With the gearbox of his 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan on the way out, Barry Lambert of Newfoundland, Canada proposed a drastic but inspired solution. The idea? To take out the dying gearbox and the V6 it’s attached to, then install a 5.3-litre General Motors LS V8 with a manual in their place. Oh, and said new engine is also turbocharged.
Lambert himself describes the project as “really dumb and awesome,” but as brilliantly silly as the whole thing is, it requires an immense amount of skill. He had to fabricate the custom engine mounts, for one thing, and also build a bespoke oil pan from sheet metal.
The engine will drive the wheels via a manual gearbox taken from a Nissan NV3500 van and a narrowed Mustang differential assembly. “So there’s something here for everyone!” Lambert says. As part of the project, the V8’s cylinder heads will be ported, and the Displacement on Demand system deactivated.
Although it’ll be an astonishing amount of work to complete, making Lambert’s life easier is the sheer size of the Grand Caravan’s engine bay and the relatively compact nature of an LS. With the engine now installed on his custom mounts, we can see there’s ample space above and to the sides of the unit.