Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: I need help about engine swapping 1981 Chevrolet Camaro

asked by on

I'm looking to buy and 81 camaro and would like to engine swap it with a chevy crate engine but I am not sure what type would be best for this car. Id like to have between 450 and 550 hp

My car has 90000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi - answering the question of "How much engine do I really want from an engine swap?" turns into a "religious" discussion quickly. If a little is good, a lot is better... The more practical questions are "How will the car be used most of the time? What are your real priorities?" There is a wide range of GM crate engines to choose from. Replacing your current engine with one of the "small block" choices can still get you upwards of 400 hp pretty quickly. At some point, what the transmission, and the rest of the chassis can handle becomes an issue and expense. A 350 hp option gives you pretty spirited street driving, on pump gasoline, and something that is less risky to drive than 450 hp. A big-block gets you to 450-550 hp with more reliability than with a small-block selection. Putting a "big block" crate engine in your Camaro however, will require chassis changes, a sturdier transmission and drivetrain under it, and reduces "driveability", while making the car quicker. Speed costs money - how fast do you want to go?!

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
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. I need help about engine swapping 1981 Chevrolet Camaro

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: Fuel not getting to fuel pump

Hi there. In 1978 there were manual fuel pumps installed on Camaros and sometimes take a long time to prime. I would recommend having a technician come out and get your fuel system primed by manually pouring fuel into the...

Q: Car making weird noise after accident

Hello. There are a number of things that can be making noise, but without having a description of the noise and when it occurs it is hard to say what it may be. If the noise occurs only when the...

Q: Smoke coming out of exhaust

Hi, the blue tint you mentioned is in fact from oil burning. Over time the internal engine components, specifically the piston o-rings and the valves, wear out and oil starts seeping into the cylinders and burning with the air and...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.