87 cutlass engine swap recommendation

8

87.cutty

n00b
May 1, 2020
2
1
I have an 87 Cutlass Supreme and was thinking about swapping the engine for more power (approximately 500-600) any recommendations on what to swap it with?
 
spidereyes455

spidereyes455

G-Body Guru
Mar 6, 2013
545
93
Northeastern PA
Depends on your budget and mechanical abilities. No matter how you slice it 5 to 6 hundred horsepower is not going to be cheap regardless of what some "expert" says on the internet.
 
8

87.cutty

n00b
May 1, 2020
2
1
Depends on your budget and mechanical abilities. No matter how you slice it 5 to 6 hundred horsepower is not going to be cheap regardless of what some "expert" says on the internet.
yeah for budget I was looking at around 4k 5 at most
 
Injectedcutty

Injectedcutty

Geezer
Supporting Member
Nov 24, 2014
5,229
113
Louisville, KY
Alright, lemme be real for a minute. Here lately there have been guys messaging me on Instagram asking this similar question. "I need 500hp" or "how can I get 500hp?"
Horsepower isn't cheap, usually about $1K per 100 hundred horses, but that doesn't tie in the other mods that need to be done to support said horsepower.
Is 500 possible? Absolutely it is. Grab a junkyard LS and slap a swirly boi on it and away you go. However, at that power level you have to upgrade injectors, or big *ss carb if running one, fuel supply needs to be ready, trans, etc.
Also, 500hp if street driven is stupid power for 90% of driving, most of the time you're not in the powerband to even enjoy it.
Be honest with yourself, mechanical aptitude, etc on what you can be happy with. If you're having a shop do a swap, you need to almost double that budget.
I can't stress this enough, DO YOUR HOMEWORK, RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH!!!!
 
MrSony

MrSony

Geezer
Nov 15, 2014
5,647
113
Des Moines, Iowa
Start at the rear end and work forward.
Beef up the rear end or swap. Beef up driveshaft or swap. Beef trans or swap.
Then the frame itself and everything bolted to it.

Brakes.

Suspension.

Wheels. Tires.

THEN get a 500hp engine.
 
8

87National

Master Mechanic
Apr 15, 2009
392
63
eastern SD
I have an 87 Cutlass Supreme and was thinking about swapping the engine for more power (approximately 500-600) any recommendations on what to swap it with?
5-600 at the crank or tire? An lq9 with a cam should make 500 crank hp. If your goals are whp, then a 4.8/5.3 truck motor with 7875 turbo will get you there (check out the sloppy mechanics "don't BS me build").
 
kygaca

kygaca

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Jul 3, 2018
49
8
Norfolk, VA
I agree with both MrSony and Injectedcutty. As for what MrSony is saying: I think it would be best to upgrade the rear end first, you'll definitely notice a difference. Also keep in mind the transmission. Right now I am rebuilding an engine which should be around 400 or less hp, and it is going to absolutely destroy the stock TH2004r that is behind it, so keep in mind the cost for that.
Also for what Injectedcutty is saying: 500 hp is wicked high for a GBody - especially if you're not gonna do other necessary upgrades. These are - compared to modern cars - light cars. 500 hp is wicked fast and unnecessary unless you wanna take it to the track.
Another consideration would be time. It may be faster (and more successful) if you buy a blueprint motor or one professionally rebuild from a reputable shop in your area. Some shops have projects that have been abandoned and they may sell them for cheaper.
Just my 2 cents.
 
Clone TIE Pilot

Clone TIE Pilot

Royal Smart Person
Aug 14, 2011
2,261
113
Galaxy far far away
500+ hp is asking a lot from a G body. In stock form and mint condition with ad on bracing a G body can barely take 400 hp. More than 400 hp is going to require major reinforcing such as boxing the frame, or even a stronger aftermarket frame, plus brake upgrades, suspension upgrades, driveshaft upgrades, etc. That is not considering the frame or body likely will require some rust repair.
 

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