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400 FWHP TBI Build

Old 07-29-2018, 04:39 PM
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Default 400 FWHP TBI Build

Latest project, a 92 C1500 with a chewed right front corner and a bad transmission, $450.00 with a rear cap thrown in. Picked up some body parts in the local boneyard and put the front end back together, updated to 94+ grille. Had a local GM trans specialty shop do a beefy rebuild of the 700R4. Adapted a GMT800 true dual stainless kit behind some Hedman 69440 long tubes. Drove it for a while, both head gaskets blew on the way back from the beach but it limped gamely home the last 20 miles. Pulled the old 727 block L05 350 and dropped in a 638-based roller shortblock. Has .040 over -6.7cc pistons, factory cast crank & rods, 4 bolt mains. Clogged heater core killed the L05's head gaskets...

Also had these parts I bought for it coming up on 2 years ago:

Holley 300-49 ProJection intake for early heads
ProMaxx 2169 Heads (185cc / 64cc , 2.02 /1.6)
660CFM ported Rochester 220 TBI unit, blocked off internal FP regulator
Aeromotive 13301 FPR, vacuum ref. @ 23PSI base w/out vac.
80# GM injectors
GM performance roller timing set
Melling standard volume pump
LS7 lifters
Comp pushrods
Comp 08-422-8 cam (think Comp 502 cam for SBC, 1 step down from the venerable 503) on 16.RR is 218/224 .528/.535 on a 110, IVC 61* ABDC
Scorpion 1.6RR
Comp stud girdle
Chevy RamJet distributor
Pertronix Flame Thrower coil
!EGR
EBL Flash II ECM, in process of being tuned by... me.

Last edited by Gojira94; 07-29-2018 at 07:45 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 07-29-2018, 04:46 PM
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First round of pics from late April when I started.






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Old 07-29-2018, 04:52 PM
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Pics of the old engine- a few part numbers. Had Fel-Pro blue .039" gaskets, the swirl port 193 heads looked new-ish. Looks like a budget rebuild was performed within the last 40-50k miles. HV pump, must have been done with .010- .015 under crank bearings. Double non-roller chain...







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Old 07-29-2018, 05:29 PM
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Starting on new shortblock











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Old 07-29-2018, 05:59 PM
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Head gaskets are Mahle/ Victor-Reinz/ Clevite 5746 (.026", gives me 10.2:1 SCR, 8.2:1 DCR). Mocking up intake for modification of stock brackets and locating MAP, Coil, throttle bracket. Used 2 original intake bolts and shortened them a bit, for the throttle bracket and MAP sensor bracket. Pushrods measured out at 7.2" even with all the apparent changes in geometry. Pistons are .015" in the hole. Coil leg spacing is closer than stock on the Holley intake. I cut the grooved end deeper and trimmed the ends for a correct fit. Brake booster hose will route under the throttle bracket. Spider and dog bones came from a D body LT1 car in the boneyard, cleaned up well.













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Old 07-29-2018, 06:06 PM
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Valve covers are from Summit, Cast aluminum with chrome finish. Drilled a hole for the CCV hose on the driver's side, used a Toyota grommet, good fit. Passenger side I used the Oil cap hole for the PCV valve. I'm not fond of the long hose from the TB, may put another hole in the front of it and throw a cap on the large hole. CCV plastic hose stub works fine with the bit of hose that goes to the air cleaner, good there. Mocked up the headers to do some tweaking to a stock boneyard dipstick/ pipe. Original one broke at the base coming out, go figure... Grinding of the header flange and pipe to cylinder head mounting bracket was necessary to make this happen.





Last edited by Gojira94; 07-29-2018 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 07-29-2018, 06:46 PM
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Custom bracket for the ESC module. Left over metal from the alternator brace I cut when installing the headers last fall. Didn't know why I was keeping it at the time. Glad I did.







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Old 07-29-2018, 07:43 PM
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Went ahead and tossed it in today. Thought I had taken a couple more pics with the intake dressed out with TB, covers and brackets, guess I meant to and didn't. Oh well. Plenty left to do but I doubt I'll be able to get back to it in the next week, which sucks. I used grade 8 3/8" x 3/4" bolts in the head accessory holes to lift it. Towels are there to keep the leveler attachment points from scratching the heads.

Still to do:
Clean up and repaint headers
Reassemble exhaust
Attach fuel lines
Attach wiring harness
Clean water neck
Acquire & install 180* thermostat & housing gasket
Acquire & install CTS & new CTS pigtail
Pressure wash front accessory brackets
Change out 15psi FP gauge for 100psi
Slight stretch to 0-20psi FPR spring to get 23psi
Acquire and install new heater core
Measure for heater hoses, acquire new & install
Add coolant
Run oil cooler lines back to radiator
Put oil back in
Prime one more time
Quadruple check tune
First start
Yeah...



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Old 07-30-2018, 07:45 PM
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Looks like it's coming along very nicely. Bet it will make a lot of torque and be a fun motor in the truck.

TBI engines can be amazing from the durability stand point. Ran one almost 400,000 miles
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Old 07-30-2018, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by 99 Black Bird T/A View Post
Looks like it's coming along very nicely. Bet it will make a lot of torque and be a fun motor in the truck.

TBI engines can be amazing from the durability stand point. Ran one almost 400,000 miles
I always see these trucks on the road in huge numbers still, pass at least 10-12 a day that are pre-'96. Never knew how simple and durable they are. Found this one and fell in love with the platform. I've run simulations on a number of different software platforms and it's pretty consistent. Should be slightly over 400 flywheel around 5200 and pull well to 56-5700. Torque peaks kind of early, which you'd want for a truck. knocking on the door of 500 lb. ft. at 25-2800, holds on above 350 out to around 4800. Nice thing is I could pull this setup and put in almost anything down the road. Of course, it could all come to tears in the next few weeks. The usual wailing, rending of garments, gnashing of teeth of a new build gone south, lol. We'll see...
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Old 07-30-2018, 10:09 PM
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I managed to sneak by the shop on the way back from feeding the wife's horses and took another couple quick pics. Should come together quickly when I can get back to it.




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Old 07-31-2018, 12:08 PM
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Nice build.

I'm also doing a similar build which should make around the same power. Flat top pistons, Lunati cam, longtubes, Holley throttle body, Weiand single plane carbureted intake, Trick Flow heads etc.

What are you going to do for tuning?





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Old 07-31-2018, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by ElQueFør View Post
What are you going to do for tuning?
Im using a modified ECM that can be flashed instead of burning chips. It’s called EBL Flash II. It holds up to 8 calibrations. It does VE learns and will flash those back for you with changes it makes for the bin file you’re running from. http://www.dynamicefi.com

i borrowed spark tables from a Vortec tune and constructed my initial best guess VE low and high tables. The guy who does the ECMs provides a TunerPro xdf file along with the software and a guide on how to tune with it. It also supports vacuum referenced FPR setups in BPC vs Vac, understands nitrous and forced induction with 2 and 3 bar MAP.
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:36 AM
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Ahh I see now. Rbob's EBL. He's a nice guy and very helpful. I wanted to play around with his EBL flash but everything around here either got an LS swap or is running an electronic automatic so the EBL wouldn't be an option, at least not without piggybacking a second PCM on to shift the trans.
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Old 08-01-2018, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ElQueFør View Post
Ahh I see now. Rbob's EBL. He's a nice guy and very helpful. I wanted to play around with his EBL flash but everything around here either got an LS swap or is running an electronic automatic so the EBL wouldn't be an option, at least not without piggybacking a second PCM on to shift the trans.
Yeah he’s great, seriously nice guy, seriously smart guy. Seems like I’ve seen your project in another forum- gearhead-efi or fullsizechevy? You found that Holley throttle body at a swap meet for dirt cheap. I think I book marked it to seee how it turns out. Best of luck with it, let me know.
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Old 08-02-2018, 05:41 PM
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Yeah he is. I've talked to him over the years over on TGO. Always a nice and helpful guy.

Yes that is one of my projects, and it's on gearhead efi. I had to mail my chip burner back to Moates today becuase of what seems to be a hardware failure. Anyways, as soon as I can get a functional chip burner back in my hands I will be able to continue on with dialing in the tune. The build has been long and slow, I built the engine, built a 4L80 and swapped it in, freshened up the transfer case.. I can't ever leave something alone, my projects always get pretty deep to the point that nearly every bolt gets turned lol

Yeah I found that Holley TB for $5 lol.... Top it off with GM sensors and injectors and it's like a BBC throttle body, but bigger lol.

Have you fired your engine yet? I think you'll be impressed with it. I've head a lot of people talk much **** on TBIs over the years...... They're junk, and don't make power etc. I'm sure you've heard it all..... While a TBI may not be the engine of choice for max effort competitive racing, they can make a lot of power with a little knowledge. Upgrade to a bigger cam, less restrictive exhaust, and do some tuning and you're probably already making around 300 HP. Port and polish the 193 heads or even better, throw on some aftermarket heads and a better intake and 400 HP is pretty attainable. Of course one will have to have a TB that will support all this power like you and I both have.

I'm glad I went with the Weiand single plane intake on this one, this engine just RIPS. and I'm sure the single plane intake has a lot to do with that. TBI will inject the programmed amount of fuel in regardless so there really is no need for a dual plane. Dual plane is a crutch for a carb since it is dependent on a consistent vacuum signal for fuel delivery. I forget but I think the advertised power band for this single plane is 1,500 - 6,500 RPM..... I believe it.

Keep us posted on your build. I cut my teeth on TBI and learned a lot by messing with TBIs over the years. I'm glad to see other people building very stout combos that are still topped off with TBI.... You couldn't ask for a better engine, especially in a truck!

Also, if you haven't already done it, ditch the stock steering shaft and replace it with a Jeep XJ Cherokee shaft. It bolts right up and makes the steering WAAY tighter and actually confidence inspiring. Also, put a 454SS steering box in it. I have done both of these mods to my 90 Silverado with the turbo 6.0 AND the K5 Blazer with the TBI 355. Both HUGE improvements to the steering on these trucks. And, they are a bolt on deal! The Cherokee shafts can be had at a junkyard for cheap. The box I'd buy new or remaned from the parts store.

Last edited by ElQueFør; 08-02-2018 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 08-03-2018, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Gojira94 View Post
Latest project, a 92 C1500 with a chewed right front corner and a bad transmission, $450.00 with a rear cap thrown in. Picked up some body parts in the local boneyard and put the front end back together, updated to 94+ grille. Had a local GM trans specialty shop do a beefy rebuild of the 700R4. Adapted a GMT800 true dual stainless kit behind some Hedman 69440 long tubes. Drove it for a while, both head gaskets blew on the way back from the beach but it limped gamely home the last 20 miles. Pulled the old 727 block L05 350 and dropped in a 638-based roller shortblock. Has .040 over -6.7cc pistons, factory cast crank & rods, 4 bolt mains. Clogged heater core killed the L05's head gaskets...

Also had these parts I bought for it coming up on 2 years ago:

Holley 300-49 ProJection intake for early heads
ProMaxx 2169 Heads (185cc / 64cc , 2.02 /1.6)
660CFM ported Rochester 220 TBI unit, blocked off internal FP regulator
Aeromotive 13301 FPR, vacuum ref. @ 23PSI base w/out vac.
80# GM injectors
GM performance roller timing set
Melling standard volume pump
LS7 lifters
Comp pushrods
Comp 08-422-8 cam (think Comp 502 cam for SBC, 1 step down from the venerable 503) on 16.RR is 218/224 .528/.535 on a 110, IVC 61* ABDC
Scorpion 1.6RR
Comp stud girdle
Chevy RamJet distributor
Pertronix Flame Thrower coil
!EGR
EBL Flash II ECM, in process of being tuned by... me.
That cam should work out pretty well. My Vortec 5.7 has Assault Racing 200cc knock off Dart Pro1 Platinums and a Comp custom grind 215/224 @ 0.050" roller that has .570/.570" lift with the 1.7 rockers. The P59 1-meg PCM that is running it works very well.
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Old 08-06-2018, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Fast355 View Post
That cam should work out pretty well. My Vortec 5.7 has Assault Racing 200cc knock off Dart Pro1 Platinums and a Comp custom grind 215/224 @ 0.050" roller that has .570/.570" lift with the 1.7 rockers. The P59 1-meg PCM that is running it works very well.
I was hoping to see a couple pics of your Express van somewhere over on gearhead-efi.

If anybody has looked at my VE and spark tables over there they haven't posted anything yet, lol. I think my VE tables are close enough to get it started, spark tables should be close to appropriate but slightly conservative. I'm still looking at getting it completely back together and firing it off for the first time. I could get it all done in a single day but it would have to be a good day with zero interruptions. Heat index is in the low 100s right now...
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Old 08-06-2018, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by ElQueFør View Post
Also, if you haven't already done it, ditch the stock steering shaft and replace it with a Jeep XJ Cherokee shaft. It bolts right up and makes the steering WAAY tighter and actually confidence inspiring. Also, put a 454SS steering box in it. I have done both of these mods to my 90 Silverado with the turbo 6.0 AND the K5 Blazer with the TBI 355. Both HUGE improvements to the steering on these trucks. And, they are a bolt on deal! The Cherokee shafts can be had at a junkyard for cheap. The box I'd buy new or remaned from the parts store.
I'd never heard of these mods but they sound worthwhile. I'll check into them, thanks!
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Old 08-08-2018, 10:08 PM
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More progress, I cleaned the accessory brackets with Purple Power and hot water and a steel brush. I used very thin rubber washers between the brackets and the heads. We have a great old style hardware store here where you can buy individual fasteners. I flipped the ESC module to face forward and drilled another 1/8" hole in the bracket I made as an attachment point for the wiring harness. I played around with the harness to get it situated in an orderly way. Pretty builds always get ugly when everything bolts back on to make it streetable, lol. I had to gently massage the AC suction line upward to clear the tall valve cover on the passenger side. The alternator & power steering pump brace I cut down will need another slight shave in one spot to accommodate the driver's side valve cover's front corner. I adjusted the heater hose port to run between the valve cover and back the AC compressor/ bracket. Cooling system: have to install heater core, water pump, heater hoses, thermostat housing will go when I fill it- want to fill mostly from the thermostat hole in the intake to get it full without having to play with cycling the thermostat on first startup. Exhaust: trim ear from passenger side of trans, repaint headers, reassemble exhaust to them and check clearances again.



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