To engine swap or not to engine swap (Page 1/4)
Nasta FEB 07, 10:06 AM
My 85 GT baby just hit 100k km and the head gaskets are going, there's o-rings and seals leaking all over in the engine and it needs a complete rebuild, I got a rough estimate around $3000 CAD and while everything non-seal related is in immaculate condition it's the time to consider swap or rebuild, the vehicle has aftermarket swaybars and custom Centerline 90's rims but besides that, everything is original, even the original radio still works.
Any input on the pros and cons of each option? I am already over budget but it looks like an L32 swap would cost about the same.
If so what is the exact engine I can drop in with minimal modifications as searching comes up with L32 variations like 3800 and supercharged?
82-T/A [At Work] FEB 07, 11:04 AM

quote
Originally posted by Nasta:My 85 GT baby just hit 100k km and the head gaskets are going, there's o-rings and seals leaking all over in the engine and it needs a complete rebuild, I got a rough estimate around $3000 CAD and while everything non-seal related is in immaculate condition it's the time to consider swap or rebuild, the vehicle has aftermarket swaybars and custom Centerline 90's rims but besides that, everything is original, even the original radio still works.
Any input on the pros and cons of each option? I am already over budget but it looks like an L32 swap would cost about the same.
If so what is the exact engine I can drop in with minimal modifications as searching comes up with L32 variations like 3800 and supercharged?




Before someone else suggests it... bottom line, the EASIEST "swap" is a 1993-1995 Camaro / Firebird 3.4 liter V6. It's literally a drop-in. Everything you have currently will bolt directly up to that engine... *everything*

You go from 2.8 liters, to 3.4 liters... which is not unsubstantial.


Couple of things you will need.
- 1 hole has to be drilled in the block for starter re-location.
- a second hole has to be tapped in the block for starter re-location.
- There is a brass fitting which needs to be used in order to re-use the existing oil pressure sending unit.
- You'll need to upgrade your engine from 15lb fuel injectors, to 17lb fuel injectors.


... everything else is good to go... and you gain ~25hp and another ~45lbs of torque. Of course, in the process, you can also gain more horsepower by port-matching your intake components, and hogging out your factory exhaust manifolds. These are all easy things you can do with a $35 Harbor Freight Dremmel. Do all of that, and you'll be at just under 200hp.

The cost for the rebuilt 3.4 engine is about $1,600 bucks. They're hard to find, but I have a source (through Advance Auto Parts) that will sell you a rebuilt motor. It's the DCC9 motor. Let me know if you're interested, and I'll dig up the link where you can buy them (shipped to your door). I think after taxes and all the BS, it was just under ~$1,800.

Vintage-Nut FEB 07, 11:15 AM
Rebuilding the original 2.8L engine is the 'cheaper' route
AND
As 82-T/A said, the 'best' swap is the 3.4L however, I bet you'll spend more on a swap.........

------------------
Original Owner of a Silver '88 GT
Under 'Production Refurbishment' @ 136k Miles

Nasta FEB 07, 11:44 AM
The 3.4L in question is the L32 and I've seen an L32 3800 supercharged for $2200, will that fit or is this variation not compatible? I got a rough quote of $2k USD for rebuilding my current engine
Vintage-Nut FEB 07, 11:56 AM
3800sc Swap Complete Parts List by AustinH
https://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/139530.html
olejoedad FEB 07, 01:33 PM
One has to wonder why the engine is having those problems with only 100 km (62K) miles on it.
2.8's are usually trouble free well over 150K miles.

Edit to add.....

it's gonna cost a LOT more to swap in a 3800 than you think, unless you do it yourself.

[This message has been edited by olejoedad (edited 02-07-2024).]

82-T/A [At Work] FEB 07, 01:50 PM
Three links that have the DCC9 3.4 V6 available now... that drops right in:

https://www.jegs.com/i/ATK-...es/059/DCC9/10002/-1
https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/ATKDCC9
https://www.autozone.com/po...gine-dcc9/561355_0_0

The AutoZone one is the cheapest at $1,900... inflation I guess.

I went the extra route and ordered a set of worked over cast iron heads with sodium filled SI stainless tulip valves from ARI Racing... (that was an extra $800 bucks, but totally unnecessary).
Vintage-Nut FEB 07, 02:14 PM

quote
My 85 GT baby just hit 100k km and the head gaskets are going, there's o-rings and seals leaking all over in the engine and it needs a complete rebuild.



My first question: Can you turn wrenches, or you'll pay a shop to work on the engine?

I agree with olejoedad:

quote
One has to wonder why the engine is having those problems with only 100 km (62K) miles on it.



To me, you don't need a "complete rebuild":

Remove the heads IF the head gaskets are shot, rebuilt them with new gaskets and repair any leaks......
Nasta FEB 07, 02:33 PM
Thanks! I'll look at DCC9s in Canada, I got confused by GM's L32 in the 93-95 Camero/Firebird and Buick's L32 SIII supercharged
Raydar FEB 07, 02:50 PM

quote
Originally posted by 82-T/A [At Work]:

I ...ordered a set of worked over cast iron heads with sodium filled SI stainless tulip valves from ARI Racing... (that was an extra $800 bucks, but totally unnecessary).



The "worked over" heads... did they port them? Were there obvious differences in the ports?


quote
Originally posted by Nasta:
...
I got confused by GM's L32 in the 93-95 Camero/Firebird and Buick's L32 SIII supercharged



GM recycles their RPOs, occasionally. L26 was a 4.9 Caddy, and then a 3800.

And there are at least three LT1s, now. A solid lifter Gen 1 350, a Gen 2 Optispark 350, and a direct injected LS derivative.