Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Engine swap - 2011 Chevrolet Camaro

asked by on

i was wondering would the northstar engine out of the cadillac sts 4.6l work in my 2011 v6 camaro i didnt think it would be that expensive of a swap bc the transmission is the same in both cars i was wondering what else i would have to change ? and how much would everything else cost with the swap i found an engine for $400 and thats pretty good

My car has 89995 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

In the olden days, you could "adapt" any engine to any car frame, assuming you were mindful of any necessary changes to the suspension to safely carry a possibly heavier engine. The reason you can’t do the interchange you are proposing is you would have to completely re-wire your car and change to to the "other engine’s" computer in order to get the new Northstar engine to run.

You face the same issue with the transmission. There though, even if the transmission appears physically identical, the TCM is different and that will necessitate re-wiring all the transmission controls as well.

In other words, the only way this would be doable is if you have the donor car and are able to carry over the donor car’s wiring harness to your vehicle but even that will be problematic because the donor car computer will have security and body control functions in it which won’t match that in your present Camaro.

Technically, it can all be done if you are really determined to do it, but this would not be very practical. If you happen to need a new engine, say due to failure of your existing one, your best bet is to either rebuild what you have or install a crate engine. For more advice on this, you may want to consult a local auto shop to see if they can perform an engine rebuild or replacement for you.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Transmission.

In this situation, I would have the transmission fluid level and condition checked first. Your symptoms sound like the fluid level may be low and once the fluid starts to circulate through the transmission, there isn’t enough for the hydraulics...

Q: Car not starting on first attempt

Hi there. Rituals aside, if the starter is grinding the when attempting to start, there is a problem with starter, or flywheel. The starter can be adjusted with shims to gain the proper clearance. In any case, both will need...

Q: I have a 1980 Buick Regal and would like to change the motor.

When changing the engine out for another, you may have to have the motor mounts replaced or modified to the other engine. Also the exhaust system will need to be retro fitted for the other engine. The ball park figure...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...