Bringing TBI and Multi Port Fuel Injection to a New Level.     EFI Conversions and Tuning! Seattle to Portland! E-mail Tuning Consultant!
Results 1 to 15 of 81

Thread: The "Tan Brick" aka my 1997 Express Cobra conversion

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Fuel Injected!
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Euless, TX
    Posts
    1,594

    The "Tan Brick" aka my 1997 Express Cobra conversion

    This will be for the projects I am about to undertake on my Express. I have already done alot of work and improvements and have more planned.

    It has a lower mileage goodwrench 350 for an 8800+ gvw truck in it. ETec 170 heads, 215/220 comp cam, doug thorley tri-ys, and an 0411 swap. I upgraded the engine to use a 454 1-ton radiator and oil cooler setup. I have also upgraded to a Duramax fan and Trailblazer SS thermal fan clutch. Using a 180*F thermostat it runs 185*F nearly constant. I upgraded the charging system to a 200amp AD244 alternator. I plan to upgrade the engine oil cooler lines to braided stainless AN lines and fittings soon as the aftermarket replacement lines seep around the quick connects.








    I swapped a 4L80E and 3.73 geared GM 9.5" corporate 14-bolt under it a year ago. I put a transgo kit in it along with a nice cooler setup in series with the radiator cooler. The transmission shifts great but the pan and output shaft are leaking. When I did the 4L80E swap I had the driveshaft cut down, rebalanced and spicer solid u-joints added for peace of mind.



    I currently have G1500 front rotors, 6 on 5.5 to 5 on 5 wheel adapters on the back and stock wheels. I had Titan 20s and 265/50R20s on it, but it was eating me in gas when I was driving it 100 miles a day and I needed new tires, so I picked up the adapters and threw a cheap pair of front rotors on it along with the old rubber sitting in my garage. I love the way it drives and rides on 20s, but my city mileage drops a solid 2-3 mpg and its not much better on the highway even. Thats with the speedo recalibrated for the gears/taller tires too. It really needs 4.10s to be happy on the taller, heavier 20s . I am about to install new 1-ton leaf springs and coil springs. Perhaps the chevy lean will disappear when I do it.







    I have a few interior restoration and updates planned.

    I just ordered a pair of new wiper cowls and a pair of 2008+ dual glass mirrors. I saw the mirrors on a delivery van at work and had to scoop up a pair. The mirrors on my Titan are almost identical and I love the blind spot mirrors.



    I have a 3,000 watt power inverter already installed but plan to add a pair of deep cycle batteries to the outer passenger frame rail in diesel battery trays charged through an isolator to power the accessories seperate the starting battery. My sound system is all original and will soon recieve some much needed upgrades. I also need to remove a dead alarm/remote entry/remote start system and repair the harness damage. My front door panels were made of a crappy grade of plastic and will either get fiberglassed to repair or perhaps replaced with newer express parts. I plan to order a dashmat to protect the dash from further UV damage. The tint is also starting to age and I plan to limo tint the rear of the van with a ceramic tint to block as much heat as possible.

    The exterior vhynal strips are going to be erased and I am going to detail the whole van inside and out. I already restored all the lenses and they look practically new.

    I will soon be gutting the 24' 1960s travel trailer I plan to pull on the many long roadtrips I have planned.

    Made an order today and added to my wish list lol.

    First I am finishing my quiet, heavy duty exhaust system. I am done being loud while towing. Its just not fun to tow for 5 hours non-stop listening to the 350 breathe through headers, high flow metallic core cats and hooker aerochambers.

    Introduce the massive Walker 22865 "school bus" muffler. It had dual 2.5" inlets and a single 3" outlet, 36.25" long overall with a case 29.75 long and 8.38" diameter. Might hurt the power a touch but my sanity and hearing should be regained as well as less chance of having a podunk town cop pull me over for noise.



    I picked up a Flowmaster 2.5" on 5.5" radius 180" bend and a Flowmaster 3" 4-piece universal tailpipe. The whole exhaust will now be mandrel bent, aluminized steel. In buying parts I found the stock system was actually 3" after each cat and exhausted through a 2.75" tailpipe. Practically impossible to find a dual 3" in, 2.75" out muffler. I chose to bring the pipe size down to 2.5 in front of the cats when I installed the headers. Just do not feel a 350 needs dual 3" pipes and frankly puzzled why GM used the setup anyway. The stock system exited the manifolds at 2", immediately stepped up to 2.75", into the monster stock cats, out of each cat into a 3" pipe and into a di/so muffler and 2.75" tailpipe. Far from a great setup IMO.



    The junkyard 4L80E trans pan has been seeping since day 1 and finally I have decided to do something. Ordered a Mag Hy-tech 4.25" deep 4L80E pan that holds an extra 4 qts as well as an AC Delco filter kit with the good GM gasket. Also picked up a new output shaft and pitman shaft steering box seal. Bound and determined to stop any and all fluid leaks.



    Now for the wishful thinking, matching differential cover and while the cover is open 4.10s.


  2. #2
    Fuel Injected!
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Euless, TX
    Posts
    1,594
    More of the wishlist is a Workhorse dash and cluster. I like the semitruck look and built-in dual din navigation setup.


  3. #3
    Fuel Injected!
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Pocono's PA.
    Age
    45
    Posts
    368
    Chris ,

    More info on the Duramax fan and Trailblazer clutch please ?

    Possible upgrade for my BBC tow rig ??

    Thanks

    TOM
    1994 3500 Dually , 502 (509) , 264HR , Edelbrock MPFI , PFI '7427
    2006 Forest river-Sierra 37' 5th wheel
    1999 Astro Van, L31 Vortec , 4x4 conversion
    1994 Pontiac Sunbird "Work ride"
    1993 K-3500 "Ex-diesel" 454/4L80E - '7427
    1992 454SS "Eh Stock" , Blower & '7427 swap .
    1992 S-10 434 SBC/Tremec - '7427
    1984 S-10 , SAS, 496/700R4/205 , D44/14BFF -'7427
    1980 Z-28 454/700R4
    1977 Olds 98 Regency 403/700R4

  4. #4
    Fuel Injected!
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Euless, TX
    Posts
    1,594






    Last edited by Fast355; 11-10-2014 at 01:46 PM.

  5. #5
    Fuel Injected!
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Euless, TX
    Posts
    1,594
    Not sure which year your big block is, but if it has the L31 style water pump with the smaller thread on fan clutch it will work.

    I had to do a little clearance of the fan shroud but it was relatively minor. The Duramax fan is about 1" larger diameter, but the blades are much wider and steeper pitched. With the Duramax fan my A/C blows ICE cubes even at idle on a 105*F day.

    You need an early model Duramax fan part# 1580690

    http://www.amazon.com/ACDelco-15-806...ywords=1580690

    If your engine is a L29 with spin on fan you can likely use this clutch. I had Napa cross the Hayden 2851 number and bought their equivalent.

    One word of warning this fan can get quite loud when the clutch kicks in (which is practically never) and you will notice atleast a 10 HP if not 15-20 HP loss when the clutch is engaged. That being said I noticed much less fan drag overall with the Duramax fan because it spins more time with the fan clutch unlocked than the stock fan setup.

    If your tow pig has the old 4 bolt flange to it, might be able to use an early 6.5 turbo diesel clutch. The diesel guys are just bolting these fans onto their factory clutches.

  6. #6
    Fuel Injected!
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Pocono's PA.
    Age
    45
    Posts
    368
    Nice

    Ordered up the blade and you are correct , I use the old 4 bolt mount with a Hayden Severe duty clutch , so I will probably just swap the blade out .

    Thanks for the info .

    Oh , You will absolutely LOVE the Mag Hytec stuff , I run their pan ('80E) and diff cover (14BFF) on my Dually and have for years , top quality stuff.

    Thanks again

    TOM
    1994 3500 Dually , 502 (509) , 264HR , Edelbrock MPFI , PFI '7427
    2006 Forest river-Sierra 37' 5th wheel
    1999 Astro Van, L31 Vortec , 4x4 conversion
    1994 Pontiac Sunbird "Work ride"
    1993 K-3500 "Ex-diesel" 454/4L80E - '7427
    1992 454SS "Eh Stock" , Blower & '7427 swap .
    1992 S-10 434 SBC/Tremec - '7427
    1984 S-10 , SAS, 496/700R4/205 , D44/14BFF -'7427
    1980 Z-28 454/700R4
    1977 Olds 98 Regency 403/700R4

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 55
    Last Post: 11-13-2013, 05:55 AM
  2. Replies: 16
    Last Post: 02-27-2013, 08:38 PM
  3. Replies: 10
    Last Post: 02-21-2013, 06:46 AM
  4. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 07-09-2012, 10:38 PM
  5. Knock Sensor Tech "Topic of Week! 2/12/2012"
    By EagleMark in forum GM EFI Systems
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 02-15-2012, 05:25 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •