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TBI worth it?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by SICNICK, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. SICNICK

    SICNICK Registered Member

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    Ok im a member of MANY on-line off road forums , but I figured this would be the place to ask. :D Im building a Small block 350 this summer and would like to know if y'all think my situation is a good canidate for TBI...

    I go to school at CSU but live in So-Cal, So I will be making this 1100 mile drive 2-4 times a year. Im planning on building a mild small block, maybe around 250-300 horse, but built to be more realiable and economical( atleast as much as a SBC can be:doah: ). I'd also like FI so I could put on a remote start;)

    One of my good buddies told me TPI would be the hot setup, but it is rare and expensive. The same guy said that the advantages of TBI aren't worth the time/money.

    Im thinkin I could build a carbed small block my self for around $600 bucks, any ballpark estimates of the percentage better mileage that the TBI gets compared to a 600cfm carb? I know this is kind of an Oxymoron but I really want to keep my K10, and have put a diesel swap WAY out in the future...

    Lets get some opinions!
     
  2. Propayne

    Propayne Registered Member

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    my blazer has TBI and it gets 11-12 MPG street at max. about 17-18 highway. my friends c-10 carbed gets the same.


    hope this helps some
     
  3. SICNICK

    SICNICK Registered Member

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    17-18 on highway is STELLAR! :eek1: what size tires, gearing, tranny???
     
  4. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    TBI is very worth it IMHO. I personally have TPI in my K5 but that is only because I got the TPI setup for cheap from a friend of mine. FI has many advantages over carb especially if you are going to be offroading your truck.

    If you are just going to be DDing your K10 then in the short term you might be better off with a carb but in the longterm FI is usually the better choice. It offers many advantages including more MPG, remote start capable, better throttle response, runs at any angle, etc.

    I personally have never seen great mileage out of my K5 but that is mostly due to the route I went with it for offroading. Even with the mods I have done the TPI keeps me between 10-12 highway, and 8-10 intown. I noticed the MPG's pickup after I swapped in my TPI setup. The fuel injection is pretty reliable also which is nice. I have had a few problems with it but I DD'ed my K5 alot after the FI swap and it was just as reliable if not more reliable then the carb I had.

    Harley
     
  5. ryoken

    ryoken Puppy Fabricator Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    i average 15 to 17 with my 87 tbi
     
  6. Thunder

    Thunder 3/4 ton status

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    IMHO TBI is an excelent system for a truck.It is way better than a carb. More reliable. Better off road. Your MPG will depend on what you have for a drive train gears tires ect. With an OD tranny 17 to 18 highway mpg is pretty common with TBI. But if you have a TH 350 or 400 14-16 is prolly the best you can get. Around town My TBI gets better milage than a carb if I keep my foot out of it.
    I run a mild 350 TBI 700r4 trans 3.73 gears 33" tires. Get 18 highway 14 city 15-16 MPG average city/hiway. Have plenty of power to do anything I want to do.
     
  7. 1977k5

    1977k5 3/4 ton status Vendor

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    Really the only reason not to run TBI is that it is only good to about 250-275 horsepower. In your case, TBI is the way to go.
     
  8. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    There have been a few MPG posts that typically mention the combo used.

    I've achieved 18 freeway, 10-13 city.

    As I've said before, injection means driveability, it just depends how much you are willing to sacrifice. IMO injection is worth it if you want the driveability out of your rig. (or for hardcore wheelers, the ability to run at most any angle) Unless everything you get is free, and your time is worth nothing, an injection swap will take you a LONG time to break even when it comes to gas saved, unless you drive an ungodly number of miles a year.
     
  9. southernspeed

    southernspeed 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I'm with Mr. Yeager on this one. I've had carbed, carb converted to TBI and stock TBI trucks. No more carbs for me!! I converted one truck to TBI and it cost a lot of money but was well worth it. I had to buy and ship everything from the U.S so it cost lots but you may well be able to do it cheaply.
    Just make sure you get EVERYTHING from a donar truck at a salvage yard.
    As someone said when I was contemplating the swap,
    " it'll nickle and dime you to death". All those small bits and pieces needed to finish it off soon add up!
     
  10. mouse

    mouse 1/2 ton status

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    No carb can do the off camber drivability of a TBI. The swap is not difficult, just time consuming ($$ too if done by pieces). I had an entire donor vehicle, used most of the parts as cores and got reman to replace them.
     
  11. SICNICK

    SICNICK Registered Member

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    I think Im gonna try and do it, if anyones got a donor let me know!
     
  12. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    If you are going to do it in Fort Collins and you want some help or advice let me know. I have swapped in TPI on my rig and they are not terribly different then TBI. The principals are the same and much of the swap is similar.

    Harley
     
  13. SICNICK

    SICNICK Registered Member

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    I just found a donor...Might be ready in a month or so, i really appreciate your generosity, can you shoot me an e-mail at nbailey@simla.colostate.edu
    since I cant yet send PM's then ill keep your address and let you know If I get it.

    THanks all!:D
     
  14. u2slow

    u2slow 1/2 ton status

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    Okay, I'll buck the trend. ;)

    I WOULD NOT bother upgrading to TBI. Too much work/$$$/effort for not enough benefit. All I got out of it was improved driveability when cold, and running off-angle. TBI economy is almost a fallacy. Has more to do with the OD TH700 trans than anything else.

    Vortec EFI would be a better choice. I would do propane instead - however the engine should be purpose-built to get the most out of it.

    I'm a diesel-nut, and it sounds like you've settled on a SBC, so I won't distract you any further. ;)
     
  15. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    For economy, no argument from me...diesel it is! :)

    Never owned a diesel, but driven a few, and I didn't notice driveability any worse than injection, so it's a wash there I believe.

    Diesel may be more expensive (from what I've seen lately) but if you can get 4MPG more from a diesel vs a gas engine, you are talking about 20%+ better economy than a gas engine, at least compared to the best MPG most people on here seem to get.

    Diesel is not 20% more expensive than gas is it?

    Don't start a whole "performance" realm gas vs. diesel, (talking to anyone in general, plenty of posts about that already) I'm talking strictly how diesel runs in various conditions, and economy vs TBI or other gas injection systems.
     
  16. SICNICK

    SICNICK Registered Member

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    Like I said in my original post...Im a HUGE diesel fan:bow: , I already had one, blew it up, and now I need something CHEAP and RELIABLE that I can rebuild somewhere between here and so-cal with a couple wrenches and a screw-driver:D if need be. PLUS as soon as the oppourtunity arrises, I will go diesel.:p:
     
  17. Wishbone

    Wishbone 1/2 ton status

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    If you do a lot of hiway driving then I would say diesel is for you. If you make short stop and go trips or a lot of in town driving then stay with a gasser.
     
  18. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Again, not being a diesel guy, not sure why any of those are holding you back from going diesel. Is it that expensive to find a 6.2 diesel as compared to building a TBI motor? :confused:
     
  19. SICNICK

    SICNICK Registered Member

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    YES but most importantly....You theoretically could find a smokin deal on either, now lets say i got either one and the one I picked blew up, its always gonna be much easier. cheaper,and faster to build a gasser:eek1:
     
  20. RootBreaker

    RootBreaker 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    carb guy checkin in....

    ok so lets see....

    you are talking street 2-4 times a year.. then local street the rest of the time?

    if so it doesnt really matter... yeah TBI, TPI would be nice I guess.. expecially if you can get a donor and cheap...


    I bought a 1991 caprice police 350 out of a caprice years ago.... was going to go TBI... well ferget dat.... put a z-28 intake on, holley truck avenger and a electric fuel pump and viola..... LOVE IT.... now im only pulling 11mpg but that is due to my WOT right foot and no overdrive.....

    just recently I decided to wake my 350 up... since I have to floor it everywhere...

    I had $800 to do it.... so here were my options...

    #1 buy a 2wd running diesel and swap it in and run cooking oil for free (have a source for used cooking oil) - so great for free fuel but the early 6.2's suck from what I hear... 155hp/300lb-ft torque with turbo......

    #2 swap motor to a NEW fuel injected motor from the junkyard.. can get one from father (friend owns a junkyard) complete.. could most likely tow it home, do the swap then bring the truck back so I would have everything... even the OBDII plug :haha: - so this is an option....

    #3 Vortec Heads, Comp Cams Xtreme 4x4 cam, dual plane vortec intake


    so lets see....
    #1 = free fuel, fuel injection but not alot of power....
    #2 = Cool to say I have a 2000 fuel injected motor - but more wires = more to break and troubleshoot
    #3 = Keep it Simple - Add power, easy to troubleshoot, Like that idea



    now my truck is the "Weekend Warrior" or every 3rd weekend warrior :crazy: but you get my point.. I dont drive it that much... so option #3 was best for me.... if I had to drive like you said... Id buy me a beater car good on gas... Geo Metro = 40mpg.... so you can get 20+ mpg over that 1100 miles (dont know if that is one way or not) but x 4 = 4400 miles.... so you will save an easy 220 gallons... x current price here for regular this morning was $2.35 = $517.... I can get a geo metro for about $300.... registration and insurance... well you may not break even on your first year but you can.....


    whatever you decide..... just look at All Factors that work FOR YOU NOT US!!! :bow:
     

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