What Year and Features 4.2L to put in 60 Year old Hot Rod Truck - Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum



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Go Back   Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum > 2002 - 2009 TrailBlazer/Envoy Tech > 02-09 Vortec 4.2L I-6 Engine and Drivetrain > Engine Tunes/Mods

Engine Tunes/Mods Performance Engine Tuning/Engine Modifications

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  #1  
Old 12-21-2010, 11:55 AM
duwem duwem is offline
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1950 Chevy 3100
none Other 2WD
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: WI
Posts: 14
What Year and Features 4.2L to put in 60 Year old Hot Rod Truck

I want to put a 4.2L in my 1950 3100 pickup truck.

I know there is a forum about the guy that built the turbo megasquirt one for the same type of truck, did not find what I wanted in there.

I have the choice to pick any year and features of engines since I will be getting one from a bone yard.

Are there features that would amke doing as swap easer on some years? Were some mechanical throttle or were all DBW throttles?

Were there mechanical problems with some years that I should shy away from?

Would it make more sense to use a Trailblazer, Envoy, or Bravado engine or are there no benefits for what I want to do?

Initially I would like to try using the stock computer and tuning with HP Turners to remove all the unwanted stuff. This appears it would be cheaper and less involved than getting a megasquirt and megashift since its all there for the engine and trans, and doesn't require a bunch of wiring.

Anyone have experience with this? Looking at about $1000 for a megasquirt and megashift to do the engine and trans, then have to wire it all up and tune it. I'm find with tuning, but like the idea that the stock computer is already set up and I would just modify the tune instead of develope it from scratch.

Eventually I would want to move the computer from off the engine to under the dash.

The yards are tell me the newer ones sell for cheaper since there isn't as much demand for drop in replacements since the vehicles have not been around as long as the first years.
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  #2  
Old 12-21-2010, 04:30 PM
limequat limequat is offline
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1987 Non-GMT360 Other
n/a 4.2L I6 2WD
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Detroit
Posts: 821
Definitely get a MY06 or newer. Starting in 06 they get bigger valves, bigger ports, higher compression, better cams, piston oil squirters, etc, etc.
If you're considering boost in your future, the 08 and 09 ECMs are supposed to be better for tuning.

Check out my supra swap thread for more info. I did pretty much what you are talking about...stock engine, wiring, pcm, reflash with HPTuners.

There is no difference between the engines of different makes (trailblazer, envoy, etc). All came with electronic throttle, but that's no big deal.
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  #3  
Old 12-21-2010, 04:41 PM
duwem duwem is offline
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1950 Chevy 3100
none Other 2WD
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: WI
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by limequat View Post
Check out my supra swap thread for more info. I did pretty much what you are talking about...stock engine, wiring, pcm, reflash with HPTuners.

There is no difference between the engines of different makes (trailblazer, envoy, etc). All came with electronic throttle, but that's no big deal.
No turbo plans, not the look I'm going for for under the hood. Want it as clean as possible. I also have to think you could pust 350 hp N/a out of those engines pretty easily with the right parts and a tune.

Is there a separate DBW module for the pedal? I have read that some applications had that and you need it along with the ECU and pedal.

The earlier ones didnt use a mass air, which would be good for my application where I want to rework the intake system to look more like the original 216 engine in the old truck.

I want to try to make the engine looks as much like the original 216 stove bolt as possible, that is where moving the ECU, new intake system, and minimal extra "stuff" comes into play.
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  #4  
Old 12-21-2010, 06:02 PM
limequat limequat is offline
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1987 Non-GMT360 Other
n/a 4.2L I6 2WD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duwem View Post
No turbo plans, not the look I'm going for for under the hood. Want it as clean as possible. I also have to think you could pust 350 hp N/a out of those engines pretty easily with the right parts and a tune.

Is there a separate DBW module for the pedal? I have read that some applications had that and you need it along with the ECU and pedal.

The earlier ones didnt use a mass air, which would be good for my application where I want to rework the intake system to look more like the original 216 engine in the old truck.

I want to try to make the engine looks as much like the original 216 stove bolt as possible, that is where moving the ECU, new intake system, and minimal extra "stuff" comes into play.
Yep, they're not much to look at, are they? Maybe somebody will cast a custom cam cover to make it look a DOHC version of the pontiac OHC 6.

350 HP NA is just a set of cams and a port job away. Efi-diy did just that before boosting his truck.

To make DBW work you need to splice in a stock trailblazer pedal.

Any pictures of your truck?
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  #5  
Old 12-21-2010, 07:58 PM
ScarabEpic22 ScarabEpic22 is offline
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not here not here not here
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It breaks down like this:
02-05 I6s are hybrid SD/alpha-n fueling
06-09 I6s are MAF/SD fueling

Honestly trying to work with an 02-05 engine isnt the best option, use an 07-09 motor and run an E67 ECM. Yes you might not ever want to run boost which is fine, but you can set it up to run SD (sans MAF) while also getting much better driveability because the maps have more cells (higher resolution). Plus if you want to throw a set of cams and a port job into it, having the higher resolution would be better to fine tune the engine.

You have to use a TB/Voy throttle assembly to run the engine, not that hard honestly and its easier to run a few wires than a thick throttle cable.
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  #6  
Old 12-21-2010, 08:54 PM
Breath Breath is offline
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2007 GMC Envoy SLT
Carbon Metallic 4.2L I6 2WD
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Location: B.C. Canada
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I had the same questions also.
If you run the stock pcm, you have to use the drive by wire throttle.
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  #7  
Old 12-21-2010, 09:02 PM
duwem duwem is offline
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1950 Chevy 3100
none Other 2WD
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: WI
Posts: 14
Pictures of my truck are located here:

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=435302

I'm totally not afraid of DBW throttles in production vehicles like some are, but with the amount of cutting I'm going to have to do to the stock harness and computer tuning, having a solid cable between me and the throttle vs a computer may be more reliable.

Can HP tuners take out the mass airflow sensor on the later engines?
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  #8  
Old 12-22-2010, 03:10 AM
ScarabEpic22 ScarabEpic22 is offline
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not here not here not here
not here Other AWD
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: not on this site
Posts: 11,824
Quote:
Originally Posted by duwem View Post
Pictures of my truck are located here:

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=435302

I'm totally not afraid of DBW throttles in production vehicles like some are, but with the amount of cutting I'm going to have to do to the stock harness and computer tuning, having a solid cable between me and the throttle vs a computer may be more reliable.

Can HP tuners take out the mass airflow sensor on the later engines?
Nice truck!

I wouldnt worry about hacking up a harness, if it is reliable to run the sensors then Id say its reliable enough to run the throttle.

It can take it out, but you will need to tune it using Speed Density then.

If you dont want DBW in your truck, then you're going to have to go aftermarket engine management and lose exhaust VVT.
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  #9  
Old 12-22-2010, 02:43 PM
DARKASS04EXT's Avatar
DARKASS04EXT DARKASS04EXT is offline
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2004 Chevy TrailBlazer LT EXT
Black 4.2L I6 4X4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duwem View Post
Pictures of my truck are located here:

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=435302

I'm totally not afraid of DBW throttles in production vehicles like some are, but with the amount of cutting I'm going to have to do to the stock harness and computer tuning, having a solid cable between me and the throttle vs a computer may be more reliable.

Can HP tuners take out the mass airflow sensor on the later engines?
Great looking truck.... Im also a member on that site. There is a post here on this site from "1952_Envoy", he is swapping a 1952 GMC burb body onto an envoy frame. His member name over on 67-72chevytrucks is ""BBEEP".
Good luck with your build.
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  #10  
Old 12-22-2010, 07:10 PM
limequat limequat is offline
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1987 Non-GMT360 Other
n/a 4.2L I6 2WD
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Detroit
Posts: 821
Quote:
Originally Posted by duwem View Post
Pictures of my truck are located here:

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=435302

I'm totally not afraid of DBW throttles in production vehicles like some are, but with the amount of cutting I'm going to have to do to the stock harness and computer tuning, having a solid cable between me and the throttle vs a computer may be more reliable.

Can HP tuners take out the mass airflow sensor on the later engines?
Love the truck and your vision (the blue and green trucks you posted are heart-stopping).
I'm interested in how you expect to retro-fy the engine. Seems like you'd need a custom manifold to mount your stock air cleaner. Build two and I'll buy the other one!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScarabEpic22 View Post
Nice truck!

I wouldnt worry about hacking up a harness, if it is reliable to run the sensors then Id say its reliable enough to run the throttle.

It can take it out, but you will need to tune it using Speed Density then.

If you dont want DBW in your truck, then you're going to have to go aftermarket engine management and lose exhaust VVT.
Yep, and if he's keeping the 4l60E, there's very little thinning of the harness to be done anyway.

Duwem, have you seen my wiring guide?
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