'94 estate wagon gen IV small block conversion - Buick Forum - Buick Enthusiasts Forums

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Old 03-28-2016, 01:29 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Dallas Texas
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Default '94 estate wagon gen IV small block conversion

I'm new to the forum and would like some help figuring out what kind of conversion would get me the best low rev torque and fuel economy. I just have 1,250 invested in this land yatcht and don't care at all about my 1/4 time. The current engine is the 5.7 Lt1 and is a monster but is to much engine for my needs.
I know my way around an engkne bay but have only ever worked on my dads 454 in a 78 suburban and my current car when it comes to v8 power. Im not sure if i would like to stick to a ls1 swap with a conservative cam and minor tuning and mods. Or a 4.3 v6 so i can just rebuild my trans. The 4.2 I6 vortec will give me the same option from my understanding and access to 90% torque at 1600 rpm's
Also if I go v6 I've heard good things about the current camero DOHC v6. Budget isn't much of an issue since this is my first time and i will be taking it slow. As I've said I'm new to this and would appreciate any corrections or feed back
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Old 12-01-2017, 08:26 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2017
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For what it costs you in money, time, and effort, the payback will take many years. You should leave it the way it is and drive it. The wagons get phenomenal mileage when properly maintained, and the engine is almost bullet proof. They are known to last up to 500K.
The only exorbitantly costly, and difficult item to replace is the optical distributor. It is an expensive item, and costs a lot to have someone swap it. If you can do it yourself, and you said that you are comfortable working in the engine bay, it is reasonable.
The one thing you should check is the post at the back of the electrical box. Some of the early LT1 cars had a zinc post, and they will corrode causing engine compartment fires. You can replace it with a copper one, and that will fix the problem.
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Old 12-03-2017, 06:03 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Minot, ME
Posts: 113

Do agree with Fred completely. Imagine that would take a decade to see any savings from initial expense if at all. Gas price wise these days isn't bad at all. Remember back in '64 a few places where it was .25 a gallon still but minimum wage too was only $1.25ph (yup, was there once upon). So a gallon of gas was 1/5 of the hourly rate. Today at $25PH fuel is a bargain IMHO, gas would need to be $5 per gallon to be an equal ratio with the good ole days (speaking for myself here).

Driving habits would be the largest factor to determine for gas mileage. A smaller engine would use more gas as it would have to work harder and to get it all to actually run right? I'd look at a transmission change or rear axle gear ratios, overdrive would be more realistic.

Better yet, purchase a chip or tune that would reprogram the computer for economy. Even back in the 90's engine management had computers, programmable shift points. How ever would just an engine swap or mod deal with that? http://www.gmtuners.com/eprom/index.htm Something like this, I'd look at Carid also, a sponsor on this site.

5.7 L motor isn't big at all, my Boss has a 5L and that's only a 302CI (a bit less actually) and on street program in 6th gear will get 27MPG on a trip. Trackey forget it, maybe 16MPG. Let's see, 5.7L would be about 348CI or probably rounded off, rated as a 350CID?

Last edited by Rich B.; 12-03-2017 at 05:31 PM.
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