Anybody had their SBC swap done by a shop/individual?

arlowf

Apprentice
Thread starter
Feb 11, 2022
81
8
The greatest satisfaction for any gearhead is having done the work themselves... they learn more about what it takes to get things running, but its not witout its challenges, especially swapping unlike engines.

Luckily i've been into cars for over 30yrs, so consider me a major gearhead, and NOONE touches my car(s) but me.
I did my own bodywork, interior, doors, electronics, and paint. There's my satisfaction. I'm not going to enjoy a swap if I do it all alone on something I want to not get screwed up.
 

PBGBodyFan

G-Body Guru
Supporting Member
Mar 3, 2009
762
93
Wisconsin
Was any consideration given to keeping it TBI? Would be less work in many ways (fuel system and wiring) and probably better “street-ability” if anything.
 

arlowf

Apprentice
Thread starter
Feb 11, 2022
81
8
The greatest satisfaction for any gearhead is having done the work themselves... they learn more about what it takes to get things running, but its not witout its challenges, especially swapping unlike engines.

Luckily i've been into cars for over 30yrs, so consider me a major gearhead, and NOONE touches my car(s) but me.
I did my own bodywork, interior, doors, electronics, and paint. There's my satisfaction. I'm not going to enjoy a swap if I do it all alone on something I want to not get screwed up.
Was any consideration given to keeping it TBI? Would be less work in many ways (fuel system and wiring) and probably better “street-ability” if anything.
Honestly no; it's supposedly easier to get HP gains using a carburetor and one of my goals with this car is to keep electronics which control the performance to a minimum. The guy doing the work immediately jumped to swapping it for a carb, and I assumed it was due to cost, simplicity, performance or all of the above.
Something tells me the TBi on the 4.3 wouldn't work as-is on the 5.7 anyway.
 

mikester

Comic Book Super Hero
Mar 10, 2010
2,693
113
Small town NY
The advantage of a crate engine regardless if you install it yourself or pay someone a lot of money to install it is you are starting off with an engine that has been completely rebuilt with new parts at the power level of your choice and many come with a warranty and dyno sheet.
While the initial cost for the engine will be more you are only paying the shop for the R & R and whatever mods are needed for the install instead of paying for labor twice on the same $500 core engine that has no warranty and you probably don't know the history or maintenance of either.
As far as installing an engine by yourself, I have done it dozens of times and mostly with big blocks, SBC's are even easier.
When I was getting ready to pull the wagon apart I was on the fence. The car came with a slightly worked 350. I wanted to pull it apart and freshen it up. I figured out the time frame and cost. In the end I went to the local Chevy dealer and ordered the 350/330. I had it on my trailer in 3 days and it came with a 12 month 12K mile warranty. In the end it was a decent amount of work and it required some fabrication. Wires had to be redone due to the fact the crate motor had the serpentine setup. Bracket for the carb linkage/kickdown was a pain in the butt since no company makes a nice one for a Vortec manifold. In the end I was glad I bought it but since then the prices went WAY up. Im shocked at the current costs. At least $2K more.
 
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bracketchev1221

Royal Smart Person
Jan 18, 2018
1,245
113
I will agree on the gear change if you are looking for a boost. Not sure what you have now, but mine is track proven I went 15.20 with my 79 malibu (original 267 car), so whatever stock gear it had in it, 2 something, to a a 3.73 Monte SS 10 bolt. First day out it went 14.12. So like was said if you want an easy improvement I would start there.
 
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RabbitHoleSS

G-Body Guru
Dec 8, 2019
634
93
Indianapolis
I agree with the gear change. It makes a big difference. I think that and converter choice turns setups into dogs.I get not wanting to do it yourself so you can get it done quick and drive it. Especially if you trust the guy/seen his work but if you plan on Taking a 90s vortec 350 youve never heard run, or inspected is pretty ballsy. I'm not knocking you or choices, But if your not doing the work anyway, why not just put a stock gen 3 truck engine in it. Your car being fi helps alot as far as the fuel system goes. I'm pretty sure if you incorporate the front 02s and maf sensor, You'll only need vats deleted, no tune. I could be wrong(probably am)If your gonna use a straight from the junkyard engine,why not use the best one for that application. Then take the next 2500(350vortec cam swap)$$ and put a cam,headers and tune.
If you have vortec and not tbi heads you need a different intake edelbrock 2116
. You'll probably need to get the mechanical pump boss machined for the pushrod. They make lock up kits if your using a 4spd.
And make sure to get a melonized distributor gear if it's a vortec 350 it has a roller cam. Those headers work. I had them on my monte. Pita to install and rusted fast af. Like 1 yr. 2k miles. It's really humid here all yr though.
Also, this might be the most important advice....make sure he rids your engine bay of the unused harness/wires. And post some pics of the car please.
 

RabbitHoleSS

G-Body Guru
Dec 8, 2019
634
93
Indianapolis
I'll post pictures of before and after. I'll update this thread after this is all done in 4 weeks. Then everyone can tell me how wrong I did it :)
Or maybe, just maybe, I'll have a fun daily streetable driver I'll be driving through the summer then putting back in the shop in September.
Don't take it as a criticism. Just guys throwing ideas and solutions around is all. Plus we all like spending others people money over the internet right 😆. I wish you nothing but the best and look forward to your burnout videos. As are most people on here.
 
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Wraith

Royal Smart Person
Jan 13, 2013
1,543
113
DFW, TX
I'll echo the thought to start at gears. My last Malibu had 2.29's and I swapped in a new crate ZZ4 in place of a 267, of course with Edelbrock TES headers and single 3" exhaust(needed to stay emission compliant at the time) and it was one of the biggest let downs when I drove it, would hardly even spin one tire. Picked up a Monte SS 3.73 posi the next weekend and it had no problem getting sideways.
 
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