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Does anyone have a fuel-injected engine swap on the road?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by shadetree, Jul 25, 2000.

  1. shadetree

    shadetree Registered Member

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    I am a new member to this forum and I am glad to finally find a comprehensive K5 site, so far this looks great.

    I am trying to find information for completing a fuel-injected 350 swap into my 86 K5 Blazer. If anyone owns, drives, or knows of successful street-legal fuel-injected conversions on 73-87 chevy full-size trucks I would really appreciate some input. I have been having trouble finding anyone willing to help me with my quest. My 86 305 K5 is in great shape, but badly needs a new motor and I don't want to put a single dollar into the stock 305.
    I am looking for better than stock, mild daily performance out of my engine swap (maybe 300 hp, 350 ft-lbs of torque) and above all, reliability, driveability and durability. (The truck is a daily driver and weekend hunting/fishing warrior.) I am particularly interested in using Vortec heads and some type of factory fuel-injection (for reliability). As of now, I think I would like to put a slightly modified 1996-era Vortec 350 motor in it. This looks like an expensive idea since fuel-lines/gas tank/brackets, wiring adapters, etc. are needed to make it work. Again, this has to be an emissions legal install.

    Any input to save a few greenbacks or tips would be greatly appreciated, or just tell me I'm nuts. Thanks!
     
  2. BurbinOR

    BurbinOR 3/4 ton status

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    You are most definitely NOT nuts. Going to FI is a great upgrade. And yes, there are quite a few injected transplants on this board..........mine is a 79 K5 with a 406 small block that has an IROC TPI (Tuned Port Injection) unit and heads on it. It rocks! Now, one thing is very important - the install has to be done right. It is an easy job FOR SOMEONE WHO KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING. I just dropped off my Blazer last night to have the rod knock fixed (unrelated to the injection conversion) and the guy who is doing the work (who is a major TPI guru) looked over the installation and found about 5 things that were done incorrectly. AND the truck still ran like a bat out of hell. Can't wait till he fixes the install and reworks the bottom end! He showed me 3 examples of his work, the trickest of which is a Jaguar convertible that his wife drives that has a TPI unit on it, and it sings! Beautiful! Anyway, keep up the research, find the person to do your job, and it will be worth every penny. I get mine back in 3 weeks, look for a post from me on the results of his work.

    <font color=black>'79 K5 - 406 w/IROC TPI -<font color=orange> K5#5 - <font color=blue>http:// www.blazzinor.coloradok5.com
     
  3. blazer72

    blazer72 1/2 ton status

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    Mine is not a revamped OEM system, its a full out replacment. I run a very torky 406 SB with RPM heads and a aftermarcket TPI every thing I could find said the the GM TPI would not flow the cfm needed for the 400 in any thing but stock form and even then it would be lacking for air.

    Both engine modeling and a real chasie dino put me about 513 lbs of tork and about 530 HP with the peak tork at about 2700 rpm. Yes the cam is set for tork not HP!

    You can see a photo of my truck in reader photos it a blue 72 that was marches pick.

    I understand the jeep thing I drive a BLAZER!!

    Ken
     
  4. Blazer1970

    Blazer1970 1/2 ton status

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    You could pretty easily swap to an '87 or later TBI 350, and get a big gain in HP, mileage and driveability. If you want to go wilder, TPI swaps are also relatively easy. The TBI 350 swap, using all factory components from an '87 pickup, or '87 - 91 Blazer or Sub would be a bolt on deal.

    Tim

    1970 Blazer CST 4X4 350 SM465 NP205
    1987 Suburban 4X4 350
    1988 Chevy Pickup 4X4 350
     
  5. turbo

    turbo 1/2 ton status

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    In my 83 350 I run holley projection 2DI with the added O2 sensor feedback.
     
  6. blazer72

    blazer72 1/2 ton status

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    The holly system works but it does not like much more than stock 350s or smaller. Holly used to have a web site like this but pulled it to keep the users from talking and finding the many bad points about there systems [​IMG]

    I got burned badly by there systems and spent more time replaceing part than useing it.

    I understand the jeep thing I drive a BLAZER!!

    Ken
     
  7. kevinv

    kevinv Registered Member

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    I had an 87 K5 TBI and installed the Chevy 300HP crate motor. I burned probably 150 EPROM's trying to get the thing to run like I thought it should. I also spent 300 bucks with JET to have them give me a custom chip...which was a waste (don't EVER do that!)

    I finally was relatively happy- If you go that route- I can probably send you my final bin file (which I believe was actually close to anoter stock truck configuration).

    Bottom line- it was a very interesting experience. Long and drawn out primarily because I am so picky. If I had to do it all over again (since I simply don't want to spend that kind of time again)- I'd swap in a chevy stock system (350 or 454) and go with it- computer and all. It is hard to out-do what GM did from the factory IMHO -- many will argue this however.

    I also had to contend with getting a over stock motor to pass CA smog... I am "proud" (humbly) to say we made it.

    Willing to discuss- let me know if you want more... KV.
     
  8. BurbinOR

    BurbinOR 3/4 ton status

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    Factory systems are basically bulletproof and parts are easy and cheap. This guy that is rebuilding my motor is a former GMC truck mechanic.........and somewhat of an expert on TPI. He said no problem getting the injectors (24 lb'ers) to flow for a 406.......just need the right chips and an adjustable fuel regulator (to get the fuel pressure up a bit).

    Ken, you have a totally cool setup, not sure if a 530 lb ft motor could be done by the factory stuff. I'll check with this guy just for fun. I am pumped, can't wait to get mine back from him.

    <font color=black>'79 K5 - 406 w/IROC TPI -<font color=orange> K5#5 - <font color=blue>http:// www.blazzinor.coloradok5.com
     
  9. Canuck

    Canuck 1/2 ton status

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    If you get some good info, please let me know. I have the same 86 K5 with an extemely weak 305. The upgrade your talking about is the same way I want to go.I think it will last the winter, but will need replacing by spring.


    Canuck

    Go Wide or Stay @ Home
     
  10. blazer72

    blazer72 1/2 ton status

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    Mine uses 37 LB injectors and it all gm sensers and coils save one, the crank triger. the big key is the 1600 cfm intake [​IMG]

    It would take alot of work to get the gm tpi to that point !

    I understand the jeep thing I drive a BLAZER!!

    Ken
     
  11. shadetree

    shadetree Registered Member

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    Thanks to everyone for the input.

    I have been searching the web for a while now looking for a knowledgeable message board. This is the most response I've gotten yet from people who have successfully completed injected swaps. Most bulletin board users seem to have completely avoided my questions about fuelie swaps, but I think I finally found a new home...

    Thanks!
     
  12. realsquash

    realsquash 1/2 ton status

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    Hey, I installed a single-plane port EFI on a built 468 BBC using all GM parts (well except the injectors and throttle body). Like Kevin, I programmed the GM computer myself by burning lotsa EPROMS. If you are modding a motor you should really get it tuned right either yourself (learning curve) or paying through the nose for TPIS or Howell to do it on a chassi dyno. I'm not so sure about emmisions and such, but if you want stock 350 power, get a stock 350 from a new truck with the efi parts already isntalled and get a wiring harness from Painless, Howell, or TPIS, or whoever. Drop me a line or check out my website for some more information (DIY!).

    realsquash@yahoo.com

    Squash
    http://www.trailrunners4x4.org/users/realsquash
     
  13. kevinv

    kevinv Registered Member

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    The ultimate DIY EFI newsgroup exists...

    search the WWW for DIY_EFI and subscribe. Be sure to search the archives a bit first before posting your question- these guys are WAY WAY into it and sometimes I think they get tired of getting the same intro questions.

    The archives are huge but you can learn a lot without bugging anyone at first...

    I subscribed for a couple years and learned a lot! Very active list. I recommend it if you want to get into the nuts and bolts of GM EFI.
     
  14. realsquash

    realsquash 1/2 ton status

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    FYI, the DIY-EFI WWW is http://www.diy-efi.org. You'll want to subscribe to the "GMECM" list, the DIY_EFI list is sorta on hiatus right now. I have to say that some of the most knowledgable people with regard to EFI and REAL engine stuff are on that list. I've been a subscriber to these lists for over 4 years now and I learn something new almost every day. Absolutely NO BS. I'm currently working on adding a 2-bar MAP sensor so I can push 8 PSI of boost on my engine (hoping for 650-700 HP!). I did everything myself. I modified a wiring harness, bought the injectors off of e-bay, manifold from TPIS, throttle body from Force-efi.com, ECM from junk-yard, etc. If you wanna save money and learn, DIY. Otherwise stick to a stock 350 and a stock EFI system with a stock calibration.

    Squash
    http://www.trailrunners4x4.org/users/realsquash
     
  15. JoeAngelicchio

    JoeAngelicchio 1/2 ton status

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    I'm also contemplating a swap to a FI 454 for my 86. The 305 is to weak for what I want to do, even if the gearing is correct.

    <font color=green>Joe Angelicchio
    86 Jimmy 4+3, 35-&gt;39.5 tires,4spd
    </font color=green>
    [​IMG]
     
  16. realsquash

    realsquash 1/2 ton status

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