I had a 350 with TBI in my 87 4x4 Blazer with 4spd 700R4, it was OK, 
kinda agricultural but solid and you can get parts at the 7-11.  When 
that started burning oil I had an old guy (in his 80s now, complaining 
but still doing engine work, built AJFoyt's first race engine back when) 
build me up a 350 -- he put on Vortec heads (they flow better, aluminum) 
and an Edelbrock intake, ZZ4 cam and some other stuff, but we used the 
TBI on it.  It never did run right -- I think the cam/heads are not well 
matched to what the old TBI computer can do.  I found a laptop program 
and made up a cable to watch the computer, it looked like everything was 
fine but it runs rich.  Wouldn't pass emissions (at the legit places) so 
I sorta retired it.  I still have that truck, been trying to sell it but 
body is rusted and no one will pay for the engine/drivetrain which is 
quite solid, so I might strip it down, keep the good bits, and scrap the 
rest.  It would run well with a 4bbl or a newer FI set up, but the 4bbl 
won't pass inspection and a new FI is pricey.  Before I had him do mine, 
I drove a truck he had just built/put a 350 in, that thing about scared 
the scheiss out of me.  I punched it going about 60, tranny downshifted 
and the rear tires screeched and let go, I backed off then and said 
"good enough for me."

I have my dad's 96 Chevy truck now, with the 305.  He got the smaller 
engine when he bought it thinking it would be easier on gas, but there 
is really no difference between it, my old Blazer, and the 2000 Burb 
with the 5.3.  The 305 is same as 350 with just different stroke I think.

--R

Donald Snook wrote:
> Alex C. wrote:  "So if the old small-block was so good, how come they dumped 
> it and moved to the Vortec engine family for the trucks?  Fuel economy and/or 
> emissions concerns, or something else?"
>
> The old small block was a workhorse, but the newer balanced engines were for 
> superior for fuel injection, the use of and harmonic balancing. The newer 
> engines also developed more power with better fuel economy.  Now, the 350 
> that was fuel injected in 87 is an awesome engine. But, 1988 represented a 
> watershed year for GM becuasue of the development of the newer engines.
>
> Until the design of the 3800 V6, the 307 ("Y" code) engine and the 305 (made 
> by chevy) was, in my opinion the best engines GM made UNTIL the design of the 
> 3800 V6.
>
>
> Donald H. Snook
>
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