Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:56 pm by Admin

For the benefit of 944Hybrids users there are two search functions available for you to use.
The purpose of this sticky is to explain the "Advanced Search" function because it is much more powerful and is the best choice when researching information.

When you log on to the site a list of options is shown in a line at the top of the page. One option is labelled "Search", use this option (NOT the search box lower down on the right).

After you click on the upper search option, a drop down box appears. At the bottom of this box is a radio button marked "Advanced …

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Want to get started, but overwhelmed. Need a plan.

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Want to get started, but overwhelmed. Need a plan.

Post  9445.3PLANNER on Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:20 pm

Ok, I am lining up a nice 1986 944. It is an NA. I would like to swap in a v8 for better reliability/power. I have noticed a few things though:

First, there isn't just one swap. There are a bunch of V8s (Vortecs, various LS engines) that are popular for this swap.

Second, there isn't just one universal swap kit. Understandable, due to variety of engine candidates.

Third, there are a lot of wiring harness/ecu/independent management questions that some discussions seem to leave unresolved. (Yes, I have done some searching)

Fourth, my own abilities are limited. I am good with a wrench and electrical, but this kind of project is going to take time and have a bit of a financial investment...

Now the good news: I am willing to do the swap and document it here, with photos etc if I can get a plan. That is where you guys come in.

Here is my question. First, lets say I locate a 5.3 drop-out engine from a truck. Complete with wiring harness, ecu. Let's say it is from a manual. And let's say I am planning to install the engine into a 1986 NA 944. What else will I need? I assume a conversion kit, and other odds and ends, as well as some parts to convert a 'truck' version of the 5.3 to a smaller size, more 944 friendly...

I also wonder if this swap can be done without welding, or if I will need to have a shop involved to get some of that done (thinking engine mounts here...)

I am not looking to be spoon-fed so I am sorry if these have all been discussed at length. I just notice that lots of links to discussions about these maters end non-resolved or just not descriptive enough. I wish that one person did this kind of swap and documented the whole process in detail, and made it clear what had to happen. If I am totally missing a thread featuring this kind of project, my apologies and I will search some more, or please provide a link, if you will.

Thank you all. Pretty exciting to see these powerful engines in the great 944's. Thanks again,


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Re: Want to get started, but overwhelmed. Need a plan.

Post  scryfst on Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:16 pm

A few things to consider:
- Most GM "truck" engines are iron blocks with a few exceptions. To retain balance I prefer using aluminum block engines.
- None of the accessory brackets used on the "truck" engine are ideal for the swap and are generally replaced with F-body brackets.
- "Truck" intake manifolds will not fit under the stock hood. This means replacing the manifold, fuel rail, and injectors.

It is my opinion that unless you find a screaming deal on a 5.3L and all the extra goods mentioned above, an aluminum LS from a car is a much better starting point.

Where are you located? You may be near one of our helpful members. Twisted Evil

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Re: Want to get started, but overwhelmed. Need a plan.

Post  sharkey on Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:26 pm

there are lots of completed ls swapped cars. the engines do vary a bit, but the basic swap is all the same. tpc (texas performance concepts) has a complete kit with all the fabricated and specialty parts that are specific to the swap in these cars. things like oil lines, oil coolers, rad hoses, wiring harness, etc are all up to you as they can vary between specific combinations. there are threads here of complete swaps, but being every combo is different it may not be the exact info you need.

with the swap you have in mind, first off, you wont find a 5.3l truck engine in a manual trans. basicly you will need an ls1/6 intake manifold and fuel rails, accessory drive from an f-body seems to be the best setup. the wiring harness you will need to cut down (or send it out and have it done) into a "stand alone" harness, and once thats done there are only a few wires that need to be hooked into the car (12v+, 12v switched, ground, fuel pump, tach signal and vss wiring). a lot of this isnt discussed in depth here because its not specific to the swap. for the wiring you can check out, although the connections to the car are in the wiring section here.

these swaps can be done without a welder, aside from the exhaust.

some things you need to consider is the braking system. with the ls swap you cant run the vacuum booster as the space is needed for the valve cover. you options are hydroboost or manual brakes, and with manual brakes you have some more options to consider (a tandem master cylinder or a twin cylinder setup with a balance bar). you should also consider a brake upgrade as the n/a brakes are in my opinion arent enough for an ls swapped car.


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Thanks so far!

Post  9445.3PLANNER on Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:47 pm

Thanks guys. I am located in Washington State. I like the idea of going with an engine that is ready-to-go bracket/accessory wise. I would love to find a deal on an LS that is as close to ready-to-go as can be. I have to get my ducks in a row first though and actually buy the car. Going to check it out this week. Excited.

It does look like the TPC kit is solid. What do you guys estimate the cost is to install an LS (cost of kit)? I see the Kit on the website, but I figure there are other costs for little things. I would probably go with an electronic brake booster- is that the same as a hydrobooster?

I wouldn't mind doing the electric, but in the end I would probably send the looms out to the place you guys mentioned that does wiring, and let them get that part sorted if its a reasonable cost. I think it will save time and be a more solid setup that way (for me, anyway).

Does the NA trans have what it takes to handle the power of a basic, stock LS V8? 350 tq?

Thanks again Smile


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Re: Want to get started, but overwhelmed. Need a plan.

Post  sharkey on Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:56 pm

where abouts in washington state? im 5 minutes north of the sumas/abbotsford border crossing.

electronic brake boosting and hydroboost are 2 completely different systems. the electric boosters have terrible reliability and the only company making aftermarket kits has a terrible track record. hydroboost uses your power steering pump to supply it high pressure fluid that translates into power brake assist. the unit most people use are from a late 90s mustang.

if your not confident with cutting down a harness its best to leave it to someone else, or buy a ready made harness. the harnesses in the pickups, especially the early ones are quite difficult to work with, especially if its your first time doing it.

the n/a trans will take a stock 5.3, but how you drive it is more important than the power level. if you are trying to do burnouts and clutch drops, your gonna kill it quite quickly.


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Re: Want to get started, but overwhelmed. Need a plan.

Post  9445.3PLANNER on Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:05 pm

Just south of Seattle. Ok, the hydroboost option makes good sense then. That or manual would be fine with me. And good to know on the trans.

How about the Turbo trans? Any better? Or is it the same strength as the NA?

And yea in that case, I would want to have the harness made then.


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Re: Want to get started, but overwhelmed. Need a plan.

Post  sharkey on Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:37 pm

the turbo trans is stronger, and the turbo s trans (known as an AOR) is the strongest. the n/a trans has an unfavorable (for a v8 swap) 3.88 final drive ratio, the turbo and turbo s is a 3.37 and works better with a v8. all transmission in the 944 could have had a factory limited slip or oil cooler (or both). swapping in a turbo transmission is worthwhile, but can be done later on.


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Re: Want to get started, but overwhelmed. Need a plan.

Post  erioshi on Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:02 am

As others have said, buying a 4.8 or 5.3 truck Vortec (essentially an Iron block LS) will not save any money by the time everything is said and done.  I speak from experience.  I have one of the hard to find L33 aluminum 5.3 truck engines, and after buying all the extra parts needed to make the truck engine fit like an LS from a Camaro would, I am at a break-even point on the cost of a real LS.

And the real LS starts out as a 6 liter with quite a bit of extra HP.

At this point I am deep enough in to follow through, but were I to start over I would buy a real f-body (Camaro/Firebird) LS to start with.  Going with an iron block would have saved me a few dollars, but not enough to make any real difference in the cost of a project this size.

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