of knowledge to tackle swap projects no matter the vehicle. Definitely worth the investment.”

2. Chevy LS Engine Conversion Handbook: LS Engine Swaps for Muscle Cars, Street Rods, Imports, and Late-Model Cars and Trucks

Engine swap manual
Image Credit: HP Books

When swapping an engine, nothing is more valuable than an expert standing alongside you, helping you every step of the way. It’s pretty much what you’re getting with this book. The author, Shawn Henderson, is a car junkie who lives and breathes LS engines.

This book is a detailed guide that covers:

  1. An overview of the Chevy LS series engine
  2. Technical details on swapping:
    • Transmissions
    • Drivetrains
    • Fuel systems
    • Wiring
    • ECU
    • Exhaust systems
  3. Troubleshooting common issues

Henderson explains everything in layman’s terms, but he still remains as detailed as possible. Many readers are pleased with the wealth of information that lies within this book. Here are a couple of reviews from Amazon:

The title could easily be LS Engines for Dummies. Illustrations are clear and informative. It’s easy to read and fun! I am in the middle of swapping from a LT1 in my 72 Nova to a 4.8 Silverado engine. This book could have saved me so much wasted time trying to find answers on the internet. Does it answer every question about swapping a LS engine? No, but what book does? This book is a must have for anyone thinking of doing a LS swap!”

Read the entire book a few times. Teaches you how to solve the most common problems with swaps. Real good pictures. Its more of a how to and not just info. Has the different engines and what they came in. Also has a little bit of parts interchange. Like all small blocks they are all pretty much the same.”

3. How to Swap GM LS-Series Engines into Almost Anything

Engine swap manual
Image Credit: S-A Design

The internet contains a wealth of knowledge on LS engine swaps. Yet, the internet doesn’t have all the information you need. That’s where this book comes in. Written by automotive enthusiast Jefferson Bryant, this book has a lot of information you wouldn’t find online. The book:

  1. Helps you choose the best LS engine for your vehicle and application
  2. Helps you choose the best mounting kits for your LS engine
  3. Shows you how to modify your oil pan for your new LS engine
  4. Helps you choose the best:
    • Fuel pump
    • Exhaust system
    • Wiring harness
    • Electronic control module
    • The best reprogramming equipment and software
    • Transmission
    • More

This book is a useful resource for those who either:

  • Need guidance while performing an LS engine swap
  • Want to get an idea of what an LS engine swap involves

An Amazon user described the usefulness of this book quite well:

Overall, [this book] covered parts of the swap process that have not been well documented online. I did significant internet scouring and information gathering for weeks before reading this book, and this book still addressed a large amount of information that was not readily found while searching. Other parts of the information that is easily found online was laid out well in the book. The sections on the oil pans and accessory layout is very useful and a lot more straightforward than you will find online. The wiring information – something else you can also find online – was laid out in a very easy to read and succinct section. It’s much easier than verifying ten different postings on internet forums.

4. Honda K-Series Engine Swaps: Upgrade to More Horsepower & Advanced Technology

Engine swap manual
Image Credit: Cartech

If you’re swapping a Honda K-Series engine into a vehicle, this is the guide you need. Written by Aaron Bonk, this guide offers all the information you need to perform a successful K-Series swap. In this book, you’ll find plenty of information about:

  • All the K-Series engine variants
  • Interchangeability
  • Compatibility
  • Engine accessories
  • Wiring and controls operation
  • Drivetrains
  • Where to buy engines, parts, and supplies
  • Complete instructions on installing a K-Series engine in your particular Honda
  • More

Many K-Series Honda engine swappers consider this book an invaluable resource. Here are a couple of reviews we found on Amazon:

Ordered this up and loved it! Great info and I consider it a must have if you thinking of a K20-24 swap!

The book contains more than engine replacement instruction and includes a how-to for transmissions, axles, hydraulics, cooling systems, and more. A must-have book for every professional and amateur auto mechanic. I highly recommend this book. You will refer to it time and again as you upgrade to a more powerful K-series Honda engine.”

5. Honda Engine Swaps

Engine swap manual
Image Credit: Cartech

In the words of an Amazon reviewer:

This book is great. There’s a lot of do-it-yourself stuff in here that a lot of people may have the desire to learn but don’t have anyone to show them. Definitely pick up a copy if you have a Honda or are interested in swapping your motor.”

Many other readers echo this reviewer’s sentiments. It’s no wonder, because this book is a gem. Like the last book on this list, this book was written by Aaron Bonk. This book focuses on performance engine swaps for the following Honda models:

  • Civic
  • Accord
  • Prelude
  • Acura Integra

In this book, you’ll find useful information on:

  • Electronics
  • Fit and drive train compatibility
  • Design considerations
  • Costs
  • More

You’ll also find step-by-step instructions on swapping an engine into a Honda vehicle.

Keep in mind that this book was published in 2004. So if you have an older Honda vehicle or if you’re working with an older Honda engine, this is a great resource.

Do you have a book on engine swapping that you find quite useful? Please let us know about it!

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