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Old 09-12-2018, 07:24 AM   #1
jjzepplin
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1999 Trans Am 5.7 6 speed

So I can pick this whole running car up for $1500. It is not on Craiglist as the fella doesn't want to deal with that junk. I ,of course, just found a M21 the same day this guy approaches me at work with this deal. So for the guys who know about these= is the 5.7 a good engine? I see its all aluminum. How about the trans= T56? Decent? I am thinking this would be a nice fit in the 72 Blazer with 68 nose. Mid life crisis!
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Old 09-13-2018, 12:09 AM   #2
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Re: 1999 Trans Am 5.7 6 speed

I don't think that 5.7 is going to be all aluminum. Perhaps aluminum heads? But, maybe something special going on there. Anyway, an LS1 and T-56 is an amazing power train for an old pickup!! Hard to beat. If that guy was in AZ, I'd do whatever it took to scrounge up $1,500 before he finds another buyer. If the car is in decent condition and you have the time & space, you could recoup most, if not all, of your expense by parting the red of it out.

How many miles are on the car? How does it run and drive now? It's hard to say what the engine and transmission are worth. I think that if it's not super high mileage and runs well, the engine and transmission are likely worth his asking price. If you need to part with your M21, PM me with info, if you'd like. I'm looking for a M21 for my '68 GMC, to put behind my new big block.

Good luck!
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Old 09-13-2018, 04:40 AM   #3
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Re: 1999 Trans Am 5.7 6 speed

Well I took a look at this and it is in pretty good condition. But 156k on the clock. Runs and drives but has a power steering leak that he says killed his alternator twice. Paint is shot.
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Old 09-13-2018, 07:20 PM   #4
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Re: 1999 Trans Am 5.7 6 speed

An LS1 is an aluminum block 5.7 and that is a pretty good deal since you can get just about everything you need for the swap. The TA with that combo would do 0-60 in 5.2 sec and weighed 3800 lbs. Your Blazer is probably close to the same weight if not lighter, so yeah, that would be fun. Mileage is a little high since it is in a sporty car so you dont know what kind of abuse it has taken.

All-in-all, I'd buy that car in a second for a swap donor.
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Old 09-14-2018, 06:29 AM   #5
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Re: 1999 Trans Am 5.7 6 speed

I actually have known the owner for about five years and this used to be his daily. He has never beat on the car that I can tell. Can I use the brakes and spindles and axle? I think it has some sort of traction control rear end. Can these engines go as long as the 5.3?
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Old 09-14-2018, 07:22 AM   #6
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Re: 1999 Trans Am 5.7 6 speed

It would have a 10 bolt rear axle that isn't exceptionally strong and you would have to do a lot of cutting and welding to get it to work, if the width is right. You can get the stuff to convert your 12 bolt to disc brakes and you would have a stronger rear axle. As for the brakes and spindles, you may be able to use the spindles, but I dont know for sure. If you can, then Corvette Z06 brakes would be fairly cheap and are much better than the F-body brakes.

If it were me, I would take the engine, tranny and wiring harness and sell the rest. You will probably make your money back pretty easily. In my area, used high mileage T56's go for about $1K, so that would mean a running 300 HP LS1 for $500!
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Old 09-14-2018, 07:33 AM   #7
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Re: 1999 Trans Am 5.7 6 speed

OHHH but I want the T56 and all those Gears! I can sell the Muncie and Bored .030 over fresh 350 block and the rebuilt Saginaw with rebuilt competition shifter to make this an almost even swap. Is this engine just a different displacement on the LS 5.3-6.0 type? Parts interchangeable? Mileage capabilities similar?
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:28 AM   #8
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Re: 1999 Trans Am 5.7 6 speed

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Originally Posted by whtgmc68 View Post
It would have a 10 bolt rear axle that isn't exceptionally strong and you would have to do a lot of cutting and welding to get it to work, if the width is right. You can get the stuff to convert your 12 bolt to disc brakes and you would have a stronger rear axle. As for the brakes and spindles, you may be able to use the spindles, but I dont know for sure. If you can, then Corvette Z06 brakes would be fairly cheap and are much better than the F-body brakes.

If it were me, I would take the engine, tranny and wiring harness and sell the rest. You will probably make your money back pretty easily. In my area, used high mileage T56's go for about $1K, so that would mean a running 300 HP LS1 for $500!
The rear end in the Camaro is a 7.625 ring gear, no way i would put that under a blazer.

P.S. I just bought a 1995 Z28 with the LT1 and parted it out, and saved the powertrain for another project.
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:31 AM   #9
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Re: 1999 Trans Am 5.7 6 speed

I have a 12 bolt 3.73 posi in it now. I guess I will just rebuild the posi and go!
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Old 09-14-2018, 11:15 AM   #10
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Re: 1999 Trans Am 5.7 6 speed

The LS1 was the first iteration of the LS family and is more performance oriented since it debuted in the C5 Corvette. The 4.8, 5.3 and 6.0 are the iron block aluminum head truck engines from the LS family. There are aluminum versions of the truck motors that came in various vehicles like the Trailblazer SS. There are lots of parts interchangeability between the LS1 and the LS truck engines.

The engine and tranny from the TA in your Blazer with a 3.73 gear will be stout and reliable as the day is long and you will most like see MPGs in the mid-20's. You could easily get another 50k miles out of the engine and who knows how long the T56 will go. They are pretty stout trannys. You could rebuild both the engine and tranny and still not have as much in your drivetrain as many others will have for a lower mileage engine and transmission.
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Old 09-15-2018, 04:07 AM   #11
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Re: 1999 Trans Am 5.7 6 speed

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjzepplin View Post
OHHH but I want the T56 and all those Gears! I can sell the Muncie and Bored .030 over fresh 350 block and the rebuilt Saginaw with rebuilt competition shifter to make this an almost even swap. Is this engine just a different displacement on the LS 5.3-6.0 type? Parts interchangeable? Mileage capabilities similar?
This just might be a score. I recently sold off some of my projects. I sold my used T56 for $1700 and it had a lot of action on Ebay. The difficult thing about that trans is that it is heavy and it has car gears. A '99 LS1 may have a slight improvement in that the electronics are digital and not analog. Keep that in mind. I have a '98 Firebird that I swapped in a new LS6/ M6 seven years ago so I'm very familiar with that drivetrain. My mileage can vary from about 14 to 26 MPG depending on the conditions. My '98 was a one year car in that a lot of parts are specific to that year and obsolete past '98. Parts for the '99-'02 cars are common to each other.
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Old 09-15-2018, 06:19 AM   #12
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Re: 1999 Trans Am 5.7 6 speed

So worst case scenario is part this thing out and make some money! Supposedly it has a bad alternator from a power steering pump leak. I am going to check it out today.
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Old 09-17-2018, 02:58 PM   #13
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Re: 1999 Trans Am 5.7 6 speed

Well the battery was dead cuz he forgot to charge it. I dropped off a charger and he said later that day it started right up. I see him every day at work so no bigge. I just have a crazy schedule for the next week so this will be driving me crazy. Oh does anyone scoff at the ls1 Aluminum block?
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Old 09-17-2018, 09:52 PM   #14
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Re: 1999 Trans Am 5.7 6 speed

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjzepplin View Post
Well the battery was dead cuz he forgot to charge it. I dropped off a charger and he said later that day it started right up. I see him every day at work so no bigge. I just have a crazy schedule for the next week so this will be driving me crazy. Oh does anyone scoff at the ls1 Aluminum block?

Scoff??? I think that's ridiculous. This engine has iron cyl. liners. I have an LS1 that I ran for 125K sitting in my garage right now. If I had a '04 or older vehicle I'd love to drop it right in in place of a 4.8, 5.3, or whatever engine. About the trickiest thing about the LS1 is that so much oil splashes around in the engine the PCV system sucks it up and deposits it in the intake tract. A lot of people set up a catch can arrangement. My LS6 has an improved PCV baffle system in the valley area of the engine that corrected that fault. I like the LS1 over the 5.3 engine any day. The confusing issue nowadays is the different iterations of LS engines that aren't always compatible with each other like the Gen III, Gen IV, and Gen V versions. You have to pay attention to which ECM you're going to use along with reluctor wheel of the specific engine you have.
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Old 09-24-2018, 06:31 AM   #15
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Re: 1999 Trans Am 5.7 6 speed

I went to see it run yesterday and cranks right up and runs smooth. I am going to add it to my insurance and drive it home as the voltage gauge read 14.5v. I have roadside assistance so I should be good to go.
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Old 09-30-2018, 08:20 AM   #16
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Re: 1999 Trans Am 5.7 6 speed

Well I brought it home. It drove fine and did not leave me stranded. It charges fine so I am not sure what was going on there. It has the usual aches and pains of Chevy's newer Generations. I Can hear a bearing or u joint somewhere in the drive line. It's been a long time since I have driven a fast car but this one does not disappoint. It has newer Falken tires that did not want to break loose. Even with the traction control off. I have yet to get the power seat to work and is probably a ground as I think it is from Colorado and I see a bit of rust on the front seat bolt closest to the door. Could be from wet boots.
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Old 10-07-2018, 05:34 PM   #17
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Re: 1999 Trans Am 5.7 6 speed

Nice enjoy!!

p.s.You need a new battery.
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:43 AM   #18
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Re: 1999 Trans Am 5.7 6 speed

I might need a new battery but this battery is 6 mos old. It seems to work fine and has been starting good. When I was getting the power seat to function again I found a main power wire going to the harness that had corroded and was disconnected and just floating around under the driver seat. I wonder if that could have been a problem and for how long. Apparently the PO was having real problems with this car before finding out he had a bad fuel pump. It looks to me as if he just did not like fixing things much. It has the Monsoon original stereo with mostly all blown speakers. The big ole Kenwood amp is also blown. Real nice dual voice coil subs in a custom box are in good condition and once I glue the box back together should sound adequate. I charged the AC with an old bottle of 134 I had laying around and it worked great-just leaked right back out in two days. Once everything is together and tight and running right I will drive it for a few months with those T tops off and air conditioning blowing and maybe some doghnuts!
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Old 10-10-2018, 06:51 AM   #19
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Re: 1999 Trans Am 5.7 6 speed

So I dodged a bullet I think and the steering just need a high pressure hose. Oddly enough the belt squeal was not coming from the steering fluid contaminating the serpentine belt. It was coming from a crooked tensioner on the AC. What does that? Weird! I thought it looked weird So I took it off and sure enough it is crooked as all get out. If I pull the engine for the Blazer I am pretty sure the AC would have to be relocated. I want to fix it so I am not sure I want to put money into it. I think I might try to replace the front seal on the compressor as it works OK just leaks. The battery is holding a charge OK but I will charge it up good and have it tested. I could just have it replaced as it is not that old.
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Old 10-16-2018, 08:01 AM   #20
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Re: 1999 Trans Am 5.7 6 speed

I am surprised how cheap I can get parts for this thing. I spent $125 and got two replacement 6.5" subwoofers (haha) two struts for the hatch a power steering hose both serpentine belts a seal for the compressor a locking gas cap and a coolant sensor. Now to get to work! Cool weather is coming so I am going to take the T tops off and go to the beach a couple times. I figure the back seat isn't any good for much but my Golden Retriever. So she will get some much needed air flow! Then who knows. Not sure I don't want to still build the 383 with the Muncie. I already know how much fun that will be! I may have to just sell it to fund my Blazer...
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