can i change from throttle body to carburator without transmission problems?

Asked by Feb 21, 2017 at 04:50 PM about the 1993 Chevrolet Suburban

Question type: Car Customization

5 Answers


New carb and intake manifold and gaskets needed. Then install them. Fuel pressure regulator to drop the pressure for the carb from the factory fuel pump. You will also need to control the fuel pump because it is initially fired when the key is turned on for a few seconds, then re-energized after the truck is started by an oil pressure switch (motor builds oil pressure, fuel pump kicks on). So you need to deal with that as well. If you have an automatic tranny you will also need a stand-alone unit to run the trans (depending on year). The auto trans is electronically controlled, so it wont work without the computer, so that is why you need the stand-alone controller.

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Fuel System: The TBI system uses fuel pressures far in excess of what a carb requires, so you'll need to install an adjustable fuel pressure regulator into the existing line. The stock fuel system does use a return line, so the fuel pressure regulator will need provisions for this. Of course, the simpler solution is to simply replace the fuel pump, which will serve the dual purposes of simplifying installation and replacing the worn fuel pump with a new unit.


Distributor: You'll need to replace is the distributor. The stock distributor is computer controlled, which is a bad thing considering the fact that you'll be removing the computer. A stock High Energy Ignition (HEI) unit is an affordable, direct bolt-in for most applications. If you're using a roller-lifter camshaft, then you're going to have to swap out the distributor's drive gear for a softer bronze unit, or risk damaging the cam gear. Keep in mind that the HEI distributor is likely wider and taller than your stock unit, which will be a problem if your engine is close to the fire-wall.


Basic Hardware: The most basic things you'll need to convert from TBI to a carburetor is a carb and a matching manifold. You could try to track down a used stock manifold, but aftermarket aluminum manifolds like the Performer RPM make more power, are lighter and will only run you about $60. Simply remove the old manifold, drop the new one in its place and install the carburetor.


Transmission Troubles: Though the swap is fairly straightforward, be forewarned that vehicles with the computer controlled 4L60-E automatic overdrive transmission will need additional work. You could either purchase a stand-alone transmission control computer (at about $975 from Chevrolet dealers or a store like summit may have them cheaper), or just install a different transmission (like the non-electric TH700 from earlier Chevrolets), or purchase a manual valve-body that does away with all electronic intervention. Of these, the simplest and cheapest solution is to install a TH700, as it can often be purchased used for less than $300. The transmission is a bolt-in replacement for the 4L60E, but your going to need a stock replacement or adjustable aftermarket throttle kick-down cable. Some TH400s differ in length enough from the 4L60E that you may need to change the drive shaft length while you're installing the new TH400-specific yoke. In all, a TH400 swap will run somewhere in the vicinity of $600.

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