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Username Post: trans am swap        (Topic#230107)
t5535 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 9

Reg: 11-21-09
11-21-09 11:37 AM - Post#1809741    

Ok, here is what I am trying to do. I have a 87 Trans am with a 350 in it. The engine is not stock. it has a carter 700 carb and a edelbrock intake on it with a turbo 350 trans. I bought the car this way. When I bought the car the guy told me that the 350 was bored out but he didn't know how much. I need better fuel millage but dont wanna loose power. I want to goto a tpi setup and to a 700r trans. any suggestions would be helpful! what all is involved in doing the swap to a TPI set up?



 




IROC-T 
Senior Member
Posts: 138

Loc: So. Left Coast
Reg: 05-19-04
11-21-09 01:26 PM - Post#1809795    
    In response to t5535

That is an easy question to answer.
First off go to the nearest Wal mart and get a for sale sign, and sell what you have,(not being a smart a$$)
Second Get the paper and start looking for what you really want. These cars (20+yrs. old)are everywhere, and you will save a bunch of money & headaches trying to swap all that stuff.



 
t5535 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 9

Reg: 11-21-09
11-21-09 02:20 PM - Post#1809816    
    In response to IROC-T

Its a project and I don't mind doing the work.



 
george88gta 
"15th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1975
george88gta
Loc: new york
Reg: 04-23-03
11-21-09 03:55 PM - Post#1809861    
    In response to t5535

  • t5535 Said:
Ok, here is what I am trying to do. I have a 87 Trans am with a 350 in it. The engine is not stock. it has a carter 700 carb and a edelbrock intake on it with a turbo 350 trans. I bought the car this way. When I bought the car the guy told me that the 350 was bored out but he didn't know how much. I need better fuel millage but dont wanna loose power. I want to goto a tpi setup and to a 700r trans. any suggestions would be helpful! what all is involved in doing the swap to a TPI set up?


OK, not going to be easy and you may not like the end result. First thing you need to find out is what heads are on the engine. A TPI intake comes in two flavors, pre 1988 and 1988 and later (up to 1988 they used a cold start injector after 1988 they eliminated it). You will also need the runners, plenum and throttle body and all the associated intake hoses. Next thing will be a wiring harness, good luck finding a good one. You will have to match the wiring harness to the intake setup. I believe that in 1990 (?) they went from MAF to speed density, so the year of the harness is important for several reasons. Then you will have to obtain all the sensors and again there will be a difference between MAF and speed density. You will need an ESC ( electronic spark control) for a 350. A good set of fuel injectors and a fuel rail will also be on your list. A stock 350 should be OK with 20 lb injectors.A new ECM ( spend the money and get a rebuild from GM) is going to be required as well as a PROM. I would suggest that you get a Hypertech or Jetchip for a stock 350. I think it would be darn difficult to find a working, used 350 GM PROM. Dont overlook a GM shop manual (forget Haynes, etc.) and you will probably need two. One for the 1987 you have and if you use later model parts, one for that year. Dont get sucked in to believeing that this is a "bolt-on" swap. Lots of variables. If you dont have one, now would be a good time to purchase a good scanner. AutoXray makes a decent one. You will need it for trouble shooting. I cant emphasize this enough, if you skimp on the books and tools, you will fail. The tranny will require that you wire in a VSS setup. The ECM needs this info. You will also need to replace the TV cable. This info will get you started, but as already pointed out, this is not a job for the faint haearted. If you know the decription of a boat " a hole in the water surrounded by fiberglass that you throw money in to" then you have an idea what is facing you. Wont be cheap, wont be easy and you may end up with less than desirable results. Not trying to scare you off, but I just want to give you an idea as to what you are facing. Sad part is, you will spend far mmore money than what the car is worth. You could overpay for a really nice TransAm GTA and still be way ahead of the game. Just so you know, I have a very clean GTA and I did a 305 to 350 coversion. I wont even begin to tell you what I spent and after 4 years and a ton of money, I may be going back to a stock 305. Plus side is I learned a lot about these cars and I am convinced that messing with OBDI cars isnt worth the effort. Good luck.



 
t5535 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 9

Reg: 11-21-09
11-21-09 06:01 PM - Post#1809939    
    In response to george88gta

Thank you for the help. sounds like allot of work. I have a 300zx that I built also. I replaced everything on the top of the engine and the and ecu. I am new to working on GM's. I have a good scanner and I found a tpi set up complete with the wiring and the computer for 200 bucks it is complete fresh off a GTA. My trans am originally had a 700r trans in it. where would I find the stamps on the heads to see what heads I have? and where would I find the stamp on the block to see what block I have?



 
george88gta 
"15th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1975
george88gta
Loc: new york
Reg: 04-23-03
11-22-09 07:37 AM - Post#1810246    
    In response to t5535

  • t5535 Said:
Thank you for the help. sounds like allot of work. I have a 300zx that I built also. I replaced everything on the top of the engine and the and ecu. I am new to working on GM's. I have a good scanner and I found a tpi set up complete with the wiring and the computer for 200 bucks it is complete fresh off a GTA. My trans am originally had a 700r trans in it. where would I find the stamps on the heads to see what heads I have? and where would I find the stamp on the block to see what block I have?


What you need are the casting numbers. The head casting number is on the top of the head, under the valve cover. Make sure to check both heads! The block casting number is on the rear portion of the block near the distributor. There is a website (www.mortec.com) that lists a ton of casting numbers. Block isnt as important, but you want to match up the intake with the head casting number/year. GTA's started in 1987 and ended in 1992, so you will have to do some research to identify your intake. Mortec does list intake numbers as well.



Edited by george88gta on 11-22-09 07:41 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
george88gta 
"15th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1975
george88gta
Loc: new york
Reg: 04-23-03
11-22-09 11:52 AM - Post#1810372    
    In response to george88gta

One more thing. These wiring harnesses are notorious for having problems. Make sure you do a point to point continuity check on every circuit, before you install. It also would be a good idea to open up the plastic loom and check all of the splices. They tend to corrode.



Edited by george88gta on 11-22-09 11:52 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
t5535 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 9

Reg: 11-21-09
11-23-09 09:18 AM - Post#1810886    
    In response to george88gta

I found a TPI that looks like it should work. Here are the stats on it.
Complete Unaltered and Uncut GM/Chevrolet/Pontiac Tuned Port Fuel Injection System for a 5.7L (350CID) Engine. The Upper and Lower Intake Manifolds, Runners, Fuel Rail, Injectors, and Throttle Body came from a mid-1980's Corvette with a 5.7L (350CID) Engine. The complete wiring harness, MAF Sensor, Intake Tube, Air Filter Assembly, Fuel Pump, Fuel Sending Unit, Relays, and Engine Computer came from a 1989 Pontiac GTA WS6 Trans Am with a 5.7L (350CID) Engine.

Do you see any problems that I may run into? I got the numbers off the block serial number v1025cuf casting number 3970010 but I still gotta pull the valve covers and see what heads I got.



 
george88gta 
"15th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1975
george88gta
Loc: new york
Reg: 04-23-03
11-23-09 01:41 PM - Post#1811004    
    In response to t5535

Here is a list of ECM part numbers. http://www.tacreationsusa.com/ecms.htm Compare yours with this list and see what you have. I think you should be OK, part number didnt change until 1990. However, in 1989 they did away with the cold start injector ( on the drivers side of the intake) so that may be an issue. Block info isnt really that important, head info is what you need, to see if intake will fit. Also, the Vette used a different EGR setup. Some of them have the exhaust gases coming from the exhaust manifold and not the head. So if you have the EGR ports in the head they may be blocked off by the intake. Many folks block off the EGR and dont get a check engine light, but it is something to check.



 
george88gta 
"15th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1975
george88gta
Loc: new york
Reg: 04-23-03
11-23-09 03:25 PM - Post#1811082    
    In response to george88gta

One more thing to consider. This forum isnt very busy, you may want to sign up for thirdgen.org as well. Lots of activity over there that is geared specifically for these cars.



 
t5535 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 9

Reg: 11-21-09
11-23-09 04:13 PM - Post#1811113    
    In response to george88gta

It looks like this will be almost plug and play lol. the part # for the ECU is 01227165. Hopefully I will get the time tonight to pill my valve covers and see what heads I have.



 
george88gta 
"15th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1975
george88gta
Loc: new york
Reg: 04-23-03
11-23-09 04:33 PM - Post#1811125    
    In response to t5535

Its nice to be optimistic. Go for it.



 
t5535 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 9

Reg: 11-21-09
11-23-09 04:36 PM - Post#1811126    
    In response to t5535

Ok here is the number off one of the heads. 462624 j247. I don't know what number is witch but that is the 2 numbers on the head. I have signed up for thirdgen.org but I got more response on here lol.



 
t5535 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 9

Reg: 11-21-09
11-23-09 04:47 PM - Post#1811132    
    In response to t5535

Hmmmm, from my investing these heads they are CRAP so I guess I better replace them also. still don't know if the tpi will fit on them or not. any suggestions on what heads I should use? preferably something I can go to the junk yard and get.



 
george88gta 
"15th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1975
george88gta
Loc: new york
Reg: 04-23-03
11-23-09 05:01 PM - Post#1811141    
    In response to t5535

Well, now you are getting in to the basic issues with a swap. I would stay away from the Vette aluminum heads, egr issues. Depending on what you are trying to build, I would suggest the stock 350 iron heads for a TransAm or Camaro. If you are trying to build a better performing engine, spend the money on some Edelbrock heads. Good fit and decent mfg support.



 
t5535 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 9

Reg: 11-21-09
11-23-09 05:14 PM - Post#1811149    
    In response to george88gta

will these heads work with a TPI?



 
george88gta 
"15th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1975
george88gta
Loc: new york
Reg: 04-23-03
11-23-09 05:42 PM - Post#1811174    
    In response to t5535

I would have to say that they wouldnt work. They are for up to 1986, 76 cc, probably not a good choice. I doubt that the intake bolt pattern will line up.



 
Vista Cruiser 
Dedicated Enthusiast
Posts: 5514
Vista Cruiser
Loc: Erie Canal
Reg: 10-01-99
11-23-09 06:12 PM - Post#1811194    
    In response to george88gta

Did the car come with FI originally? What i mean is, does it have a TPI or TBI harness? I think 87 was the cut off year for carbs.

Anyway, what about considering a 5.3 truck engine swap. The computer is right there under the hood on the trucks, so wiring is'nt a huge deal. Lots of power, great mileage, tons of them, and cheap.





 
t5535 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 9

Reg: 11-21-09
11-23-09 06:23 PM - Post#1811207    
    In response to Vista Cruiser

The car did not have fuel injection originally. I bought the car with this 350 in it. never thought about a 5.3. I already purchased the TPI system and a 700r trans. I think that was the stock trans that the car came with and the one I got came out of a iroc so it should fit.



 
george88gta 
"15th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1975
george88gta
Loc: new york
Reg: 04-23-03
11-24-09 12:48 AM - Post#1811386    
    In response to t5535

Yet another thing to check. These cars did come with the 700R4 tranny. The TH350 was a different length and you may have to change out the rear cross member and the driveshaft. Here is a link to some dimensions. http://tciauto.com/Products/TechInfo/tra ns_dims.as... Also, you will need to verify if the rear output shaft has the same number of splines as the 700R4.



 
george88gta 
"15th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1975
george88gta
Loc: new york
Reg: 04-23-03
11-24-09 01:32 AM - Post#1811391    
    In response to t5535

  • t5535 Said:
The car did not have fuel injection originally. I bought the car with this 350 in it. never thought about a 5.3. I already purchased the TPI system and a 700r trans. I think that was the stock trans that the car came with and the one I got came out of a iroc so it should fit.


Check the 8th digit of the vin. This will tell you what the car was originally. If it is an "F", it was a 305 TPI. If it is an "8" then it was a 350 TPI. That link I sent you, for the ECM's, lists all of the 8th digits and tells you the type of fuel system that was installed at the factory.



Edited by george88gta on 11-24-09 01:33 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
IROC-T 
Senior Member
Posts: 138

Loc: So. Left Coast
Reg: 05-19-04
12-03-09 01:50 PM - Post#1817106    
    In response to t5535

  • t5535 Said:
I already purchased the TPI system and a 700r trans. I think that was the stock trans that the car came with and the one I got came out of a iroc so it should fit.



Before you install that trans make sure it is an '88 or later. pre '88's had lots of issues



 
Toqwik 
Contributor
Posts: 289
Toqwik
Loc: Middleburg, FL
Reg: 05-14-17
12-25-17 08:37 PM - Post#2719008    
    In response to IROC-T

I am kinda confused by wanting a car like this and worried about gas mileage but its your car. I like the 700 idea, that will help with your cause and performance. You didn't say what intake you have, but hopefully it is a dual plane performer type. I would not waste my time trying to put a TPI on it. I would build (or have one built) a good quadrajet and enjoy the best of both worlds. They get good gas mileage if you keep your foot out of it but have the performance if you want it. I leave as much electronics as possible out of my builds to keep things simple when you have issues. I like problem free driving but that's just me. Good luck with your project.

Scott

Contentment is the smother of invention


 




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