Tips on a Chevette 4.3 V6 Engine Swap...

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Tips on a Chevette 4.3 V6 Engine Swap...

Postby bruce303 » 04 Feb 2005, 00:09

Hi All

I have a 1985 4 speed standard chevette with 62.000 original kms and am in the midst of swapping a chevy 4.3 V6 with a T5 5 speed standard trans (out of a 1987 Safari van) with a ford 9" posi rear with 4.11 gears.

To mount the engine I will be using chevy's motor and mid mount plates as well as stiffening the frame up with a set of frame connectors (custom made) and an 8 point roll cage with a set of tubs for the 50 series tires.

The motor has a roller cam so to make it a true roller motor I will be using 1.5 roller rockers.
For sparking the motor I will also be using an MSD 6al ignition box and coil with an MSD mechanical distributor.

Topping the motor will be a 450 holley mechanical secondary carb sitting on an edelbrock aluminum hi-rise manifold.

This motor with throttle body injection, a stock 700r4 trans and stock rear end in the heavy safari van makes the tire peel, so after I'm done with this conversion, I'll make the Tires Peel off in the very light Chevette. :lol:

I have found some sites for swapping a 4.3 V6 that are no longer on-line including 4 pages of hot rod magazine's a chevette V6 engine swap and saved the pages.

If you are interested in these, please email me at: [email protected] and I'll send them to you.
Also, post a reply to let me know what you think of my plans for this Chevette.
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Tips on a Chevette 4.3 V6 Engine Swap...

Postby V6 Chevette Fan » 04 Feb 2005, 00:36

Hi bruce303.

Your conversion sounds like it's going to be awsome.
I wont doubt it'll burn the tires off.
Send me some pic's when it is done.

If you have any other tips and trouble shooting suggestions when you have finished, I'd like to know.

I was going to put a buick 3.8 in my 87 chevette using the hooker header
swap kit, but they no longer make it nor have any in stock.
I've tried to find anyone with a used kit, but no luck.

Your chevy 4.3 sounds like it would be a lot stronger and have more horses than a buick 3.8.

Thanks Man.
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Postby Crum B » 07 Feb 2005, 14:18

I'm doing a 2.8 v6 swap in my 82' 2 door chevette scooter it is all carburated but i like it that way cause its alot simpler and all i want is something to cruise to school in and occasionally rip some ricers up.
Are you planning to race your car when its done
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Tips on a Chevette 4.3 V6 Engine Swap...

Postby bruce303 » 07 Feb 2005, 15:25

Hey there Crum B.

I'm not planing on racing my C-Vette, but just mildly pro-streeting it.
Like you, I want to smoke out the ricers & mustangs (the line-lock will do that)
and have something fun to drive on the street that has some balls.

I bought this car for the main purpose of installing the 4.3 in to it as I
already had the motor and trans in the rotted out safari van.

This is a little hobby of mine as I had already pro-streeted a 1980 pinto
the same way but with a 400 horse 302.
I'll be pushing around the 260 hp with the 4.3.

Thanks for the reply and have fun with your project.
Eat and digest those ricers eh.
They make good fertilizer. LOL
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Postby shuvit-tim » 07 Feb 2005, 19:20

am i alone in loving mustangs? they just sound so soooo sweet!
when all else fails, rivets, cable ties and bodge tape will see you through

Tim
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Postby Shellysowner » 07 Feb 2005, 20:45

meh...Mach 1's are okay. Rather have a 68 SS Camaro.
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Tips on a Chevette 4.3 V6 Engine Swap...

Postby bruce303 » 08 Feb 2005, 02:00

[/b]Hi All.

I hate the 5.0 mustangs.
Everyone who drives them think they're a racer.
There's so many of them.

I had a 67 mustang fastback with a 390ci BB in the early 80's.
Now thats a stang.

But all said and done, nothin beats a Chevy.

Right Guy's - ( & Gals)...
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Postby Kevins /// Kustoms /// » 09 Feb 2005, 00:46

Hey my name is kevin im going to be starting a chevette project soon i was just wondering what the easiest swap is and what i need to do to sawp it and what the easiest ways are to do it, i dont want to be custom making things and sh1t like that, i know you have to cut the oil pan for clearance and theres a few other little things like the motor mounts, changing the rear axle and a few things like that but if some one could please tell me what i will need to change and what problems i would run into if i was to swap a 2.8L into a chevette. Or if there are any easier. Thank you.

E-mail me at [email protected] if any give me some tips.
My chevette is gunna go, 2.8L all beefed up here we come. :p.
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Postby shuvit-tim » 09 Feb 2005, 02:22

see your other post kustom, i've put in a boatload
when all else fails, rivets, cable ties and bodge tape will see you through

Tim
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Postby bruce303 » 09 Feb 2005, 04:01

Hey there Kevins /// Kustoms ///...

What I have to do to put the 4.3 in instead of a 2.8L ( that has no balls and to me is a waste of time) is a lot easier and is a lot less work.

Even if you install a 3.8 buick with the hooker kit, (if you can find one)
or the 2.8 you still have to worry about the exhaust coming down around
the motor mounts, modifying the oil pan, using a small rad and so on
and so on eh.

I would have liked to use a 350 small block in my chevette to make
it a true pro-street Chevette, ( I even have a dual 450 holley quad tunnel ram set-up for the 350 ) I would have had to do a lot of chopping & cutting. A lot more than I'm doing already.

The dash would have had to come back as well as the steering wheel
and I sure wouldn't use a t5 trans with a 350 & so on.

Those 2 extra cylinders make a big difference space wise, torq wise, trans wise, gas wise as well for the insurance companies to. Cha-Ching...
The 4.3 in a chevette is just a Cha (no ching) to any insurance co. here in Ontario Canada.

It is a lot easier to install the 4.3 ( the has some balls ) with a
motor plate than with the motor mounts as I can place the motor and trans where I want with clearance for the bell housing, distributor, exhaust manifolds, 3 core rad, and 2 electric 12" fans in front of the rad, just behind the grill.

The list goes on & on, just like the energizer bunny dude.

Really, when ever you swap any engine, when you own a Chevette that has a 4cyl is a step above.

No fears & five gears, mash the ricers with a 4.3ltr...

[/b]
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Chevette 4.3 V6 Engine Swap...

Postby V6 Chevette Fan » 09 Feb 2005, 07:07

Thanks for the hot rod magazines V6 Chevette email.
It gave me some ideas.

I've seen the hot rod magazines show which had a chevette with
a caddy 460 motor in it.

Just like you said about shoving a 350 in one, they hacked
and cracked open this chevette to jam that big block motor into it.

The driver was practically sitting in the back seat to drive it
cuz they had to chop up the fire wall to load the engine in on
motor mounts.

The steering wheel looked so weird through the drivers window
that was almost to the back seat.

By the way you are installing the 4.3, it would make a lot of sense
to do it that way without a lot of headache.
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Postby Crum B » 09 Feb 2005, 23:50

I'm putting the 2.8 into the chevette cause i've got the motor sort of thing if i had a bigger one i'd use it.The 4.3 is definately a better motor though the tork they have is awsome my dad has a fullsize work van with a 4.3 in it and when you floor it it'll take of like a rocket.I cheched on Edelbrock.com and with a 4bbl carb headers and an edelbrock intake the 2.8 is suppose to make 230H.P I think i'll have to double check.
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Chevette 4.3 V6 Engine Swap...

Postby bruce303 » 10 Feb 2005, 19:27

It's great when you have an engine that laying around
that you can use for an engine swap.

Anything you have for extra parts save you time & money.
It's great if you can get that kind of horse power, 200hp and over
using a V6 is alot better than 70 using a 4 cyl.
Keep us posted on your 2.8 swap.
We'd like to know how it's going.

Mash those ricers into paste.
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Postby V6 Chevette Fan » 11 Feb 2005, 04:23

K.K.

It sure sounds like the way of doing a 2.8 engine swap like K.K. is more work than swapping a 4.3 V6 like the way bruce303 is doing.

Bruce303 is using a motor plate eliminates the motor mounts,
you get to keep the same oil pan without cutting, using a 3 core rad,
and having alot more horse power.
Plus the whole package is solid & tight.

He's using a t5 trans with that 4.11 ford 9 posi which is totally
alot better than an s-15 rear, and I'm sure going to do mine
the in the next week or so the 4.3 way.

Each to their own.
What ever does the job.
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Chevette 4.3 V6

Postby bruce303 » 11 Feb 2005, 08:19

To me guy's, what ever you do to improve your chevette is
a great improvement on what you already have in a 4 cyl.

If it's a 2.8 V6 or a 4.3 V6, it's more power to ya.
Pro-street or sleeper, more or less work, it's a lot of fun.

Have pride in your ride and show those ricers a thing or 2.

K.K should know, Ontario's drive clean is a pain in the butt.
But having a (20yr old) 1985 chevette, I don't need no stinking test.

I can go back to the basics of a nice clean engine swap
without any pollution control.

That means less waisted horse power eh.

I'll still use 2 catalytic converters to keep the cops happy and
the air some what clean, but thats it.
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Postby V6 Chevette Fan » 12 Feb 2005, 19:03

Anyone who lives in Ontario, Canada knows that the drive clean exhaust
emission's test is nothing more than another rotten tax grab by the provincial government.

I bet if you live in Toronto, you can taste the smog on a hot summer day.
We here in Ottawa can taste the exhaust, so the test is nothing but crap.

I like the idea of using a chevette that doesn't need that e-test,
but I have to use my pollustion control garbage as my car is a 1986.

One more year to go and so long to drive clean.
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Postby bruce303 » 13 Feb 2005, 04:11

Hey there V6 Chevette Fan.

If I were you, I'd wait 1 more year till my 20yrs were up on your 86-Vette
or take my time to build it right through a whole year.
I'm lucky as mine is already 20yrs old and as you seen in my last posting,
I don't have to use the pollution control junk on my 85-Vette.

Since you live in Ontario you will have to keep your emission control system to pass
the e-test, which means you'll have to use the stock engine
from the 4.3 V6 from the donor truck or van you are getting it from.

You'll have to use the computer from said truck/van as you
cannot use an aftermarket 450 holly carb, edlebrock intake like I can.

You need to keep the EGR valve on your intake for the pollution
control as my intake doen't use the EGR valve and wouldn't pass
the emission tests for the drive clean.

Having to use swap a stock computer for a 1986 and up 4.3 V6 into
a chevette is like trying to untangle a set of christmas tree lights that
are twisted & tangled into a ball if you don't know how to wire it all up.

That's why I am using an MSD ignition control box.
It's so easy to wire up and has a lot more spark energy and timing
control than any stock ignition, computer controled or not.

Getting rid of the pollution control crap adds more horses.
If you've ever watched horse power tv, the money they spend for
a few extra horse's is mind blowing.

I've seen them spend over $1,000.00 (american) for 20 extra horse power.
Yikes...


I hope this helps you.
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Postby shuvit-tim » 13 Feb 2005, 11:46

not that different over here..... $1000 is about £500 i think. Well a set of twin 40 webber carbs and manifold will probably cost about £500 new abnd liberate about 20-30BHP on a small engine.

Throttlebodies - give you a few extra horses and smooth throttle response and torque right the way through the rev ranges - looking at £1000 for that!

The one difference I have noticed though is that you guys are obsessed with huge engines, whereas in britain we tend to go for smaller ones and tune them within an inch of their life!

How many horses are you guys getting from your big blocks just for curiosity?
when all else fails, rivets, cable ties and bodge tape will see you through

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Postby Crum B » 13 Feb 2005, 15:26

I think the 4.3 V6 puts out like around 200 h.p with some modifications but i'm not sure But a Big Block 502 chevy V8 with mods can put out like over 1000H.P 8) but if anybody ever manages to put that in a chevette they would break 2 records fastest chevette and first chevette in orbit!! :D
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Postby bruce303 » 13 Feb 2005, 22:31

You guy's in the United Kingdom and some parts of Europe are into
rally cars with smaller engines with some nice horse power.

The roads here are a lot different than the roads over the pond.
So is the mentality of racing.

We love straight line racing, not around the bend racing.

I have a desk top dyno program for lap-tops & pc's.
The dyno results are from the spec's of these engines
(mainly stock motors) from: engine size, bore, intake exhaust valves, compression,
induction systems, exhaust systems, cam and lifter spec's.

Here are the dyno spec's for these engines from the flywheel.

Buick 3.8: 122 horse power @ 3500 rpm with 166 ft lbs of torque.

Chevy 2.8: 134 horse power @ 5000 rpm with 141 ft lbs of torque.

Chevy 4.3: 258 horse power @ 6000 rpm with 225 ft lbs of torque.

Chevy 502: 448 horse power @ 5500 rpm with 428 ft lbs of torque.

In most of these engines run at a lower rpm level, you loose about 10-25 horse power
but gain about 30-50 ft lbs of torque.

Remeber, these engines are stock. You can spend over $1,000.00 to get 20-30 more horse
power out of the smaller V6 engines, but to get over 1000 horse's out of a 502 chevy,
you'll be spending over $10-$15,000.00 (american)... Chaaaaaa-Ching...
That 502 chevy would be pushing 1002 horse power @ 6500 rpm with 809 ft lbs of torque.

Like I said, I could have installed a chevy 350 small block in my chevette.
I had everything except the motor. As you see in my new newbie pic, I had the tunnel ram with 2x450 holly carbs..
The 350 with that intake set-up would have been pushing 481 horse power @ 6000 rpm with 421 ft lbs of torque.
But the cost of building up the motor and weighing the cost to insure it,
I was better off with the 4.3.

Depending on your budget, anything goes eh...
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Postby soultron » 14 Feb 2005, 01:03

bruce303 wrote:The roads here are a lot different than the roads over the pond.
So is the mentality of racing.
We love straight line racing, not around the bend racing.


Speak for your self my friend I've been burned out on drag since I was 19.
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Postby shuvit-tim » 14 Feb 2005, 01:16

i've never seen the appeal of racing in a straight line? surely it's about ho has the most money to throw at a car? where's the skill?
when all else fails, rivets, cable ties and bodge tape will see you through

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Postby V6 Chevette Fan » 14 Feb 2005, 05:17

There is a lot of skill in 1/4 mile racing.

I bet Bruce303 didn't mean anything bad about rally racing being around the bend racing.
Around the bend racing or straight line racing has skill.
I'd like to see a muscle car go rally racing, or a rally car go drag racing... LOL

There is also any dollar amount you want to spend on any skill level.
Only narrow minded people dont see skill of things they haven't tried.
As for soultron, :!: :!: :!: (blah-blah-blah) you must be a nascar fan.
There aren't to many guy's I know who ever raced 1/4 mile
ever been burnt out from it, only their tires got burnt out.
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Postby shuvit-tim » 14 Feb 2005, 08:56

V6 fan, you're probably right, but I just can't see where the skill comes in! I can see there is a lot of skill in th epreparation, particularly if you have to make the most of a tight budget, but what's the skill of the actual racing, is it a sense of timing? What separates an excellent racer from a good racer and a good racer from a bad one? guess i've just been put off by those daft fast and furious films lol (which i fully understand are nothing like real life!!) so, please, enlighten me :!:

I didnt mean to offend anyone btw so hope I havent! :?
when all else fails, rivets, cable ties and bodge tape will see you through

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Postby Shellysowner » 14 Feb 2005, 11:29

After you've spent all that time setting up your drag car to run sweet you've still got to control the damn thing. I'm not going to go on an on about it but basically after all the 'timing' stuff, i.e. staging the car and launching as close to 0.400s as posible there's keeping the thing going in the right direction, clutch control etc. (top fuellers and funny cars etc. don't actually have a gearbox, just a masive clutch) and a million and one things can go wrong - tire shake, nitrous burps etc. Controlling anything up to 3000+hp is no joke and definitely a skillful job. The f*st and the f*r***s is the worst piece of cinema in history - those films have a lot to answer for. Another form of drag racing which you're probably not aware of Tim is what's called bracket racing where you have to run as close to a specified time (either one that you set yourself at the start of the meeting or a benchmark time for a specific class e.g. 9.90) without 'breaking out' i.e. going faster than that time. It's not the most exciting form to watch, those are generally the 'heads up' classes, but it limits the amount of money needed to be competitive and places emphasis more on consistency. My favourite class is one called Street Eliminator where basically as long as the car is road legal it's allowed, so they have to run treads etc. and there's also a 24 mile crusie in the middle of the event with a hot start and you have to fill up with at least £8 of pump gas. There's something amazingly special about seeing a street car run low 8s on treads at close to 180mph. (Class records are 8.142s and 178mph although John Sleath did break 180mph at the last meeting of last season but it wasn't 'backed up' which means he didn't run within 1% of it at the same meeting.)
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