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Whats the real deal with the engine swap ?

1977 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  68 TT
In reading through the V-8 swap forum, the recommendation is to use a TBI injected V8 from a year as close to the one as the van is, which, if I remember correctly, included using a different ECM (the p/n escapes me now).

Anyway, wouldn't any V8 donor vehicle work out if you also use the ECM from that vehicle ? I spoke with someone at an parts store that already did a V8 swap into his bro-in-laws Astro, and he said all they did was take the donor engine, ECM and harness, and put it in the van.

The reason I ask is because I just ran across a couple of deal in my is a 2000 3/4 ton Chevy van, and the other is a 2001 1-ton. Both are priced @ $800 (and probably $400 back from the scrap yard when done yanking parts) . I'm planning to take a look at them tomorrow to see what kind of condition they are in. I'm not sure what the engine's are yet, but the smallest both of those came from appear to be a 5.7L. Looks like the 2000 3/4 ton came with a 4.3 V6, 5 & 5.7L V*'s, and 6.5L Turbo Diesel. The 2001 came with 2 different 5.7's, a 6.5L Turbo Diesel, and 8.1L (496ci). Hmmmm.

If the engine good in the 1-ton, I thought $800 (minus scrap value) was a great deal for the engine and 14-bolt Corp. rear end.

Thanks for your time.

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Thanks for the engine/ECM info. Seems as if you get the donor ECM & harness, it doesn't matter what the engine is.

Both of those vans for sale had 200K miles on them...ouch.

On to the thing about the 14 bolt rearend.....I knew the engine/tranny were offset, but didn't even think to measure the rearend to check if that was offset.

My assumption is that the 12 & 14 bolt Chevy rear axles from a full-size Blazer/Suburban/fullsize van/pickup would be wider than the stock Astro/S10 rearend. If I was to do that swap, my thought was that I'd have it narrowed to match stock anyway....the narrowing would just be offset then.

I'm just thinking about phase II. Currently, phase I only has a 4" lift front & back with 30 x 9.5 x 15 wheels. The rims have a 1" deeper offset than stock, so it's already @ 2" wider than stock track width for all intensive purposes. I was hoping to go with 33 x 9.5's..but there only seems to be 1 or 2 mfg's that make a 33 in a 9.5 width. I'm all for running skinny's, as I did want to do this van mainly as a winter ride....I am in Buffalo, NY after all.

Now though, I wish I would have bought a '94 or older Astro, as NY instituted the new inspection policy for '95 & newer vehicles a couple of years ago which includes connecting into the computer which is read from some other computer in Albany.

Thanks for your time.....both who replied.

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Well I had an '87 2WD Astro I got on E-Bay, from Rochester actually. And it was in my garage for a couple years. And I'd do some work here and there, and then got laid off, so the budget was really tight. Luckily, have some motorhead friends into it with tons of spare parts, basically for free. So I've got a front axle & leaf springs, tranny/transfer case and I made a bunch of parts and brackets. And then one day, I go to start it, and it didn't. Finally it ran, but then would die. The damn thing would just not run right again. I had people over to look at it, and we could never figure it out.

I just ended up dumping that one. It was probably 2 years already. This past winter, I decided I was going to do it, and was looking forever for just the right deal. I looked at a few. Then one day in March, I almost died driving home from work when a part of the rear suspension broke in the '89 Gutlass I was driving. When Ighot home, I called the guy with the AWD I looked at a week prior, and he dropped it off at my house 2 days later. It's 98. But, I needed to drive it, it couldn't sit idle in the garage.

Soooooo, with gas prices climbing, big tire costs skyrocketing, I decided to go mild with the small lift and only the 30" tires. I was put off by the mild lift from pictures I've seen online, but in real life, the mods do look much more dramatic. Pictures just don't do it justice. I've got a few, but, again, they are unflattering, so haven't posted them.

So I'm a bit stuck with the '98 now, which kind of restricts me to what I can do, engine wise. Hell, I had a '74 Postal Jeep I rebuilt with a 400 SBC a bunch of years ago, and there was like 3 wires under the hood that actually ran the engine. Now there's spaghetti everywhere.

I do prefer the newer body style though. Somewhere I think I read an article about a later model front clip change-over.

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