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Need suggestions for engine swap

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.

Need suggestions for engine swap

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Old 07-10-2018, 03:32 PM
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Need suggestions for engine swap

I Have a 1984 Recaro Trans am I have been working on since saving it from a crusher 3 yrs ago. I have taken the body down to the metal and epoxy, primed, and painted it. I have removed every suspension part, sanded, and replaced everything except the K member, and A-arms. those I cleaned and rebushinged them. I still need to finish rebuilding the rear suspension but at this point, I need to get it running. I am looking to put in an L31 Crate motor with a Holley sniper EFI Master Kit with a Summit stage 1 Intake. I am also adding the very expensive Holley Dual Sync Dist. to keep the engine running smoothly for years and better efficiency. I am not looking for huge horsepower, I want a cruiser I can take to work on sunny days. I kept all the old wiring and just put it all back in. the Recaro Seats are being redone as we speak. I have a carpet but did not get the Mass backing soi am ordering a new one with Mass backing. I understand the fitment is better. I have reconditioned all of the interior plastics with SEM dye. all new weatherstripping, glass, dash plastics and so forth. Hawks and I were really good friends for a while. I am planning on keeping the 700r4 as it was running and shifting fine before. when it goes out, I plan to upgrade to 460le. I am asking what am I missing. I am not a professional, just lots of reading and trial and error. The painting was a huge learning curve but I finally got it down and I think it looks good. What do I need to finish this build I am not thinking of? I plan on keeping the L69 and 700r4 for later Just in case it gets worth something. I just did not see any point in rebuilding a 305. and every machine shop I asked told me to just get a crate 350 that is was about just as expensive. I know this is long, and it is my first ever post on this site and I've been a member for a while and bought stuff from people. I just am tired of Learning too late that I forgot something. I am ready to see this car run.
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Old 07-10-2018, 03:39 PM
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Re: Need suggestions for engine swap

This is the day I went to pick it up. It had been sitting for about 10 years.but it eas all there, and seemed repairable.























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Old 07-10-2018, 03:43 PM
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Re: Need suggestions for engine swap

this guy bought some land and there were a bunch of cars scattered across it, he collected them all up (with a bulldozer, lucky there was not more damage.) and he was sending them all to the scrap heap. he had this car, a 1980 firebird, roller, a couple other camaros and a couple old trucks. I gave him 750 bucks for the car.
























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Old 07-10-2018, 03:47 PM
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Re: Need suggestions for engine swap

Nice job saving it.

A L31 and small cam upgrade with sniper EFI is a great option I think you will be happy

Last edited by midias; 07-10-2018 at 03:50 PM.
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Old 07-10-2018, 03:56 PM
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Re: Need suggestions for engine swap

After work on the Body finally complete.




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Old 07-10-2018, 03:58 PM
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Re: Need suggestions for engine swap

I have never installed a cam, so i was hoping the one that comes in it would be good enough. what advantages would a different cam have and what cam would that be. I am completely self taught so please bear with me, i am not a professional.
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Old 07-10-2018, 04:14 PM
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Re: Need suggestions for engine swap

The L31 crate is a 255 HP rating is as installed in a production vehicle with stock exhaust, stock PCM tuning. Far better than the 190 or 290 crate motors that are speced with all bolt ons.

You should be able to get 275+ ez with headers and a new manifold and EFI. If that is good enough then you can leave the cam alone.
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Old 07-10-2018, 04:47 PM
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Re: Need suggestions for engine swap

More than enough for me. Now what about the ECm? i have the original ECM, the whole point of having the incredibly expensive holley dual sync distributor is so that the ECm is basically just running? i dont know what. all smog is going away. well its already gone but i dont need it to get inspection, i already called. do i need a new ECm or a tuned Prom or something.
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:01 AM
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Re: Need suggestions for engine swap

You are a brave man, tackling that car! But good work.
I will be watching this, my car is an 84 TA and I have some parts I am willing to part with.
So as you are posting, be sure to mention what you need. Either I or other members will reply.
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:26 AM
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Re: Need suggestions for engine swap

Thank s for your support. i think the hardest parts to come by were like the fenders. fenders for an 84 with the aero package are hard to find and there is no aftermarkets. so i bought 85 fenders and welded up the GFX holes and then used the old fenders as a template to drill new mounting holes. i think they came out good. but they are after market so the fitment is a struggle. bending and pushing. also the guy used a dozier to move the cars around and bent the hell out of the lower side of the driver door, the part of the unibody where the big bolt goes for the fender, so that door does not want to fit right.
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:42 AM
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Re: Need suggestions for engine swap

Brave build. Interested to follow along!
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:12 AM
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Re: Need suggestions for engine swap

Great work!! As for the ECM, it's the electrical controller of the engine and as long as all of the sensors are working, you won't have to worry too much about it. In terms of the camshaft in general, that improves how long the valves are open and allows more air to get into the cylinders, which in turn can give you more horsepower and also provides that lobey sound that everyone likes. If you're going to replace the intake manifold or cylinder heads or both, it's a good way to gain more horsepower. If you're going with a crate engine and not changing any of that, then it would be more work that would have to be done and would be better done before the engine went into the car. I was never good at choosing camshafts, so if you were interested in it, the other members might be a better help to you.
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Old 07-11-2018, 12:30 PM
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Re: Need suggestions for engine swap

thank you, i am going to leave the crate as is. not looking to race, just drive with good fuel economy. i do have a few more pics of my progress. one is the old engine i will be keeping for future use if i ever wanted to sell as numbers matching.
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Old 07-11-2018, 12:31 PM
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Re: Need suggestions for engine swap



the old L69 and 700R4
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Old 07-11-2018, 12:41 PM
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Re: Need suggestions for engine swap

i tried the duplicolor custon shop paint and clear first and it came out like crap. i sanded it all off back to bare metal, re epoxy with shopline back epoxy and shopline polyester high build, 2 coats. block sanded, then 2 coats of shopline black sealer. then the black base 2 coats and 3 coats of clear. 1 coat coverage and 2 wet coats. this was in a garage so not too shaby. it is my second paint job ever. i went to the junk yard and bought some random junk panels and preacticed. i also painted every panel individually. then reinstalled doors, fenders, trucklid, bumpers and gound fx after about a week. i tried to follow every bit of guidence i found on this site to do the best job i can. when its running, i will get some pics of it in the sun.



My attempt at a Paint Job. it is dusty and i have not cut it yet so not too bad.



i think it came out good. i put on PPG black base DBC9700 and DC4000 VELOCITY PREMIUM CLEARCOAT. i think it came out good pre cut and buff. i have not wet sanded or anything yet. i think i will get all that done after i get the engine in and get it running. it was expensive but worth it.
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Old 07-11-2018, 12:44 PM
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Re: Need suggestions for engine swap

I have run into an issue, i lost the hard drive that had all my pics on it from disassembly so it has been memory so far. i will definitely bee looking for help with wiring. i have the interior done, hooked up a battery from one of my jet skis and had gauges working(except the fuel gauge wet past full. not sure if its because there is no sensor attached) interior lights, popups work, windows(but really slow) and locks would not work. oh and the service engine light was on the dash.
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