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Old 11-14-2011, 09:19 PM
Riley
 

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How do I put a computer controlled engine in an older car?

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.

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Old 11-15-2011, 12:51 AM
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Research the kits available for doing this. I think you might be able to use the old computer from the donor car and purchase the wiring needed. I have a friend that makes up his own wiring for these but he's been doing this forever and has it down to a science. Dan
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Old 11-15-2011, 01:31 AM
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Quote:
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.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/EDL-7118/
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:01 AM
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Thanks for the replies so far guys, they appreciated. However, seems to me that buying kits and doing outside modifications kinda defeets the "built for under 3000 doller" theory. Not trying to sound snotty here, but if I was wanting to spend money on all these modifications I could just buy a rebuilt or overhauled carburated engine instead. I guess what I am trying to find out is has anybody ever done this, and what are my options. Pulling a whole driveline out of a newer model car and putting it into an older style car is not hard for me. But where it could get hard for me is when you have to start hooking up wiring to make it all work.
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:41 AM
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Depending on the year of the donor car you may just want to take the ecm and the harness as well. The older the better. If you can find something that does not have an electronically controlled transmission that will make it a lot easier.
If you can get an engine, transmission and ecm with the harness it would make the task much easier.
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Old 11-18-2011, 11:38 PM
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Best thing you can do is take everything. If you have room, park the donor car in the garage too until you're all done.

I'm going to be swapping an LS1/4L60E into a 68 Camaro. There are many things to consider outside of the engine/tranny itself though. You have to think about custom mounts, headers that will fit the new engine, yet clear steering and suspension on the old car. Fuel system is another consideration. Most new fuel injection systems don't deadhead . . . or rather, they have a return line back to the tank which many older cars don't.

I bought an engine/tranny combo from a 99 WS6 firebird for 2000 shipped to my door, but I still have another couple grand to go to just getting it into the Camaro and running.
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Old 11-18-2011, 11:42 PM
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What some older cars DO have is a steel emissions vapor return line. It can be reused as a return line like I did on my '81 Camaro.
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Old 11-19-2011, 02:16 AM
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I'm dropping a turbocharged, computer controlled, fuel injected 2.3 liter 4 cylinder into a '27 Model T roadster. The components are out of an '88 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe. The wiring really isn't that difficult. I'm using the ECU, connector and engine compartment wiring harness from the Turbo Coupe. I have the factory wiring diagrams (picked up on Ebay).

First up is to make a pinout chart. A listing of every wire that connects through the connector to the ECU. There are 60 holes in the connector and probably 50 have wires. Remove the wires not needed. First remove the red retaining ring in the connector. Inside the little holes of the connector are tiny tabs that can be gently lifted up, unlocking the pins so you can remove the pins and wires through the rear. Off the top of my head the only wires you keep are for the variety of sensors, fuel injection harness, grounds, data port and a few others. The factory wiring diagram is your best friend here. The tricks are to be patient and be thorough. Make sure each wire goes where it's supposed to! My car is one of the older ones but you could do the same with a 50's or 60's car also. The computer basically runs just the engine and related components.
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Old 11-19-2011, 11:25 AM
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I put a SC 3.8 litre V6 front wheel drive out of a '98 Pontiac GTP into my '67 Volvo wagon. Turned the engine 90* to RWD and bolted on the bell housing, flywheel, clutch and T5 tranny out of a '96 Camaro. That was the easy part!! I used the ECM and wiring harness from the Pontiac along with a gauge cluster from a '99 Camaro. Took about two weeks of sitting, studying, clipping and soldering wires to sort it all out. Started up on the first try and ran great until I took it apart to paint.
You can see a photo of this in my photo album.
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Old 11-20-2011, 08:25 AM
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Now THAT......is some shtt ya'll!
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Old 11-20-2011, 08:28 AM
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Did you graft that rear section yourself too?
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Old 11-20-2011, 08:36 AM
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Several folks on other forums have mentioned that the swap of a complete 5.3L engine and OD automatic from a 90's GM vehicle is very straightforward if you get all the electronics and wiring from the donor. Older carbureted SBC 350's usually need quite a bit of work to help the HP (better heads, newer manifold, etc.), while an injected 5.3L engine already has about 280 HP, and it even gets fairly good gas mileage. I assume you can say the same thing about the Ford 4.6/5.4 engine, since it was widely used in many cars and trucks.

The one major item I'm not sure about is how it would work with a CAN Bus system like I have in my 2005 Mustang. The computer seems to be tied to just about everything, and I don't know how that affects the swap. For example, the engine sensors send data to the computer, and my analog dash just displays the computer data. There is no direct connection from the sensors to the gauges, so I don't know how I would use anything other than the stock gauge panel. I don't even have a water temp sensor, since the computer gets input from a cylinder head temp (CHT) sensor and "calculates" the engine temp.

Bruce

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Old 11-20-2011, 08:51 AM
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ya...................thats kinda the boat I'm in. I am picturing having to totally disassemble the donor car without cutting ANY wires JUST so I can make it all work in a donor car. The one part that can get tedious in my endevor is where all of those wires run up into the steering columb. I wasn't planning on using the steering columb as the donor car I have allready has one. All that dash stuff too is going to be an issue maybe. I may end up shelving this whole thing for a while anyway. The oilfield is booming down here and they are makin us work a whole lot of hours now.
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 75gmck25

The one major item I'm not sure about is how it would work with a CAN Bus system like I have in my 2005 Mustang. The computer seems to be tied to just about everything, and I don't know how that affects the swap.
Bruce
The CAN system would only be a problem if the vehicle has an antitheft designed into it.
In that case you would need to run the module with the PCM that is in charge of the Anti theft, most of them are in the Body control module.So not really too big a problem. As long as you satisfy the BCM requirements to allow vehicle operation.
Running the powetrain module without the other associated modules from a vehicle would result in setting A batch of "U" codes or codes for loss of communication with any and all associated modules, still not a problem as in many cases it wont illuminate the Engine light( some will, some wont), it all depends on the system format,I wont go into detail about it though.

Also the CAN system does communicate the Gauges function information as well. The engine sensors ie: engine coolant temp, tach signal etc is all processed by the PCM and any pertanent info is passed along the CAN network, sorta like a party line telephone, any module needing the info recieves it, as the modules all have their own distinct "phone number" sort of to say.The instrument panel gets its info from the PCM and displays it accordingly.
Really pretty simple
Here is a link to a short compilation of how it works.
http://electrosofts.com/can/

I have entertained thought of putting a 4.6 litre ford in my pontiac from time to time, but for now I have a couple pontiac engines so I will keep it poncho for now.I do see a 200 4 r or a 700 r 4 in its future though
I know it sounds crazy , but I like the way the 4.6 sounds and runs, the mileage is good and it is so dependable, you cant beat it.Also it would be super easy to keep it well within emission standards that may happen to be implemented by the tree huggers in the future.

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Old 11-20-2011, 10:46 AM
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I have the 3 valve 4.6 in my Mustang GT and they have tuned the exhaust so that it sounds very good. Switching to the Shelby GT rear mufflers would make it sound a little more aggressive, and I can also get an X pipe from Ford or other companies.

This vintage of Mustang 4.6 (2005-20010) is very easy for relatively painless upgrades, since both Ford and aftermarket have a lot available. For example, the stock engine is 300 HP, but I could pick up 25 HP in an hour by just getting a CAI and tune from Ford Racing or another company. Ford even makes two levels of supercharger kits that you can get installed by a Ford dealer or do it yourself. If you want to stay with NA you can get also cam kits and intakes from Ford. The Ford parts are a little more conservative than aftermarket, but I think they are better engineered and require less tweaking to make them work right.

Bruce
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