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4.3 V6 Questions

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by blown240, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. 48thames
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 79

    from so cal

    Some of those brown trucks have the 4.3, and they take a pretty good flogging.
  2. slefain
    Joined: Apr 6, 2009
    Posts: 229

    from Atlanta

    I've been looking at the 4.3L as a swap candidate for my '61 F-85. The engine bay on the F-85 is pretty short and a SBC won't fit without cutting the firewall up. My wife wants to drive it on a long road trip next year and the 215 V8 might not be up for it (nor is the Slim Jim crappy transmission).
  3. blown240
    Joined: Aug 2, 2005
    Posts: 1,654

    from So-cal

    I found an 86 blazer that has an automatic and is 4x4. The guy says its a 4.8. Was there a 4.8 or is he mistaken. Also its a 4x4 so I assume the trans wont work for me. BUT the rear end is the correct width.

    He only wants $700 for the truck and he says it runs and drives. It does have an exhaust leak though and the milage is unknown. And its only about 5 miles from me.

    what do you guys think? Can I make the 4x4 tranny work?
  4. Tetanus
    Joined: May 20, 2007
    Posts: 237


    get a 305(5.0) You will have the same money or less in it.Any older camaro will have motor trans that would work good.Also I know it your car but if you ever get sick of it and want to sell it will be alot easier with a V8.
  5. No. The output shaft is different.

    I agree with the others. Put a V8 in it. No more work or cost and it will be better all around.

    I've taken a number of 4.3 V6 motors apart and all of them have been run to death. That motor is 24 years old. Odds are it will need a rebuild.

    Look for a good roller cam 305 with 700R4 transmission. Put a carb and dizzy on it and enjoy.

    This is an easy swap. Everything needed to do it is available.
  6. I drove one [think it was a '97...had TBI] 4.3 for NAPA, delivering parts while my back healed after surgery...had the 4 speed automatic and had plenty of power..started everytime even in -20 degree temps but I had a little trouble with it one day. The rivets holding the throttle body blades broke, cocking the blades in the bores the engine about 1/2 throttle all the time! I got a lot of stares while sitting at the traffic light patiently while the right rear was smoking...nursed it back to the store without hitting anyone. Other than that, it was a nice little engine for a light vehicle.
  7. Bigcheese327
    Joined: Sep 16, 2001
    Posts: 6,691


    He is mistaken. The first year for the 4.3 in the S-series (I assume we're not talking about a full-size Blazer) was 1987. Before that, they used the 2.8 liter V6.

    My first car was a 1986 S15 Jimmy 4x4 with the 2.8/auto. I can say from experience you should run away from that engine. Far and fast. It was a dog.

    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010
  8. Bigcheese327
    Joined: Sep 16, 2001
    Posts: 6,691


    Rather than replace the 215 with a 4.3, why not update with 3.5L Land Rover parts?

  9. blown240
    Joined: Aug 2, 2005
    Posts: 1,654

    from So-cal

    Thanks for the info guys. I didnt realize there was ever a 2.8 V6.

    Its not that I want to replace my 235, but they I want to replace my trans. And with a torque tube, I may as well swap out the entire drivetrain.
  10. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,912

    dirty old man

    I had a '85 p'up with some sort of OEM towing package that was the damndest combo of OEM stuff I've ever seen! Had factory SS shorty headers, 4bbl Quadra-jet carb on iron manifold, and Vortek heads, or at least I guess they were Vortek, the intake port curved so much you couldn't see the valve stem looking thru the port with no manifold in place. Came with T-400 trans and a 2.87:1 rear gear. I know the original owner and it was all original when I bought it about '92. Ran good, little sluggish up to about 20 mph, then pulled good. I used it for several years as I bought it. Knew it was using a lot of oil before I bought it, but the body was solid and straight and oil cheap, and so was the price.
    Then I bought a pop-up camper and decided to rebuild the engine. Very little wear found on teardown, but rings on right bank all stuck. Could have done a rings, bearings, and valve job rebuild, but I bored it, new pistons, cam (stock),lifters, etc. Pulled 2K-2.5K # popup all over Hell and half of GA with no problems, gas mileage better than one trip with my son's new F-150 5.4L!
    In '02 I bought a 25 ft. travel, dry weight 5000# loaded with all gear and full watertanks, etc. 7000#. Pulled the thing home OK, but knew it wouldn't handle the mountains cause I came home purposely on some steep hills.
    So I bought a new '03 diesel Silverado and sold the '85 to a local guy. He's still driving it today, very few problems, none with the engine.
    So yeah, for a light car with no expectation to do burn outs or win drag races, I think it's a good engine.
  11. Nick_R_23
    Joined: Mar 28, 2010
    Posts: 127


    This is actually a somewhat common setup. We have 2 Chevys out in the yard that are like that, and I have seen many others. Mine has a TH400 with 2.41's though, and the other is a 700r4 with 2.73's. As soon as you hit the last gear in either truck, they both sound like you are doing 55mph at 1000 rpm! Great cruising trucks.
  12. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,912

    dirty old man

    You may be right about the 2.41 gear for mine also. Along about the same time I had a '86 Grand Prix Pontiac with a 2004R and a tall gear also. It may have been the one with the 2.87 and the truck a 2.41, cause now that you bring it up I remember a 2,41 gear in something I owned back along then.
  13. Frosty21
    Joined: Jan 25, 2007
    Posts: 958

    from KY

    I ran a 4.3 in my '54 F-100 with the S-10 fuel injection system for a day on the street. It was pretty ugly, and a pain in the ass to trouble shoot. I could've converted it to carbuerated with HEI for about $50 in junkyard parts, but I found a good 307 for $100 and swapped to a V8.

    I like these engines, but reverse engineering a primitive fuel injection system is a pain in the ass.
  14. threepiston
    Joined: Jan 11, 2009
    Posts: 13

    from illinois

    You gotta remember, throwing chevy 3.8 heads on a 4.3 is like throwing 305 heads on a 350. Cheap compression increase, plus the ability to run cool looking old school valve covers that bring nothing on eBay. Like mine that I still need to finish working on (wrinkle black plus sanded plus red holley).

  15. 8-9-duck
    Joined: Mar 25, 2008
    Posts: 63


    is a 3.8 pontiac GTP related to the 4.3?
  16. threepiston
    Joined: Jan 11, 2009
    Posts: 13

    from illinois

    No, that's a Buick block. The Chevy 3.8 looks like an SBC, minus two cylinders.... Although, both versions were offered in the early 80's GM G bodies....... Front distributor vs rear distributor...
  17. Saturnin
    Joined: Jan 16, 2013
    Posts: 8


    4.3 v6 is a great engine with enough street power & look at all the space you have in front of the WP !:)
  18. elba
    Joined: Feb 9, 2013
    Posts: 624


    The early ones are better. I have seen many with over 300 thousand miles.
  19. spooler41
    Joined: Feb 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,099


    I'm using a 4.3 in my lakes modified build. Its a Glass 27 T body,2x3 tube frame,40 Ford
    front axle and wish bones,40 Ford banjo rear end with 40 Ford breaks all around.
    I'm shooting for a sub 1500# finished car. The 4.3 and Th350 should have way more
    than enough power to make it run really strong on the street.

  20. They were probably thinking of a leaky intake on that Blazer mentioned which had a plastic intake]fuel inj]....
    a cast 4 bbl Qjet intake was availably in the '80s for the 4.3 to make it a bit more like an easily useable street setup ....
    Man this was an old post dragged up from the black hole!

  21. Ace5n85
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 132


    Don't know if anyone mentioned it but there's a marine intake to run a carb setup if you wanna skip the fuel injection hassle. Little OT but worth a mention. They're a little though to find but I might have one. PM me if it would help simplify/make things look more traditional. Ill see if its buried in the garage somewhere.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
  22. wrenchbender
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 2,114


    Here is my 4.3 4-71 blower electronic hilborn injector 4-speed I drive it daily even drag race it at the hamb drags its registered this year good excuse to come to the drags and see it run

    Posted from the TJJ App for iPhone & iPad
  23. Tnomoldw
    Joined: Dec 5, 2012
    Posts: 1,563


  24. brandon
    Joined: Jul 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,334


    late model 4.8 or 5.3.....
  25. You think the guy is still debating over what motor to use when he first posted about this in August 2010??
  26. hey, i run a 229-3.8l v-6 from a 1980 malibu. dual jet 2bbl and a-200 overdrive trans. with the sides off my 37 terraplane everyone looking thinks it is a small block, what with chrome valve covers and air cleaner. even has a decent rumble from the exh. 35 m.p.g. and runs 180 degrees all day. no problems with a carb set up, works great.
  27. since this 3 year old thread is back up i might as well update what i said then

    the s-10 has a new owner , but has 287,000 miles and still going strong
  28. 1great40
    Joined: Jan 1, 2008
    Posts: 471

    from Walpole MA

    I'm running one in my 40 pickup with a 700R4 and 3.45 gears. It's got plenty of steam for me but i have questions for you other guys using them. Mine is an 89 engine TBI roller motor but pre balance shaft. I'm still trying to work out how this engine vibrates when it's in gear. I understand that there engines were not the smoothest to begin with and mine is ok in park but when I drop it in gear it makes the truck vibrate. Any suggestions?
  29. I have a channelled glass 32 five window for a Hiboy project car,and am using a 94 4.3 with 5 speed manual.
    Yanked off the stock FI and installing a Mercury Marine Mutiport EFI with custom harness from a guy Ifound in Illinois....its gonna be a gas mileage/driver -with full hood so not important what folks think since its behind the hood sides.
    I do think I will opt for a 3" single exhaust/flowmaster- as I hate the usually weird sounding duals on V6 engines

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