Ecotec Swap Faq's

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ImmortalSoul219
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Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:36 pm
Location: ephrata, pa

Ecotec Swap Faq's

Post by ImmortalSoul219 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:42 pm

Ive been getting a few people asking me for more info on the ecotec engine swap. So I wrote this little faq sheet up for everyone.

Ive had my ecotec swap done for a year now. I put on a good bit of miles in the woods and hill climbing and I will never go back to air cooled. :D
The ecotec 2.2 is called and "L61", the 2.0 supercharged is the "LSJ", and the newer turbo 2.0 turbo is the "LNF". Then theres also a few varients of the ecotec engine with flex fuels, 1.4l, 2.4l, ect. Heres a good link to the wiki info on the ecotec engine.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_Family_II_engine#LNF

The first thing is the engine. The one in my buggy I found out of a 2003 chevy cavalier with 90,000 miles with the wiring harness and ecu for $200 and also picked up a second engine for $125. Just keep an eye on craigslist and you can find deals but normally an L61 ecotec will go for around $500. You want to try n find a 2003-2005 cavalier engine b/c the 2002's had a timing chain problem. But if you do find a 2002 its not a big deal I would just put in a new timing chain and be done with it.

The wiring harness you have a few options. "Turnkey" $1200, "CBM (Custom Built Motors)" $1000, and "ELECTRIC WIND,LLC" $1000 all sell harness and ecu's for the ecotec. These ecu's are are delphi mefi 4 which are small and tunable. Also by buying the ecu from these guys if you want to install cams or turbo you can just send the ecu back and they can reflash it with there tune then plug it back in and go. These come with fan relays and have a few wires all labeled to where to plug in and fire up the engine. Also they have there own tune they use which gives you around 175 hp. I have 2 buddys who went with turnkeys setup and they work fine. I used the stock harness and ecu from the 2003 Cavalier. I sent them to Enginewiring.com where they made the harness a very simple labled wire hook up just like turnkeys with fan relays and also flashed the ecu so it would work in my buggy. I also had them set my fan temp to 185 deg. and the rev limiter to 7000 rpm. It cost me $495 for everything done and shipped back to my door a couple weeks later. Now I only have the stock hp since Im still running the stock tune. But its really not that noticable of a difference.

The adapter plate I bought from Kennedy Engineered Products. I got the adapter plate to fit the 6 rib and it comes with the flywheel and I also got the stage 2 clutch which is the 6 puck. The pressure plate is very strong and without hydraulic clutch you might have problems. The hole kit came with all the hardware for an easy install.
The exhaust I made myself. I took the stock header manifold and fabed up the rest from there. Got a small racing exhaust off ebay and some j bends from summit. All in all prob cost me $150. CBM sells a custom header ready to go for $479. They also have a bunch of other stuff for the ecotec too.
I bought and aluminum single core radiator of a buddy for $100 that was short height wise and long. Fits great in my buggy with a low profile. My buddy used used a jeep cherokee v8 radiator that was like $80 on ebay with a lifetime warrenty. That radiators also short and long and the inlet and outlets work perfect with the ecotec. He also had some 1-1/4 exhaust tubing bent to make the water lines look very clean.

I bought a walbro 255 fuel pump from summit for $100 which worked great till I ran out of fuel and burned up the pump. Then I went with a turbo subaru pump from autozone for $50 with lifetime warrenty. So now if the pump goes I can easly replace it at any parts store. There are many options with fuel pumps. Ive scene guys using ford trucks pumps, bmw, ect. As long as its producing atleast 45 psi your good. I personally dont have a fuel pressure regulator on and it works fine since theres a regulator on my stock fuel rail but some years have different fuel rails and may require a regulator.
I run plain summit oil, water temp, volt gauges just to make sure everythings running fine. The last thing you want is your engine to overheat with out you knowing and ending up with scolding hot water all over you. I belive I paid $100 for them and they are holding up great.
My engine mounts I made right off the oil pan to my rear cage. Thats the only engine mount I use and it works great with no problems. But I have my trans mounted top and bottom of bellhousing and the front firmly bolted.

Now that you have a huge jump in Torgue (Ive always heard the old guys saying "Horse power sells cars but Torque wins races") you going to start finding new weak points in your buggy. My buddy tryied a 3 rib with the ecotec which only lasted for a VERY short time. Now he has a standard 6 rib with stock engine with no problems. Now anything over stock will probably require building a trans. My buddys got a turbo ecotec and he blew a completly built 6 rib since hes pushing around 260 ft LBS of torque. Im running a vanagon water cooled side shift 6 rib with no problems. The gearing is off but the 5 rib gearing from my buddys buggy seems perfect with stock ecotec engine. Type 2 cv's seem to hold up as long as you have your cv angles low and setup correctly.

All in all I did the swap for dirt cheap and it runs GREAT!

If you still want more info or have anything to add feel free to send me a message.

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birddog1148
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Location: In my Brewery playing with cars, Sandusky OHIO
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Re: Ecotec Swap Faq's

Post by birddog1148 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:57 pm

Welcome, now come meet the guys in the Offroad forum 8)

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Ed ke6bnl
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Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 5:20 pm
Location: So. California high desert

Re: Ecotec Swap Faq's

Post by Ed ke6bnl » Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:53 am

I just picked up a 68 baja bug 2.2 eco with a 2005 chevy cavalier.

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what are you using for fuel filters, I want to change to a narrow aluminum radiator, lower in front of the rear roll cage, this just the start of a much larger project. much like what you explained except It has only a 1700 lb clutch and 1 stage disk. thanks for your input. My boy is kinda sick he spent 4-5 thousand on a 2332 180 hp and we will see how this goes and he may make a switch. Mine seem to have more power then his completed buggy. and when the car was missing last week we plugged in the code reader and found we had a bad injector number one and found the injector lead was off runnen like a mad man again. ED So. Calif.
Agua Dulce, So.California
1968 2.2L Ecotec Power Baha Bug, king coils, etc.
1950 F1 street rod
1949 F1 stock V8 flathead
1948 F6 350 chevy/rest stock
1953 chevy 3100 AD for 85 S10 frame
1998.5 Dodge 2500 4x4 Cummins, p etc.

ImmortalSoul219
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:36 pm
Location: ephrata, pa

Re: Ecotec Swap Faq's

Post by ImmortalSoul219 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:20 pm

everyone hangs on hp numbers. The hp of the ecotec is nothing impressive its the low end torque numbers that make the ecotec a great engine swap. As a kid i always heard the old guys saying "horsepower sells cars but torque wins races".

Im using a newer vw fuel filter. Was like $8 at napa.

Have any more pics?

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kyle_pc_75
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Location: Park City, UT, USA

Re: Ecotec Swap Faq's

Post by kyle_pc_75 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:36 pm

Nice write up! How'd you decide which Ecotec to go with, or to go with Ecotec vs. Subaru or whatever else?

Kyle

ImmortalSoul219
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Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:36 pm
Location: ephrata, pa

Re: Ecotec Swap Faq's

Post by ImmortalSoul219 » Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:26 pm

I went with the 2.2 because they are the most plentiful and the cheapest. The 2.0's are alot and the 2.4 are still fairly new since they came out in 2006 I believe was the first year.

I didnt go with the subaru because the engines are fairly expense and usually have high mileage. Also the subaru is alittle bit heavier then the ecotec. Also 2 of my buddy's have ecotecs so when we are out on the trail we have swapable parts in a tight spot. Not to mention the ecotecs got better low end torque numbers.

markd892
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Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:07 pm

Re: Ecotec Swap Faq's

Post by markd892 » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:12 am

How much life can you expect out of an Ecotec?

ImmortalSoul219
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:36 pm
Location: ephrata, pa

Re: Ecotec Swap Faq's

Post by ImmortalSoul219 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:35 pm

markd892 wrote:How much life can you expect out of an Ecotec?
They are very reliable engines. The one in my buggy came out of the car with 102,000 on it and Ive been running it now 2 in a half years with no problems.

mbaleda
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Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:58 am

Re: Ecotec Swap Faq's

Post by mbaleda » Sun Jan 04, 2015 4:43 pm

ecotec water flow diagram.png[/attachment[attachment=0]ecotec water flow diagram.png
]Good morning,
I am hoping for a little help from you guys. I have a 2004 2.2L Ecotec installed in a conversion. It is a 1973 VW Transporter. I am very happy with the results so, the Bus runs great, has air conditioning, and has never have an overheating problem. We live in Arizona, so that was a concern. I did use a water neck from Turnkey Motors due to an issue with the original octopus water neck not fitting in the Bus. Not a big deal. I ran a Bypass as pictured to get some heat into the cabin, but have decided to go a different route since the plumbing has to run so far we get little heat. We are going to go to an electric system in the near future. My question is whether or not I need to run a Bypass line for the coolant once I remove the heater core. Is there an internal bypass in the engine, and does removing the stock water neck and using the Turnkey affect one if it was there? I would prefer not to run a bypass simply for the simplicity of the install, less connections and a cleaner looking job. I have attached a diagram of the cooling layout as it is today. Any insight would be great. Thank you.
Mike Baleda
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curry5252
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:57 pm

Re: Ecotec Swap Faq's

Post by curry5252 » Sun Jul 31, 2016 2:05 pm

Hello
Does anyone have the cooling diagram for 2004 2.2 Ecotec Engine that is downloadable? Thanks

FIVEFINGERSPC
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:21 pm

Re: Ecotec Swap Faq's

Post by FIVEFINGERSPC » Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:31 pm

I got a Baja with a turnkey 2.2L ecotec that was running really good. Now it has lost all power anyone got any ideas I'm thinking of going away from the Turnkey ECU going back to a cut down stock wiring harness and ECU I can't find anyone to read the MEFI4 on the turnkey.

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