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Opeler
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to hear some opinions anyone would care to make in regards to swapping a V-6 into a Kadett 'B' Caravan. The threads here for the most part are - obviously - dealing with the GT. Many of them have been helpful, for instance: this Caravan has an automatic, and it was pointed out in one thread that this configuration has a larger 'tunnel'. Most of the other threads of credence speak of the 3.4L as being the most common swap.

As I have a '70 GT sitting beside the Caravan, yes, I can see the physical differences between the two! Nor do I mean to open a can of worms or cover old ground, either. I am simply at the point where the engine is out of the car, and the time is approaching to decide what mods, if any do I make to the original 1.9, or - is it worth considering an entirely different motor/trans combination based on the extra space afforded in a Kadett?? A 2.0L or even a 2.4L swap is not out of the picture here, naturally.

If (a big 'if'), a swap were to occur, I most certainly would stay with an automatic trans, try to stay away from EFI and the intended use of the vehicle would be one which would not be pressed to travel at current highway speed.

I understand the need for brake, suspension upgrades, etc. I began driving a GT back in 1974, and am simply interested in what any or all may have to say in regards to this consideration. Thanks to all who may care to reply!
 

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Your best bet would be the early 3rd generation Camaros then (from 82-84), they had the 2.8L with a 2-bbl carb. The 3.1 and 3.4L were never carbed, so you will need to adapt a newer engine into the old carburated system. A good idea would be to use Edelbrock's 4-bbl conversion (check the torque curve on a 2.8L: 2nd Manifold down). You WILL HAVE to use the iron head versions since the aluminum heads were only used in FWD engines (RWD and FWD are different, one can't be used in the other's configuration). That's all I can remember now that might be of interest for your swap.

Here are a few links, regarding performance and availability:
http://www.60degreev6.com/
http://users.spec.net/home/emxjc/

This is a link to the F-Body Tech Database (will help you figure which engine came in what year with what injection type):
http://www.f-body.org/tech/
 

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Opeler
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86 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow, much appreciated! I have several good 'junk'yards within 30 minutes of here to pick from, and some highly competitive machine shops nearby, too. I'll spend some time searching the links you've provided, and weigh the feasibility.
 

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Old Opeler
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5,564 Posts
Gm 3.4 V6

GM dealers do a 3.4L V6 "Crate Motor" that is designed to retro-fit the S10 Pick-ups originaly fitted with 2.8L carburetted engines for around $1,800
Worth a look if you want to run a RWD carb motor. 'Specially as it is all brand new and designed for RWD and Carb................ :)
 

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1,802 Posts
no go

All the Chevy v-6's have the starter down low beside the oil pan. If you look at the Kadett front cross-member, it is @7" away from the firewall, which is not enough room for a starter.

That means you either have to get a motor with a starter mounted in a similar configuration to the Opel motors, move the firewall and engine back some, or come up with a new front suspension.

Easy options for motors with high mounted starters include the Isuzu and Suzuki four cylinders, Chevette 4 bangers, and quite a few other four bangers you might find. The only v-6 I know without a doubt has a high mounted starter is the 3.0 in the Catera, but that has some serious computer stuff to make it run.

The Suzuki motors are pretty robust, and even the newest motor in the Vitara, a 2.2 or 2.3 I think, can easily be retro-fitted with Suzuki electronic ignition and a carb.

If you're willing to hack up the firewall a little and come up with your own heater configuration the sky is pretty much the limit. I've not been able to do that myself yet, but I am contemplating a new front suspension to allow me to drop in a 3.4. Options I'm contemplating include a narrowed Manta front suspension and the 4wd front axle out of a Samurai with a foot or so of lift. (That sure would keep 'em guessing.)
 

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Opeler
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86 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, I see what you mean Stephen. Not to mention the shaft from the steering column is also tucked in to the same area as where most starters are mounted as well. Hmmmm...mods are something I'm not afraid of, as this Caravan is not pristine, to put it mildly. Solid, yes - but not one that I would lose sleep over if something went horribly wrong.

Well this is the kind of input I'm looking for, as I'm soon going to have to make a decision as to what goes back under the hood.
 

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One thing to consider, maybe 2 or 3, if you do decide to go with the 60 degree GM V-6, The crankshafts on the early V-6s had narrow main bearings which made the crankshaft weak. Also with the fuel injection models the overall height of the engine is lower than with a carburator equipped engine. Third, with a carbed engine, you will also have a distributor mounted in the rear of the engine and may cause a problem contacting the firewall or the wiper well. And the early V-6s were not as well balanced as the later engines, again a possible area of concern, as the flywheels were matched to the engines to compensate for the unbalanced condition. JMTCW.

Ron
 
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