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Thread: 2.2L swap to...

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    Array wardak33's Avatar
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    2.2L swap to...

    My sister has a malibu that just recently blew a head gasket. It's an 06 with an L61 with the electronic throttle body, not the cable operated (supposedly that matters). I tallied up the cost of the parts and it comes close to about $700ish, including cost of HG, timing and balance shaft chain sets, head bolts, etc.

    I don't have a problem at all pulling the head off, but I don't really think it's worth it at this point. The engine has 155k miles on it and burns about 1.5-2 quarts every 5k miles. So I'm looking just replacing the whole motor in general for a few hundred more. Only problem is, all the motors in my area are high miles, over a 100k.

    So my question is, am I able to fully swap into a different motor, maybe an LE5 or LAP without having any issues? Figured I would need the whole harness with ECU, but would I have any issues with the trans or any of the other electronics? Don't mind spending a few hundred more, but on a time crunch.

    Basically looking for a simple swap of everything but making sure everything will mate up and run properly..

    Any help is greatly appreciated!

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    Array Saturn's Avatar
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    Swapping to a different engine will present unexpected problems that will end up costing more than a like swap. This has been the experience of most builders, unless the make and model is virtually identical in engineering functionality.

    If the original motor has no other issues except for the blown gasket and oil burn, check to see what is causing the oil burn (piston rings, valve guides etc.). While the engine is out you may be able to tackle that and come out ahead of a used engine from a junkyard with questionable history!

    On my wife's van I could have swapped the engine with a ldentical one from the junkyard but I chose to rebuild it paying about $300 more because we knew the history of our engine!

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    12-23-2016 @ 03:54 AM
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    There isnt a simple swap for the ecotec, the best you can do is a 2.4l from a cobalt ss, however it would be cheaper to scrap your boo and buy a run down cobalt ss.

    I own an 06 malibu that I ended up putting in a new ecotec i got for $250 with 30k out of a 2003 gm ecotec car. These engines are plentiful and cheap dont let anyone try to upsell you, a 5 hour drive to save $2-300 is worth it.

    Now addressing the ecotec engine swap, any ecotec will fit onto your 06 malibu and dont let anyone tell you differently. The engines are all modular, i had to swap the exhaust manifold, waterpump, block heater, a sensor cover, fuel rail, throttle body, oil pan, engine mounts, from the blown engine to the new one as they were different. However to my pleasure All the original 06 malibu accessories swapped directly onto the engine i purchased and took about 2 hours, i was even able to reuse all the gaskets for those parts.

    Ive been DDing the car for over a year with not a single issue.


    I think for performance out of this malibu would be fix the ecotec and source the following, a manual trans out of a cobalt ss or cobalt , cobalt ss fuel tank+accesories+rail and injectors, a built 2.2 ( rods, pistons, crank ), then going the route of turbocharging for 300hp and tq. I think thought you might need to address the cv joints, and front end suspension and steering components when actually trying to put that power down on the road however.
    Last edited by maliboo; 12-23-2016 at 03:31 AM.

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