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Old 01-28-2008, 09:55 AM   #15
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I have been down this road with my Jeeps and it is all about drivabillity. My Jeeps now pass the emissions tests with numbers better than brand new cars - I have changed from carb to tbi and have never looked back!
If your rebuilding your motor - CAMSHAFT SELECTION IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE!!
It's all about lobe seperation and duration as the computers can be picky about the overlap at idle which can confuse the computer chip. I would recommend putting on a system from a vendor (Howell or Edelbrock or others) with a kit over piecing it together from the junkyard. You can do this but it takes a lot of research to do it correctly.
One of my systems is from Howell. These are good people to work with. I would also recommend using a aftermarket intake manifold which will help with torque in the low rpm range and hp in the upper rpm ranges. You may also want to make sure the transmission torque convertor is at the correct stall speed if you do any modifications to the engine.
My vehicles are trouble free and use GM parts which can be obtained from any corner autoparts store.
If you do not change the transmission you may have to modify the chip so that the computer does not look for input/output from the transmission.
You may see a slight rise in mpg but not likely. The engines are much more responsive and the system is very reliable. I would also recommend the option to let the computer control the timing.
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:51 AM   #16
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Back in the early 90s, I swapped out the original carburetor in my 61 Caddy for a Holley TBI setup. It was terrific. My mileage tended to be about 25%more on the highway after the upgrade, and the car was drastically more powerful. It had better torque accross the whole RPM range, and the throttle response was much better. It was pretty easy to light up the rear tires.

It had a little electronics box with four adjusters that I mounted inside. That allowed me to adjust mixture and a number of other parameters. Once it was fully dialed in, the car exceeded the smog numbers required for cars built decades later. I think my engine guy actually got it to almost 1989 new car standards once.

The install kit included everything I needed, such as an electric fuel pump. If I remember, I think the kit cost me around $600.
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Old 01-28-2008, 11:51 AM   #17
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Also - you will use an external fuel pump. Just put the filter before the fuel pump.
The only other way around this would be to find a fuel tank from the boneyard or something aftermarket that would accept an intank fuel pump.
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Old 01-28-2008, 01:48 PM   #18
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Hi-road

I did the Holley system also way back.
Would like to forget.
Was super responsive, and required constant tinkering.
It was open loop system, no oxygen sensor.
Would get all the bells if doing today.

You should have the return line as a charcoal canister.
I think it vents fuel tank to carb thru filter.

May do this too, after hearing your results.
Don't want to go the Banks or Gear Venders route yet.
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:41 PM   #19
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
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I went with a kit put together by Turbo City. It's all GM parts except the harness. The hole kit wasn't all the parts need(go figure). Spent some time in a junk yards for a lot of little stuff. Made some stuff too. I have a Holly electric fuel pump by the gas tank, so I put the injector pump on the frame where the online filter was. I tied the vent and return line together for the return (no place to put the vent line with EFI anyway). The smog stuff all came off (no place to hook it to either)
As I have said before, the 'Silver Bullet' went from a gutless gas hog 4mpg to a spunky gas hog 6.9 mpg.
Know some people (more that 2)that installed the Holley TB on 350's and did not like them and went back to a carb.
mel
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Old 04-21-2008, 08:35 PM   #20
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Go with the Howell kit.
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Old 04-22-2008, 10:53 AM   #21
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Brad,

One thought for what its worth.

Years ago I had a 1982 Eldorado (Black) with TBI. I put about 220K miles on it. It was in the shop for engine repairs about every 30,000 but never for the throttle body system or computer. What I did see during the Texas summers was after sitting about 30 minutes it would percolate and would surge for about 5-8 minutes. I generally used regular gas, it never did this using premium fuel (it didn’t like alcohol blended fuel)

That was my limited experience. My car today has none of these characteristics and it runs well on regular with alcohol blends.

John
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Old 12-28-2015, 09:38 AM   #22
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Im bringing this thread back. As I am typing this my donor drivetrain is being pulled. Its a 1992 454 TBI with 4L80e transmission. I bought this dually a while back wiht plans to do this project, now I am finally getting the time to pull the engine/tranny. The thing ran great and shifted smooth. I plan to swap it over to the motorhome at some point, just need to find the itme this spring. First I will probably get the TBI system to work on my block. Has anyone done this swap before? Anything I should know about such as modifications to the block?

Once I get that I will add the transmission to the RV, which should be an easy swap. Im assuming I will need to shorten the drive shaft and move the mount. Since I will have moved the TBI system over already, all I should have to do is plug the transmission in. Anything else I would have to worry about?

As far as the cluster goes, I plan to invest in a more modern set of gauges so that will eliminate the need to convert the mechanical speedo.
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:12 PM   #23
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Matt I think I'm confused about something. Are you pulling your existing motor and transmission and replacing both with the donors or are you moving the TBI from the donor to your existing motor and then swapping the transmissions?

From everything I've read the TH400/475 to 4L80e is not necessarily a straight bolt in swap and there's more to it that just shortening the drive shaft. There are several threads discussing the swap of the 4L80e. I plan on swapping in a 4L80e that I have on the floor so needless to say I'm eager to see what you come up with!

Just so you are aware you will be drilling out a LOT of rivets to do the engine swap! Take a close look at the front of your Argosy, the whole face has to come off. I'm not trying to dissuade you, just want to make sure you're not caught off guard by the extra work that's involved compared to the Classic's where the nose just unbolts.
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As far as modern instruments here's what I'm dong for a custom dash layout in my 74.
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For reference
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The program I'm using to layout the panel is
Front Panel Designer
.

The only thing I couldn't get the program to do is recreate the shape of the Argosy dash opening. I ended up doing that with Autocad and then imported the Autocad file into Front Panel Designer.


Brad
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Old 12-29-2015, 06:00 AM   #24
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I guess I wasnt very clear as to my intentions with the TBI. I am going to remove the TBI system from the truck engine and put it on my motorhome engine. My main to reasons for doing so are (1.) What you said about rivets (2.) My moho engine has 26k miles, not 124k.Luckily for me, the transmission was rebuilt a few thousand miles ago because it did not shift at all when that owner bought it.

I know the 4l80e swap isnt exactly straight forward but I am confident that it can be done quickly. Since I have all of the wiring and the computer that will make it a lot easier.
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Old 12-29-2015, 07:56 AM   #25
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It must be nice to have a low mileage engine in your coach! It sounds to me like you're making the smart move by swapping the TBI components.

I'm definitely looking forward to your 4L80e swap as I'd really like to perform that swap myself.

One thing I found on my coach this weekend was you will likely have a really hard time removing the transmission support cross member. The way Airstream built the floor it sits to close to the top of the frame rails which keeps the cross member bolts from being removed. With the bolts in place you can't remove the cross member.

On mine the cross member is made of three pieces riveted together and it looks like by removing two sets of three rivets you might be able to remove the center section of the cross member which should allow the transmission to be dropped straight down.

What I don't know is whether the cross member will need to be moved towards the rear for the 4L80e. If it does then somehow those bolts are going to need to be removed/cut to allow movement of the cross member. I have both the 4L80e and the TH400 sitting on the shop floor, I guess I ought to compare mounting dimensions

As for that large front section, I'm not looking forward to riveting that thing back on my coach
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Old 12-29-2015, 01:44 PM   #26
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Matt, I've been doing a little research on the TBI and 4L80e combo. Since you have a complete donor vehicle you're pretty much all set for what you need for your installation.

For someone in my situation where I have a 4L80e sitting on the floor with not much else the situation is a lot different. So today I spent some time researching my options and this is what I've come up with.

My 4L80e is from a 92-94 chevy box truck that had a 350 TBI in it. Since I've got a 454 the PCM won't directly work with my setup. However I had a long conversation with someone at Affordable Fuel Injection (AFI) and he explained what I would need to do.

My year of 4L80e will not work with their fuel injection system directly because from 92-95 GM used a DRAC module as an interface between the transmission and the PCM. The DRAC module is programmed to match tire diameter and final gear ratio and sends that info to the PCM which means the DRAC module is specific to a vehicle. He said if I can get a DRAC module configured to match my vehicle I would be good to go.

I found some info online on how to reprogram the DRAC and according to AFI the PCM that I have from the 350 powered box truck can be used but they will have to reprogram the chip to match my needs. That means I would just need to buy their kit less the PCM module.

I called and talked to the one transmission rebuilder in the area that I trust and I'm looking at $1400 to have them completely go through the 4L80e. That price includes a new heavy duty torque converter. I'm not sure how that price matches elsewhere but I've worked with this company before and they do good work so they are probably my best option.

As far as the transmission installation goes it looks like the mount will need to be moved rearward about 1-1/2" and possibly some shims added to raise the tail end of the transmission. Obviously the drive shaft will need to be shortened and the shift lever that comes from the steering column down to the transmission needs to be lengthened about 3". Also the pivot rod between the transmission and the frame where the shifter rod connects needs to be moved back and I think lowered as well.

More than likely there is a lot more yet to be figured out!


Dang, you've got me thinking about this again
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Old 12-30-2015, 11:04 AM   #27
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I'm beginning to think I'm going to go the 4L80e and TBI route on my Argosy. If the engine and transmission were in the vehicle I might not consider it but since the engine is on the test stand I would be able to install the TBI and run the engine to make sure it works as advertised. As far as transmission swap is concerned it will run about $800 more to have the 4L80e rebuilt compared to the TH400 so all things considered that's not a huge chunk of change.

So with that in mind today I went to one of the local salvage yards and managed to find the correct VSSB (used to be called DRAC but from 92 on they were called VSSB) from a 1994 Chevy pickup. It will need to be re-programmed to match my tire size and axle ratio but that's not difficult to do.

Also I guess what I have been calling the PCM is actually called an ECM

VSSB: Just need to move some of the jumpers around to match my setup.
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So for the 4L80e & TBI installation I have the right VSSB and ECM now I will just need to have the 4L80e rebuilt and purchase the correct TBI kit.

Matt, maybe we can learn together on this


Brad
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Old 12-30-2015, 11:32 AM   #28
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I'm in too!
I have a similar plan, but the 4L80e will come later.
My issue is that mine must pass CA smog, and an '87 Suburban is my donor.
Also remember that the intake for the TBI has different mounting points, so you will need an either an adapter plate, or use the OEM intake, which is heavy, but low profile and will work. You could go with the Edelbrock TBI aluminum intake, but I have a concern about doghouse clearances...
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/EDL-3764

A side note, take a good look at the drive belt system you have on the donor engine... I think that the 90's motors have a single serpentine, that does everything... which is GREAT... but:
1/ Alternator and AC are transposed. AC compressor on pass side and alternator on drivers side.
2/ Reverse rotation water pump needed.

Here is the single serpentine system on a 1990 TBI 454 for reference.
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