It’s been a while since we last heard about the world’s first V8-swapped Tesla, and with good reason. Funnily enough, sticking an engine in a car designed from the ground up as an EV is rather difficult. However, Rich Benoit (aka Rich Rebuilds) has now posted an update on the car, prefaced by a (fairly justified) rant about impatient keyboard warriors.
Plenty has changed on the car since it was first fired up a few months ago. It now has a custom - and rather lovely - exhaust built in-house using three-inch stainless steel oval tubing. Why oval and not round? Clearance - there isn’t a whole lot of room to work with under there.
The system features twin side exits just in front of the rear wheels, which looks awesome, but there’s a practical reason for this choice - there simply isn’t anywhere to easily route it out of the back. Also on that theme of space and packaging difficulties, in this video, we learn that the current crank pulley is too big for the power steering motor to fit in.
As you might be gathering if you’re new to this project - which doubles as a comment on how difficult Tesla makes self-repair for owners - it’s not going to be an easy ride. And we haven’t even mentioned things like the strut tower bar which had to be hacked away to make room for the engine, or the transmission tunnel which was fabricated using sections of another Model S donor car’s floor. The prop shaft is a one-off, custom build, and so are the driveshafts.
When we eventually see this Model S move under its own General Motors LS3 steam, then, it’ll be a triumphant (and no doubt very noisy) moment.