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Old 09-07-2012, 07:54 PM
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Default putting an ls1 in an 81 firebird

i'm back in school now, and starting my auto class. that being said, i need to find an engine to put in my bird, and my instructor suggested putting an ls1 in it. has anyone tried this before? or seen it done? i'm sure the engine will fit, but what about the other aspects of switching it from a carburetor to a fuel injected engine? any help is greatly appreciated!
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:35 PM
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One of our members did this to a '77 Camaro, and everything should apply to your Firebird. It will take some pretty advanced skills and a fair amount of money to do the swap. The LS engine alone wont be cheap, and then there's the trans and all the computer controls, a radiator, etc., etc....
Here's a link to probably the best LS conversion ever done on a 2nd gen car:
Installing a LS1 in my 1977 Camaro
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:12 AM
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Jerry's was nice I agree. Best one by an average Joe. I like the Year One "Bandit" much better. But this is cubic dollars at work here. This is where I get my insperation Vall. This IS where I want my car to be.

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Progress thread http://camaroforums.com/forum/70-81-projects-107/so-here-goes-my-project-thread-2nd-gen-50495/
80ish Camaro, 383, Borg Warner ST10, ptfb comp suspension, 2 1/2" Magnaflow exhaust, 3.73, every penny...


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Old 09-08-2012, 02:47 PM
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i understand it's going to cost quite a bit, but i'm looking for a daily driver out of this, and a fuel injected eight is going to be better than a carbureted one. i'm not too worried about gauges because i don't pay attention to my speed anyway, lol. it would be nice to have them, but if it's too much time it'll have to wait. as far as how complicated this is going to be, if i buy a new wiring harness that's already set up, and a new radiator, mounts, etc., will this be a horrible project? i'm trying to get it done before march, and i'll be working on it daily once i get all my parts together.
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Old 09-08-2012, 06:02 PM
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If you can score a 5.3 from a truck, they run about $500 used here. Then adapt it to what ever tranny is in there and your good. I bet you could get it done for less than 2g if you really wanted. I'd bet less if you went manifolds. A carbed intake and controller run $600. I have a buddy that just used one and its kind of cool, he can change timing curves with his laptop. It took me almost a month with a box of springs and weights to get the HEI on my truck dialed in just right.
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80ish Camaro, 383, Borg Warner ST10, ptfb comp suspension, 2 1/2" Magnaflow exhaust, 3.73, every penny...

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Old 09-08-2012, 07:15 PM
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From what I've seen of the Year One Bandit, I'd rather have the car Jerry built. It's much nicer under the hood, and has all the suspension and drivetrain upgrades needed to make a great handling 2nd Gen with an LS swap.
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:35 PM
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I found a guy selling an ls1 with the 4l60e and wiring harness for 1400, good deal? And I think this is doable. I'll have everything I need, and if I can get the stuff cheap enough, I'll be good.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:00 PM
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$1400 is a great deal for the LS1 alone let alone with a 4L60e transmission. The front cross-member will need to be notched for the low mount alternator on the LS1. The accessory setup on the truck motors wont work as the alternator is a high mount and the intake is a lot taller than the LS1 intake and wouldn't fit under the hood. You'd have to find an accessory setup of an LS1 or buy an aftermarket one from companies such as GM Performance, March or Vintage Air. You can pick up LS1 style intakes off Craigslist pretty readily. LQ4 or LQ9 6.0 liters are a good choice too. They are truck motors. The wiring harness will need to be modified for your needs. I have a buddy in Topeka that does them. The stock exhaust manifolds aren't a bad choice as they flow pretty well. Headers designed for the swap appear to be pretty expensive.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:11 PM
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Is 1400 a good deal, or a too good to be true deal? He says it came out of a 99 trans am that was in an accident.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:24 PM
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It's a pretty low price. I've seen them for less but those had issues. The ones I've seen around here are usually around $2000 for motor only. Even if you had to freshen it up, that's a good price. If you can't see it running it is a crap shoot.
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1977 Camaro Type LT, 383 sbc in progress, Holley(cfm tbd), Comp Cams roller cam, headers, 3.73 Eaton posi, 700R4 w/ shift kit
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:24 PM
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