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86 Silverado engine swap

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Shay, Oct 8, 2000.

  1. Shay

    Shay LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Is it possible to put the engine, transmission, and rear-end from a 2000 Silverado into my 86 Silverado? If so, what kind of price tag am I looking at? All info is appreciated.
  2. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 849

    My first question is WHY?
    First of all, I'm pretty sure the engine and trans would fit easily. You would need the computer from a 2000 model, along with all the wiring, to control the engine and trans. You would need the fuel pump from the 2000, or one that would deliver the same volume and pressure. The rear axle would have to be modified to fit. The all around cost of such a swap, would outweigh the benefits though. You could spend the same amount of money, and end up with a better result. A guestimate on cost would be $10,000+ depending on how much of the work and mods you could do yourself.

    What are you hoping to gain by doing such a swap?

  3. Shay

    Shay LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I like the 86 body style more than the newer ones, but I want the performance of the 2000 Silverado.
  4. mike reeh

    mike reeh LawnSite Member
    Messages: 229

    yeah Im with chuck...

    it would be extremely pricey/time consuming and you wouldnt end up with something as nice as a 2K silverado..

    its all about the motor.. the rear end need not be changed, the trans is the same thing they've been using for years.

    the motor (im assuming 5400 series?) is a next generation small block, designed to give max power and min. pollution.. its only 325 cubic inches and is not very impressive if you ask me.. sure it runs great, the trucks are downright fast, but its all upper rpm power, no good old fashioned tire frying torque.. for a fraction of the cost you could build a very very strong small block, and have an overdrive trans put in your '86 and outperform any 2K model truck, but it would have to be done right. NOT that "being done right" doesnt go for the 2K driveline swap, cuz its even more crucial that you do that one right.. just some food for thought, let us know what you decide to do..

    mike reeh
  5. Mark_Christopher

    Mark_Christopher LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    Put a turbo on there or something. Dual carbs, new cam.. better exhaust..... seems like too much time, money, and labor to put a 2000 engine in a 86 truck....

  6. Shay

    Shay LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Thanks for all the input guys. I think I'm convinced not to go with the 2k motor. Now, what would be the best motor to drop in it? I'm not really looking for a dragster. Just a strong, reliable motor. It has a 305 in it now with 165k on it. I'm in no hurry, it runs good now. Just want to have everything planned out before I start. The rest of the truck is in excellent condition. That's why I'm leaning toward putting money in it instead of a new one. Thanks again. Shay

    [Edited by Shay on 10-09-2000 at 03:58 AM]
  7. mike reeh

    mike reeh LawnSite Member
    Messages: 229

    I dont know where you are from, what kind of emissions/inspection laws you have to deal with, but putting those aside for a little while, I think your best bang for the buck would be a small block 400. Big cubes, small package.. Next on the list, if money is an issue, is a good old 350.. there is just SO much you can do.. I could talk for hours and hours about mods, performance parts, etc.. but I wont :) I think you should seriously consider a nice (9.5:1, aftermarket aluminum heads, headers, free flowing exhaust) 350 with an aftermarket fuel injection (multi-port!) system.. that would give you unbeatable performance with the best economy.. even with an RV cam I bet you could push 300hp easy from that setup.. just a thought... it all depends on what you wanna do, and how much you wanna spend to do it..

    mike reeh
  8. Shay

    Shay LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Thanks Mike. I'm in Ft. Campbell, KY. I'm not even sure what the emissions laws are. I guess I should look into that. How much more would the 400 cost over the 350(ballpark)? What is a RV cam? I'm not a mechanical guru as you have probably noticed. I'm gonna have to have most if not all of the work done by the pros.

    [Edited by Shay on 10-09-2000 at 05:16 AM]
  9. JCurtis

    JCurtis LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    My suggestion would be go to your nearest GM dealership. Get to know the parts manager and the service manager.
    GM has some great deals on Crate motors, of all shapes and sizes.

    talk to them, tell them what you are gonna be doing with the truck. I am not sure the warranty extends to commercial use, but you can check.

    I would be willing to bet a 350 HO or a 383 stroker will fit the bill. of course there is alaway the ZZ4
  10. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 849

    One of the reasons the 2000 performs so well with that motor and drivetrain, is weight. The 2000 models weigh significantly less than the 86 model. Even the 86 model weighs less than a 76 model. GM tried to drop weight where ever they could. Items like the aluminum NP 208 transfer case compared to a cast iron NP 203 or NP 205, dropping from a GM 12 bolt rear axle to a GM 10 bolt rear axle, it all adds up to less weight. Also the GM 14 bolt 9.5" ring gear axle, as opposed to the 10.5" ring gear 14 bolt axle. GM did it to satisfy the EPA on emissions ratings, and MPG ratings.

    One key factor in builing up your 86 that will keep it easier, is that it seems to be 2wd. You didn't say, but you only mentioned swapping in the rear axle, so I made the assumption.

    Mike: The rear need not be changed, but a gear swap may be in order. I have seen many trucks with strong motors, but they never got the power to the ground, due to a high gear ratio (numerically lower).

    A truck with 4.11:1 gears will hop off the line, compared to one that has 2.56:1 gears. At the same time, the 4.11 equipped truck will be turning much higher RPM's on the highway than the 2.56 equipped truck. Having the OD trans helps correct this though.


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