1981 Malibu LQ4 swap, need some advice.


Dallas McDowell

May 14, 2019
Hey all, new here and looking for some advice. I just bought a 81 malibu running and driving for 500 bucks which i thought was a pretty damn good deal. I just got a junk yard LQ4 6.0 out of a running driving 2005 Silverado. i was hoping to use the original TH-350 that came with the Malibu.

Question #1 - What kind of upgrades would be worth doing to the TH-350 and what do i need to make it mate up to the LQ4 properly?
Question #2 - Engine mounts? I saw BRP has a good kit but im wondering if there is something cheaper out there and where to look and what to consider.
Question #3 - I'am very on the fence about slapping a carb on the engine vs retaining the fuel injection. Maybe just some pros vs cons some people might know of. I got the original gas tank from the Silverado for free to see if i could stuff it into a G body.

That's all i can really think of right now but im sure i have more questions im just forgetting, any advice would be greatly appreciated.




Dec 26, 2013
  • Agree
Reactions: TURNA


Royal Smart Person
Sep 25, 2017
Nampa Idaho
You would have to take the passenger seat out to fit that truck fuel tank in your car. Flexplates for this swap exist and aren't too expensive.


Jul 8, 2018
I'm working on doing a similar swap I believe that the LQ4 factory flexplate will bolt up might need some adapter ring for the torque converter. I'm going to use 480lE out of a 2001 express-van. Also look close at your transmission it might be a th200 looks a lot like a th350. If you haven't all ready go on you tube and search extreme cheapskates turbo ls edition That guy is awesome and he puts a LQ4 in a malibu with an TH400 I think using the factory flexplate the 5.3 flex plate is apparently different and won't work.

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