1989 Caprice Wagon Oldsmobile 307 Swap Planning

Bo Beeman

New member
Apr 9, 2021
5
1
Hello all,

New B body owner who can't leave well enough alone. I have been educating myself on swap options and have recently received a quote on an Olds 350 or 383 from a reputable builder making upwards of 400 hp & 500 tq. I choose this for ease of installation, I am planning on keeping the emissions systems in place, and I would like to keep the 200-4r transmission but a built version. The rear is a 10 bolt 8.5 2.73, that should be fine for now. The builder recomended an Edelbrock Brawler with electric choke for fueling but this introduces some challenges moving away from the quadrajet means I need to account for the high lock for the 200-4r, painless has a solution for this. I know I will need to figure out the throttle position sensor, idle air controller, and mixture control solenoid. What should I do to avoid any issues related to the removal of mixture control solenoid? Will the pcm try to compensate leading to drivability issues? If I let it dangle will I be fighting a check engine light? As far as the air idle controller the edelbrock avs series does have a provision for this, would that be a better route? Or should I just go sniper? I have yet to seriously look into that option but that maybe a good option. If I go sniper and modern cats I could remove the air pump and cleanup the engine bay without melting the ice caps. My worry would be safety visual inspection, although the car would be more efficient and cleaner they could still fail it for removal of emissions equipment.

Sorry for the long post, here's a pic as a partial penance.
IMG_20210314_164122_832.jpg
 

Shortfuse

Member
May 15, 2020
75
18
Ok so this is going to be a long response as this is not a simple topic. If the inspections are going to be an issue then the first thing you need to do is get a copy of your states inspection laws. I do these conversions for a living and will be glad to guide you through it but we need some info first so we know which way to go. In my state NC a safety inspection is not needed for vehicals after a certain year model. On others a safety inspection only covers safety issues not emmisions equipment so we need to know where you live to know which way to go. First thing you will not be able to up the power like you wish while retaining the factory computer control systems so go ahead and plan on ditching them. Second forget your local builder, I see so many people waste money on local builders that do a crap job and you get a sub par engine. Pick up your Summit catalog and start looking at a company called Blue Print Engines. You will not be able to beat their price per hp or warranty and you will be getting basiclly a new motor with a warranty your builder can't touch. I have installed 8 of their engines and the next project I do for myself will get one even though I am able to build my own. If your guy is trying to talk you into an edelbrock that is the first sign you need a new guy. Fuel injection is a must have if you want to keep your cars accessories and have everything do what it's supposed too. I have installed two Holley sniper kits and they have been very nice. I will print this in all caps so you and everyone else gets this message DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER FI TECH !!!! YOU WILL REGRET IT AND END UP THROWING COUNT LESS DOLLARS AND HOURS IN THE TRASH!!!. So get back with me on where you live and lets get you started.
 

Bo Beeman

New member
Thread starter
Apr 9, 2021
5
1
Ok so this is going to be a long response as this is not a simple topic. If the inspections are going to be an issue then the first thing you need to do is get a copy of your states inspection laws. I do these conversions for a living and will be glad to guide you through it but we need some info first so we know which way to go. In my state NC a safety inspection is not needed for vehicals after a certain year model. On others a safety inspection only covers safety issues not emmisions equipment so we need to know where you live to know which way to go. First thing you will not be able to up the power like you wish while retaining the factory computer control systems so go ahead and plan on ditching them. Second forget your local builder, I see so many people waste money on local builders that do a crap job and you get a sub par engine. Pick up your Summit catalog and start looking at a company called Blue Print Engines. You will not be able to beat their price per hp or warranty and you will be getting basiclly a new motor with a warranty your builder can't touch. I have installed 8 of their engines and the next project I do for myself will get one even though I am able to build my own. If your guy is trying to talk you into an edelbrock that is the first sign you need a new guy. Fuel injection is a must have if you want to keep your cars accessories and have everything do what it's supposed too. I have installed two Holley sniper kits and they have been very nice. I will print this in all caps so you and everyone else gets this message DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER FI TECH !!!! YOU WILL REGRET IT AND END UP THROWING COUNT LESS DOLLARS AND HOURS IN THE TRASH!!!. So get back with me on where you live and lets get you started.
I live in Virgina, so it would be a visual inspection underwood to ensure you haven't removed any emissions related equipment. That's as much detail as they provide. You don't think the electronic rodchester quadrajet ND4469 and a retune of the pcm would fix it. These are simple systems, the rodchesyer is still a mechanical secondary I don't believe there is too much witchcraft in the spark system it's just a distributor. I would just need to get control of the timing. The builder isn't a local it's a well respected oldsmobile specific engine shop. He specializes in EFI as well, but these pcm cars are kinda niche. I appreciate the help.
 

GoodOldsGuy

Member
Oct 20, 2020
41
8
Texas
I live in Virgina, so it would be a visual inspection underwood to ensure you haven't removed any emissions related equipment. That's as much detail as they provide. You don't think the electronic rodchester quadrajet ND4469 and a retune of the pcm would fix it. These are simple systems, the rodchesyer is still a mechanical secondary I don't believe there is too much witchcraft in the spark system it's just a distributor. I would just need to get control of the timing. The builder isn't a local it's a well respected oldsmobile specific engine shop. He specializes in EFI as well, but these pcm cars are kinda niche. I appreciate the help.
Hey, I’ve been around the block with Oldsmobile V-8’s a lot, and I don’t have nearly the experience or expertise that Shortfuse has in that area, but I wholeheartedly agree with him that something is off in that build/suggested setup. It sounds unrealistic at best, and maybe even crosses the threshold of impossibility.
What is your budget on this build? You and I may be on a different plain of reality when it comes to throwing money at this sort of project.
I’ll defer to Shortfuses expertise here... but have you considered an old school big block Oldsmobile? Than can handily produce 500lb/ft of torque without hand of God engineered internals. They’ll fit under the hood of your B Body (with a new larger radiator), they’ll bolt right up to, and have no problem chewing up a TH200-4R, especially when paired with a 2.73 (or higher) rear end-so get a very strong one, and they’ll present the same fuel delivery and computer issues you are already going to have to deal with.
If the sky is the limit budget wise, a late model, large displacement LS engine, paired with a 4L80, and all the electronics that go with them, would be a high power alternative, and not draw nearly as much hate mail from environmentalists.
Just my thoughts :) Peace
 

Bo Beeman

New member
Thread starter
Apr 9, 2021
5
1
Hey, I’ve been around the block with Oldsmobile V-8’s a lot, and I don’t have nearly the experience or expertise that Shortfuse has in that area, but I wholeheartedly agree with him that something is off in that build/suggested setup. It sounds unrealistic at best, and maybe even crosses the threshold of impossibility.
What is your budget on this build? You and I may be on a different plain of reality when it comes to throwing money at this sort of project.
I’ll defer to Shortfuses expertise here... but have you considered an old school big block Oldsmobile? Than can handily produce 500lb/ft of torque without hand of God engineered internals. They’ll fit under the hood of your B Body (with a new larger radiator), they’ll bolt right up to, and have no problem chewing up a TH200-4R, especially when paired with a 2.73 (or higher) rear end-so get a very strong one, and they’ll present the same fuel delivery and computer issues you are already going to have to deal with.
If the sky is the limit budget wise, a late model, large displacement LS engine, paired with a 4L80, and all the electronics that go with them, would be a high power alternative, and not draw nearly as much hate mail from environmentalists.
Just my thoughts :) Peace
I appreciate all thoughts! The LS swap was my first thought, but again I I trying to stay within the confines on the law so I don't have to worry about annual inspections. The builder i am talking to is Mark Remmel, he has released heads, cranks, ect.. through edelbrock and is an edelbrock vendor. That high of a power number was his quote, he has done it before and you can find his builds on classic Oldsmobile. I know this is outside the current trends in car building, but I think it would be unique. That being said I am not a tuner nor claim to be, so I am just trying to learn. It may be a unique idea for a reason and outside the realm of my understanding at this current point in time. But I am going to keep researching, to see if the computer controlled q jet is a possibility. My next step is to reach out to Cliffs High performance, he wrote the book on quadrajets so he may have some answers.

Again thank you. To answer your budget question. Originally 6 grand, I am now at more than double that now that I am considering the high powered stroker. It would be a crazy grocery getter though
 

GoodOldsGuy

Member
Oct 20, 2020
41
8
Texas
I appreciate all thoughts! The LS swap was my first thought, but again I I trying to stay within the confines on the law so I don't have to worry about annual inspections. The builder i am talking to is Mark Remmel, he has released heads, cranks, ect.. through edelbrock and is an edelbrock vendor. That high of a power number was his quote, he has done it before and you can find his builds on classic Oldsmobile. I know this is outside the current trends in car building, but I think it would be unique. That being said I am not a tuner nor claim to be, so I am just trying to learn. It may be a unique idea for a reason and outside the realm of my understanding at this current point in time. But I am going to keep researching, to see if the computer controlled q jet is a possibility. My next step is to reach out to Cliffs High performance, he wrote the book on quadrajets so he may have some answers.

Again thank you. To answer your budget question. Originally 6 grand, I am now at more than double that now that I am considering the high powered stroker. It would be a crazy grocery getter though
Ah yes, with that kind of budget, I suspect that you’ll be able to get what you’re looking for, even if there’s some trial and error to go through.
 

Bo Beeman

New member
Thread starter
Apr 9, 2021
5
1
Ah yes, with that kind of budget, I suspect that you’ll be able to get what you’re looking for, even if there’s some trial and error to go through.
Selling my camaro ss to pay for it. So I plan on this being my daily, that's why I am asking so many questions to make sure the plan is fully formed before executing.
 

Shortfuse

Member
May 15, 2020
75
18
I looked up your state inspection laws and it would seem your cars falls under the antique vehicle clause since it is more than 25 years old. I would talk to at least a couple of different inspectors from different stations and ask them about it. In NC antiques do not have to be inspected. I would doubt that the inspectors even now what is supposed to be on your car since they are paid very little and generally do not care if the issue isn't obvious like a tire or light being out. In NC the law states the devices must be present but there is nothing that says they have to work. Most older hotrods here just have converter shells and charcoal cans that do nothing. Young mechanics do not know shit about older cars, trust me I deal with it every day when they calll me over to tell them what a part is. I would research your states laws a little more the inspectors are not going to know the difference between a computer controlled quadrajet and a holly four barrel. Making power with the computer distributor and ecm even if reprogammed while possible would be a huge waste of cash and a pain in the ass not to mention all the extra money to build a motor that will not last nearly as long as a factory assembled one. Being and edelbrock vendor can be done by anyone who wants to buy a certain amount of thier product it doesn't mean he knows anything about it. It is nothing but an adapter plate to mate a BOP bell housing to a chevy or the other way around. Look at the summit catalog for crate engines, Blue print engines builds very nice ones I install alll the time with as good a warranty as a new factory motor. Whether LS or SBC your little olds motor is just not up to the task without thousands of dollars of mods that will be much more than getting a LS or small block chevy.
 

Bo Beeman

New member
Thread starter
Apr 9, 2021
5
1
I looked up your state inspection laws and it would seem your cars falls under the antique vehicle clause since it is more than 25 years old. I would talk to at least a couple of different inspectors from different stations and ask them about it. In NC antiques do not have to be inspected. I would doubt that the inspectors even now what is supposed to be on your car since they are paid very little and generally do not care if the issue isn't obvious like a tire or light being out. In NC the law states the devices must be present but there is nothing that says they have to work. Most older hotrods here just have converter shells and charcoal cans that do nothing. Young mechanics do not know shit about older cars, trust me I deal with it every day when they calll me over to tell them what a part is. I would research your states laws a little more the inspectors are not going to know the difference between a computer controlled quadrajet and a holly four barrel. Making power with the computer distributor and ecm even if reprogammed while possible would be a huge waste of cash and a pain in the ass not to mention all the extra money to build a motor that will not last nearly as long as a factory assembled one. Being and edelbrock vendor can be done by anyone who wants to buy a certain amount of thier product it doesn't mean he knows anything about it. It is nothing but an adapter plate to mate a BOP bell housing to a chevy or the other way around. Look at the summit catalog for crate engines, Blue print engines builds very nice ones I install alll the time with as good a warranty as a new factory motor. Whether LS or SBC your little olds motor is just not up to the task without thousands of dollars of mods that will be much more than getting a LS or small block chevy.
I had the same thought on the level of knowledge that these guys have. That being said I am going to take your advice on talking to the inspection stations. It does count as an antique as well, but that limits how much I can drive it. Since I first posted I learned alot about these old systems and going efi will cost me more than sticking with the fueling and ignition system I have for little to no gain other than convenience. I am going to take another look at the blueprint motors, that was the original plan when I thought I had a 305. I may still go with the olds power plant but I need to talk to a few more builders. I also found a shop within a few hours that can build up the 200-4r for me. The end result will be cool, but I am also looking forward to building my skills by learning to optimize these systems.

Thank you for your patience and advice.
 

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