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Thread: 72 Chevy truck

  1. #1
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    72 Chevy truck

    Well as some of you guys may know im a big chevy fan and my family has all GM products. well im going to buy my grandpa 72 chevy that he bought brand new in 1972. it has a 400 small block farily clean except he used to live in nebraska so it has some rust that will need to be fixed but otyher wise farily clean.it will get completley re-done. my question is do you guys think if i put a a 5.3 or 6.0 vortex engine in it will it get better gas milage?? casue your still pushing around a brick? pics will come

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    The mileage on a 6.0 may not be much better, but it sure will run a whole lot better. Hp to HP the 6.0 will be alot more tame in a higher hp range, as in idle, and starting. You can make 600hp with a 6.0 and not really even have a rough idle. Your mileage will depend alot on trans choice, and gearing. You could probably get in the 16 mpg range, and still be peppy. We put a 6.0 in my cousins 70 chevelle, and used the 4L80e trans and rearend out of the donor pickup. It puts 625 hp to the rear wheels. It gets around 14 mpg on the highway, with 4.10 gears in the rearend. The 5.3 if built can also make about the same hp. Good luck
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    The question is will you recoup the cost of a motor swap in fuel savings?

    I'm a fan of leaving things original provided they didn't come with an inline 250 or 292...I have a buddy that would argue that, but its besides the point.

    A SB 400 would/could be just as fun...they make FI kits but they are pricey too, starting in the winter would be easier for sure.

    Whatever you decide, 67-72s are b-e-a-utiful trucks. Good luck with the project.


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    Well I would leave it with the 400SB but I'm looking for gas mileage but power the truck is going to be drove almost everyday. So I'm not sure what mpg a 5.3 would get in that truck??

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    And I think it's got 3.73

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    A 350 would be cheap and get good mileage. They are everywhere and there's a huge aftermarket for them too.


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    You could get pretty good mpg with 400. Rebuild it, install an overdrive trans. A 4 barrel carb will get good mpg, if you can keep from getting into the secondarys very often. A 2 barrel will not get as good because of the size of the jets. Your primarys on a 4 barrel are smaller. There are just alot of optins out there.
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    Are you saying a naturally aspirated 6.0 is making 625rwhp on pump gas through and auto and 410 gears?
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    Yes, it is stroked to 6.7, different pistons, crank, rods, worked heads, bigger injectors, long tube headers and tuned computer, on 91 octane premium gas. The 4L80e trans was worked by tci, and we narrowed the rear end, and installed a limited slip diff.
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    Oh guy I was not thinking..... I forgot to tell you it's a 4 wheel drive... There went the mpg lol but if I were to keep the 400 or put in a 350 in it why not just make fuel injection???? And if I were to do a 5.3 or something I would put a 4l80e or 60e in it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by djbrun View Post
    Are you saying a naturally aspirated 6.0 is making 625rwhp on pump gas through and auto and 410 gears?
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    Quote Originally Posted by happymachinist View Post
    The question is will you recoup the cost of a motor swap in fuel savings?

    I'm a fan of leaving things original provided they didn't come with an inline 250 or 292...I have a buddy that would argue that, but its besides the point.

    A SB 400 would/could be just as fun...they make FI kits but they are pricey too, starting in the winter would be easier for sure.

    Whatever you decide, 67-72s are b-e-a-utiful trucks. Good luck with the project.


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    I had a 1966 Chevy c10 that was nice bought it for a good price with a rebuilt 327 SB needed a new 4barrel carb and 4speed tranny and exhaust but was new redone inside and outside. I was going to make my own bed rails for it oak wood or redwood. Nice truck your buying there too I almost bought a 72 before.
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    I am just curious what MPG are you trying to achieve exactly, because gas mileage in trucks hasn't really improved much if any at all over the last few decades. Power/Gallon has but again what exactly are you trying to build. If you just want economy a straight 6 with a one barrel is the way to go, lol!

    IMO you cant go wrong sticking with the 400! It will give you more than enough power, I would only put money into fuel injection if you are worried about stalling on a incline or decline or have concerns with cold weather being a problem. You won't save enough fuel with EFI to justify converting it or make any more power over a properly sized carb.
    Last edited by rjm2519; 01-08-2013 at 08:09 PM.
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    Not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but a transmission swap would probably be very effective in increasing mpg.
    The 5.3 vortec in my 2011 Yukon will get an average 18.7 mpg rating. When keeping a steady speed (on the highway, interstate, etc.) It will get 35 or more. (cylinder deactivation).
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1979chevy. View Post
    Not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but a transmission swap would probably be very effective in increasing mpg.
    The 5.3 vortec in my 2011 Yukon will get an average 18.7 mpg rating. When keeping a steady speed (on the highway, interstate, etc.) It will get 35 or more. (cylinder deactivation).
    Agreed the tranny swap would be a good idea something to reduce and add a better tranny. I know my cousin just installed a new tranny in his 69 camaro w/350 motor. He's getting 21-24 now hwy. Hes upgraded the engine so mpg would have been more if it wasn't for his upgrades and the carb he has on it. I know my Malibu if it had a 5speed instead of a 4 speed it would be getting near 38-40 mpg instead of 30-32 right now with v6. Get the carb and tranny on there.
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    Well.... That sound reasonable so are you guys thinking like a 4l80E or 4l60e???

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnzillia54 View Post
    Well.... That sound reasonable so are you guys thinking like a 4l80E or 4l60e???
    4180e is the best by far but I just read there are limited aftermarket parts for this model.
    Both are four speed as you may know.
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    Well I thought of something the 4l80e is electronic, I haven't looked in to stuff, but I would go with the 80 instead of the 60 because the 80 is 3/4 ton and 1 ton so idk I might go with the 700r4??

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    my cousin just got the 700R4 in his camero and hes getting good gas mileage now and runs smoother. He paid near 2K for it but worth it he said in the end.
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    Well I have decided what to do.... It's going to get a 6.0L Ls ( vortec ) but my problem and I need your guys help, but do I need a adapter plate to put my turbo 400 tranny behind it?? And if I do can you guys help me out finding one?? Thanks

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    for older trucks and cars i tend to go to: Summitracing.com they carry alot of stuff there and great info you can get free catalogs as well so you can have a catalog for reference.
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    Well I did a google search and couldn't really find anything??

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    Why not swap in the correct tranny as well, doesn't really make sense to put a new engine on that antiquated gear box. Especially if gas mileage is of concern. Aftermarket standalone controllers are available for the 4l60/80E trannys, that will work with any setup.
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    Back when I had my 79' Bronco, I just perchased an entire drive train (Including the dash and gas tank.) out of a 96' Bronco and just started with that. It made the job pretty easy and very few mods to make it work. (Motor mounts, Drive shafts, and a tranny crossmember, and instrument cluster bezel.)
    So, buying a drive train from a parts yard with engine and tranny combo that you want is a good option.
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    You should not need an adapter, it should bolt right up. What year 6.0. 2007 and newer you will neef the power train control module, on top of the ecm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by westoakmech View Post
    You should not need an adapter, it should bolt right up. What year 6.0. 2007 and newer you will neef the power train control module, on top of the ecm.

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    Well I'm sure what year yet I would like to buy a low mile one or find a donor truck with low miles, but I do know its getting a 6.0 lol but I just missed a 5.3 with tranny that was in a 2010 and had 27,000 miles for 1700 bucks!! But if you guys happen to know of find a low mileage 6.0 with the ecu and wiring let me know please. Also if you guys know of headers that would fit in the truck I would like to know. Also any input or things you guys think I would want or need please let me know thanks! And you guys ( even the ford guys have to admit the ls engines are sweet I mean over 300 hp stock and you get unthinkable power of them!

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    Anyone have a link or something??
    Thanks

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    Well..... I found a 5.3 on Craigslist and it had the 6 speed auto tranny, and engine harness with 27,000 miles and it came home with me for 1700$.... I'm not sure what it will go in but the 72 is an option..

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnzillia54 View Post
    Well..... I found a 5.3 on Craigslist and it had the 6 speed auto tranny, and engine harness with 27,000 miles and it came home with me for 1700$.... I'm not sure what it will go in but the 72 is an option..
    That sounds like a good way to go, be sure to post some progress of your project when you get it going.
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    Alright I know it's been along time since I have put an update on but here it is!
    So I bought the truck and began the process of deciding what to order and began the long checklist if thing that will be need to be done.
    Here is the truck before I bought it:


    Now here it is currently:


    I know it doesn't look the best right now but it will after I start working on it. I will put new rally wheels soon and polish the paint to bring it back.

    More pics to come and more info coming, any ideas are welcome!

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    Semi-restoration of a '72 Silverado.... sweet. Can't wait to see her polished up.
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    72 would be a full time 4x4 t-case and probably front axle also. I agree with Westoak, go 4barrel carb. Fuel injection doesn't translate to better mpg, just I little more user friendly. Keep the 400sbc, swap to a 700r4 with a t-case from an early 80's chevy pk and add lockout hubs to the front axle if it doesn't have them already. Would be cheap and in a 74 chevy I had, I was getting 16mpg regularly with this setup and 3.73 gears and 31" tires. 33" tires could pick you up a couple hwy mpg.

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    Quote Originally Posted by traxxasbrothers View Post
    Semi-restoration of a '72 Silverado.... sweet. Can't wait to see her polished up.
    Thanks man! Ill keep everyone updated!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 67Exec View Post
    72 would be a full time 4x4 t-case and probably front axle also. I agree with Westoak, go 4barrel carb. Fuel injection doesn't translate to better mpg, just I little more user friendly. Keep the 400sbc, swap to a 700r4 with a t-case from an early 80's chevy pk and add lockout hubs to the front axle if it doesn't have them already. Would be cheap and in a 74 chevy I had, I was getting 16mpg regularly with this setup and 3.73 gears and 31" tires. 33" tires could pick you up a couple hwy mpg.
    Well the truck is a turbo 400 with a 203 (full time 4 wheel drive) but it was converted with a part time kit, so now that I think about it I may keep the 400sbc and build it! I'm having a 700r4 built the the t-case will be either a NP241 or a NP208. I have a friend that has a set of axels for me, it's a Dana 44 and a 12 bolt, I'm not sure what gear ratio yet but that can be changed, I will eventually do a rear disc brake conversion on it, ( already have a few pieces lol ) and either put a eaton e locker which is a air locker but it locks electrically not with air, or a Detroit true-track in the axels but I'm not sure yet. My other friend wants to give me 2003 escalade wheels with brand new tires in them but I'm not sure what they will look like!? I think ill either be running 33"s or 35"s sometime, it depends on if I go with the rallys or another wheel. It will get reprinted after the many hours of rust repair and body work but I will polish it up for now. The gas tank will be relocated to the rear. The interior will get redone. It will get 2.5" flowmaster exhaust with 50 series I think? There is a whole lot more to come! All ideas are welcome!

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    Okay guys here are some more pictures I need your help with bumper ideas!!!!





    So I need help finding a good step bumper that looks good with the truck, I can buy one or build or modify this one. If I build this one I could powder coat it white or copper, or chrome it. Any ideas on how to design it?
    Thanks

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    I have seen some done out of like 6 or 8 inch square tubing turned like 45 degrees so that looks like a diamond from the end. They look pretty sweet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by westoakmech View Post
    I have seen some done out of like 6 or 8 inch square tubing turned like 45 degrees so that looks like a diamond from the end. They look pretty sweet.
    Thanks man, I can always count on you for help or ideas! Do you have any pictures of bumpers you've done like that? Would you Chrome parts of it and powder coat it? Or just all powder coat or all chrome?

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    A buddy of mine did one on his mud truck, I will try to get pics. He also did a grill gaurd on it with smaller square tubing, it looked pretty mean. He had that truck at his uncles farm, I will try to catch it and get some pics. I would just powder coat, the prep work, and cost of chrome is pretty high. Unless you have a chrome shop close, we would have to ship it out from where I am at. You are welcome, I see lots of mud, and crawler trucks out here, so I see some pretty interesting things sometimes. Some good, some not so good.
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    Quote Originally Posted by westoakmech View Post
    A buddy of mine did one on his mud truck, I will try to get pics. He also did a grill gaurd on it with smaller square tubing, it looked pretty mean. He had that truck at his uncles farm, I will try to catch it and get some pics. I would just powder coat, the prep work, and cost of chrome is pretty high. Unless you have a chrome shop close, we would have to ship it out from where I am at. You are welcome, I see lots of mud, and crawler trucks out here, so I see some pretty interesting things sometimes. Some good, some not so good.
    Okay! Pic would be cool!
    So update!! I'm having issues deciding on what I will do with the engine..... My boss has a LQ9 6.0 ls just sitting at the shop, but I I'm still debating on building the 400.... I'm not sure what to do... It's a good thing that its not a huge priority at the moment!!

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    I tried to get pics, he sold that truck and working on another, sorry. The LQ9 has the variable valve timing correct? That would be an awsome engine in that old truck. You could contact charlie wheatley, and get and ecm tuned for it. Around $300 including the ecm. You could get a wiring harness from painless pretty reasonable. Depending on the year you would have to have a throttle pedal, they are drive by wire from I think 04 and up. The harness will be stand alone, plug and play, with its own fuse box, just power and grounds. It just all depends on whether you want to deal with a carberator, and choke, or the ease of turn key and it starts. What is your alltitude where you are at? If the LQ9 is ready to go, it should not be to expensive to do, probably not any more than a good rebuild, depending the internal condition of your 400, and what you wanted to do to the 400. They also have some really cool e-rod setups from summit and jegs, engine, trans, ecm's, and harness. Some are pretty priciey though. My cousin is saving up for the one that is the same as the cadillac ctv engine. It is 500 plus hp, and 500 plus tq. He wants to put it in a 69 camaro. It is around 17,000$, big money to me, but would be very sweet. The possibilties are limit less. Just how deep are your pockets. LOL
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