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Will newer 5.3 heads fit on my TBI block?

 
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DeeK
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Joined: 06 Jul 2007
Posts: 2
Location: Kansas
179.78 points



PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:30 pm    Post subject: Will newer 5.3 heads fit on my TBI block? Reply with quote

I had a friend give me the 5.3 out of his truck, but its going to cost too much money to make it work for what i want. so i was just wondering if i could use the vortec heads off of it & make them work on my 89' TBI 350.

thanks!
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nwcc
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Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 453
Location: Pacific Northwest
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The LS series engine heads(what you called Vortec) won't work on your older block.

What are you building this engine for? Towing ect.?

If we know what application and what your trying to do, it will make it alot easier to help.
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Big Dave
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Joined: 04 Dec 2005
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Location: Tampa Florida
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Small problem with the generations not talking to each other. The 5.3 is a Gen III LS-x motor, and the '89 5.7 is a Gen I one piece rear main seal cast iron block. Heads are not interchangeable.


Big Dave
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DeeK
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Joined: 06 Jul 2007
Posts: 2
Location: Kansas
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I figured it was going to be a long shot Sad , oh well

But hey,thanks for the replys!


Just a little more insite as to what I'm doing, I'm trying to build up a 350 to use for towing,I have a beat up 89' chevy 1/2 to use as a doner truck for the motor, (didn't even have to pay extra for the knock!). I definatly want to use the EFI set up, now i also have a few other 350 sitting around that came from the 70's, I also thought about building one of them & just swapping the TBI setup.

I would like to put a 383 kit in the bottom end & run the vortec heads with a decent cam, but nothing thats going to hurt the reliability.

At this point I'm still tossing ideas around,,,it sure would be nice to figure out which way to go.
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Big Dave
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LS-x series is the badest small block yet (excluding the new NASCAR RO7 motor; GM's Purpose-Built Small-Block strictly for racing). Two strikes against this particular motor, first it's a 5.3L and not a 6.0L as "There is no replacement for displacement." Second and this is the deal breaker, you will need the wiring harness with sensors, along with the computers and fuel tank and pumps to get it work.

Your older first gen 1989 SBC is the most common (lots of parts available at low costs) motor in existence. A SBC 355 can pump out 500+ horse when built to the max, and give it will make at least 350 horse easily with only minor mods, and still be as reliable as an anvil.

Depends upon what you "need" in terms of bang for the buck.

Big Dave
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nwcc
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Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 453
Location: Pacific Northwest
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DeeK wrote:
I also have a few other 350 sitting around that came from the 70's, I also thought about building one of them & just swapping the TBI setup.


At this point I'm still tossing ideas around,,,it sure would be nice to figure out which way to go.


Before building off of a 70's block make sure that you don't live in a DEQ/inspection state.
Some states are sticklers about using a block older than the age of the truck. No matter how much current technology emissions equipment is has on it.

I've been there done that!!! Twisted Evil
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96capriceMGR
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Joined: 23 Aug 2003
Posts: 814
Location: New London Wisconsin
20327.88 points


1996 Chevrolet Caprice

PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stick with the newer block factory equipped for a roller cam.
Leave the 70s stuff for restorations that is about all it is good for.

A set of gen 1 Vortec heads is a cheap decent way to get power out of a gen 1 motor, for towing the 383 is a nice touch too, but I still feel it necessary to attach a note to Big Dave's above comment.

Quote:
"There is no replacement for displacement."


For that to be true the topend has to be in order. People too often focus on cubes and neglect the part of the engine that actually accomodates the airflow, the heads and cam.

Cubes will help keep the power at lower rpms but the topend basicaslly determines what peak power will be, as such money spent on the topend does much more to enhance power output.

If you have the money a little bowl work on a set of gen 1 Vortecs would be a good addition to the buildup. The factory valvejob is rather good so don't let anyone mess it up by doing a "3-angle valvejob" that is what the factory one is and I am pretty confident the GM one is better than what the vast majority of local shops are capable of.
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