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I need help choosing a motor for my 1990

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by shum1, Oct 8, 2000.

  1. shum1

    shum1 1/2 ton status

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    I'm "restoring" a 1990 suburban now stock w/ a 350tbi. I'm thinking stock gm crate engine. I would like to bump up the torque rating. What would be a cost effective modification? Should I just get the crate engine or should I build one up? I dont want to get carried away with this, I just want a reliable unit to pull our boat. I definitely want to stick with fuel injection. I assume headers should be considered. Thanks
     
  2. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I'd go with the ZZ4 350 from chevy. Lots of power and not a bad price either.

    Rene

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Goose

    Goose 1/2 ton status

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    The most cost effective solution would be to rebuild your present engine with some minor performance mods. It sounds like you don't plan on doing anything wild with, but just want a good strong pulling engine that will last a long time. Personally, I would get high quality rings, pinstons, cam, intake manifold, and headers. Also, I would have some head work done. Having the heads ported and polished will show the most power gains and the other add ons will just add to it. A good low to mid RPM cam and intake combo is the Edelbrock performer series. Try a local engine rebuilding shop for the head work. You can save a good deal of money if you do all the disassembly and assembly yourself. It's not very difficult, but does take a few tools not everybody has. There are plenty of good reference books that detail the process. I would bump up the compression ratio slightly. This will help the power, but if you do it right, you can still use low octane fuel. All these modifications basically make your engine "breath" better. The more efficient the air enters and exits your engine, the more power you make and the better mileage you get. (If you keep your foot out of it)

    Oh yeah, if you don't have much time to work on it, or a good place to do the project, I would go with a GM performance crate engine. The stock crate engines are just that, stock. One of the big advantages is the warranty you get with the crate engine. If you didn't already have a good engine to rebuild, I would definately got with the GM performance crate engine (they have several diff. power levels)

    Good luck with your project.

    Cruisin in my '73.
     
  4. sosamantx

    sosamantx 1/2 ton status

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    <font color=blue>Fyi, most if not all of the performance crate motors are for non-emission vehicles, I would defenitely contact the dealer and ask, especially if you have to pass the sniffer. Here are a few good links, you could post a question at Sallee. - Steve :) </font color=blue>
    http://www.paceparts.com/ Dealer homepage
    http://www.sallee-chevrolet.com/ Dealer homepage
    http://www.sallee-chevrolet.com/Discus/board.html <font color=red>Bulletin board</font color=red>
    http://www.sdpc2000.com/ Dealer (These guys are normally cheaper, but they are in Texas, don't know your location, but shipping might be a big factor though)

    <font color=blue>Steve Sosa a.k.a. "sosaman"</font color=blue>
    http://sosaman.home.texas.net/carpics.html
     
  5. 87chvy4x4

    87chvy4x4 Registered Member

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  6. Zepplin

    Zepplin 1/2 ton status

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    Thats what I want the 502. Its claimed to have 502 horsepower! If you want an engine rebuild kit go to http://www.engineparts.com I work at Clevite as an Engine Kit Specialist and I can find the perfect kit for you.

    Dazed and Confused in a 74 Blazer

    Zeppelin
     
  7. lowlevell

    lowlevell 1/2 ton status

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    Shum,
    It sounds like you want to do the same to your sub as i do mine.I have the same Q.Guys, What i think he wants to know here how to build his daily driver/puller(and keep his TBI)...not a race truck=).This is what i want to do but with an RV cam and headers.BTW, Where does one find that RV cam? (part#).
    Shum, sorry i cant help you.I have read from some guys on this board that there are some restrictions when building a sb350 TBI "too" much.But Steve seemed to have figured ways around that though=)later.....Guys help us out here=)

    One From None
     
  8. 87Blzr

    87Blzr 1/2 ton status

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    I would go with a GM crate motor but not just the plain Goodwrench thing. They have crate motors that are a step above the regular Goodwrench engine without getting into heavy performance. I think they have something like a 300 horse crate motor with the stock center bolt vavle covers and such so it looks stock. Personally thats what I would do for extra performance and retaining the stock look. Go too wild and the stock fuel injection won't work properly but the plain Goodwrench is something I have seen alot of problems with

    87 K5 Siverado, 68 SS 396 Camaro
     
  9. Goose

    Goose 1/2 ton status

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    About 'RV' cams: I think alot of people used them in the past because they were made for lower rpm torque and there wasn't much else out there. Well, they are made for RVs and your K5 isn't an RV so I wouldn't go with a true RV cam. A low end cam is different from a true RV cam. I know "RV Cam" is being used as an all inclusive category for low end cams, but just be careful to get a cam for your actual vehicle and needs. That's why I suggested the Edelbrock Performer Cam and intake package. The cam is for 'normal' size vehicles that need some power in the low to mid rpms. You can call most cam makers and tell them about your vehicle and needs and they will suggest a cam for what you want. This is a great service and I would suggest it. Do it right the first time and you will be happy forever (well, not really, but it'll take longer to get bored)

    Cruisin in my '73.
     
  10. shaggyk5

    shaggyk5 1/2 ton status

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    i wouldn't settle for anyting less than a blown 502 on the bottle....but thats just me. seriously now though, get in contact with a gm crate dealer, and ask them to explain all your options for different motors, and staying legal, and warrantees, and other such nonsense.

    matt

    shaggyk5

    aint nuthin in the world like a heavy chevy!!
     
  11. arnold88

    arnold88 Registered Member

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    I would agree with the crate motor option. Go with the motor with a little more horse. It would in my opinion me a lot less hassle. Just take a weekend, take your time and change it out. Plus if your wife is anything like mine, I wouldn't want to hear the constant nagging about things "making funny noises" or anything out of the ordinary with a radical motor. Plus a warranty is like a sore peter, just can't beat it. Just my 2 cents.

    [​IMG] 1988 K5 TBI w/New Crate Motor
     
  12. sosamantx

    sosamantx 1/2 ton status

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