The mid-80's Corvette TPI engines made somewhere around 240-250hp net while
getting mid 20's for gas mileage and with 0-60 times around 6.5 sec for a
vehicle that probably weighs in at 3800lbs.
You specifically state TPI (and these are the easiest for a hot rodder to
deal with) but the later EFI engines, LT1 and LT4 hit 300 hp before they went
to the new body style and LS1 smallblock which I believe has 330 hp net.
There are alot of performance parts for the TPI engines. My cousin ran a 91
vette with a Lingerfelter TPI engine that was dyno'd at 455hp net; got to
drive it once. . .yikes! (He got bored with it and sold it and bought
another Lingerfelter vette that had an aluminum 502 ci dyno'd at 550hp.
Can't imagine driving that on the street.) At any rate, that means that you
can get the 350 TPI to the hp that you're looking for. . .and that's w/o
turbo or superchargers.
Suggested mods are upgraded heads, cam, intake/runners, throttle body, free
flow exhaust, cold air intake, etc. . .the usual. Pick up a MidAmerica or
Ecklers vette catalog for an idea of what the mods are and what they cost or
visit sites for John Lingerfelter or Accel. Pick up magazines like Vette or
Corvette Fever to see what's out there as well.
The original TPI engines were actually low rpm torquers, which should be
fairly good for old trucks; all of the mods that you can buy cause a loss of
torque at the low end but open up the high end appreciably. I have designs
on putting a nearly stock TPI in my 86 Silverado if it survives thru to post
Suburban resto which is years past due already.
The problem with any of the EFI engines is that the hp costs quite a bit; the
advantage is that you get ridiculously good gas mileage while maintaining
clean emissions and better driveability with the high horsepower.
I'm of the opinion that the 350's are much more durable than the 400's but I
could always be misinformed on that one. I was around when the 400's made
their debut; people were always blowing them up, they had cooling problems, et
c. . .I notice that no one mentions that these days though.
58/56 Chevy Suburban
66 Corvair Monza turbo
86 Chevy Silverado short bed
86 Corvette Indy convertible
In a message dated 05/05/2000 3:26:45 PM, email@example.com writes:
<< I have my choice between a tpi 350 or a smallblock 400. I know I can make
about 450 hp with the 400. I want an engine that is about 20% driver 80%
fun. Does anyone have an idea of about how much hp a tpi 350 would make
with a decent amount of modification. I'm sure it would do a lot better on
gas mileage. The question is, is the tradeoff of cubic inches and old
technology worth newer technology and probably less power.
55 2nd rod
OKC, OK >>
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