|Originally posted by zzzhuh:|
I do agree that a 3.8SC is the best bang for the buck but the OP asks for an easy swap. Sure, a Northstar swap is more involved but if you are new to swapping engines (especially in fiero's) a 3.8SC isn't a walk in the park.
The easiest swap is what 'fierofool' insisted, install a 2.8. However, even tho the engine is rated at 140HP by the time it hits the wheels your pushing 115HP at the wheels. I'd recommend a 3.4 PR from a 93-95 camero/firebird.
It utilizes the stock plenum (if you choose to do so, make sure you port it.) The 3.4 is also very easy to find and usually pretty cheap.
Here is a video demonstrating the difference between a 2.8 and 3.4:
BTW, glad to see LostNotForgotton finally created an account.
Thanks for props! I wish I saw this earlier. The kindness and excitement knowing that so many people are glad to see that I've finally joined is humbling.
I would agree that the 3.4 is the best "bang for your buck" engine swap out there for those who are either on a budget or don't yet have the mechanical skills to tackle the more advanced engine swaps. I'm finishing up a 4cyl to 2.8 (bored to 3.1) engine swap as soon as the freezing weather and relentless snow that is pounding the east coast lets up and I have to say that the same effort that went into building up that 2.8 could have been done to the 3.4 and got even better results. The only draw back to converting a 4cyl Fiero to a 3.4 is you'll have to buy two engines. You'll obviously be buying a 3.4 from somewhere but you'll also have to pick up a FIERO 2.8 engine. You'll need all the brackets, accessories and timing chain cover from the 2.8 engine. All said and done you'll be left with a 2.8 long block that you can try and sell off or scrap to recover about $50. I give a more detailed review of the 3.4 engine on the video link zzzhuh posted if your interested in reading the description. I have several how-to videos on doing the 3.4 swap so you can see what is involved as well as how to do it. I also have another 8-10hrs of additional 3.4 raw swap video that I could edit and post on this conversion but the those are more of just watching me install brackets and accessories. The ones on YouTube now are better at showing what needs to be "converted." This conversion is great for any back yard mechanic with normal tools found in your garage + an engine hoist and 4 wheel dolly to roll around the engine cradle.
My thoughts on the automatic transmission are...ehh it's ok. I have a 3.4 mated to a stock Fiero automatic transmission. I did have a shift kit installed to make it a little more exciting. I think the 3 speed trans is pretty good for autocross racing because it has such a wide power band I can get up to 40mph in 1st gear. I wouldn't recommend it though. You can see me do that in one of my autoX videos. The same video you can also see that I also WAY over rev the engine to but it held up to the beating. I think every day driving on highways is where the auto trans really shows its weakness. At 65-70mph I feel like the engine is SCREAMING AT ME TO "do a 4t60 swap." I've had this car up to 105mph and I feel like maybe 115 would be the max for this transmission. Maybe someday though. The stock trans can handle the 3.4 but if your able to do the 4t60 trans swap as well then I say do it
87 Fiero GT 3.4 Pushrod with 7730 ECM & DIS
88 MERA #8013
85 Fiero SE with 3.1 pushrod
86 Fiero SE 2.8 stock