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Old 04-08-2017, 12:27 AM   #1
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TBI on 89 Chevy Van

Im thinking of buying a couple Chevy vans a guy has for sale. I dont want all the emission controls, A/C or any of the additional stuff on the engines.
rent these out to travellers in the rockies and like to keep everything the same from van t van.
Can I strip these engines down to a short block and put quadra jet carbs on them?
I want to keep them simple and easy to work on. Carbs are within my knowledge range. Is there a computer on board that would stop these from running if I striped them down?
Thanks for any help!
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Old 04-08-2017, 09:05 AM   #2
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Re: TBI on 89 Chevy Van

the older throttle body engines are really easy to work on. ive been daily driving a 1990 for 7 years now without a single issue involving the TBI. it was my first tbi vehicle coming from carb'ed vehicles myself i used to think the same thing but these arent that confusing. i recently bought another one of these motors for my 1951 chevy

there is a computer, but it just controls the injectors and timing and other stuff. so technically you could ditch the fuel injection and TBI and it should run. youll have to change the fuel pump, intake (they may sell a adapter plate) and maybe distributor. i did it years ago for a 85 s10 blazer, it originally had a TBI but had a engine fire. i took the intake off a 83 s10 with a carb and it ran fine. i cant recall if i changed the distributor or not.

but im sure its been done just google it might get lucky and find a build with a good instructions and pictures
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Old 04-10-2017, 06:00 PM   #3
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Re: TBI on 89 Chevy Van

It requires a signal from the computer to shift the transmission i believe unless i missed these are manual and not automatic.
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Old 04-10-2017, 09:17 PM   #4
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Re: TBI on 89 Chevy Van

An 89 would still have a 700r4 or th400. No electronics in the transmission except for tcc lock up.

I like working on tbi stuff more than carbs. But I'm not a carb guy. The tbi will adjust itself with altitude changes, the carb will not.

A carb intake, fuel pressure regulator, an hei distributor should get you started.
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Old 04-15-2017, 09:38 AM   #5
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Re: TBI on 89 Chevy Van

I would leave the TBI on the vans for a couple reasons.

1. TBI injection is very reliable and simple to fix if something does go wrong. Give the vans a good tune up and if you need to replace the fuel pump I would only use AC Delco or Delphi pumps. I have had other brands fail in a week.

2. You plan to rent these vans out to people that are likely not familiar with driving a vehicle with a carb. They will not know you need to pump the throttle a couple times or wait a couple minutes for the engine to warm up before driving. I see this leading to dead batteries and frustrated customers.

My wife has been driving my '83 for 10 years and still for gets to pump the throttle when cold.
I can still count my vehicles on two hands.
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