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 Full driveline swap?

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s1l1sc



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Join date : 2011-11-05
Location : Rock Hill, SC

PostSubject: Full driveline swap?    Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:41 pm

So I finally killed the beast...

coolant in the oil, transmission only has 1st and 2nd.

Instead of fixing the 305, is there any modern drive train that will simply swap in?
I figure even if it is a modern inline 4 it will have around the same power (or more) as the 305 V8... and might be cheaper than going with an LSX or LT series engine.

Looking for ideas and advise.

Not opposed to a big power build, but that would be at least 2 years off... vs. swapping something in from a wrecked car (figure I can get the donor cheap at auction) would most likely be cheaper than fixing the existing engine/transmission.

Thanks guys

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RedandBlack

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PostSubject: Re: Full driveline swap?    Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:06 pm

Nope. Find a TBI 350 and its computer and drop it in, or go LS.

Going LT is a waste - takes the same labor as going LS and limits your potential.

A 4 cylinder would be an awful idea. It might make 170hp, but it won't have the torque of the V8 and that's what really moves the 4300 lbs of wagon you've got anyway.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Full driveline swap?    Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:57 am

It is not hard to put a stock 454 in place of the 305. You need to build a bullet proof 4L60. The Gen 4 or 5 engines often have the TBI on them, and the only mechanical mod you need is to make the hole for the distributor large enough to put a stock 91-93 distributor on it. You can get an adapter set for the FEAD from a 92 or earlier S 10 V6. Use the original alternator, and compressor with the serpentine belt. You have the choice of a mechanical fan, or a pair of electric ones with a 3 or 4 core radiator. You may have to modify the radiator bracket, and find the right set of headers (I have a set). The fuel lines will probably fit with minimal effort. I fabbed up the coolant hoses. You need the computer from the truck, and the wiring harness. A few small changes in the wiring may be necessary. You can also use the Gen 6, and get port fuel injection if you use the donor computer. Again a few wires may need attention. I would add a trans cooler, and oil cooler from a newer 9C1.

I built a 454 and installed it in my 91 OCC, and it hauls the mail. Mine was a bit more difficult than a stock motor, because of the valve covers. There should be no body mods necessary for a stock set of valve covers. You could even use the stock "crab" distributor, knowing that either way you must remove the intake manifold to get the distributor out. Some motorhomes had the 454s in them as well. Be careful that you do not pick a 496 (8.1 L) because they are really hard to get parts for (and the parts are expensive).
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Full driveline swap?    Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:06 am

Vortecs are plentiful in the yards. Go Vortec 350,reuse your TBI setup. Visit Harris TBI Performance for all the info you will need. More power,simplest of the swap options. More smiles per gallon. Win/win.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Full driveline swap?    Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:38 am

The Vortec manifold is attached differently than the TBI manifold. Also be extremely careful with buying Vortec 350s, the heads are often cracked. I have 4 heads, and three are cracked. You must use a Vortec style manifold, and an adapter for your TBI. The TBI will sit taller on the engine, so watch your clearance. Get a carb hat that flows enough to support your flow numbers.

Although it is more expensive, the aftermarket stand alone TBI systems are a lot easier, and can produce more HP. You can even adapt a dual 4bbl carb manifold and run 2 TBI units (check with the Harris TBI people).
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jayoldschool

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PostSubject: Re: Full driveline swap?    Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:48 pm

Buying another wagon will be less expensive than any engine swap. Just ask both of the engine swappers in this thread.
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MalibuSSwagon



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Location : NH

PostSubject: Re: Full driveline swap?    Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:46 pm

I'm going LS. Have a 4.8L/4L80E out of a 3/4ton van that will be going into my OCC at some point next year. Nothing wrong with my driveline other than the lack of go.
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RedandBlack

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PostSubject: Re: Full driveline swap?    Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:22 pm

Yup.

Stopped counting at $10k. Stopped caring.


But it's pretty.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Full driveline swap?    Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:26 pm

I am at about $9000 for a BBC and built 700R4, maybe a little more with the self inflicted wounds. I could have spent less, but I wanted it a certain way. The tradeoff is that I have a lot more get up and go than buying another stock wagon, and it is a new driveline. It also includes all new front bushings, engine mounts, headers, duals, high volume fuel pump, and a lot of little things I did myself.

A Gen IV lower mileage engine with an aftermarket TBI, and no rebuild could get you into a 454 for about $3000 less. This was the first transplant for me, so I had a pretty steep learning curve. Little things like wiring, getting things to fit, and friends/other people causing me more work/money than I planned. I could have avoided $900 just by not having it bored 0.030 over with the ensuing new pistons, and rod re-manufacturing.

I put a used LO5/350 (135K miles) from a JY RMS in my white wagon for about $300 (plus partial installation). I would have the trans rebuilt no matter what, and that should cost you between 800-1000, if you install the engine and trans yourself. I had to replace the oil pump after the install, but should have swapped it out before installing the engine, as a preventive maintenance item.
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Full driveline swap?    Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:14 am

jayoldschool wrote:
Buying another wagon will be less expensive than any engine swap.  Just ask both of the engine swappers in this thread.
Lol,True story.
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s1l1sc



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Location : Rock Hill, SC

PostSubject: Re: Full driveline swap?    Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:58 pm

Thanks guys, that gives me a few options and things to think about.
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jasonlachapelle

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PostSubject: Re: Full driveline swap?    Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:27 pm

jayoldschool wrote:
Buying another wagon will be less expensive than any engine swap.  Just ask both of the engine swappers in this thread.

agreed. I'd probably sell my 5Xk mile 96 WB4 w/ heads/cam/TC/tranny for the price of the swaps I've seen in this thread!
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s1l1sc



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PostSubject: Re: Full driveline swap?    Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:33 pm

I am really not looking for big power - somewhere around 300-400hp is plenty for my needs (towing). more a question of dependability and a bit more power. And since the 305 needs to come out anyways, i might as well drop a 350+ in.
I would love to keep the whole project (engine + transmission) under $2k if possible. Let me know if that is feasible - this will be my first crack at an engine swap, so...

@Fred Kiehl
So basically this build less the nitros?
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

@RedandBlack
Any suggestions on what might be a good doner for the 350? Or basically any 89-94 GM car or truck?
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Full driveline swap?    Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:26 pm

I think that I read that article before starting, and it inspired me to put the 454 in my OCC. It did not go quite as easy as the article made it sound, although I did do a lot differently.

My heads were milled to 112cc chambers. I did a lot more than what they did. I started with a Gen VI 454. I have a 550-830 Holley MPFI system (new cost with injectors is about $3500, my cost $1800 second hand new in the box including injectors). I also had it bored (about $850), the stock steel crank turned $250, new roller lifters, Pro Comp heads on ebay for $1000, Scorpion rocker arms (for a BB Ford with the Pro Comp heads). It has custom ordered push rods with adjustable guides, double row timing chain, Comp Cams 01-418-8 camshaft, Hypereutectic pistons, 0.030 overbore, stock rods, new rod and main bearings, Felpro gaskets throughout, new flex plate, and a new harmonic damper. My short block cost about $125 plus I gave them most of the old engine as a core. I had to bore out the hole in the manifold for the stock LO3/5 distributor. ARP rod bolts, head bolts, and main studs. I currently have some specialized header bolts with ratcheting washers. I got some stainless headers, and had to have them modified to fit ($175 +$ 400). It has a 7 qt. JEGS oil pan. I also used a trans cooler from an Lt1 car. I was going to install an oil cooler as well, but could not get the fittings to work properly. I used urethane engine mount inserts, and they act almost like solid mounts. I would attribute about $1000-1500 of my cost to errors, and using the Gen IV block. Most parts are not compatible with older Gen blocks. I have about $2000 in the trans ($65 for a core, 1300 for the build, 500 for the TC, and 2 gal of AT fluid).

Suggestions: get the oval port heads, Headman Hedders Chevelle headers (fit without modification on oval port heads), use a Gen IV block, get aftermarket upgrade roller lifters and cam, clean all the passageways after having the crank turned, Plan on installing the engine without the intake manifold. it is easier to install the manifold after placing the engine in the car. Use a dual plane manifold and a 4bbl TBI fuel injector (850 cfm minimum). When doing the wiring, hook up the wires you need (coolant temp, oil pressure, fuel pump, alternator, and tach. The rest will probably be removed, except for red/w black stripe wires (hot in bulb check, start, and run). You will need a more potent fuel pump (325+ L/hr.), and the plumbing may be a little difficult to change. I would rather buy a set of better known heads, so I could use the correct rockers, guides, and pushrods. The carb hat needs to flow in excess of 900 cfm. An aircleaner will not fit in front of the cowl, unless you can get it to sit below the edge of the cowl.

The worst part of the build was waiting for Gen VI parts. I had to do a lot of things over in the learning process (mainly because of incorrect parts for the Gen VI.) I often had to fit 2-3 parts before I got the right one, with a week to two weeks to get the part. Another issue is the intake clearance. I currently have a large "dinosaur turd" on my hood. I am currently working on the mold for a hood with a large spear in the center, so that I can run the tube down the center, and over to the air box behind the driver's side headlight.
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jayoldschool

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PostSubject: Re: Full driveline swap?    Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:54 am

You will still have a car with 260k miles on it. Go buy a decent LT1 tow pack car and enjoy your good decision (along with your extra time and safe bank account, lol).
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Full driveline swap?    Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:07 pm

The body has the miles on it, but it will last like a new car, and the body will have 500K on it (at least it works that way in FL). The bodies last a really long time. If you like to tinker, it is fun, although it can be frustrating if you are doing it the first time, and you pick an engine that needs obscure parts. The nice part is that, if you pick the easy engines, it is also easy to upgrade. If you like exceptional performance, you can pick and choose to fit your wants. Almost everything has been done before, and there are references to make it relatively easy for a beginner. As above, the cost can be reasonable if you pick and choose the best base to start with, and are reasonable with your expectations. Buying a good low mileage car can cost at least as much as a homebuilt engine and performance trans rebuild. Then you have a unique car, and the pride of the finished project. Other than that you have what everybody else has.
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94Woody



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PostSubject: Re: Full driveline swap?    Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:25 pm

Agree with Jay 100% While an LSx would be awesome if my LT ever dies it will get a cheap rebuild or the car scrapped. If I’m dropping big bucks in a car it’s not going to be from the 90s. Smile

There is a nice 94 on Impala wheels near me for less than 2k.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Full driveline swap?    Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:41 pm

How long will the $2K car run for? Are you going to need a trans in 2000-5000 mi.? How about an opti? There are lots of variables, and new will run a long time.
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Full driveline swap?    Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:28 pm

I bought a light blue wb4 sometime ago, for 600 cdn,.it got painted,.added tint and some wheels, added a 3:73 posi,. It has nearly 50,000 miles on it since i bought it,.over 220,00 miles now. It just keeps going, beaten on daily by my son,. Probably time for some plugs soon mebbe.
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94Woody



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PostSubject: Re: Full driveline swap?    Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:32 pm

Mine has made it one year so far. It came with a new transmission. Something happens to it, I will replace it for a few hundred bucks and drive on.
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