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Best junkyard option for swap

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  • Best junkyard option for swap

    I have been lurking for a while trying to get my ideas together before I start tearing junkyard cars apart. Here is where I would really love some design help from folks who have much more experience with these 60* V6's. I have a1979 MGB that I blew the engine on. There is a kit provider that makes the process of swapping the 60* into the MG a bolt-up, and my only complaint about the car has been its lack of power. So I'm trying to get my head wrapped around how to proceed. My goal is to make 225 hp. More is fine, but if I wanted to run 500hp, there are LS swaps, too. Approaching 300hp would require a new rear end and I would rather not. Some other parameters that are important:
    1. I want the major parts to be easy to locate, ideally from the junkyard.
    2. I have some height restrictions under the hood. The engine bay is spacious, but not tall.
    3. There is not an unlimited budget. I am married.
    4. I don't want to spend weeks or months chasing some reverse threaded nut that is only made on full moons under the supervision of shaman. I want to move quickly.
    5. I am comfortable getting the car running with less HP and building as I drive, but any engine-out projects need to be done before it goes in for good.
    6. For those unaware, the MG is a RWD car and I need the block to have longitudinal mounts. The kit is designed this way, so converting FWD blocks, while possible, seems wasteful here.
    7. The MG does NOT need any accessories, well just the alternator. No AC, no power steering.
    8. The kit is designed for the T5 trans.

    Perusing the currently available junkyard cars, it looks like there are a few RWD choices, but mostly in 2.8l varieties. Maybe folks more familiar with which cars the 3.4l came in would find more options than I have, but my supply of 2.8s seems solid. Given that I have somewhat modest HP goals, would it be as simple as a newer (large journal) 2.8 with a cam(s), heads from a 3.4, a 4.3 throttle body? What should I plan for prior to installing the engine 'permanently' (new bearings, oil pump)?

    I am very open to ideas from you experts, so if I'm tracking down a bad road, please tell me. Thanks in advance for the input.

  • #2
    Best power for dollar would be a full 3400. Yes its fwd engine but it's not much work at all to convert it. It will get you closest to your power goals for the least amount of money.

    Next would be the lx9 3500, cost may be slightly more if you have to purchase an external crank trigger. But that depends on what ecm you plan on using.

    or if you don mind spending a little more $ you can go with the LZ4/LZ9 3500/3900. It will be more work at first but your starting at or over your power goals. Also they are pretty cheap to buy right now because there are lots of them in the yards right now, and its getting more rare to find a low mileage problem free 3400 in the yard these days.

    If it was me I would start with the 3500 or 3900 LZ engine!

    1999 Olds Alero 2.4 to 3500 swap (running). totaled by a honda
    1992 lumina 4 door 3500 3spd auto 15.020 @93.5 mph
    1984 Cavalier type 10 hatch 3100 5spd!!!
    14.96@91.47 in the 1/4
    9.63@74.36 in the 1/8th
    14.30 on slicks! scrapped due to rust!


    • #3
      If I didn't already have money tied up in my L82, I would definitely go LZ9. See them in the junkyards quite a bit, unfortunately not mated to the 6 speed manual I'm looking for, lol.


      • #4
        3.4 gen 1 iron head block with a 3500 LX9 top end. Cam it before it goes in and tune it. Should be happy with those results and its a lot easier than LZ swaps. LZ swap is getting to be the only thing people talk about even though its more work to figure out and certainly taller. You could use a 3400 upper intake if you need that extra 3/4". Similar build made more than 220 whp, though the exhaust is likely going to be a similar restriction. If you wanted 300+, LZ makes sense. If you wanted boost, I wouldn't gen 1 block it, but for your goals and this application, especially with a budget, this makes the most sense to me. Gives you easier piston options for compression as well.