Engine Swap, what engine to get?

Discussion in 'General Automotive Tech' started by castroe, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. castroe

    castroe New Member

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    Hi, first time post. I currently have a 56 chevy 4 door belair wagon and the current 290 small back engine is finally getting to tired to pull the car. I am at a cross roads for doing an engine swap. I don't care about brand or # of cylinders, but I am trying to make 400-500 hp/torque and get 30 city-freeway driving normally. So far I have been looking into modern cars that have similar or heavier weight mostly Audi and Mercedes, but they are expensive. Does anyone have any recommendations from other brands or is this my only option.
     
  2. 59 wagon man

    59 wagon man Well-Known Member

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    chevy ls is the most popular swap
     
  3. Poison_Ivy

    Poison_Ivy Shovelhead

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    It's the most popular, of course. but, he'll never get 30 m.p.g. with it. In which case, he'd have to go turbo-diesel. Audi will deliver that, if he's ready to convert the Chevy over to front wheel drive. Which would involve finding a wreck. It would be easier just to find a Mercedes, since they're rear driven. If he searches long enough, a wreck would eventually be available which shouldn't cost too much
     
  4. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    I think, with the proper mods, and the right rear axle ratio, he can get near both his HP and MPG goals. This assumes he uses the 4L80E or newer model automatic, or a 6-speed manual.
     
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  5. 59 wagon man

    59 wagon man Well-Known Member

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    diesel will be a nightmare to swap . for a tri five he could literally open a catalogue and buy everything needed off the shelf. though he may get a few more miles per gallon unless he does a million miles he will probably never recoup the swap costs
     
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  6. Paladin62

    Paladin62 Well-Known Member

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    "And the Winner IS"... LS with 4L60e trans. Bullet proof engine with great gas mileage. Lots of them around. Lots of stuff on the install. Lots of packages.
    I bought a 2004 LS6 with 450 horses for $1,500 and the trans for $300. I haven't installed it yet...(spent my mad money on a trip to Africa) Gotta sell my aluminum cans :)
     
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  7. Poison_Ivy

    Poison_Ivy Shovelhead

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    http://www.superchevy.com/features/1709-insane-duramax-diesel-powered-1956-chevy-nomad/

     
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  8. castroe

    castroe New Member

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    This LB7 build build sound like more than enough power and if its mostly stock then it must be reliable.
     
  9. Poison_Ivy

    Poison_Ivy Shovelhead

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  10. 1tireman

    1tireman Well-Known Member

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    While the diesel swap would be a great swap, a LS based swap would be much easier on you and your wallet (if that is even a factor) and get you close to your goal. The 5.3 truck engines are reasonably priced and some small upgrades will get you to your 400 hp mark and one of the 4l60e or 80e and a 3.42 gear would probably get you to the 25 to 27 mpg range.
    I'm basing this on the fact that my dad just got 23 mpg in his '64 Chevelle with A 5.3/4L60E combo. He has a BTR stage 3 truck cam, long tube headers, cold air intake. It has a 2500 rpm Hugh's converter in the transmission and a 3.73 gear in the back and he doesn't drive it concerned about mileage and can get 23 mpg. I believe it is more than capable of getting 25 out of this set up.
    Just my 2 cents and opinion, good luck and look forward to seeing whatever swap you do.
     
  11. Poison_Ivy

    Poison_Ivy Shovelhead

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    If a wallet's the obstacle to doing it up Diesel, he should get at least a second wallet in play
     
  12. castroe

    castroe New Member

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    Money is a factor. If I get a LB7 engine, and I can daily drive for 150-200 thousand miles and pull a trailer occasionally all with great gas mileage, then its sounding like a great investment for the initial high price for doing the swap. But I will be saving money in the mean time and doing more research.
     
  13. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    290?
    Nice dreams for this car but a 400+hp engine either pushing that shoebox down the highway, or lugging it's near two tons from stop light to stoplight ain't ever going to deliver an average 30mpg. Towing a trailer?! HA!
    Have you ever owned a high horsepower car? Perhaps with tall gearing you actually could nurse 30MPG on the open highway but are you wanting 400-500 horsepower so you can drive slow?
    LS is a great engine but is a reasonably complicated swap.
    Any traditional small block Chevy will bolt in as if it grew there.
     
  14. peter4821

    peter4821 Active Member

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    383 stroker with a OD trans.
     
  15. martyk98

    martyk98 Active Member

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    I didn't know they made an LS6 in '04. I thought it was an LS2? That's what I had in my SS Trailblazer.
     

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