HOW TO DO AN ADVANCED SEARCH.

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 lt1swap.com, 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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Just north of seattle

Post  Buddy2147 on Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:22 pm

If you want to come see one half way done let me know. mine is sitting, broke hip so work had to stop) Sad but is is ready for the install. Got all components from TPC. Great stuff! highly recommend.
Have the 5.3 vortex from 2007 Silverado. Going to make it a daily driver. Some of the work is tedious (not hard) just tedious. (electrical) But no big deal when said and done! Depends upon the year but you may end up with Drive by Wire. Some like it some don't. Am used to it so not a big deal.
Also, if you talk to the ADMIN and he say's all must come out of the engine compartment he means ALL. Gut it. Life will be easier.
Hope to be back at it by May. (if Doc's approve)

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

Post  erioshi on Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:23 am

I suppose I should clarify the truck engine cost thing by saying that most of the extra expense comes from wanting a stock hood without any form of bulge or scoop. If you are willing to keep the truck front end accessory drive system and truck intake, then a truck engine could save some money. Just understand that there is no way to fit those components under a stock or even mildly modified hood.
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LM7

Post  Buddy2147 on Sat Mar 25, 2017 3:02 pm

I agree with erioshi. Went with a LS6 manifold and all the F body Componets. Had to change out the Fuel injector connectors. Junk yard $.50 for 9 (one extra just in case ) All tested and work great.
Got my LM7 motor for $500.00 with 126,000 miles on it. Had the Heads cleaned up otherwise all compression test and components are just fine. Figure I will have about 335 HP with will work OK with the standard 5 speed. We"ll see

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

Post  9445.3PLANNER on Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:28 pm

Thanks! Good to know. Very helpful. I think if I got a good enough deal on a 5.3 I would go that route. Otherwise I would use a basic LS1 with the lowest miles I could find. Or possibly a crate LS3. 6,000 is a ton of money but if I could finance it, it would be a pretty reliable porsche with a new ls3 v8... very reliable compared to stock porsche motor I think.

Am I right in my thought on this, that the v8 brings added reliability if it is a well sorted one? Isn't the porsche 4 banger (the NA motor) just a bit less reliable, more finnicky and more expensive to repair?

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

Post  sharkey on Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:33 pm

an ls engine is rock solid reliable, where the porsche 2.5 is known for rod bearing problems, and couple that with timing belt changes every 30k, and a readjust at 15k. also figure in old engine management technology. going to a modern v8 does make sense.

the most important thing to remember is price out the parts to convert a truck engine first. used f body accessory drives are out there but getting hard to find. new kits start at $650, and you need to add a balancer to most of them. a complete ls1 intake manifold with rails and injectors can be an easy $400+. typically you can expect to spend $1000-1500 on converting a truck engine over to a car engine. the other thing thats also a consideration is the 90 ish pounds extra weight on the front end with a cast iron truck block. an aluminum ls ends up just a few pounds heavier than the porsche 4 cylinder, an iron block kills the weight balance of the car.

the reason i put so much importance on pricing everything before purchase is ive done several ls swaps where customers think they can get away cheap with a truck engine, only not to be able to find a cheap accessory drive like they figured and in the end spent the same money (or more) to have a heavier engine will less power. just really do your shopping before comitting to anything.

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

Post  Rich L. on Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:35 pm

Lots of the budget-minded swaps don't actually happen. Think about what you want. Are you looking for something unique that you don't mind dumping money and time into? Or do you really want that fox body mustang or that cheap mitsubishi instead? If you haven't already committed to a 944, you should think very carefully. Swapping the engine to a Chevy doesn't make the Porsche cheap to own.

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good point

Post  9445.3PLANNER on Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:56 pm

Great point... honestly I don't know right now. I know that I do not want to 'dump' time and money into it, period. But I have been reading pretty positive reviews on he reliability of the 944 overall, and as long as you can keep up with the suspension refreshes... the motor is really the only hurdle time/money wise, and that a v8 is a lot less of a time/money pig than the original engine. I might be wrong on that, but I have just heard lots of good things about these cars. If I can pick one up for a few thousand (found an original owner, exceptionally well maintained one for around 5.5k, 1985.5), and then drop in a v8 for 3k plus the conversion kit, ~2k, and freshen up the suspension for another 1k, that is a total of 11,500 for a reliable (I hope?) classic porsche with power! That would be stellar. But yea, if they are going to be nightmares, then no I don't want one. I am super motivated, but don't want to purchase a money pit.

I guess the alternative is to just pick the car up for 5.5k and have it gone thru (but the guys says it needs nothing) and just drive it. It has 120k on the OD. But it is NA... not quite what a v8. Another guy has a turbo model, but I do hear that they do get expensive to keep alive.

Anyway I appreciate the reality check re: time/money investment. Any other opinions about that?

I also like the thought of manual steering and braking to keep things a little simpler and possibly a little less expensive to maintain in the long run.

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

Post  fantic on Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:24 pm

I just got mine on the road. Probably never really finished. My budget was for manual brakes and steering. That was fine till a close call happened a couple of weeks ago. Ordered the hydroboost kit and although a pain in the ass to install with the motor in it made all the difference in braking. Like any project there is always something. Add at least 10% to your budget. Nothing is really hard to do on the swap it's just time consuming. Good Luck.

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

Post  sharkey on Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:32 pm

ill 2nd the manual brakes thing. manual brakes are doable, but not a simple bolt the master cylinder to the firewall and go. you really need to do a dual master cylinder and balance bar to make them worjk well. by the time you do that, may as well just do the hydroboost.

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

Post  9445.3PLANNER on Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:12 pm

Thanks, that is really good to know. I would do he hydroboost then for the brakes. Is manual steering ok? I see reports that it is alright in 944's...

Yea, I do not want to be the guy who starts and never finishes and just disappears from the forums. I know that stuff happens and sometimes people have to leave the project behind. I get that. But if I do this I want a sober, realistic plan and budget.

I appreciate all the input.

Does anyone know how much it costs to overhaul the suspension, keeping it stock but just replacing everything? Seems like it usually runs between 1,000 and 2,000 if a guy does the work himself. Also do you guys know if there are lots of special tools required for that? I am good with a wrench but I have not seen a thorough explanation of what is actually needed to do a robust suspension overhaul.

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

Post  fantic on Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:45 pm

The manual steering is not bad. But if you do the hydro boost it's only two more hoses. I'm the third owner of my project. First guy had the motor built and did the motor install. Ran into problems and sold it to owner number two. I don't think number two had the time to devote to it or lost interest. It took me three months after work and weekends to get it on the road. I think the total build has been over three years. Good luck.

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

Post  erioshi on Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:51 pm

If you want to get a sense of what you might really be signing up for let me drop this post from my 928 build thread in here.  This quote was from just over a year ago.

erioshi wrote:Update - more parts are here and new chassis:

Have decided to put the L33 into a different 928 chassis.  I'll post more details when I start a specific thread.  The short version is that the cosmetics and interior are at 95% on this car, and it already has AC.  My '79 would require significant time and money to to bring to the same level.  With the new car I should be driving this summer.

928 swap race car should finally be moved into the new build space in about a month.  It has been in storage while waiting on available garage space.

Swap parts that are on the shelf:

Complete used L33 (Aluminum 5.3) drop-out with all accessories, full harness, ecm, throttle body, pedal assembly and pedal assembly control module

Used L59 (Flex-Fuel 5.3) fuel injectors that should flow 33 lbs/min and plug directly into my truck harness

xchop's LS conversion kit
New Corvette two piece bell housing
New F-Body engine mounts
New LS1 Fidanza flywheel
New Corvette clutch slave cylinder
New CTS-V front end accessories drive kit - includes all new AC, PS and alternator plus all belts, pulleys and bolts
New CTS-V water pump
New CTS-V thermostat and integrated water pump outlet
New CTS-V harmonic balancer
New EPS cam kit with dual valve springs, retainers and new pushrods
New fuel rail assembly with ebay fuel rails and the AN fittings needed for a returnless fuel system that works with nylon New lines and quick connect fittings
New Sanderson LS134 coated headers with supporting hardware
New SpeedMaster LS aluminum rear sump oil pan & pickup
New ARP flywheel and pressure plate bolts
New bell housing bolts
New Dorman LS6 intake manifold
New timing chain & gears
New Corvette returnless style fuel filter
Lots of new gaskets
OEM radiator

New Sachs clutch disk - may be replaced with Spec kit
New LS1 pressure plate - may be replaced with Spec kit

Swap parts still needed:

Rework new SpeedMaster LS aluminum rear sump oil pan & pickup - add pan baffles & modify to clear crossmember, etc.
Remote clutch slave bleed kit
Remote oil filter kit
MAF, air box, intake tubing and filter - will wait until the engine is sitting in the car
Heater hoses - will wait until the engine is in the car
AC hoses - will wait until the engine is in the car
Power steering hoses - will wait until the engine is in the car

Additional swap related work:

(?) Have the heads ported?  Now is probably the best time for this if I'm going to do it.
Inspect engine lower half to see if it needs attention.
(?) New cam bearings?
(?) Replacement clutch master cylinder? - everyone seems to replace this, but the OEM 928 unit seems to be sized comparably to the Corvette unit.  Might be a good WYIT item.

Already on the other car (but should be checked with this one?):

New nylon fuel lines for the back half of the car up to the OE hard line to the engine bay
New fuel rated rubber vent lines for tank vents and vapor chambers
Clean, paint and repair fuel tank cradle and fuel pump cover (if needed)

Needed non-engine parts before car reaches driver status:

New in-tank fuel screen - cheap insurance for the OE fuel pump.
Refinish new (used) wheels before mounting tires
(?) New spacers and studs (rear) for the 10x18 wheels? - I'm going 10x18 square with 265/35-18 rubber - will rears need spacers to look right? (non-essential)

Possible Porsche related maintenance expected:

New shift linkage parts
New torque tube bearings
Possibly replace transmission mounts

Outstanding questions and areas needing research

(?) Adapt GM parts for Porsche PS pump use? - research and decision needed.  Would be nice to retain OE steering feel.
VSS solution - need to research this a bit more
Tuning software - Need to decide between HPTuners and EFI Live
Post-collector flange exhaust system design and parts selection - dual 2.5" or single 3+"?  Based on specs provided with cam.  Will probably wait until the engine is in the car.
LS6(?) PCV and engine venting updates - Need to investigate this further to avoid LS1 style oil consumption issues
Electric cooling fans and shroud - Ford dual-fan unit?

Getting closer...

Since I posted that I have moved forward a bit, but am still not ready to put the engine in the car.  I did decide to have the heads ported, so am waiting for time to get them off my donor engine and have them sent out.  I did buy the Spec clutch.  And I did send out my wheels for refinishing.

I have decided that unless the cam bearing are showing wear, I will leave them alone.  If anything looks even a tiny bit suspect, I'll replace them.  Not in the mood to take chances with a new cam.  The condition of the cam bearings and cylinders will determine if I crack the bottom end bearings.  Again, if things look fishy I'll replace and recondition as needed.  Too deep into this project to take take unnecessary risks.

I have opted for some extra parts and work to boost power.  However that is only part of the added expense.  Much of the "extra" cost on my build comes from three things.  Adding a bit more power, wanting to keep everything fitting under a stock hood, and wanting the car to be very reliable when it is finished.  That last goal has pushed me towards new parts versus used for things that I could probably source used.  When I looked at the prices, the used parts were not saving enough money to justify having to pull the car apart again for repairing failures I could have avoided.  Even if you look past the costs associated with those factors, there is still a long list of parts needed to make the swap work.  And putting an LS into a 928 is a really easy swap, probably easier than dropping one into a 944.

Not too bad really, but definitely a bit more complicated than old engine out - new engine in.
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Re: Want to get started, but overwhelmed. Need a plan.

Post  matty89 on Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:12 pm

if you come to canada i have a 4.8 2007 bare block with the crank i can sell you 30$ Smile and everything said i started off with a Truck 6L LQ4 and i can tell you i had to buy all the accesories for a F-body .... you break out even unless you find a mega deal ! good luck if any questions about truck engines im not far from the forums usually . matt-

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

Post  rawr on Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:40 pm

erioshi wrote: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.

I agree with this only if you get one that hasn't had the accessories, intake, fuel lines and injectors ripped off.

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

Post  LSA_944 on Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:32 pm

In my opinion (not that anyone asked), it's your build and your money so go with whatever engine (LM7, iron, aluminum, etc) you want but keep in mind the iron block adds about 150 lbs or so over the aluminum. I chose to go with a 5.3 iron block simply for the cost ($400 complete) and the fact I already had to budget for a complete accessory drive kit, intake, fuel injectors/rail, and heads since I'm running an LSA supercharger. I essentially bought all the stuff that needs to bolt onto or into the block and simply found the cheapest block I can find. As for the swap kit, definitely TPC, but be sure to order the kit early and preferably all at once as I broke my order up and am still waiting for my brake adapter and manifolds. Just follow all the invaluable advice hidden within this forum and the build will go smooth as silk. As for the ECU, I'm going with the custom Holley Terminator EFI ($$$$$, as much as the rest of my build) set-up so I can more easily set-up my boost parameters on the fly. But you can get a stock ECU for cheap and have it flashed even cheaper if you are only running a stock (or close to) 5.3L. Good luck on your build, I can't wait to read it.

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