From: Terry Weaver
Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2001
Subject: engine info
All 79 and earlier motors are the same a euro motors, they just came with the thermacto reactors that cooked heads. Changes were made to the engines in1980 to the US specifications.
79 and earlier 3.3, 9.3 to 1 compression, 197 hp, different cam, flat top pistons
80 and later 3.3, 8.0 to 1 compression 181 hp, US cam, dished pistons
3.5 to late 87 8.0 to 1 compression 182 hp, US cam, dished pistons
late 87 3.5 and newer 9.0? to 1 compression, 208 hp
euro 3.5, 9.3 to 1, 218 hp
I get the early 3.3's for about $75 dollars at the local u-pull yard, cars are usually donated by Big Brothers/Big Sisters or such.
Also one of the advertizers in Roundel tends to sell the late 3.5 short block for about $150 since they mainly deal in selling the heads and then have a bunch of blocks left over.
As master Mike has stated before look for an auto block as it will have less wear on the the thrust bearing.