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Swapping a 350 small block into my 88 gl


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26 replies to this topic

#1 ABawm 88 GL

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 04:03 AM

I have a currently RWD converted 88 ea82 gl and I want to swap a 350 into it. I was mostly wondering If anyone's done this swap on the forums and had any advice on it. Also curious as to what kind of rear end to run and if an ej22 trans would be able to hold the power

#2 grossgary

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 06:04 AM

"hold the power" is relative.  it will definitely hold it if you're a hyper-miler daily driver, but has no chance if you're going to race it.  obviously you're not the former, i'd lean towards it probably not holding.  seems like it would be simplest to just get a RWD trans that bolts to a 350 and install the entire lump rather than adapting the 350 to a quarter of a century old trans that's used to 90 hp.

 

probably would want some beefy front end components - struts and springs to hold that extra weight and handle reasonably.

did you do a weight comparison - 350 to the existing engine?



#3 ABawm 88 GL

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 06:26 AM

Only reasons why I don't want a RWD trans is i don't want a 4 speed and I don't want to have to order a custom driveline. Also I'm just a 19 year old and I love drifting and doing burnouts. How practical it is isn't an issue haha. However I am looking into better suspension.

#4 AKghandi

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 06:33 AM

iffn your wanting more power to make the wagon slideways, why not pick up an old rx7? the motor and tranny on those have only 2 mounts, one at the front of the motor, and one at the back of the trans. and theres alot of power to be had from a rotary.  if you were going to put a v8 in it i would suggest getting an rx7 just for the rear axle, no subie diff will hold the tq.

 

also rx-7s are very similar in length and width as a gl, so the drive shaft might work as is.

 

 

just my two cents.


Edited by AKghandi, 14 March 2013 - 06:34 AM.


#5 ABawm 88 GL

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 06:46 AM

Honestly. Your 2 cents are much appreciated. As much as I wanna go rotary. I'd only do it if I could go 3 rotor and that just seems like soo much mula. Plus I don't know enough about rotaries haha. But do you think that toyota would make a strong enough rear end and trans? Like a 7m supra?

#6 AKghandi

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 07:54 AM

well rotarys are very very simple, theres only a handfull of moving parts, even a 12a  with some mild porting can make 200hp+  they can make 350hp N/A with periferal ports which would be completely unusable on the road, as they idle at about 3k are loud as hell and dont make power till about 8k.

  most porting is very cheap, you really only need a dremmel and a template. of course while your at it might as well refresh all the seals.

http://www.mazdarotary.net/porting.htm

i wouldn't put a v8 into one of these, it just wouldn't be practical at all. but a 10k reving rotary making 200hp+  would make a hell of a subie.

 

 

I'm in the same boat as you, 19 and broke. but if i were to make a drift subie I'd pick up one of the many $200 rx7's around here and strip it for its running gear and put it into a subie.

 

 

supra stuff would hold it but good luck finding some on the cheap.


Edited by AKghandi, 14 March 2013 - 08:04 AM.


#7 86BRATMAN

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 08:00 AM

IMHO rotaries are garbage.  And yes a supra rear diff would hold up.  Even us mk2 guys can run pretty big power through the mk2's 7.5" rear end.  The 8" from the mk3 would do the job a little better, but its all in what you can find.



#8 Dj Syco

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 12:24 PM

You don't have to go custom tranny. There are hundreds of options for SBC's out there. and a LOT are 5 speeds. plus getting a driveshaft made costs around 100 bucks. If you're worried about 100 bucks you shouldn't be doing the swap in the first place.



#9 mikaleda

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 01:46 PM

I don't see how your going to get a 350 in a gl but if you want a tough auto that will bolt up to a 350 get a TH350 their bulletproof with a shift kit and stall converter.

#10 Twitch de la Brat

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 01:48 PM

Small Block Chevy swap won't be easy, nor cheap, nor in your budget range if you aren't able to get a custom driveshaft. And a stock EA82 running a purely RWD setup with a LSD in the rear should be able to light off the tires decently enough. Toss some delta torque cams in it and I'm sure you'll be able to hold nice smoky tire burn for as long as you please, given you have the e-brake set. And if you think setting the e-brake would prevent you from doing a RWD burnout, please learn more about your car before you start modifying it.

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#11 mikaleda

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 02:00 PM

To tell you the truth I know people that have put 350's in s10's and they have to much power for a light truck like that. A subie is going to be even lighter since there is no frame, and that's another thing, is your unibody going to be able to hold up to the torque of a 350? You really might want to do some more research on this.

#12 NorthWet

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 03:51 PM

Use which ever Subaru transmission you please.

 

 

The rest of this is opinion that you have not requested.

Any Subaru transmisiion is going to handgrenade under the use that you intend.  Unless the rear diff handgrenades first. Or the rear axle joints handgrenade.  None of these parts were designed to handle half of the torque that your SBC is likely to produce, even dead stock.

 

I personally think that your expectations are unrealistic. If getting a driveshaft made is too much trouble and expense, consider the costs of adapting a SBC to a Subaru transmission (flywheel, adapter plate, clutch, probably starter).  Then the motor mounts and exhaust.  Plus the custom setup of rear axles and diff. 

 

And, as it has been pointed out, strenghening the unibody: When GM brought out unibody cosnstruction, people drag racing Camaros and Firebirds with SBCs were permamently deforming the unibody, bending, twisting, and sometimes just plain breaking.

 

Good luck! :)



#13 Uberoo

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 06:42 PM

A v8 MIGHT fit in the engine bay.Although fitting is relative because you will have to FABRICATE new mounts,and possibly a crossmember. Steering would be a pain to work with because the steering shaft would directly interfere with the driver side head/exhaust manifold.Then there would be clearance issues with the brake master cylinder/booster. Assuming you got all that set up you would need some seriously stiff springs because the old school "tree fidy" and its transmission is about 3X times heavier than whats in there now.The stock engine weighs about 200 lbs plus about 75 for the transmission.A 350 weighs about about 750 lbs with iron heads not even including the transmission.

 

Next up is the body,While the unibody is quite strong strong it will not hold up to v8 torque without some re-enforcements. The Brakes in stock form are barely adequate at coping with stock power,mass,and speed.So they will need to be updated.Finally the stock subaru rear end likes to break under stock power in RWD if you thrash on it on pavement.A solid axle and its suspension will need to be swapped in.

 

Horsepower costs money.How fast do you want to go?

 

In short it will be a LOT of work to put a 350 into a subaru and make it work right,not to mention alot of money.If a $100 driveshaft is stopping you from attempting this swap then there is no way you could do it.At the minimum it would take close to $1000 just getting junkyard parts. 

 

A better option would be to remove anything that isn't needed: spare tire,AC parts,Rear seat,carpet and sound deadening material,radio and speakers,headliner,any glass after the windshield,hell for that matter toss the heater and just wear a coat.Ditch the passenger seat because a girl will NOT ride in the car with it like that.If you have a wagon cut off the roof after the rear doors including the rear hatch as well.The hood can go too.Then go weld up the rear diff for better sideways-ness.



#14 NickNakorn

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 07:41 PM

Seems like a huge amount of work to make a car that in almost every respect will be worse than a small stock rear wheel drive V8.  One of the Subaru's greatest assets is that it is light and dainty so it seems a huge waste of money to turn it into a heavy, conventional carv - why not buy a small reawheel drive V8; there must be a massive choice...? 



#15 Prwa101

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 09:06 PM

Just my 2¢ but I have a 69 Chev pickup with a small block 350 pushing 260hp and there's been times where it's a lot to Handel and it weights less than 3000lbs. Your Subaru weighs about 1500-1900lbs. I'd be afraid that you'd poop your pants with a 350 in your gl. Haha.

But on another note, I know the chev vortex v6 would be much more suitable for a Subaru application. Good engines too, my brother has one in his s10 and it runs like a champ.

Never the less it's going to be Spendy any way you go, custom fabrication and a lot of it.

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#16 WoodsWagon

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 12:36 PM

First off, nothing in the subaru drivetrain will hold up to what you hope to do. So you must really like the body style to want to do a swap, because that's the only subaru part that will be left.

 

There are many other cars that lend themselves much better to v8 swaps. Like boxy styling? There are KITS to bolt a v8 into any 80's volvo.

 

Or buy a v8 car. Most of them have well supported platforms, so braking, steering, suspension, and drivetrain upgrades are off the shelf bolt on parts. Unlike the 88GL, which is a dead platform and has no aftermarket performance parts made for it.

 

The only thing that makes an old disposable cheap subaru any better than any other car of its vintage is the 4wd. You plan on tossing that out, so why not get an econobox that was made to be RWD in the first place and do the swap in that?

 

A ford 5.0l will fit a lot better than a SBC, and you can get good ones cheap out of Explorers. 96 had the GT40 heads that work with any of the older headers, 97-01 had GT40p's that take special headers to clear the spark plugs. You can drop a carbed manifold on any of them and plug in a distributor.


Edited by WoodsWagon, 15 March 2013 - 12:37 PM.


#17 PHATBRAT

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 04:09 PM

A 350 will twist that unibody. I looked into a 327 into my BRAT and would have had to build a full frame under it to do that. That alone is like 1500. Another thing to consider is a v8 is going to stick way up out of your engine bay. So unless you're installing a body lift between your custom frame and your body, you're gonna have clearance issues. Then you'd have to get an engine/trans...etc so unless you have about 5500 but probably more to have a shop do this or about 2700 and a crap load of fabrication skills and the space, time and tools, its time to bury that dream. It CAN be done but unless you're making $45/hr or better, I doubt you'll be able to afford it.
I agree with everyone else, put your $ into an Ea82 and custom trans/rears/gears or whatever. If you can afford a wrx swap, that would also be cheaper.

#18 Crazyeights

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 08:51 PM

A 350 will twist that unibody. I looked into a 327 into my BRAT and would have had to build a full frame under it to do that. That alone is like 1500. Another thing to consider is a v8 is going to stick way up out of your engine bay. So unless you're installing a body lift between your custom frame and your body, you're gonna have clearance issues. Then you'd have to get an engine/trans...etc so unless you have about 5500 but probably more to have a shop do this or about 2700 and a crap load of fabrication skills and the space, time and tools, its time to bury that dream. It CAN be done but unless you're making $45/hr or better, I doubt you'll be able to afford it.
I agree with everyone else, put your $ into an Ea82 and custom trans/rears/gears or whatever. If you can afford a wrx swap, that would also be cheaper.

I spent quite a few years building V8 Vegas and Monzas.  In my opinion this isn't a good plan. Perhaps build an EJ and try that first. You may be quite surprised how well that swap works out. Adding a heavy V8 to that small car will create serious handling, steering, and stopping problems. You will basically end up building a new car around the engine to support the added power and weight.


Edited by Crazyeights, 15 March 2013 - 08:54 PM.


#19 turbosubarubrat

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 09:30 PM

if he does it he should find a rolling frame with everything on it besides the body so he can cut it down to size or whatever to put the subaru shell on top of it. or another way is to find a frame thats semi close to the same dimensions and work with it. i have seen a 280z done like that with a 302 out of a mustang on a bronco 2 frame and a 4wd transmission, and if i remember right the 280z's where unibody. from what i have heard the old chevy luv's don't hold up to the 350 swaps very well but i still see them around. 


Edited by turbosubarubrat, 15 March 2013 - 09:31 PM.


#20 88wacaroo

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 10:18 PM

My $0.02s If it"s welcome...Let"s see on the Cheap EH? EA82 Turbo mtr.to start then take out the frt. axles-leave the stubs in the hubs,Empty the cat out, Get a LSD and a Can {Muffler} an there ya go...OR  Trade or Sell your Subie to someone who wants it and get a early "80"s Camaro W/A V-8 weld the Diff.,an there you go a Driftin!!! There"s 1 on craigs here in Denver I saw yesterday! A SBC in a gl-you would have to do dry sump-No Oil Pan $800. It would still stick up thru the hood,pullnpay trans $150. PnP Rear Diff.$125. The weight Diff. Unreal..... <_<



#21 Loyale 2.7 Turbo

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 12:36 AM

I've seen Imprezas & Legacies with V8 Engines, even with V12...

 

but is rare to come across to such a Swap onto an Old-School Subie...

 

~►  

 

~►  http://www.rusker.co...osworth-engine/

 

~►  http://www.lextreme....ead.php?p=96192

 

Good Luck!

 

Kind Regards.



#22 88wacaroo

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 01:49 AM

That"s not a Subie <_< It"s just a shell of it"s former self



#23 Loyale 2.7 Turbo

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 03:48 AM

Yes, I Agree... 



#24 Gloyale

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 10:52 AM

Just my 2¢ but I have a 69 Chev pickup with a small block 350 pushing 260hp and there's been times where it's a lot to Handel and it weights less than 3000lbs. Your Subaru weighs about 1500-1900lbs. I'd be afraid that you'd poop your pants with a 350 in your gl. Haha.
 

 

You're a bit off on the weights.

 

Curb weight as specified in the 86 FSM  for an EA82, 4wd wagon is 2495 lbs.  The front end is 1350, and is rated to carry 1780 Gross (maximum loading)

trade the 200lb EA82 for an 800lb SBC.  That's 600 lbs added to the 1350 = 1950, so already 170 lbs over the rating.....not including all the tube steel you are gonna need to reinforce the front end with.

 

And a 69 Chevy pickup?  Well over 4000lbs.

 

Now, back to our show.



#25 ivans imports

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 10:56 AM

Toyota truck rear strait axle and 2 speed powerglide and hang on !! thats how the mud dragters do it and have seen many toyota axles get very punished with high hp and they hold up well for independat diff whould use 300 zx or early jag diff with inbord brakes






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