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2009 Malibu LT 2.4L
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2009 Chevy Malibu LT and I was thinking of replacing my ECOTEC 2.4L engine with a 3.5L V6. I was wondering if I could keep the 4 speed transmission or would I have to replace the transmission?
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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If you search others who have asked about swapping engines, you'll find that every one of them got the same answer: It's cheaper to get another car.
 

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2009 Malibu LT 2.4L
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you search others who have asked about swapping engines, you'll find that every one of them got the same answer: It's cheaper to get another car.
I’ve done some looking around and I’ve found that I can get a working engine from a junkyard for about $300. Maybe I’m missing something but that doesn’t seem like a lot to do and engine swap.
 

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2016 Malibu 1LT 1.5T/6-speed 6T40
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It's so easy. Do it. When you get done send us some pics and videos.
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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Make sure to keep track of the cost and share that as well.
 

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2009 Malibu LT 2.4L
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's so easy. Do it. When you get done send us some pics and videos.
I will, I was wondering If I should go with the 3.6L V6 instead of the 3.5L V6. Would they both bolt up to car and existing transmission?
 

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2016 Malibu 1LT 1.5T/6-speed 6T40
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I will, I was wondering If I should go with the 3.6L V6 instead of the 3.5L V6. Would they both bolt up to car and existing transmission?
With some modification either will work. The 3.5 is less likely to blow up the transmission and more likely to bolt up. Then all you need is a little advanced coding work, some new sensors, and harness modification. Super easy.
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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Don't listen to @campb292! Get the more powerful 3.6L V6 and have some fun! I have it and really like the power it has.

With pockets full of cash and a burning desire like you exhibit, then taking on the task of updating all of the computers in the car, adding sensors, getting another transmission, and rewiring all of the harnesses should be a no-brainer for you.

You'll have the car you want, not the one you have.

Oh, and make sure you play that song from Johnny Cash, "One Piece At a Time" to keep that fire burnin' inside ya!

Car Vehicle Land vehicle Automotive parking light Tire
 

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2009 Malibu LT 2.4L
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Don't listen to @campb292! Get the more powerful 3.6L V6 and have some fun! I have it and really like the power it has.

With pockets full of cash and a burning desire like you exhibit, then taking on the task of updating all of the computers in the car, adding sensors, getting another transmission, and rewiring all of the harnesses should be a no-brainer for you.

You'll have the car you want, not the one you have.

Oh, and make sure you play that song from Johnny Cash, "One Piece At a Time" to keep that fire burnin' inside ya!

View attachment 71808
This is my first engine swap, I didn’t know I had to update the computers, add sensors, and rewire the harness. Could you explain? I assumed I would need the ECU and wiring harness for the 3.6L but nothing else.
 

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2016 Malibu 1LT 1.5T/6-speed 6T40
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This is my first engine swap, I didn’t know I had to update the computers, add sensors, and rewire the harness. Could you explain? I assumed I would need the ECU and wiring harness for the 3.6L but nothing else.
First engine swaps are the best. You'll always remember the first engine swap. I'd still keep things reasonable and stick with the 3.5 since GM does use it with the 4T45 in some applications. Yes, I believe some light coding may be possible. You may be able to swap the ECM from a 3.5 but you might still need to do some light coding so it can communicate with the BCM. Or maybe you can swap the BCM too and just have a VIN programmed. Either way, yes some of the sensors are different between the 2.4 and 3.5 for example:

2.43.5
Oil Pressure switch/sensorACDELCO D1849A GM part 12635992ACDELCO 217-3108 GM Part 12674782
MAF213422219420212
MAPCOMPATIBLECOMPATIBLE
O2 down21343212134245
O2 up21345372133237
Throttle BodyACDelco 2173428 GM 12694871ACDelco 2173108

I also don't know if you are sourcing the 3.5 flex or gas only or if you are coming from the mild hybrid 2.4 ore the more common one but no matter this is just getting thoughts rolling. Either way it is a lot of fun and super educational.
 

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2009 Malibu LT 2.4L
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
First engine swaps are the best. You'll always remember the first engine swap. I'd still keep things reasonable and stick with the 3.5 since GM does use it with the 4T45 in some applications. Yes, I believe some light coding may be possible. You may be able to swap the ECM from a 3.5 but you might still need to do some light coding so it can communicate with the BCM. Or maybe you can swap the BCM too and just have a VIN programmed. Either way, yes some of the sensors are different between the 2.4 and 3.5 for example:

2.43.5
Oil Pressure switch/sensorACDELCO D1849A GM part 12635992ACDELCO 217-3108 GM Part 12674782
MAF213422219420212
MAPCOMPATIBLECOMPATIBLE
O2 down21343212134245
O2 up21345372133237
Throttle BodyACDelco 2173428 GM 12694871ACDelco 2173108

I also don't know if you are sourcing the 3.5 flex or gas only or if you are coming from the mild hybrid 2.4 ore the more common one but no matter this is just getting thoughts rolling. Either way it is a lot of fun and super educational.
How would I wire up the new sensors? Also is there a way to get the VIN programmed besides bringing it to the dealership? Also what other things will need to be changed? My friend said that I need to replace the fuel pump, new radiator and lines, new AC lines, and other things, how much of that do I need to replace?
 

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2016 Malibu 1LT 1.5T/6-speed 6T40
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How would I wire up the new sensors? Also is there a way to get the VIN programmed besides bringing it to the dealership? Also what other things will need to be changed? My friend said that I need to replace the fuel pump, new radiator and lines, new AC lines, and other things, how much of that do I need to replace?
Likely all of it. There is no limit to the things you might need to replace, update, program, mounting holes you might need to drill, wires that need patched. I do see the fuel pump are different part numbers so that probably will need replacement too. Even the alternator part numbers are different - 115 vs 125 amp. It's all very exciting. I can't wait to see the pictures and videos; this will be a Chevrolet Malibu Forum first.
 
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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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Yes, a First! (If it gets done and doesn't bankrupt you...)

I'm pretty sure that once you were done, everybody would be beating a path to your door because you made your car more better and more faster.
 

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2010 Malibu 1LS Mocha Steel Metallic
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Definitely keep us all on the forum posted of this! I'd be really intrigued to see how getting the engine bolted up to and working well with the trans will work out, especially if you do tackle the idea to keep the stock 4 speed and swap to the 3.6, which (as far as I know) didn't ever see pairings with anything other than the 6 speed.
If it pans out you DO have to swap the trans to handle higher power, I'd wonder whether the 4 speed from the 6th gen Malibus or earlier year Impalas that had the 3.5 would be a sufficient lateral move.

Many times I've pondered the expensive and time intensive Frankenstein process of replacing the 4 speed in my LS with the 6 speed, but I'm always swayed by the fact I don't expect to have the car long enough for the very mild bump in MPGs to potentially pay for itself through gas savings per year. That and I also have none of the facilities or knowledge to do these things either, but, ya know, minor details there 😁
 

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Definitely keep us all on the forum posted of this! I'd be really intrigued to see how getting the engine bolted up to and working well with the trans will work out, especially if you do tackle the idea to keep the stock 4 speed and swap to the 3.6, which (as far as I know) didn't ever see pairings with anything other than the 6 speed.
If it pans out you DO have to swap the trans to handle higher power, I'd wonder whether the 4 speed from the 6th gen Malibus or earlier year Impalas that had the 3.5 would be a sufficient lateral move.

Many times I've pondered the expensive and time intensive Frankenstein process of replacing the 4 speed in my LS with the 6 speed, but I'm always swayed by the fact I don't expect to have the car long enough for the very mild bump in MPGs to potentially pay for itself through gas savings per year. That and I also have none of the facilities or knowledge to do these things either, but, ya know, minor details there 😁
I'm an old man whos done a slew of engine installs and swaps. My most complicated swap was installing an Olds 455 in place of a V6 in a early computer controlled Oldsmobile. My solution to addressing the computer, sensors and the likes was to chuck them and go analog! I guess you could say I was successful but in reality I was not. I must say though, I fell out of my lazy boy chair with laughter reading some of these posts....Daily Driver u crack me up! The young man doing this project has my full admiration and my sympathies. But hey, u only go around once in life!
 

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I have a 2009 Chevy Malibu LT and I was thinking of replacing my ECOTEC 2.4L engine with a 3.5L V6. I was wondering if I could keep the 4 speed transmission or would I have to replace the transmission?
Not telling you what to do but most people ik that had these gen cars with the V6 in them had engine or transmission problems I bought a 2012 with the 4cyl with 101k on it and put 185k on it before I recently sold it never had problems with it been best car I ever owned I own a 2015 with a 4 cyl almost 80k on it been very great I also own 2016 Malibu Premier with the 2.0 turbo with 63k on it been great my advice is stick with 4 cylinder even better on gas
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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From 2013 on, there was no V6 offering except possibly overseas. So, to compare your 2.0L turbo to a Gen7, it's like having the 3.6L V6 since it was the largest and most powerful engine of its generation.

Comparing a bit further, no V6 has ever suffered from LSPI and blown out pistons or entire engines as a result. Both the 1.5T and the 2.0T have had this issue, but my 3.6L never has.

It also matters on how the car is driven. Small 4-bangers with turbos should not be driven with a light throttle at low speeds if you want a long life, but that kinda negates the whole mantra of small engines getting better mileage. If I use Cruise Control to drive 60 mph on the freeway, my 3.6L has gotten over 34 mpg! That may not compare all that favorably to the 40+ that the 2.0T can get, but I'll take a longer engine life over higher mileage any day.
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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For those who haven't guessed by now, this thread has been a joke since the first post. Swapping engines in modern cars can be done when one of two different conditions is met:
  1. The exact same engine replaces what is coming out of the car, — OR —
  2. You have a whole lot of money, time, and material resources that can be compared to doing a heart and brain transplant in a human.
THIS THREAD IS NOW CLOSED FOR LACK OF INTELLIGENT CONTENT.
 
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