I just purchased a 1987 El Camino with a 4.3 Liter V6 thats fairly clean with 150k on the odo. The trans is acting up so I am trying to decide to rebuild the existing drive train or upgrade to a small V8?
Welcome from Florida !! :florida: Got some pics ??
It all depends what you want ! The power of the V8 or the economy of the V6. The 4.3 motor are great if you take care of them !
You most likely have the TH200C transmission. Not a very good tranny ! I have the same setup in my 87 ! I had the tranny rebuilt @ 100,000 !
Thank you all... Okay what do you recommend for a drivetrain? I don't need anything crazy just a reliable small block with an a/t . I am the GM of Jimmie Johnson's Chevrolet dealership in San Diego, so I do have GM connections.
Welcome from mid-Michigan !
The transmission swap kinda depends on if you want over-drive, or not... The TH350 is likely the best 3-spd without OD., and likely a bolt-in. Others here are using the 200-4R OD transmission, which is more work etc, but worth the effort.
I have an '87 with the 4.3L - when I bought it in the late summer of '97 it had 98,000 miles on it. The TH200 in it crapped out its reverse gear shortly after I bought it. A TH350 took the place of the TH200 with only the need to change the flex plate, which was cracked anyway. The engine was swapped out with a remanufactured 4.3L at 125,000 miles because it was eating oil in 2001, and currently the combination has over 225,000 miles on it. It would average 20 mph highway and 15 mph in the city. With gas prices the way they are, I'd keep the 4.3L and change the tranny - if I was to replace the tranny again I'd go with AOD.
It depends on what you want. I have an 85 with the 305/200c combo. No problems ang good mpg at 133k miles. If mine ever needs work, I will probably go with a 350, mild cam, good heads, possibly headers and either a turbo 350 with my stock 2.41 rear gear or swap gears and go with a 700R4. If I were to have access to late model stuff at a good price (like I was connected at a dealership, natch) I'd seriously consider LS power and maybe a six speed. (My 05 GTO is such an amazing combination of docile driveability, fuel economy, and expletive-producing power.) Even the 5.3 with 320 hp is a big step up. Wanna get wicked? Put a ZO6 LS 7 in it. Upgrade the to the trans on your choice, get a Grand National 8.5 rear, do a brake upgrade, and off you go. Patrick
I wouldn't use a Th200 even with a V6. I like to refer to the Th200 as a disposable as a Bic Lighter transmission. They are an exact swap with a Th350, so I'd do that for sure if you do indeed have the Th200, and not going to go with an OD transmission. JMO, no matter what motor you decide to go with, get away from that Th200. Th350 core should be very easy to locate and for cheap, like in the $25-$50 range. Maybe even find one used in great condition for about $150 or so. They are out there. You'll want the one with the 6in extension housing, not the 9 inch that is used in the 70's and 80's pick ups.
you have the perfect platform for a throttle body injected 350/200r4 combo.your computer and harness will work on a v8/od conversion.just change the chip to one from a caprice w/350 tbi from 91 to 93 9c1 caprice and you are set. it will be the way chevy should have made them,and will fly through the state smog ref.if you go 305/200r4 use the chip from a 87 to 91 rs tbi camaro.
Welcome I been trying to find a throttle body 4.3 for ten years one of the best motor ever great fuel mileage just get you a 200 or 700r4 and if you want more power get a vortech or procharger and you'll have the same power as a sbc with twice the fuel mileage. Just my opion