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 Post subject: 4300 Vortec swap
 Post Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:22 pm 
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Daily Driver
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I'm wondering if anyone has done this swap. I'm thinking a late model 4300 ('96+ I believe?) , newest I can find is most likely what I will be using, so hopefully '00+ 4.3.

Has anyone seen this swap? Getting it running in the car doesn't concern me, I'm more concerned with fitment issues. From what I can gather the newer ones should bolt up like any older 4.3? But I can't find any hard facts to confirm this. Some more concerns are mating it to the manual transmission. For the first while I would most likely just stick with the 3 speed, but I'm wondering if they would be drilled for a pilot bushing or If I would need to get that done as well. Or if the newer blocks are different externally in any way, in the places that matter that is.

Any links, info or experience is appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: 4300 Vortec swap
 Post Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:37 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 4:20 pm
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Location: South Carolina
It should bolt right up. Seems like some of the trucks came with manual trans, so that may not be a problem.

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 Post subject: Re: 4300 Vortec swap
 Post Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 1:04 pm 
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Location: Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin
I swapped a 92-95 vortec 4.3 cpi into mine. Just use the normal V6 motor mounts on the frame, and engine. you can still get headers for the 85-87 el camino/ monte 4.3, and you can get a wiring harness from Howell. LEt me know if you would like pics. by the way mine is behind a saginaw 4 speed, and I was able to use the factory z bar setup with out any problems. the block had the boss drilled and tapped for the z bar stud.

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"El Camino's Unlimited" Sheboygan Falls, WI 53085
1980 El Camino "LT" 4.3 Liter Vortec, Saginaw 4-Speed
The worlds first and only, therefore fastest L35 G-Body!!

"He drives an El Freakin' Camino! That's like the Cadillac of cars!"


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 Post subject: Re: 4300 Vortec swap
 Post Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 1:21 pm 
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Daily Driver
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I just found your thread a little while ago and your build is awesome!

Was the crank drilled for a pilot bushing as well?

Any other pictures or info would be appreciated


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 Post subject: Re: 4300 Vortec swap
 Post Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 1:32 pm 
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Location: Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin
Thanks! Yeah, the crank was drilled! I used a GM pilot roller bearing from an 80's GM 6.5 diesel engine. Its much better than the bronze bushing.. And its a direct swap for the bushing. Ill see about getting pics, but if you looked at the ones I posted, thats about all I have. Im bad about taking pics, too busy building :)

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"El Camino's Unlimited" Sheboygan Falls, WI 53085
1980 El Camino "LT" 4.3 Liter Vortec, Saginaw 4-Speed
The worlds first and only, therefore fastest L35 G-Body!!

"He drives an El Freakin' Camino! That's like the Cadillac of cars!"


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 Post subject: Re: 4300 Vortec swap
 Post Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 7:26 pm 
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Haha, I know how that is. I always say I'm going to take a ton of pictures, but once my hands get too dirty to be cleaned with a quick wipe is usually where the pictures end.

Good to know about it being bored for the bushing. I was also unaware that there was a harness available. I had planned on making my own but I will definitely look into that.

I have no idea when I will do this swap, but I hope to get it done within a year or two. Was there anything in particular that made you pick that generation of engine? I haven't done a lot of research on the 4.3's yet, but I was going to go with as new as possible (2000+) but I guess if there's nothing really beneficial I would also go with what you used. Not only would it be cheaper (maybe) but the intake setup just looks better!


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 Post subject: Re: 4300 Vortec swap
 Post Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 7:55 am 
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Location: Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin
Believe me when I say that building this engine was anything but cheap. I picked it cause I loves the looks and I love 4.3's. Im trying to keep the cars overall weight down for handeling, and this engine and thw performance parts I added should prove to be a quick little mill. If your going to install a used engine without rebuilding then it should be a cheap swap. I have seen used ones with low miles go for a few hundred dollars. But seeing as I cant just leave anything alone, I gave this micro mill the full race treatment.

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"El Camino's Unlimited" Sheboygan Falls, WI 53085
1980 El Camino "LT" 4.3 Liter Vortec, Saginaw 4-Speed
The worlds first and only, therefore fastest L35 G-Body!!

"He drives an El Freakin' Camino! That's like the Cadillac of cars!"


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 Post subject: Re: 4300 Vortec swap
 Post Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 4:33 pm 
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Ah I see. My plan is to find a good running one and just swap it in, no rebuilding or performance parts really. I have another car for that!


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 Post subject: Re: 4300 Vortec swap
 Post Posted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 7:05 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 7:48 pm
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Location: Chanute (Petrolia), Ks.
OK, here's what I know. I race these 4.3's in a circle track car and they perform excellent. The '96 and up are a true Vortec design. The same as the 350. The heads are great but they will take a different intake because of the bolt pattern (like a V8 Vortec). They will physically bolt up like any other V6 (same bellhousing pattern as a V8). The flywheel is the same as the V8 which is a one (1) piece style. I bought an even fire HEI from White Performance on E-bay. You will need an electric fuel pump because there is no boss for a mechanical one. I personally redrilled my heads and used the older style 12 bolt 4.3 4bbl (marine) intake. If you are daring enough to try, go for it or you can find a marine or aftermarket. I also used 1.6 guided rockers on the stock roller cam. A great upgrade and it still idles smooth. Good luck in your project. Steve


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 Post subject: Re: 4300 Vortec swap
 Post Posted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 9:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:47 pm
Posts: 155
Location: Manitiowc, Wisconsin
Main bearing and cam bearing are the same as the standard run of the mill 350. Very cheap for the parts to freshen a 4.3. The only bearing that are different are the rod bearings. For the intake the best motors are the 96 and up vortecs and you can get a intake from edelbrock to fit the vortec heads.


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