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Old 10-18-2011, 01:27 PM
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help with SBC work truck build plz

i have an 81 chev 1ton shop truck 454, thm400, not sure what the rear gears are havnt looked. im looking to build a 350 hi torque engine for this truck that will get reasonable milage the BB is running 7-8mpg . while im not new to the automotive field i am new to building engines in any way other than stock. so i need some help in selecting engine internals for this build, seing as how this is a shop truck with tool box tools air compressor, and generator im planning on using stock cast iron manafolds with ceramics. i also planned on using ceramics internally as well. any help is greatly apriciated.

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Old 10-18-2011, 01:36 PM
How fast is fast enough?
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddmechanic
i have an 81 chev 1ton shop truck 454, thm400, not sure what the rear gears are havnt looked. im looking to build a 350 hi torque engine for this truck that will get reasonable milage the BB is running 7-8mpg . while im not new to the automotive field i am new to building engines in any way other than stock. so i need some help in selecting engine internals for this build, seing as how this is a shop truck with tool box tools air compressor, and generator im planning on using stock cast iron manafolds with ceramics. i also planned on using ceramics internally as well. any help is greatly apriciated.

You're not going to get good mileage with that truck, ITS A WORK TRUCK!

My pop had a heavily loaded 1 ton Ford work van with a 5.4L Triton engine (much better than an sbc), it got about 5mpg's. If you really want better mileage you're going to need a diesel.
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Old 10-18-2011, 03:35 PM
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My '01 dodge ram 2500 w/ 360 gas engine w/ 200K on the clock , fully loaded w/ tools @7600 lbs. curb weight gets 12-14 city ,16-17 hwy. I think that ain't too bad !! All the chevy's I've had [4] , big block's & small block's sucked fuel .. just my experience.

dave
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Old 10-18-2011, 04:45 PM
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sbc chevy

the sbc chevy is and will always be the king of V8 engines if you want torq put a high lift short duration lunati cam in it and advance the cam about 4% this will give you gobs of bottom end grunt gas millage about 12 to 15 if you can keep you foot out of it but good luck with that after you feel the power and hear the roar oh and 9.5 to10 to 1 compression would be best but plan on running 93 octane
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Old 10-18-2011, 07:59 PM
How fast is fast enough?
 
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Originally Posted by Dick Shepard
the sbc chevy is and will always be the king of V8 engines
I've heard it all now! I dontknow why GM made any different engine after the sbc 350.
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:01 PM
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i'm planning on either putting a truck together or possibly buying one. This is just my opinion:

1) i agree that diesel would, in terms of mpg, be the ultimate solution BUT:

In my case, and i think many other's cases, it all depends on how much driving you do. i will crunch the numbers again but i think the magic number was average 800 miles per week or more.

If you drive more than 800 miles per week ON AVERAGE, then going to diesel would be the better move and the payback happens in about 2 yrs. Otherwise it's cheaper to stay with gas or buy a gas engine. It would take too long to realize a payback and the money could be put to better use.

i want to be able to tow 5000 lbs comfortably. (race car+open trailer) i don't think 1/2 tons can really tow that much reliably, on an on-going basis, and without struggling.

So my current proposed plan is:
3/4 or 1 ton pickup 2wd Prefer 81-87 but 88 and up ok also.

Crate 350 (260hp/350 tq version). Let's assume for now that these engines don't have major reliability problems.

Turbo 400 trans.

3.42 rear diff gear. Lower would be even better for towing/hauling, but we don't want to go too low for mpg reasons.

Class 4 (5?) reciever with weight distributing hitch.

With this setup i will probably not get better than 15mpg unloaded if i'm lucky. But i'm willing to live with it because i truely believe it's the cheapest way.
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:44 AM
How fast is fast enough?
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by against all odds
i'm planning on either putting a truck together or possibly buying one. This is just my opinion:

1) i agree that diesel would, in terms of mpg, be the ultimate solution BUT:

In my case, and i think many other's cases, it all depends on how much driving you do. i will crunch the numbers again but i think the magic number was average 800 miles per week or more.

If you drive more than 800 miles per week ON AVERAGE, then going to diesel would be the better move and the payback happens in about 2 yrs. Otherwise it's cheaper to stay with gas or buy a gas engine. It would take too long to realize a payback and the money could be put to better use.

i want to be able to tow 5000 lbs comfortably. (race car+open trailer) i don't think 1/2 tons can really tow that much reliably, on an on-going basis, and without struggling.

So my current proposed plan is:
3/4 or 1 ton pickup 2wd Prefer 81-87 but 88 and up ok also.

Crate 350 (260hp/350 tq version). Let's assume for now that these engines don't have major reliability problems.

Turbo 400 trans.

3.42 rear diff gear. Lower would be even better for towing/hauling, but we don't want to go too low for mpg reasons.

Class 4 (5?) reciever with weight distributing hitch.

With this setup i will probably not get better than 15mpg unloaded if i'm lucky. But i'm willing to live with it because i truely believe it's the cheapest way.
Your 15 is highly optimistic, I'd say more around 10, if everything else is perfect, 7-8 would not surprise me though.
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:14 AM
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do a late model 5.3 liter conversion.

should be able to get a complete low mile 5.3 with a 2 wire ecu setup for around 1500.00.

an old school 350 with get about 20% better mpg as compared to a 454. so you are looking at 10 mpg in that 1 ton with a 350.

I would guess the 5.3 would get 12 mpg in a 1 ton
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Old 10-19-2011, 09:09 AM
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thanks

thank you for the advice so far, im thinking along the lines of a 383 stroker edelbrock performer intake 500cfm carb havnt decided on the cam yet. hoping to end up 9.5/1 compression and when its done around 400 lb/ft torque. does this sound about right?
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Old 10-19-2011, 03:00 PM
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help with sbc work truck build

I think you would be better off spending your cash on a msd or equivalent, and header and exhaust upgrade. A lot less work and a lot less money to achieve the same goal. I've done these swaps before and there is a lot of hidden expenses that go with it. With a good healthy smallblock your still only going to get around 10. But that's my opinion.
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Old 10-19-2011, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddmechanic
i have an 81 chev 1ton shop truck 454, thm400, not sure what the rear gears are havnt looked. im looking to build a 350 hi torque engine for this truck that will get reasonable milage the BB is running 7-8mpg . while im not new to the automotive field i am new to building engines in any way other than stock. so i need some help in selecting engine internals for this build, seing as how this is a shop truck with tool box tools air compressor, and generator im planning on using stock cast iron manafolds with ceramics. i also planned on using ceramics internally as well. any help is greatly apriciated.
I've done this but going the other way, the 454 I stuffed in got the same mileage as the 350 it replaced. At issue is it takes so much power to move the truck so fast. It's power needed to over come rolling and air resistance. That doesn't change because the engine is changed. The difference will be in engine life, where the 454 is fairly relaxed to move this truck, you will have your foot way into the 350 to get the needed power. Mileage won't improve while engine life of the 350 will be less since it works harder against its structural design limits.

The only real long term improvement would be with fuel injection on the 454 and a 4 speed automatic like a 4L80 or the Allison 5 speed not the TH350 derivatives 700R4 and 4L60 as these just don't have the beef. The 4 speed auto uses a lower low so getting launched doesn't take so much throttle. Then if you cruise on the freeway a lot, the OD slows the engine down. In either case it's unlikely that the cost of installation will be paid for with fuel saved, it takes a huge improvement in MPG to save small amounts of money per fill up. It feels good but in reality doesn't accomplish much help to your wallet.

What you have is a real truck not a weekend toy and a real truck takes real muscle. That makes a diesel sound attractive but you're up against the same financial issues that the better fuel mileage doesn't recover the investment.

A comparison I often use is that here in Seattle the taxi companies compete like crazy to buy the used Washington State Patrol, Ford Police Interceptor, V8, Crown Vic's. These taxi people burn a lot of gasoline yet want these used cop cars to convert. The message is that cheap purchase cost is more important than fuel cost. The only way the taxi companies bought Prius's was when forced by legislation. They have high purchase cost and not enough mileage improvement to pay for themselves against used cop cars and they probably get 3 to 4 times the mileage of a V8 Vic.

Bogie
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