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What would you do to a stock TBI motor for $2500?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by PetaKane, Apr 21, 2002.

  1. PetaKane

    PetaKane 1/2 ton status

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    Today at work a hotrod guy who knows his stuff kinda well, I think, talked me outta buying a carbureted crate motor and just building my stock TBI up. I have no headers no extras no nothin, so I'm starting from a stock 350 TBI. What would you do if you were me for $2500? I'm riding on 38.5" Swampers and have 5.13 gears if that helps any. Thanks
     
  2. 1979Jimmy

    1979Jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    In my opinion best bang for your buck are intake and exhaust. So headers and hi-flow cats and muflers, of course a K&n. From there its whatever you really want. A cam maybe or heads?
     
  3. NITRO

    NITRO 1/2 ton status

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    Go TPI and and get new heads and get all the valves polished and all that. then go with a cam. dont go with too high of a duration on a tpi setup. u might be able to find one that is already built. look around

    NITRO
     
  4. BurbinOR

    BurbinOR 3/4 ton status

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    I'd buy a crate motor.............
     
  5. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    With having only a $2,500 budget i would rebuild the engine and install a small cam then also use a GOOD set of headers. That should take up most of that money. The best bang for the buck is in a GOOD set of cylinder heads. HP is made from camshaft and cylinder head selection mainly. The rest will add small amounts of HP. A little help here and there adds up quickly though, in the HP department that is.
     
  6. Blazer_Boy

    Blazer_Boy 1/2 ton status

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    Hmm, you wanna be a hero, eh? Well lets see here...... Take your old motor and do the standard boring (.030) and griding (.010) or polishing. I would try northernautoparts.com for a rebuild kit, they have the cheapest 350s going. I would choose the upgrade for clevite bearings, fel-pro gaskets, dual timing chain, brass freeze plugs, and a comp cam though. ARP rod, main, and head bolts would be nice if you can afford them. You could turn some serious RPMs with out having to worry. I love the fact that my daily drive can turn 6,500 and its only a 330hp motor, haha, overkill. Drop that in and worry about the headers later, thats an easy change. You might as well save up for a decent set of headers than blowing what you have left on $100 cheapies. $300 on up will get you decent headers. Don't waste your money on hypereutectic pistons, they're brittle high silicon junk. They are harder, but when just one little thing goes wrong KABOOM. They don't take sudden abuse well and will shatter, talk to your machinist, he'll tell you. They like to rip off just below the wrist pin. Some places refuse to sell them because of the high amounts of problems. Moly rings are good, but a PIA to get seated and cast will do a nice job in my opnion.

    So....
    $469 for heads (gmpartsdirect)
    $318 for the intake (paceparts)
    $20 for intake gaskets (paceparts)
    $334 for the engine kit with uprgades I suggested (northern)
    $47 for headbolts (northern)
    $18 for mainbolts (northern)
    $40 for rodbolts (northern)
    ($125-$150 if you want roller tip rockers, but we wont add it up, your stock ones will work)

    $1,246 for just that so far. Alot $250 for shipping, paint, oil, coolant, plugs and the little nickle and dime things.

    We're at $1,500 now. Go hog wild at the machine shop, resize the rods because of the new bolts, maybe line bore it, but don't touch the heads, they're great out of the box. Have the machine shop assemble the motor if you are the least bit unsure. They may also let you assemble it there under guidance for a little off the bill. You should be about out of money by now. Take whats left and buy some MSD stuff or headers. If you get new plug wires, go MSD, instead of buying stock ones and then upgrading later. If you do this, then you'll have the TBI brother to my motor in my '83.

    Later

    -------------------

    You got me researching all kinds of crap on this now. I just got my comp catalog in the mail and these cams are listed for TBI...

    12-304-4 .406/.406 201/206 111 seperation
    12-388-4 .425/.440 206/212 108 seperation
    12-249-4 .434/.444 206/212 112 seperation
     
  7. NITRO

    NITRO 1/2 ton status

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    O yea, go with timing gears

    NITRO
     
  8. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    I'm not an engine guy, stock TBI 350 is fine for me. But, if I were doing it, it would be (budget - talk to BlazinOR) TPI conversion, mild (low rpm torque) cam , Vortec Heads, and Thorleys with a (not too big) dual (or 2 into 1) exhaust, and a matched chip. As was said before, it the rebuild eats up too much (depending on if you need over bore, crank kit, etc.) ditch the headers and exhaust for the first pass. You don't get that with the crate motor anyway, and it's easily changed later.
     
  9. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    I'd get it bored .030, buy a cast 383 stroker roatating assembly with flat top pistons, a bigger-than-stock-but-not-wild cam, and use aftermarket heads that could use the stock intake, then spend the rest figuring out how to make the TBI work properly with my new setup.
     

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