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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-15-2012 02:34 PM
1971BB427 It sounds like your dad is giving you good advice. You may have to at least swap the intake to get it carbureted to run without the computer if it's going in an older vehicle, but I wouldn't do anything more right away.
11-15-2012 01:48 PM
tjoy427
What to waste.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0trbo4myCHEVUICK View Post
Well im just looking for some advice from the old school. About to go hear a vortec 350 out of a wrecked 99 suburban, it has 179,000 miles on it for 300 bucks.. Apparantly it runs very well with no smoke or leaks, We will see

300 bucks on the complete engine leaves me about 600 in the budget. Dad sais if it runs and doesent smoke or tick-knock with zero leaks i should leave it the F alone, drop it in and drive it till it dies then do the rebuild i really want. which sounds like a pretty good idea since im in a big hurry to have transportation.

It would just be really hard to not touch it and i dont want to get left high and dry one day with no cash to fix it.... I have a little money now and thats rare with a three year old at 22. Its only getting worse too.


Buy a used carb and intake, Have a valve job done on the heads , mild aftermarket roller cam and hopefully used headers? Or would my money be beter spent all in the bottom end and aquire top end upgrades as i go? Or do as my dad sais leave it alone and spend the money on front end repairs.
Your dad is about right. If money is tight, and whose isn't, don't spend any more than necessary. If it is as you say, (sounds good, no smoke other than a wisp at startup) putting umbrella valve seals on it is fairly simple and needed upgrade. Check the timing chain for excessive play by rocking the crank clockwise and counterclockwise (easy with the plugs removed) and watching the distributor rotor. A couple of degrees of slop is acceptable. Any more than that will require a replacement set. That motor already has roller hydraulic cam and lifters so they will be fine. You can upgrade the cam later as $$ become available. Intakes and carbs abound for a small amount and so do headers. I've worked on many with 200K+ that are still very healthy. New technology is great! In vehicles that have used the synthetic lube most of their life, I've seen 150-200K without any noticeable ridge in the cylinders and the motors run forever. The head gaskets are the only unknown and their condition depends largely on the service the cooling system received (PH level) so I would not bother them unless they need replacement. Clean it and spray it. Good luck. Tom. (ASE master 30+yrs, shop owner)
11-15-2012 10:50 AM
MouseFink
Quote:
Originally Posted by PRHeloPilot View Post
Hey fellow Texan, have you tried the swap meets? My recent story:

I wanted a Chevy disc brake rear to replace my current Ford drum brake rear (long story). After going to the local swap meet and not finding anything and then checking Craigslist for a few days I found a couple people selling rears for $400 to $450. I ended up buying a '95 TransAm with blown engine. Guy wanted $1000 but I negotiated him down to $500 and I figured I now had the rest of the car for parts (trans, wheels, driveshaft, etc).

Due to circumstances beyond my control 3 weeks had gone by and I still hadn't done the rear exchange. That weekend was the Canton Swap Meet and I found a '85 Firebird disc brake rear for $100 and negotiated it down to $75. I then sold the '95 Transam on Craigslist for $800 so I ended up with what I wanted for free plus I made some extra cash cash because I went to the same swap meet twice.

You have a big swap meet starting tomorrow close to you :

DFW Swap Meet NOVEMBER 16,17,18 NEW LOCATION !!! GRAND PRAIRIE Lonestar Park I-30 & Beltline Road MORE INFO call 254-751-7958

I'm thinking about going and I don't actually need anything but just might find something I didn't know I HAVE to have
The last swap meet I attended was the one at Decatur, TX in 1996. At that particular Decatur swap meet, the only item I purchased was a pair of un-issued 1963 Texas black and white license plates for my 1963 Catalina Sport Coupe 421 HO. Starting in 1965, I attended the Pate Swap Meet at Cresson TX for 29 consecutive years. In 1995, the Pate Swap Meet at Cresson Texas moved to Texas Motor Speedway.

I found a lot of good parts at Pate Swap meet, with cheap Texas prices. In 1993, one purchase I remember especially was a 1963 Pontiac Tri-Power set up, including the big air cleaner, correct carburetors and the complete vacuum linkage, for $200. I carried that damned thing out to my truck by hand and it near killed me. By 2000, I had collected four 1963 Pontiac tri-power set ups. The 1994 Pate Swap Meet was the last one I attended. Now I am disabled with a heart condition and arthritis and do not go to swap meets anymore.

Two years ago I sold my two 1963 Pontiac Catalina 421 HO and my Pontiac engines and collection of rare NOS and used parts to a race car builder and auto repair shop in Abilene Texas. Last year, the new owner won "Club Choice" with one of "my" 1963 Catalina 421 HO at a Car Show in Brownwood, Texas. The shop has various race cars including a 1963 Ford Falcon Ranchero Pro-Stock. I suppose it is a memorial to the late Jim "Mr. Ford" Butler's 1963 Ford Falcon 289 CI Ranchero NHRA Gasser from West Texas.
11-15-2012 09:13 AM
tgx FWIW, I have a 99 Yukon with 208,000 miles on it. Doesn't smoke or use oil.
It is my daily driver. Only things I've done to it since new. Alternator, Coolant 'quick connect' failure at
the intake manifold. I had the rear main replaced when I had the tranny rebuilt at 175k miles. Regular oil changes and I only run high octane fuel which I attribute to me not having the normal fuel issues you hear about. I will say at this point on cold mornings I am starting to get a bottom end knock that goes away once the engine reaches temp. It's going to have to get a rebuild soon but I think 200k is great and if you drive it responsibly you should get 200k easily.
11-15-2012 08:40 AM
PRHeloPilot
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdminter59 View Post
Do you have a vacuum guage to carry with you? At least check the vaccum on the engine. Here is an article with a chart of vacuum readings and indications of engine condition. You can print out the chart and take with you to do the checks. Technical Articles: Engine testing with a Vacuum Gauge - at Greg's Engine & Machine
Great link, thanks !!
11-15-2012 08:30 AM
PRHeloPilot Hey fellow Texan, have you tried the swap meets? My recent story:

I wanted a Chevy disc brake rear to replace my current Ford drum brake rear (long story). After going to the local swap meet and not finding anything and then checking Craigslist for a few days I found a couple people selling rears for $400 to $450. I ended up buying a '95 TransAm with blown engine. Guy wanted $1000 but I negotiated him down to $500 and I figured I now had the rest of the car for parts (trans, wheels, driveshaft, etc).

Due to circumstances beyond my control 3 weeks had gone by and I still hadn't done the rear exchange. That weekend was the Canton Swap Meet and I found a '85 Firebird disc brake rear for $100 and negotiated it down to $75. I then sold the '95 Transam on Craigslist for $800 so I ended up with what I wanted for free plus I made some extra cash cash because I went to the same swap meet twice.

You have a big swap meet starting tomorrow close to you :

DFW Swap Meet NOVEMBER 16,17,18 NEW LOCATION !!! GRAND PRAIRIE Lonestar Park I-30 & Beltline Road MORE INFO call 254-751-7958

I'm thinking about going and I don't actually need anything but just might find something I didn't know I HAVE to have
11-14-2012 08:47 PM
HawkZ28 I recall being in a similar situation-minus the 3 year old. Working full time through full time college, no help with tuition or books or rent, etc.

Blew my tranny at 198k. Threw a rod 1/2 mile after the tranny.

Bought a parts car for $350. Got a 350/350 combo to get by, sold the intake and chrome for $150, and the parts car itself for $75.

Patience and timing (pouncing) are virtues on CL.

FYI- my last machine shop bill for cleaning and honing the shortblock and head work was about $1000 by the time all was said and done. That was 5 years ago- I'm sure it's gone up some since.
11-06-2012 02:57 PM
0trbo4myCHEVUICK Yeah i should grab a thrifty nickel good call
11-06-2012 02:56 PM
0trbo4myCHEVUICK
Quote:
Originally Posted by 75gmck25 View Post
Just a thought (and maybe a dumb idea full of holes).

If the Vortec 350 is running, I assume it has a good fuel injection system and computer. Have you considered putting the complete fuel injected Vortec in your truck? It may be simpler than going through all the changes you need to get a Vortec working with a carburetor. And it will probably run as reliably as a stock engine.

You will need to figure out a fuel pump that works, and you will need a VSS and O2 sensors to feed the computer. The rest of the sensors should be on the engine. I'm also not sure how the computer would work with a non-computer transmission, but there should be a solution.

Bruce
Im really just a very simple (and cheap) guy. I've always owned carbed chevy's. At 22 years old maybe I SHOULD be looking for the next best "super chip".. nah..

If it was going to be cheaper to go the injected route i would but most the engines i see dont come with the comp and I would need pretty pricey fuel pump and maybe different tank. Looks like it would be about the same price and work either way. I would def gain MPg with injecters but i can work on a carb.
11-06-2012 02:45 PM
0trbo4myCHEVUICK Funny you say that... I havent been able to find a motor I like yet so i stopped by the machine shop and local automotive trade school today. No luck for me.

Ive found alot of deals with tranny included for 1200-1500

I have my brand newly rebuilt reverse pattern manual TH400 waiting for the engine I buy. Thinking of selling it to add to my budget.. Since I started looking ive saved alittle more cash and now have 1000.

Trying to figure out how much i can sell my 400 for, I need to pull the pan and check valve body brand. lol it has 140$ worth of fluid alone. 45 minutes on it before I threw the rod.
11-05-2012 07:58 AM
AutoGear Why haven't you called your local machine shop or tech school to see if they might have a 350 shortblock or longblock sitting in a bag somewhere for a few dollars? I walked in the machine shop to visit my friend who works there and they had a rebuilt 350tbi motor sitting on a skid that the owner had walked away from and never came back. Keith said he'd be glad to get $700 for it if the guy helped him load it in his truck. People seem to think if its not on craigslist or e-bay it doesn't exist.

We have a newspaper here called The Swapsheet. Its a dollar and basically its an analog version of Craigslist; without the hookers. The nice thing about this is you find parts in there, advertised by the oldtimers (or their widows) who aren't computer savvy and they don't fall prey to the e-bay inflation. I got a rear decklid (with hatchback window), both headlights with motors, a door and both front fenders for a 1985 Firebird formula for $75. I sold the window alone for $125 cash. Parts belonged to some guy who left them in his moms basement for 10yrs
11-03-2012 08:36 PM
75gmck25 Just a thought (and maybe a dumb idea full of holes).

If the Vortec 350 is running, I assume it has a good fuel injection system and computer. Have you considered putting the complete fuel injected Vortec in your truck? It may be simpler than going through all the changes you need to get a Vortec working with a carburetor. And it will probably run as reliably as a stock engine.

You will need to figure out a fuel pump that works, and you will need a VSS and O2 sensors to feed the computer. The rest of the sensors should be on the engine. I'm also not sure how the computer would work with a non-computer transmission, but there should be a solution.

Bruce
11-03-2012 05:47 PM
techinspector1
Quote:
Originally Posted by 0trbo4myCHEVUICK View Post
I can hook a vacuum gauge to any vacuum port on the manifold for a check correct?
That is correct.
11-03-2012 04:12 PM
0trbo4myCHEVUICK Okay looks like ive found a decent running vortec with 178,000 for 300 bucks... I can hook a vacuum gauge to any vacuum port on the manifold for a check correct? Lookls like its leaking alittle oil from the timing cover. The guy sais he hasent done anything to the motor, hasent even really done a tune up he sais. It has the original plugs in it. scary :/
11-01-2012 10:33 PM
0trbo4myCHEVUICK
Quote:
Originally Posted by E.Furgal View Post
drop it in and leave it alone..
dad knows best..
sealing up the top end with a fresh valve job will make those 179k rings show just how worn they really are..
leave it alone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
good call... There sure is ALOT of tbi's out there. not so many vortecs though
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