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  1. #1

    Exclamation Blown up 350tbi ideas for a new motor???? will a 350 vortec fit

    I just blew the motor in my 1988 gmc seirra. It has a 350 tbi with a turbo 400 transmission. I was wanting to put eathier a 454 or a 350 vortec. has anyone ever done this swap and what are some problems i will face.

  2. #2


    In theory the 350 vortec could be a direct swap but you would need to add the computer and required o2 sensors for it to work properly and alot of other engine management systems. It would be easier to buy a crate engine or replace with similar year engine as yours.

    1996 Chevy Tahoe LT 5.7L V8 4X4 205,000+ miles. Built proudly at Janesville Assembly in Janesville, Wisconsin
    Basic mods: Lights all over, bunch of electrical work, and a couple cooling mods.

    Check out my other mods in My Garage:

  3. #3


    A Vortec engine would be ideal. If you wanted to go crate, look into GM replacement engines. You can get a Vortec long-block that will accept a carb so you can avoid the EFI/computer issues, or drop on a standalone Holley TBI system.

    In all honesty, I drove and built carb engines for decades. I love EFI and do not want to go back. Sure there's wiring and computers and sensors...there is also diagnostics and improved efficiency to be had as well. A good donor truck will give you all the parts you need or a decent shop should be capable of doing the swap for you...but you can get dang close with the Holley aftermarket. I think Howell also makes a TBI application for GM V8's. Edelbrock still offers intake/cam/carb kits that fit as well I think. That gives you a tuned package for awesome power and decent economy. Any of those options will be far cry better than the '88 offering with iron heads. Vortecs flow SOOOO much better!

    The engine will bolt right in. I'd go with a 97-later spec 5.7 IMHO. I have one in my 99 suburban and it runs circles around my 2500's 454 (7.4). 260 hp compared to 230 hp. Sure, the 454 builds more torque's a towing monster, but it gets 10 mpg compared to the burb's 18.

    I would also really give thought to a 4L60 with a lock-up torque converter. That is part of the improvement in mileage with my application...the 2500 is a 4L80, my Burb has the 4L60E with lockup. A good 700R4 rebuild can net you similar gains as well. A later 700R4 with modern guts is a killer-good trans with an effective OD.
    1999 Suburban C1500 LS 5.7 K&N filter, VentVisors, debadged aka "LAAT/i...Larty"
    1994 C2500 454. Ex-Forest Service beastie. aka "Redneck"
    2006 Saturn Ion...the Wife's car.
    Empty spot that needs a Jeep...

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