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79 trans am swap

This is a discussion on 79 trans am swap within the LSx Retrofit and Swap forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I have a 79 trans am with a 403 that I was going to replace with a 400 that I ...

  1. #1
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    79 trans am

    79 trans am swap

    I have a 79 trans am with a 403 that I was going to replace with a 400 that I have. Problem is that I thought the block was good, turns out needs complete rebuild so I thinking of a ls1 swap instead. Can anybody suggest a model to look for or ones not to look for... I have been looking for 98-02 ws6 wrecked trans ams but have not been having much luck. How far do most people go with retros. Gauges? A/C? Rear end?

  2. #2
    Former Mopar Man 2002ssslp's Avatar
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    02 Camaro SS, 04 GTO

    You can go as far as your wallet will take you. For an LS1 I would go with Ebay.
    My ride is a 2002 Camaro SS SLP #3296 with 30k, LTH, 3" Y, CME, Frost tune, K&N, ported TB, Blackwing lid, Bellows, MSD, Denso Iridium, and 85mm MAF, Bilsteins, Eibach springs, SLP strut brace, Adj. Panhard, TA Girdle, UMI, Pro 5.0, Nitto NT555
    My wife has a 2004 GTO with the rare SAP, 18" wheels, K&N Cold Air System, MSD, Ported TB, Frost tune, Denso Iridium, Flowmaster cat-back, 3200 Yank, 75k

  3. #3
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    I like to use LKQ when looking for newer engines. Priced decent, warranty, and usually low mileage if you are patient and keep looking. They are all around the country in about every state, so what may not be where you live, can be located and brought in from another location which makes it nice.
    I got my 80,000 mile 6.0 from a 2004 truck there, $1200 out the door complete with the computer, front accessory drive, complete wire harness, exhaust manifolds and part of the exhaust system, cooling fan, shroud, air intake etc. etc...basically a complete package. I couldn't beat it for the price no matter where I looked. They have 5.3's, and some aluminum LS engines as well, just have to shop around and find what you want.

    If it were me, I'd grab the overdrive trans (and did) for the swap as well and do it all.

    Your factory 8.5" 10 bolt will be fine and is plenty strong, I'd leave that be.

    On gauges, I used the factory gauges and simply drilled and tapped the LS engine to accept the mechanical sending units. Pretty simple.

    AC is where some run into problems. Since the compressor is mounted low it does cause fitment issues, and your 2nd gen Fbody is likely no different. Some will cut and box in the frame to make it fit. Saves a few bucks but you will still need to make lines, and it's a whole lot of fun when that compressor is burried
    I prefered to use a high mount AC compressor relocation kit from Kwik Performance, which uses a new Sanden style compressor. Had some AC lines made and charged it up.

    The rest is a piece of cake. There are several companies now that make headers and engine mounts to drop the LS right into the 2nd gens. Just make sure you use the same manufacture, as some headers don't criss cross with other engine mounts.

  4. #4
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    79 trans am

    Just wondering why you would go with auto vs manual
    Also my rear end is a 2.41 so I will need to do something with it also, just wondering if 4th gen would fit

  5. #5
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    4th gen rear won't fit, that would be a step backwards anyway, you'll make quick work of the whimpy 7.5's they come with.

    Stick with the 8.5 you already have and just do a gear swap.

    If your car is a factory 403 then you have the auto trans. Much easier (and cheaper) to just keep it that way. If you find a 6.0 it will come with the 4L80E, it would be a bullet proof combo to run, nothing wrong with it.

    If you want to go manual you have alot of options that way as well. T56 may require some floor surgery, you'll have to mount a hydraulic clutch setup (slave/master) or use something like a quicktime bellhousing that uses a mechanical linkage. You could also go the TKO600 route which is made as a retro fit kit with everything you need. Either way you go witha stick you'll need a 4 speed console for a 2nd gen that matches the interior etc....it just keeps adding up.

    Not sure exactly what you want as an end result though so the amount of work and money is going to vary.

  6. #6
    Member CHEVELLE of JONESY's Avatar
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    1967 Chevy Chevelle
    2008 Hummer H3 Alpha

    I'm going as far as building LS2 with a Tremec TKO for my '67 Chevelle
    There are some things you just can't test in a white lab coat.

  7. #7
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    79 trans am

    swap

    Has anyone ever swapped the entire interior from a 4th gen to a 2nd Gen trans am

  8. #8
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    79 trans am

    guess not

    Think I will try

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