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Old 11-29-2010, 12:04 PM
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Computer chip for 96 5.7 Vortec performance crate engine

I am looking at buying a crate engine with mild performance upgrades. It is for my 96 Chevy Express 1500 5.7 vortec conversion van. I was planning on building an engine for it but it seems it will cost about the same to just go ahead and get a crate engine. My question is: What crate engine companies do you think are good? I'm not looking to break the bank either!! The only catch that I keep finding is that the performance crate engines I find say not intended for fuel injected applications? Does anybody have a recommendation for a chip that may help or know of a tuner in PA that I can take it to to have it matched to the new engine. I am mainly using it for family use but when we travel we haul alot!!!! So a little more pulling power would be nice. Thanks,
Chuck
PS I found this engine that sounds nice but would require a computer upgrade http://www.high-performance-engines....duct_Code=HP32

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Old 11-29-2010, 02:04 PM
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Yes... hands down the best and most affordable is Bryan Herter at www.pcmforless.com

Good guy. He's in Indiana, PA.
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:07 PM
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If you're looking for an engine and it says "not compatible with EFI" then you can assume that it also means "not worth a darn for towing."

Heavy van, towing, and EFI means smooth idle and mild cam.
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Old 11-29-2010, 06:21 PM
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Hey Curtis73 you are the second person to recommend them! Thanks. I am waiting to hear back from them. I also was told by a number of retailers to use this engine http://www.jegs.com/i/GM+Performance...30282/10002/-1 jegs prices are better than summits for this engine. What do you think? Again, I am not looking for something wild, just a little extra!
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Old 11-29-2010, 11:17 PM
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Check out the ht383 from gm performance parts it seems geared up your alley
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Old 11-30-2010, 07:13 AM
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I would love to do a stroker!!! Will my computer be able to adapt to it with a tune? Do you think my fuel injection will handle it without going to enlarged injectors?
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:38 AM
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Within your power range, stock injectors should do the trick. You'll probably want to go with an aftermarket pressure regulator. The stock injectors are not the greatest, but they'll take a touch more pressure. Then with programming you can extend the pulsewidth to deliver more fuel. I've personally not done a lot with vortec "spider" injectors but I've heard reports that 325 hp is about your limit.

That engine you link to is a great assembly. You can probably do a bit better on price if you go remanufactured. Check with a local reman shop - often times you can get a reman vortec longblock for $1200 and its "just as good" as a new one from GM. That will also let you spec out your own cam without additional cost. The cam listed on the link you posted is basically a copy of the LT1/Vortec cam. With a stock compression of 9.4 or 9.5:1 and the efficient vortec heads you can do a bit more cam and still keep your towing torque. Keep your intake duration in the 210-218 range, the exhaust duration in the 215-225 range, and the LSA around 112-113. Bryan at PCMforless can also advise you concerning what he can accomplish with stock injectors and smog laws. He programmed a 96 LT1 for me that passed CA sniffers with 425 hp and a much lumpier cam, so he's pretty good

If you find a cam that suits your needs but has too much lift, its not too much skin off your back to upgrade. The expensive way to do it is with machine work. The cheap (and perfectly viable) way to do it is by purchasing a spring/retainer kit that is designed to let Vortecs lift up to .550". I ran those on a 383 and was very happy. The Vortecs have great mid and high-lift flow, so they respond to increased lift quite nicely. It will broaden your torque curve, add a couple hp, and won't have any penalties to drivability.

One more note on the 350/383 debate... these days it costs about the same to buy a new 350 crank as it does a 383 crank. Of course the cheapest way is to just polish and reuse the crank you have, but there really isn't much increased cost to have a 383 built. The benefit is (for the same cam choice) you'll have more torque, have it at a lower RPM, and still make the same HP. I would say that is a something you'll have to discuss with the builder and weigh it against your cost.

... but if you're thinking about a $2200 purchase anyway, $2200 will build a killer stump puller 383

Last edited by curtis73; 11-30-2010 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:57 AM
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Thanks Curtis73!!! I have seen aftermarket spider assy. with actual injectors mounted to the ends that may help. I have sent pcmforless a couple of emails and am still waiting to hear back. I started another thread that better described what I want to do. I thought this thread title was long winded. Thank you for all of your thoughts and insights.
Chuck
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Old 11-30-2010, 12:04 PM
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Sure thing, man.

I added a little to that above post, not sure when you saw it. PCMforless is basically Bryan, his receptionist and one other guy. They do this on the side, so don't expect a quick reply but he'll get back to you eventually.

Its worth the wait.
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Old 11-30-2010, 12:12 PM
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Bryan Just replied and said that It will not be a problem for him to modify my computer for whichever build I decide on. He said that the factort spider will max it out to around 330hp.
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Old 11-30-2010, 03:53 PM
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I am so out of the loop on this engine and what work it requires to get it built? I see that Machining the block cost around $800 Scat sells a complete rotating assy 383 stroker for $794 unbalanced. That's $1600 and just the bottom end. Now you need a cam, lifters, rocker arms new springs and retainers and oh yeah, the head needs machining to make room for all of it, now you need a gasket kit too. I don't want to break the bank and I was hoping to spend under $2600 shipped. I am willing to build a engine if it is cost effective but so far it seems that rebuilds or crate engines are cheaper. I am willing to travel to pick up a built engine from a known good shop if that's an option.
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:21 AM
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I have seen a ported Vortec head 383 with teh LT4 hotcam dyno at 330rwhp/381 rwtq (roughly 390-400 crank hp)enough to propel a 2wd ecab shortbox truck to a 13.6@98.8 mph with a 1.8 short time.

the stock poppets are rated at 23.1 pph at the stock 63 psi.

I also agree with PCMfor Less, they did a nice Vortec 350 tune that pushed 254rwhp from a stock Vortec 350, stock cam/exhaust and LT headers. Ask for teh Pat Gish tune.

peace
Hog
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:39 PM
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Pcmforless said that the stock injectors are 19#. I am looking to keep the price fairly low. I keep going back and forth on buying a crate engine or building it myself? The main thing weighing on me doing it myself is the cam and modifying the head for new springs, and the extra lift. I would like to get a mild performance cam but it scares me bc of how tight the tolorences are.

Building the bottom end with a scat 383 rotating assy and machine work is ball park $1600. Not to mention cam and head work to make it all work. Such a tough decision
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