R31 Skyline, LS1 Swap Project

R31 Skyline, LS1 Swap Project

This project has actually been in the works for a while, but didn’t want to bore you all with the hideous lack of progress that has been the past year. But now, things are finally moving along – so a little recap: me and my brother in law wanted to start getting into some motorsport, wanted to build something fun but wouldn’t be too much of a hit to the pocket if we crashed – what better than the shard collecting nugget that is the R31 skyline.

Donor car

Well, sort of donor car – we picked this up off a very nice bloke in melton, it had smacked into the wall at calder but had many decent parts we wanted for ours – 6 point cams approved roll cage, s13 front end setup, front and rear coil overs, 4:11 spooled diff and more. When I heard about this, I said ‘sounds great, let’s do it’ – the crucial piece of information I didn’t is that the wreck had no bloody wheels. Of course, the experience of getting the thing on and off a trailer (without damaging the sump, gearbox and exhaust that was in it) was very similar to head-butting a cactus 14 times in quick succession.



Great – so we had the car on the trailer, smooth sailing from here right? Nope. We winched the car onto trailer off jack stands. So getting it off a trailer onto the ground without destroying everything underneath was going to be a task. We did some extremely dodgy things to get the car off the trailer and strip it and would not recommend trying any of the following yourself.

First things first, we had a spare diff – easy enough to put in then we’ll have at least rear wheels.


We attached wheels as there was front suspension – but no struts to keep the wheels straight.



It was then gutted, cage removed and driveline taken out and sold and the shell scrapped.




Fast forward many months later after acquiring an ls1, t56 and miscellaneous skyline parts and we have our first test fit. This is using a kframe from an R33, engine mounts from a v6 cortina and the stock LS mounts to the block. For next to no work it comes pretty damn close.






Clearance with stock VY sump

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Next was to test fit the t56, after “massaging” the transmission tunnel a little I did manage to get it in.



But the little ‘ear’ that’s used to mount the factory commodore hardline was proving to be pain so off that went.



While I had the trans in place, I was able to check the length of the factory R31 tailshaft and it looks like it’ll  pretty much fit right up – i’ll just have to change the spline over to a t56 style.


Anyway that’s all for now, stay tuned there’s a lot more coming!