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Can I put Vortec heads and TBI on my 84 rotating assembly?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by afroman006, Jul 23, 2004.

  1. afroman006

    afroman006 1/2 ton status

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    I have a 355 rotating assembly freshly rebuilt out of an 84 Chevy truck sittin in my shop. I originally rebuilt it fora different project but scrapped that project, now I just have it. I've been thinkin about an engine upgrade for the burban, and god only knows how much I want a full roller BBC, but I just cant afford the $8k to build the engine of my dreams. I was thinking, if I could put a set of Vortec heads on my 84 rotating assembly, then throw on all the TBI stuff up top, would it work? What I want is as follows

    4 bolt main (my block does have that)
    383 (decided to go with 355 since I have it)
    Vortec heads (We have a 97 Z71 so if I can convince mom it needs a new long block... /forums/images/graemlins/whistling.gif)
    Edelbrock intake
    Turbo City TBI unit (great writeup on them in Chevy High Perfomance)
    Good bumpstick
    Tri-Y headers & true duel exhaust
    Open element air filter
    Milodon 7 qt. oil pan

    I'm hoping all this will net me at least 350 HP and 400+ Tq.
    So, will it all work together?
     
  2. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Do you need to pass emissions?

    To my knowledge, the GMPP(?) TBI intake is the only one that fits Vortec heads, and will still allow use of the EGR. If no emissions, not an issue, although you may end up with the check engine light coming on.

    Used Vortec heads are typically false economy. First you have the machining to make sure the surfaces are true. Then you probably want a valve job,since the lower end is brand new, right? Then maybe some new valves, depends on how the old ones look. Springs are pretty weak stock, so might be looking at new springs, which either entails more machine work, or about $160 for the beehive springs. How about new guides? Might need those if the heads have mileage on them.

    On top of that, the inherent flaws in the heads are that they are thin castings (not a real issue, but could be) not emissions legal if you need EGR, and expensive to make "legal" if you have to have EGR, not much choice in TBI intakes, the stock springs are weak, and the stock setup will only take about .450" lift before you start running into valve retainer lock clearance issues.

    I would consider pro-topline heads, brand new. I've seen them as low as $500/pair, and IIRC have thicker castings, better springs, and screw in studs. (plus they will need no more machine work) Reports have varied between them flowing better or worse than advertised, but probably neither is an issue for most truck owners. The best would be if they took a stock TBI intake, instead of the Vortec bolt pattern. Hard to do if they raised or lowered the intake runners though.
     
  3. afroman006

    afroman006 1/2 ton status

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    Nope, no emissions. My truck doesnt have EGR anyway, right? So, you're saying I'd be better off buying brand new bare castings and assembling everything myself? I guess if I did that I could get some kickass recessed valves and some other goofy $hit like that. Got a link to somewhere I can look at or maybe even get those heads you're talking about? I just figured Vortec cause they didnt require any thinking /forums/images/graemlins/screwy.gif.
     
  4. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Actually the Vortecs come ASSEMBLED for around $500! Same with the pro-toplines.

    IIRC there were a couple of threads on here that included a link to someplace in the midwest (I think thats where they were!) that sold them, and I believe it was a circle track related place.

    Your engine has EGR on it, or did from the factory.
     

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