Engine Swap Options:

Chevy350Ben

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I need some opinions from some of the more seasoned engine guys out there:

I am no where near ready to pull the trigger on a new drivetrain yet, but someday. Origionaly I wanted a cummins 6bt/4bt to put in the truck (@America.Mike is my hero), just to avoid all the computers and sensors and chit that scares me. But I've been looking for a while now, and even the high mileage pullout motors are going for $3k+. That's before rebuild. So probably 5-8K into the motor before it would be ready to run.

That's a pretty hard pill to swallow when I've seen some crate motors (turn key) for the same price. Building my own motor is an option, Ive just never done it before. So, just want to get y'alls opinion on crate motors. I don't need a 1200hp fire breathing dragon, but enough low end torque to give my 40's something to whine about.

Seems like the 383 is the way to go to build low end torque. I'd like to be in the 350-400hp ball park. The less complicated the swap, the better...

Input? options? companies you have used/would recommend? EFI fuel system recommendations?
 

Bent77

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350 hp is easy to swing

As for used motors, I also avoided that due to the high price to acquire a good low mileage motor

If you go LS, get a 6.0 or plan on adding a turbo.
That said, look for a 7.4 or 8.1. 7.4 burbs are cheap, people literally give them away

For crate engines ZZ6-EFI or zZ383

Dont buy a turd. You’ll regret it later
 

Chevy350Ben

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I've considered the LS swap, but to be brutally honest, all the wires and computers and tuning kinda scares off of it. Im good with gears and oil and metal work, i just havent done enough of the electrical/programming work to feel comfortable that I would get it all right. I've seen 6.0's for okayish prices, but I would want it rebuilt before stuffing it between the fenders, so now we're probably back in the same price ball park as a crate motor.
 

Bent77

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The 6.0 can be fine, and easier if you use the transmission that’s behind it so it doesn’t need that part of the harness reworked
They have a higher power ban than a SBC. They make more factory power than a SBC, You need to spin them to get to it

The wiring part isn’t that scary, especially with some of the aftermarket kits as they are simplified vis-a-vis factory wiring

Keep in mind these trucks run about 6k pounds

Call or stop by your local engine shop
 

76zimmer

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Take out entire drivetrain and replace for the exceptional power!
Bit seriously what shape is your driveline in now? Is it ready for perhaps double the power of what you have, and those 40” tires?
 

Chevy350Ben

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Currently has the stock 350 TBI/700 R4/241C.

As far as axles, I have Dana 60 front, 14BFF rear both geared to 5.38.

When I do yank the motor/trans, I plan to replace both. Still just in the planning phase but thinking the 4L80 trans behind the motor. still a little fuzzy on all the adapters and frame braces and stuff that will all jive together. Just trying to get my ducks in a row...
 

Bent77

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Currently has the stock 350 TBI/700 R4/241C.

As far as axles, I have Dana 60 front, 14BFF rear both geared to 5.38.

When I do yank the motor/trans, I plan to replace both. Still just in the planning phase but thinking the 4L80 trans behind the motor. still a little fuzzy on all the adapters and frame braces and stuff that will all jive together. Just trying to get my ducks in a row...
Skip towards the end for engine stuff
383 with Edelbrock PF4

https://ck5.com/forums/threads/here-i-go.335956/
 

Smokinthehippies

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Bunch of guys have used them. Some have had great luck. Some have had less great luck. I’m biased as I used to be local to them.

another option for new old school tech is blueprint. Cant beat their prices for new engines.
 

Chevy350Ben

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Not yet. This is all kinda theoretical at this point. Trying to nail down future plans. Check my build page (linked in my sig line). I'm still finishing axles/steering/suspension. But if I walked across a killer deal on an LQ9 or LQ4, I would probably be too tempted to pass it up.
 

shady

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I'd go either vortec 350 with 383 kit. Or 5.3 with 383 kit and carb conversion.

The 5.3 stroked to 383 will destroy a 6.0 in low end torque. Something I learned too late after buying a 6.0 lol.

I've rode along on a wheeling trip in a burb with a vortec 383, 700r4, fast injection, and 40" swampers.
That thing had GRUNT. Ran down the highway great. And the well respected owner claimed 16-18 mpg with it.
His setup can probably still be found on here @kellyjohn . But he hasn't been around here for years.
 

ZooMad75

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Displacement is your friend if you want to turn big tires and have gobs of low-end torque. No other way to get around it with any small block (gen 1, 3, 4 or 5) other than forced induction. If you are spooked by the wiring and electronics, I'd look for an L29 454. The L29 has a factory roller cam you could upgrade pretty easy. Swap on a little better heads (the vortecs aren't a bad starting point either), good intake and carb with an HEI dizzy and you'd have a pretty good combo that will make a lot of torque off idle.

The big-block will bolt right in vs adapter brackets and the other stuff that comes along with a LS swap.

Like Bent said, people are letting L29 equipped burbs go cheap because they really don't know what they have. L29 3/4 ton and 1 ton trucks are pretty cheap too. I picked up a used L29 for $700 a couple of years back from a couple of diesel bros that were planning on a 12v Cummins swap to the burb the L29 came from. That included the 4L80e trans too. They were happy to get rid of it.
 
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