Curious about changing a '77 chev 350 carb to fuel injection

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hoppin bob
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Curious about changing a '77 chev 350 carb to fuel injection

Post by hoppin bob » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:31 am

So I have a 77 MRU ( windowless Chevy shorty van) that has a 350 in it. The wife has givin the ultimatum. Fix it up or sell it. I rebuilt the engine a couple years ago, but it doesn't get driven very much. It has a shitty carb on it, so it gets terrible MPG. I am curious if anyone has any experience changing an engine from carb to fuel injection. How much work is involved. How much ( ballpark) it will cost? Or would a better carb make a huge difference in MPG? I've priced some new Holley 4 barrels, but I think it would be cool to have fuel injection on it if it were possible.

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Re: Curious about changing a '77 chev 350 carb to fuel injec

Post by toolman » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:38 pm

Depending on what you want to do leaves you a few options "off the top of my head" and my best guesses on prices although they are shots in the dark. You might have better options that I'm unaware of and restrictions based on the engine being in a Van.

1) Buying a aftermarket injection system used to be in the $1,000.00 price range roughly for your typical 350 chevy. These were kinda tricky back when I messed with them a couple long time ago, since then just about everything is injected and can be dialed in easily I would think. Just getting a throttle body and plugging it in could be a great cheap option you should investigate.

2) Finding a EFI system off a later model GM that is a good match to your engine specs and will cause the least amount of modification to your existing engine. There are a shitload of EFI SBC engines being parted out. Doing a little research on the web can get you an idea of some good swaps, and maybe finding some chevy van forums will get you the info you will need as far as what won't fit.

3) You can also look into engine swaps or trades for one already running EFI.

Vans are bastards..the engine is tight, and that being a 77 probably has a lousy intake manifold and heads not to mention all the emission experimenting that was going on then, assuming of course it's still stock form.
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Re: Curious about changing a '77 chev 350 carb to fuel injec

Post by hoppin bob » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:00 am

Lol toolman. In the 12 years I've owned a van, I have learned just how much of a pain in the ass they can be. You can reach a little through the front and a little from inside under the turtle shell. To replace the motor, I had to pull damn near the whole front end off. The engine is pretty much stock. I had it rebuilt with the stock parts. It runs strong, but the van as a whole needs some TLC. The body is straight and rust free :) which is pretty good for an old van. It has Chevy cancer so the paint has been chipping down to the primer for a while. Granted its been garaged for years.


Thanks for the response. Vans are hard to find parts for. I will look into finding some van forums. They will probably have some good ideas. JC Whitney has seats and carpet kits but very limited on older model van parts. It is so tight in the engine compartment. The lid to the air cleaner barely comes out. It should be interesting trying to do this. I imagine it will be like the other work I have done on it. A little blood and sweat and a lot of cussing :twisted:

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Re: Curious about changing a '77 chev 350 carb to fuel injec

Post by Sarge 1/68th Armor » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:20 am

Give it a Viking death and just set it on fire :D
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