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Vortec Engine Swap

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by capps, Dec 15, 2004.

  1. capps

    capps Registered Member

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    I am going to install a 97 model 5.7 Vortec into my 86 Suburban. Has anyone performed a similar task. I have the computer and underhood wiring harness. As part of the transformation I was looking to change out the factory tank for a newer model with a built in fuel pump. The other option is to install a frame mounted pump. Does anyone know the pressure required for the Vortec fuel rails?

    I was also told that there were only four wires on the computer harness that I needed to supply power to. If you have done this, I would like some feedback prior to tapping into the harness.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2004
  2. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    It's been done by board members here.

    You don't need to worry about the fuel tank except a sending unit and tank out of an 87-91 TBI truck.

    I don't know about the Vortec fuel pumps, but any of the TPI fuel pumps out of Camaro's fit the stock TBI sending unit, so as long as pressure is high enough (which it should be) then that issue is solved.

    Your going to need the factory wiring manual for both the '86 and '97 though. You don't want to attempt this without knowing what is what.
     
  3. bonanza

    bonanza Registered Member

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  4. J85K5

    J85K5 Newbie

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    Just Make Sure You Get A Fuel Injection Specific Fuel Pump (jegs, Summit, Ect) The Fuel Rails Should Have A Pressure Regulator Built In. Hence Two Fuel Lines One To Deliver Fuel The Other To Dump Excess Fuel Back Into Tank
     
  5. u2slow

    u2slow 1/2 ton status

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    Vortec needs ~60psi fuel pressure. TBI is ~10-15psi.

    Use a TBI tank and sending unit... just put a CPI pump from a 92-93 S-10, astro, or safari on the TBI sender.

    EDIT: Or the TPI pump... like the other guy said ;)
     
  6. capps

    capps Registered Member

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    Does anyone have information on what wires need power on the underhood harness? The current performance method would work, but is way overkill when you have the underhood harness and only need power to a few places.

    Has anyone used a late model Vortec in their 73 - 91 Blazer or Suburban?
     
  7. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    For one thing, your '86 shouldn't require tapping on that end. You'll have to figure out which Vortec harness wires need power, but cutting into a stock harness when it has all the accessory terminals already on the fuse panel is ghetto.

    Besides the fact (having done a TPI swap myself) you will want to get an "auxiliary" fuse panel, so that you don't overload the '86 circuits already in the truck, you keep it fairly clean and seperate from the stock truck wiring, and the injection harness leads likely require varying amp fuse protection. The auxiliary fuse panels can be had for about $6 online, and the "build them yourself" ones are the best. For my setup I needed a 6 terminal one. Can't use the common fuse panels you see all over the place because they use a common power source, when you will need power based on where the key is.

    The best reasons to use the auxilary ports on the fuse panel are: a good connection to the panel that won't cause problems in the future, a ready source of various ignition switched (or unswitched in the case of the ECM) leads, and connectors that can be found in just about any 80's GM vehicle, and likely color coordinated, so diagnostics/install will go smoothly and make sense.

    Without the wiring manuals for both trucks, you are going to have a hard time doing any of this, unless you can find someone willing to go back and forth with you millions of times trying to find which wire is which.
     
  8. K5MONSTERCHEV

    K5MONSTERCHEV 1/2 ton status

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    capps- I have a question, off topic, can you PM me (since you dont allow PMs) thanks!
     
  9. 87GMCJimmy

    87GMCJimmy 1/2 ton status

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    Hello,
    I'll chime in since I went down this road. I used a 99 vortec 5.7 w/ 4l60e tranny and put them in my 87 Jimmy.

    The 2 big things are fuel and wiring. For the Fuel, either get an external pump and use your stock tank. Or get a 87+ tank and use a MPFI fuel pump out of a 96-99 2 door tahoe b/c cause it is a direct bolt in. This is not the same pump as in the TPI system. TPI run 40-55psi. The GM MPFI runs 60+. Building your fuel lines while the motor/tranny is out of the truck will make this much easier. Guess how I know? The stock 87 fuel filter works fine, don't know what comes with a 86.

    Wiring, to get around having to program the 99 computer I use one out of a 96. The 97-99 computers have vehicle anti theft system and enhanced EVAP system. Both can be programmed out but that cost's $300+ to have done. To get the enhanced EVAP system to work requires a fuel tank pressure switch. The non-enhanced system on the 96 is the same system as on the 87 and I assume the 86. The engine harness on the vortecs is much more stand alone then the TPI engine harness and very easy to re-use and not spend $600 on a new one. The under hood fuse box is kept only for a starter fuse/relay and the fuel pump relay. There is no power going through the trucks wiring. Spend the time to understand the wiring harness and removed/dead end the wires not necessary. Also for the wiring invest in a good D ring style crimp tool and high end connectors. Get a scan tool. Get manuals for the year of your truck and donor engine. I have a cd for the 96 computer if your interested in that.

    There are easy ways to do this swap with spending big bucks on a harness and re-programming. Or figure it all out and get stock parts to work. I like having stock parts that I can replace at any junkyard, while knowing how everything works if it breaks. But, this by no means a cheap swap.

    Mike,

    Ps. I have done a TBI to TPI swap and then removed the TPI for the vortec on my 87 Jimmy. Currently helping a friend put in a ford 5.4 into a 86.....bronco.. now that's a freeking mess.

    Now does anyone know anything about 4l60e automatic transmissions and the transgo shift kit......
     
  10. dammit32

    dammit32 1/2 ton status

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    if you just swap the intakes i thinkl alot of the headaches go away and still some nice gains
     
  11. K5MONSTERCHEV

    K5MONSTERCHEV 1/2 ton status

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    You will need to swap intake AND heads, if you wanted to do it that way. its prolly easier to put the whol ehting in there.

    I would wire the Vortec harness completely separate from your stock harness. You can get a pump and run it in the frame, or do as 87 GMCJimmy says and put the one that bolts right in, either way you go, there both going ot be noisy! I belive the 4 wires are B+, Keyed ignition, ground and..umm brain fart. I could get you a schematic for the Vortec, but most likely, not for a couple days.
     
  12. ben427

    ben427 1/2 ton status

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    Why would you need to swap heads off a vortec motor?? Vortec intakes for a 4 barrel or even TBI or TPI arent hard to get.
     
  13. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Probably not pertinent to the original posters question, but the TBI and TPI intakes I've seen are costly compared to a carbed one. At least emissions legal in the TBI case, and nowhere near cheap for TPI.
     
  14. capps

    capps Registered Member

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    K5MONSTERCHEV - You have direct e-mail blocked from this website. I also could not send the PM to you as I am not a full member yet. You can e-mail me directly at twohi4u @ yahoo . com. I added some spaces for those spammers out there. This is not my regular e-mail, but I check it frequently.
     
  15. K5MONSTERCHEV

    K5MONSTERCHEV 1/2 ton status

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    Because there "Vortec" heads, also, the intake bolts in the front and back go straight down. Also (doesnt matter) but the Vortec intake is plastic.
     
  16. justinf

    justinf 1/2 ton status

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    Only the upper intake is plastic, the lower intake is aluminum, at least on the two 98 vortec 350's I have.
     
  17. capps

    capps Registered Member

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    I am not sure why I would want to remove vortec heads and the aluminum intake from the vortec engine. This engine has more power and better performance for general use than a carbed version or the old style TBI.

    The plastic piece on top is only for decoration and to cover up wiring.

    The two things that I know about the swap are that the fuel rails need 60+ PSI to work and that I need to get power to the factory wiring harness. Does anyone have how to information on what wires need power to hook up the factory underhood wiring harness for a 97 Vortec 5700 350 from a Tahoe?
     
  18. K5MONSTERCHEV

    K5MONSTERCHEV 1/2 ton status

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    Did you read my post?
     
  19. ChickenRammit

    ChickenRammit 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    i have a vortec 5.7 from a 99 chevy 1/2 pickup that i want to put into my 86 k5. i see you have a lot of knowledge in this dept. can you tell me the whole wiring story on this project. i have never attempted this before. also will my 208 transfer case mate up to the 4l60 with the adapter from the '86. also will my headers from the '86 350 bolt to the vortec heads, or will i have to get new headers.
     
  20. bigarmzz

    bigarmzz 1/2 ton status

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    if you just ran a carbed intake...it'd be a piece of cake...

    my 98 motor is actually drilled for the mech fuel pump rod...so my conversion will be easy
     

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