Small-block Chevy engines have been shoved into everything from Ford street rods to Dixie Chopper lawnmowers. Given the availability of V6-to-V8 swap kits, replacing an anemic six-banger with a fire-breathing small-block is practically a bolt-in ordeal. This path is well-traveled and gets easier with every year of development. This project is more about choosing the right components than actually putting them together.
Before swapping anything out, you’re going to have to know what kind of engine to install. It’s not going to do you much good to have a 500 horsepower street-devastator only to find that it’s impossible to drive because of state smog laws. Many V8 conversions are surprisingly legal in most states, but with a few basic caveats. In most states, the engine used cannot be older than the chassis for emissions compliance. If your state laws allow you to put a carbureted engine into your truck, then do it. Unless you absolutely need/want fuel injection, a carb is going to be the fuel mixer of choice for cost and simplicity.