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Sdimess84
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a 96 ss. I wanting to put a TPI in it. What all do i need to do and have for this swap. I have an older 350 block (70s-late 80s) all complete except for heads.
what all will I need to do for a tuned port? Is it just the intake, ecm, wiring harness, sensors, distributor, coil, ect.?
 

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gtfo now
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Zerocool350 said:
I got a 96 ss. I wanting to put a TPI in it. What all do i need to do and have for this swap. I have an older 350 block (70s-late 80s) all complete except for heads.
what all will I need to do for a tuned port? Is it just the intake, ecm, wiring harness, sensors, distributor, coil, ect.?

For converting you will need:
-TPI base, runners, plenum, etc.
-ECU (preferably a later speed density ECU) and wiring harness
-Heads to match your intake base (usually late model heads)
-Intake with MAF sensor if you don't use the speed density ECU
-Computer compatible camshaft
-Larger injectors and a tune if the TPI setup was off a 305

There's a couple things to note. First, there's two types of TPI: the earlier version with a MAF sensor and the later version without (speed density). Since the early version uses a MAF you have to have an intake on your TPI. For the later version you can just put an air filter directly on the throttle body. Also, some TPI setups will have an additional injector for cold starts, I can't recall which ones have it, though. It's possible to convert from MAF to speed density, but that'll cost you more money in the long run.

Next, the stock intake base only bolts up to late model heads. If I recall you can modify the base a bit to bolt to early model heads without too much difficulty. There is also an aftermarket base available for use with Vortec heads. That would be your best bet, in my opinion.

As far as your camshaft goes, you'll need one that will work with the computer. Pretty much everyone makes cams for fuel injected applications. MAF is more forgiving when using more radical cams. Speed Density comptuers will need a tune for it, though. You may be able to use your current cam with the computer with a tune, but don't count on it. I really can't say much about cams in the first place, so anything about them out of my mouth is subject to correction.

Lastly, if your TPI setup and ECU came off a 305 you're going to have to program the chip for a 350. That's a simple change, you can actually do it yourself if you buy a programmer ($85, cheaper than getting it tuned in most cases). If moving from a 305 to a 350 you'll also likely need larger injectors. Your ECU will have to be programmed for the larger injectors as well. Again, that's a simple change you can do given the proper equipment.

If you have the money you may want to consider an alternative fuel injection system. the stock TPI system doesn't breath as well as it could and cuts off the powerband relatively low in the RPM range. Holley has the StealthRam and TPIS has the MiniRam. Accel has some stuff, too, but I think overall the Holley StealthRam is the best to get.

You can find out all you need to know about TPI systems over at http://www.thirdgen.org/. I've got an account over there on the same name.
 

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LSx and V8 Mod
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bluedragonx said:
the stock TPI system doesn't breath as well as it could and cuts off the powerband relatively low in the RPM range. Holley has the StealthRam and TPIS has the MiniRam. Accel has some stuff, too, but I think overall the Holley StealthRam is the best to get.

You can find out all you need to know about TPI systems over at http://www.thirdgen.org/. I've got an account over there on the same name.
Hes right, the stock TPI was designed for a 305 to help it with bottom end TQ. On a stock 350TPI (L98) the engine dies at about 4000 rpm because it gets choked off.

www.stealthram.com is a good site for you to look at too, along with www.thirgen.org, but when you go there search first, they have gone over everything 100 times and really know their stuff. If you do post a question make sure you tell them its for your "Camaro" not your "S10".

Here is a the best article on TPI intakes Ive ever seen.. http://www.compcams.com/Community/Articles/Details.asp?ID=1737510521
 

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L98 Blazer
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yeah the guys at thirdgen.org aren't too S10 friendly...kinda like getting blood from a stone over there. if you are thinking about this swap, its not nearly as hard as it may seem. TPI, while it looks complex, is amasingly simple.

it could be had on camaros from 85-92. yes, 85 & 86 years used the older head bolt design, so they are out there. CSI, or 9th injector was used through 88. if it fails, you will get extended cranking time.

as for the injectors, you can get away with higher fuel pressure, but its just a band-aid.

check out http://www.tpiparts.net/home they have tons of parts you may need to complete your swap.
 

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Wanted to add to what BluedragonX said. TPI is actually a pretty straight forward swap. I would look into turning it into a SFI motor though. Stock TPI ECU isn't a bad unit but it is a batch fire ECM so you might be able to get alittle more out of it with a SFI, plus you will have the heated O2 sensor circuits, you won't need the 9th injector being the PCM will adjust for cold starts just fine, and so on. Just alittle better platform to start with. Here is what you would need to swap it over. I'm uncertain if this will work but you need to put a front timgin cover from a 96+ Vortec 350 onto the motor with the reluctor wheel. The cover will fit but I'm uncertain about the the reluctor. It should as long as something hasn't been altered severely. You will also need a distributor for a 96+ Vortec 350. You might need a single roller timing chain because of the reluctor but that isn't a huge deal. The GM timing chains are actually pretty decent nowadays and pretty cheap. I got the LS2 chain for my LS1 swap for like $30 or something like that. Alittle different angle to attack it from.
 

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Sdimess84
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey thanx for all your help. What all is involved in carbing the v8 in my 96. Would I be better off or should i sill go with fuel injection?
 

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Zerocool350 said:
Hey thanx for all your help. What all is involved in carbing the v8 in my 96. Would I be better off or should i sill go with fuel injection?
Fuel injection is more driver friendly. The carb is gonna be easier tuned than the fuel injection but once the fuel injection is tuned it's tuned, the carb will require you redoing the jetting and so on after awhile. Unless you are a hardcore old school hot rodder then fuel injection will serve most people well. It won't make the most peak power like most carbed intakes will being most fuel injection manifolds are meant for street driving but they perform well. This is a general statement and there are variations of this rule but generally it does apply.

Wanted to add, to tune a EFI setup it isn't hard but you do need specialized software to do it.
 

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gtfo now
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Zerocool350 said:
Would this be all I needed to do my tpi setup? And is it worth buying?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/chev...ewItemQQcategoryZ43989QQitemZ4631957521QQrdZ1
That looks pretty good, it has everything you need for the intake, and you have some choices with that. If you do get that I would get the early style base since it will bolt up to more heads than the later style. Though I think that may give clearance problems with the perimeter-bolt valve covers, heard that somewhere so I'm not sure if it's true or not. Since it's already programmed it's really up to you wether you pick the Camaro or Corvette ECM, makes no difference to the engine or performance afaik.

Two problems you may run into, though. You may still have to do some tuning on it once you get it installed, which means you'll still have to buy the chip programmer. Not a big deal, really, but something to think about. All the chip mods he lists there are simple on/off switches in the code that take about five minutes to change, so don't think you're paying for real programming. The tune you do for your specific engine will always be better than any chip you get from someone else, assuming you know what you're doing. The other problem is you'll need an EGR valve if you're worried about emissions. That also means you have to program the chip to turn EGR back on.

Before you commit to buying that, check out the classifieds on thirdgen.org, you may be able to find a complete setup for cheaper than that.
 

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L98 Blazer
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yeah those camaro guy generally hate TPI. there are purests out there, but they mostly say ditch the TPI, and use stealth ram. it shouldn't be too had to find someone wanting to unload there setup. best bet is still to find a donor car, that way you are certian that you get everything you may need. i got a complete Z28 for $75. you just need to do some digging.
 

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Sdimess84
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Does anyone know if I can use 4l60e transmission with a tuned port. I heard a rumor that my s-10 has its own computer for the the tranny. I had a 700r4 from my previous s-10 v8 swap, but just sold the tranny so i could start on my tune port project. So will the 4l60e work with motor?
 

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gtfo now
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Zerocool350 said:
Does anyone know if I can use 4l60e transmission with a tuned port. I heard a rumor that my s-10 has its own computer for the the tranny. I had a 700r4 from my previous s-10 v8 swap, but just sold the tranny so i could start on my tune port project. So will the 4l60e work with motor?
No, your S10 does not have a stand-alone computer for controlling the tranny. The only way to get a 4L60E to work with a TPI setup is to get a stand-alone computer for the transmission. The stand-alone computers are real nice, you can control and change everything with them, but unless you're gonna use that functionality it may actually be cheaper to get a 700R4.
 

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Sdimess84
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
bluedragonx said:
No, your S10 does not have a stand-alone computer for controlling the tranny. The only way to get a 4L60E to work with a TPI setup is to get a stand-alone computer for the transmission. The stand-alone computers are real nice, you can control and change everything with them, but unless you're gonna use that functionality it may actually be cheaper to get a 700R4.
i was afraid you would say that. thanx any way. I guess I will try to scheme up another way to do a v8 swap
 

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gtfo now
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Zerocool350 said:
i was afraid you would say that. thanx any way. I guess I will try to scheme up another way to do a v8 swap
It really doesn't matter one way or the other cause the 4L60E in the 4 cylinder S10s don't have the right bellhousing to bolt up to a small block and they are not string enough to put behind a V8. So if you have a 4 cylinder you have to replace the tranny regardless. If you have the six cylinder the transmission will bolt up and will likly stand up to the power of the V8 for a little while at least, but if you put out any serious torque numbers you're gonna want to either get a stronger one or have it built up to handle the power.
 

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Like I mentioned above, if you want it to work with a 4L60E you need to retain the factory PCM like I mentioned in my above post. You would only have two real issues to figure out the crankshaft reluctor and timing cover and the distributor. That's it. Zerocool, where are you located at? If you want to use a 4L60E other than a separate controller just use the factory PCM and why use a TPI ECM when the Vortec V8 program can control the TPI by just being rewired plus you gain that it is a faster CPU, heated O2 circuits ect ect. Plus if you want to use electric fans you can turn on that function too (it would be a single speed setting but still) that can be controlled by the Vortec PCM as well. I'd seriously consider trying this. This distributor isn't a huge deal, you might just need to have the housing modified if that even. The problem area is whether or not the crank reluctor will work on that older crankshaft.

You say the motor is from a Late 70's-80's do you actually have an idea of a year? Is it a Hydralic lifter or a Hydralic roller cam? Single or two piece rear main?
 

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Sdimess84
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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
kossuth said:
Like I mentioned above, if you want it to work with a 4L60E you need to retain the factory PCM like I mentioned in my above post. You would only have two real issues to figure out the crankshaft reluctor and timing cover and the distributor. That's it. Zerocool, where are you located at? If you want to use a 4L60E other than a separate controller just use the factory PCM and why use a TPI ECM when the Vortec V8 program can control the TPI by just being rewired plus you gain that it is a faster CPU, heated O2 circuits ect ect. Plus if you want to use electric fans you can turn on that function too (it would be a single speed setting but still) that can be controlled by the Vortec PCM as well. I'd seriously consider trying this. This distributor isn't a huge deal, you might just need to have the housing modified if that even. The problem area is whether or not the crank reluctor will work on that older crankshaft.

You say the motor is from a Late 70's-80's do you actually have an idea of a year? Is it a Hydralic lifter or a Hydralic roller cam? Single or two piece rear main?
Crank reluctor? Thats a new term for me. What do you mean? The motor I believe has a one piece main rear. It is also a hydralic lifter cam. If there is a way for me to use the 4l60e I need to know. Like I said before, I just sold the 700r4 thinking that I wouldnt need it, thought I could use the money towards the tuned port. You all might have to walk me through using the pcm again. I got a little confused when I was reading it. Oh my 4l60e is coming off the 4.3, and I am not looking at a whole lot of torque. Oh yeah, I am located in the middle TN area. Why you ask?
 

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You're looking at the wrong intake if you're not looking to build lots of torque. TPI is a great intake for a tow truck.
 

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Go to www.WTFBA.com , look up a guy that gos by the screenname...Quickchicken. Hes a freakin TPI gooroo . If anyone can answer any question you have it wouild be him. He can give you part numbers right off the top of his head....hes a freak...LOL. Great guy though.
 

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Zerocool350 said:
Crank reluctor? Thats a new term for me. What do you mean? The motor I believe has a one piece main rear. It is also a hydralic lifter cam. If there is a way for me to use the 4l60e I need to know. Like I said before, I just sold the 700r4 thinking that I wouldnt need it, thought I could use the money towards the tuned port. You all might have to walk me through using the pcm again. I got a little confused when I was reading it. Oh my 4l60e is coming off the 4.3, and I am not looking at a whole lot of torque. Oh yeah, I am located in the middle TN area. Why you ask?
Ok, it might be cool to use with a SFI setup then.

Ok here is the basics of SFI. SFI is a sequencial fuel injection. Basically what that means is that the fuel injector injects fuel into the intake runner at a determined time when the intake valve is open. Because of this though the PCM must know the camshaft postion and the crankshaft position. There are reluctor wheel sensors on the distributor so the PCM can detect the camshaft postion. It can do this no problem because one distributor rotation is equal to one camshaft rotation. Now the PCM needs to know the crank postion so it doesn't fire the injectors or spark 180 degrees out. So there is a reluctor wheel on the front of the crankshaft that the PCM picks up and it now the PCM is aware of what the position of both the cam and crank and it can time fuel injector timing and spark timing. This is much more accurate than the TPI setup

A TPI ECM is a batch fire setup. The TPI the ECM is not aware of the cam and crank position in the engine. Thus what the ECM does is it injects fuel into the runners reguardless of whether the intake valve is open or not. Thus the fuel mileage suffers and I would contend power as well, but that part is debateable. It also uses a HEI ignition. Nothing wrong with the HEI but it isn't compatable with a Vortec PCM.

A reluctor wheel is basically a gear. How it works is there is a magnetic sensor that the PCM measures resistance off of and it sees the highs and lows in the gears through the magnetic sensors as the cam and crank rotate.
 
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