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I need and engine!! Post up or... DECISION TIME!

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by BillyTungsten, Jan 4, 2006.

?

What motor to drop into my '73?

  1. Crate Motor from who-ever-engine.com

    41.8%
  2. Built motor from a local shop

    32.1%
  3. Buddy's old corvette block & lotsa elbow grease

    23.1%
  4. back pages of 'tradin-times' - fingers crossed!

    3.0%
  1. BillyTungsten

    BillyTungsten Registered Member

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    Allright, I am tired of so many different opinions... here is the deal: My '73 K5 is without a motor. I am not an expert, but I know what I want. I want really good low-end torque, but I am not crawling rocks. I want to run on pump gas, and when the weather is nice she is my DD. I do not want to spend $5k on an engine (got a quote yesterday for just that), but I want something reliable and not too stressed out.
    I have a buddy who will sell me a running '77 corvette engine for $250.00...
    What should I do? I have $2-3,000 to spend and I can install the motor myself. I have heard so many opinions I am tired. I am about to have a local shop build a 383 stroker (they claim 425 hp and 400 torque).

    Help with opinions??
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2006
  2. Broke_Wheeler

    Broke_Wheeler Registered Member

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    suggestion

    Im no expert on engine swaps into trucks(yet) i come from a sport-compact background. But anyway. Another option is diesel. Lots of low end grunt, and from what ive been reading on here they get pretty respectable MPG lifted and such. I know when i get a blazer, thats what is going in there. I would also imagine you could pick up a used diesel motor for cheap, and spend some money on tuning it up. And you can run it on Bio-diesel :) Just my friendly .02$
     
  3. 8_YOUR_H2

    8_YOUR_H2 1/2 ton status

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    Last month I took my motor to the machine shop to be rebuilt. I took them the block and had it cleaned, fluxed and bored. I bought a set of old double hump heads for $100 and had them rebuilt too with all new oem parts and knurled guides. I had the shop get me some recon rods and the complete rebuild kit. Not high performance or anything but a mild cam and flat top pistons. I bought a recon crank for $90. My final bill for all machine work including assembly of the long block and all parts came to $840. I feel like I have a fairly stout motor that should be dependable. Maybe not for high mileage daily driving due to the knurled guides but I have under $1000 in it and all new parts. So I would check with the machine shop and see what they can do for you.
     
  4. BillyTungsten

    BillyTungsten Registered Member

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    Forgive my ignorance... what are knurled guides?
     
  5. 1977k5

    1977k5 3/4 ton status Vendor

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    Something like this:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/SB-CHEVY-350-STROKER-KIT-383-2pc-1968-85-400-HP_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ33620QQitemZ8027042689QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW


    with these heads:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Dart-180-CC-Platinum-Iron-Eagle-Assembled-Heads-SBC_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ33617QQitemZ8027065922QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW

    You will need an intake, distributor, balancer, flywheel/flexplate, water pump, carb, etc. plus a block and machine work.

    This is about the cheapest you could build a stout 383 (less hp than the shop quoted you but more torque) and I think that will be around your upper budget.

    A 350 could be built quite a bit cheaper if you buy a used one and reuse a bunch of stuff (intake, distributor, flywheel/flexplate, carb, heads, etc.). You have to make the decision if you want to spend all $3k on a sweet 383 or spend $1500 on a decent 350.

    EDIT: Remember you will always spend more on little stuff that you didn't think of, so plan on the low side of your budget.
     
  6. gmtech954

    gmtech954 Registered Member

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    i suggest a gm performance crate engine. you get what you pay for and the general knows how to build performance
     
  7. fatdog

    fatdog Registered Member

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    Most automotive machine shops will build a 350 with flat tops @ 9:1 with a rv type cam for aroung $1100. Some shops even have these sitting around already built for sale. They have good power, and if it comes from a reputable builder, usually a good warranty. Furthermore, in the event you did have any issues with the engine after you got it installed and running, you would be dealing with someone face to face rather than @ a .com site or over the phone. If you really want more torque for bigger tires or just for gittin in it when needed, then go on the hunt in your local area for a 400 sb core and build it as below for a couple hundred more. The 400 was only a pig in complete stock form, It's really a well kept secret. Take a stock bottom end on a 400 (yes stock dished pistons) punch it .030 over, add a good rv cam, (comp cams #239 4x4 extreme is good) some 64cc vortec heads, drilled for the steam holes (cheap from summit $260 ea.) with a good intake and exhaust systems and you'll have plenty of torque.
     
  8. davesanrn

    davesanrn Registered Member

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    another option if you want to talk about it, just pulled the engine from my 76 Chevy. It is a 95 Vorteck 350, has an edelbrock manifold and carb. Running decent when I pulled it, tranny slipping and old truck rusted and will be junked. There is a "Knock" but that is because I tapped in the oil pan a little to fit in another project that I never completed. I'm in Montana, off Interstate 90 south of Billings. If your interested pm me or davesanrn@hotmail.com
     
  9. theperfectgarage

    theperfectgarage 1/2 ton status

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    Nothing you want to do, It's a short term fix thats almost extinct, ( I thought it was till I read this ). Billy T will soon be getting guides or new heads, sorry. :(
     
  10. Russell

    Russell LB7 Tahoe Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    With 2 - 3 grand, and a running vette engine to start off -- You can build yourself a pretty stout stroker, that's gonna make enough torque to shred your tires to bits on command!

    However, for 3 grand, you can also buy a 300 some horse crate engine from GM, with a warantee as well. Both would be brand new, both would be powerful from the get go (moreso the 383) but that warantee is very helpful if something fails on that stroker you just built...
     
  11. drofdar

    drofdar 1/2 ton status

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    Another Option

    You might try upgrading to TBI. I got a 5.7 complete motor out of a 93 Yukon at my local recycler for $1500. Complete w/serpentine belt and computer. Speed Scene Wiring in San Antonio reprogramed the computer using my specs and provided the harness. A little pricey at $500, but it literaly started on the first turn of the key. There are some other issues like electric fuel pump, but still, you can do this swap on your budget. It runs great, pump gas, and very reliable. And as far as I am concerned, all the low end grunt I'll ever need.
     
  12. muddybuddy

    muddybuddy 3/4 ton status

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    get a motor from a local shop, if something happens, you know where they are
     
  13. muscle

    muscle 1/2 ton status

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    Sounds like I am in same boat as you as far as what we use our trucks for. I use my 84 Jimmy as a hunting rig and occasional uses in town. This motor i built http://coloradok5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=136065 Is very sweet! Alot of fun to drive! As it sits on the stand in those photos, i have $2400 invested. The 400 had never been rebuilt before and now only bored 10 over. So if you have a good 350 or 400 engine or can get one cheap that is in good shape for a rebuild, this is the only way to go.

    The lowend on it could be better as the cam is actually in a street/strip category. the motor comes alive ay 2100 rpm to 5000. (it really sounds good at 5000 rpm with my flowmaster exhaust) My rig has 3/4 ton axles with 4:10 gearing and a th400/208 tranny. The gearing from 3:73 to 4:10 made a huge differance.

    I am getting ready to upgrade it some more with TBI EFI kit. This will help with economy as well as performance.
     
  14. 8_YOUR_H2

    8_YOUR_H2 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah, the whole motor is junk because of knurled guides...moron

    :rolleyes:
     
  15. BillyTungsten

    BillyTungsten Registered Member

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    I just found a local outfit that makes a 383 Stroker w/ 2 year warranty. complete engine, dynoed (sp?), ready to install. They claim 425 hp and 410 f/p of torque... ready? $3,950.

    bit more than I would like to spend, but that's a lotta skedaddle!
     
  16. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    with a 3K budget, you can build yourself a real powerhouse.

    personally i'd start with a 350 block (87+ preferred, due to availability of factory roller cam parts :pimp: ). get a 3.75" stroke crank, you can either recon your rods or buy new if you like. use a 5.7" rod (stock to the 350). also buy a set of Vortec heads. its going to take a little figureing on your part, but piston and head gasket selection will be dependent on the deck height of the block. at any rate, adjust your static compression ratio to 8.85:1, or something VERY close to it, 9:1 may be too much. now get yourself a Comp Cams Xtreme Roller camm #XR-258. add a set of small tube headers, and a good dual plane manifold, you should be good for around 460 ft/lb all the way through 4500 RPMS, with a horsepower peak of 355 @ 4500. should be a GREAT truck engine, and run happily all day long on 87 octane.
     
  17. JEBSR

    JEBSR 1/2 ton status

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    I have heard alot of very good buildup suggestions for small blocks, but in my oppinion you can get alot more low end torque for your dollar going with a big block. Also with the money your prepaired to spend you might even be able to find a complete fuel injected engine and freshin it up and still be under budget. If I had the money in that possition I might even look for a 8.1 out of a wrecked truck. heres one for 2500.00 with less than 100 miles on it http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2001-2004-8-1-CHEVY-8-1-ENGINE_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ33615QQitemZ7980844716QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWD1V .
    Put some injectors and coil packs on it wire it up and you have reletively good mileage, great low end torque and a very dependable vehicle. But then again I like doing things the hard way
     
  18. beastofablaze

    beastofablaze 1/2 ton status

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    When It comes to power vz dollar you can do ALOT more if your willing to do some work yourself. If the block is good from the vette you could get them to build you a good shortblock(no heads or manifold) 383 for about a grand. You can choose the cam ( the one beater suggested is a good cam) and the heads but instead of having the shop put the heads on do it yourself and save yourself 400 bucks in labor. Vortechs are a waste of money. Your better off buying some darts from ebay. Brand new iron eagle platinums to your door for 700 bucks. Thats atleast 70 hp compared to the vortechs 40hp and they will make better torque.

    I'm guessing your goin carbed... in that case a 383 with a good manifold, cam, carb, and dart heads will easily push 450hp and 450 ft lbs if you run 9.4:1 compression and you'll still be able to run 87.

    BUT the question is can your drivetrain take this kind of power?
     
  19. roadnotca

    roadnotca 3/4 ton status

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    gmtech954 is right. You made it clear in your "new thread" you were tired. Crate motor is great/easy, mine's going in this weekend. Jeg's, Summit, Pace, SDPC, they've all got GM crate motors w warranty, just select the HP & TRQ you want for the $$ you can part with; couple days later you're driving.
     
  20. JeffHK5

    JeffHK5 1/2 ton status

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    GM Performance H.O. crate engine from Summit 330hp/380tor. and it's at your door for like $2700 , junkyard efi. and be done with it.

    I had a the next step down 260hp GM Performance crate motor in a 78 4x4 LB Chevy and it was a sweet wheelin machine , hell it even had a 3year/50K warranty!

    Good luck, Jeff
     

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