Noob here looking for help deciding wether to purchase a new crate motor or do an engine re-fresh

John Nes

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DoubleDingo

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Man, I’m glad I don’t live in CA! I know the climate is nice there, but why do you all put up with the rest of the B.S. to live there?!?

For what it's worth, living here isn't as bad as you make it out to be. Yeah the liberal communists have ruined it on the political level, but there are plenty mountains, deserts, backyards, properties to do whatever one pleases. Much like everywhere else in the country. It's not like we can't get acetone, or other solvents, just can't get them pre-blended for certain things like it came in the old days. Maybe living in Los Angeles or San Francisco it's tighter restrictions because of higher communist populations?

Yes, the communists have ruined this state, but there are still tons of great things to do here. My main one is camping at 8,000 feet elevation, dry, cool, comfortable, clear skies, awesome. I can name numerous states where you are camping near sea level, humid, hot, sticky. Still fun? Yes. More comfortable? No.
 

Raider L

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@Giant Rock,

What you need to do is to look at a whole variety of engines, in print, that have different configurations. Go online to the Summit Racing site, go to engines and look for what you would like to see. It shows every crate engine worth getting. Most of your GM basic 350's are about $6K Another choice are GM Goodwrench crate engines which are the best for reliability and durability. Go on line and look those up. They might be your best bet for cheapest to buy. And yes there are big blocks in the Summit engine section as well, from 502 cu. in. all the way to 562 cu. in. full bore racing engines I don't think you would need. You might take a look at 454 cu. in. basic engines which since you have a Surburban. This forum has a good tech section on engine stuff to.

You may be better off rebuilding your engine yourself so you can build in whatever horse power you might need, and get a good machine shop who knows what they are doing. You can do a lot of it yourself, but things like cleaning and boring the engine you can't do. But you can make up the pistons, put the crank shaft in, put the cam and the push rods and all that yourself. There are just some things you have to have a machine shop do.

You'd have fun building the engine yourself, and you'd learn a lot to. Get a friend, or your wife and kids, get the whole family in on it. You may not be able to drink as much beer with the kids around, so you may have to figure out some job they could do to get them out if the way for awhile. Lol
 

DoubleDingo

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@Giant Rock,

What you need to do is to look at a whole variety of engines, in print, that have different configurations. Go online to the Summit Racing site, go to engines and look for what you would like to see. It shows every crate engine worth getting. Most of your GM basic 350's are about $6K Another choice are GM Goodwrench crate engines which are the best for reliability and durability. Go on line and look those up. They might be your best bet for cheapest to buy. And yes there are big blocks in the Summit engine section as well, from 502 cu. in. all the way to 562 cu. in. full bore racing engines I don't think you would need. You might take a look at 454 cu. in. basic engines which since you have a Surburban. This forum has a good tech section on engine stuff to.

You may be better off rebuilding your engine yourself so you can build in whatever horse power you might need, and get a good machine shop who knows what they are doing. You can do a lot of it yourself, but things like cleaning and boring the engine you can't do. But you can make up the pistons, put the crank shaft in, put the cam and the push rods and all that yourself. There are just some things you have to have a machine shop do.

You'd have fun building the engine yourself, and you'd learn a lot to. Get a friend, or your wife and kids, get the whole family in on it. You may not be able to drink as much beer with the kids around, so you may have to figure out some job they could do to get them out if the way for awhile. Lol

If he changes the engine from what it came with from the factory, he also needs all of the emissions items from that engine and the vehicle it came from.

He can get a new crate engine that'll match what his is, and then after the warranty, swap in a better cam and heads and it'll still pass emissions testing, both sniffer and visual, and the truck will run much stronger and cleaner.
 

DoubleDingo

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Carb'ed Vortec 350; 1972 L48 350
You must be registered for see images attach


Looks factory except for the intake and valve covers. Vortec heads, spreadbore vortec intake, 300hp/327 cam. The guy never says a word about it, and it passes with flying colors. And it runs really strong!
 

Craig 85

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If I got sentenced to Californya and was in this perdicament, AND if it was a round eye truck, I'd buy a 1973-74 title and vin tag from some rusted out shitbox back east (they're fairly plentiful.) and have me a pre smog truck!

A lot of guys get pre-98 diesels as they don't require smog here either.
 

DoubleDingo

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@DoubleDingo,

Dang! I didn't even look to where he was from. I assumed everyone comes from a normal part of the country where you could drive whatever you wanted.

It depends on which county you live in here. But, if you have to get it smogged every two years, use factory optioned power adders and it doesn't raise an eyebrow, meanwhile you get a better running, cleaner running truck
 

K5ride

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I'm a licensed smog check inspector here in California. I see people having issues here with engine changes daily. Before purchasing, you may wish to review the engine change guidelines. They can be found at www.bar.ca.gov. Use the "search" feature to find the smog check reference guide. The engine change guidelines are in appendix D on page 45. The engine change "rules" are currently 4 pages long. They update them every couple years now so always check back if you are planning something down the road. Reading this before you purchase the engine and do the swap can save a lot of money and headaches. Engines marketed as "replacement" do not have any issues and you just swap all your equipment over. "Crate" engines that are modified from stock, such as the 383, are illegal in pollution-controlled vehicles in Calif (page 46). You must install a certified configuration. 1975 and older vehicles are exempt from the biannual inspections. That's why I drive a 1975 C10.
 

DoubleDingo

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Carb'ed Vortec 350; 1972 L48 350
I'm a licensed smog check inspector here in California. I see people having issues here with engine changes daily. Before purchasing, you may wish to review the engine change guidelines. They can be found at www.bar.ca.gov. Use the "search" feature to find the smog check reference guide. The engine change guidelines are in appendix D on page 45. The engine change "rules" are currently 4 pages long. They update them every couple years now so always check back if you are planning something down the road. Reading this before you purchase the engine and do the swap can save a lot of money and headaches. Engines marketed as "replacement" do not have any issues and you just swap all your equipment over. "Crate" engines that are modified from stock, such as the 383, are illegal in pollution-controlled vehicles in Calif (page 46). You must install a certified configuration. 1975 and older vehicles are exempt from the biannual inspections. That's why I drive a 1975 C10.

Thanks for posting that. It can get sticky trying to smog vehicles here. But it can be done. Mainly buy 3/4 ton if you want it to be easier. People don't think of that when buying, though. I know I didn't. I did stop in to talk to the guy one afternoon to ask him about exhaust on my '81. He looked out and saw 8 lugs and said, no cats required, you can do whatever you want with that one. Every time I have taken it in, he tells me not to get rid of it.

A guy I know has an '81 SB stepside. It came with a 250. He put in a 350. Dual exhaust, etc. It wouldn't pass. He tried all the various vacuum hose routing to no avail. Finally took it to the referee, they gave him the rundown, so he put on all the items the referee said, and took it back in. It passed but got a new VIN to show the truck having a v8 now.
 
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Craig 85

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CARB used to attach labels like this to engine swaps. I'm sure they've updated it. I had a friend have to get one on his '80 K20 he put a 396 in prior to smog laws starting in 1984.

You must be registered for see images attach
 

K5ride

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You must be registered for see images attach
CARB used to attach labels like this to engine swaps. I'm sure they've updated it. I had a friend have to get one on his '80 K20 he put a 396 in prior to smog laws starting in 1984.
Boy, that label is a "blast from the past". We quit using those around 1994. Those were metal. Now they are printed on a thermal printer. Here is what they look like today.
 

oldretiredafguy

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Have you checked the fuel pump? Chances are it is old and tired. I think since yours is a '90 model it has EFI and an in-tank pump. More knowledgeable folks can correct me if I'm wrong about this.

No sense spending the time/money for an engine swap if it's a simple fuel pump (or clogged fuel filter, as @Southcoast85 suggested) problem. ;)
 

Mark Jones

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Your first move is gtfo California! The rest will be a piece of cake. :D


Although life is great in Thousand Oaks and I still live there at different times of the year, Horse Shoe Bay TX is my new home now, and I ain't no libby...................................
 

gotyourgoat

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I'm a licensed smog check inspector here in California. I see people having issues here with engine changes daily. Before purchasing, you may wish to review the engine change guidelines. They can be found at www.bar.ca.gov. Use the "search" feature to find the smog check reference guide. The engine change guidelines are in appendix D on page 45. The engine change "rules" are currently 4 pages long. They update them every couple years now so always check back if you are planning something down the road. Reading this before you purchase the engine and do the swap can save a lot of money and headaches. Engines marketed as "replacement" do not have any issues and you just swap all your equipment over. "Crate" engines that are modified from stock, such as the 383, are illegal in pollution-controlled vehicles in Calif (page 46). You must install a certified configuration. 1975 and older vehicles are exempt from the biannual inspections. That's why I drive a 1975 C10.

You must be registered for see images attach

Boy, that label is a "blast from the past". We quit using those around 1994. Those were metal. Now they are printed on a thermal printer. Here is what they look like today.

So how would you know if my engine was a stroker??

Btw. The car that sticker goes with sounds pretty nice, an 86 cutty with an ls3. :drool:
 

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