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Old 09-19-2009, 11:24 PM   #1
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Default 350 TPI's .. How are they?

Hey guys,

as some of you know I've been trying to find a cheap project car to work on.. A LOT of the cheap camaro's or firebird's are third gen's. My last 3rd gen had a carb'd 305, and it was slow as turtles.

So.. I'm just looking for some input on the 350 TPI motors. Are they reliable, are they good with high mileage, are they easy to work on/modify, stuff like that.. are they decently fast? I'd like to know all this before I get into one lol.

Appreciate it everyone, thank you.
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Old 09-20-2009, 02:30 AM   #2
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the motors themselves are just gen I V8s so they obviously have a huge aftermarket and can be very reliable. Very cheap to fix as well. TPI manifolds are ok for making low end and midrange power, but above 4k they're basically useless. If you want it to rev like a modern engine you'd want to invest in a stealth ram intake.
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Old 09-20-2009, 02:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
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the motors themselves are just gen I V8s so they obviously have a huge aftermarket and can be very reliable. Very cheap to fix as well. TPI manifolds are ok for making low end and midrange power, but above 4k they're basically useless. If you want it to rev like a modern engine you'd want to invest in a stealth ram intake.
Or a carburetor. IMO you are better off putting something LS based in there if you want fuel injection rather than wasting your time/$$$ on an antiquated system that is extremely hard to tune.
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Old 09-20-2009, 02:34 AM   #4
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Fuck it man, go on eBay, get a cheap truck 5.3l (can be had for 300 to 500 dollars) and you got a 327 LS Iron block.
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Old 09-20-2009, 07:29 AM   #5
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If you buy one, you wont want it in there for long.
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:19 AM   #6
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what do you want to do with it. make it a driver? drag race? autox/road race? theyre great drivers, and as everyone knows, absolute stump pullers. 340lbs of torque at the flywheel, as rated for most of them. run out of breath fast though. fairly reliable, easy to work on, parts are everywhere and not too expensive.

if you plan on making alot of power for drag racing, then youll end up either going carbed or doing a motor swap anyway.

for autox/road race, just do some basic motor bolt ons and youll be done. theyll run out of breath on many longer tracks, but in an autox course where you never get out of 2nd, youll appreciate the gobs of low end torque.
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Old 09-20-2009, 09:25 AM   #7
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just a thought, but I was 18 and on a pretty tight budget when i built my tpi 350. I was happy with my results though... check it out. rebuild cost me ~$900

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kn5_xHm7wqw
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Old 09-20-2009, 09:53 AM   #8
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Yes they are slow.

Depending on year you can get it with a HR cam and alum heads but BOTH need to be upgraded but the intake is the biggest drawback. On a 350 4500rpm is the top and on my 383 4100-4200 is the max. Its a torque monster though.

Intake, exhaust, heads, cam and nitrous
only way to be happy with a TPI
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Old 09-20-2009, 09:58 AM   #9
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Whatever happened to that '79 Camaro you were looking at? I still regret selling mine. I'm only 20 btw so I was in a similar position when I sold it a year ago.
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Old 09-20-2009, 01:31 PM   #10
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just a thought, but I was 18 and on a pretty tight budget when i built my tpi 350. I was happy with my results though... check it out. rebuild cost me ~$900
Jesus, what do you have in there? Looked like a pretty good launch!

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Whatever happened to that '79 Camaro you were looking at? I still regret selling mine. I'm only 20 btw so I was in a similar position when I sold it a year ago.
He sold it.. There's WAY more third gen's for sale than there are older ones.. as usual.

I'm not looking for anything to be faster than my WS6. I want a project car just so I have something to put my extra time into so I'm not just sitting around all day. Of course I would like it to be somewhat fast, but it doesn't need to be the fastest thing on the street. I still wanna be able to pull on someone if they decide to mess with me

I don't know much about these motors. So definitely an intake swap? Heads/cam etc.. Any suggestions on what parts?
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Old 09-20-2009, 01:40 PM   #11
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My buddy had a 92 Z28 with a TPI I believe.

He liked that car, but he never spent any money modding it, so he ending up really hating in the end.

Crabhart already mentioned getting the stealth ram intake , but those are not cheap, but they work nice.
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Old 09-20-2009, 01:40 PM   #12
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God damn these double posts....
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Old 09-20-2009, 01:47 PM   #13
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God damn these double posts....
iPhone ftw huh?

I just found a '90 IROC .. 350 "Holley carb, 3" longtubes to tails"
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Old 09-20-2009, 02:04 PM   #14
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I have one it was my first car. I love it. Total yw monster. Fun cars check thirdgen.org out
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Old 09-20-2009, 02:15 PM   #15
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my friend from highschool had an 87 GTA with a tpi 350 and an auto. car ran decent, bone stock. i still walked him in my '86 gt 5 speed rustang
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Old 09-20-2009, 02:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
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He sold it.. There's WAY more third gen's for sale than there are older ones.. as usual.
That sucks. I always loved that body style. How about a C4 vette? They're usually pretty cheap.
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Old 09-20-2009, 02:25 PM   #17
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I loved my 88GTA. That TPI motor is a perfect in town/city motor. So much torque and power that was there immediately. Fantastic stop light to stop light car. get on the highway and you're hosed though.

The TPI makes for a perfect cruiser (or truck lol)
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Old 09-20-2009, 02:40 PM   #18
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IMO, the TPI's are more suitable for truck swaps. Gobs of low end TQ to get a heavy vehicle moving, but they're done @ 4500 rpms.

Like others have mentioned, I think a 5.3L would be a fun and cheap project. In the end I'm willing to bet it'll be cheaper than a TPI swap, be more reliable, more fuel efficient, and make more power.
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Old 09-20-2009, 02:55 PM   #19
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Any TPI motor that you want power out of throw the heads and intake on craigs list and get some aluminum heads and a stealth ram intake.

In the end a LS build will get you more power for I am sure about the same amount of money............. I HATE iron block's......... they weigh a ton........ people talk about building one on here all the time but I doubt 99% of them have ever tried to pick up an iron block.....
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Old 09-20-2009, 03:53 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 89txiroc View Post
just a thought, but I was 18 and on a pretty tight budget when i built my tpi 350. I was happy with my results though... check it out. rebuild cost me ~$900

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kn5_xHm7wqw


How about some details, Mr. Mullet?
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Old 09-20-2009, 03:53 PM
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