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Powering Up: Summit Racing Engine and TCI 700R4 Transmission Transformation

Chris Hamilton September 27, 2023 Chevrolet

Summit Racing Engine Replacement and a TCI 700R4 Transmission

Welcome back to our exciting build series on our 1988 Chevy OBS truck, where we continue to enhance the performance and functionality of our new favorite truck. In this installment, we’ll replace the engine with the powerful Summit Racing BP350CTC, upgrade the accessory drive system with the All American Billet Serpentine Conversion Kit, and install the reliable TCI 700R4 transmission. Get ready for an incredible transformation that will take your driving experience to new heights.

With the installation of the Summit Racing BP350CTC engine, All American Billet Serpentine Conversion Kit, and TCI 700R4 transmission, our vehicle has undergone a remarkable transformation. The power and performance of the new engine, combined with the reliability and functionality of the accessory drive system and transmission, will undoubtedly elevate your driving experience.

Always remember to consult professional mechanics or experienced enthusiasts when undertaking major modifications like engine replacements and transmission upgrades. Proper installation and tuning are crucial for achieving optimal results. Stay tuned for the next chapter in our build series, when we’ll explore some bolt-on billet enhancements that will take your truck to the next level.

01. Project Playboy once again let us down. So, we are bidding farewell to the old engine to make way for a powerful upgrade, leaving those old blown-out piston rings in the rearview mirror.
02. Summit Racing BP350CTC Engine: To kick-start our engine upgrade, we’ve chosen the Summit Racing BP350CTC. This high-performance crate engine is designed to deliver outstanding power and reliability. With a displacement of 350 cubic inches and a 4-bolt main block, this engine is built to handle the demands of any driving situation. Its lightweight aluminum cylinder heads, roller camshaft, and forged steel crankshaft contribute to increased durability and improved performance.
The Summit Racing BP350CTC is rated at 385 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque, making it an excellent choice for street and strip applications. With its great power-to-cost ratio, this engine provides exceptional value without compromising on quality. Its compatibility with a wide range of Chevy vehicles ensures a seamless installation process.
03. All American Billet Serpentine Conversion Kit: To enhance the overall functionality and appearance of our vehicle, we’ll install the All American Billet Serpentine Conversion Kit. This meticulously crafted kit replaces the traditional V-belt system with a modern serpentine setup, offering numerous benefits such as increased reliability, improved belt grip, and simplified maintenance.
The All American Billet Serpentine Conversion Kit features precision-machined components made from high-quality billet aluminum. Its sleek design and polished finish add a touch of elegance to the engine bay. Moreover, the kit includes all the necessary brackets, pulleys, tensioners, and hardware, ensuring a straightforward installation process. With its A/C configuration, you can enjoy the comfort of air conditioning while cruising down the road.
04. TCI 700R4 Transmission: The TCI Super StreetFighter 700R4 transmission is specifically designed to handle higher horsepower applications. With its improved clutches, bands, and valve body modifications, it can handle up to 550 lb-ft of torque. Additionally, the transmission features a lock-up torque converter for increased fuel efficiency during highway cruising.
05. In this case, the easy part came first with the removal of the burned-out Chevy 350. We can only imagine what kinda of torture this engine has gone though, so rebuilding it wasn’t really high on our wish list.
06. With the engine bay clear and clean of anything mechanical, we can take some time to coat the inner fenders and firewall with KBS Coating.
07. The new BluePrint Engines Chevy 350 arrived just in time. Summit Racing makes quick work of online orders if what you want is in stock.
08. We simply unbolted the engine from the crate and it was ready for some spicy add-ons.
09. The first item we needed to add to the new engine is a drive pulley kit. We could have ordered a stock setup from Summit Racing, but we went with a fully polished kit from All American Billet instead.
10. To transfer the power to the wheels, a TCI StreetFighter 700R4 transmission was ordered directly from the manufacturer. It’s getting easier and easier to get parts these days. It’s a great time to be a gearhead!
11. The A/C system will be replaced as well with this OEM spec kit from Original Air. The packaging is well labeled, the parts are designed for the do-it-yourselfer install, and the quality is second to none in the OEM air conditioning space.
12. The final part of the drivetrain puzzle is a set a Hedman Headers for a Chevy 350. These headers are 50-state legal and designed to be coated or wrapped before final install.
13. When all the parts are put together you can really appreciate the craftsmanship of such high-quality products.

14. The hoses and parts from Original Air fit perfectly and held pressure the very first time. We can’t recommend Original Air enough for factory replacement A/C systems for your OBS truck.
15. The Original Air pieces also mated to our All American Billet pulley kit.
16. Spark Plug boots from DEI are important to keep the heat away to prevent burning, cracking, and arcing plug boots and wires.
17. The last few items on the list include new fluids from Royal Purple and Mishimoto. Using the proper fluids is more important than you would expect, so consult your manual before choosing your fluids.
18. With the engine and transmission in place, the focus was exhaust. A universal kit from MagnaFlow with two of its mufflers was the best combo for this. Nick did the welding. The best way to hear it is to scan that QR code we mentioned earlier.
19. Dual electric cooling fans from Mishimoto added extra room in the engine bay as we don’t need a clutch-driven fan.
20. The completed install looks amazing, and we can’t wait to do some burnouts! After we break the engine into spec, of course.

Proper installation and tuning are crucial for achieving optimal results.

21. Project Playboy turned out to be an amazing build. We have had some ups and downs, but at the end of it all, we built another beautiful truck, saved a piece of auto Americana, and kept the cool car culture alive for one more round.
22. Here is a great before-and-after photo of Project Playboy. Don’t forget to head over to YouTube to see the whole build.
23. We have one last thing to do to this amazing truck, our Playboy needs some bling. Stay tuned!


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