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How To Swap A Gen III Into A '64-'72 A-Body - Part I

We slide a Genn III engine into Glad's El Camino and tell you how it's done.

Photography by ,

You can always sell the F-body drives to a first-gen Camaro guy and do what we did: use the pulleys from Street and Performance. At $958, it's expensive until you add up the time and money it takes to cobble together a junkyard kit, not to mention the fact that this system is an actual engine dress kit, so it looks awesome with a trick power-steering pump and a rebuildable 140-amp alternator with an internal regulator included. We've used the phrase "spending the good money" before, and this is what it looks like. We rarely gush about off-the-shelf solutions, but we traded money for time here, and the serpentine system went on so easily we were laughing. If you have the cash, this is the way to go.

Rock Valley sells a modified El Camino tank for $910 that includes an LS1 pump already installed. Or you can upgrade for $200 more and get a stainless tank with a built-in pump, mounting hardware, and internal baffles for drag-racing or road-racing action.>>>

Fuel System
We stuck with the fuel injection to keep with the salvage-yard theme and therefore we need to run something other than a mechanical fuel pump squirting 7 psi. In fact, we needed about 53-63 psi to run this system. There are a couple of ways to handle it. Competition Engineering sells a fuel sump kit to feed an external pump, but that comes with a cost. Puller pumps are less efficient and usually louder than in-tank pumps. Or you can send out your stock gas tank and have a pump kit installed, buy a new tank and send it out for a fuel pump, or buy one that is ready-made. If you do the math, a stamped-steel tank will cost about $200-$250, the pump kit is another $325-$375, and the labor is about $225, depending on the application. That's about $850 plus shipping to rework a stock tank. The alternative of course is to buy a tank that is ready for the job.

Since we aren't really interested in keeping the stock harness, we used the LS1/LS6 MEFI4 system from MSD. It allows us to tune the engine "live" or simply use one of the dyno-tuned calibrations that are preinstalled. It also allows us to switch from the factory mass airflow (MAF) system to speed density. All F-cars used MAF from the factory. There are also systems from FAST, Accel, and others that offer tunability. We'll run the wiring and tune this car up in a future article.>>>

Wiring
If you are using an engine and transmission combination from a wrecked car or truck, you can have the original computer and wiring harness modified for your application by companies like Wait4Me Performance for about $300. By using the factory harness, you can utilize aftermarket systems like the FlashScan V2 stand-alone data logger and ECM reprogramming system from EFI Live or HP Tuners' VCM Suite to control the engine. You can also buy a premade factory harness from S&P for the same effect.

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