99 Vortec 5.7 V8 swap

99 Vortec 5.7 V8 swap

Postby 99AstroBobV8 [OP] » May 7th 2016, 8:01pm

Just got done putting a 99 Tahoe 5.7 Vortec engine in my 99 Astro. I put a few pictures my gallery. I did not do a step by step pictorial but here is an outline of what I did. Basically 1 months worth of work spread out over 10 months.
1. Blow up the 4.3 June 2015
2. October, found same year 5.7 engine at a car recycler, they used to call them junk yards. Also got wiring harness thrown in.
3. Disassembled 5.7, had crank polished, had valves done and heads checked for cracks (good) and cylinders honed. It already had the newer version injector spider.
4. Reassemble with new bearings, rings, gaskets and timing chain and sprockets.
5. Removed wiring harness from Astro and added wiring for 2 more injectors and the V8 injector plug and moved wiring for the knock sensor by the starter.
6. Added a wire for an eventual tachometer.
7. Wait for warmer weather as this was Fall 2015.
8. March had a string of warm days so I lifted the body off of the sub-frame and rolled the sub into the garage.
9. Had the old engine off and new on in one day. I used JTR motor mount adapters.
10. Found out the Astro exhaust did not fit the 5.7 so I ordered Tahoe parts back to the muffler and made a tailpipe from 3" mandrel bends welded together.
11. Put wiring harness back on.
12. Had the rear AC low pressure hose lengthened by 4".
13. Found a place in town that reprograms ECU's so I bought a used one with the same part number and had them tweak it, removed rear O2's and EGR etc.
14. I wanted to keep engine oil cooling but the oil filter adapter from the Astro was too small and the V8 didn't have cooling line holes so got one from a Savanna that did.
15. Put the body back on the sub-frame with 2" lifts.
16. Put 90 S10 leaf springs in the back. It's a little too high but it drives ok.
17. Used the Tahoe thermostat housing and upper radiator hose and the Astro lower hose and the Astro intake manifold heater hose connector.
18. Finished re-connecting all the fuel lines, cooling lines, shift linkage, throttle linkage etc.
19. Bought an oil pump primer and primed it for about 10 minutes total with the valve covers off until each rocker arm had oil oozing out.
20. Put battery back in and connected it looking for smoke.
21. Cycled the ignition switch about 10 times for the fuel pump to run and purge the lines.
22. It started on the first attempt but I only let it run a few seconds as it didn't have antifreeze in it yet.

I have since put about 100 miles on it and used it to take my old 4.3 back to the junk yard to get my $100 deposit back.
1999 Astro bought almost new with 7000 miles on it in 2000. Lost original V6 June 2015 due to #6 rod bearing going at 130000 miles. Replaced it with 99 Tahoe 5.7 V8 April 2016.
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Re: 99 Vortec 5.7 V8 swap

Postby timothy47130 » May 7th 2016, 8:36pm

Sounds like you planned it out pretty well and had a mostly trouble free swap. I would love to do the swap in my Astro but mines my daily driver and I sit in stop and go traffic 20 min every morning and 45 min on the way home 5 days a week. If it were not for that I would have a 5.7 in it. congrats on your swap
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5.7 Vortec swap on the way
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Re: 99 Vortec 5.7 V8 swap

Postby icebrrg3rd » May 8th 2016, 4:28am

Way to go! Must not have emission testing where you live to eliminate the EGR and rear O2 sensor. You said you only have 100 miles, how does it run?

-Andrew
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83 Yamaha Venture 1300cc 92k mi
91 Chevy Astro 5.0L 5-speed, Ford 9" 250k mi
02 Chrysler Sebring Conv. 2.7L 5-speed 189k mi
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Re: 99 Vortec 5.7 V8 swap

Postby 99AstroBobV8 [OP] » May 9th 2016, 9:12pm

It runs pretty well but I get an occasional miss while idling that doesn't set any codes. To save time and money I reused the Astro O2 sensors as I had no problems with them running the V6. I also reused the 5.7 spark plug wires, distributor cap and rotor and ignition module and coil. Any one of those could be marginal. I get good fuel pressure but it drops immediately after switching off the engine so I have a pump problem. Also reused the fuel injection spider and I have no idea how good that is but it is the upgraded one with the injectors at each port and no poppet valves. My plan is to run a tankful of fuel through it and then see how it is.
1999 Astro bought almost new with 7000 miles on it in 2000. Lost original V6 June 2015 due to #6 rod bearing going at 130000 miles. Replaced it with 99 Tahoe 5.7 V8 April 2016.
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Re: 99 Vortec 5.7 V8 swap

Postby redfury » May 10th 2016, 4:48pm

Replace the cap and rotor first and foremost. Have a look at the fuel trim numbers. New O2 sensors might help, but I doubt you'll need them replaced if the scanner shows good activity.
A temporary fix usually becomes a permanent solution, therefore it does not exist.
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Re: 99 Vortec 5.7 V8 swap

Postby Vandiction » May 11th 2016, 12:50am

Very cool.
Congrats!
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Re: 99 Vortec 5.7 V8 swap

Postby 99AstroBobV8 [OP] » June 2nd 2016, 11:23pm

Here is an update on the slightly rough idle and apparent miss I was experiencing. Since my fuel pressure dropped rapidly after turning the engine off I decided to replace the fuel pump. I ordered an AC Delco one from Rock Auto, one of my favorite places. While waiting for it to arrive, I cut an access hole in the floor because I have wanted to for quite a while. It was easier than I thought. When the pump arrived I had the new one in after about 30 minutes as I had to rewire for the new style electrical plug also. Evidently the older plugs tended to get hot. While removing the old pump I noticed the flexible hose that connects the pump to the fitting at the top of the assembly had a pin hole leak so that is where the majority of the pressure was going. My pressure still drops, but a lot more slowly now so I may have a pressure regulator or injector problem. I don't see any exterior leaks anywhere. I also doesn't act flooded when starting. As a result of all this the engine starts almost immediately and I no longer can detect any missing. I will post some pictures in the gallery about the access hole sometime soon.
1999 Astro bought almost new with 7000 miles on it in 2000. Lost original V6 June 2015 due to #6 rod bearing going at 130000 miles. Replaced it with 99 Tahoe 5.7 V8 April 2016.
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Re: 99 Vortec 5.7 V8 swap

Postby markmitch » June 3rd 2016, 1:06am

did you use the stock fuel injection system from the truck? I ask because I am building a LT1 cammed 350 vortec for my Astro but I plan on buying the very expensive TBI intake and using police car injectors. Just curious how the power is with the vortec stock fuel system. I also installed a TPI fuel pump for a 350 IROC camaro.
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Re: 99 Vortec 5.7 V8 swap

Postby hewitt89 » July 5th 2016, 11:14pm

99astrobobv8 would you be able to pm me a full parts list, any issues to look forward to or prevent, and how you've done the wiring harness? I'm looking at doing this myself gere soon hopefully before winter. Or if someone could drop a link or point me in the direction of where there's a full build walk through? I spent 6 hrs looking on the other site and I'll be spending all night looking here. I have a 99 astro ls and would love to do this swap when i replace the transmission o my van that i just picked up for $600.
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Re: 99 Vortec 5.7 V8 swap

Postby Hillbilly » October 3rd 2016, 7:38pm

cruise around with your foot floored then stop and smell your dipstick if you smell gas its your injector.
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Re: 99 Vortec 5.7 V8 swap

Postby CopperFiremistCopperFiremist is online! » October 16th 2016, 2:15am

Not one picture?
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Re: 99 Vortec 5.7 V8 swap

Postby 99AstroBobV8 [OP] » January 6th 2017, 11:34pm

I put some pictures in my album which you should be able to see. Could not figure out how to embed them in my replies.
1999 Astro bought almost new with 7000 miles on it in 2000. Lost original V6 June 2015 due to #6 rod bearing going at 130000 miles. Replaced it with 99 Tahoe 5.7 V8 April 2016.
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Re: 99 Vortec 5.7 V8 swap

Postby markmitch » January 8th 2017, 5:40am

the top ac line that goes to the rear ac how did they extend it ? I need to have that done. Thanks Mark
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Re: 99 Vortec 5.7 V8 swap

Postby TurnNburn » January 9th 2017, 7:19pm

I know a local ac shop in town rebuilds ac (and power steering) lines for cheaper then you can buy new ones. They just cut off the crimped sections, remove the rubber hose, flare the metal line, add new length of hose(usually the same length, but you can ask for any length) and recrimp it. Easy peasy and relatively inexpensive. Worth looking into in your area if there is a shop like that.
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