Ever since GM Performance Parts (now Chevrolet Performance Parts) released the E-ROD, we have been desperate to drop one into our '83 Buick Regal T-type. Let's face it, a hot-air turbo 3.8L is not high-tech and it is far from ideal for autocrossing and road racing. An EFI conversion would have helped, but wouldn't be able to offer the sort of reliability we needed without serious upgrades. And even then we'd be in uncharted waters with a road racing/autocross combo. The simplest and most reliable solution was a modern, stock motor. So our first thought was using a V-6 such as the '10 Camaro's technical marvel and making a turbo kit for it (to achieve our desired 400-plus hp), but availability and a lack of aftermarket support seemed to make that more trouble than it was worth. From that point, all signals pointed towards an LS swap of some kind. The Chevrolet Performance E-ROD was the perfect solution for providing ample power and reliability with the added bonus of street-legality in every state.
Now that we had the unique opportunity to showcase the merits of an environmentally friendly engine program in our G-Machine hot rod, it was up to Dave Rushen and the students at the Burlington County Institute of Technology to make it happen. The LS3 version of the E-ROD (PN 19256487) arrived at BCIT complete with the air filter, MAF, accelerator pedal, exhaust manifolds, catalytic converters, Oxygen sensors, fuel tank evaporative emissions canister, wiring harness, ECM, and instruction manual. Note that this particular part number is for a manual transmission; there is a separate version for automatic transmissions such as the 4L70E (available through CPP). For the purposes of this story, we'll be throwing the stock 200-4R back in until further notice. We have plenty more work to go on this Buick, starting with the body and floor pan, so that we can mate it back to the chassis. At that point we will be able to tackle some of the finer points of the install, including mounting the electronic accelerator pedal and building a proper fuel system. Stay tuned for more.