Originally Posted by 79monster
I recently aquired a 94 suburban that is cherry but gutless, I wanna throw a cam in the 350 to wake it up a little to justify the already bad fuel mileage, Engine is stock everything w/ fuel inection, not lookin to race since im on airbags but want the xtra power when i need it. any cam suggestions ?? new springs mandatory ? new timing chain while im in the area ?
California requires that you qualify for emissions and does not permit changes from the fuel injection and emission equipment you have unless you put more modern and stringent equipment in the truck that is functional and engineering design compliant with the law.
The 94 engine is an OBD I, TBI system it can be hopped up and remain emissions compliant but not by much without a lot of money. You must use components that have a California Air Resources Board (CARB) certification or Exemption Order (EO) The EO doesn't mean what it seems to mean, it means the parts have been tested and meet the OEM emissions requirements and standards for the year of the vehicle. It doesn't mean you get an exemption from emissions testing. This engine also suffers from having Swirl Port heads, they top out around 4000 RPM, you may not use Vortec heads under California Law as they do not have an EO.
Edlebrock sells a cam for this engine it is 3702, it does a good job of waking this motor up and usually doesn't upset the emissions to a point of failing the test. But given the age of this truck, it may be nearing it's limit already, so you'll need to determine how much space you've got between what it tests now and what the legal maximums are. the cam will eat into that space. Not so bad on engines in good shape with a new cat converter, to really bad on tired engines and converters. Failing an emissions test in California is a big deal, they will refuse plates till it's fixed.
There are many other things you can do to pump this engine up to some really impressive numbers, but these things are not cheap to do as you still have to get past emissions which means the engine needs to be spot on. But better heads, better pistons, bigger TBI, headers, something that looks like duals but legally isn't, custom computer chip can be done and pass emissions but you've got to bring a lot of money and/or have a lot of talent. By the way, no a later model computer, it is completely different starting in 96 these are what's known as OBD II systems. They are not backward compatible unless you bring everything as in the engine, transmission and all their systems from the 96 and later vehicle, then you get to go to a technical referee before you get to the test which you still have to pass.
Remember if you have so much as the Check Engine light illuminated, you don't even get to first base. They won't even talk to you.