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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
OBD1 Drivetain in 96ss

I have a drive train out of a 95 caprice that I'm thinking about swapping into a 96ss. I want to use the pcm and engine wiring harness, along with a z28 cluster in the the 96 impala. Will the wiring harness plug in under the dash? Are there any other differences in the wiring between these cars that I need to know of?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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I don't know about the wiring compatibility and/or difference, but one thing to check on is emissions in your area. The '95 is OBD I while the '96 is OBD II. Also, some states only allow for a later year engine swap in a vehicle, not an earlier year engine swap.

Note that the '96 gauge cluster wiring is different than the '95.

Hopefully someone will know the answer to your wiring questions.
 

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The Z28 cluster, with wiring for a 94-95 will not work in your 96 unless you also swap the underdash wiring from a 94-95 car. The engine harness differences are pretty trivial, your 95 harness won't have the tach wire running into the car that the 96 harness already has as well as a few other minor changes.

It will be MUCH LESS WORK for you to swap in the drivetrain, use the vehicles original harnesses and cluster, and make a few EXTREMELY MINOR changes to the engine...install new 1996 B-Body knock sensors in the engine, swap the timing cover to a 96-97 LT1 unit, install the longer crank woodruff key (takes like 4 minutes with a flathead screwdriver and a small hammer), then slip on a 96-97 LT1 crank reluctor, and a 96 B-Body crank hub...then you just need a crank position sensor for the timing cover, and you don't have to re-wire ANYTHING in the car.

The hub/key/reluctor/timing cover/crank sensor/knock sensors, is really all VERY VERY easy stuff to swap...and it gives you an excuse to put a new oil pan gasket on the engine before swapping it into the car...MUCH easier than swapping the entire engine harness at the firewall (kinda a pain in the ass) and then swapping the under dash harness for the Z28 cluster...a HUGE pain in the ass...and then running a tach wire through the engine harness and across the dash harness as the 95 stuff didn't have it...and then having a 1996 car that cannot legally pass an OBD2 emissions inspection anywhere...F that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, where I live we don't have to worry about emissions. I bought the car as a roller so it didn't come with an engine or wiring harness so either way I'll have to plug one in at the firewall. I'd rather put in the work to make the 95 stuff work as that is what I have at my disposal. Can I use my pcm with a 96 wiring harness, or will have to get one from a 96. I'd prefer to keep the car obd1 if I could, as I already have software to tune it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
After looking through the FSM, I think it will be easier for me to swap out the under dash wiring harness with the one from the caprice. Other than that it seems like everything else would work as it did in the 95. Besides I really don't like the 96 cluster, I'd rather use z28 cluster that I have.
 

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I didn't realize the car had no engine harness to begin with...in that case, if you definitely don't have to worry about an OBD2 emissions test...yeah...go for it.

You MIGHT be able to just re-pin the cluster connections rather than swapping the whole harness...but if the car is already mostly disassembled, it's not such a big deal to swap the dash harness.

How much do you want for the 96 cluster? Is it in good shape?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I went to the yard today and removed the harness just to see how hard it was. It took me less than an hour and the only thing that gave me trouble was the antenna plug. So it's an easy swap. But besides that will everything else be plug and play. The cluster is in good shape, but the previous owner told me that the odometer went blank. Just make me an offer. This is the impala that it's in:
http://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/showthread.php?t=247626
 
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