Due to the magnitude of the swap, I decided I would leave the car to a shop. I take pride in doing most of my own work. I have a far greater degree of control and attention to detail when I’m doing everything myself. However, I simply do not have the bandwidth right now in life to undertake a massive engine and drivetrain project. I also do not have the facilities to complete the swap in my home garage in a timely fashion. Given the circumstances, I think relinquishing the car to a professional is the smart choice.
Finding a shop I could be comfortable with was crucial. I had to use deliberation and careful examination of the options available before settling. From my experiences, many automotive shops are subpar: busy, unorganized, filled with other customer cars, and with heavy emphasis on getting the job done with low refinement. There was no way I could trust leaving my car for a length of time at one of these shops. The higher end shops were either also too busy or wanted to charge exorbitant fees.
After calling around, I was given a referral to a fabricator and mechanic named Marcus Fry, who branched off and started his own shop a year ago. After my initial conversation with him, I felt like he was a good match to hand off the project to and met my criteria: small, owner operated shop and was willing to dedicate the lift exclusively to my car until the swap was complete. I didn’t like the idea of having my car moved inside and outside while work was done simultaneously on other clients. Marcus was very accommodating and had all the right skills – there are several fabrication work I will need which he can do. I scheduled in the date with him to start the project and he came by to my house on July 6th to transport the LS3/TR6060. It’s interesting that almost exactly 2 years ago was when I first received the car.
I then drove my car to his shop, Marcus Fry Racing Enterprises, and the swap was in full motion.
Marcus allowed me to lend a hand to strip down the engine bay, which I thought was cool. I never worked on my own car in someone else’s shop before. Within a few hours, we were able to undo what was essentially 6 months of my work during the single turbo conversion.
The experience was slightly bittersweet seeing all my shiny, fresh single turbo parts being systematically ripped out. All I had to do was visualize the car with the V8 swap completed, and all notions of sadness were immediately wiped away.
I collected the parts we removed and stepped out of the picture, leaving the rest of the project entirely to Marcus’ capable hands. When I stopped by the next day to drop off a few more parts, I saw that the engine bay was bare.
Seeing the rotary powerplant outside of the car gives relativity on how truly small it is. The engine and transmission looked frail and undersized in juxtaposition to the far beefier LS3 and TR6060.
Marcus also cleared out a bench near the back of the shop and organized all my swap parts there. This V8 swap is almost like rebuilding and replacing half of the car… There is another bench not pictured filled with the 8.8 differential components.