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Engine Swap Everything about swapping an engine into your Third Gen.....be it V6, V8, LTX/LSX, crate engine, etc. Pictures, questions, answers, and work logs.

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Old 09-18-2003, 02:38 PM   #1
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Vortec 350 swap

I'm putting a 97 Vortec 350 in my 89 firebird. I blew up the original 305 that was in it. I have the computer and all the wiring harness. Does anyone know of any problems that I may run into putting this engine in? I'm kinda skeptical about where all the plugs on the 350 wire harness go. I believe probably emissions control. Will I have any problems if I don't hook all this up? Also are all my lights are everything still going to work? A wire diagram would help alot if anyone knows where I could fine one. I believe the engine came out of a 97 Chevy Suburban. Any info would help alot. Thanks everyone.
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Old 09-18-2003, 03:09 PM   #2
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Car: 1992 Formula Firebird
Engine: 305CID (LB9)
Transmission: World Class T5
Axle/Gears: 10-bolt, 4.10 gears

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Are you talking about using the computer that was already in your car or the wiring harness and computer from the Suburban?

You can use any Chevy small block engine for the most part with your existing computer and wire harness. The one that was already in your car. What will be a problem is the fact that the truck engine will have Vortec heads. So the intake from your old engine will not work. At least not without alot of work.

If your car is TPI you can use the Vortec block. You will need the Vortec TPI base. 350 injectors and knock sensor and reprogram the ECM and your done.

Hope this helps.
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1985 Pontiac TRANS AM (LB9, 700R4) -GONE
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Old 09-18-2003, 11:02 PM   #3
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I was planning on using the harness and computer from the truck. The Vortec is the whole engine TPI and everything and I don't want to start ripping into it changing out intakes and so forth. I'd like to use the wire harness and computer from the truck.
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Old 09-19-2003, 04:44 PM   #4
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Car: 1992 Formula Firebird
Engine: 305CID (LB9)
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Axle/Gears: 10-bolt, 4.10 gears

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I don't know if that will work. I wouldn't think so. Not without hacking and splicing. Even then I am not positive. The truck is also not TPI it's TBI that makes a difference too. TBI is not as nice as TPI. IF you have a TPI car and you want to splice TBI stuff in there you will have issues.
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1992 Firebird Formula (LB9, T5)
2008 Ford F-150 Supercrew (4.6L)
2005 Pontiac GTO (6.0L, T-56)
1987 Pontiac TRANS AM (LG4, 700R4) -SOLD
1985 Pontiac TRANS AM (LB9, 700R4) -GONE
2002 Pontiac Firehawk (#0220 6Spd, 3.42 Gears) -SOLD
1987 Pontiac TRANS AM (LB9, 700R4) -SOLD
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Old 09-20-2003, 11:13 AM   #5
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TBI is what I ment, both engines are TBI but the plugs that go into everything on the 2 wire harnesses are different. I was tlking to someone yesterday about it and they suggested to try to use the old harness for everything except engine functions and then use the new harness and computer for alll the engine functions. So basically have both computers in the car just somehow get power to the second computer. Hypothetically would this work?
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Old 09-22-2003, 02:40 PM   #6
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okay, I finally got a wire diagram for this Engine (Vortec 350) How much of this #*&$ needs to be hooked up? I know the obvious stuff like ignition coiland injectors and all that, some of this stuff I don't even know where it would be. Like EGR valve, Knock Sensor, heated oxygen sensor, canister purge solenoid, canister purge vacume switch? Like what is this Canister purge? Do I need it? The MAP sensor, I know what this is, but do I need it? I know the obvious stuff like cruise control and A/C doesn't need to be hooked up, I don't think. Also, do you think that I'll be able to splice this into my Instrument Panel? Can anyone help me with all these questions, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Everyone.
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Old 09-23-2003, 12:10 AM   #7
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Car: 1990 Camaro IROC-Z Convertible
Engine: LB9
Transmission: T5

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In my opinion your easiest route is to keep your cars current computer and wiring. This should be a fairly easy swap for you. I'm guessing since both engines are TBI you should be able to mount your current throttle body on the vortec engines intake, and if not take it to a machine shop and have them mod the intake so you can. By doing this you should be able to reuse your current ecm and all wiring without moding it. You will want to use the injectors from the vortec motor, and have someone program a chip for your ecm. The only thing I think you will have to sacrifice is your EGR since I'm fairly sure there won't be a place for the valve on the vortec intake (vortec heads don't have the built in passage for egr either). Don't make things harder on yourself then they need be though. Hacking harnesses is totally unecessary for what you want to do. I might be a bit off here on a couple things. When I swapped the 350 into my RS I went TPI and scrapped all my TBI stuff (which required serious wiring - thanks to my buddy John for making it work), so I'm no TBI expert, but I think I've got **** listed correctly for you.
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Old 11-13-2003, 09:11 PM   #8
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that engine is central port injection. Check the throttle body, there is no injector on top of it, right?
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Old 11-13-2003, 09:11 PM
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