1990 Burban MORE POWER!!!!

Discussion in 'Performance & Fuel' started by HankTheTank, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. HankTheTank

    HankTheTank New Member

    I have a 1990 ChevSuburban 2WD w/only 71k miles on it. My title speaks for me... I want more power. Would you recommend keeping my current engine and modifying it, or buying a brand new crate engine? if you think it'd be best to modify, let me know what parts you recommend, where i can buy them, and possible pricing..

    thanks guys,
  2. zippy

    zippy Rockstar 100 Posts

    Hi, Hank...
    This question comes up time after time. Your engine has too few miles to consider replacement. In your situation, the consensus seems to be: For starters, an easily bolt-on combination of a cold air intake kit, free flowing exhaust and a computer chip. These three items work together to make a nice HP up grade.
    If that's not enough you might want to consider a top end kit like Edelbrock's Power Pack. It's emissions legal and includes: Aluminum heads, cam kit, TBI intake manifold, gaskets and a computer upgrade. Want more?... consider up-grading the top-end kit from TBI to MPI. For prices see Summit or Jegs.
    Happy 'Burbin'
  3. Pete95Sierra

    Pete95Sierra Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    im guessing you have the SB 350 motor? i had the same in my 95 sierra. i got pretty good and cheap performance gains out of these things:

    MSD blaster coil - $50
    Taylor wires - $60
    K&N intake - $200
    Flowtech headers - 205
    edelbrock exhaust - 300
    bosch P4 plugs - 30

    i have heard that the chips are pretty much worthless for those model 350's so i wouldnt waste my money. zipy i right about the edelbrock top end kit tho. it runs about 1800 bucks and comes with intake manifold, new heads, and cam and will give you a great power increase. here is the link

  4. zippy

    zippy Rockstar 100 Posts

    Hi Pete,
    I beg to differ... the first mod to my old 5.7 'Burb was a Hypertech piggy-back chip, when it was brand new. I don't know about other folks, but there was a significant difference -- more power and MPG (on "reg" gas). Since then I've gone with headers, exhaust and ignition up grades. Runs great, 20-MPG, and it passes Calif emissions tests. Z
  5. HankTheTank

    HankTheTank New Member

    Thanks guys for your help. I've heard alot of good stuff about BoschP4 plugs and am saving my pennies to buy some. lol And Im definitly going to look into that Edelbrock kit, sounds like a good investment.

    Zippy, I noticed you put new headers on your's, what would you recommend for mine? And how much did that piggyback chip run ya?

  6. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy All hail the Mad King!! Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Zippy, I'm not 100% sure on what year your previous burb was (I'm guessing a 93 from your sig), but the 90 and 91 Suburbans really don't have much of a computer. I'm not saying one won't see gains from the chip, but I personally think you won't see any significant changes until other things are changed first. They're TBI motors, so the computer's not much more than a glorified carb circuit. That said, once I rebuild my motor on my 91 burb I'm going to do the obvious cam and heads, and a serious of bolt-ons to try to get a litte more power when needed and MPG the rest of the time.
  7. zippy

    zippy Rockstar 100 Posts

    I've been running headers since the early 70's and always found them to give noticeable extra power. But, needless to say, the CARB approved shorties don't make as big a difference on a 350 as the long tubes do on a pre-smog 454. In addition to improved exhaust flow, headers are different from cast manifolds in several respects:
    • You may notice more noise in the passenger compartment. It's more in smaller cars where you were closer to the old "quieter" manifolds, so the new headers are louder. I mean noise coming thru the firewall and floor, not the exhaust noise. It's not that bad in a full size truck where the exhaust isn't tight.
    • Headers are notorious for leaking. Some of it's a bad rap because of poor installation. The newer ones have thicker flanges that are more stable than the old school ones. Of course, the thicker flanges make them heaver. Something that's not mentioned much (outside of race circles) is the weight savings with headers -- it's significant. Don't cheap out on your header bolts, use premium gaskets and you probably won't have any trouble. The installation instructions will tell you to re-tighten the bolts after a while -- do it.
    • Headers are not diamonds and they're not forever. Like other exhaust pipes, they will eventually burn thru. I highly recommend that you take advantage of the ceramic coatings available these days. The will extend the life of you headers, control heat (see below), and the look much better than burned paint and rust.
    • Headers run hotter than manifolds. It's simple thermodynamics... they're thinner and have a larger surface area than manifolds, so they conduct more heat into the engine compartment. This can significantly warm a poorly vented under hood area. (Another reason for the ceramic coating.) To be considered in a hi-po V8 car but not a problem with a small block full-size truck.
    • Emissions control. In the old days there were stories of header exhausts that would loose so much heat before before the cat, that the it wouldn't get hot enough to perform correctly. I haven't heard that story for a long time. These days your main concern is that your headers support all the sensors and fittings as the OE manifolds.
    You'll probably get a set of C.A.R.B. approved shorties. These are 50-state legal and bolt up to your existing head pipes. With this type of header there isn't much selection compared to off road full length headers. Some of the better shorties have their tubes more equal in length. This requires more tubing and bending, so, naturally, they cost more.

    Yikes, I got the chip so long ago, I don't recall exactly what I paid -- somewhere between $100 and $150. At the time, we got the numbers wrong, so I got the 49-states legal not the Calif unit. But, I've never been questioned about the chip when I get smogged. Summit has it for $130.
  8. zippy

    zippy Rockstar 100 Posts

    Thanks for the heads-up, I was misinformed, I thought the only difference in the '93 C1500 computers was to accommodate the electronics of the new 4L60E tranny, but the TBI engine management was essentially identical.
  9. Pete95Sierra

    Pete95Sierra Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    so did hypertech make a chip pre-93? i havnt heard of them making chips for any of the TBI motors cuz i would have bought one for my GMC lol. i just havnt heard that the Jet and Venom (i think thats the brands) were not very good and not worth the money
  10. zippy

    zippy Rockstar 100 Posts

    Check out Summit, it's a 1990 specific Hypertech and should be fine for HankTheTank's Burb.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2008

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