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Simplest Engine Swap by earp
Started on: 03-01-2015 03:34 PM
Replies: 42 (1166 views)
Last post by: LostNotForgotton on 03-05-2015 11:11 AM
earp
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Report this Post03-01-2015 03:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for earpClick Here to Email earpSend a Private Message to earpEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have a 1987 coupe with 4 cylinder automatic shift. What would be the easiest engine swap for a moderate performance upgrade?
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Report this Post03-01-2015 03:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierofoolClick Here to visit fierofool's HomePageClick Here to Email fierofoolSend a Private Message to fierofoolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
A stock 2.8 dropped out of someone's car that's doing a 3800 or V8 upgrade would be pretty easy and a moderate increase from 90+ hp up to 140. A little extra push in the seat of the pants would be to acquire a blown 2.8 and put all the Fiero parts onto a 93-95 Camaro or Firebird 3.4 V6 with about 160 hp. With moderate driving, the automatic will handle it if it's in decent condition.
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Report this Post03-01-2015 03:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jediperkSend a Private Message to jediperkEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Any of the common engine swaps will feel like a lot more than a moderate performance gain I think bang for the buck would be a N/A 3800/4T65. They are in abundance for cheap, get decent fuel economy, and parts/mods are easily obtained. That would basically double your power with better gearing to boot...
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Report this Post03-01-2015 06:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
For quick and cheap/free HP...
Check that TBI reaches WOT when you floor the pedal.

Many don't and will kill Peak HP for any engine.

See my Cave, Throttle Cable

I did engine work and check the cable w/ ECM scan tool... I can only reach ~80% of throttle. About same in cave page before I mod'ed old pulley bracket. (I had another pulley.) I haven't enough time to find a safe fix. I did get another pedal "bearing" (Black plastic hold the pedal to firewall) but only adds 1-2% on scan tool.

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Report this Post03-01-2015 10:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zzzhuhSend a Private Message to zzzhuhEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jediperk:

Any of the common engine swaps will feel like a lot more than a moderate performance gain I think bang for the buck would be a N/A 3800/4T65. They are in abundance for cheap, get decent fuel economy, and parts/mods are easily obtained. That would basically double your power with better gearing to boot...


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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyJbcA2i-YA

BTW, glad to see LostNotForgotton finally created an account.

[This message has been edited by zzzhuh (edited 03-01-2015).]

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Report this Post03-01-2015 10:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Define "moderate performance upgrade" first.

The absolute easiest engine swap in an 87 2.5 car is going to be another 2.5 from from an 87/88 car. If you want "moderate" performance upgrades, then the cheapest and easiest thing will be to do small mods to what you already have. Even swapping the exact same engine is going to be a costly and time consuming endeavour if you haven't already got the skills and tools to do it.
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Simplest? 3.4 push rod. Same engine externally as a 2.8 v6 so basically a 2.5 to 2.8 swap.

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Report this Post03-01-2015 11:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for earpClick Here to Email earpSend a Private Message to earpEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'm looking for enough power to feel like I'm not going to be run over or cause a road rage incident.
I want to be able to "go with the flow."
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Report this Post03-01-2015 11:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Chris_narfSend a Private Message to Chris_narfEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by earp:

I'm looking for enough power to feel like I'm not going to be run over or cause a road rage incident.
I want to be able to "go with the flow."


A 2.5 can "run with the flow of traffic" in nearly every situation. You may not get up to speed as fast, but once at speed, you'll be fine. As others have already stated, going to the 2.8/3.4L will be your path of least resistance. However, if you are just worried about road rage, I recommend the Smith & Wesson modification. Colt and Ruger also make products to address road rage (should someone truly threaten your life).

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Report this Post03-02-2015 02:16 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by earp:

I have a 1987 coupe with 4 cylinder automatic shift.


 
quote
Originally posted by earp:

I'm looking for enough power to feel like I'm not going to be run over or cause a road rage incident.


The problem isn't your engine... it's your transmission. Get rid of the slush-box.
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Report this Post03-02-2015 07:55 AM Click Here to See the Profile for turbo86seClick Here to Email turbo86seSend a Private Message to turbo86seEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

The problem isn't your engine... it's your transmission. Get rid of the slush-box.


+1000

I've owned both a '85 2m4 manual and '88 2m4 automatic and there was no comparison driving abilities. The manual was sooooo much more fun! While not fast, it would get out of its own way. You want to drive something that won't get out of it's own way? Drive my '00 Xterra.

Edited for lack of coffee

[This message has been edited by turbo86se (edited 03-02-2015).]

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Report this Post03-02-2015 08:04 AM Click Here to See the Profile for earpClick Here to Email earpSend a Private Message to earpEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I found a 2007 G6 wreck with a v6 automatic for a good price. Has this swap been done?
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Report this Post03-02-2015 08:36 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fierosoundClick Here to visit fierosound's HomePageClick Here to Email fierosoundSend a Private Message to fierosoundEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by earp:

I found a 2007 G6 wreck with a v6 automatic for a good price. Has this swap been done?


You have just exited the world of "simplest engine swap"

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earp
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Report this Post03-02-2015 08:46 AM Click Here to See the Profile for earpClick Here to Email earpSend a Private Message to earpEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Let me approach this another way. What upgrades would give the most bang for my bucks in performance?
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Report this Post03-02-2015 09:31 AM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:
The problem isn't your engine... it's your transmission. Get rid of the slush-box.

Auto runs just fine when everything is working.

If TV cable set wrong then you get trans problems.
If TCC lockup have issues then you will have "slush-box." Worse because GM gave TH125c and other autos More TC "slip" because of lockup feature. ("slip" give more Torque Multiplier when lauching but bad for MPG etc. Lockup stops slip and helps MPG.)
If Throttle cable is long/stretch then TB/TBI can't reach WOT. Very common problem because Fiero use very long throttle cable. Most can't bother to look at TB/TBI while help pushes gas pedal.

 
quote
Originally posted by turbo86se:
The manual was sooooo much more fun!

Until you drive in traffic or have famous Fiero Clutch Problems and can't drive the car for days or more to fix them.
Driving on 95 etc around Philly can eat clutch disks and/or pressure plates very easy.

 
quote
Originally posted by earp:
Let me approach this another way. What upgrades would give the most bang for my bucks in performance?

60° V6 w/ auto can be easy... Easier if you have a donor Fiero.
Auto doesn't need rewire for rest of car. 4T60 are very common but does add more time etc to the project.
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Report this Post03-02-2015 10:22 AM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by theogre:
Until you drive in traffic or have famous Fiero Clutch Problems and can't drive the car for days or more to fix them.
Driving on 95 etc around Philly can eat clutch disks and/or pressure plates very easy.


I call on this too. If driving around Philly is going to eat your clutch, then the clutch is already going bad, was replaced with the wrong one, or you don't know how to drive a manual properly. Any driving conditions which would actually cause a new and proper clutch to wear out excessively, will be just as harsh on an automatic. The fluid can overheat which can cause loss of pressure in the valve body and eat the clutches and bands in an automatic trans. Then there are the hybrid cars which have a clutch to engage/disengage the engine. Are all the hybrid owners in Philly stuck with their cars in the shop for days all the time? I doubt it.

Use the right clutch and drive it properly, and the clutch will last for many tens of thousands of miles.
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Report this Post03-02-2015 11:02 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Chelo FieroClick Here to visit Chelo Fiero's HomePageClick Here to Email Chelo FieroSend a Private Message to Chelo FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I agree with Ogre, the auto trans is good, actually I think that the manual trans are a bit over rated. I
Owned a lot of fieros with different trans including auto with turbo set up, that said if you want a performance
Oriented fiero the stock th125 will not last a few runs...

[This message has been edited by Chelo Fiero (edited 03-02-2015).]

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Report this Post03-02-2015 02:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by dobey:
I call on this too. If driving around Philly is going to eat your clutch, then the clutch is already going bad, was replaced with the wrong one, or you don't know how to drive a manual properly.

Diaphragm type Pressure Plate, that Fiero uses, are well known for failures in areas have high traffic causing stop/go drive on a regular basis. Lever type PP w/ coil springs last better.
NEW everything and still have to replace clutches 3-5 years on many cars because diaphragm breaks from constant flexing. This problem has little to do w/ how good the driver is at driving stick.
95 and other roads around Philly have backups that often 2-5 Miles. Schuylkill, NJ and PA Turnpikes get 5-10 mile backups far too often. Often causing stop/go driving for hours. Worse when this happen and you have to drive up even a small hill... that can heat up the clutch etc. Most flywheels w/ clutches are in very small closed space and can't dump extra heat fast.

 
quote
Originally posted by dobey: ...will be just as harsh on an automatic. The fluid can overheat which can cause loss of pressure in the valve body and eat the clutches and bands in an automatic trans.
Wrong. The Unlocked TC will make heat but AT will Not care at all unless you have Coolant System problems or AT oil flow issues like plugged flow to AT heat exchanger and any aux cooler.

 
quote
Originally posted by dobey: Then there are the hybrid cars which have a clutch to engage/disengage the engine. Are all the hybrid owners in Philly stuck with their cars in the shop for days all the time?
Grasping at straws? Hybrid will only engage the Gas Engine if the Battery is Low/Dead in slow or stop/go driving. Exactly what happen then depend on Hybrid design...
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Report this Post03-02-2015 02:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by theogre:
Diaphragm type Pressure Plate, that Fiero uses, are well known for failures in areas have high traffic causing stop/go drive on a regular basis. Lever type PP w/ coil springs last better.
NEW everything and still have to replace clutches 3-5 years on many cars because diaphragm breaks from constant flexing. This problem has little to do w/ how good the driver is at driving stick.
95 and other roads around Philly have backups that often 2-5 Miles. Schuylkill, NJ and PA Turnpikes get 5-10 mile backups far too often. Often causing stop/go driving for hours. Worse when this happen and you have to drive up even a small hill... that can heat up the clutch etc. Most flywheels w/ clutches are in very small closed space and can't dump extra heat fast.

Wrong. The Unlocked TC will make heat but AT will Not care at all unless you have Coolant System problems or AT oil flow issues like plugged flow to AT heat exchanger and any aux cooler.

Grasping at straws? Hybrid will only engage the Gas Engine if the Battery is Low/Dead in slow or stop/go driving. Exactly what happen then depend on Hybrid design...


Traffic is a problem in any highly populated area. Philly is not special in this regard. There is a significantly larger number of vehicles on the road today, than there was 30 years ago. I had a Mini Cooper for 5 years and drove it pretty much daily in heavily populated areas with heavy stop and go traffict situations, and never had a problem with the clutch in it. I got rid of it at around 40K miles and the clutch still felt like new with no slipping when I got rid of it. I leased a Chevy Cruze for 2 years and drove it plenty in heavy stop-and-go traffic, with no sign of any clutch issues when I returned it and ended the lease. I put about 12K miles on that car.

The Fiero transmission is not an electronically controlled neutral idle transmission. The transmission also isn't sentient, so it doesn't have the ability to care about how much you abuse it or not. Sitting with your foot on the brake with the trans in gear is putting stress on the components. Stress is stress, whether it's a manual trans or an auto trans. Maybe it's a little less stress than on a manual clutch disk, and is less apparent to the driver, but it's still stress. Flush and filter will need to be done more often, and if it isn't, further damage can result. Likewise, engine oil, coolant, and brake fluid may all need changed sooner as well.

As for Hybrids, a large number of the ones on the road today use a motor/generator that is between the engine and transmission. The clutch is held in the disengaged position when the electric motor is in use, and the engine is not. In stop and go traffic, the clutch will be engaged and disengaged repeatedly as you stop and go, which will increase wear. A typical non-hybrid manual will see more wear on the clutch disk in that situation, due to the torque from the engine as the pressure plate and flywheel make contact.
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Report this Post03-02-2015 02:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fieromattyClick Here to Email fieromattySend a Private Message to fieromattyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
You could find a 2.8 fiero for sale and buy the whole thing. Then just swap the parts over you need while doing a mild rebuild of the engine. That way you have everything you need.
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Report this Post03-02-2015 03:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fieromatty:
You could find a 2.8 fiero for sale and buy the whole thing. Then just swap the parts over you need while doing a mild rebuild of the engine. That way you have everything you need.


Might as well just buy a 2.8 car that runs and drives, and doesn't need any real work, at that point. If you've got to pay a garage to do the work, it's going to be very expensive, and still might not get done right. If you're going to do it yourself, and don't already have all the tools and skills necessary, it's going to be expensive and time consuming.

Or if you want more power than the stock 2.8 still, you can always just buy a car that's had a 3800 or whatever similar common swap, already done to it.
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Report this Post03-02-2015 03:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by theogre:

Auto runs just fine when everything is working.


Ogre, I call on your ...

The OP is looking for a "moderate performance upgrade". After having driven my '84 duke (stock) with a swapped in 5-spd daily and at autocross for five years, compared to any stock duke with an automatic, I'd say my 5-spd duke could eat it alive. There is no comparison. A manual tranny gets all the power to the ground (so critical with low horsepower), with better mileage to boot.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 03-02-2015).]

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Report this Post03-02-2015 04:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jediperkSend a Private Message to jediperkEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by dobey:


Might as well just buy a 2.8 car that runs and drives, and doesn't need any real work, at that point. If you've got to pay a garage to do the work, it's going to be very expensive, and still might not get done right. If you're going to do it yourself, and don't already have all the tools and skills necessary, it's going to be expensive and time consuming.

Or if you want more power than the stock 2.8 still, you can always just buy a car that's had a 3800 or whatever similar common swap, already done to it.


Actually, I was thinking along those lines myself.
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Report this Post03-02-2015 06:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for earpClick Here to Email earpSend a Private Message to earpEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Let me approach this yet another way. What upgrades would give the most bang for my bucks in performance spending $500, $750, and $1000.
Don't include any labor charges.
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Report this Post03-02-2015 06:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TXOPIEClick Here to visit TXOPIE's HomePageClick Here to Email TXOPIESend a Private Message to TXOPIEEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have a 2.8 Turbo drop out available, if interested...PM me.

[This message has been edited by TXOPIE (edited 03-02-2015).]

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quote
Originally posted by earp:

Let me approach this yet another way. What upgrades would give the most bang for my bucks in performance spending $500, $750, and $1000.


With a 4-cylinder that's already running properly?
//www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/134665.html

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[This message has been edited by fierosound (edited 03-02-2015).]

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Report this Post03-03-2015 11:40 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 8bit88Send a Private Message to 8bit88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
$500- You could secure a 2.8L easy and swap it fairly straightforward, possibly even a turbo or some other performance enhancing bits over the standard Iron Duke
$750- It'd be a crunch, but you may be able to find an do a 3.4L swap, but it may not be as complete as you'd like it to be.
$1000- So long as you do most of the fabrication, you may be able to do a pretty good 3.4 or 3.8 swap.
It all depends on mileage of the donor car engine, (found a high mileage 3800SC Buick Riviera for $600, but you'll still have wiring harnesses and suspension modification) what parts you get off the shelf and what you do yourself, and just how well you want it to be finished off.
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Report this Post03-03-2015 05:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for earpClick Here to Email earpSend a Private Message to earpEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks to everyone who took the time to share their knowledge. I'm still processing all the data and trying to decide
which way to go.
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Report this Post03-03-2015 10:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for earpClick Here to Email earpSend a Private Message to earpEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Found a 2.8 L V-6 with transaxle, 94,000 miles, wiring harness .
All for $250. Pulled from GT so I can't hear it run. Claims it ran
very well. Do I feel lucky? Well do I punk? What do you think?
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Report this Post03-03-2015 11:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zzzhuhSend a Private Message to zzzhuhEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by earp:

Found a 2.8 L V-6 with transaxle, 94,000 miles, wiring harness .
All for $250. Pulled from GT so I can't hear it run. Claims it ran
very well. Do I feel lucky? Well do I punk? What do you think?


Hard to say considering there is no evidence that the engine runs and no info on the car itself.

If you feel like you trust the guy/girl I'd say go for it, but as dobey explained I would recommend doing some simple upgrades before putting the motor in the car. Porting the exhaust manifolds is good for a little HP and it can get done rather quickly.
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Report this Post03-04-2015 07:06 AM Click Here to See the Profile for earpClick Here to Email earpSend a Private Message to earpEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Well I don't feel lucky so I'm going the upgrade route on the 4 cylinder.
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Report this Post03-04-2015 07:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for no2pencilClick Here to Email no2pencilSend a Private Message to no2pencilEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If you are going to do all of the work that a 2.8 swap requires, why not do a 3.4L?
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olejoedad
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Report this Post03-04-2015 08:05 AM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by earp:

Well I don't feel lucky so I'm going the upgrade route on the 4 cylinder.


Money spent for little gain, but it is your money.
Enjoy your project.
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earp
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Report this Post03-04-2015 08:10 AM Click Here to See the Profile for earpClick Here to Email earpSend a Private Message to earpEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Well you've got me doubting that decision !
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olejoedad
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Report this Post03-04-2015 09:27 AM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
That is my purpose in life!

There really isn't much return on investment for the Duke. It is what it is.
Find a nice V-6 manual car and sell yours. You will be time and money ahead.
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Patrick
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Report this Post03-04-2015 01:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by olejoedad:

Find a nice V-6 manual car and sell yours. You will be time and money ahead.


Best advice in the thread.

Anyone desiring "moderate performance" is not going to be satisfied with a 4-banger duke automatic.
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dobey
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Report this Post03-04-2015 01:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

Best advice in the thread.

Anyone desiring "moderate performance" is not going to be satisfied with a 4-banger duke automatic.


Or probably even a duke manual. 98 HP and ~120 lb-ft is still 98 HP and ~120 lb-ft, regardless of which trans you have. Unless swapping to the 4:10 84 performance trans, you're probably not going to get much bang out of the stock 2.5 off the line.

The V-6 will be fine with the auto trans as well. It has about 175 lb-ft of torque, and will be a moderate improvement over the duke, even with the auto trans.

And I said "just buy another car with either a 2.8 or the swap you're wanting that will give you the performance you want" about 15 posts ago.
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no2pencil
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Report this Post03-04-2015 01:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for no2pencilClick Here to Email no2pencilSend a Private Message to no2pencilEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
We swapped a 2.8/3.4L five speed in place of my 4 cyl automatic. It took years & money, yes, but I'm glad to still have my car. & I learned a thing or two
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Patrick
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Report this Post03-04-2015 02:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by dobey:

Or probably even a duke manual...

And I said... about 15 posts ago.


And I said about 29 posts ago...

 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

The problem isn't your engine... it's your transmission. Get rid of the slush-box.

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dobey
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Report this Post03-04-2015 02:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

And I said about 29 posts ago...



Right. My comment about the duke in reply to your highlighting of manual in the post you quoted, was that one looking for moderate performance improvement over a duke auto, probably isn't going to see that even with a manual swap. On the other hand, going to the V6, with either the auto or manual, is going to be a moderate improvement. Though, the 2.8 is still a lazy dog, so it might not be enough for what the OP wants. This isn't an auto vs manual thread. OP can decide which he wants to go with. The simplest thing one can do is buy the car that already has what you want.
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