Originally Posted by ap72
If you're just wanting to get good mileage and decent power a TPI 305 with a T5 will get you suprisingly good mileage, and with a few little parts can get over 300hp. I picked up a chevy WC T5 for $200 about a month ago, freshly rebuilt too.
A well build gen1 sbc can get good mileage, but it will never be the Gen III/IV stuff.
If you're really after mileage you either need an OD trans or need to swap the rear gears. Drop your highway cruise speed to right under 2,000 will make a huge difference.
LS swaps have a lot of potential, but they do cost more than swapping in a different gen 1 sbc- if cost is a major factor (which it sounds like) then you may want to explore other options.
an LT1 is a great in between compromise, as is a Vortec enigne with a intake swap (thought going MPFI is more expensive going this route).
I definitely want as ls engine. I had the 5.3 in my tahoe and they are really awesome motors. Smooth as hell, good power, good mileage. I want to get the car up to the 21st century, get away from the usual small block chevy that everyone and their mother has. I want to keep costs as low as possible but i don't have a problem with spending money. To me it's not worth upgrading to anything else because i know i would regret it in the future.
The 5.3 is a go. I'm really just down to deciding on a transmission. Is the 4 speed going to hold me back? I want good mpg and highway drivability but i don't want it to be a slow pig. With the 4l60e that comes on the 5.3's i know i will have the benefit of overdrive but i dont want it to be boring to drive. I really enjoy shifting actually and i dont want to get bored of the auto.