Mustang GT V8 Replaced with Supra Engine — Strategy or Sacrilege?

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Owner could’ve gone several ways when it was time to replace his car’s engine. So why did he go with a 2JZ straight-six?

Having to replace the engine in your car is never a good thing. It’s a hassle. Sometimes it’s just better to junk the entire car and find another one. But if you’re going to take the time and spend the money to put a new engine under the hood, you have a sort of clean slate. You can put whatever you want to between the front wheels, as long as you can afford it and are able to make it fit and run. That’s the situation a man by the name of Stephen found himself in with his 1994 Ford Mustang GT in the above video from The Smoking Tire. Its original 5.0 went kaput, he chose to replace it with something completely different: the 2JZ straight-six immortalized in the Toyota Supra.

It started when Stephen was in college. He worked in a tuner shop that specializes in Supras. After that, his love for the bulletproof I6 never died. When it was time to give his SN95 a heart transplant, the choice of which engine to go with was easy to make.

As you can probably imagine, swapping a Supra engine into a Mustang took a lot of work. He had to make custom brackets for certain parts. Then he had to make his creation pass emissions testing in the state of California, which basically required converting the JDM engine into a USDM power plant. He tells The Smoking Tire‘s Zack Klapman, “I had to actually drill the head for EGR ports and add an EGR cooler to the back of the head. And then I swapped the turbos and the intake manifold and the injectors and added all the EGR plumbing.” To upgrade its performance, Stephen added a chip and other enhancements that increased output to 350 horsepower.

mustangforums.com SN95 Mustang GT with a 2JZ Engine

He didn’t stop with the engine swap, though. Stephen paired the I6 with a six-speed manual gearbox (also from a Supra) and threw out the Mustang GT’s stock rear end. No, he didn’t install a Supra suspension in its place; he bolted in the IRS from a 2003 Cobra.

mustangforums.com SN95 Mustang GT with a 2JZ Engine

Klapman loves the end result, even though it messes with his head. As he puts it, “My brain is very confused.” He’s sitting in a mostly stock Mustang GT interior, but feeling the rush and hearing the whoosh of a Japanese performance engine with a completely different cylinder count and layout than should be under the Mustang’s hood. Although there are some interior ergonomics issues, the car’s on-road dynamics are satisfying. Klapman finds the Mustang fast, smooth, and progressive. He tells Stephen, “You’ve really done it correctly.”

mustangforums.com SN95 Mustang GT with a 2JZ Engine

Stephen’s Mustang may not have a Ford heart, but it does have heart in it. Mustang owners have a passion for their cars and express it through their modifications. Stephen could’ve scrapped his entire SN95 and started over. Instead, he kept it and customized it in a remarkably unusual way.

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Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his JK Forum profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK Forum, H-D Forums, The Mustang Source, Mustang Forums, LS1Tech, HondaTech, Jaguar Forums, YotaTech, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts. Derek also started There Will Be Cars on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

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