engine swap suggestions.

Hey. You guys seem to know a whole lot more than I do about Trans Ams (I only recently bought one a week ago) so I'll ask another question.
I have a carburated 305 in my 1987 Trans Am and I've seen estimates
for its output on various websites ranging from 145-165 HP and 220-245 ft-lb. Needless to say I'd like more, but I've been told that I'd be better off swapping the engine entirely. It seems like the amount of money it would take to swap in a more powerful engine would be better spent on that swap rather than a bunch of mods to the 305.
So what do you think? Like, what would be the best value and easiest engine to install on this car? I was thinking about getting a 350 from a Firebird Formula but that sounds like it'd be hard to find. I'm looking for an engine for my car that is both powerful and easily accessible.
By the way, if anyone wants to see my car here is a pic - http://lhjx.tripod.com/transam.html
The looks make it seem like it'll blow most other cars off the road but the output doesn't seem to match. I haven't driven it yet (need to save some cash for a starter and new tires first) but I'd imagine it's not terribly powerful. so if anyone out there has this car, be sure to let me know what you think.
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The 305 you have will be in the 145-165 hp range. The 220-245 has a TPI system.
The easiest thing to do is to find a donor car and pull everything from it (engine, harness, computer, etc) and put everything into your T/A.
Start doing some research on www.thirdgen.org. You'll find TONS of information that you can use there for your engine swap. My recommendation is to just live with the carb engine unless you're ready to do a LOT of work due to the swap. I thought I was ready to do an engine swap and I was way over my head. After doing it wrong the first time, I'm sure that I could do a swap now, but it cost me a lot of time and money to get it done wrong and then to fix it.
The thing I'd recommend is to find a 350 TPI and drop that in.. You'll need the harness and computer. I think in 87 the speedo was still cable driven so you'll either have to stick with a cable driven speedo or get the instrument cluster to match. There are a lot of considerations that need to be made and it won't be a "drop it in and go" swap.
-Bruce
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teabagphil wrote:

First question - where do you live? Do they do emissions testing? If yes, then you have a lot more rules to follow. If not, then pretty much any small block chevy will fit in there. (big blocks fit too, a little snugly, but it can be done....)
Speed costs money - how fast do you want to go? Seriously - 14's are cheaper than 13's and 13's are cheaper than 9's. How practical does the car need to be? The wife won't allow a rollcage in the Ram Air (she's paying for 1/2) so I can't go below 11.99 at the strip, but she did buy me nitrous for our wedding anniversary so it's not all bad. (12.18 with 100 shot and 13.11 on the motor and I finally ordered SFCs and an SLP loudmouth so I should be right around the 12 flat mark.) And I have a beater truck to drive for when I break stuff... if it is your only car you have to take that into account...
Ray
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A great and intuitive tip!
Most people don't consider that if it's their only car. When shit breaks, they'll have to rely heavily on the limousines foa da feet!
Refinish King

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wrote:

For the OP, nice looking body on the car. Reminds me a bit of the '90 Formula I used to have. By now it's been turned into parts or toasters tho.... ~~~~~~ Bait for spammers: root@localhost postmaster@localhost admin@localhost abuse@localhost postmaster@[127.0.0.1] snipped-for-privacy@ftc.gov ~~~~~~ Remove "spamless" to email me.
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Overlord wrote:

nope, but if you want I'll get her brother to call you. ;)
Ray
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Getting a bit old to consider any major lifestyle changes like that... ~~~~~~ Bait for spammers: root@localhost postmaster@localhost admin@localhost abuse@localhost postmaster@[127.0.0.1] snipped-for-privacy@ftc.gov ~~~~~~ Remove "spamless" to email me.
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LOFL!
How do you know he's a hamslammer, and doesn't only enjoy murdering people with an axe?
LOFL!
Refinish King

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Okay, here's the situation. I live in NY and as far as inspections go, I know someone that can hook me up if my car breaks only a few rules. ;) I've decided that I want a 350 TPI so my final few questions are how hard are they to find in usable shape, how expensive are they and how much of a pain would it be to swap it in? Thanks. :)
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A good automotive electrical background:
And a good mechanical background for all the kittle trivial things that will popup.
Make no mistake, many will, and when you think you have them all figured out. LOOK OUT! Here come a few more!
Just to let you know, it can be done, but you will be reaching into your repitoui of foul words and make up a few new ones when you hit a few road blocks that you thought you had fixed.
Refinish King
PS When you finally have it done, you will smile for months, and you will deserve it. Because just having the balls to attack it makes you better than most men!

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My nephew has a Camaro about the same vintage. He ran NOS on it for a summer 'till the stock 305 died in a smokey knocking mess. He built a 400 for it and had a chip burned for the computer, installed larger injectors, and used all the stock 305 componants, intake, exhaust and so on. The thing goes like stink untill the engine reachs the limitations of the stock manifolds, about 5000 RPM. He has NOT hooked up the NOS on the 400.
I have a 305 in a '93 Chevy and am thinking of doing the same, or just stick a 350 in it, or perhaps build a 383 stroker, and running the stock manifolds.
It really depends on how deep your pockets are, how far you want to go with it, and vehicle inspectios in your area. Many places will pass a vehicle as long as it looks stock, others are tougher on mods. Greg
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On 2 Jun 2004 11:28:31 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (teabagphil) puked:

If I were you, I'd get some tires and have the front end looked at before dumping an engine in there! Nice looking car, though. -- lab~rat >:-) Do you want polite or do you want sincere?
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