Register and join the discussion

1985 caprice interceptor


wyatt_earb
01-20-2007, 04:20 PM
A buddy and I are putting an old police interceptor motor, from an 85 caprice, into an astro van. I was wondering if anyone knows anything about these engines. I know its a 350, but thats about it. It also has the orignal tranny bolted to it, which I know nothing about. Anyone have any information?

Blue Bowtie
01-20-2007, 08:18 PM
GM SEO vehicles really had no special engines. If there were two choices in a given displacement, the more powerful of the two is what often landed in the SEO chassis.

In the case of the 1985 Caprice Classic, you could have had a 262 CID EFI V-6, one 305 CID carbed engine, one 350 CID carbed engine, or a 350 Olds diesel. A "plain" Caprice could have had a 231 V6.

An '85 Caprice 350 would have been a flat tappet cam, two-piece real main seal, two bolt main cap, and 9.2:1 compression with the probable 093 heads. It would strain to make about 210 HP, but with plenty of torque.

The transmission was likely a TH700-R4, but might have been a TH200-4R. You can look at the pan bolt pattern to verify that.

silicon212
01-20-2007, 08:40 PM
I thought that the SEO 9C1 vehicle for 1985 was the Impala, with the Caprice starting in 1986. To my knowledge, there are no 1985 Caprices with factory 350 engines in them.

The transmission will be either a TH200C (V6) TH2004R or TH700R4 for the V8. As Blue Bowtie states above, you can tell what you've got by looking at the pan - if the pan is a near rectangle, it's a 700R4, if it's trapezoidal it's a TH2004R and if it's square with a missing corner (and no modulator above the cutout), it's a TH200C.

wyatt_earb
01-21-2007, 03:14 AM
We know its a 350, was told from a caprice, but for sure from a cop car. I'll write the vin down off of it. It was a really easy swap, the hardest part was cutting up the wiring harness and wiring up the gauges and what not. Put a 1 inch spacer plate and an 600cfm holly on it. Also threw on some old headers and put a gasket rebuild kit on it. Should be fun to play in, maybe I'll take some pictures...

CD Smalley
01-21-2007, 07:40 AM
Have you spent any time over at www.astrosafari.com? Tons of guys with V8 conversions over there. Some with AWD. Several even with LS1s and AWD.

Blue Bowtie
01-21-2007, 01:35 PM
Not to pick nits, but why would you remove a 875 SCFM carburetor and install a 600 SCFM carburetor? Especially when the replacement is known for very poor fuel metereing at low and mid-throttle operation, and doesn't meet emissions requirements?

Just askin'...

silicon212
01-21-2007, 02:55 PM
Not to pick nits, but why would you remove a 875 SCFM carburetor and install a 600 SCFM carburetor? Especially when the replacement is known for very poor fuel metereing at low and mid-throttle operation, and doesn't meet emissions requirements?

Just askin'...

I'd say for the fact that an 875* could cause driveability problems on a 350?

*unless it's a Quadrajet, in which case Blue Bowtie speaks the truth!

wyatt_earb
01-22-2007, 01:01 AM
well we took the quadrajunk off b.c its electronic, choke and what not. And the distributer on it orignally was electronic advanced and we couldnt get the two to work out. so we found a vacuum advance distributer and a nonelectronic carb. the quadrajunk needed rebuilt as well, and the idle was all messed up. All we had to work with was the motor and tranny, didnt have the rest of the car to get any computer stuff. and the carb was only 40$.....



And I called my friend today and he said that the engine was a 4 bolt main 350, he thought. I'm not sure on this, we really didnt pay attn, just put the gasket kit on it and cleaned it up, then dropped it in. I'll have to get the numbers off of it the next time I'm out there. Again the only reason he's doing this is to fry some tires with some hillbilly welded spyder gear posi.

wyatt_earb
01-22-2007, 01:03 AM
ooo yes and emissions, ya dont really care about that......

wyatt_earb
01-22-2007, 10:57 PM
Ok went out there and wrote down what numbers I could find from the engine. On the rear of the block I found 14010207 and on the intake 14057055. Are you saying he'd be better off rebuilding the quadrajet? Even though its electronic, although the vacuum advance distributer should work with it, shouldnt it? Thanks for the input.

silicon212
01-22-2007, 11:36 PM
Ok went out there and wrote down what numbers I could find from the engine. On the rear of the block I found 14010207 and on the intake 14057055. Are you saying he'd be better off rebuilding the quadrajet? Even though its electronic, although the vacuum advance distributer should work with it, shouldnt it? Thanks for the input.

The '207' is definitely a 350 - that's the engine block that I have as well (also an '85). Mine has provisions for a factory hydraulic roller cam setup, and I'd suppose yours does as well being the same year, same casting. My block has 4-bolt main caps but they come in both 2- and 4-bolt main caps. If it's a car engine, I'd say it's a 2-bolt - mine is out of a truck.

Purely out of curiosity, what are the first 8 digits of the VIN?

You would be far better off in keeping the 'electronic crap' all intact and functional - the E4ME Qjet is a good carburetor and that in conjunction with the electronically-controlled distributor will give you by far the best driveability for a carbureted car. The computer, when properly programmed (think ROM chip), will give the engine better performance over a wider range of driving techniques than any mechanical setup ever will, and you'll get better economy and lower pollution to boot. Being a 1985, that car should be equipped with Electronic Spark Control, meaning the computer will run the distributor to its most aggressive timing without detonation or preignition, something you can't do with springs and weights. I would strongly think about keeping it electronic if I were you. I used to be in the camp where "it's mechanical, I know it, I am familiar and comfortable with it, forget the electronics", but my '88 would never run as well as it does without the computer - or get the economy. I know - that engine was under the hood of a 1975 Grand Am for 200,000 miles before it ever saw my Caprice and without any modifications whatsoever to the engine mechanically, I can tell you that they are two entirely different things. Both cars were close weight-wise and handling-wise, as well as gear-wise (although the 350 was backed with a TH350 in the Grand Am), but it is entirely different with the computer.

It has more overall power on the freeway with the computer than without it - and while the Grand Am struggled to get 12 MPG on a 2% descending grade with a 50mph tailwind, the Caprice (same engine) gets 12-14 in the city and 22 on the highway. Part of that is the TH700R4 and its overdrive, but not the city part (where the Grand Am got maybe 7-8 MPG).

wyatt_earb
01-22-2007, 11:49 PM
WOW thanks Silicon, but the only problem is we dont have any of the computer stuff. Just the motor, his dad had the car and pulled the motor out and didnt keep anything else. If it wasnt bolted to the motor we dont have it. We have the orig Qjet and the orig distributer and thats it. While the cluster gauge is hooked up, I dont believe any of the sensors on the motor are, O2 etc..... As of right now it runs pretty good, just need to get the vacuum for the timing set. But I know once he starts driving it, he'll want to tinker with it. And being a 350, parts are pretty easy to come by. I'm sure he'll want to put an intake on it soon and possibly rebuild the Qjet since its 875cfm compared to the 600cfm he has on it. Thanks again.

silicon212
01-22-2007, 11:57 PM
In that case, you're better off with the 600 until you find a computer system for that car (Pick-n-Pull sold me a complete harness/PCM setup for $75). The E4ME will not properly work without the computer controlling it.

wyatt_earb
01-23-2007, 12:15 AM
How much of a pain is it to pull the harness and computer?

silicon212
01-23-2007, 12:40 AM
How much of a pain is it to pull the harness and computer?

The Caprice computer is in the passenger kick panel. This is why the kick panel on the passenger side "sticks out" compared to the driver's kick panel. Simply remove the two plastic snaps, lift slightly and it comes off.

The harness will require partial removal of the inside passenger fender - you don't need to remove the battery or its tray, but you will need to loosen and remove most of the bolts, starting with the aft side and working forward, in order that you can have access to the harness where it comes through the firewall.

Once off, it's a simple matter of finding all sensors and either removing the wires (or in your case, the wires should already be removed). There is a 3-conductor wire which goes under the car and down toward the rear of the transmission - this is the TCC wire. Your Astro should already have all of the necessary under-dash wiring needed for the PCM, including the ALDL connector.

wyatt_earb
01-24-2007, 07:04 PM
Silicon, you just running a stock 350 in your caprice?

silicon212
01-24-2007, 07:37 PM
No. It started out as a stock 350 in '85, but received a $2,400 makeover in 1993.

It's got lots of good parts in it, all selected for their longevity on the road at the time - I must have made good decisions back then because since its rebuild, it has roughly ~270,000 miles on it.

Add your comment to this topic!