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Need more power for towing

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by planet6racing, Aug 9, 2001.

  1. planet6racing

    planet6racing Newbie

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    Hello!

    I am new to this list, so please be nice! i recently purchased a 1982 GMC Jimmy High Sierra with the 305 engine in it. The engine only has 20,000 miles on it, but the vehicle sat for about 5 years with very little use.

    My question is: what can I do to get more power out of the engine? I will be using the truck as a tow vehicle for my race car and trailer and will need torque for the hills. I have rebuilt the Quadrajet carburetor, but it still is not correct. I have very little experience with carb tuning, so I really don't know what I am doing there. I'm looking at purchasing a Edelbrock carb from Summit.

    Additionally, I have an exhaust leak at the manifold gasket. I know it is going to be a pain in the butt to get the bolts out, but, would it be worth putting headers on right away? Also, what exhaust system should I use with the headers?

    Thanks for any help! I'm hoping to get the body to at least look decent soon, but I want the engine running properly before winter comes!

    Bill
    1982 GMC Jimmy High Sierra
    1992 Saturn SL2 - SCCA ITA Racecar
    Planet 6 Racing
    planet6racing@yahoo.com
     
  2. 76chevy

    76chevy 1/2 ton status

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    If you are going to mostly tow you have a few choices.

    1. Sell your truck and buy another one with a 454 before you invest alot of money ($2300 and up for an engine and more for paint, possibly gears. By the way is it automatic or stick?). You may be better off just buying a truck set up like you need.

    2. Swap out your engine with a 383 stroker. Search for 383 in the forum.

    3. Swap out your engine with a 454 and probably some dirve train components.

    A 305 even with a new carb and headers won't be enough to pull what you need unless you have some pretty low gears and even then it will only be marginal. Your Saturn is probably pretty light but unless you live where it is extremely flat I wouldn't do it.

    Get rid of the emotional attachment and look for another truck. I know it is tough but from experience, I would have been better of buying something better off to begin with.

    P.S. if you aren't going to sell, you might as well put on new headers when you do the exhaust. If you aren't going to do any 4 wheeling as in absolutely none, I would go with an Edlebrock for around $220. Great street performance but terrible off road (The Quadrajets made by Eldlebrock are great offroad $400+). I'd also install a new intake mainifold to get a little more power.

    I'm not trying to be rude, just save you time, money and frustration.

    <font color=red>Spirit of 76</font color=red>
     
  3. Sparky87k5

    Sparky87k5 1/2 ton status

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    I would imagine your trailer and race car are going to weigh at least 3500-4000#. That's a pretty tall order for a K5/305 to pull very well. It's even tough for a stock 350 to pull. Towing takes torque and torque comes from cubic inches which a 305 is lacking. Unless you're attached to the K5, I would consider selling it and finding a truck better suited for towing. Now if that is not an option, here are some ideas. Drop your axle ratio down to at least 3.73 but 4.10's are better. Go with the headers and free flow exhaust, good carb and manifold plus a cam change would be very helpful. If auto trans, get the biggest cooler you can fit in front and use the 4 row radiator. Don't get too carried away on tire size. Stay to a max of 33's. You'll do better but still won't scream up the hills. Consider strongly a 383 swap. Great towing after that. Now you've spent at least $1500 on engine mods, $1000 on gears and at least $1800 for the 383. It easy to see, another truck might be cheaper. But than you might be like me, I like my K5 and will make it fit my needs, at any cost. Good luck.

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

    BlazerGuy 3/4 ton status

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    Don't expect that 700R4 tranny to last long at all towing, you may consider swapping trannies. If this truck is going to be a desginated tow rig, I would sell it and get something with a longer wheelbase(ie 3/4 ton p/u), it'll be better in the long run.....

    ~~'84 K5~~
    Check it out at:
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.k5.rockcrawler.com>www.k5.rockcrawler.com</a>
     
  5. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    I'll put it this way--you can make power with a 305. I'm not going to explain why I did it to mine, but it works, and DD 2000 says its 250 hp/330 ft. lbs and I believe it.

    I personally suggest you get a 3/4 ton truck though, with at least a 350 and definitely a TH 400. 700R4s are great trannies but they're not for towing. And stock 305s are just plain gutless.

    I'm sorry to say that what you've got isn't a tow vehicle. It can be made to work, but done properly that'd be very expensive.

    Put a good 383 in it, lower gears, and short tires for when you pull your trailer and you could do it if you wanted to. Don't forget a stronger tranny. All depends on what you want to do.

    Tim
    '84 Chevy K10, lifted, loud, fast, and 3/4 ton axles
     
  6. planet6racing

    planet6racing Newbie

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    Thanks so much guys! I was considering that as well, but with my current money situation, I thought it would be easier to get the K5 working and go from there. I do recognize how easily mods can build up (a typical ITA-spec race engine is ~$7000, professionally built!), but was unaware of what I needed to do.

    I guess it is time to make her look pretty, run reasonably well, and sell her before winter!

    Thanks again!

    Bill
    1982 GMC Jimmy
    1992 Saturn SL2 - ITA Race car
    Planet 6 Racing
    planet6racing@yahoo.com
     

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