Originally Posted by 1985air345
.....I thought the replacement with a 8.1 engine was interesting. Anyone else done that?
Haven't done it yet, but have put an awful lot of thought into it.
The 8.1 is a bored and stroked Fuel Injected 454......GM offers a 502 cubic inch engine with almost identical bore and stroke parameters as the 8.1, except they market the 502 as a carbureted prime mover. I plan to stick with a carb and not hassle with the electronics of Fuel Injection. Having thought through the best replacement engine for the 345 relieves me of a lot of pressure should a failure occur while I am on the road. Now, if a failure happens, I just have to find a GM ZZ502 fully constructed carbureted engine. Won't have to balance Carb vs FI vs Diesel. Put the pencil to the actuals - weight immediately eliminated the Diesel - engine weight is almost twice as much as a gasser. The ZZ502 comes with Aluminum heads and an Aluminum water pump - I believe the ZZ version is about 100 lbs lighter than the 502 "Truck Engine" that GM offers as a crate engine - plus, the ZZ502 is COMPLETE - every thing except headers comes in the crate.
It was a tough decision - F.I. does offer potential for fuel economy by monitoring and adjusting the spark advance, transmission shift points, and the combustion mixture.....I have opted to stay with the relatively simple and adjustable mechanical (utilizing my existing tranny) set-up when (not if) the time for an engine change comes about.
BTW - anyone contemplating an engine change out - factor in the "while you are at it" add on charges - an engine change is NOT a time to scrimp on peripherals - change EVERYTHING - alternator, belts, pully bearings, water pump, distributor, fan clutch - AND service the radiator......it's false economy to do anything less.