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Old 09-24-2006, 09:16 PM
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Headers & torque converter Questions

I'm getting ready to put the new 350 in my 87 Suburban 4X4 (it has a factory tow package with factory quad shocks and a factory tranny cooler and a factory receiver hitch ect. ) my plan is to put 3/4ton springs on it (new springs in the front and adding leafs to the rear) a new stall torque converter, shift kit and a set hedman headers and true dual exhaust, Ooh and Yup theres a budget, a buddie that has had 1/2 & 3/4ton Suburbans since the mid 80s for tow rigs & hunting rigs. said go with hedman coated headers cause they fit good and last. mine too will be tow rig & hunting rig, I know coated headers are best, butt is non coated headers that a bad of a Idea ? theres is no emission testing here in no where central Nebraska so can I ditch the catalytic converter ? will the 02 sensor work correctly with out the extra back pressure of the catalytic converter ? will I have a check engine light on if I run No catalytic converter ? a muffler/exhaust shop will put the exhaust system on from headers back. what RPM stall torque converter would you recommend ? what spline input do I need ? the Suburban has a 700R4 I think, what about the lock up ? or what I've read is about electronic lock up ? witch I don't have correct ? what all do I need to know when picking a converter for a 1987 4x4 Suburban ? I'm not sure of what rear end gears I have, stock I'm Guessing.

I've prob left some info out



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Mustangsaly

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Old 09-25-2006, 09:31 AM
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just a little help








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Old 09-25-2006, 11:47 AM
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Mustangsaly,

I don't like to see Threads that aren't answered, so I will give what little help I can. Are you concerned at all with ride quality? Those 3/4 ton springs are going to definitely stiffen up the ride, so be warned. Do you have a large Cam in this 350 (that would explain the Stall Converter)-if so, how big, how much Compression (cranking and dynamic). Don't know which part of nebraskas you are from , if you off-road, drive in Winter and such, but if I were in say, North Platte, didn't drive in the Winter, or Off-Road, non-coated Headers would work (although they will have a shorter life due to the Combustion Process (heat/cold).

The Catalytic Converter issue as I understand it could be a hefty fine to pay, so I would consider running them (what about 2?). Unless you go with a large Stall (again, should be tailored to the engine-talk to the Converter Manufacturer). I agree, I think you have a 700R4-
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Old 09-25-2006, 02:26 PM
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yeah I've thought about the rough ride with 3/4ton springs, I'm after just a little more lift/height. (poor mans lift kit, and I'm only after a couple inch's or what ever) but it will be mostly off road fun and winter hunting and towing a car trailer. just a stock TBI 350 with with headers and dual exhaust (and I've thought of running two catalytic converters, but I would really like to get away from the catalytic converter all together, just not sure if the 02sensor needs the back pressure to operate properly or not ). theres is no emission testing here and a lot of vehicles not running catalytic converters. I just don't want the 02 sensor and the fuel injection not to work correcty, and I don't want the check engine light on. when its up and running I will have the shift kit installed (I'm not pulling the tranny or I would do it all during engine swap) I was thinking the stall converter might help with the shift kit and the off roading. and yes I will be off roading and driving in the winter. (I'm a hour east of north platte) am I off base even wanting a bigger stall converter ?





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Old 09-25-2006, 02:51 PM
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I put the crane RV rated cam in a 350 backed with the B&M RV converter. The tranny was also built street/RV. I had Black Jack aluma coated headers, duals, performer intake, 780 vacuum holley and accel ignition parts with a msd 6.

This was in a 77 3/4 ton long bed 2wd with 4.10 gears and 31inch tall tires.

I put 800 lbs of weight in the bed and 5600 lbs of trailer and race car behind it. I knew the trailer was there cuz I could see it in the mirrors and the vacuum gauge was a bit lower.

When you step on the gas slightly, the converter slips 300 rpm and you can feel things begining to pick up. Before overpasses almost needed passing gear. with the mods, and that wonderful converter, a slight push on the go pedal and everything floated over the same overpasses.

BTW, I put the cam in 4* up to make better low end.

I found the RV converter was just fine for all types of driving. It stay unlocked up to about 2k but pushing the pedal lets it loose and you can feel that torque come on.

Instead of heavier springs, you might look at Monroe's sensatrac shocks with coil overs. I have them on my daily and they improved weight dist. with a load and now I can hear the expansion joints instead of hear and feel them.
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Old 09-25-2006, 03:11 PM
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No, the 02 sensor doesn't need back pressure to work. It needs to be hot, so the closer to the engine the better.

A low rpm torque engine (like the one you have), needs a stock, low rpm converter, especially if you are going to tow anything. A high stall converter will make huge amounts of heat and cook your transmission. Just pulling around that heavy truck of yours could be considered towing. hahahaha.

I had a 2000 stall in my 1/2 ton truck and towing made it stalled at 2800 to 3000 (when pulling a 5000 lb trailer). The transmission got real hot! So, I installed a Hughes 1500 rpm towing converter and I love it.

Use the stock torque converter, it is perfect for you. Put on a good exhaust system (yes, coated headers) and aluminized 2.25" or 2.5" pipe with Dynomax Super Turbo mufflers and a X or H pipe. Get a set of headers build for torque. I like Doug Thorely Tri-Y's but they are kind of pricey. Anything is better than the stock manifolds.

A shift kit is a good idea.

If later now you need more power, get for a set of aftermarket heads. Again try to make torque. A 4x4 needs torque not hp. That means small intake runners (less than 170). Or at least have your current heads lightly ported around the valves by a knowledgeable engine builder. Then maybe a little more cam. Again, you need a cam for torque. That means 202 to 204 intake duration and 208 to 210 exhaust duration. Then consider upgrading the intake and efi system to a holley or edelbrock tpi system. Even with all these upgrades, you still wouldn't need a higher stall converter.
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Old 09-25-2006, 04:04 PM
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so if ditching the catalytic converter won't make my check engine light come on, I will install a good set of coated headers and a cross over pipe or X pipe or Y pipe, (I was planning on some type of cross over pipe) and install a shift kit and run the stock torque converter. (what RPM is a stock torque converter ? is the stock torque converter close to the 1500 RPM RV torque converter ?) I would like to put a RV Cam in but the 87 computers can't be chipped (from what I understand) and never got a real answer on having the computer re-burned to match a aftermarket cam. but at this stage a aftermarket cam is not in the cards. upgrading the intake and efi system to a holley or edelbrock tpi system would be Great, but not gona happen this round. I'm looking at headers exhaust and a shift kit. and if a stall converter is a bad idea its out, thats why I ask 1st. yup Just pulling around that heavy truck of yours could be considered towing.






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Old 09-26-2006, 09:05 AM
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Yes, the stock converter is around 1500 rpms. Towing converters are built a little stronger than stock. But I don't think you need to worry about that just yet.

For the first round, headers, exhaust, and a shift kit should make some good gains. How does the transmission shift now? Do you really need a quicker shift?

If you are low on funds, then pulling the cylinder heads and doing a little home bowl smoothing job could be worth 20 to 30 hp with out changing any parts. However, you will need a valve job after-wards and the work and skills required to pull off the heads, disassemble, bowl smooth, and re-install the heads is not for a novice and will take 4 or 5 days of down time. Have you changed a head gasket on a sbc with the engine in the car before?

To reduce down time, you could buy another set of 87 heads and work on those. Then do a one day cylinder head swap job.

1.6 ratio rocker arms can be worth some power on a stock cam.

Not sure about the stock efi computer. But I would think it could be reprogrammed a little bit. Do a web search on a 87 GM efi computer reprogrammer.
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Old 09-26-2006, 11:07 AM
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thanks 454C10, the motor is on the stand now. it was a a new GM crate engine from the local GM dealer last dec (dec 05) it was put in a 90 chevy 4x2 P/U and run till march (it was in the P/U 4 mons) daddy put a rebuilt 700R4 in it from a tranny shop b4 the motor. after the GM crate engine install the drive shaft came out and broke the tranny around the bell housing. daddy told the boy get rid of it, and daddy bought him a 94 or 95 or 96 chevy ex cab 4x4 P/U. I have the warranty papers & I heard it run B4 I pulled it. the boys dad ordered the GM 350 and picked it up from the GM dealer, the boy said when they picked it up the GM dealer set the crate with the new engine it in the back of daddys P/U. all the receipts are all there, daddy paid $1800 for this motor. and had it installed by a local guy. I got everything, all accessories (alt, starter, ps pump, a/c pump, serpentine belt setup, fan, air cleaner, flywheel ) and the complete tbi setup, radiator, new stock torque converter. its ready to drop in and run. I gave him $800 for it and all the xtras.

I have swapped a set of sbc heads b4, but don't plan on taking this one apart for now. I've never drove this Suburban yet, so not sure how it shifts. I actually have a fresh set of these tbi heads on the Suburban as the guy I bought the Suburban from got it hot and warped the heads ect. it had 103,000mi on it. so the guy did a new top end on the motor, he had a set of heads completely rebuilt and installed a new cam lifters, water pump, belt and had the radiator done ect. I think he paid someone to do the new topend, then 2000mi later a rod came out of the pan. then I bought it with a spare builder 87 up 350 that I thought I would rebuild and use new heads off the motor in the Suburban. but came across this basically new crate motor. so I have a fresh set of tbi heads on the Suburban with 2000mi on em and a set of tbi heads on the builder tbi 350. I havent pulled the builder apart yet.

couple of pics of my $1000 Suburban
http://ee.1asphost.com/Sparkyne/IMG_1502.JPG

http://ee.1asphost.com/Sparkyne/IMG_1506.JPG

http://ee.1asphost.com/Sparkyne/IMG_1510.JPG

http://ee.1asphost.com/Sparkyne/IMG_1505.JPG




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Old 09-26-2006, 11:36 AM
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Wow, sounds like you were in the right place at the right time.

The tricky thing about a 700r is setting up the TV cable form the transmission. The TV cable sets the line pressure as a function of throttle position. It is easy to burn a 700r up if the pressures aren't right.

You should do a little research on that engine. You may have a small hyd. roller cam in that engine! Doesn't sound like a 190 to 260hp GM 350 goodwrench engine since it was in a 1990 truck.
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Old 09-26-2006, 12:44 PM
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what you think it's more HP than the 260 HP ? I never even checked the motor #s, as it looks the same and is a TBI same as whats in the Suburban. I know the kids daddy ordered it the end of sept 05 and it was in dec 05 6 weeks later, and it was put in the 90 chevy P/U. now the kid and several others said it hauled ***** I'm sure it wasn't a easy break in, but the receipts are here for the services. daddy paid for and made him get it serviced, the tail pipes were nice and clean with a white color. I can get the #s off the motor easy enough. as it's hanging on my motor stand, but where can I tell if its a hyd roller cam motor ? mortec tell that ? I guess I wasn't thinking the tv cable would be that big of a deal. is there more I should know ? was thinking it would be plug and play with everything. I thought I would pull sensors out of the motor in Suburban and put in this motor. I wish I would of got the computer out of the P/U. where is the computer in a 90 chevy P/U ? I had full intension's of building the builder 350 engine and using the fresh tbi heads that are on the bad motor thats in the suburban. I stumbled on this 90 chevy P/U with the crate 350 as it was 3 blocks from my house. it's a nice suburban with original ralliey wheels in the back of the suburban, and it has 3 row seating and front & rear heat & a/c.



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Old 09-26-2006, 02:10 PM
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Well, the valve covers have the center bolts so that isn't a 350 gm goodwrench engine. Pull a valve cover and get the head casting numbers and the numbers on the back of the block. Then go to your local chevy dealer at a slow time and get the guy to look it up for you.

About 5 yrs ago, friend of mine bought a 300hp roller cam 350 long block for a truck for about 2000.00 from the dealer. Maybe you have that engine.

Do a search on TV cable and 700R transmission. It is very important. You can find step by step instructions pretty easily.

Yes, that is a nice truck.
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Old 09-26-2006, 03:23 PM
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thanks 454C10,

yes the crate 350 I bought has center bolt valve covers, looks like the one in the Suburban and looks like the center bolt valve cover builder 350 I have. I'm gona pull the accessories and serpentine belt system off the crate 350 to paint the motor (motor will be lime green, I want to paint it chevy orange, but its for my son. and I told him if he keeps his grades up and stays in school and in sporting activities we will do it his way, with in reason ) hes a freshman and a defensive lineman, hes 5'10" tall and 220lbs now. and I'm having the serpentine belt system, pulleys, valve covers, fan and stock air cleaner all power coated chrome. I will have valve covers off then and get head #s then, and I will be putting new V cover gaskets on then too, this will prob be couple 3+ weeks away my buddie owns the welding shop and does power coating and is power coating this stuff chrome for me. we are going to do some trading so it will all work out. I know it's a poor mans chrome, but it's the right price.


so your buddie never got his 300HP roller cam 350 long block ?




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Old 09-26-2006, 04:19 PM
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He got it for a customer that had a 1 ton chevy 4x4, 4 door, long bed, with 1000lbs of bumpers, racks, tool boxes, and tires. I believe the truck weighed in at 7500 or 8000 pounds! A lot to move for a 350 and 700r. But my buddy got the fresh long block in order to turbo charge it. A single turbo with 7 psi of boost and water to air intercooler made that truck run almost like a 1/2 ton with a 350.
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Old 09-27-2006, 08:29 AM
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454C10,

my block #s 10243880 I did not pull the valve cover yet.

mortec says
10243880...350...95-00...2 or 4...Vortec truck, Gen.I crate motors and "ZZ4", roller cam, one piece rear seal

the block #s are on the passenger side rear ledge of the block near the bell housing mounting surface.


on the drivers side rear ledge of the block near the bell housing mounting surface GM is casted into the block.

now I'm curious

my builder 350 that came with the Suburban (not the one in the Suburban)
is # 10054727

mortec says
10054727...350...86-up...2 or 4...one piece rear seal, some "Made in Canada"

I know the builder is a 2bolt main as I pulled the pan when it was hanging on the motor stand. the builder 350 head #s are 14102193

14102193 mortec says 87-up...305/350......1.94"/1.5"



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