• Welcome Visitor! Please take a few seconds and Register for our forum. Even if you don't want to post, you can still 'Like' and react to posts.

SBC swap? worth it?

cody93

Well-Known Member
V8 Engine Swap
Joined
Mar 24, 2010
Messages
1,890
Reaction score
42
Points
48
Location
Duluth GA
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
FORD
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
5.0
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
soooo, i might have a chance to get a cheap running 350 SBC.. my 2.3's EFI is making me want to rip it out right now.. the wheels are in motion.. now, my question is what are the pro's and con's of a SBC vs SBF or even a 318 mopar.. ive always thought about swapping out to a bigger engine, i was almost dead set on a 225 slant 6 but getting the right parts locally was a challenge.. i know a little about v8 swaps into 1st gens but never really studied it.

the truck in question is an 87ish shortbed standard cab ranger, 2.3, TK5 trans. manual steering, manual brakes, no A/C... bare bones.. aside from heaterbox clearence and exhaust, what are pros and cons of a SBC..

Pro's
- oil filter location?
- common as dirt and cheap
- GM HEI simple to wire

Con's
- not a whole lot of info, or adapters..
- trans choices limited?
- distributor harder to get too vs SBF.

what do you guys think? no, i don't wanna hear about chevys suck... i know, most do, but im cheap.. just wanting to hear some technical advise regarding swapping one.. gota blow my tax return somehow..
 


AllanD

TRS Technical Staff
TRS Technical Advisor
Joined
Jun 1, 2001
Messages
7,899
Reaction score
126
Points
63
Age
61
Location
East-Central Pennsylvania
Vehicle Year
1987... sorta
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
'93 4.0
Transmission
Manual
Want an advantage to an SBC V8...

The SBC V8 has far more aftermarket support than most other engines combined.

Arguably the SBC was the first V8 engine that you could built several of them with different component sets involving NO "genuine GM parts Whatsoever and the vast majority of those parts are greatly superior to the OEM stuff.

I know that back in the mid 1980's I assembled mor than a dozen SBC's using crate blocks and cranks from several different manufacturers.

(my favorite were the aluminum blocks by a company called Brownfield)

The Most frightful engine I built was done for a guy who ran an asbestos cleanup company for an aluminum bodied Kitcar Cobra, it involved a sleeved McLaren MK-IV Block and a steel 348/409 crank, total engine size when done was 353Cid, kinda on the small size for a BB Chevy, but that engine would scream along at 9500rpm for as long as the tank held sufficient fuel to keep it running... a real scary machine
 

RangerSVT

Oct 09 OTOTM
Article Contributor
V8 Engine Swap
OTOTM Winner
Solid Axle Swap
RBV's on Boost
ASE Certified Tech
TRS Banner 2010-2011
TRS Banner 2012-2015
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
7,883
Reaction score
51
Points
48
Location
TRS since 2002 - NW KY
Vehicle Year
19962002
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
GT-40 5.0L EFI W/AC
Transmission
Automatic
You want to do a sbc swap, get a camaro or s10. Due to the dizzy in the back of the engine, you will not have enough room for cooling fan/rad without extensive mods. Not to mention custom mounts for the motor and transmission. You're also better off (ie cheaper) to stay efi. To go carb you'll need to buy additional parts...

SVT
 

chvlfrk

December 2010 STOTM Winner
U.S. Military - Veteran
V8 Engine Swap
MTOTM Winner
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
1,168
Reaction score
29
Points
38
Age
63
Location
Niota, TN
Vehicle Year
98
Make / Model
Ranger XLT 5.0L
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
5.0L
Transmission
Automatic
Tire Size
235/70R15 front / 275/60R15 rear
SVT....typical diehard blue oval man.:icon_twisted: :icon_rofl: NOI!

1. Easiest thing is to motor plate for mounting...
2. You can notch the heater box yourself with lil' plexiglass & epoxy....
3. Automatic is the easiest trans....
4. Use a SMALL aftermarket distributor (mines a Procomp) with external coil..
5. You'll need to put an Explorer rearend in it to handle to extra HP of the SB..
6. BIGGEST con is you will have to make a custom set of headers to clear the
steering shaft...

I've never done a first gen, but have done a 93 & 94, checkout the link in my
sig to see my 94. It's out of commission now, gonna gutt it for a possible future build, as its been sittin for 2 1/2 yrs do to lack of space in garage.:sad:

ALSO: OP, your not that far away to come visit and checkout the 93 & 94 as they are both here at my house.......52 miles north of Chattanooga right off I-75.
 
Last edited:

RangerSVT

Oct 09 OTOTM
Article Contributor
V8 Engine Swap
OTOTM Winner
Solid Axle Swap
RBV's on Boost
ASE Certified Tech
TRS Banner 2010-2011
TRS Banner 2012-2015
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
7,883
Reaction score
51
Points
48
Location
TRS since 2002 - NW KY
Vehicle Year
19962002
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
GT-40 5.0L EFI W/AC
Transmission
Automatic
Chvlfrk, I'm not diehard Ford, I'm ONLY FORD! :icon_thumby:

That being said, I'm not trying to say not to do it or that it can't be done, but having done V8 swaps on every generation ranger, the 1st gen is the tightest from firewall to core support, and thats for a front mounted dizzy. It's not impossible, but would require some work. A rear mounted rad may even be required unless you cut the core support and do a rad mounted in front the core support...

SVT
 

cody93

Well-Known Member
V8 Engine Swap
Joined
Mar 24, 2010
Messages
1,890
Reaction score
42
Points
48
Location
Duluth GA
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
FORD
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
5.0
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
black widow did one, but the pictures dont work on his build thread anymore.. firewall mods arent too bad, custom motor mounts are a given. headers will be interesting, having manual steering and manual brakes gives me a little bit more room too. guess its time to break out the tape measure.. SBF's got the advantage of the front dizzy, thats for sure.

whats the physical size difference between a 350 and 305? i know a 351w is taller than a 302
 

AllanD

TRS Technical Staff
TRS Technical Advisor
Joined
Jun 1, 2001
Messages
7,899
Reaction score
126
Points
63
Age
61
Location
East-Central Pennsylvania
Vehicle Year
1987... sorta
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
'93 4.0
Transmission
Manual
There is no difference whatsoever in external dimensions in the SBC due to displacement differences.

From the smallest the 262 CID SBC to the 400 they are exactly the same from the outside Dims
 

LSX_Marshall

Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2014
Messages
44
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Vehicle Year
1998
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Automatic
Shouldn't be too hard with even the most basic fabrication skills and tools. A small block chevy has possibly to greatest power potential when you are on a tight budget. Parts are cheap and interchangeable for the most part. Heck I have built plenty of decent small blocks by using a junkyard longblock and a craigslist top-end lol. Just grab a measuring tape and see how much you will have to hammer the firewall to make it fit. Then...run the crap out of it! Though for what its worth an s-10 would be an easier swap, but that's what I was told and I never listened!
:headbang:
 

bobbywalter

TRS Technical Staff
V8 Engine Swap
TRS Technical Advisor
TRS Banner 2012-2015
TRS 20th Anniversary
TRS Event Participant
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
22,303
Reaction score
2,834
Points
113
Location
woodhaven mi
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
FORD mostly
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
BIGGER
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
sawzall?
Tire Size
33-44
My credo
it is easier to fix and understand than "her"
wow.


i would not want a 350 over a ford, but if you have it all cheap then why not? then again swapping a d30 or d44 in over a ttb d35 or ttb 44 is not my first choice either.

a ls engine on the other hand is my 1st choice today. they are the most cost effective all around. no two ways about it for power and economy and cost.

the 350 will fit as good or better then the typical 302 in the 1st gen as far as cooling is concerned, we used v8 jeep radiators a few times. but with bigger power where you will want some nice headers, shit gets tricky. even so good headers for a ford arent the cheapest easiest thing to work with either.


i currently run what is essentially a big block, and have worked on bb swaps to varying degrees and manufacturers.

worth it?

yeah. definitely.


pia......goes with the territory. my junk is easier to work on then any garbage the factory offered.


build what you want, the way you want within sensible reason.
 

cody93

Well-Known Member
V8 Engine Swap
Joined
Mar 24, 2010
Messages
1,890
Reaction score
42
Points
48
Location
Duluth GA
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
FORD
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
5.0
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
looks like its time to start collecting parts..
 

Daamud

New Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Vehicle Year
1989
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Manual
Bump.

Any progress?
 

Sponsored Ad


Sponsored Ad

Top