Since its inception 15 years ago, Tuff Mounts has become the go-to source for just about
any engine or gearbox conversion you can think of. Using top-quality local hardware, plenty
of Tuff Mounts kits have been first-to-market innovations.
VT to VZ Commodores were still relatively fresh when Tuff Mounts began, but as owner
Jason Waye points out, some of them are now 25 years old! That means important parts are
starting to dry out, especially for LS swaps and transmission conversions.
The shortage has inspired Tuff Mounts’s newest product line. For the first time, you can now
drop an LS-platform mill into a V6-powered VT, VX, VY or VZ Commodore without changing
“V8 K-frames are getting scarce,” Jason says. “We’ve been getting more and more people
asking if we do LS engine mounts for V6s and we’d say ‘get a V8 K-frame, it’s easy.’ They’d
say ‘no, it’s not!’”
Alongside the indestructible, Aussie-made LS to VT-VZ V6 K-frame mounts, Tuff Mounts
offers gearbox crossmembers to stuff a wide range of transmissions under a late-model
Commodore. Automatic options include:
If you’re wanting a third pedal there are crossmembers to suit both T56 or TR6060 manuals,
too. “Customers doing a manual conversion behind their existing LS couldn’t find T56
crossmembers,” Jason says. “The TR6060 wasn’t introduced until the VE and people are
wanting to put those behind a six-litre in their VT or VZ, but there were no crossmembers
available for those. Now there are!”
The new range joins an existing package designed to stick an LS into a VN to VS
Commodore with a V6 K-frame. If you’re working with the Commodore platform and cross-
pollination is your jam, Tuff Mounts also stocks Barra conversion kits to suit everything from
the VB to the VS with six-pot or V8 K-frames, and GM or Ford transmissions.
Another kit goes the other way, designed to drop an LS into an AU to BF Falcon. “People are
getting bored and sick of seeing the same thing, so it’s out-of-the-box stuff and people are
having fun with it,” Jason laughs.
About Tuff Mounts:
Industry veteran Jason Waye started the Tuff Mounts mission in his Adelaide shed back in
2008, while building his epic 4CEFED VK Calais. “We had a blown engine going into that
and factory mounts wouldn’t cut it,” he explains. “I designed some new mounts and a
fabricator made them. I made a few more sets and they all sold, and then I had a thought
that other people might want them!”
He expanded the business as more and more requests for different engine swap hardware
came in, and today Tuff Mounts offers parts to suit everything from HQ Holden to Toyota
HiAce and Mazda rotaries. “90 per cent of our products are manufactured here in-house
from start to finish,” Jason says. “The only things we don’t do are laser-cutting and making
the bushes, but they’re still done right here in Adelaide.”
A big part of the Tuff Mounts process is extensive use of test-bed cars, putting new
hardware through the ringer in hardcore events like Drag Challenge and the Optima Challenge before it hits the market.
“We don’t just make them on a bench and say ‘here you go’ – everything is built and tested
in a car, be it one of ours or a customer’s,” Jason says.
Jason’s own automotive stable has been used to engineer a series of first-to-market mounts,
including the LS into Mitsubishi Sigma package and the Fox-body Mustang Barra swap kit,
which is going gangbusters both here and in the growing US market after being tested in his
rad nine-second FOXSAKE Mustang.
This is just a glimpse of what’s up for grabs at Tuff Mounts, so check out the website for the
full range of stuff!