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Gen IV Engine Swap Options


New member
Mar 15, 2023
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Columbia SC
New guy here from SC, and I hope all are doing well.

I have a general question for you guys.

I picked up a fairly nice 1994 Trans Am, but the LT1 has some issues.

I haven't decided to give up on it yet, but I want to know my options.

So, in a nutshell, the motor was locked up when I bought it. I tried turning it over by hand, and it wouldn't budge. I put my breaker bar up on the alternator and started turning the engine backward, and it broke loose. As it turned, it made a scraping noise from the front of the motor for about 3 turns then it went away. After that, I could turn the motor over with the starter, but it wouldn't fire. Hit her with a little brake clean, and she would pop but not run.

So having said all of that, I plan on dropping the oil pan and pulling off the valve covers tomorrow to see if anything stands out. If I find anything bad, I would like to know my replacement motor options. Is there a different motor that people have been dropping in these Gen IVs without many mods? I am not looking for anything crazy; I want a reliable car to drive around. It is a 6-speed manual.

I will let you guys know what I find tomorrow. As I said, just testing the waters!

Hopefully, I find something easy and can use this LT1, but if not, I would have zero issues dropping a 5.3 in it if that can easily be done.

Thanks for your time, and I look forward to talking with you about this project.