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  1. #1

    Default cheap powerfor 4.3l v6?

    im the new guy here, i recently bought my first truck, an 88 chevy c1500 with a 4.3l v6. i love the truck, but the power is a bit disapointing. my last car was pretty heavy modded iroc z, so i miss the pull.
    so now my question
    i was wondering if vortec heads, iron marine intake, ignition (coil, wires, cap/rotor) would yield 210- 220 hp, and around 250ft/lb torque?

  2. #2


    Yea you could start investing in parts to hotrod it some, but in the end your still running a 4.3 V-6 and as the cost of the parts start to add up you'll probably ask yourself would I have been better off dropping in a mild 350?
    My opinion is your money would be better spent looking for a low mileage V-8 out of a wrecked truck, with the year truck you have an engine swap shouldnt be a monumental task.
    Again just my opinion but I never understood why GM put the 4.3 in the F/S trucks, it made them underpowered.
    Years ago manufacturers used 6cyl engines in the F/S line without a lot of problems, 60's, 70's, and early 80's, but those engines were tall block straight sixes that made a lot more torque than a V-6, and while they werent as fast as a V-8 the extra torque was noticeable, in some cases the sixes had more rated torque than the higher cubic inch V-8's.

  3. #3
    murdog94's Avatar
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    I second swapping in a 350 out of a 1988-1992 truck. it is a direct bolt in process and you will only need the motor (TBI to Oil pan) and the PCM out of the donor truck. Everything else is the same wiring harness, motor mounts etc.. It really is a weekend or day (depending on how fast you work) project. the vortec heads, and all of that may get you close to 200hp.. but the old 4.3L was just a gas milage, and cheaper work truck alternative.


    1997 Chevy S-10 Blazer 4X4 with 330K miles and counting (Hunting rig).

    2009 Saturn Aura XE (wifes car)

    2011 F-150 Crew 4X4

    "Hold it to the floor till you see God.... Then Brake!!!!"

  4. #4


    that was my first thought. but if the wiring harness is indeed the same then i might just do it. are the front springs/shocks different than the v6 ones?and i noticed my truck doesnt have a sway bar how difficult would it be to put one on? i also have a nv3500 will that hold up behind a 350? and how much worse will the gas milage be than the v6?thanksmiguel

  5. #5


    the sad part is i have the v6 and before i put any mods on it, i still never saw great gas mileage and i dont know why people called it a "gas saver" or the such because the engine has to work harder to push a full size truck vs. a V8 not having to work as hard, and every v8 ive ever known in a reg cab, at least, got better mileage than my v6...
    so i actually have no idea why this v6 was ever put into a f/s chevy :/ no advantages i know of

    well i guess you could say that with two less pistons, its got a few pounds shed lol
    2000 Chevrolet Silverado

    4.3L V6, 4L60E, 2WD, Single Cab
    Airaid CAI
    Poweraid TB Spacer
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    Head Unit: Alpine
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    305/70R16 NITTO Terra Grapplers
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    Front/Rear-Bilstein 5100 shocks

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  6. #6


    X3, swap for a V-8.

    2005 Chevy Silverado Z71 Crew Cab
    6" Skyjacker lift w/Edlebrock dual front remote resoviour shocks, single rear remote. Rancho skid-plate.
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  7. #7


    if anyone knows the approximate cost for a v-8 swap im sure that would be helpful to post.... at least it wouldve been for me before i started wasting money on my v-6, but i still love her shes still my first

  8. #8


    i find that funny too... i get around 15-16 mpg...
    if all i need is the engine and ecu then it should be around 300 bucks... because i can get an engine for 200 bucks from a junkyard here in orlando and the ecu shouldnt be too expensive...
    unless the front springs need to be changed.

  9. #9
    murdog94's Avatar
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    no you do not have springs in the 88-98 chevy 4wd trucks. They are a torsion suspension and the torsion bars are the same for all K1500 models. If it is a 2wd model the springs wont need to be changed either.. Oh and the tranny will more than hold up since it is the same tranny that backs to the 350.. the 4.3> is the same as a 350 with 2 less cylinders.

  10. #10


    cool well thats easy enough.if i get an engine from an auto truck will everything still work in my truck?

    and if anyone knows how to put sway bars on the truck id really love to know how difficult or easy it is.

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