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Vortec setup (long)

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Adub, Jan 3, 2003.

  1. Adub

    Adub 1/2 ton status

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    I am collecting parts to build up my TBI 350. I currently have hyd roller setup, LT4 cam springs and RRs, and vortec heads. I was going to go with the vortec/tbi manifold and keep the TBI. A friend has a complete vortec 350 manifold, with every sensor and wiring harness and computer that he wants to sell for cheap. Can I easily swap this on my truck? I know I would need some computer programming, splice into my fuel pump, and I would need a vortec dizzy, but is there anything else I would need to do? How difficult would this be?
    Thanks
    Aaron
     
  2. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Vortec swap is pretty complex. I contemplated it too, but since I already have the TPI stuff, I scrapped the idea.

    You'd need the entire wiring harness out of the donor, use its ECM, go with the newer VSS (vs older 2 pulse which our trucks had) and of course all the rest of the Vortec hardware.

    You can get take off intakes/injectors/etc for pretty cheap, but getting the rest of it will probably be $$.

    It's CFI, which doesn't mean much, except you have to use its computer to run things. Don't seem to have been many people to attempt this swap, (and believe me, I looked) I'm not sure how it compares to TPI or SPI power wise, but I'm guessing its complex enough to warrant doing either of the last two over the Vortec setup.

    For sure you need to get the '96 or whatever year service manual for the Vortec truck donor, to include wiring manual, BEFORE you even buy this, because if you buy it and decide not to do the swap, you'll have a hard time getting rid of it.
     
  3. Adub

    Adub 1/2 ton status

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    Well I can get everything needed for $100 bucks, which is a lot cheaper than just the vortec/tbi manifold. Nothing on my truck is computer run, other than the engine right? So all I have to do is plug in the new ecm to its own wiring harness, wire in the ignition and fuel pump and thats it?
    Aaron
     
  4. Stroked72Blazer

    Stroked72Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    Of coarse if you don't want to do this how much does he want for it because I might be interested if it is indeed cheap.
     
  5. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Well, the "least amount of effort" route would be to gut a Vortec truck, install the tranny and t-case, and rewire your truck. Seriously. Except of course that the t-case probably wouldn't work, because of the IFS, and that would mean you couldn't use the stock vehicle speed sensor, which is another thing to work around.

    I won't bet money on it (and neither should you) because I don't have the electrical manual handy to look this up in, but the wiring harness in that truck is probably SO integral, that you would be better off wiring your older body up with the Vortec harness, to include the fuse panel. (which won't fit without modifications BTW to your firewall, guaranteed)

    TPI stuff was fairly standalone for the first two years. You had a wiring harness on the drivers side that controlled most of the lighting, starting, sharging, etc., while the passenger side harness was all the engine controls: TPS, O2, EGR, AIR, Baro sensor, Cannister Purge, and so on and so on.

    The vortec stuff I would almost bet is all on one side, or so intermingled that it makes it mind numbing to look at the wiring diagrams.

    There is no way the swap can be a simple plug and play operation. Two things come right to mind, (and I'm not trying very hard) the fuel line setup for the Vortec trucks is different (it may hit the firewall in our trucks) and the VSS is entirely different in '96 than it was in your truck. There are probably easy ways around the VSS, but the easy way is $$$. If you don't know how to get around the VSS issue, and didn't know there could be a fuel line issue, don't buy the stuff, because you haven't looked into it deep enough.

    What you think is a good deal now won't be looking so good as you end up buying 30 additional $50 parts to make it work in your truck.

    If you've got the time, money, and motivation, by all means do it. I know on the money issue. After paying $500 (for almost every single complete piece of a TPI setup including intake, dist., wiring, ecm, etc), even adding in the $400 TPI/Vortec intake that I need to buy, I will STILL be ahead compared to if I decided to change my plans to use the Vortec injection setup, which can be had all day long for $250 or less.
     
  6. u2slow

    u2slow 1/2 ton status

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    You can fix the fuel pump issue with a CPI pump from a 92-93 S10. It will fit in the stock sending unit and give you working pressure you need.

    You can Vortec just about everything in your truck, but the hard part is going to be getting the crank sensor working. This sensor sits in the timing cover and I don't believe it will swap onto an older engine.

    VSS is not a big deal. Get a t-case from a 90-91 Blazer/Jimmy/Burb or a '91 crewcab. They have the electronic speedo, and will work with the Vortec.

    My buddy did a Vortec swap on his '87 K30, and it got a little out of control. The harness from the '98 donor is essentially intact. Here's what I mean:
    '87 K30 Vortec swap
     
  7. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    VSS is not a big deal. Get a t-case from a 90-91 Blazer/Jimmy/Burb or a '91 crewcab. They have the electronic speedo, and will work with the Vortec.


    [/ QUOTE ]

    How many pulse is a 1989 VSS and how many is a 1996 or newer Vortec? /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    Your buddies harness is basically intact for a reason, there are no easy workarounds to the newer harnesses, they are easier to keep intact and modify the vehicle to *them* than the other way around I'm sure.
     
  8. u2slow

    u2slow 1/2 ton status

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    I don't know /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif

    My buddy plugged the '98 harness into the '91 NP241C (pass. drop) and it works. The speedo read correctly as far as he could tell.

    I presume all the GM electronic t-cases create the same signal/pulse. The ECM (on a Vortec) or the DRAC module (TBI)is responsible for the calibration.
     

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