Trans Am Engine Swap Thoughts

I’ve been tempted recently to do an engine swap on the Trans Am, I’m getting tired of constantly fixing the 400 and dealing with carbs and struggling with some crappy mods and changes that teenage Bandit did back in the day. LS swaps are cool but kind of boring, not to mention surprisingly expensive - especially when you factor in 3k for a T56 manual. Stock LS1s are only 300hp and when you start adding up all the swap components costs rise quickly (special headers for 2nd gens, etc).

I had a great (terrible) idea the other day, why not put in a 2.0 Turbo out of a modern GM car? Current production LTGs are awesome but the electronics are a killer, and transmissions are super expensive (only option is a 6-spd in the ATS and Camaro) and early-2000s 4-cyls were gutless. So, enter the 2006-2009ish Pontiac Solstice GXP. It has an Ecotec 2.0T LNF engine making 270-290hp in stock form mated to a RWD 5-speed manual Aisin trans used in the Solstice/Sky/Colorado and some Toyotas.


A standalone wiring harness is already for sale and the ECU is the same as the one used in the LS1 so it is readily tunable. Engines are about $1500 used, but for not much more you can get a whole Solstice GXP on copart. The Colorado version of the 5-spd transmission should allow for any standard GM driveshaft slip yoke, and the dimensions are not too out of line with my current Super T-10 4-spd. Replacement transmissions are sub-$500. Fuel system should be relatively I would think. Motor mounts and oil pan clearance are my biggest concern right now.

So it would be a weird swap, but it seems neat to make LS1 power out of such a light engine. Plus from the factor my car had a Turbo, so it would almost be a return to form. Am I crazy?

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