Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

350 vortec motor swap

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by bad_bo_ti, Feb 16, 2004.

  1. bad_bo_ti

    bad_bo_ti 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2000
    Posts:
    1,027
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    OhiO
    was wonder how hard or what all would be involved with putting a vortec motor in my tbi truck and keeping tbi (93 chevy)? Also how hard would it be to keep it all vortec and put it in my truck (intake and everything)? i can get my hands on one for about 200 bucks but i dont know if it comes with the harness and puter. if i get my pick of what i want what all should i get if i keep it vortec? thanks, chris also what is the hp and torque on these, and my 93 chevy tbi 350 motor? thanks again
     
  2. 87GMCJimmy

    87GMCJimmy 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Posts:
    582
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Vortec with TBI, get a vortec carb manifold and bolt it up. Probably need to get a prom burned. However the TBI only flows enouch for about 4k rpm while the vortec with the roller valve train likes to rev higher. Not saying this is a bad idea but you should know the limitation.

    Vortec with the MPFI, this is not simple nor cheap. I highly recommend gettting the donar motor out of a 96 with all of the accesories/computer wiring. Then plan on about $1k more of parts to get it hooked up correctly and running. I can go into more details if you seriously want to do this.

    Mike
     
  3. bad_bo_ti

    bad_bo_ti 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2000
    Posts:
    1,027
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    OhiO
    well i guess i should have mentioned that i have a bbc 454 tb to put on it as well, i plan on installing a adjustable pressure regulator as well. dont know how much more this would help. i am just looking to try to beef up my motor without spending a fortune, i was just going to buy another intake and port it out for the bb tb but then this came along, i wouldnt mind knowing what all is involved in keeping the mpfi if you have time to explain. maybe if i went that route i could do a tech article!! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif i just dont see where i would have that much more money in it. but thats just me /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif thanks, crhis
     
  4. marine_enlisted

    marine_enlisted 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2002
    Posts:
    658
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Stafford, VA
    The cost kind of depends how in depth you want to get with the swap. When I did mine I was fortunate enough to have no emissions laws. I tried to cut corners with the tranny and run my 700r4. I ended up going with a 4l65e from a '01 Escalade. The 700 r4 works, but the TV cable will not adjust correctly . If you were to run a manual trans, you could save some money. My truck sees some light off road, but it's a daily driver so I hooked up the A/C and even wired up the cruise from the donor truck. Since the swap I have had no driveability problems and I drive it everyday in the heavy D.C. area traffic. If you have the budget and the time I think you will love the Vortec. I have thought about putting together a tech article, but no one really seems that interested in doing the swap.
     
  5. 87GMCJimmy

    87GMCJimmy 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Posts:
    582
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    The 454 TBI should flow as much as you need. Just get a prom burned for it and it should be good.

    For the Vortec with MPFI. It depends on what your local emission requirements are. If you can get away without dual cats etc. you can send the computer out and have it reprogrammed to disable the emission tests. The cheapest I've found this is $350. I live in PHX, Az and needed all of the emission stuff so I used the stock computer out of a 96 truck. The motor I have is out of a 99 tahoe. To do this you need to re-pin the computer connectors and switch the EVAP system over to a non-enhanced system. Using the 96 computer got me 2 things, 1-no passlock theft system and 2 no enhanced EVAP system with a fuel tank pressure sensor. This is why I highly recomend starting with the 96 donar. It simplifies this a little. I could have sent out the 99 computer and have these things disabled but it was much cheaper to pick up a 96 computer for $65 and if it ever goes bad I just go get another one and don't have to worry about it being reprogrammed.

    What tranny do you want to run? The computer really needs a Vss singal to run correctly. I'm not sure if the 93 Vss will work or not. I had to by a reluctor (Tone) ring from JTR and put it on the output shaft of the tranny b/c I didn't have the correct Vss signal from my stock TBI, my trucks an 87 but basically the same TBI setup as the 93. I don't know what if any changes between the years. Between the reluctor ring and sensor $150.

    Fuel lines are easy, get some 3/8inch brake lines and bend away. Get some FI rated fuel hose and connected the hard lines. Your flexable lines should only make short connections between the hard lines. Fuel pump, get one from and 96-99 2 door tahoe and it's a direct replacement for you stock one. $100 for fuel pump plus 20-30 for hoses/hard lines/mini tube bender/hose clamps etc.

    Intake duct work. I used a K$N filter with some rubber bends and 3.5inch aluminum tubing from JTP. Probably another $100 spent on this.

    Then there's mounting the computer/under hood fuse box. It easy enough to use the stock wiring harness but if you want an aftermarket one with a only 4 wires to connect then that's another 4-5 hundred.

    Exhuast, if you need the dual cats etc. figure on 5-6 hundred on a new exhuast.

    These are all the big things I could come up will off the top of my head. As with any project there many small items that add up pretty quickly, nuts/bolts, cables, hoses, etc.

    Let me know if you want more specifics. Now that my trucks running, it was definitly worth doing. /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif
    Mike
     
  6. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2000
    Posts:
    26,979
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    Roy WA
    If you are talking about a Vortec 350, then ditching the Vortec injection setup is netting you only ONE specific advantage to other GM 350's, and thats the heads. (because roller cam 350's are prevalent now)

    You could buy some good aftermarket heads that will accept a TBI intake for a lot less than an entire Vortec swap, and probably less than the Vortec engine swap.

    A complete Vortec swap would be pretty nice all right, but definitely not cheap or easy by any stretch of the imagination, as the others have implied.
     
  7. xflatrater

    xflatrater Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2003
    Posts:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Shamong NJ
    Just a heads up on the intake, vortec tbi is used in marine applications.. vortec tbi intake
     
  8. bluejeep

    bluejeep 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Posts:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Des Moines, IA
    "I have thought about putting together a tech article, but no one really seems that interested in doing the swap. "

    I would definitely be interested in seeing a tech article on this. I am looking at doing the same thing, replacing my current TBI 350 with 270,000 miles on it in favor of a newer Vortec motor.
     
  9. Cmoe

    Cmoe 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2000
    Posts:
    2,884
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Mesa,AZ
    Do the write up..... someone may need the info before they know it.....
     
  10. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2000
    Posts:
    26,979
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    Roy WA
    Wow. $5? That might make a "simple" Vortec head swap a lot more reasonable for people keeping TBI.

    Can't see any problems with those intakes, as long as they have all the necessary sensor bungs already, which it looks like they do.

    EGR still a problem for those with visual, but $5 is cheaper than $300!!
     
  11. 87GMCJimmy

    87GMCJimmy 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Posts:
    582
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I agree. Use this manifold with 454 TBI and it probably be 90-95% of what the MPFI gets on power and mpg's. I'm not sure how the cam would do with the TBI vs. MPFI. I'm not a cam guy but I know people tell you to put in a different cam in the vortec long block if your going to run a carb.

    Mike
     
  12. bad_bo_ti

    bad_bo_ti 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2000
    Posts:
    1,027
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    OhiO
    what about egr, how does one get rid of that, and what does the motor gain or loose from removing it. do you think it would be a bad idea to buy the whole motor and get the heads off then sell just the block and the injection system, i mean i can easily see me getting most if not more of my momey back.
     
  13. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2000
    Posts:
    26,979
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    Roy WA
    Well, first off, you gain nothing by eliminating EGR, except maybe saving yourself some effort initially. Potentially a "failure" point, but when operating correctly, doesn't hurt performance at all, and increases economy.

    As to the idea of parting the block out. From what I've seen, the CPI system is dirt cheap. Maybe $50? With a complete harness maybe more, but this swap still isn't "easy" enough for most people IMO, thats why its not more popular, and thus parts aren't worth "much".

    The heads are good performers, but again, special intake, EGR issues, weak springs, not capable of much lift stock, thin castings, etc. Might be able to sell them for a couple of hundred dollars, but I *personally* wouldn't spend a dime (ok, maybe a dime lol) on used Vortecs when they can be had for $500 (or so) per pair, new. Someone else might though, just depends on your area.

    The block I would almost certainly keep, a factory roller block is a great starting point.
     
  14. marine_enlisted

    marine_enlisted 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2002
    Posts:
    658
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Stafford, VA
    I don't think I implied that it was an easy or cheap swap. /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif Looking back on it now I could have done a few things different to make it cheaper, when I did my swap I couldn't find any info on it. There are a couple of sites for doing it to a Toyota Land Cruiser, and one for a 2wd S-10, but that doesn't help much for our tucks. 87GMCJIMMY and I were doing the swap at about the same time and swapped some info but we had to kind of figure out how to do it on our own.

    The swap took me about 3 months to do and I did it outside in the driveway with a small Crapsman tool set and a soldering iron. If you can read a schematic and have a decent amount of knowledge and a basic set of tools, it should be pretty cut and dry for you.

    To me, a difficult swap would be something like putting a 5.9 Cummins in a K5, something that requires a lot of fabrication.

    This swap is basically taking a bunch of stock parts and putting them together to make it work the worst part is the wiring and that is pretty straight forward if you have good schematics.
    I am working on a tech article for those who might be interested. The write-up will be based on my truck ,which is an 86 GMC K10. It was originally equipped with a carbed 305 with ESC, 700r4, 208 case, and dual fuel tanks. Currently, it has no emissions aside from EGR.

    Maybe 87GMCJIMMY would be willing to elaborate on the emmissions part of the swap for you guys that have to pass the look and sniff test.

    Hopefully I will get the article done by this weekend and try to get some pics as well.
     
  15. bad_bo_ti

    bad_bo_ti 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2000
    Posts:
    1,027
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    OhiO
    alright then let me start over, i am wanting to get more power out of my stock motor, i already have a bbc tb to put on, need intake for it, figure if i am doing intake might as well do a cam, and thinking of heads too. dont really want to spend a fortune on it what are my option?? i am just not sure what i want to do right now, my main objective is to try and get more pulling power out of it (torque) unless i can find someone who will trade me trucks /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  16. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2000
    Posts:
    26,979
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    Roy WA
    I just made that hard to read...what I meant was the amount of work you guys did, shows that it isn't easy nor cheap. (no injection swap really is, not like changing wheels or something) /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    Somewhat related to your idea of doing a "write up", I've been gathering pictures of my Vortec/TPI swap, so that I can go back, and put some comments with the pics. How this was done, how that was done, part needed to do this, etc.

    You are right, there really isn't much fabrication work to be done with these types of swaps...but the wiring, diagnostic, and operational aspects seem pretty daunting until you actually start dealing with them. At least with pictures and personal experiences related, people can see what it would take, minus the learning portion.
     
  17. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2000
    Posts:
    26,979
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    Roy WA
    Check into the pro-topline heads, they've been discussed on here, and some company (at least at the time) was offering a complete pair for JUST over $500. They should be available in your intake bolt pattern. A good head swap will really help a motor.

    Stick with a very mild cam, and your low end torque will be much improved. Long tube headers won't hurt either.

    You really should consider having a chip burned for your truck. I'm not sure who's doing this, but to get the most out of a modification on an EFI vehicle, the calibration of the PROM needs to be checked after the modifications, to make sure nothing needs tweeked to keep your engine safe, or squeeze more power out of it.

    With the fastburn chamber (which is what the pro-toplines, vortecs, etc use) quite a bit less timing is needed, which keeps you from damaging the engine with higher compression on 87 octane.
     
  18. y5mgisi

    y5mgisi 1 ton status

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2002
    Posts:
    17,156
    Likes Received:
    247
    Location:
    Portland Oregon
    *hijack* Sorrry to inturupt, but how do i get a new prom burned, And how much does it usually cost? *hijack complete*
     
  19. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2000
    Posts:
    26,979
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    Roy WA
    Going to have to do a search online. You can get the stuff for under $200 (minus a laptop) and do a better job though.

    I've heard of it costing up to $500 depending on how many times they try and get it right, etc. One time burn isn't going to nail it.
     
  20. awalkertx

    awalkertx Newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    Posts:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Murrieta CA
    thread revival!

    Hey guys did anyone ever write a good how-to or Q-and-A tech writeup on this? I don't mean to be a non-club member not having a K5 blazer, but it sounds like there's more knowledge in this forum than many of the others I've looked/searched.

    I've been toying with the idea of going to the OBII L31 engine for almost a decade now. Well the old Z71 engine has >300K on it and the distributor just went out. While perusing craigslist I found a T-boned suburban with 100k on it that has a 7k crate Vortec engine in it. I sprang for the suburban and now I'm wondering what I've done! Good news is since the Z71 serves no day-to-day purpose I don't mind it being out of commission for a long time. Be advised that it's a truck I've had since almost new and the only reason for such effort on my part is because of stubborn sentimentality!

    The recipient truck:
    1995 GMC K1500 SLE Z71
    L05 TBI 350
    MG5 manual transmission

    The donor truck:
    1999 Chevy K1500 Suburban
    L31 Vortec 350
    4L60E automatic transmission

    Both vehicles will be parked next to each other for the duration. I plan on keeping the manual transmission in the Z71.

    What I do know: everything harness related both sides of the firewall, cluster and computer will need to be swapped. I even plan to swap the ABS over and maybe even the dashboard (to include the passenger side airbag). Fuel sending unit and lines will need to come over as well. Much of the swappable interior will come over too.

    Questions:
    Will the Vortec engine accept the old flywheel?
    Will the automatic transmission'ed harness accept the MG5?
    Any gotchas out there that I'm completely in the dark about? (very possible)
    What's the situation on the theft recovery system? I don't have any idea about this!

    Thank you so much for any insight from anybody out there. I am timidly excited about the project and really hoping for a good result.
     

Share This Page