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My First Engine Swap

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by ironmikek5, Jul 1, 2001.

  1. ironmikek5

    ironmikek5 1/2 ton status

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    I've got an '83 Jimmy that rolled off of the line with the non-performance smog 305, which was swapped out for an '80 350. This is pretty tired, so I am going to pull it for a rebuild. I don't want to lose use of my truck, so I've been scouring the want ads for a strong 350 to drop in while I take my time on the rebuild. I've found a 2wd '84 with a strong engine, and some 85-87 350's priced decently. The '84 350 on a 2wd Blazer is most likely a "light duty" V8, so I think I'm swapping apples for apples. And, I could score some guages and pick the truck like a turkey carcass after thanksgiving...

    My questions:
    --my 350 has 2 bolt mains...I thought that I heard that they can be drilled out to 4 bolt mains; what are the benefits vs. buying a heavy-duty 4 bolt powerplant? If I'm going to develop an inventory of engines, I want some pop.
    -my current motor is carburated, one real strong motor that is for sale is FI'd. Any words of wisdom on the benefits/hazards of this swap?

    Any and all advice appreciated!


    <font color=red>"Oil? That's not my oil...that was there before" </font color=red>[​IMG]
     
  2. lukerz

    lukerz 1/2 ton status

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    If you pick up the fuel injected engine make sure all parts come with it ie harness computer etc.If you are looking to put your two bolt in after a rebuild then get a carbed engine to hold you over. No big difference tween a 2 and 4 bolt at lower horsepower applications. You might consider changing this over to a 383 stroker. If money is not an object but you want to experience the rebuild go for the 383. If money is a deal then shop for a crate motor. The machine shop is gunna rape you a little at a time during your rebuild. Parts look like they won't cost that much.
    In the end figure $400 + for new heads. Definitely cam and lifters $160 cam bearings. Oil pump get high volume $30.00. The rest you have to wait until you crack it open. If rods are good but it needs an overbore you will need new pistons & rings. Have a shop remove the old pistons and check rods and rebore if needed. You will want them to install the new pistons on the rods. So things can add up quickly. There aint no short cuts. Let me know what you decide. I just did a rebuild over the winter but have to wait to install it. Good luck. PS mine has not been run yet. Cross your fingers for me.
    Lukers

    83 K10 from 76 K5 & 83 C10
    Th350 Np203 355 CID
    31 X 10.5
    Plan on 2" body lift
     
  3. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Really in the bang for buck catagory get a crate engine from Pace. These are 4 bolt mains, They run great and money wise you would be cheaper in the long run. Buying a temporary motor and then machine work is going to cost you more than just getting a crate off the bat. Also you can't beat that 50,000 mile warranty that your not going to get rebuilding your own engine. If you want more performance they have versions with higher output that still has the warranty and not going to cost much more. When figuring out your cost you need to add things like hoist rental if you don't have access to one. To do 2 engine swaps you going to need the hoist for 2 weekends and thats going to be about $125 alone. Down time is also a concern it seems. With the crate one weekend and your done for the next 100k.
    As for the FI swap...they are great but it's a lot more work. You need to figure out the fuel pump and wiriing. If you get a FI of a newer truck you may run into problems with the fact that they have control of the transmission and modifying it to work with a non electric tranny will need to be address and this may mean a expensive harness and having a custom chip burned. Be very carefull what you buy and make sure it will work. Probably the best one to look for would be a 87 and 88. Much newer than that and you will run into those issues. I think if you can find a truck with a manual transmission then it will also be easier to adapt a system from the 90's.

    It's not my damn planet monkey boy!
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://communities.msn.com/OffroadK5s>http://communities.msn.com/OffroadK5s</A>

    Grim-Reaper
     
  4. ironmikek5

    ironmikek5 1/2 ton status

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    I've seen plenty of posts mentioning crate's, and it would be nice to have new horses under the hood. I could drop in a crate and rebuild my block...but then I'd have nothing to drop it into. Which of course means I have to buy another K5. That route has its benefits.

    The FI is an 87, runs real strong. It's not my daily driver, so downtime isn't a huge issue. The big thing to me is that when I drop in a new motor, it's one that I built. The built not bought thing.

    Of course, I could build up the motor, drop it in, turn the key, and SKREEEEEEEEEEEE. And I'm on the phone to Pace for a crate anyway. That is my nightmare.

    <font color=red>"Oil? That's not my oil...that was there before" </font color=red>[​IMG]
     
  5. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Speed is just a question of money...How fast do you want to go? Pace sell stuff as big as the 502 Ramjet that comes complete with FI and about 510hp.
    http://communities.msn.com/OffroadK5s

    Grim-Reaper
     
  6. BigTex

    BigTex 1/2 ton status

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    Unless you plan on a pretty stout buildup, you don't need the 4 bolt mains. As to your statement on "drilling out" the mains, you can purchase new 4 bolt caps for your 2 bolt block. They are pretty expensive but I have heard that blocks with these aftermarket caps are stronger than the factory 4 bolt blocks. I think it has something to do w/how the 2 new bolts are drilled (at angles).

    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.thehungeronline.com>http://www.thehungeronline.com</A>
     
  7. Sparky87k5

    Sparky87k5 1/2 ton status

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    ironmikek5, Grim-Reaper makes some very good points here. Lots of wisdom in his words. Chevy crate engines are hard to beat and they work well. I bought one from Salleee Chevrolet and it was great. Would still be using it if it wasn't for my thirst for power, hence the 383 I'm running now. I put 34,000 on the 350/300hp crate engine and it pulled strong. Still have it sitting in the garage waiting for a "project" to put it in. $ for $, a crate engine is a great buy.

    87 K5, D60 & 14FF, 5 sp & NP208 & 383 stroker. Build it Bulletproof and take it fishing!
     
  8. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch 1/2 ton status

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    Us racers have an old slogan "Speed costs so how fast do you want to go today?" You could use the word speed or power... either one works. What exactly would you want out of this engine? I personally don't think a swap to TBI is worth it after doing it once... a MPI kit from Edelbrock would give a lot more power and milage for about a grand. Also you could consider the Vortech heads for 400 a pair.... awsome power and only formality is you will need to go w/ a roller valvetrain... but that will nab a tiny bit more gas milage and a bitter more power. Also you can look for a shortblock that is already built and then add heads, cam etc for your liking. IMO I won't build near stock or mild engines anymore... too much hassle and cost. You can pick up a short block w/ warranty from nationwide engines for approx. $650.... that will end up being the same or less that the costs of buying a core and getting the machine shop work done, etc. Plus saves tons of time. I only build my "balls to the wall" race motors these days...

    -Mikey
    1987 Chevy K5 Blazer- 350 TBI
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.geocities.com/milnerlives_2000/blazer.htm>http://www.geocities.com/milnerlives_2000/blazer.htm</A>
     

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