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Old 06-11-2013, 03:40 PM
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2.8L Chevy Motor better than a 4.3L ???

Hi All,

I just picked up a 1991 Chevy S10 auto 4.3L 2wd pickup, longbed. I have been researching on mods and what people have done..Is it true the 4.3l in this year period was based off of the 350ci?

Looking to get some more horsepower and torque any recommendations from anyone that has this truck or something similar?

Some people are stating that a 2.8l motor is better than the 4.3l?

They have out there stroker kits for the 2.8l, but just looking for any ideas to get some more pop.

Thanks for all the help !!!

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Old 06-11-2013, 05:38 PM
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4.3 has very little in the way of high performance cylinder heads
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:57 PM
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I don't know where you saw that a 2.8 is better than a 4.3.
4.3 is a vastly superior engine than a 2.8. Around here we used to call 2.8 "Convertors" they convert air and fuel into noise. Thank god most of them have gone to that great rust bucket in the sky..

2.8 would also require a different trans to use in your S truck.

4.3's can be built up for more power with select pieces. After all they were based on a 350 small block. Pistons, cams, exhaust and throttle body mods plus a properly burned chip. Will make a powerful package.
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:33 PM
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2.8L was a pile of garbage that GM did perfect on later.. Some of the late 2.8's were decent but nothing that came in the S truck. 2.8L 3.1 and 3.4's are all in the same 60* V6 engine family.. The 4.3 is based off of the 350 so if you want an upgrade, a SBC swap is pretty straight forward. Can even keep the TBI system if you want.
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:25 AM
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2.8L early on had some oiling issues. My dad had a (sigh) Citation X-11. yeah; I know. I also had a late 80s S10 Blazer Tahoe pkg that had the 2.8, 5spd and 4wd. Both had oiling issues. Now THAT being said, the 60 degree V6 family does lend itself quite well to swapping into small sports cars, once you address its oiling issues. In fact, its one of the favorite motors to swap into Sunbeam Alpine's compared to the 289 used in Tiger's. The 289 conversion requires some steering and suspension geometry mods, while the 2.8/3.1 is almost a straight drop in, is lighter and easier on the brakes for SCCA road racing etc.

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Old 06-12-2013, 08:39 AM
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the 2.8 with a head swap off a later 3100 or 3400 engine , and a cam swap will make around 300hp n/a

witht he stock heads the 2.8 needs a turbo charger to make any real power , but with a 60mm sized turbo and around 12 psi of boost it will make 350+ hp and boat loads of tq ( mine on the dyno made 270rwhp and 370 rwtq @ 9 psi the first time we dynoed , after fixing the ignition system it made 350rwhp and 432rwtq @ 9 psi)

if u keep the original heads and port them u will be lucky to see 200 hp n/a


its the very original 2.8s ( carbed versions) that have the oiling and crank breaking issues , they also come with heads that have smaller valves and crappy ports

3.1 is a stroked 2.8
3.4 is a bored n stroked 2.8, though a 2.8/3.1 block cannot be safley bored to 3.4L the 3.4 uses a different block
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:46 AM
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This is just my "opinion" but I wouldn't screw around with the 4.3 OR a 2.8. Swapping to a 350 is a simple job, it has been done thousands of times, and the "power level" is what you want it to be...
Mark
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSP079 View Post
Hi All,

I just picked up a 1991 Chevy S10 auto 4.3L 2wd pickup, longbed. I have been researching on mods and what people have done..Is it true the 4.3l in this year period was based off of the 350ci?

Looking to get some more horsepower and torque any recommendations from anyone that has this truck or something similar?

Some people are stating that a 2.8l motor is better than the 4.3l?

They have out there stroker kits for the 2.8l, but just looking for any ideas to get some more pop.

Thanks for all the help !!!
The 4.3 is a design out growth of the 350 V8. It is a pretty sturdy piece and is the base engine in full size pickups of that year. A chassis with the 4.3 is pretty easy to convert to the 350 V8 which is a very popular swap.

The 2.8 is a very strange engine right down to having heads and intake that looks like the design was stolen from the Ford FE/FT V8's. It was meant as a "performance" option for low end passenger cars but found its way into the S10/S15 as a step up from the Iron Duke inline 4, of which it is debatable whether the 2.8 offers any improvement over the 2.5 inline.

Bogie
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:23 AM
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Get a running Vortec 350 with engine harness and transmission from a pickup truck; dunk it in; done.
Or get a 5.3 LS V8 with trans and harnesses....same story.
Hell, get an LT1 350 and 4L60/700r4.

The only 4.3s in a truck worth a hoot for serious performance, are the Syclone Typhoon turbo 4.3s. But probably for the money for that you could do a 5.3 swap and have money left to burn.

There are a LOT of running changes to the 4.3s over the years, and if you try to mix and match parts, unless your engine shop has a LOT of experience, you're gonna get burned somewhere on accident
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:23 PM
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"There are a LOT of running changes to the 4.3s over the years, and if you try to mix and match parts, unless your engine shop has a LOT of experience, you're gonna get burned somewhere on accident "

How true. I get a lot of guys that just can't understand all the 4.3 changes after 95.. Different swaps can get you into deep doooo.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Project89 View Post
the 2.8 with a head swap off a later 3100 or 3400 engine , and a cam swap will make around 300hp n/a
I know you know your 60* V6s, so don't take this is as me calling you out, but 300hp is a pretty steep number from only 170 something cubes, naturally aspirated. I would imagine this 300hp at the crank would be made pretty at a relatively high rpm? What's the gearing and streetability like in something as heavy as a 3rd gen?
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:51 PM
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I have a 1992 Chevy Silverado standard cab step side and under the hood is the 4.3 V6.
In 2007 I yanked it out and decided it was rebuild time.
Since then I made some changes, but this is how it sits now.
Block bored .030 decked .010
Bottom end balanced to 36 percent.
Speed Pro hyper coated skirt flat top pistons.
Hastings standard cast iron rings.
.030 Dana head gaskets. .043 quench distance.
1998 140 casting Vortec cylinder heads with ARP adapter screw in studs to convert it to adjustable valve train. Isky springs, locks and retainers that match my cam. Ferrea necked down 1.94 intake 1.50 exhaust valves with 30 degree back cut. (port, pocket and combustion chambers of these heads are identical to the L31 350 Vortec head. These heads have the same straight up 8 bolt mounting pattern.)
Milodon double roller timing set.
Isky hydraulic roller cam with .204 .209 duration @.050
Crane roller lifters.
Comp Cams Magnum pushrods.
GM marine Vortec single plane intake with divider plate.
HEI distributor from a 1985 Astro Van set up with flame thrower coil
and module plus recurved mechanical timing.
Summit racing spiral core spark plug wires.
Street Demon 625cfm 4 barrel.
6 inch Velocity stack air cleaner with 8x4 K and N element.
Dual exhaust into turbo mufflers.
5 Speed tranny with ram clutch.
3.42 rear gears with posi traction.
It runs good with very strong torque. It gets excellant fuel economy.
Most believe it's a 350 until I tell them it's a 4.3.
Being the 4.3 has a somewhat light bottom end it tachs fast
as lightning so you go through the gears rather fast.
Would I build another one of these? No, why? Because I could have spent less on a small block and made more power. However I left the 4.3 in my truck as that's what it came with plus I was keeping a eye on the cost of fuel which I knew there was no chance of the price going down so sticking with the V6 I felt was the better option from a economical stand point since it's a daily driver.
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valkyrie5.7 View Post
I know you know your 60* V6s, so don't take this is as me calling you out, but 300hp is a pretty steep number from only 170 something cubes, naturally aspirated. I would imagine this 300hp at the crank would be made pretty at a relatively high rpm? What's the gearing and streetability like in something as heavy as a 3rd gen?
sorry didnt relize there was a reply directed at me, most guys are running a 3:73 or 4:10 gear with the overdrive trans.

most of these guys daily drive these cars with no complaints on streetability , yes peak power is made at around 5,500-6k rpms with realy good midrange power , even the low end makes good power its a 160hp jump from stock

for the best streetability and best all around power i useually recomend using either the iron heads or do the top endd swap and go turbocharged

a 2.8/3.1 will make over 350hp and 450+ ftlbs with nothing more then some home ported/cleaned up heads , a 105$ camshaft/lifters from delta cams and a homemade turbo kit

if u check out the budget turbo camaro build in the members section u will see my friends rs and can follow his build , his 1,000 investment took his car from a mid 17second car to a 12 second car . granted he has more in it now but thats around the minimum cost to diy
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:02 PM
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heres my dyno sheet from my lowest power pull
we had timing locked to 8-10* engine wouldnt rev up over 5,200 the sharp drop at the end of the pull is from letting out while dyno was still recording

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Old 06-15-2013, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Project89 View Post
sorry didnt relize there was a reply directed at me, most guys are running a 3:73 or 4:10 gear with the overdrive trans.

most of these guys daily drive these cars with no complaints on streetability , yes peak power is made at around 5,500-6k rpms with realy good midrange power , even the low end makes good power its a 160hp jump from stock

for the best streetability and best all around power i useually recomend using either the iron heads or do the top endd swap and go turbocharged

a 2.8/3.1 will make over 350hp and 450+ ftlbs with nothing more then some home ported/cleaned up heads , a 105$ camshaft/lifters from delta cams and a homemade turbo kit

if u check out the budget turbo camaro build in the members section u will see my friends rs and can follow his build , his 1,000 investment took his car from a mid 17second car to a 12 second car . granted he has more in it now but thats around the minimum cost to diy
Thanks for the reply and no worries on it being late. 4.10s and peak power at 6k really isn't that bad. If you'll permit me to pick your brain a little more , how long can the stock bottom end take such abuse? The only 2.8L I've ever owned was in a Fiero 2M6 and although it was light and had a manual, it was still pretty underwhelming. 140hp or something. Though I am aware the fiero's 2.8L is part of the FWD family and not the RWD family.
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