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Username Post: Advice Needed: New Crate Engine Options for 1992 K2500?        (Topic#348195)
92GMCK2500 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 5

Reg: 11-13-17
11-13-17 09:19 PM - Post#2714313    

Hi All,
New on here but wanted to get some good quality advice on 'what path to go down' regarding dropping a new engine into my old 1992 GMC K2500. Its been in the family since new and has sentimental value. The truck has 410kms on the body (SLE, Extd cab, long box), about 275kms+ on the current engine (stock 5.7L/350 TBI) and about 235km+ on the trans (not sure what type/model).

I'd say the engine is on its last legs, i.e. its knocking (very bad and has been for years), exhaust leaks all over, lost compression, oil leaks everywhere and occasionally overheats under loads etc etc. Transmission seems what you would expect for its age but its not great. To note; we use this truck as our camper rig, we have 9.5ft Kodiak camper that we use on a regular basis, weighs around 3000lbs fully loaded, and usually we travel up to 500-1000kms per trip which is a mixture of highway driving (mountain passes) and forestry service roads (rough). Would like to travel further but scared of breaking down too far from home! haha.

Given that this truck will be a full time camper rig and the occasional work-horse around town vehicle, I would like to have a strong and reliable setup that has excellent mid-range torque and responsiveness under load (I would like to accelerate up hills fully loaded no problem). NOT looking for top end power or a hot rod 4x4 machine.

Questions:
- What crate engine would you recommend? is a standard 350 TBI replacement going to suffice? Or, will a new 350 TBI with modifications meet the above specs? Or, is something like a HT383 a better option?

- I'd say all of the engine components are well aged and will need replacing also, whats needed with a new crate engine replacement? I imagine its a long list but I've got not idea about this.
I am not shy of replacing radiators, water/fuel pumps, exhaust/headers, or anything else that is needed.

- Would I be wise to do a full powertrain replacement at the same time? (I think yes...). Transmission recommendations?

Lets get the ball rolling with that for now. As mentioned, I know its an old truck, but I love it and dropping a brand new engine/trans and what ever else in her is still a lot cheaper than a truck with 100kms+ on it. I would like to keep the overall costs around $10-15K, realize this is one hell of a project but its on my life's wish list to do!

Appreciate the help! Cheers!

1992 GMC Serria, K2500 SLE 4WD Extd Cab LB
5.7L (350) TBI (stock) @ 410kms


 
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bowtie44s 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3735
bowtie44s
Age: 34
Loc: wv
Reg: 08-29-12
11-14-17 09:16 AM - Post#2714346    
    In response to 92GMCK2500

Are you wanting to do any tuning or do you just want something to drop in and be done?

Jeff

'88 Chevy K3500, aluminum head roller cam 511inĀ³ stroker 10.5:1 compression, 96 NV 4500, 94-98 grille, 305/70-16 (33x12) BF Goodrich KM2s, 91 cluster swap


 
92GMCK2500 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 5

Reg: 11-13-17
11-14-17 06:41 PM - Post#2714406    
    In response to bowtie44s

I want a brand new engine to start fresh with. I am open to tuning/modifying the new engine further to achieve around +/- 250-300HP and +/- 350-400TQ if needed.

I guess a good question is:
Is dropping another stock 350 TBI in and making modifications to meet my HP/TQ goals going to be easier and/or more cost effective than purchasing a more expensive, higher performing, bigger crate engine like the HT383 or other??

Cheers

1992 GMC Serria, K2500 SLE 4WD Extd Cab LB
5.7L (350) TBI (stock) @ 410kms


 
CowboyTrukr 
"6th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 3756
CowboyTrukr
Loc: Salt Lake City
Reg: 06-20-09
11-14-17 07:19 PM - Post#2714421    
    In response to 92GMCK2500

If low cost and easy is the order of the day, with simplicity, a Melling MTC-1 cam in a 4 bolt main block and 3.73 gears gives you a computer compatible engine with a very noticeable torque increase that you will feel immediately.

Beyond the MTC-1, you'll need a custom tune.

Greg

'95 K1500 Z71 EC Short Step 5.7L+0.040/NV3500
'00 Explorer XLT 4.0 V6 Auto
'94 K2500 5.7 NV4500 ECLB - SOLD

"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" Sir Edmund Burke


 
92GMCK2500 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 5

Reg: 11-13-17
11-14-17 09:30 PM - Post#2714431    
    In response to CowboyTrukr

At a stab, with these mods, what HP/TQ would this produce? approx.

Right now I am weighing up between; installing a stock 350 TBI replacement and doing some mods as you mentioned (or a already modified 350 turn key) or just bite the bullet and go for HT383. Haha, I don't want to regret going for the stock (smaller engine) later on as I am thinking we might possibly be pulling a boat behind the truck and camper one day.

1992 GMC Serria, K2500 SLE 4WD Extd Cab LB
5.7L (350) TBI (stock) @ 410kms


 
CowboyTrukr 
"6th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 3756
CowboyTrukr
Loc: Salt Lake City
Reg: 06-20-09
11-15-17 11:45 PM - Post#2714591    
    In response to 92GMCK2500

Without knowing your gears, I'll assume they're 4.10's like my 94 was. Same engine, same chassis.

Base HP is only ~210. With the headers and MTC-1, Standard bore, probably picked up somewhere near 30-35HP. However, torque was the more immediate bennie. Didn't dyno mine, but stock is 300lbft. I got a dramatically noticeable increase on my 94. It's easily over 350lbft and possibly 375. Pulled an empty 16' horse trailer empty up a grade in OD that I used to have to drop down into 3rd prior to the upgrade.

Liked that engine so much that I built one for my '95 short step. Went .040 over on a cheap L05 block, MTC-1 grind cam, kept the 193 heads, went shortie headers again, custom fabbed an air intake mod, put in a 14lb regulator, and dropped it in to replace the 4.3. Talk about fun. Zero computer tuning involved at all. Now, true to form, the 193 heads fall flat at around 4000, but that's because there's no way to pass any more air without going to Vortec heads. The 5.7 with a 3.73 gear set is very snappy off the line and lets me drop right into OD at 80 with a beautiful cruising rpm of 2500. I've never really taken it to redline in 4th to see where I'll end up. I have had it over 90 and it's still wanting to give me more.

My next upgrade will be Vortec heads, roller cam and TBI intake. I'm kinda getting tired of Zinc additive oil.

TBI engines are flat tappet and will require zinc additive oil to preserve the cam.

Start with reality. Your truck weighs 6100 lbs. That's over 3 tons. Next add your boat or camper and you're close to 4 tons loaded or more. That's a lot to ask of a 5.7. Can she do it. You bet. Will she win any trophies doing it. Nope. But who cares. You have one of the most reliable truck engines GM ever made.

Greg

'95 K1500 Z71 EC Short Step 5.7L+0.040/NV3500
'00 Explorer XLT 4.0 V6 Auto
'94 K2500 5.7 NV4500 ECLB - SOLD

"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" Sir Edmund Burke


 
scrambldcj8 
Senior Member
Posts: 2285

Loc: MA
Reg: 04-06-03
11-16-17 06:32 AM - Post#2714611    
    In response to CowboyTrukr

Just to add to the Melling MTC-1 suggestion. You might even get away with slipping in a 3.75 stroke crank too (383). Keeping things mild and with a goal of low to mid-range can keep tuning to a minimum....if at all. Although tuning is suggested, even on a stocker, just so nothing is left on the table.

If your block is roller ready an LT-1 roller cam is known to play well w/out tuning as is a stock '96 Vortec roller cam. Another one is the Ram Jet 350/HT383/Marine roller.



 
tcndeb 
Senior Member
Posts: 354

Loc: Texas
Reg: 04-18-04
11-16-17 07:52 PM - Post#2714712    
    In response to CowboyTrukr

I've got 400,000 on my 92 Blazer TBI and I've never used the zinc additive. Still runs great.

'92 Full Size Blazer


 
92GMCK2500 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 5

Reg: 11-13-17
11-16-17 08:18 PM - Post#2714715    
    In response to CowboyTrukr

Thanks Cowboy. I am definitely getting a better idea on which re-build option to go with now and finding out more about the entire powertrain which makes sense to upgrade / make stronger at the same time. I'll find out the condition of my current diff and gears and go from there.

With some of the mods you have mentioned I can pretty simply add some extra HP and TQ over a stock setup. This could work well with funds in mind and doing it in stages.

I am going to take all of this and get some options priced out before making a final decision on what to go with! Nice!

1992 GMC Serria, K2500 SLE 4WD Extd Cab LB
5.7L (350) TBI (stock) @ 410kms


 
92GMCK2500 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 5

Reg: 11-13-17
11-16-17 09:18 PM - Post#2714724    
    In response to 92GMCK2500

Forgot to add. Transmissions. I believe my existing tranny is a 700R4 aka 4L60 with approx. 235kms on it (is this right?). Given the purpose and the weight I will be tugging around (described in original post). What would everyone recommend? rebuild the existing one and make some upgrades (gears, trans cooler, flywheel etc?) OR replace with new? If new is the better option, can something like a 4L70E be dropped into a truck like mine?? hell is electronic even a option for me given the existing tranny is not Elec.? Again, the aim of the game is long lasting and strong. Cheers.

1992 GMC Serria, K2500 SLE 4WD Extd Cab LB
5.7L (350) TBI (stock) @ 410kms


 
1983G20Van 
Super Senior Member
Posts: 3648

Loc: Bedford, Texas, USA
Reg: 11-13-02
11-17-17 03:42 AM - Post#2714744    
    In response to 92GMCK2500

You could also find a good 400 block and start your build based on a 400. I was walking out of work yesterday and our scrap guy was sitting there loading up scrap into his truck and trailer. That is when a 70s blue block chevy caught my eye. I glanced closer and noticed it had 3 freeze plug castings in the block with the center one cast shut. I instantly took a closer look and noticed the counter weighted front balancer that identifies it as a 400. If it turns out to be a good useable 400 block (casting 330817, not the most desireable but not the least either) its the best $100 I have spent lately. I would not mind having a 406 or 408 in my 1-ton converted Express van that sees towing duties.

1983 G20 Van, 350 TPI, Ported 906 Vortecs, Edelbrock 3817 Base, ASM oversize runners. Reed Custom Roller cam, 700r4, 12 bolt with 3.08 gears, Doug Thorley Tri-Y headers, true duals


Edited by 1983G20Van on 11-17-17 03:43 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
scrambldcj8 
Senior Member
Posts: 2285

Loc: MA
Reg: 04-06-03
11-17-17 04:12 AM - Post#2714748    
    In response to 1983G20Van

^^^^^^

That has been my exact plan when the time comes to redo the 5.7L in my '94 K Blazer. I will retain the 193's (cleaned up of course)because it just seems they do what they do better than other options....build low rpm grunt. Sure they run out of flow potential above about 4000rpm's....that won't be my intent with this.



 
65_Impala 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 3856

Reg: 12-29-02
11-17-17 09:36 AM - Post#2714771    
    In response to 92GMCK2500

How much of that budget do you ~really~ want to spend?
How much custom work are you wanting to do yourself?
How much wiring and computer programming are you capable of doing?


With the budget you listed, you could make a major change in the truck drivetrain. To move a heavy truck, there simply is no replacement for displacement because that's how you get the low end torque.

You could do a 383 and an electronic transmission with an aftermarket EFI system. You could also do a 0411 conversion, which is basically using a GM LS engine PCM so you get sequential EFI and coil per plug ignition. Something with aftermarket heads and a factory style roller cam. You should be able to hit >350hp and >400ft-lbs torque. Don't forget that crate engines are gross power rated so their numbers are higher than the equivalent factory installed rating.

You could do a big block conversion using something like a Vortec 8100 engine and 4L80e transmission. This will make lots of low end torque to move your rig. The EFI system on this engine is basically the same as a LS engine so lots of aftermarket support for it. I'm not sure the availability of new/rebuilt engines but you could find a complete pull including the engine, transmission and wiring EFI parts and get the engine re-freshened and use the transmission as a core or also get it rebuilt.

This is just a couple of examples of what is possible. There are so many ways to go that it's hard to give a recommendation without knowing how involved in figuring it out and doing the custom install work vs only buying parts that can bolt in and run.

There is at least one company who can take your truck wiring harness and integrate a LS engine wiring harness into it. PSI is the one company I'm thinking about right now. So, if you do the 0411 swap or get a 8100 you could get the wiring done by them so it just drops into the truck ready to go. Then, get it all installed and find a decent LS engine tuner in your area to get it running for you.




 
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