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Still deciding on Engine, will this work?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Madbomber88, Apr 7, 2003.

  1. Madbomber88

    Madbomber88 1/2 ton status

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    I just can't decide. Originally was going 383, but was told I'd need to have custom chip burned and it may be too much torque for my drivetrain. Then I thought 350 HO, then it was ZZ4. Now I have been looking at goautocenter.com. They have this 270 HP truck engine for TBIs here http://www.goautocenter.com/350_tbi_1987-9.htm
    Then at the bottom of this page, they also offer a 350 truck engine with vortec heads and the Edelbrock MPFI. Kinda sounds like exactly what I want to do. They want $3400 for this engine. Would it be easier to do myself? Buy the short block and buy vortec heads and the MPFI? Is it worth it? I emailed goautocenter and they said that this is the most powerful engine you can get for a stock TBI truck without going crazy with custom mods. He said although they claim 270 HP on the TBI engine, he said most people realize only 240, and the latter engine with the Vortec heads and MPFI actually gets about 265. Does that seem low or is it just me? I am intrigued by the MPFI and wonder if it will help my mileage any. I have an hour and commute each way to the Air Force base daily. Too many options and too little money. I'd like to keep the whole project in its entirety under $4000. I've also heard the 383s don't last long running a TBI, adn that they're truly made for carburation. Thoughts?? Anyone know anything about goautocenter? They offer a 3 year GM warranty on the 270 HP engine.
     
  2. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Just a couple of comments...

    Engine warranties are, IMO, close to worthless if A)you have to pay the shipping to return it if it fails, B)you have to pay/do the engine removal/reinstall IF it fails, C)the warranty isn't "nationwide". I guess I'm kind of promoting GM here, because they are the only ones that offer this kind of warranty AFAIK, but the "added cost" of a warranty is a waste if something goes wrong, and then you start paying for all the things that go along with, such as the shipping etc.

    $3400 buys a LOT of gas. I'm someone that likes to get as good a mileage as possible, but the simple fact is, these trucks will NEVER get "good" mileage. $3400 will buy one HECK of a commuter car, which will save wear and tear on the truck, and with some in the 30-50MPG range, WILL save money on gas. Gaining 2MPG in a K5 for $3400 is not a bargain, nor a worthwhile effort, even though I've personally spent money trying to do so.

    Do the math, see how many years it will take you to save the cost of the engine, by gaining 60MPG per tank (works out to approx. $6/tank based on current costs here, and 20MPG).

    Because I am slightly bored/curious I worked this out...it would take 100 31 gallon refills to save you $600 if your mileage increases 2MPG. (and that means you would have to drive 62,000 miles to save that money) By the time the engine is worn appreciably, say 124,000 miles, you've "saved" $1200.

    If you want power, throw all thoughts of MPG out the window, and get/build an engine that makes *efficient* power, as thats not difficult or expensive. This is where a second, true commuter vehicle comes into play. One is for fun, the other is to save money to dump into the toy /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    As to engines not "liking" TBI, I'd like to see engines that "don't like" better air/fuel mixtures in all conditions /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  3. Madbomber88

    Madbomber88 1/2 ton status

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    Sorry, I should have clarified that, I have a 98 accord coupe as my commuter car. I went for about a month or so driving the blazer everyday and found out soon that I was spending over $85 a week in gas. I bought the Honda and now spend less than $30 a week. I'm now thinking of getting the 270 HP TBI engine, putting on the MPFI unless it isn't worth it and adding thorley headers. I just want a smooth running dependable, powerful truck. It's not going to see heavy duty offroading, and I'm not looking to built a hot rod, I just want something with more than the stock 210 HP
     
  4. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    wait a sec... a rat 502 isnt an option? /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    j
     
  5. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    in that case, I think something in the 270 range will likely be pretty decent, but really look at the torque numbers, thats what will make a truck more fun to drive.
     
  6. ZooMad75

    ZooMad75 1/2 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    IMO I would stick with the TBI for now. I would go with a solid short block using Vortec heads. Yes you need the Vortec specific intake, but GM has a TBI version. You should get a good performance boost from the new shortblock, cammed for low end torque with the Vortec heads, headers and hi flow exhaust. You can step up to the Edlebrock MPFI setup later, but don't expect a huge gain over the fresh engine tbi'd on vortecs. Nor should you see a dramatic increase in fuel economy from the TBI to MPFI on a 4WD with large tires and steep gears.

    I'd take the money you would spend on the MPFI, get a larger holley TBI unit, get a custom prom for the computer and a high quality/high flow exhaust system (shorty headers and cat back) The gain over the worn out stocker should be felt. Again, you stated you did not need a hot rod anyway. Besides, low end torque is what you need on the trail.

    Ulitmately, the GM HT383 crate engine would be best. Its a standard 4.00" bore but a longer than typical 3.75" (400) crank to get to the magic 383 displacement. slap on the vortec TBI intake, TBI and reprogrammed prom and you are ready to hit the trail with minimal wrenching. Here is the Listing from www.SDPC2000.com :

    This stump puller is ready and willing! With an awesome 415 ft lbs. of torque at only 3500 RPM, this 383 cubic inch power plant is ready for heavy duty towing, or just some good old tire roasting. The 4 bolt block, forged steel crankshaft, and hydraulic roller camshaft provide a strong bottom end, topped off by a pair of vortec heads and an aluminum dual plane intake. This engine assembly is outfitted with valve covers, timing cover and oil pan, as well as a cast iron water pump, harmonic balancer, flexplate, and dipstick assembly.

    Price $3,895. The torque is way down low on this baby and you get the benifit of the General's warranty. Sell the dual plane carb intake on Ebay and buy the TBI intake.
     
  7. CHEVY 4WD

    CHEVY 4WD 1/2 ton status

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    a freind of mine bought the most stock 350 eledbrock makes he tryed to blow it up b4 warrantee went out hes ran it 4 or 5 qt's low on oil held it wide open for liek 30 seconds EVERYTHING I though he was stupid for doing it but it never blew up
     
  8. 90K5

    90K5 1/2 ton status

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    so now your friend is stuck with an engine that is a POS after the warranty is up....sounds like something that would happen to me
     

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