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Hello! I Just made an account for this form and cant wait to hear from all of you. My friend is redoing a 1981 Camaro Z28 and removing his LM1 350 "original" and I have the chance to pick it up. I am looking for a shell of a car and wondering what this engine would be a good fit for, will it fit in a trans am 79-88? or a Camaro made after 81 up until 88? Are there other good fits for this engine? id appreciate any input, THanks so much! I also have an 86 fiero... I could put it in... but id rather have it in a firebird or another Camaro! Thanks everyone
 

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Welcome to the bottomless money pit! You have to make decisions BEFORE you start. First decide what you WANT. If an 81 Camaro trips your trigger do not settle for a mustang. Second, what are you going to use it for? Going to the burger joint on Sat. night with the family? Then don't build a 600 HP ground pounder. Third, research...research and more research. You took the right first step by asking here. Get to know the locals and above all educate yourself and it will be fun.
 

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Wrench Turner
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^^^ x 2. ..I'll also add, realize up front that what you spend will likely never be completely recovered if you decide later to sell your project.
Also, not to knock your engine, but, don't get locked into having an "original LM1" engine.It really has no more value than about any other run of the mill 350, unless it's being used to restore a vehicle that would have originally came equipped with the LM1. It was just a basic smog era 350 with a 4 bbl carb.HP ratings in stock trim ran from about 155 to 175 HP.Depending on your desired use, there are lots better platforms to start a build from, including later model (post 87) roller blocks.Of the Gen1 motors, the L31 Vortec is a very good choice.It's 1 pc rear seal, roller cam/lifter setup,& heads that can support 400 HP without extensive modification.
 

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As Joker said, this is just a run-of-the-mill motor, nothing special, so don't get your hopes up that it will be a ground pounder. What I would do with it is to tear it all down and determine if it is worth rebuilding. If it has already been bored out to 0.030" over and needs a re-bore, then it isn't really worth boring to 0.060" over. Some blocks will take it and some won't. If there is no ridge ream at the top of the cylinder bores, then it's possible that you could just hone the cylinders and use a new set of rings and be back in business. The iron heads are the limiting factor in building horsepower in the motor and like Joker said, you will have a 155-175 hp motor or maybe juice it up to 200 with a slightly hotter cam and a set of headers. Any quest for more power than that will have to be with aftermarket aluminum heads, about a $1,000 outlay, but with the capability of 400+ hp with high-rise intake and 750 CFM carburetor. Intake, carburetor and pistons will be another $1,000. Also, figure another $1,000 for machine shop work and balancing.

It all depends on how much money you have to spend and how fast you want to go.
 

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Tech and Joker are spot on. Your most economical 300-350HP upgrade is a crate Vortec. It will last a long time, run flawlessly and be great weekend cruiser for decades.

But if you want more, then as Tech mentioned time for a complete rebuild that you'll be into it for $3K before your done with 4, 5 , and 6 are right around the corner-lol.
 

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Cars, Trucks, Boats, Motorcycl
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X 8... Yeah, a small block Chevy fits into just about anything fairly easily...

The LM1 was a low compression, about 7.6:1, engine that got about 9 MPG City and 11 MPG Hiway... if you're planning on driving it much, need some different pistons to bring the compression ratio and MPG way up... plus a mild cam if wanting more power... The LM1 usually came with a 4 bbl. carb. but same basic engine was called like L55 or other names with 2 bbl. carb. and rated 125 - 195 netHP and capable of about 170 - 260 grossHP with headers and various intake manifolds... If you get a Q-Jet carb. with it, that's about all you need for a carb. at most street HP levels...

Try to find a cheap car with a good body and puked engine, but good tranny and all the other parts... buying an empty shell and adding everything can easily cost over $10,000 to get it going...
 
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