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Old 05-06-2010, 06:43 AM
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What's needed for a TPI swap

There's so much information on this subject, it's confusing and mind boggling. I'm trying to put a list together on what items I need. I have a 91 Firebird 305TPI, ECM and harness that I want to swap in my 36 Chev later on. I want to use the stock ECM possibly without reprogramming. What items should I keep from this f-body to install in the 36 ?? Some of which I think (correct me please) are, BCM for the VATS, maybe steering column, cruise and sensors. Is there a list somewhere or in a book? I read some books only explain the sensors and their function. This is the 1st time doing this new school swap. I'm retired now (five years), and have all kinds of time to do it right. My plan is to set it up on a test stand and then do the swap over the winter months. I already have some info from different sites on different applications and now am totally excited to get going. Just hope I can remember where I saved all the info. Anyway fellas, I appreciate some of you gurus to chime in and help me and others enjoy the hobby for a few more years. Thank you in advance.

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Old 05-06-2010, 11:01 AM
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A book called the TPI swappers guide is a great source for info . I have never seen a 91 tpi car with VATS. On my 95 lt1 swap I simply turned it off . But some software is needed to it . Good luck on the project.
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:26 AM
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Thanks for the tip. I guess I'll just keep on searching.
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:54 PM
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a good source of info for swapping toTPI is http://chevythunder.com/
along with the info on that site, there are some books listed that will be helpful to you.

retro fitting a factory harness can be a bit intimidating unless your good with wiring.
there are a number of places you can get an aftermarket stand alone harness from if using the factory harness isn't something you want to tackle.
painless, EFI Connection, and Howell are a few that come to mind.

the VATS system has its own module. IIRC, its mounted on the front side of the defroster duct between the duct and the firewall on the right side of the car.
you'll need the ignition key that the module is coded to, otherwise you'll have to go thru the list of resistors that GM used to find the right one.
you can also get a VATS bypass module that will send the right signal to the ECM so it will allow the motor to start and run.

a little hint, don't be surprised if your injectors have problems.
the multec injectors weren't very good when they were new. now after about 20+ years bad multecs are very common and can cause you huge headaches trying to find the problem.
a popular upgrade is to switch to the bosch 3 injectors.
Jsup here on Hotrodders.com, Fuel Injector Connection, or South Bay Fuel Injectors are the only places i would recommend for replacements.
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Old 05-08-2010, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soul_Hunter
a good source of info for swapping toTPI is http://chevythunder.com/
along with the info on that site, there are some books listed that will be helpful to you.

retro fitting a factory harness can be a bit intimidating unless your good with wiring.
there are a number of places you can get an aftermarket stand alone harness from if using the factory harness isn't something you want to tackle.
painless, EFI Connection, and Howell are a few that come to mind.

the VATS system has its own module. IIRC, its mounted on the front side of the defroster duct between the duct and the firewall on the right side of the car.
you'll need the ignition key that the module is coded to, otherwise you'll have to go thru the list of resistors that GM used to find the right one.
you can also get a VATS bypass module that will send the right signal to the ECM so it will allow the motor to start and run.

a little hint, don't be surprised if your injectors have problems.
the multec injectors weren't very good when they were new. now after about 20+ years bad multecs are very common and can cause you huge headaches trying to find the problem.
a popular upgrade is to switch to the bosch 3 injectors.
Jsup here on Hotrodders.com, Fuel Injector Connection, or South Bay Fuel Injectors are the only places i would recommend for replacements.

hunter is exactly right, the multec injectors were junk from the start. i, like Jsup work on and have vettes (hi Jsup haven't been on patricks sight in a while, i'm to busy working on my 64 restomod and Astrodokks insane 65 coupe, he is a mad man behind the wheel,( check out CF somtime) thus 350 TPIs and not 305s, but they are basically the same. the ECM will need reprograming, it's no big deal, lots of vette guys do it. just a tip---> bosch injectors are great (my vette came with them, those crappy multec injectors came out 1/2 years later are junk) a great,cheap replacment are the ford 22LB injectors, they work great and are a drop-in, no mod replacement. also (and i think Jsup will agree) install an adjustable FPR on tuned port injection, this will allow you to dial in the mixture on your TPI and engine by a turn of the screw. TPI.com has them for cheap.

nobody here has mentioned rich,s injectors, he is the go-to guy for us 350 tuned port vette owners.
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Old 05-08-2010, 08:36 AM
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Good injector tip

Soul_hunter and Techron - thanks for the heads up on the injectors, I didn't know that about the multec units. See, that's one piece of info I must have missed reading about. The wiring harness is not an issue, I will be making the whole harness using stock GM fuse block from an S10 or even the one that came with the car. I did the entire 36 this way. But the cost for the aftermarket harness is reasonable and may go that route depending on the budget. I have all kinds of time now to play with my toys. Love being retired. Like I said, I have checked chevythunder site along with other sites like tpi, 3rdgen, diy-efi and others I can log on to. I'm accumulating the how-to info in a binder and collecting as many parts as I can.
Suggestions were to get rid of some components like air pump and vats module, but then I cannot use the chip as it came out of the car, so I'd like to do my own programming with help from other street rodders or swappers. Again, my plan is to set it up on a test stand (which I have) and trouble shoot it and still drive my street rod. Then when all is running well do the swap as a winter project.
Again, thanks for the replies, even though you guys must get fed up answering the same questions. My frustration is when searching for "TPI" or "SWAP" I get a plethora of topics including a lot that don't address my issues. I bow to you.
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Old 05-08-2010, 05:52 PM
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no problem, i give back when i can as repayment to those who have helped me.

few people mention the multec injectors being a problem during a swap.
its usually sometime after the swap when that problem rears its ugly head.
i got about 8~9 years out of my multecs before they became so much of a problem that i had to replace them.
it was when they took out the ECM that i knew it was past time.
with the replacements, my motor no longer has an intermittent lean condition after a long drive at hiway speeds or the intermittent rough idle it had.

deleting the AIR pump will have little to no effect as far as the chip goes. the only time the AIR injection is taken into consideration by the ECM is when the motor is cold.

i used a VATS bypass module for a couple of years till it stopped working.
i had wired it thru a relay that was controlled by my alarm system so if the alarm was trigged, the ECM would allow fuel to the motor. after the module quit, i turned VATS off in the chip.

on chip tuning, it isn't for everyone.
there is a steep learning curve when you first start, but i feel its well worth it.
besides correcting a few things on my TPI Monte Carlo swap, i picked up some fuel mileage too.
DYI-PROM at thirdgen.org is a huge wealth of info on chip tuning.
the down side to tuning your own chip, even though it can be extremely frustrating at times, it can become addictive, and there isn't a cure.
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Old 05-13-2010, 06:54 AM
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Injector type

I found two types of injectors mixed in. I don't know how to tell what they are off or the specs. Are they identified somewhere?
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:22 AM
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Buy the book and read that link from chevy thunder and check this link out. It shows all the difference between the runners plenum intake and throttle body.
http://www.hotrodlane.cc/Streetstories/choosetpi1.htm
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fierosum
I found two types of injectors mixed in. I don't know how to tell what they are off or the specs. Are they identified somewhere?
The one on the left is a rodchester style and is found on 89-92
The one on the right is a bosch pintle injector with an aluminum tip. 87-88

Look at the link i posted and go to the second page. It shows how to identify the injector.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:44 PM
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zild is correct, the injector on the left is the multec which was made by rochester.
they were not very good when GM used them back then, but they were better than the injectors they replaced, like the one on the right.
GM also used some injectors made by lucas from 1985 up until 87 or 88. they weren't very good either.
if you have a mix of injectors, you definitely need to get a matched set.
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