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By, EZ Rhino
If there ever was a motor possessed, it was the Iron Duke. This gutless wonder refused to die. For 3 years this little motor took abuse and punishment on and off the road. Finally, it came to the point where it just wouldn't run well anymore. The time was right to do something about it!
In order to follow along with me on this project, let me share my goals with you: 1) keep it cheap, 2) do it right the first time, 3) do everything myself, 4) maintain a 'factory' look, and 5) did I mention cheap? Sometimes these goals don't go too well together, but I think I found a good balance.
The purpose of this tech article is not to go through a step by step installation process, but rather to share what things need to be considered in a swap, what works and what doesn't, what I did and why, and how it all comes out in the end. I'm not going to go through the reasoning of why I picked the engine or transmission that I did. I will just say that after seeing many auto's on the trail, I was sold, and the power of a V8 was just what I needed after topping out at 60 mph downhill with a tailwind in 'ol Satan.
As luck would have it, I found just such a combo: an 1989 Chevy Blazer with a throttle body injected 350 and 700r4 transmission. The best part was, I paid $400 for both, including all of the wiring harness! And, they both ran great!
The planning stages found me looking for the bits and pieces necessary to complete the swap; an adapter for my Dana 300 transfer case, a way to wire the fuel injection, cooling requirements, shifter considerations, motor mounts, fitment issues, and a thousand other details.
I do need to say one more thing before we get greasy: when looking for the parts that I needed, I absolutely could not stand calling a company and talking to some pinhead that didn't know his products and couldn't answer technical questions about them. (Or one that gives me bogus information. You'd be surprised how many different answers I got when asking questions about lock-up torque converters). When bogus information was encountered, that company was totally crossed off my list. Customer service is important, and the vendors that I chose to use have all been excellent to deal with and know what they're talking about!
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