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  • Engine swap recs for 88 Fiero

    I have a Dino replica on an 88 Fiero. I am looking to do an engine swap and would like advice taking into account moderate costs and engine choices and availability. I recall that there was an analysis of the choices with costs, weight, HP etc. that I think Dave posted a while back but I can't seem to find it.

  • #2
    Re: Engine swap recs for 88 Fiero

    Here are my notes from 4 years ago.

    13.1 Stock 2.5l 4 cylinder (98hp, but good gas millage)
    Power: 98hp
    Pros: 35 MPG+, CA smog legal
    Cons: See power, little aftermarket

    13.2 Stock 2.8l V6 cylinder
    Power: 135hp
    Pros: Much faster than 4 banger. CA smog legal
    Cons: See power, little aftermarket

    13.3 3.4l push rod: (93-95 Camaro/Firebird or 12363230 - HT 3.4L Crate Engine)
    Power: 160hp - 190lbs
    Pros: Simple bolt-in installation, inexpensive, uses Fiero wiring and exhaust, possible 200hp with minor modifications
    Cons: Low on power, pushrod, not smog legal(but really hard to tell)
    Est Cost: $300(used) - $1800(new crate)

    13.4 3.4 DOHC:
    Power: 210+hp - 210lbs
    Pros: Sounds most like a Ferrari, 7.5K red line(this engine like to rev), almost bolt-in installation, bolts to transmission, best use of the transmission low gearing, CA smog legal with 5sp
    Cons: Heavy(~500lbs), little after market, older engine (91-93), expensive to rebuild, custom chip and wire harness needed
    Est Cost: $2500+

    13.5 3800SC:
    Power: 240+hp - 280lbs
    Pros: Lighter than DOHC, Higher Power, Vast after market, bolts to transmission, bullet proof, engine mounts and exhaust system available off the shelf from West Coast Fiero and others, wire harness available, 300hp with a couple of simple modifications
    Cons: Not CA smog legal with 5sp, Funky exhaust sound, supercharger whine
    Est Cost: $2000+

    13.6 LT-1:
    Power: 300hp - 300lbs
    Pros: unlimited power potential, bullet proof engine
    Cons: cost, heavy, does not sound like a Ferrari, can destroy the transmission, must use an adapter plate
    Est Cost: $4500+

    13.7 LS-1:
    Power: 345hp - 350lbs
    Pros: lighter than a LT-1, revs good, amazing aftermarket
    Cons: more cost, does not sound like a Ferrari, can destroy the transmission, must use an adapter plate
    Est Cost: $6500

    13.8 Northstar:
    Power: 300hp - 300lb
    Pros: lighter than a LT-1
    Cons: more cost, does not sound like a Ferrari, can destroy the transmission, not CA smog legal with 5sp.
    Est Cost: $7500

    13.9 Ecotec 4 cyl
    Power: 160-260+hp
    Pros: very light, revs to the moon, good aftermarket, good gas millage, comes with 5 or 6sp transmission
    Cons: cost, custom mounts available, electrical, and exhaust, sounds like a 4 cylendar
    Est Cost: unknown

    13.10 Many others, it only takes time and money

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Engine swap recs for 88 Fiero

      You forgot the standard small block chevy with a carb setup. Install kit is $500-1600 depending on new/used, how complete, etc. Engines can be as low as $500.
      Doesn't sound Ferrari, heavy, but lots of go fast parts and upgrades available.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Engine swap recs for 88 Fiero

        There is also the 4.9 swap. Around 200 HP and a real torque monster from stoplight to stoplight. This is a relatively easy swap. Not many performance parts available but there has been at least one turbo 4.9. May not be CA smog legal with a 5 speed but could be with an auto transmission.
        Nelson

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Engine swap recs for 88 Fiero

          That's a heck of a post Brastic! Thanks for sharing the time you put in to gather that all up. I know it would've helped me make my decision had I already not spent hours upon hours researching

          Tom

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Engine swap recs for 88 Fiero

            More info on engines here:
            http://dtcc.cz28.com/gminfo.htm
            The road to life is full of flat squirrels, who couldn't make up their mind!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Engine swap recs for 88 Fiero

              Brastic, Thanks for that very nice post. I know this is not going to impress many of the engine studs on this site, but I'm going to go with a 3.4L push rod. I talked to a guy from Carolina Engines about sending me a rebuild. He is willing to take care of doing the modification to change the starter to the other side but was asking about specs for that. Does anyone have any specs that I could send him to let him know exactly where and how to do this?
              Thanks a bundle

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Engine swap recs for 88 Fiero

                Rodney dickman sells a kit to do it for $59. Pricey, but worth it to get the job done right.
                http://www.rodneydickman.com/n101.html

                (his website uses frames, so the above link won't contain the full webpage - from the main rodneydickman.com site, click the 'engine' tab, then find the 3.4L conversion link halfway down on the left.)

                FYI you might find a cheap engine on car-part.com The engine was only in 93-95 Camaro/Firebird.


                This is a cheap, easy swap, but if it's speed you're after, I wouldn't recommend it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Engine swap recs for 88 Fiero

                  I saw the guide on Rodney Dickman's site. I agree, a little pricey, but precision is a god thing. He's got a few other items to make the swap easier. Yes, I'm going for ease, simplicity, and cost over raging speed. Appreciate the help.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Engine swap recs for 88 Fiero

                    I used the Rodney Dickman kit for drilling the starter bolt. It was one of those I would hate to try to save a buck here and ruin the engine, or worst have the starter no align after I installed it.

                    Here are some pages about the 3.4l install:
                    http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum1/HTML/041835.html

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Engine swap recs for 88 Fiero

                      Originally posted by Tom Sawyer
                      That's a heck of a post Brastic!
                      You should see him at dinner choosing of off the menu. HAHAHAA I'm just kiddding, but he is one of the most thorough people I know. And that's a good thing.
                      http://www.madmechanics.com/forum/bu...todreamer.html

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Engine swap recs for 88 Fiero

                        Originally posted by 88Dino
                        Brastic, Thanks for that very nice post. I know this is not going to impress many of the engine studs on this site, but I'm going to go with a 3.4L push rod. I talked to a guy from Carolina Engines about sending me a rebuild. He is willing to take care of doing the modification to change the starter to the other side but was asking about specs for that. Does anyone have any specs that I could send him to let him know exactly where and how to do this?
                        Thanks a bundle
                        You can have a lot of fun with a V6, I loved my 2.8 behind a 4 speed. A turbo would really wake it up.
                        But there is nothing like the neck snapping power of a V8 if you start feeling the need for speed. but thats just from an old knuckle dragger

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Engine swap recs for 88 Fiero

                          I have a 3.4 l V6 engine with a five speed Getrag in one of my Meras and really like it after adding a turbo to the assembly.
                          Nelson

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Engine swap recs for 88 Fiero

                            If your gonna order from Rodneys, pick up that transaxle support bearing he offers. Does a great job of supporting output shaft area of trans, plus its an external thing meaning you don't have to disassemble the transaxle.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Engine swap recs for 88 Fiero

                              Originally posted by hnthomps
                              I have a 3.4 l V6 engine with a five speed Getrag in one of my Meras and really like it after adding a turbo to the assembly.
                              Is there a consensus about the best turbo to add to the 3.4L V6? Are there major reliability and maintenance issues?

                              Comment

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