Swap Insanity: 1989 Firebird Formula 350 With a Magnuson-Blown LS1
It’s quite often that we see LS1′s and other GM late model engines swapped into third generation Camaros and Firebirds due to the 305 and 350 cubic inch V8′s they came with feeling very tired on power. With a built 350 under the hood of his clean 1989 Firebird Formula 350, LS1Tech forum member Racer001 decided that 370 horsepower didn’t feel fast anymore after driving it for three years, so he decided to put his car under the knife and drop in an LS1 mated to a T56 transmission.The madness doesn’t stop with the swap, though. Racer001 also made the executive decision to supercharge the LS1 going into his Formula 350 and purchased a Magnuson TVS2300 blower for good measure. Before diving in, a call was made to Alvin at PCM of NC to talk about the swap and answer some questions. With his mind at ease about the logistics of the swap, the driveline and blower were purchased.
Before sending the car off to PCM, the 350 came out of the car, the engine bay was steam-cleaned twice, and it was repainted white giving it a fresh look for all of the new hardware going in. He also stripped the LS1 block down to bare metal to give it a thorough cleaning and then painted it satin black for that OEM look. With the LS1 block cleaned up and the engine bay looking fresh, the car was off to PCM of NC for its heart transplant surgery. After nearly six months without the car, all of the work was finally done, and Racer001 was ecstatic to have his car back. There were a few check engine lights for some sensors, but those would be worked out during further drivability tuning by PCM.
Now, with a 657 RWHP sleeper Formula 350, Racer001 can finally say he has one of the baddest Firebirds on the road. We loved following the build and definitely encourage more projects like this because it’s awesome to see late model engines in earlier model cars. Props to you, Racer001; keep her clean! For more info on the build, check out his build thread.
Here is a video of the car on the dyno making 657 HP at the rear wheels!