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What are the differences between vortec and non vortes 5.7's ? Just curious

This is a discussion on What are the differences between vortec and non vortes 5.7's ? Just curious within the Technical / Maintenance forums, part of the General Discussion category; As the title states, just curious. Hope I'm not sounding stupid here. I know the heads are different is that ...

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    What are the differences between vortec and non vortes 5.7's ? Just curious


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    As the title states, just curious. Hope I'm not sounding stupid here. I know the heads are different is that the major change from the tbi to the vortec?
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    Re: What are the differences between vortec and non vortes 5.7's ? Just curious

    Right, the heads are different; the biggest thing there is, the intake ports are in a different place, moved upwards about " to give the port a straighter shot at the valve. There are some other detail differences, like the chamber shape and the bolt patter; but the port relocation is the biggie.

    ANd of course, the motors that came with those heads, all have the "central port" fuel injection, with the "spider" thing and the poppet valve and all that; and a crank-triggered spark.

    Other than those things, there's not alot of differences. Block is the same, pistons are the same, cam is interchangeable except that they finally switched it ro a roller in 96, external bolt patterns are all the same, etc.

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    Re: What are the differences between vortec and non vortes 5.7's ? Just curious

    Quote Originally Posted by RB04Av View Post
    .......cam is interchangeable except that they finally switched it ro a roller in 96.....
    96 is the first year for the Vortec 350........ so how is it that the cams are the same, yet switched to a roller?
    Last edited by 454cid; 11-14-2010 at 06:12 PM.
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    Re: What are the differences between vortec and non vortes 5.7's ? Just curious

    Quote Originally Posted by 454cid View Post
    96 is the first year for the Vortec 350........ so how is it that the cams are the same, yet switched to a roller?
    I think he means that you could put the roller cam in the TBI 350, the blocks should be roller compatible they just didn't put roller in them until 96. Of course you would have to use the cam plate and the lifters and spider to have it work but I believe it could be done. As far as I know, 87 and up were drilled and tapped for roller cams but they weren't used for some reason, until the vortecs.
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    Re: What are the differences between vortec and non vortes 5.7's ? Just curious

    Quote Originally Posted by RB04Av View Post
    Right, the heads are different; the biggest thing there is, the intake ports are in a different place, moved upwards about " to give the port a straighter shot at the valve. There are some other detail differences, like the chamber shape and the bolt patter; but the port relocation is the biggie.

    ANd of course, the motors that came with those heads, all have the "central port" fuel injection, with the "spider" thing and the poppet valve and all that; and a crank-triggered spark.

    Other than those things, there's not alot of differences. Block is the same, pistons are the same, cam is interchangeable except that they finally switched it ro a roller in 96, external bolt patterns are all the same, etc.
    Are those all the differences? Because starting in 96 the alternator and a/c pump are switched to the opposite side of the motors, also the radiator inlet/outlet ports are opposite from 96 on ...
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    Re: What are the differences between vortec and non vortes 5.7's ? Just curious

    Quote Originally Posted by woody2dtahoe View Post
    Are those all the differences? Because starting in 96 the alternator and a/c pump are switched to the opposite side of the motors, also the radiator inlet/outlet ports are opposite from 96 on ...
    That's all external stuff, and isn't really part of the engine. I've never tried (I've never owned a SBC) but I wouldn't be surprised if all the brackets and accessories could be switched between engines.
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    Re: What are the differences between vortec and non vortes 5.7's ? Just curious

    Quote Originally Posted by slammed84 View Post
    I think he means that you could put the roller cam in the TBI 350, the blocks should be roller compatible they just didn't put roller in them until 96. Of course you would have to use the cam plate and the lifters and spider to have it work but I believe it could be done. As far as I know, 87 and up were drilled and tapped for roller cams but they weren't used for some reason, until the vortecs.
    Oh, I see.
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    Re: What are the differences between vortec and non vortes 5.7's ? Just curious

    Thanks for the replies. I do have a couple other questions. What are the hp ratings on say a '95 tbi compared to a vortec? Also, are there advantages to the vortec heads , could they be used on a tbi build for a power gain?
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    Re: What are the differences between vortec and non vortes 5.7's ? Just curious

    Vortec has a bit more HP and better heads.
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    Re: What are the differences between vortec and non vortes 5.7's ? Just curious

    Here is a good breakdown from another board about the blocks actually.

    The casting numbers here are for production blocks manufactured from 1986 to the end of GenI/GenII production.

    For 350 flat tappet blocks look for casting number 10054727, 14079287, 14088548, and 14101148.

    Roller blocks are more complicated because even though the casting number indicates the block is provisioned for a roller cam, it doesn't for sure mean the block has a roller cam. But if so provisioned, a factory roller cam can be installed to one of these even if it currently has a flat tappet cam. For 350 roller tappet blocks look for casting numbers 10243880,14011148, 14088526, and 14093638 these can be a 2 or 4 bolt block. The 880 is the Vortec block it appears in mid 1995 production with swirl port heads and TBI and may have a flat tappet cam but is fully provisioned for a roller in all instances. It appears again in some 1996, 49 state vehicles with Vortec heads and TBI.

    A problem you could encounter when hunting the wrecking yards and rebuilders is that there is a flat tappet block and a roller that both end with the numbers 148. 14101148 is a flat tappet truck block, 14011148 is a roller provisioned block.
    My 92 TBI truck had one of the castings that was not roller provisioned. You can't drill and tap bosses that aren't there in the lifter valley. So no, blocks aren't the same at all really. The 880's don't even have all the timing cover bolt holes ( old small blocks use 2 more than the Vortec cover) drilled sometimes. It's hit or miss so it seems. Some guys also say that the 880's have a 1/4" shorter cylinder jug as well when measured in comparison to the older castings. I never measured one so I don't know. I have also seen TBI blocks like my 92 ( no roller) or that have the provisions yet the bosses are not drilled and tapped either. And of course completely roller ready.

    Pistons aren't the same in the Vortec truck engines either. They are the shorter skirt design that started the whole "piston slap" thing back in 96. Strangely neither my LT1 in Caprice or my 96's original L31 do it, which is just fine.

    Can't say for the crank I honestly don't know. It has a reluctor on it but then the timing chain gear and balancer are thinner as well compensating for that. Vortec are supposedly powdered metal rods ( according to GM ) and the TBI were not.

    Heads, cam, waterpump, fuel injection system, distributor, exhaust manifold ( driver side in particular), are all different. They really aren't the same engine at all. A good chunk of the parts are not simple swap and play between a TBI and a Vortec.

    I mean fundamentally they are similar but the differences are more than just a casting number change.
    Last edited by Badass69; 11-15-2010 at 05:53 AM.

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    Re: What are the differences between vortec and non vortes 5.7's ? Just curious

    '95 TBI 5.7 is rated at 200hp (don't recall the torque).
    Interestingly enough, the 4.3 V6 Vortec in my '93 Blazer was also 200hp. Various versions of the engine were rated from 180-200hp.
    That one had the CPI, but in '94 or '95 they went to the MPFI.

    I'm really surprised they were so far behind on the 350.
    Last edited by RichLockyer; 11-14-2010 at 09:04 PM.

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    Re: What are the differences between vortec and non vortes 5.7's ? Just curious

    Quote Originally Posted by Badass69 View Post
    Pistons aren't the same in the Vortec truck engines either. They are the shorter skirt design that started the whole "piston slap" thing back in 96
    I thought piston slap was an LS thing?
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    Re: What are the differences between vortec and non vortes 5.7's ? Just curious

    Nope....... It's been around for a bit longer than that. My 97 Monte Carlo's 3.1 was also another one that had the whole piston slap thing going. There were quite a few Vortec 305's/350's back then that were pulled and warrantied for knocking. It was more severe as the ones pulled weren't usually machined correctly either and the cylinder tolerances were all off.

    The GM piston slap saga has been around as long as the Dex Cool saga, lol.

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    Re: What are the differences between vortec and non vortes 5.7's ? Just curious

    Thanks to all that replyed. I wondered what the differences were and interchange ability. I hope to start my tbi build next spring. Nothing over the top but just a well built 5.7 and hope to unleash some extra power since GM kinda choked them down. I dont want to over build though, I dont think the trans will handle to much and of course reliability and fuel mileage play a factor since it will be a daily driver. Thanks again guys.
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    Re: What are the differences between vortec and non vortes 5.7's ? Just curious

    Quote Originally Posted by Badass69 View Post
    Nope....... It's been around for a bit longer than that. My 97 Monte Carlo's 3.1 was also another one that had the whole piston slap thing going. There were quite a few Vortec 305's/350's back then that were pulled and warrantied for knocking. It was more severe as the ones pulled weren't usually machined correctly either and the cylinder tolerances were all off.

    The GM piston slap saga has been around as long as the Dex Cool saga, lol.
    What causes it....... besides the obvious machining problem you mentioned, on some of them. In the LS engines it's supposed to be becasue of the hyper-something pistons, but the previous Vortec engines, but I don't think didn't use those pistons.
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    Re: What are the differences between vortec and non vortes 5.7's ? Just curious

    The Vortec 305/350's have that same issue as the LS's. A shorter skirt piston that rocks in the bore. GM has been using those style pistons for quite some time.

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    Re: What are the differences between vortec and non vortes 5.7's ? Just curious

    Quote Originally Posted by doubletrouble View Post
    Thanks to all that replyed. I wondered what the differences were and interchange ability. I hope to start my tbi build next spring. Nothing over the top but just a well built 5.7 and hope to unleash some extra power since GM kinda choked them down. I dont want to over build though, I dont think the trans will handle to much and of course reliability and fuel mileage play a factor since it will be a daily driver. Thanks again guys.
    One of my buddies says that somewhere on here (or possibly a different forum ... if there is such a thing) That if you take an older tbi injected motor and change the heads to vortec heads and buy a special intake from eldibroc (sorry i cant spell) they r supposed to increase the hp of the older tbi sbc's.
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    Re: What are the differences between vortec and non vortes 5.7's ? Just curious

    Quote Originally Posted by woody2dtahoe View Post
    One of my buddies says that somewhere on here (or possibly a different forum ... if there is such a thing) That if you take an older tbi injected motor and change the heads to vortec heads and buy a special intake from eldibroc (sorry i cant spell) they r supposed to increase the hp of the older tbi sbc's.
    This is true,i looked into it right before i wrecked my 93. The vortec 350 heads bolt right up,and the cheapest way to make it work is a carb intake with a tbi adapter plate. Ive heard that vortec heads respond horrible to dual plane intakes(dunno why). You have a 95 so your cats arent the super restrictive kind. Vortec based engines make power in the higher rpms(2k-2500) and the tbi make power,mainly torque, down low(1800-2k). I presume you have an auto(4l60e). A corvette servo will firm and quicken your 1-2 shift,less friction/heat. Better for the trans and a performance add-on. A tbi chip from tbichips.com is a good option too,best option for tbi IMO. Vortec engines also have a roller camshaft,most tbi do not(ive heard). Tbi engines made 180-210 hp and 280-300 tq. The cpi vortec heads on the 4.3's bolted to the block and the tbi intake worked on them,350's have no such options. 4.3 vortecs are rated at 180-200 hp aswell...they never really changed much after 96. Although its rated about the same...my 99 is slower than my 93 was. Tbi heads have a "peanut" port design which was designed to block flow and create torque. The vortecs have more of an oval port.
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    Re: What are the differences between vortec and non vortes 5.7's ? Just curious

    Quote Originally Posted by 454cid View Post
    What causes it....... besides the obvious machining problem you mentioned, on some of them. In the LS engines it's supposed to be becasue of the hyper-something pistons, but the previous Vortec engines, but I don't think didn't use those pistons.
    Same on the 4.7 Tundra.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypereutectic_piston

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    Re: What are the differences between vortec and non vortes 5.7's ? Just curious

    Ghostyman25 , so are you saying I would better off to just use the tbi heads with the other mods you decribed? I know that the vortec is rated at more hp but with some mild machine work and cam I could more than make that up right? I dont mean to beat this to death but I am new to building chevy's. I will be getting a 'vette servo soon for the trans like you mentioned, was thinking about a tbi spacer also.
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