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1978 trans am ls1 engine swap help


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7 replies to this topic

#1 78ta400ws6

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  • First Name:juan
  • Year: 1978
  • Make: pontiac
  • Model: trans am WS6
  • Engine: 400
  • Transmission: auto

Posted 07 May 2009 - 12:30 AM

hello to everyone, im in need of help, i own a 78 trans am and i want to drop in a vette motor if anybody has done this swap would like some insight. what motor would be best? what year? is there a kit? i live in california so i think i have to keep all the smog equipment if any body knows the exact details let me know.

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#2 FBN Firebird Nation

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 05:49 AM

Welcome to Firebird Nation Juan.

#3 81frbd

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  • Year: 1981
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  • Model: Firebird Formula
  • Engine: 350
  • Transmission: Auto turbo 350

Posted 07 May 2009 - 06:28 AM

Welcome! You've got a 400 in it now. Might be easier (and cheaper) to have that one rebuilt..Pontiac 400's are hard to get your hands on plus, when done right...their beasts....but the great thing about Pontiac F-Bodies is that they came with Pontiac, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, and even some Buick motors during the late 70's.

That being said, just about anything will fit in your Bird. I've got an 87' 350 block in mine. All I had to do was get Chevy engine mounts and swap over the battery tray to the pasenger side.

If you do go with a Chevy Block, you'll need a new Trans since Pontiac and Chevy motors have a different bolt pattern to the bell housing.

Edited by 81frbd, 07 May 2009 - 06:32 AM.


#4 84ta406

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  • Engine: 406ci sbc
  • Transmission: TH400, 4500 stall

Posted 07 May 2009 - 06:33 AM

You can also get a adapter plate if you swap motors so you can keep your stock trans.

#5 78ta400ws6

78ta400ws6

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  • First Name:juan
  • Year: 1978
  • Make: pontiac
  • Model: trans am WS6
  • Engine: 400
  • Transmission: auto

Posted 07 May 2009 - 01:56 PM

first off thanks guys, i did some research and came to a concusion im going to rebuild my 400 the only bad thing is i live in california and all that smog stuff sucks. so now to the next step changing the auto for a 5 or 6 speed transmission and if i cant do that than a 4 speed will have to do. any suggestions will help thanks again

#6 81frbd

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  • Year: 1981
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Firebird Formula
  • Engine: 350
  • Transmission: Auto turbo 350

Posted 07 May 2009 - 06:49 PM

first off thanks guys, i did some research and came to a concusion im going to rebuild my 400 the only bad thing is i live in california and all that smog stuff sucks. so now to the next step changing the auto for a 5 or 6 speed transmission and if i cant do that than a 4 speed will have to do. any suggestions will help thanks again



You've probably got a 400 turbo trans now....leave it alone! If you went manual, you'd have to get a new console, plus cut out for a clutch petal.

There's nothing wrong with a "Hydramatic" trans. The right H.P. will make up for a lack of highway speed. 4th gear only lets you cruise! If the 400's built right...you'll be shreding tires and not careing about the Tree at the front of the 1/4 mile!

#7 ta collector

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  • Year: 1979
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Trans Am
  • Engine: 400 W72
  • Transmission: 4 speed Borg Warner

Posted 12 May 2009 - 03:48 PM

welcome to FBN,Juan,your 78 would have a 350 trans in it from the factory.
our birds:
1967 Firebird
1979 10th Anniversary Trans Am
1979 W72 400 4 speed Trans Am
1984 Trans Am 15th Anniversary
1991 Trans Am GTA
2002 Trans Am Collector Edtion #1358
2008 G8 GT



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#8 firebirdjunkie

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  • Year: 1978
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  • Engine: 350
  • Transmission: 400

Posted 26 February 2011 - 02:33 PM

hello to everyone, im in need of help, i own a 78 trans am and i want to drop in a vette motor if anybody has done this swap would like some insight. what motor would be best? what year? is there a kit? i live in california so i think i have to keep all the smog equipment if any body knows the exact details let me know.





Hello and welcome..




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