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Old 02-02-2015, 08:18 AM   #176
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Creeping
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Old 02-16-2015, 10:33 PM   #177
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

[QUOTE=DirtyLarry;5602837]Thanks MTCK! Yeah, shackle flip for sure but it may need more than a zero rate. I might actually have to throw a lift block in there to make it sit level (I hate blocks but it is what it is). The plan is to do the shackle flip then bolt the tires on with the old axle still in place and let it on the ground to see how low it is compared to the front. From there I can determine if a zero rate block or a lift block will need to be used when I bolt the 14 bolt ff in. Weíll see!

Larry I dont mean to hijack your thread to gain info but i cant message you. I love the way the polar bear looks with the q78s and want that look on my k20, was there a reason you did a shackle flip instead of 6" rear springs? and what is your brand of lift. Thanks for info really enjoy this build thread. You make it look so easy.
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Old 02-19-2015, 01:23 AM   #178
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

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Larry I dont mean to hijack your thread to gain info but i cant message you. I love the way the polar bear looks with the q78s and want that look on my k20, was there a reason you did a shackle flip instead of 6" rear springs? and what is your brand of lift. Thanks for info really enjoy this build thread. You make it look so easy.
Yeah, I keep the PM function turned off. Too many PMís

I chose to go with the rear shackle flip to achieve a better ride and more suspension articulation over blocks and/or rear lift springs. Rear lift springs will knock the fillings out of your teeth. Outside of the rear ORD shackle flip the springs themselves are stock springs to the Suburban while the front lift springs are hand-me-down El Cheapo 4"ers from my K10 mounted to ORD HD front shackles. I think the front springs are cheap Rancho, Tuff Country, Rough Country or something....I can't remember. They are stiff as a board and flex like one too. Plan to replace the front springs with Superlift Softrides (like my K10 now has) one of these days.
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Old 02-19-2015, 05:03 PM   #179
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

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Yeah, I keep the PM function turned off. Too many PMís

I chose to go with the rear shackle flip to achieve a better ride and more suspension articulation over blocks and/or rear lift springs. Rear lift springs will knock the fillings out of your teeth. Outside of the rear ORD shackle flip the springs themselves are stock springs to the Suburban while the front lift springs are hand-me-down El Cheapo 4"ers from my K10 mounted to ORD HD front shackles. I think the front springs are cheap Rancho, Tuff Country, Rough Country or something....I can't remember. They are stiff as a board and flex like one too. Plan to replace the front springs with Superlift Softrides (like my K10 now has) one of these days.
Did you end up putting a zero rate in the back to recenter the rear? I'm going to be removing the block on mine and do the flip, but am unsure about the offset zero rate.
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:26 PM   #180
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

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Did you end up putting a zero rate in the back to recenter the rear? I'm going to be removing the block on mine and do the flip, but am unsure about the offset zero rate.
You know, itís a funny storyÖ.I never did add a zero rate. The Suburban turned out almost perfectly level so I didnít want to add a zero rate then be one inch higher in the rear. The other odd thing was when it was wearing tall skinny Super Swampers the wheels looked really far forward but once I added the fender flares and changed the tire/wheel combo to the 315/75R16ís the tires look more centered in the wheel house so with that I just left it alone. My K10 does have a the ORD zero rates but I added those more to help it sit level after a front D60 install more than to center the wheels in the wheel house but the centered wheel looks so much better to boot.

This is how the rear suspension on the Burb turned out


Before flares


Not a very good side view pic but the tire looks more centered with flares and shorter tires


Here is the zero rate installed on the K10




Before Zero rate


After Zero rate. Sat level and fixed the wheel position in the wheel house
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:29 PM   #181
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Here is a better side view of the Burb taken today but even at that the pic is skewed due to the load.
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Old 02-22-2015, 06:06 PM   #182
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

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Well, I ran across this rig on Craigslist Thursday night and I knew had to have it. I could barely sleep Thursday night in anticipation to call the guy first thing Friday morning. It is a 1989 V2500 Suburban, 5.7L, SM456 with rear barn doors and only 132,000 original miles. When I saw it had a manual transmission in the CL add my eyeballs about popped out of my head and the rear barn doors were a bonus (I donít care for the tailgate with the roll up window on Subs). You wonít believe what I paid either. $1500! Actually, $1496.35 as I found a few bucks in pocket change when I took the interior apart for deep cleaning.

As usual with a rig of this age and price it isnít without issue. It needs a clutch, the windshield is badly cracked, the steering column is wobbly as hell (typical loose tilt mechanism situation that these Saginaw columns are famous for), stereo is missing and it has a severe lean to the left due to a sagging LH front spring plus it was filthy dirty! None of this is a big problem as I have a good used Centerforce dual friction clutch that I took out by my K10 last year when I did the NV4500 swap. The lean isnít an issue either as I have a pair of left over 4Ē front leaf springs from the K10 as well. Probably do a ORD shackle flip on the rear. I bet I already spent 20 hours since Friday night cleaning this thing. It is turning out nice though! The biggest disappointment is the fact it has 3:42 gears no biggie as I will be swapping in a 14 bolt FF soon but wasnít planning on regearing the front. Looks like I need to find a pair of axles now. It has a couple small surface rust spots but they will come right off with a DA sander then touch it up with touch up paint. Nothing major.

When I do the clutch Iím planning to kill two birds with one stone. Just yank the engine to replace the clutch and give the engine a makeover (paint, tune up, new sensors, gaskets, water pump, etc). It probably will get an 8.1L and NV4500 someday as I still have a few laying around but for now I am going to run with this TBI 5.7L and deal with the priorities first (fix issues, lift it, address the rust spots).

Let the fun begin! My wife named it the Polar Bear.



The underhood light even works!




Ah, YES!! Manual trans Picture after a major cleaning. That is the shifter from the SM465 out of my K10. It is a NOS shifter with no slop and a new knob. Glad I saved thos Husky floor mats too!


what a steal! love that it is a 4-speed
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Old 02-22-2015, 06:18 PM   #183
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Are your steel wheels stamped 6.5x16? or are they wider than that? Im guessing these are the smae steel wheel/q78s you have with the hub caps on in a different pic.
Before flares
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Old 02-22-2015, 07:01 PM   #184
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

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what a steal! love that it is a 4-speed
Thanks! Was a 4 speed......now a 5 speed

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Are your steel wheels stamped 6.5x16? or are they wider than that? Im guessing these are the smae steel wheel/q78s you have with the hub caps on in a different pic.
Before flares
Yeah, they are the stock 16x6.5 steelies. Same wheels with and without the hubcaps. They're not on the truck right now though.
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Old 03-21-2015, 11:49 PM   #185
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

WellÖ.the 8.1L swap is done, she runs but has some teething issues as to be expected with a major repower project.

Current issues as of this evening.

1) TPS issue is fixed. I had two TPS codes and she was really running like dog meat once you tip into the throttle. I ran though GM Strategy Based Diagnostics for the P0122 and P1122 codes and found the new TPS I got off EBay was defective. A quick run into town for a new Napa TPSÖproblem solved.

2) ECM needs some tuning badly to accommodate the RayLar cam. She runs like crap and the fuel trims are all maxed out at 25 while the ECM tries to compensate for the cam. It does not have any codesÖ. In speaking to Larry at RayLar that is indicative of needing a tune to accommodate the cam. Kinda bums me out as I was under the impression this cam was smaller and worked with a stockish tune. Ah, nope. Speaking of nopeÖ.she does have a pretty nice cam lope and perhaps more lope than I wanted in a quazi daily driver SUV. Weíll see once it gets a decent tune.

3) Still waiting on a new Spectra Premium CU774 4 core radiator. I ordered one from Pepboys EBay store on 2-14. It arrived 2-20 via FedEx Ground all beat to hell. The lower radiator snout was bent, twisted and shoved into the tank. Got the run around from Pepboys several weeks and finally told them to stick it up there ass and got my money back then reordered from another EBay store. The next one arrived 3-19 via UPS in the same condition. Lower rad hose snout bent and shoved into the tank. It is obvious Spectra is doing a less than sterling job of packing their radiators. There is a replacement on the way to me directly from Spectra in Canada now but donít have an ETA as to when it will arrive. I have my doubts it will be in much better shape. Weíll see!

4) Because of the radiator debacle above I threw the little 5.7L radiator in it just to be able to run it on the car trailer to get over to the exhaust shop but it will not run more than 10 minutes or so and gets hotter than hell. I am fairly certain that issue is a rag I stuck in the old radiator when I pulled it out to keep it from leaking on the floor. I guess I forgot to pull it out when I decided to reuse it. Where ever it is stuck in the radiator it is preventing cross flow as one side of the rad is hot and the other is cold. I pulled the upper hose off of the engine and spun the water pump which it flowed great so I am not concerned that the flow issue is in the engine itself. It has to be the radiator.

5) Lastly and she is pumping oil out of the bell housing like the BP Deep Water Horizon. Itís either the rear main seal or Cam plug and Iím betting cam plug. I was nervous I did a sucktastic job installing it and I suspect that is the case. SoÖ.the NV4500 is coming out in the next week or so to see WTF is going on. The good in this is the fact this NV4500 has a 5th gear synchro problem where it wonít accept 5th gear until it gets pretty high RPMís. So since it needs to come out Iíll send it to my guy to have fixed up. The other good news is this NV4500/241 pop out quick and easy just due to the exhaust configuration. I bet I can have it on the floor in under and hour unlike the K10 with the NV4500/205 and its particular exhaust configuration requires at least 4 hours go get out.

On to the storyÖ.

I started prepping the 5.7L for removal on the afternoon of the February 25th. It was ready to start on about 1 AM on March 12th but I was missing the new 4 core radiator and a few air induction pieces. In all reality, 2 weeks for the swap working from 9 PM to midnight and a few afternoons was pretty quick. Had the issues not came up it would have been a nice record. The K10 had some major teething issues at first 7 years ago when it got its 8.1L as well.

3fidy before plucking!






Mileage at swap time for future reference. 142,063 Not sure how many miles the old 5.7L had on it but I donít think it was more than 50K as looks like a GM service replacement engine.
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Old 03-21-2015, 11:53 PM   #186
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Off to the races!


Flywheel PN, pilot bearing and Crank sensors location for future reference


With clutch and pressure plate and oil sending unit pig tail


On the driver’s side of the engine the center bolt boss needs to be carved down for engine mount saddle clearance. I did not grab a picture of this during the K10 8.1L swap so here ya’ll go…


After


After ORD HD engine crossmember install. The 8.1L will not fit a square body GM 4x4 truck with the stock engine xmember due to oil pan clearance. I suppose you could be a hack and cut chunks out of the OEM xmember but that would be pretty crude.


This is a comparo pic of the stock ’89 Suburban TBI underhood engine harness (Right) vs. a reworked ’89 Suburban underhood engine harness with all of the TBI circuits removed (Left). I had the luxury of having an extra harness so I didn’t have to chop up my stock harness that way I could sell the old harness along with the old 5.7L. Basically, everything on the right is the old brains of the TBI 5.7L


I scored a nice rubber plug from McMaster-Carr to plug the hole in the firewall where the old TBI harness ran into the cab to the ECM.


Then sprayed a heavy layer of undercoating over the plug to match the OEM undercoating. Even made sure it was all clumpy and runny just like some 1980’s UAW flunky did it. Looks stock! LOL




Ah! This was on a COLD snowy night in February.


Ah..HA!


Very weird. So when I did the 8.1L swap into the K10 the #5 coil pack cleared the brake vacuum booster where I didn’t convert the K10 to hydroboost for a couple years after the 8.1L swap. On the Burb, the #5 coil pack would NOT clear the brake booster at all so I was pushed into doing the hydroboost swap now. Hydroboost was in the plan for the Burb anyway but I didn’t plan to do it on this round. Oh, well…it has it now!




RayLar spark plug wires with ceramic boots. An absolute MUST if running an 8.1L on headers. Very nice quality!


Hmmm, sexy!







Double checking circuits before I throw the reworked ’89 underhood harness on. A good wiring diagram like factory GM manuals are a must.


Um, ya…. For a while I had every tote of my GM truck harness hord opened for the sake of using ONLY factory GM connectors and wires with the proper color coding on extensions, etc. Call me anal but at least of if I ever die someone with GM logic can work on this thing.


Then it was time to start on the Howell Engine Development stand-a-lone harness. I want to be clear on this….I am a huge fan of Howell but keep in mind their harnesses are “UNIVERSAL” harnesses which most people may drop on an engine and be good with. I wanted circuits routed in certain locations and in a cleaner fashion so I ended up spending about 4 hours opening and reworking/rerouting circuits to lay the way I wanted them to go. Next time I order a Howell harness for a project I will request they do not tape their split loom unions so it is easier to open to tweak for personalized fitment.


After the engine harness was roughed in it was time to drop the fuel tank and remove the low fuel pressure TBI fuel pump (12 psi) to a higher PSI pump (60+ psi) EP381 pump


Once I dropped the tank it was a rat’s nest…..literally


After the new EP381 and sock were installed on the stock 1989 fuel sending unit


In process pic….roughing in the power wires to the passenger’s side mounted ECM


Dropping her off at the exhaust shop for new plumbing. It ran at this point but now well. 8.1L Silverado towing an 8.1L Suburban. 16.2Ls of awesome GASOLINE power!


Home from the exhaust shop. They made me a really nice new y-pipe with O2 bungs


This will probably be something to upgrade later but due to budget constraints I had them just connect the new Y-pipe to the existing old exhaust which is a single pipe where the old cat converter lived at one time then into a single inlet/dual outlet Flowmaster. It sounds pretty good put pretty poppy with the way the ECM is currently tuned. I’ll revisit the exhaust later but at least now I can hear myself think to run it enough to work out the bugs.


How she sits at this very moment.. She still needs A/C lines built, final ECM wiring/routing, missing some air induction pieces and the radiator/fan shroud still need to be installed whenever the Canuk radiator shows up.


Look at that piss-ant radiator and no fan shroud….errr


On to the videos…

Initial fire up. Pretty uneventful fireup. Started much easier and quicker than expected. After it didn’t fire on the second crank I had to double check the fuel pressure. The GoPro battery died while bleeding the power steering/hydrobooster
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0g71t-drJ8

Loading it up on the trailer. Running pretty crappy with the O2’s swinging loose, TPS inop and mistuned ECM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNDhf0FWUNo

And a time lapse of the install
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQ4_5m-e9KM

That’s it for now. Got my work cut out for me to address the little bugs. I'll update as more as things happen. I don't expect much to happen for the next week or two until the canuk radiator gets here and a ECM tune solution is sorted out then if things drag out too far I have a bunch of work travel coming up then I need to get back on the K10 to prep it for Desert Trip 2015 plus FIL's Super Sportside will be coming home from the paint shop where I need to reassemble it back to a working truck. Poor Polar Bear project may drag on until summer

Last edited by DirtyLarry; 03-22-2015 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 03-22-2015, 12:33 AM   #187
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

very nice work, as usual!
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Old 03-22-2015, 12:55 AM   #188
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

I was waiting for this! Great job as usual. It's a bummer for the teething problems, but they seem manageable. Tell me when to stop by and I'll grab the trans for it's date with the doctor at work. In the mean time, I've got a little more to do to the 75 and it will be ready for you to fetch. Then we get to do the swap again on mine! Thank goodness spring has sprung around here.


If you need another small block radiator, I've got the one from the 91 clip I robbed.
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Old 03-22-2015, 01:58 AM   #189
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Hey Larry, the RayLar cam that you mentioned - is it a custom grind for the 8.1? I'm trying to find a cam for an L29 that Im going to rebuild for the '63. It seems as though just as little is known about the L29 as the 8.1 although there does seem to be a bit more aftermarket support for the 454. I think I will take my Howell harness apart as well after running into similar fitment issues. Once again your build is factory fit and finish - just better!
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Old 03-22-2015, 06:11 AM   #190
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Looking good Larry, I am gathering the pieces to start on my LQ4 swap now, hope to tackle it this summer
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Old 03-23-2015, 12:34 AM   #191
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

You do awesome work. Killer Burb!
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:01 PM   #192
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Thanks for the compliments everybody!




Quote:
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Hey Larry, the RayLar cam that you mentioned - is it a custom grind for the 8.1? I'm trying to find a cam for an L29 that Im going to rebuild for the '63. It seems as though just as little is known about the L29 as the 8.1 although there does seem to be a bit more aftermarket support for the 454. I think I will take my Howell harness apart as well after running into similar fitment issues. Once again your build is factory fit and finish - just better!
The L29 is a great engine and my second favorite GM engine of all time. Definitely a better looking engine than the L18 that is for sure. Personally, I would leave it stock as tuning the ECM after the cam install is a pain in the rear unless you have access to a tuner that knows what he is doing (that is the jamb I am in now with an aftermarket cam). If youíre interested in a RayLar cam you would have to give them a call to see if they have anything for the L29. As far as I know, all they do is focus on 8.1L engines and Corvettes.

I love your truck the way it is, even with a toilet carburetor on the sweet 396!
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:18 PM   #193
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Larry,

With the popularity of LS engine swaps, you should be able to find a shop in your area that can put a proper dyno tune on the 8.1L, seeing as it uses the same hardware and software as an LS engine. It will cost a bit of change, the 2 shops in my area change $500 for a dyno tune.
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Old 03-23-2015, 08:38 PM   #194
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

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Larry,

With the popularity of LS engine swaps, you should be able to find a shop in your area that can put a proper dyno tune on the 8.1L, seeing as it uses the same hardware and software as an LS engine. It will cost a bit of change, the 2 shops in my area change $500 for a dyno tune.
Well ya, that is a givenÖtuning an 8.1L is no different than an early Gen III but in Pueblo, Colorado or even Colorado Springs there isnít any tuner I know of, or one that I would trust for that matter, to do it so Iíll probably end up trailering it to Denver and paying someone out the nose to keep the truck for a period time and hotrod the crap out of it to get the tune dialed in. That hassle, worry and expense was not figured into the budget or plan.

Iím coming off of a 4.3L to TBI 7.4L project that basically took two years to get the tune 95% dialed in. I am sick and tired of dealing with and forking over cash to eccentric tuners where each think they are better than the last but in reality each actually sucks worse than the last in some way. And, I donít have the interest in buying software and learning the tuning myself. Iíve already been through that self-tuning BS on a MEFI-4 Marine/RamJet ECM and quickly learned that I certainly am not a tuner nerd. Iíll give a tuner a chance to get this L18 going but I have no problem throwing a stock cam back in and start driving it the next day. Iím certainly not going to deal with months or years of tuning BS or dealing with tuners again like I did on the 7.4L Super Sportside project
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Old 03-23-2015, 09:13 PM   #195
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Very nice work Larry and man that was pretty fast for a swap. Good luck getting it tuned. I had a buddy get burned by a lot of so called self proclaimed tuner bad asses. Now he's sitting with a blown up 6.0 and he's tired of messing with the project.
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Old 03-23-2015, 09:28 PM   #196
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

I hear ya on that. I'm actually about to swap out the TPI converted 305 in my C10 for something late model because I tried tuning myself and it didn't work out well. Actually bought a 2003 Dually with an 8.1L to put in but the truck has 60k miles and is worth more together so I'm fixing the dually and selling it.

There is a tuning shop about 80 miles from me that specializes in only LS tuning and has a good reputation, going to bring my gf's 6.0L Z28 there to get tuned. Obviously that doesn't help you but just read the reviews for shops on LS1tech, there's gotta be a decent one around there.
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Old 03-23-2015, 10:13 PM   #197
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Larry, Justin Gadberry (Blackbear Performance) tuned my 8.1L engine yesterday. He knows his way around them...also owns an 8.1L Suburban.

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Old 03-23-2015, 11:22 PM   #198
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

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Larry, Justin Gadberry (Blackbear Performance) tuned my 8.1L engine yesterday. He knows his way around them...also owns an 8.1L Suburban.

Leevon
Good info. Thanks!
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Old 03-23-2015, 11:32 PM   #199
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

I love your truck the way it is, even with a toilet carburetor on the sweet 396![/QUOTE]

Thanks Larry, I like it too. With the potential problems of tuning the L29, and the virtual lack of info on hot rodding the FI, I'm contemplating throwing a slightly bigger toilet (I'm stealing that one btw) on the 454 and tuning it with the tuner that I'm sitting on right now. Lol. Anyway, I'm going to keep looking into it in hopes of not bailing out on running a little hotter than stock FI big block. The roller cam and 4 bolt bottom end sold me. The fuel injection was the icing on the cake and I'd like to think that the GM engineers left just a little something for us to work with. Just went through a lot of the same discussions with a diesel that I just had. There were a few tuners that knew what they were doing and a whole bunch that would burn your engine down all the while saying that they were the best and there must have been something wrong with the truck to begin with.
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'63 k15 long step
Vortec 7.4 - L29 Blackbear tune, Five 0 Motorsports injectors, Chris Straub Cam, NV4500, divorced 205
52" front and 63" rear spring swap
D44 / 14bff - disc axles
Milemarker 9K and 10.5K hydraulic winches

63" & B52 Spring Install http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...ng+swap+thread


NV4500 Reverse Build Thread http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...=reverse+build

L29 - 7.4 Vortec Build http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...&highlight=L29
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Old 03-24-2015, 01:00 AM   #200
Zoomad75
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Location: Pueblo, CO
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

I'll have to find out who one of our club members took his '56 Nomad with a GM ramjet crate engine last summer to dial it in. The idle on it was way too high and after sending the MEFI-4 out to a couple of hot-shots and getting no where he found a shop up in Ft. Collins to take the car up to. The shop was highly recommended. I'll get him to pull up the name of the shop. He was very happy with it.
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1975 K5 350/465/205/D44/12b 4" lift on 35's- RIP
1991 K5 5.3L/700r4/241/D44/14b Under Construction
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