Friday, October 24, 2014

3k: When Life Gives You Lemons...Engine Swap: 1981 Chevrolet Citation X-11 with V8

General Motors ramped up its steady front-wheel-drive-ization of its product lineup in 1980 with the introduction of the X-platform.  The X-body was GM's attempt to compete with Toyota/Honda and included the Buick Skylark, Chevrolet Citation, Oldsmobile Omega, and Pontiac Phoenix.  They were totally forgettable cars, but if you shove a Cadillac V8 up front, it suddenly becomes interesting.  Find this 1981 Chevrolet Citation X11 with 4.9L V8 offered for $3,000 in Coral Springs, FL via craigslist.  Tip from BallsJefferson.


The Citation was a bad car, but the X-11 version added larger stabilizer bars, sport suspension, 4-speed manual and a few cosmetic pieces to try and dupe the buyer into thinking he was getting something sporty.  In truth it was an underpowered torque steering pile of x-crement.


This Citation has had its original engine thrown away and is now powered by a 4.9 liter L26 carburetor fed V8 setup for transverse applications like the Eldorado, used across the Cadillac lineup in everything but the Allante.  The L26 was rated around 200 horsepower from the factory and will probably make the Citation a handful when mated to a 4-speed manual gearbox. 


See a cheaper way to live the X-life dream? tips@dailyturismo.com

13 comments:

  1. Yaaaaaay, one of my suggestions got posted! I thought that was a surprisingly clean looking engine bay for a psychotic 3k swap.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mr Balls -- sorry for the oversight on the tip -- I've updated the post above.
      -Vince DT E-i-C

      Delete
  2. 90/10 weight split. Nice.

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  3. Is that the donor Cadillac in the background of the first photo? Do you think the owner knows?

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  4. The ad claims fuel injection. DT says carb. Hummm, wonder which one it is. lol

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    Replies
    1. I'd say fuel injection. Because I don't see a carb and it looks like a gm injection system from the late eighties early ninties.

      Delete
    2. Don't think the 4.9 ever got a carb from the factory, they started off with a throttle-body FI setup IIRC.

      I have to admit this is a combo I would have never imagined. It could be interesting. Distaste for open-element air filters aside (which makes it a pure no-go in California unless the assembly is EO'd for the 4.9) it's a pretty clean looking job.

      It'd be even cuter if it were a Northstar...

      Delete
  5. The epitome of automotive excellence.

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  6. When VW engineers were designing the Bugatti Veyron, they used this as the benchmark. I feel that they missed the mark.

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  7. The Audi S7 wishes it could be this awesome.

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  8. Mad science! Having grown up with my parents' Citation, a vehicle with a lot of potential that was sorely let down by its execution, I love this thing. However, why do all that work to a rust bucket? I'm sure there aren't that many nice Citations left, but a minty clean one could not possibly cost much more than beater examples.

    Chebby

    Chebby

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The problem is this: that really IS almost the nicest Citation you'll find anywhere. When was the last time you saw one on the road? I see one every six months, at most. I see more Alfa Giulias around here. Sheesh, I see more '64 Cortinas every time I walk into my backyard.

      So buy this guy's 4.9 Citation, so that he can afford to build the one next to it with the Saab 2.3 turbo motor and the 9-3 AWD.

      THAT I'd like to see. Not quite enough to do it myself, but I'd still like to see it.

      Delete

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