I have a 1981 Chevy Camaro, which was giving to me by my older brother
who is in the Army and doesn't have time to take care of the car
anymore. It has a small 267 ( 4.4L ) V8 with almost 150,000 miles on
it. The car has been garaged for the last 5 years, and needs work done
to it. My brother already told me that it needs a new rear main seal,
because the car leaks about 4 quarts of oil a week!!!
I had it towed to a local mechanic to have them look it over, and they
confirmed that yes, it does need a new rear main seal it that would cost
$550 dollars. It also needs a complete, full tune up which they wanted
$250 for, plus they said the carburetor needs to be rebuilt and that
would be another $200 to $300 dollars.
Now my question is, I would like to have a bigger engine with more
horsepower, so instead of investing money into this old and tired
engine, could someone please give me a rough estimate of how much it
would be to replace the 267 with a new or rebuilt 350 or 350 4 bolt
Also, can you tell me if the transmission would have to be changed, and
what else might have to be converted, such as the single exhaust to a
I would like to know what you guys think a rough estimate of what a job
like this would cost?? I would like to hear from you experts here first
instead of just going to a repair shop and having them give me some
outrageous price because they see a woman walking in and jack the price
up on me.
Any info. would greatly be appreciated!!
Now, I've got to say first that I'm in Canada, but those prices seem
reasonable to me...at least, in Canadian bucks, anyway...as for US dollars,
I can't say with any degree of accuracy.
If you DO swap-out the motor, and the motor you're swapping out is the
original one that came with the car...KEEP THE OLD MOTOR!!! It might seem
like a lot of space to waste in the garage for something yu're not going to
use, but believe me when I say that, if you ever decided to sell it as a
collectible car, with that original motor, you'll be able to get 10 times as
much money for it as you would without it...even if it needs a complete
rebuild to put it back into service by whoever buys it!!!
If you were to put another engine in, you MIGHT be able to stick with the
current one, if it's a 350 or 400 Turbo transmission...if it's standard, I'm
not sure, and I'll leave that to someone else who knows better.
The pricing you quotred for fixing it up sounds reasonable.
I can say that in Canada at least, a good used tranny will cost you
upwards of $600 bucks USED if you swapped out the motor and didn't already
have a strong enough tranny to take the load of the new engine.
The motor alone, if you got it used and in good (ie: not needing any MAJOR
work to get it running right) will probably run you up to $1200, but would
average out at about 800 bucks, (give or take rules applied, here).
My "generalized opinion" about the whole situation is this: Fix what ya
got...cheaper for now, and it'll benefit you more in the long run if you
ever do intend to sell it at some point down the road. (Pardon the pun. ;)
I checked again tonight, and the engine is a 4.4L 267 V8. It was the
small gas-saver 8 cylinder that they came out with in 1981.
I also checked the Vin numbers, and it is the original factory engine. I
would like to keep the original engine in the car because I hear that
its worth more that way, but is it possible to get more horsepower out
of this engine?? Can you get 300 to 400 horsepower from a 267?? Also, is
it possible to convert the single exhaust to a dual exhaust??
Thanks everyone for ALL of your great info. and answers, I really do
First off, I would like to thank everyone for all their great advice, I
really do appreciate it. After doing a search on the web, I came across
the engine specs. for the 1981 Camaro. The 267 engine was listed as
having 115 hp, while the 350 was listed at having 175 hp. This is
something I would probably be happy with. I don't know what I was
thinking when I said I wanted 300-400 horsepower out of this 267.
I would be willing to keep the original 267 numbers matching engine in
the car if I could get the power of a factory 350. Anywhere close to at
least 200 hp would be nice so that I don't have to be worried about
being passed by my friend in her 1989 4 cylinder Chevy Cavalier!!!!!
Which was a true story!!! When I drove the car a few years ago, I took
it to work with me, and on the way home I was racing my friend home,
because we both were going the sane way, and she past me in her 4
cylinder, 4 door Cavalier!!!
The 267 is weak and has no power at all, so I woud love for it to have
the power of the 350 engine.
Here is a link to the 1981 Camaros engine specs:
Excellent compromise, Michelle! I wish you the best of luck in all the
swearing at your vehicle that you're about to start doing!
One other thing that you might consider is one of the newer-model Camaro
V-6's, too...can probably get a good price on one from a wreck at a good
salvage yard as well. It might be as expensive as a 350, but I've heard
(haven't checked myself, so that comes with instructions to take 2 grains of
salt with it...) that the performance is comparable to an 80's-grade 305m
while keeping gas mileage within reasonable limits.
Might be something you would want to check into a bit before finalizing
your engine swap...
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