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05-08-2011, 03:14 AM #1
GMPP HT383E swapped into 99 Suburban K2500
So I just bit the bullet and had a GMPP HT383E swap done on my 3/4 4x4 99 Suburban.
because of the high km on the vehicle, I also put in a new 4L80E as well.
The dealer did an awesome job and so far I'm quite happy with the results.
I made a few other changes/ additions as well based on my research about this swap. I added a set of JBA shorty headers which I wrapped with DEI titanium braided header wrap. Then after the first part of the break in was complete, I programmed the PCM using a Hypertech 32000 Max Energy programmer.
For anyone contemplating this swap, it does work without any issues and I'll go into detail on the swap, tech, gotchyas, etc. later as I get time.
For now, the short version is that this works well, has minimal issues, and so far I am quite pleased with the results.
Will update and add details as I get time.
05-08-2011, 07:29 PM #2
Glad its all working out so good. Keep use updated.
06-28-2011, 10:48 AM #3
Well, after a couple months use I have to say I'm very happy with this swap.
The HT383E engine package is very impressive. It really is a drop in replacement for the stock 350 and works with all the existing accessories and computer. The engine has great power and runs very smooth, especially for an externally balanced engine. Now that it's mostly broken in, fuel economy is getting to be quite good as well (if I can keep my foot out of it).
I have no doubt that with proper care and maintenance, I could keep, and use this truck for another 10 years. I hope so, because that's the plan.
For anyone looking to install an HT383E in their GMT400 Suburban, or similar year Tahoe, Silverado, or Sierra, I have no reservations about recommending it. This is not a hot rod engine, or a monster truck off road power plant, but for someone wanting to build a sturdy daily driver workhorse that can tow all day long, this is a great option.
Consider that you could find a great used 7-9 seat 92-99 Suburban 2500 for under $5000. Now add $7500 for a new HT383E and new 4L80E transmission. Then a couple thousand for basic maintenance (ball joints, u joints, brakes, etc.) and you have a like new vehicle that for under $15000 can replace most $50000+ new SUVs. Personally I think this is a helluva deal.
Now, here's some thoughts, tips, Ideas from what I've learned so far.
- If you do this, you really should replace or rebuild the tranny as well. Possibly also the transfer case. The power of the new engine is much closer to the limits of the 4L80E than the stock 350 and that makes it tough enough on a new transmission. Your 15 year old tranny probably doesn't stand a chance.
- Buy a PCM programmer, and make it one that can firm up transmission shifts (ie increase line pressures). Even if you don't feel you need the performance increase of the chip, you probably want the extended transmission life you'll get from the firmer shifts. The firmer shifts mean less slippage and less heat and wear on your transmission as well as the ability to better handle the increased power of the new engine.
- Install headers. This is SO much easier to do at the time of the engine swap, they are cheap and it's worth it in every way. I chose a pair of JBA shorty headers that are emissions compliant and drop right in in place of the factory manifolds so you can use the factory exhaust system if you want. More importantly, you can pass a smog test. Most of all, the new engine needs to breathe to be efficient. Both power and fuel economy will benefit. It's win win.
- Install a programmer or get a custom tune. I'm running a Hypertech Max Energy P/N 32000 programmer currently and it seems to work pretty well with this package even though Hypertech doesn't officially support it. Even though the Max Energy is designed for the factory 350, it seems to work well on the HT383E, definitely better than the factory programming.
It also allows you to increase shift firmness as mentioned before, and you can also adjust shift points, redline, speed limiter, and adjust for tire diameter changes.
The only down side is that the Hypertech (and every other tuner I looked at) requires 92 octane fuel.
Ultimately, I'd love to have some EFI Live hot shot create a custom tune for me, but for now the Hypertech is working pretty well.
- Consider also installing a cold air intake kit like from K&N and a new exhaust system. I have the feeling this engine would really come alive with better airflow.
- replace your fuel filter.
- Check your fuel line pressure and replace your fuel pump if necessary.
- Check your EGR valve and replace if necessary.
- Be careful how you route the plug wires. They are custom cut for the engine and don't have a lot of slack. Don't route them around dipstick tubes or other obstacles in such a way as to put them under tension. I've already had one plug wire come unplugged on a really bad washboard road due to pressure from the dipstick tube. I had to adjust the slack on that wire around the tube to remove the tension. A V-7 is nowhere near as smooth running and powerful as a V-8. ;')
Finally, and most important. Get a copy of the engine installation and break-in instructions from GM and FOLLOW THEM TO THE LETTER!! The break-in process is detailed in the manual and you should not just install the engine and drive off.
Last edited by Tachyon; 06-28-2011 at 10:54 AM. Reason: typos
06-28-2011, 12:13 PM #4
- Join Date
- Jun 2006
- River Ridge Louisiana-4 miles W of New Orleans-didn't flood-water stopped 800 yards away.
My 1998 Suburban 1/2 ton 2wd has 216,400 on it-5.7- so I figure one day I'll have to replace the motor(even though it is running great and gets 21 mpg on long hy trips at 62mph- it is a sweet motor-lucked out paid $2950 for it 4 years ago and 21,000 miles ago)
I have been eyeballing that 383E-
Can I drop in a 4L80E-just drop it in-plug in electronics-and drive off? My 4L60E certainly isn't rated for 430 lb ft so it would eat it-maybe eat the rear end also??
Must say I love my Suburban-best vehicle for the $$ I have ever owned.It can comfortably evacuate our 1-2 dogs, 4 cats,and 3 adults with plenty of stuff just in case of another hurricane.It makes a great second car-we try not to put lots of miles on it because of the 13-14 mpg city, but considering its versatility and HUGE cargo capacity 13-14 mpg city isn't bad.
Yeah I'm jealous
You are right-older Suburbans are dirt cheap, parts are cheap , they are relatively easy to work on-hard to beat for what they can do for not a lot of $$.Put $10,000-$12,000 in one and you have a $50,000 vehicle for 1/3 the price.Or cheapout like me and put $1200+$2950=$4200 and still have a competent vehicle-not as much fun of course-or as reliable.
06-28-2011, 01:26 PM #5
Sounds like you have a sweet running 'Burb with those mods. Any engine bay pictures?:cool:
2005 Chevy Silverado Z71 Crew Cab
6" Skyjacker lift w/Edlebrock dual front remote resoviour shocks, single rear remote. Rancho skid-plate.
17" x 9" M/T Classic Lock Wheels, 35" BFG A/T or M/T tires
4.10 PercisionGears w/factory locker, T/A Performance rear-end cover
Banks CAI intake, ported throttlebody, JBA coated headers, over-sized Magnaflow cats, Magnaflow cat back exhaust, Diablo tuned
B&M aluminum deep transmission pan
Warn brush guard w/Warn 9.5 XP winch, PIAA bulbs, Line-X bedliner, AWS Black tool chest, Extang tonneau cover
Weather Tech floor mats
Cover-Craft seat covers
Dash mat cover
Formula One window tint
One black Lab in rear seat.
06-28-2011, 04:35 PM #6
- Join Date
- Sep 2010
- Far West, Oregon USA,
- Blog Entries
X2 on the 383 ci for towing Tachyon. I'll bet you're enjoying the extra torque. Good write up!1988 Chevy C-3500 2wd (no pic)
350 c.i. 5.7 L Stock Block, 4 Bolt Mains
L-31 Vortec Heads, Edelbrock Cam & Intake,
Holley 650, Flowtech Headers, Magnaflow exh.
Jet Trans 700R4, B&M Ratchet, 4:10 gears,
3" susp. lift kit "shadetree"
No rev limiter, No speed limiter lol
07-04-2011, 11:11 PM #7
You could swap in a 4L80E, though I'm not sure what would be involved in that. Probably wouldn't work with the factory computer so you'd need the GMPP standalone controller module. Then you'd be stuck always looking at a lit up MIL unless you could find a programmer to disable it. Another option might be to get a built third party 4L60E that can handle the torque.
I don't really know what to say because the HT383E is clearly rated for more torque than the 4L60E is supposed to be rated for so something is up. I'd look at the GMPP 4L70E Supermatic Transmission. MIght be a good alternative option.
As for the engine, yeah, it's pretty much drop in and go.. Works with the factory everything. Computer, wiring, etc. That said, I'd still highly recommend headers and a programmer.
---------- Post added at 03:11 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:07 AM ----------
The Real, Original Tachyon.
Accept No substitutes!
- 99 K2500 Suburban with GMPP HT383E Engine, Hypertech Max Energy programmer, JBA 1832S-2 headers, Magnaflow cats and exhaust, K&N Cold Air Intake, Tahoe Sport Grill Swap, Go Industries Rancher Grill Guard, PIAA Driving Lights, Anzio Headlights
- 88 K1500 Suburban with Targetmaster 350 and built TH700R4 - Gone but not forgotten!
07-05-2011, 05:51 AM #8
Would you describe the GM spec break in procedures as "drive it like you stole it" or more like "drive like grandma"
A custom tune from Black Bear or some of the others would get you back to 87 octane.When you hear hoofbeats, look for horses not zebras.
07-12-2011, 12:20 AM #9
HT383E Break In procedure
Start-up and Break-in Procedures
1. After installing the engine, ensure the crankcase has been filled with 10w30 motor oil (non-synthetic) to the recommended
oil fill level on the dipstick. Also check and fill as required any other necessary fluids such as coolant, power
steering fluid, etc.
2. The engine should be primed with oil prior to starting. Follow the instructions enclosed with the tool. To prime the
engine, first remove the distributor to allow access to the oil pump drive shaft. Note the position of the distributor
before removal. Install the oil priming tool, GM part number 12368084. Using a 1/2" dill motor, rotate the engine oil
priming tool clockwise for three minutes. While you are priming the engine, have someone else rotate the crankshaft
clockwise to supply oil throughout the engine and to all the bearing surfaces before the engine is initially started. This
is the sure way to get oil to the bearings before you start the engine for the first time. Also, prime the engine if it sits
for extended periods of time. Reinstall the distributor in the same orientation as it was removed.
After the engine has been installed in the vehicle, recheck the oil level and add oil as required. It is also good practice
to always recheck the CMP offset after removal and reinstallation of the distributor. See step 4 or engine specifications
for the proper distributor information.
3. Safety first. If the vehicle is on the ground, be sure the emergency brake is set, the wheels are chocked and the car
cannot fall into gear. Verify everything is installed properly and nothing was missed.
4. Ignition timing is non adjustable on this engine. The high voltage switch (distributor) must be installed correctly for
proper camshaft position (CMP) retard offset or the service engine soon light will be illuminated and DTC P1345 will
be set in the powertrain control module. (see GM service information for details)
5. When possible, you should always allow the engine to warm up prior to driving. It is a good practice to allow the oil
sump and water temperature to reach 180°F before towing heavy loads or performing hard acceleration runs.
6. Once the engine is warm, verify correct camshaft position (CMP) retard offset using a scan tool.
7. The engine should be driven at varying loads and conditions for the first 30 miles or one hour without wide open throttle
(WOT) or sustained high RPM accelerations.
8. Run five or six medium throttle (50%) accelerations to about 4000 RPM and back to idle (0% throttle) in gear.
9. Run two or three hard throttle (WOT 100%) accelerations to about 4000 RPM and back to idle (0% throttle) in gear.
10. Change the oil and filter. Replace with 10w30 motor oil (non synthetic) and a PF25 AC Delco oil filter. Inspect the oil
and the oil filter for any foreign particles to ensure that the engine is functioning properly.
11. Drive the next 500 miles under normal conditions or 12 to 15 engine hours. Do not run the engine at its maximum
rated engine speed. Also, do not expose the engine to extended periods of high load.
12. Change the oil and filter. Again, inspect the oil and oil filter for any foreign particles to ensure that the engine is functioning
13. Do not use synthetic oil for break-in. It would be suitable to use synthetic motor oil after the second recommended oil
change and mileage accumulation. In colder regions, a lower viscosity oil may be required for better flow characteristics.
Regarding the oil recommendation, I intend to switch to Amsoil 5W30 at my upcoming third oil change.
Last edited by Tachyon; 07-12-2011 at 12:22 AM. Reason: addition
08-21-2012, 11:54 AM #10
Update - Added intake and exhaust systems.
The work on our old faithful '99 continues. The HT383E is a year old now and runs well but hasn't been able to breathe through the factory intake and exhaust systems so I've been addressing that as funds and time allow.
First, a few months ago, I installed a K&N cold air kit. This was a fairly straight forward install, though getting the stock system out was a pain.
The K&N system made a huge difference in the vehicle and noticeably improved power and performance. Plus, it sounds cool when you floor it. ;')
Just this week, I addressed the final piece of the puzzle, the exhaust system. I ordered a Magnaflow cat replacement and Y-Pipe as well as a Magnaflow cat back system. I found an awesome shop in our new hometown of Edmonton, Promax Performance ( http://www.promaxperformance.com/ ), and they not only got me a great price on the parts, but they did excellent work on the install.
The obvious question is, how does it all perform now? Well, I can't honestly say yet. I've only been able to drive around town in mostly stop and go traffic. Plus the computer is now in re-learn and I believe the cats will have a sort of break in period before they are at full efficiency. That said, seat of the pants feel is good and the sound of the Magnaflow system is awesome. It's just what I wanted. Not too loud or annoying during everyday driving, just a cool burbling tone. And when you get in it, it makes a sweet, deep toned muscle car sound. Nice.
I've added some pictures which I'll try to describe.
First a couple of pics of the old factory system which had seen better days.
The rest show the Magnaflow system and how nicely it fits in place of the factory system. It actually looks factory, except better. You can also see where the passenger side of the Y-pipe mates up to the JBA shorty headers which are wrapped.
You can also see a few pics that show how Promax Performance did an awesome job rerouting the O2 sensor harnesses to the new cat locations. They even added some heat shield to protect the cables. This was necessary because the Magnaflow cats both fit in the space where the factory front cat was located.
Last edited by Tachyon; 08-21-2012 at 12:02 PM. Reason: typos
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