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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I’ve exhausted my options and it’s narrowed down to building the 4.3 in my truck. I have a 96 and it looks kinda scary to cam a 4.3 because of the balance shaft and summit saying the cams I looked at are for 85-86 engines, What cams work for my truck?(96 btw) I don’t really want a super choppy gas guzzling cam but something that will wake up my truck. Any input is greatly appreciated
 

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Most of those cams have been discontinued. There weren't many to start with and no demand for them.
You're searching for the mythical more power and good gas mileage. Basic physics applies. It take more energy to most a mass faster. Granted some of the newest engines seem to defy that principal, but they are making the engines much more efficient.
That's why the new 4.3 is an entirely new engine with nothing in common with ours.
Simply a more efficient design. You have to remember these 4.3's in the S-series were originally designed in the early 80's, 35-40 years ago and is based on a V8 designed over 65 years ago. Ford and Chrysler still had flat heads.
By comparison a 2012 Camaro 3.6 LFX weighs just 360 lbs. Makes 323HP and gets 30mpg. Thanks to infinitely variable cam timing of the quad overhead cams and direct injection. If the computers weren't so advanced it would be a great swap for the S10.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Most of those cams have been discontinued. There weren't many to start with and no demand for them.
You're searching for the mythical more power and good gas mileage. Basic physics applies. It take more energy to most a mass faster. Granted some of the newest engines seem to defy that principal, but they are making the engines much more efficient.
That's why the new 4.3 is an entirely new engine with nothing in common with ours.
Simply a more efficient design. You have to remember these 4.3's in the S-series were originally designed in the early 80's, 35-40 years ago and is based on a V8 designed over 65 years ago. Ford and Chrysler still had flat heads.
By comparison a 2012 Camaro 3.6 LFX weighs just 360 lbs. Makes 323HP and gets 30mpg. Thanks to infinitely variable cam timing of the quad overhead cams and direct injection. If the computers weren't so advanced it would be a great swap for the S10.
Hmm, what cams can I go with then? I’m willing to take a shot to mpgs, just not a huge chunk is all
 

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Comp only has them for the old engines as you've mentioned and Edelbrock had one that wasn't for balance shaft engines. I think the problem is that the 96 up valvetrain would have to be completely replaced because it's non adjustable. New studs, rocker arms, springs, retainers, everything. You could likely steal the parts off a 96-02 Vortec V8 to make it work. By the time you spend that much most guys just use the whole Vortec V8. Which is a easy swap, as far a swaps go. Nowhere near as difficult or expensive as a LSx swap.
Still need the space, equipment, and knowledge to do either.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Comp only has them for the old engines as you've mentioned and Edelbrock had one that wasn't for balance shaft engines. I think the problem is that the 96 up valvetrain would have to be completely replaced because it's non adjustable. New studs, rocker arms, springs, retainers, everything. You could likely steal the parts off a 96-02 Vortec V8 to make it work. By the time you spend that much most guys just use the whole Vortec V8. Which is a easy swap, as far a swaps go. Nowhere near as difficult or expensive as a LSx swap.
Still need the space, equipment, and knowledge to do either.
I’ve heard my fare things of bad things about a v8 swap like it getting really hot in the engine bay and headers destroying themselves due to heat. I have a free tbi 350 that I’ll end up rebuilding for this project if I go through with a v8 swap. So many things are thrown at me for this like I have to stay with fuel injection or go with carb because fuel injection sucks or I can use the stock rad or I can’t and it’s making me real hesitant on a v8 swap
 

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Done right a TBI swapped S10 can be very reliable and fun to drive. I swapped a 4.3 to a TBI 5.7 on a 1994 RCSB in 2000. Drove it for 16 years. Only issue I had was the trans I paid a small fortune for died. But not many 4l60E's last 16 years so I chalked it up to normal maintenance. Fun to drive. Not a race truck, but peppy.
Only reason I retired it is that I live in the area where they put down 20 tons of salt a year on each mile of 4 lane. The headers were plain steel Hedman and were on their last leg (16 years of salt) and the motor was getting tired. I did pull it before taking her to the crusher. Maybe some day I'll freshen it and do another. Still have the mounts and pan from JTR. When I'm in my 80's.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Done right a TBI swapped S10 can be very reliable and fun to drive. I swapped a 4.3 to a TBI 5.7 on a 1994 RCSB in 2000. Drove it for 16 years. Only issue I had was the trans I paid a small fortune for died. But not many 4l60E's last 16 years so I chalked it up to normal maintenance. Fun to drive. Not a race truck, but peppy.
Only reason I retired it is that I live in the area where they put down 20 tons of salt a year on each mile of 4 lane. The headers were plain steel Hedman and were on their last leg (16 years of salt) and the motor was getting tired. I did pull it before taking her to the crusher. Maybe some day I'll freshen it and do another. Still have the mounts and pan from JTR. When I'm in my 80's.
Tbi when stock is fine but the tuning is a real nightmare I heard. I don’t want the stock 200hp that they came with because that’s kind of disappointing for a v8 considering the v6 makes 190. Vortec heads and a small cam on a 350 would make me a happy man but I’m pretty sure a carb for that would be the way to go
 

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You could get an original CPI cam from the 92-94 W engines and put it with some 1.6 ratio rocker arms for a cam that the computer should like. It doesn't require any head modifications. Then open up the exhaust as that is the next choke point.
 

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Will those 1.6 rockers you mentioned work with the 96 up non adjustable rocker setup? What brand?
On the 96 up W and X engines the rocker assembly just bolts down to the head with no way to adjust anything.
Also sounds like a lot of work for probably less than 10 HP.
 

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I would think you would get more than just 10 hp. increase as the cam and 1.6 ratio should be about .480" lift I believe. It has been discussed on this forum which is where I got the information. Possibly LS1Mike or a name similiar. The 1994 W 4.3 doesn't have adjustable rocker arms either and I believe just uses standard smallblock rockers. Back then the cam gave a 30-40 hp boost over the TBI engine.
 
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