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I just purchased an 80 trans am and want to dump the 301. I really want to build a great "driver" with lots of torque and a bit of fun high end. I am wondering if it is smarter to see if a 350 chevy will fit (does it?) and buying a crate engine of some sort...is this crazy... or should I just have my local engine shop rebuild a pontiac 400 engine I have found.

i am looking for the most bang for my buck, a fun driver, and I am not worried about it being "correct" (am I going to hell?). Sorry if too many questions in one post, my first project! thanks for any help...
 

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The 350 will bolt right in with Camaro mounts. They have the same frame...........Dollar wise its your best bet, but the Poncho purists will get upset.
 

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I disagree- rebuilding your 400 will be dheaper than swapping in a crate 350. I would not go with a stock rebuild though. Just go with the basics- 9.5:1 compression, valve job, and clean up the chambers, new intake (probable Edelbrock) and a decent hydraulic cam package. Oh and headders and ignition. It'll run ya around $2500 but will have more power than a 350 and will still be somewhat "pure" for waht little its worth.
 

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Swapping to a Chevy motor will require a lot of work. The fuel and battery lines are on the wrong side, a new trans will be required, the fan shroud is different, the wiring will need work and the exhaust will need re-working. A 400 (or 455) will bolt right in where the 301 sat with no other changes.
Mark
 

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a sbc will fit nicley no modes are required i had a 75 ta with a 454 when i got it you just buy camaro parts and it will fit just fine
 

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80 trans am

I have a 80 trans am, ex turbo car. I just got a good junk yard 350 chevy, it came with 882 heads, i replaced the cam with a summit 214/224 cam part no. 1103 an edelbrock performer intake and a 600 holley dp. with the stock converter and the 323 gears it would roast the tires at will. and run out really well. I got a engine rering kit at advance auto and a gasket set main and rod bearings and did a really budget build... add a set of summit headers and a decent exhaaust and you got a real little screamer. then you can upgrade later as money allows.
 

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your gonna have to change or build motor mounts they are cheap. I just finished putting an old 72 chevy 350 in a 79 trans am. You need different tranny or BOP conversion plate from JEGS or Summit they are cheap Chevy motor to BOP tranny. You may have to move tranny mount and shorten drive shaft depending on which chevy tranny you can get. Probably no drive shaft mods with short turbo 350. But tranny out of suburban or truck may be longer requiring shorter drive shaft. I was gonna use O.D. tranny from suburban but it was more work so I blew it off and used regular th350 from a camaro.
 
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