Dropping an 87 Engine in an 85

GNBeswick

It's just a V6 Regal....
Joined
Jan 11, 2004
So I'm going to be taking my hotair engine out and dropping in an 87 intercooled engine. It's pretty much a complete engine, minus the AC compressor and the power steering pump I believe. What I'm wondering is; is there anything else that I need or need to change in order for this to be a straight-forward drop in?
I can't seem to find anywhere a picture of an 86-87 engine complete with all the acessories on a stand....so I can see how everything sits and make sure I have everything I need. Is the power steering pump for the 86-87 engine the same as the 84-85 one just with a different pulley? I know the AC lines are different as well, thats not a problem. I've noticed in some picks tho a little resevoir with a cap right in front of the brake system on the 86-87 cars....what is that for?
I know some people have done this before, so I'm hoping they can chime in with some advice and help so I dont run into anything un-expected.
 
So I'm going to be taking my hotair engine out and dropping in an 87 intercooled engine. It's pretty much a complete engine, minus the AC compressor and the power steering pump I believe. What I'm wondering is; is there anything else that I need or need to change in order for this to be a straight-forward drop in?
I can't seem to find anywhere a picture of an 86-87 engine complete with all the acessories on a stand....so I can see how everything sits and make sure I have everything I need. Is the power steering pump for the 86-87 engine the same as the 84-85 one just with a different pulley? I know the AC lines are different as well, thats not a problem. I've noticed in some picks tho a little resevoir with a cap right in front of the brake system on the 86-87 cars....what is that for?
I know some people have done this before, so I'm hoping they can chime in with some advice and help so I dont run into anything un-expected.

Wiring harness is different, ECM, heatercore, fuel canister, vacuum ball, radiator, throttle cable, the steering pumps are different, the exhaust hanger, and I know I am forgetting something (the TPS cable maybe?).

You sure you are ready to start this? To do it right you basically need an entire donor car or buy a "Conversion Package" off of Bweavy, otherwise you are chasing your tail on parts. I am in the middle of it and my advice other than what I just said would be to take the front clip off as one big assembly, you'll save hours and hours of work by doing it with the front clip off.

Other things to note, your line from the Hyrdoboost has to be tee'd into the P/S return line. The in dash wiring is the same which was nice. Be sure to order the right Fuel pump kit, check your wire colors and make sure you order the correct one for your car the 84/85 is different than the 86/87. You also have to mount a fuel filter somewhere, seen it done where the sending unit mates to the line and where the fuel rail line mates up under the engine.

It's hard for me to remember everything while I sit here at work. It is a chore, no doubt about it, but when I decided enough was enough and removed most of the front clip it got a heck of a lot easier in a hurry.

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heres mine 87 on a stand
 

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"Wiring harness is different, ECM, heatercore, fuel canister, vacuum ball, radiator, throttle cable, the steering pumps are different, the exhaust hanger, and I know I am forgetting something (the TPS cable maybe?)."

All of that is not a problem, most of that stuff is on the engine Im getting already, or my car is already converted over to it.
I'm not using my 85 engine at all....Im taking it out and putting in a whole new 87 engine. So the "conversion package" would give me alot of useless stuff.
The 85s use the powermaster brake system as well, not the Hydroboost. So that would eliminate the need to tee into the PS I'd think?
 
"Wiring harness is different, ECM, heatercore, fuel canister, vacuum ball, radiator, throttle cable, the steering pumps are different, the exhaust hanger, and I know I am forgetting something (the TPS cable maybe?)."

All of that is not a problem, most of that stuff is on the engine Im getting already, or my car is already converted over to it.
I'm not using my 85 engine at all....Im taking it out and putting in a whole new 87 engine. So the "conversion package" would give me alot of useless stuff.
The 85s use the powermaster brake system as well, not the Hydroboost. So that would eliminate the need to tee into the PS I'd think?


My bad, I thought you were asking for help, didn't realize you were out to help me.
 
i did mine a couple yrs ago and i kept my hydroboost. the only part that was a pain was getting the ecm connection on the harness thru. i ended up just pulling the passenger side fender off since i wanted to replace the inner anyway. wasnt difficult at all. hth
 
I wasnt knocking your help TNX, I was just saying that I think you're doing the conversion a little different? Sounds like you're modifying your 84 engine block with all 87 parts.
I appretiate you chiming in....I was just stating the things I didnt need, so those potential problems could be eliminated, and others could perhaps be pointed out.
 
I wasnt knocking your help TNX, I was just saying that I think you're doing the conversion a little different? Sounds like you're modifying your 84 engine block with all 87 parts.
I appretiate you chiming in....I was just stating the things I didnt need, so those potential problems could be eliminated, and others could perhaps be pointed out.

No, I am dropping in a complete 87 set up, every part needed to make my car an 87 except for the VIN is being changed. It sounded like you were just trying to make an 85 an 87 to me, we seem to have mixed all kinds of stuff up, LOL.
:cool:
 
One thing I did find surprising tho...is you say the fuel vapor canister is different? How is it different?
 
One thing I did find surprising tho...is you say the fuel vapor canister is different? How is it different?

I'm not at home with my parts, but I'm pretty sure they had different p/n's, I could be wrong though on that one, that's next weeks work.
 
So I'm going to be taking my hotair engine out and dropping in an 87 intercooled engine. It's pretty much a complete engine, minus the AC compressor and the power steering pump I believe. What I'm wondering is; is there anything else that I need or need to change in order for this to be a straight-forward drop in?
I can't seem to find anywhere a picture of an 86-87 engine complete with all the acessories on a stand....so I can see how everything sits and make sure I have everything I need. Is the power steering pump for the 86-87 engine the same as the 84-85 one just with a different pulley? I know the AC lines are different as well, thats not a problem. I've noticed in some picks tho a little resevoir with a cap right in front of the brake system on the 86-87 cars....what is that for?
I know some people have done this before, so I'm hoping they can chime in with some advice and help so I dont run into anything un-expected.
You will need a complete 86-7 power steering pump with hoses,resevoir and bracket for the res..A/C is optional.You can use an a/c delete pulley and a different belt.
Do you have the 86-7 electric cooling fan?It helps to have the complete 86-7 engine wiring harness with fan relays to run the fan.But it is possible to wire the fan yourself.You will also need the fuel feed and return lines that connect at the front crossmember and go to the fuel rail.
When I did the 85-87 conversion I had a wrecked 87,so I had everything I needed right there.A few other things you need 87 heater core,87 throttle cable,tv cable and cruise cable(optional).Any more questions ask away.
 
Trans dipstick is different.

Yup the dipstick and tube are different.
The transmission and torque convertor are slightly different too but you can still use the 85 tranny and t.c.The governer and valve body in the tranny is different so the 86-7 tranny shifts a bit firmer.
 
I do have the electric fans already. With it's own dual fan relay....already on the car and working. I also have an 87 BFR trans. Is it absoultely neccessary to get a new trans dipstick? The 85 one wont work at all?
Also about the fuel lines, do those absoultely have to be changed as well? Any way to make it work with the 85 ones? What is different about the 86-87 lines?
 
trans dipstick

They come up in different places. Not worth the trouble to make the 85 wotk because it will have to be bent and will hit the firewall.
 
I do have the electric fans already. With it's own dual fan relay....already on the car and working. I also have an 87 BFR trans. Is it absoultely neccessary to get a new trans dipstick? The 85 one wont work at all?
Also about the fuel lines, do those absoultely have to be changed as well? Any way to make it work with the 85 ones? What is different about the 86-87 lines?

You may be able to use the 85 dipstick tube?I used the wrong dipsticktube for a while until I got an 87 dipstick tube.The wrong one fit right up tight against the coilpack/module.I'm not sure what car that tube came from,it was on the wrecked 87 GN I bought but it wasn't the right one for an 87 GN.
The fuel lines are bent different to fit around the different pulleys and stuff on the front of the engine,not sure if the length is the same either?The 85 feed line also has a filter that mounts on the front of the engine.I don't think there's room for that on an 87.Pictured below are the 87 fuel lines that run from the front crossmember to the fuel rail and fuel regulator.
 

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Alright, thanks guys. This is the kinda stuff I wanted to look out for. I appretiate all the info. If there's anything else, feel free to chime in.
 
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