My fairly complete 3.8 to SBC 350 swap parts list!

J.Rod22

Greasemonkey
Oct 4, 2009
216
18
Georgia
Im looking to find a chevy 350 for my cutlass but im not sure what year of chevy cars i should be looking in for engines that were carbed., can anybody help me with this?
 

Clone TIE Pilot

Comic Book Super Hero
Aug 14, 2011
3,309
113
Galaxy far far away
I swapped out the 231 n/a Buick V6 in my Regal for Chevy HO 305 out of a MCSS. Complete with all the smog and computer controls. Swapping the V6 CCC harness out for the V8 CCC harness was pretty easy and straight forward. However the V8 uses a different wiring and vacuum setup for the HVAC that I still have not figured out yet.
 

timo22

G-Body Guru
Supporting Member
Sep 10, 2012
540
93
St. Louis,Mo
Wow! I have done about 6 swaps and never thought it was a big deal, but when you put it on paper....Looks like a major ordeal! I have always made my swaps to look like it came from the factory that way ... This is a very helpful list for someone that wants to make the conversion..Great job guys....Tim
 

judgeman

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Nov 17, 2013
7
0
I'm eying a v6 81 Malibu. Considering pulling a 350 out of an 81 Caprice and just making things simple. What's involved?
 

V6UnderPressure

Greasemonkey
Jul 7, 2008
200
18
New Lenox, IL
Can someone chime in on the reason an engine wiring harness would be required? I would assume you are referring to the dummy light harness underneath the wiper motor? Or are you referring to the ECM harness? If you delete the emissions and go strictly carbureted(no need for ecm) then is the harness still required? My main concern is that I want to make sure that my 442 gauges (water temp, oil pressure, etc.) remain functional when doing the sbc swap.
 

Clone TIE Pilot

Comic Book Super Hero
Aug 14, 2011
3,309
113
Galaxy far far away
V6UnderPressure said:
Can someone chime in on the reason an engine wiring harness would be required? I would assume you are referring to the dummy light harness underneath the wiper motor? Or are you referring to the ECM harness? If you delete the emissions and go strictly carbureted(no need for ecm) then is the harness still required? My main concern is that I want to make sure that my 442 gauges (water temp, oil pressure, etc.) remain functional when doing the sbc swap.

The stock 3.8 uses a computer controlled carburetor and to keep a SBC swap legal you must retain the computer control system. Many SBCs from the 80s also use computer controlled carburetors. However every engine type used a different CCC setup, Buick V6s used one setup, Olds used another, and Chevy used yet another setup. That is why the harness must be swapped for the correct one for the engine. The ECM harness and the engine harness for the gauges are separate.
 

V6UnderPressure

Greasemonkey
Jul 7, 2008
200
18
New Lenox, IL
Clone TIE Pilot said:
The stock 3.8 uses a computer controlled carburetor and to keep a SBC swap legal you must retain the computer control system.

Can you explain this? I think this may be location specific. No cars are emissions tested from 1995 or 1996 and older in my area.
 

Clone TIE Pilot

Comic Book Super Hero
Aug 14, 2011
3,309
113
Galaxy far far away
V6UnderPressure said:
Clone TIE Pilot said:
The stock 3.8 uses a computer controlled carburetor and to keep a SBC swap legal you must retain the computer control system.

Can you explain this? I think this may be location specific. No cars are emissions tested from 1995 or 1996 and older in my area.


Every area does things differently. In CA and NJ there is no age cutoff for emission inspections, my car still has to be inspected every two years. IL with their hard winters they probably figured the road salt has taken out most of the pre 95 cars as not to be a factor anymore. Regardless of where you live in the US, it is always illegal to tamper and disable any low emission part under federal law. The only expection is if you are turning it into a track only car that will never be driven on the street.
 

RustRocket

Master Mechanic
Sep 8, 2014
351
28
Las Vegas, Nevada
Clone TIE Pilot said:
Every area does things differently. In CA and NJ there is no age cutoff for emission inspections, my car still has to be inspected every two years. IL with their hard winters they probably figured the road salt has taken out most of the pre 95 cars as not to be a factor anymore. Regardless of where you live in the US, it is always illegal to tamper and disable any low emission part under federal law. The only expection is if you are turning it into a track only car that will never be driven on the street.
Then I'm screwed if I move to CA!
 

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