Originally Posted by Riley
With the way it is now, you can't hardly find a running engine that is carburated to do a swap with. At least, not one that is used and still runs okay. I have found that you can buy a wrecked newer model car for pennys on the doller of what it would cost to rebuild a carburated motor. So my big question is.... how do I hook up a computer powered engine in an older model car? Has anybody reading this done it? Does anybody know where I can look here to find what I need and read about it? I am going to have to used the newer cars wiring harness? And how much? All of it? I find cars all the time that are wrecked. I would like to put the whole drivetrain out of a newer car into an older car. Any leads or information would be helpful. Thanks.
There are harnesses available from companies like Painless to use a TPI or TBI Chevy engine in an older vehicle. But a lot depends on what the engine is that you want to use. If it's a LSx engine for example, Edelbrock/MSD have intake and ignition box 'kits' (Edelbrock p/n 7118 is the RPM intake w/ignition box, there's a single plane intake available also) that allow the use of the LS engine w/a carb and no computer for around $700. The TPI/TBI engines can also easily be converted to a carb w/o any computer needed, same thing for using the electronic transmissions- there are kits available that allow them to be used w/o a computer.
Once you've researched it you will find out what computer controlled engines are well covered in the aftermarket and which ones not so much. These days, the 5.3L-and-up LS-type engines are the most popular for using in earlier vehicles. They have gotten a lot cheaper as time goes on as well- in some cases a 5.3L engine, used but running can be had for about the same as a Gen 1 SBC in similar condition. Obviously the TPI/TBI engines are well covered.