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Help With First Time Engine Replacement

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by johnny reb, Dec 6, 2000.

  1. johnny reb

    johnny reb 1/2 ton status

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    Soon, I will be swapping the 305 in my 86 K5 with a crate Goorwrench 350. I've never done this before and have a few questions.

    1. Will I need any special tools to do this?
    2. What rental equipment should I look for, such as engine hoist, etc.?
    3. What parts/accessories will I need from my old engine to put on my new engine?

    Any other tips/hints/tricks/ideas/comments are welcome. Thanks
     
  2. talldogg

    talldogg 1/2 ton status

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    Johnny Reb,
    The swap from small block to small block is pretty straight forward. Undo all lines, hoses, and wires, and drain all fluids, this makes it A LOT more pleasant to do. Make sure to label everything to make installing the new engine easier. I always use masking tape and a pen and tag everything, believe, it's a good idea to do. You don't want to be held up by a couple lines or wires that you don't remember where they went. One thing to remember is the torque converter bolts. There's three of them and you need mark in what posistion they were bolted to the fly-wheel. If you don't you could end up with vibration afterward. Also prop the tranny with a jack or blocks, since the only thing that holds it up in the front is the bolts that are bolted into the block. Now to answer your questions, I'll try to cover everything, sorry if I forget something.....
    1) Not really, a good socket set, and a good set of open end wrenches. The only thing you might not have is a torque wrench, you'll needed it to torque certain bolts to spec. You could skip it, but I wouldn't recommend it, you can rent them just about anywhere, cheap too.
    2)As for rental equipment, you'll definitley need an engine hoist, they rent for about $20 a day. Very easy to use. Depending on your plan, you might also want to get an engine stand. I bought mine new, 1000 lb capacity for $30. What I do is I put the new engine on the stand and I get it ready for the swap. I'll install the starter, fuel pump, water pump, intake, exhaust manifolds, oil pan, etc, when it's on the stand. Just makes it easier, but you could also install this stuff once the engine is already in the truck.
    3)Unless you're updating something, you'll pretty much need everything from the old engine. Intake, carb/throttle body, distributor, alternator, starter, oil pan, water pump, fuel pump, vavle covers, accessory brackets, pulleys, harmonic balancer, fly-wheel.
    I might be forgetting something. It's pretty straight forward, good luck.[​IMG]

    It's not what you buy, it's what you build!
     
  3. talldogg

    talldogg 1/2 ton status

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    I knew I'd forget something, D'oh! Timing chain cover. New gaskets and a tube of silicone gasket sealant.

    It's not what you buy, it's what you build!
     
  4. gokartergo

    gokartergo 3/4 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    I just replaced my 86 motor this last week. With a crate motor from chevy. Do yourself a favor and buy a 85 style motor. 86 was the odd ball year for chevy. If you go to chevy to buy it it is $300.00 more then the 85 and they do not even now if it is a 4 bolt main. The 85"s are a 4 bolt. You do have to replace the fly wheel. Mine was $65.00 and $1349.00 for the motor. But got a 3 year 50,000 mile warranty on it.

    Gokartergo
     
  5. JimmyDie6.2

    JimmyDie6.2 1/2 ton status

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    use lock tight on the converter bolts and engine mount bolts and bolts from trans to motor. Also, break the engine in properly. follow the recomendations that comes with the engine word for word. thats important because you could wipe out the cam lobes and not wear it in properly......js
     
  6. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    well with a 203 it's such a heavy pig that the tranny and case stay close to nuetral and it rocks back and stis on the skid. On your 208 you will have to suport the tranny some way. 2 options come to mind.
    #1 take a ratchet strap and tie it around the tail shaft and you may be able to put enough tension to ballance it.
    # 2 suport it under the pan. On aTH 350 you can take a couple of big C clamps and a 2x4 acrross the frame rails under the tranny.
    When you pick up the hoist see if they have a leveler for it. That makes things a lot easier.
    Also get a pice of ply wood. when you pull the radiator stick the ply in front of the A/C coil (if your A/C works) to protect it if you slip.
    When you pull the engine the easiest thing to do is take it as a unit...hanesses and the works. The main harness from the body under the booster is easy to disconnect. just take the bolt you will see in the middle of the plug out and pull it free. It is 2 halves. One for the engine one for the headlights ect. You should have the computer distributor. Pull the glovebox out and the computer is behind it. unplug it and you can pull the harness through the fire wall. Now EVERYBODY misses this. there is a ground strap off the back of the passengerside head to the fire wall. 9/16th bolt...you have to feel for it :). When you break it cause you forgot they have them in the help section at Pep girls[​IMG]. When you forget to put it on thats what causes your gages to bounce with the turn signal and your radio to get cruddy reception and various other bizzar things to happen.[​IMG]
    Engine stand is nice. Leave the old one hanging and yank all your accessories off and transfer them. That way you can peice by peice swap the carb and all the hoses and crap for the emmisions while they are side by side and easy to get at. The one thing to yank while it's in the truck is the power steering pump off but leave the hoses hooked up and keep it upright. take a coat hanger and you can hang the pump off the fender and not have to deal with refilling and those hoses. Same with the A/C compressor if your A/C works. Carefully strap it off on the fender and be VERY carefull not to stress the hoses.
    When you disconnect the transmission make sure to pull the Torq converter back off the flex plate. this is where having a way to suport that tranny come in. YOU DONOT WANT TO DROP THAT CONVERTER!. It hits the ground it's done.
    Ohh yeah PB blaster. Pick some up and start hosing down all the ehaust bolts a couple days before you start to get the best chance at not breaking them. When you put them back together use some antiseize on the threads before you put them back on...will make life a lot easier if you ever have to remove them in the future.
    It sounds like a lot but it's not really a bad job. I have pulled several engines and our trucks have plenty of room to work on them and it really makes the job easy. one last tip.....you can pull the carpet back and pull the tranny cover off and get at the upper bellhousing bolts a bit easier. You don't have to do this. you can use a univeral joint on your ratchet and about 3ft of extensions.
    You got new motor mounts right?
    Have fun!

    Diging it in the dirt with my K5's
    Grim-Reaper
    http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/
     

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