Swap Insanity: 480-Horse LS376 In An ’88 Fiero

LS1Tech.com member ‘qwikgta’ recently posted up some pictures of his completed swap of a GMPP “Hot Cam” LS3 engine into his 1988 Fiero. Using a kit from V8 Archie, the stock “Iron Duke” 2.5l inline 4 (factory rated at a full 98 horsepower) was replaced with the new 480-horse LS. Speaking from experience as a former Fiero owner, I can say that without a doubt this has to be the closest you can get to driving a shifter kart with carpeting and a headliner.

The engine swap adds about 150 pounds to the total weight of the car, which should be right around 2,600 pounds empty. The transmission is the stock 5-speed Getrag Fiero unit, so who knows how long it will be before that goes away (V8 Archie offers a conversion kit that utilizes the 6-speed box out of the Pontiac G6 as an upgrade), but it should be fun while it lasts…

A bespoke engine and transmission mount and accessory drive setup are required, but they’re part of the kit and all the heavy lifting is already done. Total bill for parts (not including the engine) is somewhere in the neighborhood of $5,500 once everything gets added up. We’re figuring the total turnkey cost to commission your own LS Fiero at around $20k including labor.

We have to wonder if it’s possible to put enough tire on a Fiero to make a 480 horse V8 swap anything more than a salt flats simulator – good luck hooking up until you’re in fourth gear – but we can’t wait to see it run.

About the author

Paul Huizenga

After some close calls on the street in his late teens and early twenties, Paul Huizenga discovered organized drag racing and never looked back, becoming a SFI-Certified tech inspector and avid bracket racer. Formerly the editor of OverRev and Race Pages magazines, Huizenga set out on his own in 2009 to become a freelance writer and editor.
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