I have a 1988 2.5 manual transmission notch-back and I am at the very beginning of considering a 3.4L (L32) or a 2.8L (L44) V6 swap. Several pick-a-parts around my area have suitable donor cars with the L32. Reliable L44s seem to be very be hard to find and expensive. I have been poring over the more detailed swaps here and I have a couple of questions to start off that I haven't seen answered (maybe the answers are there and someone can point me in the right direction):
1) the L44 should be a very straight forward swap but I'm discounting that because it's really hard to find any engine for anywhere near the price I can get a 3.4 ($300). Am I looking in the wrong places?
2) I'm assuming that, after the 2.8, the 3.4 is the easiest swap for any year, and in particular, 1988. Is this the case?
3) I would really like to retain the MT2 (Isuzu) transmission, and I can't seem to get the final word on whether that is a good idea or not.
- V8 Archie says (said?) it generally works for V8 swaps
- One particularly detailed 3.4 swaper said that he once cracked open the MT2 and it's gears were half the mass of the Getrag 282. That's the only hard example I can find that gives me pause.
- There's tons of third hand reports of MT2s melting down after swaps, but they tend to lack detail and in most cases it's a LS, or a 3800SC.
4) Failing this, I'm wondering if the job could be accomplished in two stages, first swapping in, say the Getrag 282; mating it with the Iron Duke, getting that running, and later swapping engines. I like this idea because I imagine it is easier to swap in a transmission or an engine than an entire drivetrain. Nobody seems to do it that way, though. Am I wrong?
I'm only looking to bump the hp up to ~150, and want to go naturally aspirated to limit hotspots in the engine bay. If 2.2L ecotec swaps were mature, I'd just do that, but they seem pretty fraught.
Anyway, thanks in advance!