Author Topic: Converting a 5.3 from FI to Carb  (Read 383 times)

MiniVanMan

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Converting a 5.3 from FI to Carb
« on: March 28, 2019, 09:54:12 AM »
The rust on my truck has gotten to the point where I simply cannot justify putting any real money into repairs. Unfortunately, it needs a new idler arm, pitman arm, tie rod ends, front diff carrier bearings and axle seals, front axle actuator, tires, transfer case encoder motor, a new hood and a new tailgate (due to rust), and some other minor stuff. Way more money needed to make the truck road worthy than I am comfortable putting into it given that the body is beaten eaten away at an alarming rate. So.. we've decided to use our tax return to get another vehicle.

The engine in the truck is SWEET. Runs perfect for 250,000 miles. No leaks, oil is always clean after oil changes. Might need to be freshened up a bit.

I really don't want to sell the truck for like $500 when the engine is so good. What I really want to do, is keep the engine around... maybe utilize it in the '39 Dodge project. But I've never done anything beyond engine repair, so modifying and customizing and converting is uncharted territory for me.

To simplify my life, I would want a carbureted engine in the '39. I don't want to deal with computers and wiring and all that.

So the obvious question is, what will it take to convert a 5.3 V8 from an 05 Silverado into a carbureted motor? Obviously there's no distributor, so some sort of ignition system will be needed... beyond that, is it mostly just an intake and accessories swap?

What transmissions are compatible? I assume that with the right adapters and spacers I could use something like a TH350... is there a kit, or a non-electric trans that would bolt up without a bunch of extra stuff needed? Manual would be cool but automatic would be easier for install (wouldn't have to fab a clutch pedal mount).

Probably asking enough questions at this point.

wantahertzdonut

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Re: Converting a 5.3 from FI to Carb
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2019, 01:48:46 PM »
I remember people doing this about 15 years ago and it didn't work too well, but I did some searching and it appears Edelbrock made a kit and it was reviewed by Super Chevy back in 2011 with good results.

http://www.superchevy.com/how-to/engines-drivetrain/sucp-1104-ls1-carburetor-vs-computer-performance-test/

I have to ask, you have all the stuff to run it as-is, maybe it's worth trying a complete transplant first and not really spending any money?  It would suck to plunk down cash for a carb swap and then that's when the engine decides to blow up.
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Onyx Dragon

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Re: Converting a 5.3 from FI to Carb
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2019, 06:50:01 PM »
Yeah, what Wanta said. 

You've got all the wiring, computers, etc.  You could literally pull from one and drop in another.  That would probably be the better way to go.

MiniVanMan

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Re: Converting a 5.3 from FI to Carb
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2019, 08:48:37 PM »
I just wonder about the ability to hide the wiring and everything in the cab of the '39... there's not much space in there.

wantahertzdonut

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Re: Converting a 5.3 from FI to Carb
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2019, 02:18:30 AM »
Maybe some of it could be situated under the seats in the cab?  Create some space by making a fake air cleaner and hang it on the side of the hood and put the wiring in there, big rig style?
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Onyx Dragon

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Re: Converting a 5.3 from FI to Carb
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2019, 05:04:55 AM »
Even if you can't hide it, you can always minimize it by running it all to one place and trying to keep it all together as opposed to spread all over the engine bay.

wantahertzdonut

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Re: Converting a 5.3 from FI to Carb
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2019, 10:48:55 AM »
This is a medium duty truck if I remember correctly, not a light duty pick up?
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MiniVanMan

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Re: Converting a 5.3 from FI to Carb
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2019, 05:01:50 PM »
Silverado is a half ton. Dodge is a 1.5 ton.


wantahertzdonut

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Re: Converting a 5.3 from FI to Carb
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2019, 10:55:18 PM »
Oh, it's that one.  Get rid of those 2 piece wheels before you do anything else. 
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MiniVanMan

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Re: Converting a 5.3 from FI to Carb
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2019, 11:35:17 AM »
Oh, it's that one.  Get rid of those 2 piece wheels before you do anything else. 

Yep that's been the hold up, can't find a reasonably affordable option to replace the wheels/axles.

wantahertzdonut

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Re: Converting a 5.3 from FI to Carb
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2019, 05:57:25 PM »
I see what you mean.  I did some searching and you're either buying something new and custom made or hunting for a different out-of-production wheel that was highly sought out and pricy even 10 years ago. 
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