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Sensible small-block engine upgrades?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by airheadpilot, Aug 27, 2004.

  1. airheadpilot

    airheadpilot Registered Member

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    1987 GMC Suburban 3/4-ton, 4wd, 350TBI w/ TH350, all stock except for a K&N air filter.

    Do I really NEED more power out of my Suburban? Is that really the point? More power is ALWAYS a good thing, right? /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif What are my options for sensible, progressive performance improvements that won't detract from the the vehicle's service as a regular driver, won't reduce overall reliability, won't hurt my fuel economy too much (and maybe help it?), and most importantly will still allow me to pass California state emissions for my vehicle year? Obviously I'm not talking about a 496 big block with 12:1 compression and an enormous supercharger sticking out of the hood (although that WOULD be fun!). What are some things other folks have had good luck with?

    Thanks!

    Andrew in Belmont, CA /forums/images/graemlins/burb.gif
     
  2. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Change to lower gears in the axles. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  3. COCHEV

    COCHEV 1/2 ton status

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    a computer friendly cam, heads if you have the money. scoggin dicky has a nice affordable set of heads for tbi motors. exhaust. all depends on your budget.
     
  4. BayouBlazer88

    BayouBlazer88 1/2 ton status

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    -first off, are you sure thats th350 tranny? I thought in 87 the suburbans had 700R4's. Anyway, I'd say go with K&N filter, MSD box, and maybe edelbrock performer tbi intake first. Then graduate to headers, hotter cam, and heads, maybe roller rockers. Also, almost forgot, try a tbi spacer from cfm-tech.com as well as one of their larger bore throttle bodies. I have them both and noticed a difference right away. And finally, when it's all said and done, get a new chip burnt (cfmtech makes them as well). And stay away from things like tornado air, its just junk, trust me. hope this helps.
     
  5. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    In all honesty, I'm gathering parts for 2 different prodjet vehicles. It's a PITA too have too wait, but it's nice too do it all at once. For your Burb, I'd say gears makes the most sence to me. Too build more power in your engine, I'd say heads, cam, and headers, as well as intake.
     
  6. trailblazer86

    trailblazer86 1/2 ton status

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    Gears. (Biggest kick in the pants. Better drivability.)
    Small tube headers. Helps in the bottom end.
    Maybe an intake.
    Reprogram the computer chip. (Another big kick)

    Build for a better bottom end. You have a big heavy truck and torque makes it move.
    Honestly how many times has your truck seen anything over 5000rpm or even 4500rpm?

    (These are just the choices that I would/will make next time. I need my truck to work like a truck. Towing, Hill climbing, getting through the mud hole on the way to the hunt camp. If I was talking about a “Vette or Camaro the story would be different.)
     
  7. airheadpilot

    airheadpilot Registered Member

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    Thanks y'all. All good suggestions. You're right - I'm after torque, but hp is nice too. I'd LOVE to drop a 383/420 in there, but one thing at a time. The tranny is definitely a TH350, but a 700R4 is high on the list of improvements.

    Thanks everyone - good food for thought.

    Andrew in Belmont, CA /forums/images/graemlins/burb.gif
     
  8. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    but a 700R4 is high on the list of improvements.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    improvement? and you're worried about making more power? skip the 700R4 altogether if you're looking for any type of performance gain.
     
  9. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Thanks y'all. All good suggestions. You're right - I'm after torque, but hp is nice too. I'd LOVE to drop a 383/420 in there, but one thing at a time. The tranny is definitely a TH350, but a 700R4 is high on the list of improvements.

    Thanks everyone - good food for thought.

    Andrew in Belmont, CA /forums/images/graemlins/burb.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]If you're after torque, and intend too do a tranny swap, a sm465 would be high on my list.
     
  10. blazd88

    blazd88 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    a computer friendly cam, heads if you have the money. scoggin dicky has a nice affordable set of heads for tbi motors. exhaust. all depends on your budget.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Hell ya someone actually nows about scoggin. I used to work for Sunset Racecraft here in Lubbock and they do all the work as for as assembly and port work for scoggins aftermarket. Good stuff. /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif
     

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