Is This 2JZ-Swapped Dodge Charger The Ultimate Act Of Sacrilege? - story fullscreen Fullscreen

Is This 2JZ-Swapped Dodge Charger The Ultimate Act Of Sacrilege?

Mike Finnegan from Roadkill has put a 2JZ GTE in a 1968 Dodge Charger. It’s one of the most outrageous builds ever done

We are all familiar with the tuning potential of the 2JZ engine, which makes it one of the more popular engine swaps. That said, there are certain boundaries one should not be crossing. This is exactly what Mike Finnegan, from Finnegan’s Garage YouTube channel, did, as he took the rustiest 1968 Dodge Charger and put a 2JZ GTE engine in it. While it’s up for debate whether that’s worse than putting an LS into it (at least it’s a V-8) some MOPAR fans are sure to blow a fuse or two over Finnegan’s build.

Is This 2JZ-Swapped Dodge Charger The Ultimate Act Of Sacrilege?
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As we mentioned, the Charger was quite rusty, which in Finnegan’s mind makes it the perfect project, which he dubbed “Death Metal Charger”. As it is, the Charger is a death trap, mostly because the rear axle is on its way out. The solution is a nine-inch rear axle from Quick Performance, which Finnegan wastes no time installing on the project car.

To install the new rear axle, the old one must be gotten rid of. Looking underneath, you can see just how badly rusted the Charger is. By the way, if you want to see and hear the 2JZ Charger in motion on its first road test, skip to the 23:38 mark on the video.

Is This 2JZ-Swapped Dodge Charger The Ultimate Act Of Sacrilege?
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The original rear end, found on the 1968 Charger, originally came from a 1949-1953 Willys truck and has 4.88 gears. In addition to not being able to accommodate a limited-slip differential, the rear end is badly welded and extremely rusty. Not to mention the Ford F-250 drum brakes. The Quick Performance nine-inch rear end gives you way more options and comes with 3.70 gears and a custom, dual-caliper four-piston Willwood brakes, with the second set of calipers for the handbrake and for drifting.

After some measuring Finnegan remarks that “there’s no straight sheet metal on this car”. This car’s first drive is more about testing the new rear end. The Charger still runs on the stock control arms in the front, which are “all hacked up” and it still doesn’t have a front sway bar.

Is This 2JZ-Swapped Dodge Charger The Ultimate Act Of Sacrilege?
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Of course, the craziest part about the build, besides the fact it’s barely holding together, is the turbocharged 2JZ engine, with a top-mounted exhaust and wastegate, protruding from the hood of the car.

One thing that isn’t out of place is the Tremec manual transmission, which is known to be able to handle big power.

Depending on how you look at it, this is either the most disgusting and offensive build (maybe that’s the main idea) or is the weirdest mash-up of good parts in a car that’s possibly too far gone. In any case, watch the video below to see what I am on about and decide for yourself. Would you put a 2JZ in an old-school MOPAR?


Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read full bio
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