81 Engine Tranny swap - CorvetteForum - Chevrolet Corvette Forum Discussion


C3 Tech/Performance
V8 Technical Info, Internal Engine, External Engine, Basic Tech and Maintenance for the C3 Corvette

81 Engine Tranny swap

Reply
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-22-2013, 12:55 AM   #1
Nightwolf_76
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Member Since: May 2013
Location: Towanda Pa
Posts: 5
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default 81 Engine Tranny swap

I purchased an 81 with an automatic tranny. The engine is not original and I have no ideas about what kind of power it puts out. I am considering rebuilding the engine but I have no experience with rebuilds. Does anyone know what engines will drop in if I go with a crate? I would also like to put a manual in it. I'm hoping someone has experience or links that I can use to help make my decisions.

Thanks all.
Nightwolf_76 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2013, 02:53 PM   #2
MelWff
CF Senior Member
 
MelWff's Avatar
 
Member Since: May 2006
Location: Danbury CT
Posts: 7,638
Thanked 180 Times in 177 Posts
Default

any chevrolet big block or small block will fit, you have to decide what your budget can handle
MelWff is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2013, 03:42 PM   #3
Easy Mike
CF Senior Member
Support Corvetteforum!
Cruise-In II Veteran
 
Easy Mike's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jun 2000
Posts: 33,667
Thanks: 0
Thanked 370 Times in 351 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightwolf_76 View Post
...The engine is not original and I have no ideas about what kind of power it puts out...
How does it drive? You might not need anything more than a good tune up.

Easy Mike is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2013, 03:55 PM   #4
MIKE80
CF Senior Member
 
MIKE80's Avatar
 
Member Since: May 2005
Location: East Amwell NJ
Posts: 1,916
Thanked 20 Times in 20 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightwolf_76 View Post
I purchased an 81 with an automatic tranny. I would also like to put a manual in it. I'm hoping someone has experience or links that I can use to help make my decisions.

Thanks all.
What kind of transmission; 4, 5, or 6 speed? Any small block Chevy engine will bolt in. Mods needed if you want to go with a LS engine.
MIKE80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2013, 04:47 PM   #5
tyancey00
CF Senior Member
Support Corvetteforum!
 
tyancey00's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jan 2006
Location: St. Louis MO
Posts: 1,011
Thanks: 0
Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Default

http://www.jegs.com/i/Blueprint+Engi...13CT1/10002/-1
anything carb, like this, will fit no problem. if you go with fuel injection you have some custom work to do. You will have to buy pedles and other things to put in a 4-5 or 6 speed in the car. It can be done and several are doing it as we type. Just read around.
tyancey00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2013, 10:20 AM   #6
Nightwolf_76
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Member Since: May 2013
Location: Towanda Pa
Posts: 5
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Thanks for the advice. Just to clarify a big block will drop in? I'm not sure how well the engine performs as I don't have anything to compare to. There is lag once I push the gas before it goes. Not sure if something isn't adjusted right or what the problem could be.
Nightwolf_76 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2013, 08:14 PM   #7
LannyL81
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Nov 2005
Location: Oro Valley Arizona
Posts: 2,701
Thanks: 0
Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Default

Even in perfect working order the '81 with the L81 engine and three speed auto trans is not a "get pushed into the seat" setup.

Delay could be timing is off or the carb needs rebuilding as the off idle circuit is not working. Could also be trans is slipping....need more information as to the delay.

Later
LannyL81 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2013, 02:29 PM   #8
commander_47
CF Senior Member
 
commander_47's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2011
Location: McDonough Georgia
Posts: 813
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

It is "relatively" easy to swap out a small block auto with another small block and manual trans. Especially in the 81.

There are a lot of pictures and threads in the forum on how to do it.

There are some parts to buy for the manual conversion, and you do have to dismantle part of the dash to put in the pedals and wiring and such as well as modify the console to fit the shifter.

Look at what you want to keep from the original engine. If you can use the brackets for the alternator, power steering pump, A/C etc then you can save money.

If you go with a big block, very little of what you have will work. You will have to get it all.

As is stated earlier in the thread, you need to sit down and do a little figuring as to what it is you want to do.

Do you want, or have to replace the motor? What kind of performance do you want?

Are you sure you want a manual? Do you want to run pump gas?

How far do I want to go, and how much money do I have to commit to this project?
commander_47 is offline   Reply With Quote
Go Back   CorvetteForum - Chevrolet Corvette Forum Discussion >
Reload this Page
  • 81 Engine Tranny swap
  •  
     
    Reply

    Related Topics
    Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
    tranny silver_z06 C5 Parts for Sale/Wanted 0 06-22-2012 01:29 AM
    diff rebuild book? 81pilot C3 General 7 12-15-2010 11:49 PM
    M-20 / M-21 / M-22 Tranny Guys Come On In 427SIXPACK C3 General 4 11-21-2010 11:23 PM
    383 stroker advice rbat C3 Tech/Performance 27 12-18-2009 02:00 AM
    Rear freezeplug poped out after rebuild Sunyi C4 Tech/Performance 30 05-27-2004 06:48 PM


    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Search this Thread:

    Click for Advanced Search

    Posting Rules
    You may not post new threads
    You may not post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is On
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are Off
    Pingbacks are Off
    Refbacks are Off

    Forum Jump


    All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:23 PM.


     
    • Ask a Question
      Get answers from community experts
    What's your question?
    Send