By February 4, 20060 Comments Read More →

Can a 2002 3.1L Malibu Engine Fit in a 1997 Chevy Lumina?

Reader Question Hello Austin, after I went on-line looking for trouble-shooting answers, and had to pay for an answer, and was not able at the time, I got signed onto Pay Pal. So I can pay for your expert advice now. Forgot how to get you…really I didn’t see topic’s listed for our most recent dilemma.

I had mentioned to you before I had two 1997 Chevy Lumina’s. The one with the paint peeling off I drive and have had no mechanical problems. The other one the body and interior looks brand new. The motor was shot, and my son took it out. We found a 2001 or 2002 3.1 that came out of a wrecked Malibu. Only 31k miles on it. Only had to pay $600.

Now it don’t look like it will work? Can you tell me if its interchangeable? My son is a mechanic. The electrical plugs don’t line up.

Thank You, Sandy

Hi there Sandy,

You don’t have to pay me. I feel 99.9% sure that the Malibu motor will NOT work….or at least will not work easily. I am not 100% sure, but I probably close enough. I would call a few junk yards in your area and ask them. Most large junk yards have access to interchange information that I do not have access to.

They would be the best people to ask if this engine swap will work. I would also call your local dealership and ask the people working in the parts department if it will work too and what you might have to change.

I feel that the large year difference is going to be a big problem, so even if you did get the engine to fit and everything to hook up properly the computer and emission systems would not be compatible. It might start and run, but might run poorly, have super bad gas mileage, fail an emission test, always have a check engine light on the dash etc. etc. etc.

Call around and see what kind of information you can come up with before you proceed any farther with it. Keep me posted as to what you find out.

Austin C. Davis

Follow Up

I hurried up and called a local dealer my son kinda knew. He talked with me, and then my son. I guess from 1999 on was the big changes. We could try and changing the intake manifold…we have one, he said something about 02 sensor would not work properly and the EGR valve might also not work properly.

It might be to much trouble to experiment just to see if it will all hook up and work. So Austin, you WAS 99.9% right. The other 1% would be the task of doing all that labor and have it malfunction.

I got the Lumina for almost nothing, and the mechanical labor is free. So, I am not sure what my son will decide.
Thanks for everything!!!!!!!!!

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