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Engine swap. which one, where, new or rebuilt?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by mini_mull, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. mini_mull

    mini_mull 1/2 ton status

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    I just bought a '87 burb with 250K on a 350 TBI so I'm guessing I'll want to do an engine swap within the next year. Three questions for all you experienced TBI junkies out there. Should I go stock 350, upgraded 350, or 383? Should I go new or rebuilt? And last, where to find something dependable, as this will be the family daily driver. I'm in the East Valley of Phoenix , AZ, so anywhere local or national type suppliers would be great, too. Also, wondering if anyone had heard about or done business with ATK Rebuit Engines, Motor Works Engines, Beck Racing Engines, Jasper Engines & Transmissions. I found them online and some have decent warranties, but a warranties only good if the company stands behind it. I'm a newbie so any info no matter how trivial is appreciated. Thanks ahead of time.
     
  2. dirtwarrior17

    dirtwarrior17 Banned

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    How much are you looking to spend....?


    With a family burb torque is a plus especially if you wheel it so a 383 or 400 would be a good choice.

    A remanufactured motor is a good way to go if you don't have the money for a crate motor. I have a reman 355 with 375 hp and 400 ft lbs that i just dropped in my k5. I spent about 2300 on the motor and accessories and another 3 on drivetrain. I got it off ebay. Came with camel hump heads, edelbrock manifold, 10:1 compression speedpro flat tops, clevite bearings, moly rings, L-79 cam, and hydraulic lifters for $1535

    If I was in your position i would look into either a vortec 383 or a stroker 400(427). A 427 is a chevy 400 sb with a 4.000 crank and stock bore. Torque monster.

    350's can do the job just as well but need more performance parts to make downlow grunt.

    If you have some serious $$$ then take a look at a jegs catalog. they have a lot of crate and reman 350's, 383's, and 454's. I would look on ebay for a stroker 400 or have one built. Of course i went with the 355 because of all the hot rod bells and whistles.
     
  3. dirtwarrior17

    dirtwarrior17 Banned

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    How much are you looking to spend....?


    With a family burb torque is a plus especially if you wheel it so a 383 or 400 would be a good choice.

    A remanufactured motor is a good way to go if you don't have the money for a crate motor. I have a reman 355 with 375 hp and 400 ft lbs that i just dropped in my k5. I spent about 2300 on the motor and accessories and another 3 on drivetrain. I got it off ebay. Came with camel hump heads, edelbrock manifold, 10:1 compression speedpro flat tops, clevite bearings, moly rings, L-79 cam, and hydraulic lifters for $1535

    If I was in your position i would look into either a vortec 383 or a stroker 400(427). A 427 is a chevy 400 sb with a 4.000 stroker crank and stock bore. Torque monster.

    350's can do the job just as well but need more performance parts to make downlow grunt.

    If you have some serious $$$ then take a look at a jegs catalog. they have a lot of crate and reman 350's, 383's, and 454's. I would look on ebay for a stroker 427 or have one built. Of course i went with the 355 because of all the hot rod bells and whistles.
     
  4. dirtwarrior17

    dirtwarrior17 Banned

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    How much are you looking to spend....?


    With a family burb torque is a plus especially if you wheel it so a 383 or 400 would be a good choice.

    A remanufactured motor is a good way to go if you don't have the money for a crate motor. I have a reman 355 with 375 hp and 400 ft lbs that i just dropped in my k5. I spent about 2300 on the motor and accessories and another 3 on drivetrain. I got it off ebay. Came with camel hump heads, edelbrock manifold, 10:1 compression speedpro flat tops, clevite bearings, moly rings, L-79 cam, and hydraulic lifters for $1535

    If I was in your position i would look into either a vortec 383 or a stroker 400(427). A 427 is a chevy 400 sb with a 4.000 stroker crank and stock bore. Torque monster.

    350's can do the job just as well but need more performance parts to make downlow grunt.

    If you have some serious $$$ then take a look at a jegs catalog. they have a lot of crate and reman 350's, 383's, and 454's. I would look on ebay for a stroker 427 or have one built. Of course i went with the 355 because of all the hot rod bells and whistles for the price of a stock reman 350.



    WTF!!! MY COMP POSTED 3....... LOL
     
  5. big_truxx

    big_truxx 1/2 ton status

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    if it's gonna be a family/dd rig then why not rebuild the tbi 350 that's in it? probably the cheapest and most effective way to do it for a family/dd rig
     
  6. mini_mull

    mini_mull 1/2 ton status

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    Not sure yet how much we'll have to spend. My hubby's getting a new job, we're having a baby and buying a house all in the next 6 months. If I spent more for a 383 I'd probably just have to wait on other upgrades like suspension and lockers, but I don't mind waiting. I wouldn't mind rebuilding the engine in it, but how much longer would that probably take than dropping in another one? Also, I was thinking whatever I did, I'd probably want to keep the TBI just to keep it simple, less $, and smog legal (anyone know restrictions for AZ), do you guys think that's the best way to go?
     
  7. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    I think your best bet would be a GM crate or reman engine. THey come with a good warranty... Plus they has different power options that you could choose from a stock TBI 350, 383, etc.... The Ram Jet 350 would make a nice engine for a Burb... But it's pricey...

    If you can afford it, go with the crate engine as everything in the engine is 100% new...

    One option that hasn't been mentioned is having someone local rebuilt your current engine. They could add power options as the build it to your needs.... This would be more timely though...
     
  8. dirtwarrior17

    dirtwarrior17 Banned

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    Lol a ram jet 350 is a fat RIP OFF. I have a reman 355 with better numbers for 3 grand less.


    I would suggest the gm crate base reman 330hp H0 vortec for $2499. You will need to get the manifold and some other accesories but its worth it and you can keep your stock tbi.
     
  9. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I would not even consider a crazy 400 stroker in a TBI family burb. :rolleyes:

    I would go and get a stock rebuilt exchange from a good local machine shop. It will work like new with the TBI setup that is designed for a stock 350 of that year and would give trouble free performance for a lot of years in a family driver burb. I see no reason for performance parts if it is a family driver. ;)
     
  10. dirtwarrior17

    dirtwarrior17 Banned

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    I would go with the 400 stroker:pimp: :saweet: . Buy im not the one with the $$$.

    If you rebuild the stock motor it will be pushing 220-230 horse which is weak up long hills on the highway. My 2 door k5 was having problems when it had the stock 350 in it. A burb would be alot worse.

    take a look at ebay. they have performance reman 350's for the price of stock reman 350's. You could still keep the stock setup but you would have better power through the entire power band.....

    Power crazy teenager
     
  11. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    You would go with a rediculous stroker 400 in a family burb? :screwy: Have fun buying premium fuel and octane booster. Obviously you don't know much about those engines. Go do some piston research on 427's and 434's....and good luck actually getting a TBI setup to work with that much compression. I hope the wife and kids enjoy pushing around a heavy burb when that unreliable engine fails right in the middle of the worst part of town.... :rolleyes: I would never want my wife with our kids in the back driving a burb with that much torque. I would regret it when she looses it in the rain and rolls the vehicle.

    The stock 350 will push a stock burb with a couple kids in the back up a hill just fine. If it didn't GM would have used a different engine. There was something wrong with your K5...
    Refer to the "Alternatorparts.com" thread. Support local business....go down to a local machine shop and get a GM TBI350 long block ready to go for under a grand. My local MS sells 350 longs for $908.

    Obviously. :surepal:
     
  12. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    You cant even get your engine to run right. You have posted in multiple threads that it has one cam and in others you post a different cam.. Plus this is a family ride.. They want reliable HP.. Not some engine that god knows who built off ebay....

    Plus, the 350 has been pushing BUrbs up hill for years without problems. A local builder could put a slightly larger cam in for a few extra ponies without taking a chance with reliability....

    With the Ram Jet, you get a GM warranty and a better EFI system.... Buy the ram jet and hook up about 4-6 wires and your done.... No pissing with trying to get the TBI system to work with the engine and have custom chips burnt....
     
  13. mini_mull

    mini_mull 1/2 ton status

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    I probably should have mentioned, even though most its miles will be as a family daily driver, it will also be used on some rough trails into our favorite hunting spots and to tow camping trailers up to the mountains. So, as long as I don't sacrifice to much reliability, I'd love to bump up the hp and torque. Can I keep the TBI on a GM Crate HO with vortec heads, or with the GM crate 383HT? Also, what if anything If so will I need a special intake manifold, and/or will I need a custom chip? What about the RAM JET, is it really just drop in and four wires, no other parts or adjustments? Also, any idea how much dough a local shop would charge to drop any of these crate engines or rebuild? I appreciate all the ideas so far, keep it coming, thanks.
     
  14. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    This is the perfect time to add power... Machine shop chages vary.. But I have seen prices anywhere from $800-$2000 for a rebuild, depending on what you want to have done. And that may not include them pulling it and putting it back in.... R&R is usually extra and some shops wont do it...

    If you add much HP to you engine and use the stock TBI system, you will need to at least get a custom chip burnt for the cmputer to work with the changes. I'd call a local GM dealer or one of the TBI performance places on the net and see what they recommend for some of the crate engines listed above.

    As for the Ram Jet. If I remember correctly, it only had a few wires that needed to be hooked up because the computer is mounted on the intake and is weather resistant. No under dash comps to worry about routing... The bad thing with them is they are around $5K.. Another option if you want ot go this type of route is to go with a new LS1 based engine. You can get these from any dealer with the new style injection or from Advanced Adapters. AA has them set-up very similar to the Ram Jets with just a few wires needed for isntallation. The 5.3 they offer puts out about 300hp and last time I saw was around $5500.... With the Ram Jet and LS based swap like the AA kit. Only thing you have to worry about is exhaust manifolds and frotn accessories(which the LS based ones may include).... You dont have to mess with any intake swaps, or chip burning....
     
  15. bigred81

    bigred81 1/2 ton status

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    I would get a different motor because of the thin wall casting in the lifter valley. If you want a motor that will run pretty good try to find a 350 motor out of police caprice because they come from the factory with flat top pistons and a really good roller cam that will work with the computer. Use the computer out of the 90-92 caprice because it is faster than the stock 87 computer. I did this to my sub and it will run. You can find these in the pick n pull yards for about $120 for a good long block that needs a rebuild.

    bigred81
     
  16. dirtwarrior17

    dirtwarrior17 Banned

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    since when is 9.3 a lot of compression that needs 91 and octane booster???? I'D SAY YOU NEED TO DO SOME PISTON RESEARCH. FOR SOME REASON YOU THINK ALL 427 HAVE 11:1 COMPRESSION. DISHED PISTONS MAN.
    My dad bought a 383 that was identical to my motor except for the cam... it ran for 180,000 and was running strong when the van got parted. mY K5 RAN GREAT BUT IT HAD TO SHIFT TO 3RD TO GET UP ANY HILLS AT ALL AND HAD NOTHING IN OD. mADE GAS MILEAGE ABOUT 10. mORE HP WILL GET UP THE HILLS IN OD.

    [
    if you read the post youd know the motor runs damn good and just needs a custom chip to idle. YOu make it sound like theres something wrong with the motor. If you've used ebay you should know people make livings selling motors and i bought mine from a guy with 5000 feedbacks and the motor runs awesome.
    haha.... if you want to spend another 3 grand for multiport thats your money but you can get better numbers with tbi for ALOT CHEAPER Yeah you need to burn a chip. who cares. A VORTEC BASE ENGINE IS 330 HP FOR 2500. BASICALLY YOUR PAYING 2500 MORE DOLLARS FOR MULTIPORT AND 20 HP. ****IN REDICULOUS. IF YOU HAVE THE MONEY TO SPEND ON A RAM JET AND WANT ONE GO AHEAD AND GET ONE... THAT KIND OF THINKING COMES FROM GUYS WHO HAVE THEIRS TRUCKS TAKIN TO SHOPS TO GET THEIR OIL CHANGED. I DID THE WHOLE SWAP BY MYSELF. i AM 17 AND IT WAS THE FIRST CAR MOTOR I'VE SWAPPED... ID SAY THAT'S PRETTY DAMN GOOD ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING ITS A 375 HP TBI WITH A 77 HIGH NICKEL CONTENT(FOR BETTER RELIABILITY) THAT I ADAPTED TO FIT AN 88. i GET THE FEELING YOU HAVEN'T PICKED UP MORE THAN A COUPLE WRENCHES. NO OFFENSE BUT ITS GUYS LIKE YOU THAT KEEP THE SHOPS LIKE JIFFY LUBE IN BUSINESS. YOU'D RATHER PAY A REDICULOUS AMOUNT OF MONEY INSTEAD OF DOING A LITTLE WRENCHIN AND PUT THE PARTS ON YOURSELF.
    the ram jet 350 is a rip off either way. Yeah you get multiport bfd. its 5500. YOu need to read the posts better. I said the builder was building 3 motors at the time i bought my engine and he thought he sold me a different engine. I was right the first time it has 10:1 with l-79 cam. If you've used ebay you should know people make livings selling motors and i bought mine from a guy with 5000 feedbacks and the motor runs awesome.

    IF YOU SPENT SOME TIME WORKING ON ANY RIGS AT ALL YOU WOULDN'T CARE ABOUT BURNING A CHIP BUT YOUD RATHER PAY ANOTHER 2500 DOLLARS....nOT MY MONEY.
     
  17. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    Wow, your age and maturity really show by your replies....

    And ya, I've never turned any wrenches.. Whats a wrench??? :surepal:
    Oil changes... You mean you have to change oil in these things... DOH!!! :doah:

    Maybe you should do some research before you open your pie hole that is spewing your adolesant BS.. At your age I wasn't buying engines and just dropping them in. I was swapping heads and cams. Never had any of my vehicles in for repairs other than alignments and things I didn't have the tools to do.

    And I wouldn't spend money on any engine on ebay, I dont care how many feedbacks anyone has. Feedbacks are easily tampered with and you never know what your getting... There are two+ very repututable machine shops in my area that I trust and that I can walk into and watch them do work to my engines. They greet me face to face and remember my name. When I ask about the specs on my engine, they dont scratch their heads and throw out some number off good knows who engine. They know exactly what has been done to my engine...

    I have read through the posts you have put up. You have stated you have different cams in different posts... You have stated a few different HP claims. In all of them you claim ot have 10:1 comp... Just because your Speed Pro's are listed as 10:1 pistons doesn't mean thats what you have. How many cc's are the compression chambers in your heads? Are they stock or have the heads been milled? And what cc does Speed Pro list to give you that comp ratio?? If you would do some research on that cam, it was developed almost 40 years ago... The advertised duration @.050 degrees is not the 274 that you claim.. High Perfromance Chevy did an article on it and it is 221.... PLus they feel there are better cams out there.

    So how does me going out and spending more money on the Ram Jet make me out to be someone who doesn't turn wrenches? It's the same principle you used to go out and buy your monster 355.. :rotfl: You bought it and dropped it in.. It's the same work as buying a Ram Jet and dropping it in.. Makes my life easier though with a better fuel injection system that is set-up from them factory and is covered by a GM factory warranty... I can walk into any GM dealer if I have a problem... How far away do you have to send your engine if something goes wrong?

    I gave my advice to Mini Mull based on what her post seemed to be asking for.. They want somethign that will get them to the trail/camp/forest road and back with maybe some more HP.... They have a family and will using the Burb for multipled duties.. So I figured they wanted somethign with the least amount of headaches. Currently I am dealing with an engine from a shoudy builder(was in the truck when I bought it) where I am having to chase down gremlins and and torubleshoot the hell out of it to get it to run right. So knowing what I am going through, I figured they wouldn't want to do the same!
     
  18. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

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    Do we have a new Timmay on ck5? Too bad there's not an active band director around here.:frown1:
     
  19. dirtwarrior17

    dirtwarrior17 Banned

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    Read the whole post....

    QUOTE]

    I said the builder was building 3 motors at the time i bought my engine and he thought he sold me a different engine. I was right the first time it has 10:1 with l-79 cam

    [/QUOTE]

    If swapping the manifold, adapting the egr, pulling the tank and stock pump, fitting inline pump, wiring the stock pump wires to the inline pump, adding a hp tbi and headers, routing my own exhaust and cutting it to length, figuring the pulleys out with no diagram, putting the distributor in, timing it, taking off the manifold and rtving the water ports, changing the oil twice because water ports were leaking, changing the oil filter, and taking everything from my 88 and putting it on the 77 block like sending unit, sensors, smog accessories is dropping it in then yeah i dropped it in. NOt like the ram jet where you can literally drop it in and almost be done. Im in the middle of adapting the 2nd knock sensor right now. You can't just "drop in a77 longblock block into an 88. I had to pull the tranny and tcase before that to get the servo replaced.

    i gave different specs in one of those posts because I emailed the builder couple days ago (3months after i bought the motor) and he gave me the wrong numbers because he sells ALOT OF MOTORS. I said that in the post.

    The l-79 cam is 272 dur and 447 lift in jegs not 271.

    You act like im some dumbass teenager who doesn't know wtf he's talkin about and suggest i have no clue about combustion chambers. Yes the comp ratio is 10:1 with 64 cc heads. no they haven't been milled. As for the hp claims im sure you know that a new motor is gonna generate a couple different owner estimated claims and nobody is sure what a tbi motor with that combo will make. im convinced its around 375

    You think i have no clue about the l-79 when i know it made 350 hp on the old 327's. My dad had one in his 55 chev. and yeah, im 17, but i have rebuilt dirtbike motors, takin auto, heavy equipment oprations and maintence, and know a lot more about motors than your questions suggest.

    I say that kind of THINKING comes from guys who get their oil changed at a shop. You took it personal. i said that because you justify spending 2500 more on the ram jet because of mpi and the warranty. if you did some research you'd know you could get a vortec 330 hp for 2500 less with the same warranty. Instead you would rather buy it all assembled with multiport for 2500 more. If you really wanted mpi you could buy edelbrocks mpi stand alone system for 1000. That saves 1500 to make up the 20 extra hp you get in a ram jet. Just didn't post it last time because it was already a long post.

    I can assure you the builder that sold me the 355 is a reliable source. he has answered any questions about the motor without blinking and runs a good business. My dad has dealt with motors identical to this one for years and he can tell it has the l-79 cam and 10:1 from hearing it start up and idle. Theres not much else that could be shady and i heard it run before i bought it. I agree ebay is a good place to get screwed but if you do some research and talk to the builder on the phone you can get a good idea of the product. Just like you talk to the builders at the shop. The motor made the headers smoke (just like a fresh motor should) when it fired up and everything else runs tits. Just needs a chip.

    I did the entire swap besides the cherry picking entirely by myself(dad's in oregon) and got it running like a champ on a budget. Looked for 3 months for the right combo for the hp i wanted with the money i had and put together a 375 hp (give or take a few) motor in a couple of months only because i was waitin on money. I sold my dirtbike to get the money. I have already pulled my case and tranny 3 times. A 375 hp 350 turnkey for $2500 isn't bad... and it's not gonna leave me stranded in the middle of town unless i empty the radiator and do some brakestands.

    I said I would go with the 427 then suggested she get a base 330 hp HO vortec 350 for 2499 with the gm warranty
     
  20. MarcS

    MarcS 1/2 ton status

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    Join us tomorrow for another episode of- As the CK5 World Turns:whistle:
     

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