This Chevrolet R3500 Is Missing It’s Engine…What Would You Stuff Into The Engine Bay?

This Chevrolet R3500 Is Missing It’s Engine…What Would You Stuff Into The Engine Bay?

The other day I posted up a square-body GMC that had no bed that I had dreams of turning into a big-block flatbed howler. That didn’t seem to go too well, so I’m gonna send up another offering, but this time the optional issue is yours to fix. The subject is a 1989 Chevrolet R3500 3+3 dually that has had it’s 454 plucked out of the engine bay. We hope that whatever Camaro is getting that heart transplant behaves like a big-block Chevy should, but that leaves one very big problem: a monster crew-cab dually with a hole where a heart should reside. 

Many see a problem, but I see a blank canvas. Not many people will disagree that a truck of this vintage is worth re-powering. But the question is, with what? There are a myriad of ways that an engine swap would result in a wicked work truck, but if it were mine and mine alone, I’m looking at the big-block TH400 sitting pretty in the transmission tunnel and thinking that it’d be a shame to not use that. So I’d make two purchases: a GearVendors unit so that highway driving becomes only slightly expensive instead of wallet-draining, and another big-block would find it’s way in. Ideally, I’d be looking at a 502, but anything with a torque figure above 550 ft/lbs would be a nice start. Blame it on a friend’s Chevy with a 454 that I got to cut loose with back in high school. 

Maybe you’re thinking diesel, like a Duramax swap. Maybe you want to put a Cummins where it wasn’t supposed to go. Maybe you’re having lurid dreams of a ProCharged monster block and Mickey Thompsons rolling as super singles under those flared fenders. (I like how you think!) Whatever the choice, let us know how you’d repower this Chevy below!

Facebook Marketplace Link: 1989 Chevrolet R3500 3+3 dually

(Thanks to Channing Ivey for the tip!)

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8 thoughts on “This Chevrolet R3500 Is Missing It’s Engine…What Would You Stuff Into The Engine Bay?

  1. silver_bullet

    Blueprint low compression 496 with a 174 supercharger and sniper or fi tech fuel injection….

  2. BowtieGuy_76

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I’d like to do an 8100 big block with an Allison auto behind it…. you would get all the big block pros with the LS advantages of fuel injection and tuneabilit & the huge advantage of a stout overdrive trans

  3. Chevy Hatin' Mad Geordie

    Ha ha ha – a honking great bored out Ford FE motor and transmission to get revenge on all the dworks who put LS motors into Fords…..

  4. Ian

    Easy, the 572ci BBC that Frieburger did on Engine Masters a little while ago.
    Put some nice small port heads, RV cam and EFI and see how long the trans will last with that much torque off idle.

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