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Old 11-02-2014, 11:45 AM   #1
LT1Dime
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Heads/cam upgrade in my TBI K5

Well, I know that this isn't an S-Series, but I thought some of you might be interested in this upgrade.

The vehicle: my '76 Chevy K5 Blazer. The engine/trans is a TBI 350/4L60E that I pulled from a '93 Suburban that was given to me for free by one of my sisters. The vehicle was in bad shape, but for free, I used it as a donor anyway. This engine comes factory rated at a mind blowing 210HP/300Ft Lbs. T-case is a NP208/NP241 hybrid. (I needed a VSS for the 60E so I swapped the tail housing and reluctor wheel from the burb's 241 to the 208.) Rear axle is a Eaton HO72, which is a full float axle with strength similar to the 14 bolt, but it's lighter and has better ground clearance. It's a drop out third member style with rear inspection cover. It has 5.14 years and a factory Detroit No-Spin locker. These axles were produced from '46-'72 so they're getting pretty old. Front axle is a weak 8.5" 10 bolt with 5.12 gears. Diff is open but it is an 8 lug model so it matches the rear. Tires are 37x12.50R16.5 Goodyear MT's. These are military hummer tires that can be bought cheap. I bought my 5 used ones with good tread for $240. Lift is only 3 inches so my brother trimmed the fenders heavily for me to clear the tires.

The upgrade: I'm installing ported swirl port heads that I'm getting from my brother. I'm selling him a pair of Vortecs and he won't be needing the swirl ports anymore. I'll also be ditching the wimpy flat tappet TBI cam for the stock roller Vortec 350 cam that I purchased with the engine I'm selling the heads off of. Before and after dyno will be performed to see what kind of gains these mild upgrades yield. I even think Jeff (Hotwire) will be joining my brother and me at the dyno, so I'm excited to see what kind of numbers H2 will lay down. Pictures will also be provided. This is the only decent picture I have of my K5 right now.
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88 S10 LT1/4L60E swap project
76 Chevy K5 LT1, NV4500, 37's, 5.13's, 3 inch lift, fender trimming, Eaton HO72 rear w/Detroit no spin
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Old 11-02-2014, 10:37 PM   #2
Hotwire
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In for the win!
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•Jeff•
00 ZR2 Extended cab (8BenZR2/Angus), 4wd, Beater Extraordinaire
98 Habanero 2, 5.3L L33 V8 swap Click for project SOLD
64 Chevelle Malibu crew cab, 6.0L LQ4 / T56 V8 swap Click for project
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Hot wiring is bad news.
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:39 AM   #3
6SpeedBlazer
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should be a fun build. is your 93 block a roller block? my 95 tbi truck engine was a roller equip block but had a flat tappet cam
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Old 11-03-2014, 09:47 AM   #4
LT1Dime
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Yep, same as yours. Roller block, but flat tappet installed from the factory. I got a complete Vortec engine for dirt cheap with bearing problems. Since I have all the lifters, cam, and lifter holder, it should be a simple bolt on upgrade.
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88 S10 LT1/4L60E swap project
76 Chevy K5 LT1, NV4500, 37's, 5.13's, 3 inch lift, fender trimming, Eaton HO72 rear w/Detroit no spin
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Old 11-03-2014, 01:26 PM   #5
HectorM52
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You have the right timing cover? Or is there a cam retainer?
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Old 11-03-2014, 01:42 PM   #6
LT1Dime
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I just checked with my brother who is running an LT4 roller cam in his 383 powered K5 and there is a cam retainer. The factory timing cover can be reused.
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88 S10 LT1/4L60E swap project
76 Chevy K5 LT1, NV4500, 37's, 5.13's, 3 inch lift, fender trimming, Eaton HO72 rear w/Detroit no spin
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Old 11-03-2014, 01:44 PM   #7
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Sweet.

I was seriously contemplating converting the 283 in the Nova to a roller cam since I have nearly all of the parts AND it has a nasty tick. Turns out the "conversion" is a little tougher than I imagined so I'm just going to run it as-is.
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Old 11-03-2014, 02:01 PM   #8
LT1Dime
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Yeah, that block isn't drilled and tapped for the bolts that hold the lifter retainer down, right? Roller cam is always a good upgrade especially if it's easy and cheap.
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88 S10 LT1/4L60E swap project
76 Chevy K5 LT1, NV4500, 37's, 5.13's, 3 inch lift, fender trimming, Eaton HO72 rear w/Detroit no spin
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Old 11-03-2014, 02:06 PM   #9
LT1Dime
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And I might be purchasing an adjustable timing set to advance the cam 2-4 degrees. Any thoughts? This engine is obviously built for torque and doesn't have enough airflow to support much too end HP.

Jeff, this engine is basically 180 degrees opposite from H2's setup. My engine starts losing power about the same RPM that yours starts making power. It will be interesting to compare the dyno sheets. Out of the three vehicles headed down there, yours will definitely be the strongest on the dyno.
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88 S10 LT1/4L60E swap project
76 Chevy K5 LT1, NV4500, 37's, 5.13's, 3 inch lift, fender trimming, Eaton HO72 rear w/Detroit no spin
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Old 11-03-2014, 02:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LT1Dime View Post
Yeah, that block isn't drilled and tapped for the bolts that hold the lifter retainer down, right? Roller cam is always a good upgrade especially if it's easy and cheap.
Yes, that and the lack of a cam retainer plate means you have to get a special timing cover or a cam button. And you have to grind on the block to have the lifter dog-bones lay flat. AND the lifter bores are smaller. Similar to some sort of V6 lifter that you can get, but not cheap.

Again, way too much work.
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