getting started on a v8

getting started on a v8

Postby deltathunder [OP] » August 26th 2010, 12:51am

Well i will start by saying this: my name is John and my first car was an 87 cargo astro my second was a 94 passenger astro (vortec swap!) and what i believe is my 9th or maybe 10th car is a 1988 shorty passenger with a 5 speed. now that I am a little older i could swap a v8 like i would have loved to do in my first astro. I will probably end up posting a lot of questions before i dig too deep in this but i will start with the basics to figure out my direction. right now i do have a 69 chevy 350 that i am in the process of rebuilding
(slowly) and since all my other cars are oldsmobile and cadillac i think the 350 would be best suited for the astro. I see a lot of people on here going the tbi route because it is fairly easy but i already have this 350 so what do you all think of a carbed motor in mine? i have plenty more to ask but we'll start there. Thank you in advance.
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Re: getting started on a v8

Postby astroturf » August 26th 2010, 3:03pm

Welcome Aboard DeltaThunder

Looking forward to your build

Jim

PS Post up some pix when you can.
My Cup is neither half empty nor half full... But has a hole in it. Holy Cup Holders Batman. LOLz, Jim
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Re: getting started on a v8

Postby icebrrg3rd » August 26th 2010, 4:12pm

The first year (or so) Astro was carbed, then they went to TBI. That is why you see so many people using TBI, as the electronics are almost plug & play from a similar year v-8 donor. Cheapest & easiest route. If you already have a carbed engine, it is possible, but I think there might be a few issues (computer related) you'll have to overcome. Since you have an 88, you might have a mechanical speedo, so that may be one less issue. I'm not up to speed (yet) on the swap, and mine being a '91, I'll be looking for a TBI V-8 engine.

Good luck, there's a lot of info out there, and if you wait long enough, one of the carb'd V-8 guys might join in.

Welcome, too.

-Andrew
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91 Chevy Astro 5L 5-speed, Ford 9" 265k mi
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Re: getting started on a v8

Postby deltathunder [OP] » August 26th 2010, 11:16pm

thank you all for the responses so far. if swithching to carb what can i do about my fuel pump and sending unit? if not switching to carb is it possible to use a tbi intake on an older engine? i know there is something different about the head bolt patterns or something like that....am i on the right page?
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Re: getting started on a v8

Postby deltathunder [OP] » December 18th 2010, 9:52am

i have been doing some thinking on what i would like in my ideal v8 situation and since i would like an all year runner out of this bad boy i was thinking tbi is the best choice but like i said before i think you need matching heads and intake so maybe a set of vortecs and the vortec tbi manifold. but that puts me with this problem. all this stuff i keep hearking about wiring harness and computer from donor vehicle....well what donor vehicle? should i grab a tbi harness and computer and say you expect to need your vehicle tuned then what all would you want? would i need an aftermarket computer or anything? sorry for throwing these simple questions to you guys i really wish it was as simple as a carbed motor but i guess i have to start understanding fuel injection some time and tbi is just scratching the surface of what you face in a new car right?
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Re: getting started on a v8

Postby Gary » December 18th 2010, 11:11am

The term "vortec" used by GM is a mixed bag.A earlier TBI intake that is a total of 12 bolts fits early 12 bolt intakes and the later(split in 95 a transitional yr and later) are 8 bolt intakes that are TPI's.The earlier 12 bolt heads should bolt to the earlier TBI 12 bolt intakes.You see swap kits for earlier engines are being sold because they include the harness,intake,TBI,distributors,computer,being put into vehicles that where never computer vehicles in the first place.Notice I included needing a TBI dist for a swap and that is also controlled by the computer.You also need all the sensors related to the TBI injection system.I don't think your early heads have the bolt pattern for the drive systems of your van,so for that,you would need different heads alone.Now here is the kicker..........by the time you go threw all that.(I didn't complete the list)It is much better and might be cheaper to find a early truck TBI engine(89 to 92 or 94) or one the same yr as your van,harvest the engine,harness,computer,rebuild that and once done,plug and play.Use your early engine in a early Camero or Nova.

Do I know of guys that have done a carb swap??.Yes I do,and almost all of them said it was a pita and in the end regretted it.
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Re: getting started on a v8

Postby chevymaher » December 18th 2010, 2:12pm

deltathunder wrote:i have been doing some thinking on what i would like in my ideal v8 situation and since i would like an all year runner out of this bad boy i was thinking tbi is the best choice but like i said before i think you need matching heads and intake so maybe a set of vortecs and the vortec tbi manifold. but that puts me with this problem. all this stuff i keep hearking about wiring harness and computer from donor vehicle....well what donor vehicle? should i grab a tbi harness and computer and say you expect to need your vehicle tuned then what all would you want? would i need an aftermarket computer or anything? sorry for throwing these simple questions to you guys i really wish it was as simple as a carbed motor but i guess i have to start understanding fuel injection some time and tbi is just scratching the surface of what you face in a new car right?

There is a 350 350 horse carburated van here.Motor out of older car.Everything bolts up without a hitch.Run fuel line to mech fuel pump DONE.All you need is hot wire from vans ignition hook it to electronic distributor of motor.Vans computer out of loop now and his speedo works fine.Thats the work truck to thier motorcycle shop and it been that way for years.
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Re: getting started on a v8

Postby Gary » December 18th 2010, 4:17pm

With member "Chops" thread Dennis spoke to the conversion to carb and how much of a pain it was.350 350hp engines came in a number of yrs and some with the bolt holes to mount the drive accessories and some not.Have to wait for him to post again to see what he has.If the O/P wants TBI........he is far and away better off buying a donor with the TBI engine in it to use for the swap over a conversion to TBI.

I forgot how it was done,but you do use the in tank fuel pump because don't think you can draw gas threw a pump that isn't running.Then you use a regulator because the pressure is too high,but how the in tank pump is turned on and off is the question I don't remember.Darn senior moments. :banghead: :banghead:
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Re: getting started on a v8

Postby chevymaher » December 18th 2010, 4:38pm

I just sayin it not that tough I been fabricating race car chassis so checking a motor for three bolt holes pretty much childs play.Take out electric pump hose to bypass it.Now sending unit works fine.Use motors existing mech fuel pump.I sorry but I just assumed that if you are dealing with making custom exhaust This stuff would come natural.
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Re: getting started on a v8

Postby Mr_Roboto » December 18th 2010, 5:33pm

deltathunder wrote:i have been doing some thinking on what i would like in my ideal v8 situation and since i would like an all year runner out of this bad boy i was thinking tbi is the best choice but like i said before i think you need matching heads and intake so maybe a set of vortecs and the vortec tbi manifold. but that puts me with this problem. all this stuff i keep hearking about wiring harness and computer from donor vehicle....well what donor vehicle? should i grab a tbi harness and computer and say you expect to need your vehicle tuned then what all would you want? would i need an aftermarket computer or anything? sorry for throwing these simple questions to you guys i really wish it was as simple as a carbed motor but i guess i have to start understanding fuel injection some time and tbi is just scratching the surface of what you face in a new car right?


The deal with "donor harnesses" is that if you have a 92-95 VIN W CPI injected van the easiest way to V8 swap it is to convert it to TBI with a donor harness and then put in your 350. That way there's enough injectors the CPI only has 1 injector.
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