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88 TPI in 81

K

KEVS 81

Guest
I recently "aquired" a totalled 88 IROC with less than 20k on a rebuilt TPI 350. Am considering swapping out my tired old carbed 350. Has anyone done this and if so, what kind of problems am I going to run into.

Kev
 

Yoda

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Oct 12, 2000
Messages
4,885
Location
Amarillo, TX
Corvette
1981 UL5
Yes... :)

Kev
Check out the The L81 Vette Registry one of our members has done this. There is a photo of his engine in the photo section.

BudD
 
K

KEVS 81

Guest
Bud
Thanks. That was going to be my next stop in my search.
Kev
 

69MyWay

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
Because you have the complete donor car, you will find this a fairly simple swap.

First, order a Painless TPI 1988 harness (about $250). You will also need to order a computer chip that has (VATS) delete so it will run outside of the camaro.

Run a fresh 3/8" fuel line from the tank and install a good high pressure electric fuel pump (see wiring instructions with the Painless harness). Route your old fuel line to be used as a pressure return.

Swap the two intake manifolds and accessories. You may be able to use the complete Camaro belts and pulleys. Note, the water pump is different. Switch to an electric fan and check all hood and hose clearance. If you can't use the camaro accessories, contact March Pulleys or Street and Performance for a great selection of brackets to keep all the accessories spinning.

The 1988 intake manifold will have a slightly different bolt pattern on the heads. You can use the pre 1987 intake gasket and drill out the center holes. Then use a large washer on the center bolts to pull the intake down on your old style heads. (this is not recommended, but I have done it a dozen times with ZERO leaks).

Get a good K&N air filter that mounts right on the front of the intake. You will need to lengthen or replace the throttle cable.

You will find the instructions in the painless kit very easy to follow. This project should take the average mechanic a couple of weekends to complete.

Take some time before putting it all together and really dress up the parts so they look nice. A little paint and clear coat goes a long way.

If you have any question on the fuel line connection, contact your local hydraulic line supply company or speed shop for a variety of fuel line connection options.

have fun.
 
P

Phoenix

Guest
I just did this to an 89 fleetwood brougham, I switched to a speed dencity system because the maf doesen't allow enough air in .I got the whole harness and computer(92 camaro)from www.jimsperformance.com he also has rail mount fuel pumps for about 100bucks
 

69MyWay

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
Oops

Sorry, I went off on a tangent and lost target of your main request.

It appears you have the entire motor and intend on replacing the whole thing. If that is the case, ignore what I was saying about the bolt holes on the intake manifold.

The main difference between the two engines will be the flywheel. If you run your current trans you will need to make sure the flywheel you use is for a type II small block. This won't matter if you have an auto trans and the TPI motor is coming off an auto trans. Just make sure you use the TPI flywheel. If you have a stick and are using a TPI with an auto trans, make sure you get a manual flywheel specifically for the type II block. Otherwise it will vibrate so bad it will shake you out of the car. This is also visa versa if the Camaro is a stick and your vette is an auto. I think you get the picture. Make sure you also use the appropriate front harmonic balancer for the TPI motor on the TPI motor.

I don't know what kind of changes you will have to make to the driveshaft and cross member if you decide to also run the four speed auto from the Camaro. That has been done before by plenty of people so there should be ample info on that swap.

Other than that, everything else is virtually the same.
 
K

KEVS 81

Guest
Chris, thanks for your input. I've been building streetrods for about 15 years, so I had half an idea what I was getting into. Just thought I'd put the question out to see if there was any thing I might have overlooked. I would like to use the 700R4 if I can find a crossmember that will work. Really don't want to modify the stock one if I can help it. I had wondered about using the fuel pump off an 82 vette, but it's my understanding the TPI needs a higher pressure than the crossfire. Correct? I also think (which usually gets me into trouble) that all the accessories off the vette should bolt right on to the TPI block. I guess I'll find out this winter when I try to make the swap. Thanks again.
Kev
 
7

79blueshark

Guest
Go to http://www.700r4.com for the crossmember adapter or they have a complete cross member unit for sale. Also dont forget the shifter change and the 3 inches you'll have to whack out of the drive shaft. I did the swap with little effort. Most trouble was the re bending of the transmission cooling lines and the Yoke on the trans end hitting the tunnel.
 
K

KEVS 81

Guest
Thanks shark. I knew there had to be a solution out there. Ain't the web wunnerful!! :gap :L
 

69MyWay

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
Glad to hear there is another Street Rod guy here. The cool thing about a street rod is there are no rules. Each car gets built, modified, painted, and accesorized in the manner that best pleases the owner.

Corvettes can be a little more difficult to deal with, but worth it.

The 1982 pump will not make enough pressure for the tuned port. However, I think there is something really trick you can do here. If the 1982 pump sending unit will fit into your tank, or if you can get a 1982 fuel tank to fit in your car--simply replace the pump for the 1988 T.P.I. Camaro pump.

When I put LT-1 motors in 1988 and up Chevy trucks, I simply swap the pumps as noted above. It works perfect. Think how trick that would be to have the pump in the tank just like the factory.

It is good you have the project planned for the Winter. This will give you time to detail out the T.P.I. and gather all the related parts to minimize the amount of time the car is down.

The Vette brackets may work on the T.P.I engine. The problem usually comes in with clearance in front of the throttle body housing for the air cleaner vs. the V-belts.

A fellow in my town has a 71 Shark with a 1990 Tuned Port engine and 700R4 trans. He ran the 90 Corvette brackets. It looks nice, but the 85-91 vettes have the air pump. Even with the air pump delete, it clutters up the engine bay. However the 85-91 vette brackets use the short water pump that gives more clearance on the radiator. I think you should try the Camaro brackets as the air pump is mounted low and can easily be removed. The only problem is the camaro uses the long leg pump. Don't know if it will rub anything.

Sounds like a fun project.
 

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