At a Project Crossroads... Unsure of Direction


I personally had great experience with my 6.2 truck. I started on an engine “refresh” at about 350k miles. It ran great but I had found a good deal on a banks sidewinder kit and wanted to check everything. It turns out I had 6 cracked valves, valve marks in every piston, cracked heads on both sides. It didn’t take much to fix it up, but it was expensive to have the machining done. This was admittedly a while ago, maybe 18-20 years, so I don’t know what it would cost now.

When you say coolant loss, how much are you talking about? I would probably just carry more coolant and oil, as long as it runs.


Well-known member
Yeah, I have a low hour Gen VI (L29) 7.4L. The biggest issue with just changing the head gaskets is given this is an '84 engine, they are known to have cracked head problems and I won't find that out until I pull the heads. Once I do that, the truck is no longer moveable. If this was a later 6.5L where the heads seemed to not have as much of that issue, I would be more inclined to replace the head gaskets. Right now I can still drive/move it. It starts/runs fine hot or cold. I put on a Fluidamper balancer so that is good.

I had hoped to not have issues with this engine for a while, so I could build up the camper and get some bugs worked out. Then would do the engine swap at a later date. My plan (though many might not agree) was to install a GM TBI EFI system on this, using a standard carb manifold with an adapter plate. The TBI systems are dead simple, easy to get parts for and easy to service in the field. By using a carb manifold, if I am out traveling and the TBI totally crapped out, in a pinch I could always put a carb on it, to get me going/home again. Sure the TBI might not be the most fuel efficient or most powerful but it is easy/cheap to carry most all of the parts that might go out.


Active member
I think that is a good setup. Don't forget a pressure regulator to step it down from TBI to carb pressure. I doubt you'll ever have to do it. If you start with a new TBI it probably will be just fine.

Once you swap to big block power you won't regret it. I do like the rattle and smell but she is just too slow. Although I had my M1031 cruising at 80mph while turning 2800rpm after the 4L80 swap. Thats fun but barking tires with a big block is fun too.

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I hate taking any vehicle of mine completely offline unless I have to. As somebody that works in the auto industry, I also understand there really isn't a magic fix for coolant leaks that comes out of a bottle. However, GM did develop a tablet to seal up nagging issues on the leak-prone Cadillac 4.1 (aka HT4100). It might be the bandaid to keep the leak at bay for the short term. GM Part # 12378255. I would only try as a last resort before having to tear things apart to fix correctly or swap in the fat block.


Well-known member
Lots of ways to replace the engine, S and J Engines in Spokane offers a 7 year warranty on REMANUFACTURED long blocks, a bolt in option. They ship world wide. I've had 3 of their engines.

Just enter your VIN, I'll bet they have one in stock.

You'll be up and running within a week. I got my 3 done at Tune Tech in Spokane, they needed 18 hours to complete.

On all 3 I got between 100K and 200K trouble free miles before I sold them.
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