2003 Audi RS6 LS1 Engine Swap

Great, now that I have your attention, what you are about to witness is pure automotive hottness at its very best. There’s beautiful fabrication, a beautiful car, a beautiful engine, and an overall beautiful build thread. The whole event took place over on MotorGeek, and if you have a spare hour or so, you will definitely want to read through the entire build thread. It’s dang near incredible. Here is the short story.

A user known as “timmmy” got a great deal on a 2003 Audi RS6 that had a missing twin turbo engine. He decided that rather than replacing it with a very expensive factory replacement, a 2004 Pontiac GTO LS1 v8 would be the best candidate to go in its place. The best part?  He also swapped in manual transmission and kept the all wheel drive. For-The-Win. Absolutely ideal daily driver in New England? Yessiree Bob… err… should I say “Judas”? I forgot to mention that, this project is named Project “Judas”.

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Now it’s one thing to plop this GTO engine into a 70 Chevelle, but a totally different game to surgically slide it under the hood of an awd Audi RS6. Mechanically, this engine swap had a unique set of challenges that you might expect, like relocating the transmission further rearward, modifying axles, and just basically making space for 4 more inches of engine under the hood. There was plenty of awesomely fabricated parts to make this happen. Transmission cross-members, engine mounts, accessory brackets, the whole shebang. The majority of the parts were made of aluminum, and if you have been reading the 1A Blog for a while, you know that I’m a sucker for TIG welded aluminum.

Fuel Injection. For those of you that have done fuel injected engine swaps before, you know that it has its own variety of challenges that carbureted engines don’t have, like ohhh, about 4 million wires. Not only that, but this builder then had to connect the LS1 engine harness to the Audi harness and have them play merrily. That way he would have a dashboard, OBDII port, and engine accessories that actually worked like they were intended. That takes some serious noggin power, and is almost always the most frightening part of a car build.

Within the build thread, there are probably hundreds of pictures, many videos, and great automotive banter throughout. I grabbed a few to share with you today, but really you need to check out the complete thread. It’s everything you want and more.

Here is a link to the truly spectacular LS1 Audi RS6 build thread: http://www.motorgeek.com/

You  know I grabbed my favorite video as well right? Here, he tests the Audi RS6’s new launching capabilities and LS1 rev limiter.  They work!

Special Note To MotorGeek Guys:  I fixed the “slight” error on transmission swap 😉 My bad.

Jeremy Nutt

Hi, I'm Jeremy.

10 thoughts to “2003 Audi RS6 LS1 Engine Swap”

  1. Hi Jeremy,

    I am ‘Timmmy’ the builder, a good friend of mine subscribes to your Blog and passed the link along to me. Many thanks for the kind words and posting this project, I am so glad you like it 🙂

    I run a small and highly specialized fabrication business which focuses on builds just like this one, and this is my personal ‘shop car’ which combines several of my passions i.e. Audi’s, AWD and LS power.

    Here is a direct link to the build thread for those who want to see a little more. http://www.motorgeek.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=39901

    The car actually came to me sans engine and transmission and a few other parts including the bumper and fenders etc as it was being parted out. I have wanted to do an AWD LS swap for a long time now and figured this was the perfect opportunity. The project became known as “Judas” as it really is a huge betrayal of Audi heritage to drop LS power into such a rare car. (only about 2000 RS6’s came to the US in 2003 and the RS6 was only available as an automatic) However I just saved one of those 2000 cars from being parted out so I feel vindicated.

    The car will be completed and get tuned in the next few weeks so we shall see what it puts down on the AWD dyno, I am hopeful the numbers will be the same or better than a stock RS6 which are already impressive numbers.

    Ill keep you posted!

    Thanks again

    Haydn Taylor

    1. Hi Haydn! I’m amazed that my blog post made it around the internet so quickly! I read through the whole build thread a few times over the course of this week and had a slight brainless moment this morning when I said “kept” the manual transmission. Sorry ’bout that, I corrected it as soon as I came in from the garage 😉 As for the car – It really is extremely impressive work, and I would love to see (and share?) more of it in the future. I’d also like to know more about Motorsport-HT in general. I’ll send an email your way shortly.


  2. One of the coolest builds I’ve ever seen. Amazing work, astounded at the level of skill Haydn has to pull this off. Hats off!

    1. I sent you a PM at MG 😉

      My subscription to Eurotuner lapsed so I just have to call the owner and one of the other project guys to find out what’s going on these days.

  3. I am truly interested in this field especially the connection between the LS engine and the Audi transmission I would love to keep my Quattro all-wheel drive but I’m looking for a more reliable engine if you have the time please send me any information and all information in regards to how you got connected I live in California so I don’t know if you’re out this way but if you are would love to meet up with you and talk about this you have a great day and thank you so much I’ve learned a little bit from your post and would like to go in deeper and find as much out as possible thank you so much again have a great day
    Denver Rich
    P.S: Email me back if you have the time

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