So as described, the TR7 had an LB8 GM 60 degree V6 in it; a 2.8 NA from a 1989 Camaro/Firebird with attendant WCT5 gearbox.
After having a wee bit too much fun the 2.8 developed a somewhat enigmatic knock. OK no problem. Rod bearings were due and arent rocket science. But out of the corner of my eye I noticed my empty engine bay could now host a different GM 60 degree V6: An LX9. These non-VVT 3.5L V6s were in 2005ish GM products and make 200hp as opposed to the 2.8's 135hp. They also feature fun things like roller hardware, alloy heads and generally breathed better. They are also getting cheap and plentiful.
I saw pics of them in MGBs and even another TR7. The bolt pattern would make it a doddle to fit it to the T5 already lovingly installed. So whats not to love.
So a 300$ 2004 Malibu LT was acquired. It ran and drove so getting it home was free. It even had gas in it. Local rental place had a crane so after some unbolting, cutting and swearing the LX9 was out.
For north-south conversion I gathered the following info and made the following observations.
1. It needs a throttle body from a drive-by-cable car. 4.3 vortec TBs seem to work.
2. It needs a flywheel from a 2.2 S10 but it seems the 2.8 clutch will transplant over.
3. It will run with a megasquirt but I'll need to tweak it for DIS (no dizzy on an LX9)
4. The engine's right side has 4 drilled and tapped bosses for N-S engine mount.
5. The left bank only has two, but there's a third on the front face that I can adapt to.
6. The starter is on the left side but handily my Camaro sourced bell is dual pocket.
7. The intake needs flipping 180' so the intake can go to the front of the engine.
8. This will impinge on the timing chain cover, but I can use the 2.8 cover instead*.
9. Some say I'll have to use the 2.8 oil pan but Im not so sure by eyeball.
Engine is now out, dangling from the crane while I sort out a stand.
I reckon I can get 200$ out of the bits off the Malibu so Im out 100$ so far pluc crane rental. Not too shabby.
* Im fairly bloody minded so I might just try and hack the LX9 timing chain cover before stealing the one off the 2.8. I'll need to fab new engine mounts but when I fitted the 2.8 I had the presence of mind to build in captive nuts so the new one should just bolt on.
right/back side of the engine. flexplate visible.
left/rear. the pan looks like it will clear the tr7 crossmember.
the two drilled/tapped bosses up and left of the oil filter housing will work for engine mounts. Theres a third on the front of the block.
Hader to see here, but there are more drilled and tapped mount bosses beneath that tensioner pulley.