How would you make a TBI 454 as analog as possible?

Sentinelist

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Looking for a 1992-1994 (1995?) Suburban K2500 with a TBI 454 and have found a couple I'm considering to buy. Wanting an old workhorse rig I can haul my family in as a backup vehicle or for camping that is as simple as possible. Not a daily driver. No EFI, no GMT800s, just straight up mechanical. But is it mechanical enough like the square bodies are? Does it need a true carb instead of the TBI? What computers or solid state electronics remaining for it to start and drive can be eliminated/replaced with mechanical alternatives?

I used to have a 6.5TD crew cab K2500 SRW Silverado and loved it but ended up trading it for some work on my property several years ago. Diesel was awesome but looking for the simplicity of a gas big block this time. If you think you know where I'm going in light of recent events, you're probably right.

Cheers,
Sentinelist - TX
 

Sentinelist

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P.s.: Would also consider (or even prefer) a 95-99 K2500 EFI Suburban if it can also be retrofitted back in time to a carb setup. My Dad has a '97 454 I might be able to talk him out of in that case. But probably more analog gauges and displays vs. digital the better.
 

Schurkey

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Getting rid of TBI in favor of a carb and points ignition, and going to manual torque converter clutch lockup is insane.
[EDIT] Aren't the 93--94-ish and newer transmissions electronically-controlled? No "real" valve body, TV cable, vacuum modulator, governor, etc.? [/EDIT]

Even the heater and wiper controls are electronic, along with the cruise control and ABS.

Do you have a problem with the "solid state" diodes in the alternator?

Why not just buy a horse?
 
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theunderlord

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Holy crap man, lighten up. If you really want to go "straight up mechanical" (lol) engine control, buy a 12V cummins and then go bother those guys with your paranoia.

Here in the real world, we go forward with technology. We are up to direct injection and PWM fuel systems. It's fun, take off your tin foil hat and join us.
 

studigggs

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My suggestion for ultimate simplicity would be to buy a stock TBI and keep it a stock TBI. Much more reliable and easier to troubleshoot than a carb-swapped engine. If you are worried about obsolescence, spend $500-$1000 and buy backups for all your critical sensors + a spare ECM.
 

letitsnow

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I have looked into this fairly deep.

You could get the tbi 454. Add an edelbrock intake and 1405 carb w/electric choke kit. HEI distributor, wideband O2 sensor to tune the carb, manual valve body in trans with a good torque converter. Remove the oem cluster and add other gauges etc..

The main thing that stopped me from doing this is the cost. Add all of that stuff up and you could spend a chunk of change. If you are building a truck where most of the oem parts are junk and will need to be replaced anyways, it might make sense. If you buy a truck that runs and most of the stuff works as is, it's hard to justify the cost of changing it all.
 

RichLo

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This OP may turn into a ghost but just to put this out there, a 454 with a NV4500 manual trans is way more reliable than any auto transmission out there.

As far as fuel delivery everybody else has already given good advice. Anything is possible but if you find a truck that runs well just replace the sensors for way cheaper than a full carb swap and drive it another 150k miles reliably.

I have a carb swapped big block with a manual trans in my snow plow truck and it runs and works OK but I need to maintain it almost every summer to keep it reliable. (spark plugs guaranteed every other summer at the very minimum) while both my TBI 305 and vortec 454 fires off and runs perfect any time I need them and I hardly ever need to give them maintenance. My TBI 305 sat for almost 2 years without any battery or anything and it fired up like it was just run the previous day.

And if your worried about an EMT strike, your in the wrong place to begin with, those have a tiny blast radius compared to what you should be worried about.
 

Sentinelist

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This OP may turn into a ghost but...

Nah, still here- it was only last night I posted. :) Been hitting refresh a few times today. Just now had time to respond to a few posts here. Btw on only having 1 message to my name at posting, I actually I had many more posts on here back in the day (see join date) but looks like these counts were reset when new forum software was put in place here at some point. This forum looks way different than my last login years ago when I had my 6.5 but username still worked. Anyway...

Thanks for the insight on your snowplow truck. Cool stuff. New plugs annually is odd (weather? inefficient exposure to a carb's fuel mix vs. naturally more efficient ratio that EFI provides?), but not a big deal if necessary.

On the EMP bit, you're thinking surface detonation, and would be correct. Also, *shrug* my rural property is far from any surface target. But an atmospheric detonation is a whole other ballgame for blast radius. Further, the equal if not greater threat (well maybe until the odds flipped in the past couple weeks) is a naturally occurring CME event from the sun that can affect whichever unlucky region is facing the sun at the moment of impact. Re: Carrington Event, Quebec blackout, 2012 near-miss.

Really no backwoods tin foil here... let's talk Holleys.
 
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