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Vortec V8 in 89 Truck.

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by plowcrack, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. plowcrack

    plowcrack Member
    Messages: 79

    Short version: Will it work? Any significant mods other than changing over the TBI?

    Long version: Friend of a friend bought a wrecked truck w vortec and the engine still ran fine. Dont know the year but vortec nontheless. Engine out and now he don't wana deal with it anymore. I can take it off his hands for 200 bucks. It would go into one of several chevy trucks ranging from 1988 to 1992 that need engines at my yard.

    My experience with engine swaps is almost zilch asside from some simple swaps with friends on the late 80's early 90's silverados and the like. Never tried to do a swap with a vortec to an older truck with TBI. I have tools.

    Can it be done and is it worth it?
  2. wirenut

    wirenut Senior Member
    from nh
    Messages: 529

    you'll need the computer and bcm if it has it, wiring harnesses and trans along with evap system i would think
    im sure if you ask B$B he could be more precise....but it should work
  3. plowcrack

    plowcrack Member
    Messages: 79

    I was hoping for something simpler like removing components and hook up old TBI rather than keep all the newer vortec stuff. I might just pass on this one.
  4. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    The TBI intake won't fit the Vortec head bolt pattern, so unless you buy an aftermarket TBI-to-Vortec intake that is avalible for about 3 bills that isn't going to happen that way. You could use the shortblock though if you have and want to freshen up a set of TBI heads and swap them on.

    But if you're just looking for a quick easy and inexpensive install it isn't going to happen, sorry.
  5. larboc

    larboc Member
    Messages: 98

    IME used vortec 350 heads are cracked more often than not. The spider intake system on 4.3,5.0, and 5.7 vortec's often get clogged injectors and are $$.
    TBI is simpler and more reliable IME. There is a power and slight economy difference, but would never be worth the swap to me. If you needed the shortblock, go for it though. It will be a roller cam, if it's from a 3/4 or 1-ton it will probably be 4-bolt too.
  6. plowcrack

    plowcrack Member
    Messages: 79

    Thats kinda what I had in mind. If I got two engines, one vortec and one TBI, sitting in the shop, the swap could be made without purchasing any additional adapters right?
  7. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Correct, that 's why I mentioned using only the shortblock.
  8. ihdriver7088

    ihdriver7088 Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    keep the tbi i'm still running it on my 454 only i bought an edelbrock performer tbi intake for it and my next step is a big bore tbi and stepped up injectors imo cheaper and easier than converting to a vortec setup
  9. plowcrack

    plowcrack Member
    Messages: 79

    I might be smacking a hornet nest here. Sounds like switching from Vortec down to TBI might be more than I can get done with my limited knowledge (and funds) for engine swaps.

    Thanks for your input guys.
  10. KSikkema

    KSikkema Senior Member
    Messages: 179

    I think that's wise. Like B&B said, only the short block is the same. Fuel pump (diff pressure), all electronics and wiring, and transmission (4l60 vs 4l60E) would have to be changed. The newer vortech computer will not like not having all the electronics there nor the proper transmission and the old fuel pump will never even come close to starting the engine with it's much lower fuel pressure. Not worth the hassle. Make the TBI system work in whatever way you can.
  11. plowcrack

    plowcrack Member
    Messages: 79

    Ok, just to clarify, I want to remove all things Vortec from a good vortec engine, and take all things TBI from from an older engine thats blown, and install TBI on a good vortec engine.

    Why would I need the vortec computer? I'm going with TBI.

    As far as the short block, a TBI and Vortec block are the same arent they?
  12. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    No they are not the same but what isn't doesn't matter, all your TBI components will still work.

    The Vortec will be hydraulic roller camshaft and have a CKP sensor in the timming cover but neither will affect swapping the TBI upper end on. So, you'd use your TBI heads, head bolts, rockers, valve covers, dizzy, intake, and of course the TBI unit itself.

    You will use the Vortec's push rods and complete short block..