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Bear with me, need engine project approval/opinions

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Madbomber88, Mar 31, 2003.

  1. Madbomber88

    Madbomber88 1/2 ton status

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    Ok guys, bare with me here, I know this is long winded...I've been debating this for a while and need to make a final decision soon. I'm looking for any and all opinions here for my 90 K5. Here's what I intend to get out of my truck. It will be a daily driver, mostly highway, with towing a car trailer in the future and the occasional offroad excursion maybe once a month (nothing crazy, but you never know). The truck will remain unlifted with 32x11.5x15 tires which may grow to 33's after the project.
    Here's the project, 350 HO, 383 HT, or stock engine with mods?
    DERF 00 has already helped me out a lot and now I'm looking for overall consensus. The main factor is price of course.
    My options:
    1) Bite the bullet and get the 383, install the Edelbrock MPFI, add thorley headers, a custom chip, and off we go. This is by far the most expensive, but also the most power gain.

    2) Get the 350 HO, install the Edelbrock MPFI and thorley headers. No need for a chip, and save a little over $1000 on the engine. Sacrifice some power and torque, but will I really need it?

    3) Keep my stock TBI 350 (170,000) but runs like a top, install the MPFI, new roller rocker arms, the thorley headers, and off we go. By far the cheapest, but I'm stuck with the same engine.

    So...thoughts? I'd like to stay as cheap as possible, but my engine is getting tired, and I need a new project. I started off wanting the 383 all the way, but is the 350 HO really that much less of a performer? Is the 383 really worth the extra money? Both the 383 and 350 HO should bolt up relatively easily with my stock accessories and will pass emissions with all the factory stuff bolted back up, right? I'm only losing 35 ft lbs of torque, and Hp is about the same. Is the MPFI worth it for either engine, and is my header choice a decent one? And lastly, any opinions on rocker arms? How will either choice affect my gas mileage, won't the MPFI help?

    Thanks a ton, need opinions to help me decide.
    -Tim

    Timothy K. Pape, LT USAF
    Project Officer Advanced Technology and Program Planning
    Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance ESC/SRG
    timothy.pape@hanscom.af.mil
     
  2. 83ZZ502_Jimmy

    83ZZ502_Jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Bare with me, need engine project approval/opinions

    I'd go with the 383, but I have a 350HO in one of my other trucks and it does just fine.

    Still cant beat the torque of the 383 though...

    John [​IMG]
     
  3. Madbomber88

    Madbomber88 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Bare with me, need engine project approval/opinions

    It's really that noticeable huh?
     
  4. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    3) Keep my stock TBI 350 (170,000) but runs like a top, install the MPFI, new roller rocker arms, the thorley headers, and off we go. By far the cheapest, but I'm stuck with the same engine.

    [/ QUOTE ] I'd do that. You can also build a 383 stroker in your spare time and just transfer everything over to it when you're ready.
     
  5. Madbomber88

    Madbomber88 1/2 ton status

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    There's an idea. Are there any books or manuals that tell you exactly how to do it? I have no problem swapping engines, but I've never rebuilt one
     
  6. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Just curious, why are you set on dumping the stock TBI? One additional might be "383, with better TBI" or something along those lines.

    Not sure how good the Edelbrock system is, but you know the TBI system works, and they make bigger ones if you need it, and that would certainly cut down on cost.

    I'm all about fuel injection, but if it's not a stock GM EFI setup (or VERY close approximation) I'm pretty leery, most are not worth the effort, especially when complete Tuned Port setups can be had for $5-600. Really good if you like projects /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  7. 90K5

    90K5 1/2 ton status

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    before you do anything like MPFI on the engine you have now, do a compression test...mine is just like yours, has 175k on it and ran great two weeks ago, did a compression test and it was horrible. No way im dumping any money into that thing, i had people tell me all the time they had the same engine and mine sounded and ran way better. With the 383, get a TBI off a 454 to put on there, it will handle it nicley i have heard
     
  8. Madbomber88

    Madbomber88 1/2 ton status

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    Good point. Won't any accessory I buy for my current engine carry over to a 383? My current thought is to add onto my current engine for the time being (MPFI or at least performer intake, new rocker arms, and headers). Then when I really have the cash to go for the 383, I'll swap stuff over. Is that a bad idea? What ratio rocker arms do I want for my stock engine?
     
  9. Madbomber88

    Madbomber88 1/2 ton status

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    I'm starting to agree with you and think I'm gonna just add to my engine for the time being until my piggy bank expands. I did a search on this, but what is the best cam choice for my stock engine keeping in mind it will need to pass emissions, and I will be running the MPFI.
    Thanks
     
  10. 4DiggerDan

    4DiggerDan 1/2 ton status

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    All the locals I know that put the Edelbrock MPFI system on said the same thing... It was well wortht he money. They all said it got better mileage, and had much better throttle response.

    On the engine... First thing you gotta do is figure out what you CAN spend. Remember, even NASA has a budget, so it does you no good to theorize about the perfect smallblock for your truck if you can't afford it. 2K can build you a nice 350. 3K can build you a nice 383.

    I've built a LOT of TBI 350's. The longest lived one I've ever seen had 220K on it. I've seen them come in my shop with as little as 75K. Oddly enough, they do a great job of wearing everything out all at once. 170k is about average for it to die though /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    If it were me, I'd buy the headers and re-plumb the exhaust. Then you've got that done for your newer and deeper breathing engine, whatever it winds up being. I'd bolt up the MPFI on the new engine, becuase what the hell a new mill deserves a new fuelie system. That, and it can't get full of carbon and crap off the old engine and contaminate anything in your new mill. On a 350 with that kind of mileage, I can't see doing any major changes...

    As far as cams that are emisions friendly, I can't help you. In Montana, we don't have such a thing. In fact, if your all out drag racing monster has a set of mufflers, working lights all the way around, and license plates... It's street legal /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     

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