What is the biggest engine I can fit in a 1997 Pontiac firebird

Asked by Mar 21, 2014 at 05:21 PM about the 1997 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

What is the biggest size engine I can fit in a 1997 Pontiac firebird

4 Answers


I think the largest motor from the factory was the 5.7L but im sure you can go bigger with some modifaction.

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You can shoe horn what ever you want in there just takes time and costs money. Michael is right the largest factory engine is the 5.7L LT1. They were also a limited amount with the WS6 Ram air with 20 more HP. And the Firehawks had the Corvette LT4. Base engine is the 3.8. If you have the 3.8 you'll need to swap PCM and wiring harness to use the 350. Intake, exhaust, and tuning can take it from 285 up to 330+. Or starting in '98 the LS1 replaced the LT1, which would be more work but more aftermarket parts and tuning support.

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If you plan on building the motor yourself, start with a smallblock v8 like a 5.7 tpi or tuned port 350. Ive seen guys get 1000 hp out of one with twin turbos, ported and polished heads, balanced and blueprinted, oversized valves and pistons, tubular tuned headers, and corvette injectors. If you want to drop an engine in and go, then the stock 5.7 out of a trans am or formula firebird would be the easiest and fastest way. but remember, the base coupe doesnt have a drive train that can handle that much hp. so youll have to replace the differential, gear box, drive shaft and u joints. clutch kit too.

REMEMBER to keep in mind, before changing anything, to not forget about the"Trying to transfer titles/ getting it smog-ed bullshit", (especially here in California)! WOW, that was a huge amount of leg work and research to finally figure out a way to get through that first step! I own a 1998 Pontiac Firebird/ Formula, which is currently carrying an LS2 motor. I originally purchased her while living in Colorado...which has VERY different regulations when dealing with any type of registration laws, but eventually I got her to pass! Other than that, I've had ZERO problems and she is the most bad-ass car I've ever driven! I LOVE HER!!!!!....gosh, I sound like a lesbo!!! (Please refrain from commenting on my "lesbo" lingo...We are talking about CARS here, so If it is at all possible for anyone who has an uncontrollable desire to lash out...DON'T...Self control is much more appealing than not.) Thank You for sticking to the subject :)

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