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Debating change in engine swap plans

Discussion in 'GM Powertrain' started by SupplySgt, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. SupplySgt

    SupplySgt Rockstar 4 Years 500 Posts

    Ok, for those on here who talk to me or read my posts on a fairly regular basis, I'm planning an engine swap for my 93 Burb. The 350 TBI is just too much of a dog with too narrow of a power band for my tastes. I was originally planning to do a 383 Tuned Port swap. In terms of difficulty, the TPI isn't too bad. Biggest issue would be the higher pressure fuel pump. Everything else would be pretty straight forward.

    So while I was bored at work the other night I got a wild idea of swapping in a 6.0L drivetrain from a newer truck (since at that point I wouldn't be able to use my existing transmission). The more I think about it, the more appealing it sounds. It would be more expensive, I'd have to wait longer to do it, and I'd have to push my next project a little farther into the future, but there would be a lot more upward potential than with the TPI motor. The 383 would probably have more power out of the box due to the plans for how I'm going to build it, but again, not as much potential beyond that.

    Figured I'd gather some input from the guys on here and just see what everyone's thoughts are on the subject.
  2. rileyjr16

    rileyjr16 Rockstar 3 Years 1000 Posts

    I was gonna say 383 and a supercharger but the 6.0 idea sounds much better
  3. RallySTX

    RallySTX Member 100 Posts

    Do you have a line on a 6.0 donor rig with all the parts, ECM? That's a half ton 2WD, why not hunt down a 95 TBI 454 RV motor. Shave the block and heads to add compression and stick the largest throttle body you can find on it. I would just swap in a carbed 454, or a 6.5 TD, but that's me. That's my answer if power is the issue.
    Brian L.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  4. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    The 7.4 motor idea sounds better, the 6.0 engines are seriously thirsty and dont return much more HP for the extra fuel used.
    My buddy had a 6.0 powered Suburban back when I had my 7.4 powered Suburban, the only place he could beat me was off the line, on hills, on the highway, even at the gas pump I was doing better than him, and yes we both had the same gearing and trans.
    We put a lot of parts on his engine trying to get better MPG and performance and it just wasnt happening, you just cant beat the old tried and true 454.
  5. SupplySgt

    SupplySgt Rockstar 4 Years 500 Posts

    No carbed motors period. I'm staying EFI. With it being my DD (especially during the winter months), it needs to fire right up when it's cold outside. I also need it to pass emissions unfortunately. I'm used to the TPIs as I've had them before and know how to tweak them. Like I said initially, the TPI would have more power when I drop it in because of the way I'm going to build the motor. But I wouldn't have that much more upward potential if I later decided to do more with it. I don't see that much of an aftermarket for the EFI 454s either to be honest. If I was going EFI big block, I'd skip the 454 and go with the 8100 (another motor I'm pretty familiar with).
  6. RallySTX

    RallySTX Member 100 Posts

    You must have had some louse carbed engines for cold starting to be any issue in TN. You say there's not much aftermarket for the EFI 454? What would you need? The newer 8.1 will need all of it's smog stuff to function in order to pass emmissions testing. Not sure about TN smog rules, but Fed rules say no motors larger than stock are allowed, so unless they offered it the 8.1 is out, unless you think you can make it look like a 454 to them. Either way that subs gonna be haulin the mail soon. Can't wait to see this one done. Good luck!
    Brian L.
  7. SupplySgt

    SupplySgt Rockstar 4 Years 500 Posts

    I wasn't actually planning on the 8100. I'm choosing between the Tuned Port 383 and the more modern 6.0L. I was just saying IF I was going big block I'd do it that way. That would be fun though.

    I do know I'll need all the smog equipment with whatever I do (although I can get away without the air pump on the TPI as long as I can pass the sniffer which I've never had any problem with my previous TPIs). I'll have to see how they'd handle testing a more modern OBD II engine in an OBD I vehicle though. They don't look under the hood here anyway, not to mention most of the workers ive seen there don't know what they're looking at except to see if the cat is still there, even on a stock motor.

    Either way, a locker is in my future as I don't see it hooking with either motor in my one wheel wonder LOL.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  8. RallySTX

    RallySTX Member 100 Posts

    You're lucky Sarge! When I lived in Cali, we HATED the smog guys! You couldn't get a fart past them back then, and the cost was rediculous. It was cheaper to drive uninsured and illegal, so a lot of folks did just that. I had a bicycle, so I had it easy. I guess I would look at the costs and availability of the parts to complete each swap, and go the easiest way round it. I like doing some engine work, so it gives me the best power it can, before I ask for outside parts for help. I'm lucky ther, as I have a machine shop with lots of skill working on motors close by. They aint cheap, but they're good! Having familiarity with certain styles of design is a great advantage. I envy your knowledge that way. I'm old school, I absolutly hate car computers. I've watched my friend drive himself NUTS trying to fix a OBD1 cars troubles, for one customer after another. That's why I like the old 6.2, it's slow and weak, but it runs. I'll help any way I can, best of luck, whatever you do.
    Brian L.
  9. SupplySgt

    SupplySgt Rockstar 4 Years 500 Posts

    When I first started working on cars, it was out of necessity as I couldn't afford labor costs of taking it to the shop. So I started off working on OBDII vehicles since that's what I had. Once I got into the hobby I started working my way back. First non-OBDII vehicle I did any serious work on was the 87 IROC that I used to have. I had actually never worked on a carbureted motor until I got my 73 Camaro. I'll probably start looking at prices for the drivetrain when I have some free time (probably on my one night off this week). If I get the team lead position that I just put in for at work, I'll probably lean even heavier towards the 6.0 since I'll be making 5 bucks an hour more and have even more money to throw at it. We'll see though. I've heard Cali is bad about that stuff too btw. That sucks.
  10. 08_rado_rocker

    08_rado_rocker Member 2 Years 500 Posts

    Howdy sarge! Been a while since I got on and surfed (sorry cell service = no mobile net for this guy at work haha) the thread.. but I vaguely remember talk of the subject. IMO: doing a more modern 6.0 swap would be the way to go if price/difficulty/MPG are of no issue. Once you get tired of the usual bolt-on upgrades.... well there are always options, plus with computers you can use things like EFI Live to tune em and all that good stuff. I don't have much experience with TPI motors really, but I have lots of experience with the 383 carb'd. It's an amazing motor and I don't know how you're planning to build it as far as internally goes for HP, but while modern advances in engine technology have done amazing things.. it's still the same and can squeeze power out of em just the same as goin old school. We are in the "It started, but won't time... s***.. wrong cam gear.. my bad!" phase of putting a 6.0 bored to 6.2, shaved, ported, Texas Speed 228R cam'd up, GMP ls3 heads/exhaust, OE lq9 manifold, 10.9:1 CR pistons (plus a few more things) into my buddies 5.3 Colorado. Once it's out of the break-in period we're gonna see how it goes on a local dyno (assuming the 4l60 doesn't explode before we can haha)... and I'll be basing my build upon results.

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