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73-87 Chevy _ GMC Trucks => Engine/Drivetrain => Topic started by: Cubs4Life on October 14, 2020, 11:31:27 AM

Title: Upgrade Engine or Replace
Post by: Cubs4Life on October 14, 2020, 11:31:27 AM
Hey all,

I have a 350 V8 sitting in my '73 C20 right now, but was wondering if it would be cheaper to replace the entire engine or upgrade it piece by piece?  I have a mechanic quoting me roughly $9k for a bunch of things, but I'm not even sure that's replacing engine.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Upgrade Engine or Replace
Post by: Mike81K10 on October 14, 2020, 01:40:40 PM
Why do you want to replace the 350 engine? You can buy a new engine with a warranty for much less than 9K if needed.
Title: Re: Upgrade Engine or Replace
Post by: Cubs4Life on October 14, 2020, 07:57:10 PM
It's slow, sucks gas and want something with a bit more power.  I don't like going up the hill and slowing down.  I was told I can replace manifold, headers, camshaft, etc without replacing, but feels like it'll cost less to do an LS swap or something.  Thoughts?
Title: Re: Upgrade Engine or Replace
Post by: bd on October 14, 2020, 08:06:41 PM
The place to begin is gearing and tires rather than the power plant.  Even a big block would struggle with tall gears and tires.  Our trucks are not aerodynamic.  They displace a lot of air while in motion.  Don't set your hopes too high regarding fuel mileage.
Title: Re: Upgrade Engine or Replace
Post by: Cubs4Life on October 14, 2020, 08:24:01 PM
Fuel efficiency a side, what recommendations would you give for giving it more torque?
Title: Re: Upgrade Engine or Replace
Post by: JohnnyPopper on October 16, 2020, 03:00:26 PM
bd gave the best advice on where to start.

If your gearing and tire size puts your engine out of it's optimal power band, (rpm) you're spinning your wheels. not.

Have you tuned it recently?

I think your mechanic is trying to hose you... ::) 9K???
Title: Re: Upgrade Engine or Replace
Post by: Cubs4Life on October 16, 2020, 10:07:55 PM
Would 9k be an outrageous price if he was doing the work?  I'm not mechanically inclined enough to be dropping engines in my truck...
Title: Re: Upgrade Engine or Replace
Post by: Scott91370 on October 19, 2020, 04:24:03 PM
for 9k you could get a 400hp+ engine and a transmission, possibly installed.  Or you could look at an LS swap for half that.
Title: Re: Upgrade Engine or Replace
Post by: JohnnyPopper on October 21, 2020, 04:44:17 PM
Yea, most of that $ sounds like labor, unless you haven't listed all the 'goodies' he has in mind.

LS is alot less and proven power.

How many miles is on your existing motor?
Title: Re: Upgrade Engine or Replace
Post by: VileZambonie on October 21, 2020, 05:28:40 PM
I agree with BD, powertrain upgrades and some engine mods will take you to the end results you desire. Where are you located and who quoted you the job? Are they trustworthy and experienced in these trucks?
Title: Re: Upgrade Engine or Replace
Post by: Krowey on October 21, 2020, 07:07:43 PM
$9000 is outrageous. I know you said youíre not to mechanically inclined, but itís not rocket science. Before you get to excited on spending your money, do some simple things like pull the rear cover off the differential and see what gear ratio you have and go from there.
Title: Re: Upgrade Engine or Replace
Post by: Cubs4Life on October 26, 2020, 12:01:03 AM
JohnnyPopper -- There are 63k on a rebuilt engine.  I keep reading about the differences in LS models and it looks like the LS3 is kind of where I'm looking to go, but before I do that, I'm thinking about doing some of my own work to it. 

VilaZambonie -- Located in S. California.  I got quoted(estimate) from a guy that was referred to me from a friend.  It seems like a lot of is it labor.  I mean he did say it'll be trans, camshaft kit, new carb, headers, intake...I think even fuel injection.  I assume there are a lot of random items that will need to be purchased like wire harness and all that, but nto sure.  I didn't think 9k sounded too bad when I factored in all the labor
Title: Re: Upgrade Engine or Replace
Post by: JohnnyPopper on October 26, 2020, 02:58:35 AM
Short of saying "Run away from that impostor!" pls post the 'estimate' he is proposing. Very curious about the 'trans' part of the equation. 
Title: Re: Upgrade Engine or Replace
Post by: Mike81K10 on October 26, 2020, 02:49:11 PM
I would recommend staying away from friends and referrals from friends to find someone to work on your truck. If you are not going to do the work yourself (with or without assistance), go to a certified professional (business) that will provide a warranty. Never pay family or friends, it can become a mess if not satisfied with the work. I recommend you decide what you want to do and do the work yourself. You can use this forum for information and get a maintenance manual. Even if you have to buy some tools, it will be less expensive and tools would be an investment.