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Porsche 944 Engine Swap

How it all started

Several years ago I purchased this vehicle from a pretty cool guy named Frank. Apparently it was a car he had owned for many years and really enjoyed until the engine went south. Repairing a Porsche engine is not cheap, no sir. So rather than fixing the engine he decided to perform an engine swap where a foreign engine, one from a completely different vehicle, is adapted to work with the Porsche torque tube.

At that time, this was still a fairly rare thing (this was in the 90's I think) and the first commercial kit vendor had only been performing V6 engine swaps, specifically the Chevy 4.3 liter V6. Yup, that's right. A V6 engine, and a Chevy at that.

He did a lot of research, I know because he gave me all of his sketches, notes, diagrams etc that he created while performing this conversion. He had decided to do it all himself. He fabricated everything necessary to install a used V6 engine he purchased. It was already in the vehicle when I got it, but could not run because the entire fuel injection system still needed to be worked out. The electrical wiring for the fuel injection system was something that still needed a huge amount of work. Aww heck, there was a bunch of stuff still required in order to complete the conversion. I hope to describe more of this in detail later.

For various reasons he had decided to let this project find a new home and so he had offered it up for sale. That's how I ended up with it.

At this point in time I believe the Chevy V8 conversion was a rare, if ever performed, conversion.

Note: There are several GM V6 engine types

  • 60 degree V6. Here is a website dedicated to it.
  • 90 degree V6.
    • 4.3 Liter V8. Basically 3/4 of a Chevy V8, for real.
    • Buick V6. Numerous subtypes: 3800 V6, Series I, II, III (Series 1,2,3), 3800 Supercharged, etc
  • And so on

Fast forward

Back then it had a used and barely running 4.3 liter V6. I know because after a lot of work I was able to complete that V6 swap and get her to run. I'll describe much of this in more detail later, but a major turning point occurred in 2008. That is when I decided to completely rework the entire conversion and install a rebuilt small block Chevy 350 that I happened to have laying around.

I had thought that I could do the work within 12 months. Boy was I wrong!!! It turns out that my wife and I were to have our first child about 6 months later. So all of my car projects were placed on the back burner while I focused on more important things (and hell yeah, fatherhood is amazing!).

So, fast forward to 2013 (5 years later) and I decide to finish the V8 conversion. This time around I was actually able to do it in about 6 months. Below you'll see a picture of the car as she looked on the first day that I pulled her out of the garage. She had been in that garage for 5 years. Free at last!

First time out of garage in years

Stage 1

So now my super fun project car has reached what I call Stage 1 Complete, meaning it is a fully functional and complete Chevy V8 conversion. But there is more work left to be done before I start tearing up the asphalt with her.

And that is also why I think it is a good time for me to pass the torch over to someone else. Not only did I become the father of an awesome little boy, but I also lucked out and had a beautiful baby girl a year and a half later. So I still don't have enough time to enjoy all of my project cars. It is time for someone else to take over and bring this car to Stage 2. And oh, I care more about finding a good home for this car than making any kind of money. This is truly an awesome project car that I truly wish I had the time for!

Finding a new home

Well, if this car is to find a new home that is worthy I think I should document as much of what I've done so that the new owner will have no problems taking her to Stage 2. So I'll be creating new posts to document and detail the various parts of this V8 conversion. I've got lots of pics and even some video that I hope to share.


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