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Old 08-21-2013, 11:55 PM   #1
Nightwolf_76
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Default 81 Engine Tranny swap

I purchased an 81 with an automatic tranny. The engine is not original and I have no ideas about what kind of power it puts out. I am considering rebuilding the engine but I have no experience with rebuilds. Does anyone know what engines will drop in if I go with a crate? I would also like to put a manual in it. I'm hoping someone has experience or links that I can use to help make my decisions.

Thanks all.
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:53 PM   #2
MelWff
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any chevrolet big block or small block will fit, you have to decide what your budget can handle
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:42 PM   #3
Easy Mike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightwolf_76 View Post
...The engine is not original and I have no ideas about what kind of power it puts out...
How does it drive? You might not need anything more than a good tune up.

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Old 08-22-2013, 02:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightwolf_76 View Post
I purchased an 81 with an automatic tranny. I would also like to put a manual in it. I'm hoping someone has experience or links that I can use to help make my decisions.

Thanks all.
What kind of transmission; 4, 5, or 6 speed? Any small block Chevy engine will bolt in. Mods needed if you want to go with a LS engine.
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Old 08-22-2013, 03:47 PM   #5
tyancey00
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http://www.jegs.com/i/Blueprint+Engi...13CT1/10002/-1
anything carb, like this, will fit no problem. if you go with fuel injection you have some custom work to do. You will have to buy pedles and other things to put in a 4-5 or 6 speed in the car. It can be done and several are doing it as we type. Just read around.
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Old 08-24-2013, 09:20 AM   #6
Nightwolf_76
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Thanks for the advice. Just to clarify a big block will drop in? I'm not sure how well the engine performs as I don't have anything to compare to. There is lag once I push the gas before it goes. Not sure if something isn't adjusted right or what the problem could be.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:14 PM   #7
LannyL81
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Even in perfect working order the '81 with the L81 engine and three speed auto trans is not a "get pushed into the seat" setup.

Delay could be timing is off or the carb needs rebuilding as the off idle circuit is not working. Could also be trans is slipping....need more information as to the delay.

Later
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:29 PM   #8
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It is "relatively" easy to swap out a small block auto with another small block and manual trans. Especially in the 81.

There are a lot of pictures and threads in the forum on how to do it.

There are some parts to buy for the manual conversion, and you do have to dismantle part of the dash to put in the pedals and wiring and such as well as modify the console to fit the shifter.

Look at what you want to keep from the original engine. If you can use the brackets for the alternator, power steering pump, A/C etc then you can save money.

If you go with a big block, very little of what you have will work. You will have to get it all.

As is stated earlier in the thread, you need to sit down and do a little figuring as to what it is you want to do.

Do you want, or have to replace the motor? What kind of performance do you want?

Are you sure you want a manual? Do you want to run pump gas?

How far do I want to go, and how much money do I have to commit to this project?
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:29 PM
 
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