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Old 10-22-2015, 12:38 PM   #1
Magicalzoomer
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5.7 Vortec Swap 65' C20

Hi Guys,

I came up on a 5.7 Vortec with all accessories that was rebuilt 25k miles ago for price that I basically feel like I cant pass up.

I was wondering what you guys think of the 5.7 Vortec Engine, and also what you think about doing the 5.7 Vortec Swap. I would really like to get an LS Motor, but I feel like the Vortec price is great given its condition AND given that I am trying to do it on a Pretty tight budget.

Ultimately, I want the 65' to be a good and reliable driver that still has some power and can drive on the Highway (thinking 4l60E too).

I am sure that the engine wont be around for long, so I am hoping to make a decision today. What do you guys think!?

Thanks for your help, fellas!

(Currently have a 327 with 4 speed)
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Old 10-22-2015, 12:43 PM   #2
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Re: 5.7 Vortec Swap 65' C20

I had a 99 suburban for a few years with a 5.7 vortec. great truck, great motor. lots of power and even got 16-17mpg on the highway, which is where a drove it.

also, one of the best power adders for a regular small block is vortec heads, by the way.
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Old 10-22-2015, 12:54 PM   #3
Clyde65
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Re: 5.7 Vortec Swap 65' C20

Whats wrong with the 327??
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Old 10-22-2015, 12:57 PM   #4
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Re: 5.7 Vortec Swap 65' C20

Quote:
Originally Posted by joedoh View Post
I had a 99 suburban for a few years with a 5.7 vortec. great truck, great motor. lots of power and even got 16-17mpg on the highway, which is where a drove it.

also, one of the best power adders for a regular small block is vortec heads, by the way.
Hi Joe,

Thanks! I'm glad to hear it! That's just what I am looking for.

I've been looking all over but haven't seen anything about the 5.7 Vortec Swap into a 65'. Has anyone seen a good thread or walk-through for it?
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Old 10-22-2015, 01:02 PM   #5
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Re: 5.7 Vortec Swap 65' C20

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Originally Posted by Clyde65 View Post
Whats wrong with the 327??
Hi Clyde,

The 327 is great. Loud and powerful, ha! However it has a pretty big rear main seal leak and the 4 speed is just too slow for the highway. Plus it seems to get pretty hot.

I figured that since I am going to have to pull it, i might as well put something that will have more power and is more reliable. I want to drive this thing a lot!

Ultimately, I think I would love this truck and motor if I just had some highway gears, but if I am going to pull the whole motor, might as well do a fun swap.

What do you think?
Are there cheap mods that I can do to the 327 that would make it compete with a new vortec?
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Old 10-22-2015, 05:04 PM   #6
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Re: 5.7 Vortec Swap 65' C20

Sounds like the motor is good deal. Would be a great motor for your truck.

With that being said you will have to come up with a vortec intake and a carb unless you want to run a computer. So a really good intake is the edelbrock performer or performer rpm line for the street. A good intake for less money but made overseas is Professional Products. May change the distrubutor and the timing cover as I believe the vortecs use a crank sensor. Other than that it is pretty much plug and play.

The good thing is the vortec should have a roller cam which is good. 1 piece rear main is good. Could be a 4 bolt. You can actually pick up a lot of horsepower with a cam and valve spring change. And no worry about break in heart aches. When you have the timing cover off it is very easy to swap cams.

327 is a good motor also but the cost to freshen it up adds up quickly. Sharpen your pencil and see what works best for you. Good Luck
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Old 10-22-2015, 11:41 PM   #7
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Re: 5.7 Vortec Swap 65' C20

In my opinion the L31 Vortec 350 is a good engine. A low mileage engine like that, I'd be all over it in a heartbeat. What is involved in installing it in your '65 will vary greatly, depending on whether you plan to keep the Vortec injection or switch it over to a carb. If you also plan to run a 4L60E, staying with the injection would be the way I would go. Otherwise you will need an aftermarket standalone controller for the trans. That will cost $800-1000.
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Old 10-23-2015, 07:50 AM   #8
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Re: 5.7 Vortec Swap 65' C20

I'm in the process of swapping a vortec for a tired late 70's 350. as far as bolting the engine into your truck the vortec is still a Gen 1 small block so it's the same as your 327 or my 350.

in addition to the changes mentioned by the other guys, here's a couple of things I've run into (my engine is in a '48 coupe so some of these may not be a problem in your truck):

if the engine doesn't have a flexplate or flywheel you'll need to get one for the 1-piece rear main.

odd as it may sound, an oil dipstick and tube (again, if the engine you're getting doesn't have them)

I'm not sure the exhaust manifolds will exit properly in your application but they might. non vortec manifolds may encounter spark plug boot clearance due to the relocation of the spark plug holes in the vortec heads

some thoughts on the timing cover:

If you plan on converting to a carburetor and not using the computer system and EFI, do yourself a favor and convert to the old style timing cover. I installed the plastic cover without the sensor hole and now find it impossible to properly view the TDC mark on the cover. (I can see the mark by looking straight down from above but doing so induces a "parallax" error) Of the dozens of after-market timing pointers none I've found fit the plastic cover. If someone else has, I hope they chime in.

I like the roller cam/vortec heads/1 piece rear main which is why I went with the L31 but a big part of what makes these motors so good in their original use is the computer controlled timing and fuel injection, that's where they get the mileage AND performance. you might want to think about the keeping the computer if the motor comes with the harness and sensors.
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Old 10-23-2015, 11:50 AM   #9
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Re: 5.7 Vortec Swap 65' C20

Paul/Captain/Larry

Thanks for the info guys! I will keep you guys posted on carbing it or keeping it injected. We are planning on pulling it out this weekend and I was kind of thinking about taking the tranny with it. (This is my first ever swap, so I think i might go automatic, even though I would love to do a 5 speed)

It is coming out of an Escalade so I am going to have to see if the tranny will work. With that being said, is there anything else you guys would recommend taking in terms of brakes/suspension/steering column(I wouldn't mind power steering and Disk brakes).
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Old 10-23-2015, 03:40 PM   #10
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Re: 5.7 Vortec Swap 65' C20

FYI, You will need an electric fuel pump. That engine cannot use a mechanical pump.
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Old 10-23-2015, 03:46 PM   #11
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Re: 5.7 Vortec Swap 65' C20

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshy View Post
FYI, You will need an electric fuel pump. That engine cannot use a mechanical pump.
Thanks Marshy,

Maybe I can use the one that is in there. I will be sure to take a look!
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Old 10-23-2015, 06:20 PM   #12
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Re: 5.7 Vortec Swap 65' C20

The stock electric fuel pumps for the Vortec engines is located in the fuel tank.

Gary
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Old 10-23-2015, 06:40 PM   #13
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Re: 5.7 Vortec Swap 65' C20

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Originally Posted by GASoline71 View Post
The stock electric fuel pumps for the Vortec engines is located in the fuel tank.

Gary
Thanks for the heads up!
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Old 10-23-2015, 06:58 PM   #14
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Re: 5.7 Vortec Swap 65' C20

Here is what I found from an LS swap, and thought that it would be similar for the Vortec swap I am planning in terms of what I am thinking I will need:

What do you guys think?
I am thinking of keeping it injected, Ideally, if there is an aftermarket harness/fusebox/computer you would recommend, let me know! Hoping to keep it clean under the hood.

5.7 Vortec Engine
Stock truck harness
Add on fuse panel for harness
ECM
Aftermarket Conversion mounts
Starter
alternator
fuel pump
Maf sensor
O2 sensor
radiator hoses
Fuel lines/ fittings
(Computer reflash)- Not sure how to do this.
Exhaust work/ O2 bungs

Thanks Fellas
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Old 10-23-2015, 08:56 PM   #15
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Re: 5.7 Vortec Swap 65' C20

Magical, you said you were pulling the engine from a donor, correct? I asked a similar question back in August about what to pull from a donor, here's what Captainfab had to say:

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...40&postcount=5
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Old 10-24-2015, 01:37 AM   #16
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Re: 5.7 Vortec Swap 65' C20

You do not need any aftermarket conversion mounts, unless you just feel the need to spend money on something. The original style engine mounts in your '65 C20 will bolt right up to the L31 Vortec 350.....it is still a GEN I small block. If you want a better engine mount, you can convert to the '73+ engine mounts with a set of frame brackets from a '73-'87 C20 or C30. The clamshell on the Vortec 350 and the engine mounts in the Escalade will work with those brackets. If you do go with the 4L60E or 4L80E trans, then you will need to remove the bellhousing crossmember and install a trans crossmember. For that you can simply use an auto trans crossmember from a '63-'87 truck, Suburban or 2wd K5 Blazer.

For the PCM reflash you will need to send your PCM into one of many vendors that perform such services. I do not have any experience to be able to make a recommendation.
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Old 10-24-2015, 05:10 PM   #17
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Re: 5.7 Vortec Swap 65' C20

Quote:
Originally Posted by fleetsidelarry View Post
Magical, you said you were pulling the engine from a donor, correct? I asked a similar question back in August about what to pull from a donor, here's what Captainfab had to say:

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...40&postcount=5
Larry,

Thanks for the info! This is a huge help! Did he end up deciding to go Carb or EFI? Thanks!
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Old 10-24-2015, 05:14 PM   #18
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Re: 5.7 Vortec Swap 65' C20

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captainfab View Post
You do not need any aftermarket conversion mounts, unless you just feel the need to spend money on something. The original style engine mounts in your '65 C20 will bolt right up to the L31 Vortec 350.....it is still a GEN I small block. If you want a better engine mount, you can convert to the '73+ engine mounts with a set of frame brackets from a '73-'87 C20 or C30. The clamshell on the Vortec 350 and the engine mounts in the Escalade will work with those brackets. If you do go with the 4L60E or 4L80E trans, then you will need to remove the bellhousing crossmember and install a trans crossmember. For that you can simply use an auto trans crossmember from a '63-'87 truck, Suburban or 2wd K5 Blazer.

For the PCM reflash you will need to send your PCM into one of many vendors that perform such services. I do not have any experience to be able to make a recommendation.
CaptainFab,

Thanks, Sir. I will keep this in mind. I am assuming that I will also need a steering column to accommodate the 4L60E but am not sure. Any recommendations?

Big thanks to all of you guys. This is really a huge help in understanding the intricacies of this swap. It is very much appreciated.
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Old 10-24-2015, 11:36 PM   #19
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Re: 5.7 Vortec Swap 65' C20

The 4L60E can be shifted by either a column shift or an aftermarket floor shifter. The Escalade may have a cable connecting the column shift to the trans. You may be able to make use of that setup somehow. Finding an original '63-'66 auto trans column is going to be difficult. The next best would be a column from a '67-'72 followed by a column from a '73-'87.

There are several aftermarket floor shifters to choose from, depending on the look you are after.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magicalzoomer View Post
CaptainFab,

Thanks, Sir. I will keep this in mind. I am assuming that I will also need a steering column to accommodate the 4L60E but am not sure. Any recommendations?

Big thanks to all of you guys. This is really a huge help in understanding the intricacies of this swap. It is very much appreciated.
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Old 10-25-2015, 09:23 AM   #20
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Re: 5.7 Vortec Swap 65' C20

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magicalzoomer View Post
Larry,

Thanks for the info! This is a huge help! Did he end up deciding to go Carb or EFI? Thanks!
Magical, that decision hasn't been made but I suspect he might go carb AND swap the 4L60E for a 700r.
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Old 10-25-2015, 12:42 PM   #21
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Re: 5.7 Vortec Swap 65' C20

I would consider pulling the engine/trans combo and fixing the rear maib seal then stab a 5 speed manual or 7004r and be done with it. I also would snag that motor and save it since its cheap. Just my $.02
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Old 10-26-2015, 12:52 PM   #22
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Re: 5.7 Vortec Swap 65' C20

Quote:
Originally Posted by fleetsidelarry View Post
I'm in the process of swapping a vortec for a tired late 70's 350. as far as bolting the engine into your truck the vortec is still a Gen 1 small block so it's the same as your 327 or my 350.

in addition to the changes mentioned by the other guys, here's a couple of things I've run into (my engine is in a '48 coupe so some of these may not be a problem in your truck):

if the engine doesn't have a flexplate or flywheel you'll need to get one for the 1-piece rear main.

odd as it may sound, an oil dipstick and tube (again, if the engine you're getting doesn't have them)

I'm not sure the exhaust manifolds will exit properly in your application but they might. non vortec manifolds may encounter spark plug boot clearance due to the relocation of the spark plug holes in the vortec heads

some thoughts on the timing cover:

If you plan on converting to a carburetor and not using the computer system and EFI, do yourself a favor and convert to the old style timing cover. I installed the plastic cover without the sensor hole and now find it impossible to properly view the TDC mark on the cover. (I can see the mark by looking straight down from above but doing so induces a "parallax" error) Of the dozens of after-market timing pointers none I've found fit the plastic cover. If someone else has, I hope they chime in.

I like the roller cam/vortec heads/1 piece rear main which is why I went with the L31 but a big part of what makes these motors so good in their original use is the computer controlled timing and fuel injection, that's where they get the mileage AND performance. you might want to think about the keeping the computer if the motor comes with the harness and sensors.

Hey Larry,

What kind of transmission are you going with?
----
For me, with the options I have found online, I think I am going to stick with the Escalade tranny that is connected to the Engine and accessories I am pulling and going with EFI. If anybody doesn't recommenced this let me know!
---------
From what the post is saying, if you go Carb, you cant do a 4l60E without an aftermarket Controller for the Tranny (~$800).

To keep EFI with 4l60E, you can keep powetrain harness/PCM/Relay/Fusebox/fuelsystem/and at least 1 O2 for each side/intake DUcting w/ MAF and IAT, Then get a reflash for about $100 (Thanks Captainfab)

There seems to be limited options for a Manual Transmission that are inexpensive for a Vortec. From looking around it seems like the options are(Let me know if I am way off or missing any):

T-65 6 Speed ( $1500 at best)
T-5 ( apparently not strong enough)
nv3500 (~$800)- Not sure if this would fit
-----
Also, I found this article, and figured that this could be a viable option if I were to keep the 327. Not sure if you guys have seen this.

http://www.hotrod.com/how-to/transmi...ssion-install/

Thanks Guys.
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Old 10-26-2015, 02:10 PM   #23
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Re: 5.7 Vortec Swap 65' C20

Magical, I'm going with a 700r4, the whole setup is now in my '48 coupe. putting the same combo in your truck would be relatively easy. I have a 350/700r in my '66 fleetside

as for the 5 speed (T-5 anyway),
when you first sign in to the Engine & Driveline forum there there is a section heading New Thread, under that is a section Threads in Forum followed by another section called Thread/Thread Starter. in the last section is a thread called Engine & Driveline FAQ index. helpful info on several topics

if you haven't looked thru it before, check it out

in it you'll find this thread which may be helpful:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=313954

and btw, the 327 was/is a great engine. when they first came out I thought it doesn't get any better than this. but 23 more cubes is free hp/torque. you should weigh all your options and the costs involved. Clyde65 made a suggestion worthy of consideration
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