Another v8 conversion

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Sep 5, 2005
Alright guys, I have been jerked around by this engine remanufacturing company for about a month and a half and they finally are giving us our money back. So now Im considering a v-8 conversion. So should I just go down to the local salvage yard and pick one out and put it in? Or should I go get one,have it rebuilt or serviced and then throw it in. Or lastly do some searching and find a crate engine? I dont know where to start, I have read many threads and this is the way I want to go. A little advice would be great guys. Thanks for all the info already.

Recent vintage TPI V8s are pretty easy to find in any wrecking yard. Older TBI motors are harder to find in decent shape these days.

I got myself a crate motor from GM ($1700 for a long block) and then gradually built it up with induction/exhaust etc. with it on a stand. This is a more expensive and time consuming approach than just getting a boneyard motor but I wanted a zero-time unit.

Figure out a budget (and then 50% more) and decide how you want to use the vehicle - this will help determine the specifics you'll need.
Depends on what you want. A junk motor is more of a risk, but you can bank the $ difference for a future rebuild. I found a yard that would guarantee the engine was good & got a '98 5.7 Vortec & 4L60E for $2,200 IIRC, delivered, complete w all accessories (incl. A/C compressor, alt, & computer). 2 cylinders didn't pass leak-down, so they sent another engine. That one is good. Both supposedly had about 40K mi. If you can read the computer you can theoretically get the total miles if you wanted to check it.

I had a good deal from a mechanic friend who offered to do a GM crate motor & aftermarket fuel injection, but I decided to go the vanilla route so any garage could work on it. Don't want to be 100 mi in & have it crap out on me. So far pretty happy. Should have insisted on GM ram's horn headers because the shorty Hedman tube headers seem to work loose awfully easy & I can't imagine they'll last as long as cast iron. Plus they're noiser (I like my exhaust noise in the back).
I GOT A 305 tpi from the junk yard and had it rebuilt and balanced. Same torque and twice the horsepower of the F2. bought the motor complete with all parts, exhaust manifolds and wiring harness.
Well I know it is mostly a dd, so number one it needs to be reliable. Secondly I do some light wheeling, nothing crazy, cruising through the woods in Ocala. Mostly sees dd though. Ummm what about getting a crate engine from a engine company? Iam a little hesitant though because this last company that I tried to use strung me on for almost 2 months now. So I want my truck back asap. here is one of the engines I was considering, what do you guys think? Again I know almost nothing about an engine so any help would be great. Thanks. Anthony
or here is another with less horsepower....
Keep in mind that the engines places like Summit sell are usually intended for hot rods and don't have the low-end grunt we like for off road. They're designed to use a carb also which is not desireable for off road. Also, those motors are not complete - you'll still have to find all the accessories like alternator, steering pump, air cleaner, etc.
Decide what engine type first, carbed, tpi or vortec. That is if using GM motors.
If you get a crate motor you have to find all of the junk to bolt on to it to make it work I think, and the wire harness and ecm.
Wait for a lets say a '97 Tahoe to hit the yard, grab everything back to the cats and you basicly have the perfect power plant to transplant.

I've been thinking about a v8 swap too. I was going to try a cummins but the money just isn't there. The 5.3L seems to be available commonly. Is this a feasable swap?

Are there any chevy forums that might be useful for learning more about swapping?

Thanks - Dave
good buys on drop-outs

New to this forum, joined for technical advise, not into 4 wheeling.
Bought a drop-out from a yard in North Carolina. 2007 Tahoe
5.3 with trans and all wiring, ecm, accesories and cats with 2018 miles on it. $2200 plus $350 shipping plus $40 for insurance.
New to this forum, joined for technical advise, not into 4 wheeling.
Bought a drop-out from a yard in North Carolina. 2007 Tahoe
5.3 with trans and all wiring, ecm, accesories and cats with 2018 miles on it. $2200 plus $350 shipping plus $40 for insurance.

do ya have their phone number, internet address?
yard with drop-outs

Robbins Auto Parts 800-726-0275
Mooresboro, NC 28076
Talk to Harold, he takes care of internet sales and is a stand up guy.
He told me about a week ago that they had quite a few in stock.
Tell him Steve from Little Rock, Arkansas sent you
I would suggest to just buy a crate motor. I spent alot more money then I had originally expect on having it bored, and checked for cracks only to discover one of the heads were cracked. So if i could go back I would get the crate. but good luck!
I got my tpi 350 out of a corvette with 38k on it and a warranty from a place in sacramento that has a person who deals solely with changeovers. it is called ranco chevy. their phone number is (800)722-6015 it was $1800 and included everything I needed
one thing to keep in mind if youre in a smog state and specifically if youre in california: the transmission is considered part of your smog control equipment. what that means is that your motor will have to have been approved for california smog use with the type of trans youre using: manual or automatic. in my case i swapped in a 92 throttle body injected 350 and had to go with the low output one (approx 205 HP) because thats the only one brought into cali with a manual trans (and i swapped in a toyota 5 speed). its kind of a tricky deal. if you go with a TPI motor maybe they were available with manuals in various forms. i am still kinda confused by the details but i do know i had only one choice of TBI motor for a manual transmission. i guess the best thing to do is to consult the BAR (or whoever, i forget) referee for info before you sink your $ into something. just a word of warning; unfortunately we cannot just do whatever we want in the california republic anymore.

but i recently had cruiser drew drive it a bit to tell me what he thought and even in this low power incarnation, he was pretty impressed.

when this motor goes (it was a zero miles crate motor) i will probably opt for TPI next time, that is if a TPI block can bolt in in place of the current one. im not well versed in the differences but im assuming they use the same block just different induction systems and computers etc.

one love
jah bill

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