Any experience rebuilding L31 Vortec engines? - Page 2 - Chevelle Tech
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 1st, 14, 5:26 PM
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Dennis
 
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Re: Any experience rebuilding L31 Vortec engines?

Well if you already have the heads and intake then you can also look into the tbi engines that have the one piece rear seal with roller cam. I took a chevy 350 out of like an 93 buick roadmaster and the short block builds just like an old school 350, I honed it, put new rings in it, got a bigger cam off ebay and reused the roller lifters and spider. I had under 1200 bucks in the rebuild and 600 of that was the engine from a junk yard. Any of the passenger cars had the roller cams like from 88-95 or so. tbi truck engines have flat tappet cams.


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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 1st, 14, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Any experience rebuilding L31 Vortec engines?

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Originally Posted by ddeennis View Post
Well if you already have the heads and intake then you can also look into the tbi engines that have the one piece rear seal with roller cam. I took a chevy 350 out of like an 93 buick roadmaster and the short block builds just like an old school 350, I honed it, put new rings in it, got a bigger cam off ebay and reused the roller lifters and spider. I had under 1200 bucks in the rebuild and 600 of that was the engine from a junk yard. Any of the passenger cars had the roller cams like from 88-95 or so. tbi truck engines have flat tappet cams.
Thanks, that is an excellent tip! Somewhere in my L31 research I read that the 96+ had the roller cam/spiders, and of course the 1 pc sealing setup. I didn't realize the earl 90 Roadmaster SBC had the roller cam setup, thought that was 95+. I know that many of those Roadmasters had the LT4 reverse cooling setup, which I don't want as it won't play with my Vortec setup.

I'll do some research on the Buicks, perhaps that is the ticket to finding a low mile block (Gpa car) without the L31 prices.
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 1st, 14, 11:58 PM
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Re: Any experience rebuilding L31 Vortec engines?

Early 90s impalas, trucks, etc will all have the 1 pc seal block, and though all may not have factory roller lifters, the spider and OE style lifters can be installed.

Another important tip: make damn sure that the block has provisions for a mechanical fuel pump if that's important to you. Many of them don't. Not something you want to learn when it is already built and in your car.


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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 14, 12:47 AM
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Dave
 
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Re: Any experience rebuilding L31 Vortec engines?

If you already have the Vortec heads + intake, and want to build a roller cam engine, then any 87-99 block will be roller-cam capable. They made a gazillion trucks with them from 87-99. Camaro/Corvette 87-92, Caprice (not LT1). Not hard to find, it will just be a matter of how much you want to pay.

If you buy a flat-tappet equipped engine, you will have to find a spider, dogbones, and cam retainer plate. Also, pushrods are different length, since the roller lifters are taller.

-Dave

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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 14, 7:59 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Any experience rebuilding L31 Vortec engines?

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Originally Posted by novadude View Post
Another important tip: make damn sure that the block has provisions for a mechanical fuel pump if that's important to you. Many of them don't. Not something you want to learn when it is already built and in your car

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Going EFI, no worries about the fuel pump.
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post #21 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 14, 8:29 AM
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Re: Any experience rebuilding L31 Vortec engines?

First place to look to save a lot of work is at your machinist's shop. Many keep bare block cores in stock and will make you a decent deal on it since they know they'll have a shot at machining and parts sales. Sure beats pulling and tearing a few down only to find out they're junk or not what you're looking for.

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post #22 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 14, 6:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Any experience rebuilding L31 Vortec engines?

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Originally Posted by Busted Knuckles View Post
First place to look to save a lot of work is at your machinist's shop. Many keep bare block cores in stock and will make you a decent deal on it since they know they'll have a shot at machining and parts sales. Sure beats pulling and tearing a few down only to find out they're junk or not what you're looking for.
Good thought.....my local guy has a row of shortblocks at the front of his store, but all were finished, filled, and ready for heads. I might just ask him if he has any cores that would be suitable for my rollercam SBC project.
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post #23 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 24th, 16, 3:42 PM
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I have a l31 in my Chevrolet out of an express van my biggest complaint is the timing chain cover and oil pan setup. They are hard to get to seal.
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