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Direction from gurus

Old 01-08-2019, 08:32 PM
  #1  
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Direction from gurus

1992 camaro 25th anny. Original 305 tbi, 700r4. Previous owner installed a cam that's too radical. I do not trust the build and I need reliability first, performance 2nd.

You have $1000, and you're tight with it.
Which path would you choose?

A. Rebuild current engine with stock parts.

B. Purchase 305 to freshen and reinstall.

C. Install already owned TPI setup on this bottom end, replace cam with stock(ish).

D. Super budget LS1 swap

E. Swap TBI to Carb (ugh) and run it.

F. Install (insert cubic inch here) engine if the 305 has to come out at all.

Appreciate your mature opinions. I'm 31, I work, wife and 2 kids. Driven the same camaro since 16. This will be the replacement and most likely the car I will hand down.
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:50 PM
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Re: Direction from gurus

A. Won't fit your $1000 budget
B. Won't fit your $1000 budget
C. Maybe
D. How super budget. Probably will exceed your $1000 budget
E. No
F. See G

G. Buy a stock replacement crate engine (350 preferably) and drop it in. (since you want reliability). That way it's been completely rebuilt properly. New piston, bearings etc. Nothing should fail due to an improper rebuild.
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:59 PM
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Re: Direction from gurus

I've built a few engines so if there wasn't machine work involved it would be all parts, no labor. Probably should have mentioned that.

but does G fit my budget?
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:22 AM
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Re: Direction from gurus

Price out a long block from your local auto parts supplier
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:25 PM
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Re: Direction from gurus

What are the cam specs? I would doubt its tuned for it leaving you with an undrivable mess. I would swap cams (something small and tunable) and use the rest to invest in DIY PROM tuning (EBL). Without custom PROM tuning you should abandon TBI.
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:28 PM
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Re: Direction from gurus

The cam is a mystery in this engine. I considered the DIY prom option. What would you recommend as a tunable improvement cam?
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:33 PM
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Re: Direction from gurus

Originally Posted by draco View Post
The cam is a mystery in this engine. I considered the DIY prom option. What would you recommend as a tunable improvement cam?

If you need it to be reliable I would put a stock TBI cam back in it and learn how to tune around that. You will be able to learn without leaving your car a total mess (can always put a bone stock TBI tune back in it to get to work). Then upgrade to a smaller cam once you will have the programming down pat. Doing it all at once will leave you frustrated and in no better position than you are already in. Also, does the car have other needs? Meaning, does it already have headers back? Properly functioning brakes and suspension? If not, a cam is worthless in an LO3 without exhaust mods.
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Old 01-09-2019, 01:05 PM
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Re: Direction from gurus

Is the reliability a product of the cam? Reliability I would think is more in the sum of parts. How many Miles on the car? If you are working with a 150k or so car I would think the other parts come into question. You can drop a brand new engine and put back that 150k alternator and that bearing lock up while you are 20 miles from home.
If you truly need reliability I would look at the engine as a sum of its other parts you have and start replacing some of those items. If the engine truly is the issue for reliability you are probably best just putting a stock cam back in. $1000 I don't feel is enough for a new replacement. even a short block, and anything used, your reliability falls back into play.
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Old 01-11-2019, 01:47 PM
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Re: Direction from gurus

A $1000 budget is only going to cover parts for a re-ring and re-bearing with a a valve rebuild.

Small block chevy is most likely the cheapest engine on the planet to rebuild. So reality is if you can't afford to rebuild a sbc then you shouldn't be using it for transportation and should consider a good used car with low miles to get you to work. Change your hobbies to video games and pay your bills to stay out of debt.

Reality is I can't tell someone to build a performance motor on $1000 budget as they must have a better need for that money and a cheap used rental car makes more economical sense. Hey I have met millionaires that buy used rental cars for transportation and nothing to be ashamed of doing that.
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Old 01-11-2019, 01:49 PM
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Re: Direction from gurus

do a tune up or find a next good engine with mileage.

Don't mess with rebuilds on that kind of budget.

If the motor is fine just do a tune up or trade it for a stock engine + parts.

honestly 1k will buy you a 99-01 corolla to drive while you work an save up more $$$
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Old 01-24-2019, 10:57 AM
  #11  
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Re: Direction from gurus

I think I have found a viable direction to take.

I've located a low mileage vortec 350 i can get for about $300.

Now what I mean by reliability I guess is more like drive-ability. I do not want radical performance, I just want a fun car that starts first time every day.

I've done some research and I believe I have found (and can afford) all of the parts necessary to make this swap. Thanks for the input gentlemen.

If anyone has any experience to share with this swap I would gladly listen.
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Old 01-24-2019, 12:30 PM
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Re: Direction from gurus

Originally Posted by draco View Post
I think I have found a viable direction to take.

I've located a low mileage vortec 350 i can get for about $300.

Now what I mean by reliability I guess is more like drive-ability. I do not want radical performance, I just want a fun car that starts first time every day.

I've done some research and I believe I have found (and can afford) all of the parts necessary to make this swap. Thanks for the input gentlemen.

If anyone has any experience to share with this swap I would gladly listen.
Youll need a vortec specific intake and the TPI ones are not cheap. You may also need a different timing chain cover or modify the Vortec one since it will have a sensor on it I think there is a thread about that here somewhere.

Not sure how many miles are on your engine right now but if its not much and you think the engine is healthy then id suggest just replacing the cam and call it a day. Get the car driving again and put a few more dollars away for a new engine down the road. Going from a 305 TBI to 350 TPI is not a simply weekend job unless youve already done ALL the research and know exactly what needs to be removed and replaced,

I dot know how hard or easy it is to adapt a TPI engine harness to a TBI car. Youll need a 7730 ecm and the correct PROM..along with help from someone here to tweak the tune on the PROM for your application.

Last edited by BOTTLEDZ28; 01-24-2019 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 01-24-2019, 04:01 PM
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Re: Direction from gurus

I will be keeping the TBI with this motor. My TBI setup works fine and I've done the ultimate TBI mods already. Just need to put in bigger injectors for this 350.

This is the list I am following per another thread.
""
$100 * Vortec 4B high rise intake
$ 30 * 4B to TBI adapter
$ 60 * 350 ESC module - GM 16128261
$ 25 * 350 knock sensor - GM 10456288
$ 100 * 8746 ecm
$150 * Headers (right factory exhaust manifold will not work on a Vortec head)
$ 75 * 350 Fuel Injectors
$ 90 * 1.6 Roller rockers (best upgrade to a 350 Vortec)
$150 * Gaskets, misc items
'"


Now that I write all of that out, I am curious if I can use my stock 305 ECM and just change the prom.
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Old 01-24-2019, 04:03 PM
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Re: Direction from gurus

Originally Posted by draco View Post
I will be keeping the TBI with this motor. My TBI setup works fine and I've done the ultimate TBI mods already. Just need to put in bigger injectors for this 350.

This is the list I am following per another thread.
""
$100 * Vortec 4B high rise intake
$ 30 * 4B to TBI adapter
$ 60 * 350 ESC module - GM 16128261
$ 25 * 350 knock sensor - GM 10456288
$ 60 * 8746 ecm & injectors from 89 Caprice Cop car
$150 * Headers (right factory exhaust manifold will not work on a Vortec head)
$ 75 * 350 Fuel Injectors
$ 90 * 1.6 Roller rockers (best upgrade to a 350 Vortec)
$150 * Gaskets, misc items
'"

Make sure you budget for DIY EPROM tuning. The car will run like death without it. It will be a sputtering, surging mess without EPROm tuning.
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Old 01-24-2019, 04:41 PM
  #15  
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Re: Direction from gurus

Shifty, what is the most cost efficient way to go about eprom tuning. I have no local friends who can tune.
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Old 01-24-2019, 05:01 PM
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Re: Direction from gurus

Originally Posted by draco View Post
Shifty, what is the most cost efficient way to go about eprom tuning. I have no local friends who can tune.
tunerpro rt. Download for free

go to moates.net and get the chip adapter gp1 package i believe. Comes with two chips. You will need the burn2 programmer and aldl datalog cable. All this will be around 230$

The tune makes or breaks any combo. Anything you do engine wise will need it

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Old 01-24-2019, 09:27 PM
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Re: Direction from gurus

Originally Posted by Orr89RocZ View Post


tunerpro rt. Download for free

go to moates.net and get the chip adapter gp1 package i believe. Comes with two chips. You will need the burn2 programmer and aldl datalog cable. All this will be around 230$

The tune makes or breaks any combo. Anything you do engine wise will need it

Ditto. All truths

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