TPI HOW TO? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Feb 13th, 01, 05:09 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 15

Ok I've been giving some serious thought to installing a TPI unit from a 85-86 camaro on my 85 gmc truck.My questions are as follows. Once I get the complete setup, To include wire harness and manifold with all necessary switches etc. how do I do this? Do I have to run an electric in tank fuel pump? I assume I would use the computer from the camaro also, but would my tranny and gears (4spd manual and 3.73 rears) affect the computer chip? I'm pretty lost when it comes to fuel injection, but would really like the mpg increase and performance. Any help would be appreciated.Thanks
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Feb 13th, 01, 12:46 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Colorado
Posts: 59

Intank fuel pump is a must as far as I know.

Where are you getting your parts from? Donor car or aftermarket? 305 or 350 TPI?

I'll post a phone number this weekend for a place to order a factory service manual to do the wiring if you are going with a donor setup.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Feb 13th, 01, 03:59 PM
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Join Date: Aug 1998
Location: abilene texas
Posts: 233

You definitely need a high pressure pump, but it doesn't HAVE to go in tank. There are frame mounted pumps that work nicely. If your truck already has an in tank pump, you could probably find a high pressure pump to work.
An aftermarket wiring harness will make your life much easier. You will only have the motor associated sensors wired in. None of the "extra" features, such as T/C lockup. But that can be added apart from the TPI setup.
I'm not sure if 85-86 used a Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor, but you should consider a speed density system (90-92). Its a bit simpler installation, but not as easy to modify for performance.
Try this They provide a lot of info & publish a book that is very useful in planning. If you have any specific ? email me. I've got a ton of info at home.

Rick Schaefer
72 El Camino

68 Camaro
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Feb 13th, 01, 06:05 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Glendale,AZ.U.S.A.
Posts: 992

I had a tpi from 86 TA in my 74 3/4 ton.I t had no power for towing.I had 24# injectors,MAF,stock harness(not dofficult to deal with,use factory manual) I ran a frame mtd. fuel pump,from a 280z.The gas milage was not great,I used a prom from a 86 TA with a 342 gear,my truck had a 4.10 gear,but 245 16 tires. I ended up pulling it out and installing a 454,much happier.Possibly I needed a custom chip 300$+, NOT. I have now a 94 chev. 4L80e,350,TBI,it's a slug.

68 z28 68 rs 327 73 454 vette
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Feb 13th, 01, 06:46 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Laurens, SC, USA
Posts: 70

As far as the fuel pump goes, it does need to be high pressure. I once saw an amx(hot rod january 1999) that made a cool settup. His original fuel tank didn't have good baffling in it to keep fuel flowing on take offs so he made a reserve tank from an old radiator overflow tank. he fed the tank with a lower pressure electric pump then fed the engine from the tank using a high pressure pump. It even had a sensor for low fuel in the reserve tank. I thought it was cool anyway.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Feb 13th, 01, 11:36 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
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Check out and

The 86 has a better computer than the 85. I was reading on 3rd gen and for about $250 you can burn your own chips (you also need a computer). '86 is MAF and the last year I think they went to a better computer so comsider getting the manifold off an 85-86 and get the computer off a later one or just live with the '86's. Don't settle for an 85 computer though. If you got a stock motor install it and then get into burning chips if you want the best performance. Plus you can probly burn custom chips for people in your area and make all your equipment free. Charge em $100 a chip and tell em you'll redo it til it's running the best it can. By learning the chip burning you can make the fans come on sooner for a 180 or 160 degree theromostat vs the 190 stock and the fans come on at like 210 I think on 3rd gens at least.

If you do get the TPI set-up take the time to port and polish it get an airhorn(I think it is) and get a good K&N airfilter and remove the MAF screens for an extra like 100cfm airflow. Just make sure you keep that airfilter on at all times.

I can guess that Ricks didnt work cause he had 24lb injectors when a 350TPI has 22lb and 305's got 19lb. Start with pretty much stock and learn how to burn chips if you want to throw a bigger cam in it etc. You might be able to put a 350tpi chip in the 86 but it's gotta be 89 and earlier maybe, ask the 3rd gen board though or see if someone from the 3rd gen board would burn a chip for you for a decent fee.
Just so you know hypertech chips suck don't bother buyin em. You can get a possible of probly 16-20mpg depending on engine/gearing etc, if tuned right. Can you tell I'm gonna get TPI myself once I get some cash together, after I'm done with suspension though.
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