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  1. #1
    Platinum Member Charter Member
    My Boats:
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    so. WI

    O/T- Older Suburban Replacement Engine Options

    We have a 1988 Chev Suburban 4x4 !/2 ton Silverado that the engine finally went south at 120K miles (350 TBI). The truck is still in great shape other than a little repairable surface rust, and I'm thinking of keeping it for a backup/work truck (the 4x4 is nice here in the north).
    What are your suggestions and who has the best prices on
    1) either a stock long block
    2) or possibly upping the performance a little with an aftermarket long block?
    3) complete new engine
    We will probably keep it until it rots away, so resale is no issue, turn-key reliability is! I have a shop at home and will be restoring the vehicle over the winter.

  2. #2
    Were doomed! Charter Member Wally's Avatar
    My Boats:
    Chris Craft Stinger 222
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Jim, I'd just go with a crate engine from GM....i see adds in the hot rod mags all the time for a stock 350ci longblock going for like $1200-$1500. How can you beat that price for a engine coming straight form GM??? You would probably pay more for the machineing and pistons if you went by way or a rebuild yourself!! And you get GM's warranty. All youd need to do is swap all your acc onto the new engine and drop it in.

    Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy horsepower. And I've never seen a sad person hauling a$$!

  3. #3
    After you read this you`re going to think I`m some kind of salesman for GM, I`m not, but here goes:
    I wouldn`t even consider anything but a crate engine from GM. You get a 3 yr / 50,000 mile parts and labor warranty good at ANY GM dealer. Your engine has TBI, so it`s a little more than the basic $1200 engine.
    350 ci / 5.7 ltr, 1987-1995 TBI V8. Part # 12520268
    Price $ 1759, no exchange required.
    Contact your local GM dealer, if they won`t match that price, call 1-800-456-0211
    Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center
    Lubbock, Texas

    Hope that helps you make your decision!


  4. #4
    Official OSO boat whore Charter Member
    My Boats:
    8' row boat
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Mequon, WI
    The problem is the TBI, I don't think the system can flow enough fuel for any mods. If you dump the electronics you could go with the ZZ4 engine from GM. That should wake up the 'burban.

  5. #5
    Registered 26scarab's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    st. clair shores mi ,us
    I knew a guy that replaced his tired 454 with a Cummins 24v Diesel with a 5 or 6 speed .
    He wouldn't shut up about how much he likes the dually now. I think his was an 85 though. He uses it to tow a 45 ft fifth wheel race car trailer.

  6. #6
    sha- mat
    I have had zero problems with GM motors I have installed for my customers. I have, on the other hand, had a few problems with other engine reman companies. For the quality you get with GM, you can't beat the price and the warranty.

  7. #7
    Registered Jolley's Avatar
    My Boats:
    25 Ocean Express
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Cass Lake Michigan
    My Wife works for G.M. at the Ren-Cen H.Q. she sent this to me last week give it a shot and see if these prices work for ya. They even have the Vortec Marine Motor in case you need one... MARK YOUR CALENDAR: GM PERFORMANCE PARTS "GARAGE SALE" . . . GM Performance
    Parts will be having a "garage sale," featuring discounts on some of its
    most popular performance-enhancing parts. The sale runs from Oct. 1 through
    Nov. 30 at GM Performance Parts dealers. "These parts aren't just slow
    movers -- they represent 76 percent of our sales," said Gary Penn, GM
    Performance Parts product specialist. "With discounts to dealers on
    approximately 90 of our top-selling parts, including intake manifolds,
    cylinder blocks and the ram Jet 502 crate engine, this promotion is one
    that customers can't afford to miss." For more information on GM
    Performance Parts, visit the GM Goodwrench site at

  8. #8
    Registered FunHome's Avatar
    My Boats:
    28ft Saber, 22 Velocity
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Kansas & LOTO
    I hear what everyone is saying about the Crate motor's they would be a great deal!!

    However I just redid the motor in my 1991 4x4 chevy truck, it only needed to be rebuilt and I had a couple of my buddy's that are Chevy mechanics do the rebuild. I went with the newer vortect heads and had the block cleaned and bored 30 over, with a mild cam. and it runs great!!! Lot's of fun!! I still have the old TBI on it but I plan on going with a new one from Holly. All in all it was pretty cheap. We got the heads complete from GM for around $500.00 and the rest for about $500 total. So it was about a $1000.00 for everything. Yea, I know I don't have a warranty but that is what buddy's are for!!

  9. #9
    Registered Crazyhorse's Avatar
    My Boats:
    38 Cigarette flat-deck
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Holland MI
    If my truck purchase goes through I'll be selling the white Frankenburb which is a big-block and has all the brackets you'll need for the swap. Call me or I'll call you this weekend. I'll make you a deal.

  10. #10
    My Boats:
    1984 Chris Cat
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Troy, Mich


    I would go with the GM crate motor and put headers and a Hypertech chip on it. The TBI motors wake up with these mods and you will still have reliability. If it is a backup vehicle than spend the time and $ on the boat.

    Wannabe in Motor City

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