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Old 04-12-2010, 02:04 PM
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350, 383, 454...Which would you choose?

I have a 1984 C10 that I am in the process of reviving. I have the engine fever and need a little bit of advice on which is the best route to take. This truck will be basically an everyday driver....from time to time, a few times a week. Probably will never take it to the track.

I have a 305 currently in it. I am looking at one of the following options.

1) Buy a 350, rebuild it...juice it up to about 320-350 HP.

2) Buy the same 350, a stroker 383 kit, and rebuild kit.

3) Buy a 454 and rebuild it.

Prices....

1) The 350's I'm looking at are two. One is just the block, (perfect for the stroker kit) stock bore for $100. Still have to get it serviced and buy all the parts to get it to run.
The other 350 I'm looking at has already been to the shop and is bored at 60 out for $400.

2) If I go with a stroker kit for a 383, I'm looking at one of the above and an additional $600 or so for the kit. Since I'm going to rebuild any of the engines I get...not a bad bang for the buck I wouldn't think.

3) Just found a guy selling a 454 our of 77 chevy and it is a 2 bolt main long block for $300. Rebuild kit seems to be about $500. I figured I wouldn't have to spend as much on the other parts (intake, carb, etc.) to get the HP i am looking for. However, is this too much engine? Am I going to spend WAY more in fuel for what it is worth in HP?

So my question to you guys that know about this is "what would you do?" Best bang for the buck for a semi everyday driver. Is the big block just opening a whole new can of worms? IS the gas going to be THAT much more than the 383 even when the 454 is mildly setup? If not...then what is a mild setup for a 454? I'm looking at a 750 carb...less maybe?

In any of these cases...I am going to get a new bolt kit with the rebuild, probably a new oil system as well.

Any opinions are welcome and appreciated. What do you think?

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Old 04-12-2010, 02:15 PM
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454 will give the most power and cost about the same if you reuse the stock crank and rods.

A good BALANCED 383 kit is going to run you at least a grand (including rings, bearins, gaskets, etc), probably closer to $1300.

For 350 hp I would swap flat tops into a Vortec engine, a cam swap, and call it good. Its been done a million times already but its simple, cheap, and very effective (give you about 400hp and very good street manners). A complete running Vortec engine should go for about $500.
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:23 PM
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If that is all that you have to choose from, I think I would go with the stock block with standard bore, 60 thousands is more then I ever liked to go JMPO. You gotta get a crank for standard bored one so you might as well get a stroker. The prices have really come down on these kits in the last few years and everything fits with no guess work. I think the weight of the big block would be to much for the intended use of the type of truck that you have described, unless of course you could get a good used one for free.
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:25 PM
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Dumb it down a bit....

Flat tops? What do you mean by flat tops and vortec? Keep in mind this is my first real project and will my first ever engine change out. However don't let the make any changes to your opinion of what "I " should do...I will be able to do it, just might take more research. THats why I'm on this site....get all of you guy's knowledge lol.

I'd love to have the 350 for the mere fuel factor but it also seems to be easier to find a more vast array of parts for.

Can you dumb it down or explain the vortec or flat top thing for me? and why perhaps?

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Old 04-12-2010, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandman1278
I have a 1984 C10 that I am in the process of reviving. I have the engine fever and need a little bit of advice on which is the best route to take. This truck will be basically an everyday driver....from time to time, a few times a week. Probably will never take it to the track.

I have a 305 currently in it. I am looking at one of the following options.

1) Buy a 350, rebuild it...juice it up to about 320-350 HP.

2) Buy the same 350, a stroker 383 kit, and rebuild kit.

3) Buy a 454 and rebuild it.

Prices....

1) The 350's I'm looking at are two. One is just the block, (perfect for the stroker kit) stock bore for $100. Still have to get it serviced and buy all the parts to get it to run.
The other 350 I'm looking at has already been to the shop and is bored at 60 out for $400.

2) If I go with a stroker kit for a 383, I'm looking at one of the above and an additional $600 or so for the kit. Since I'm going to rebuild any of the engines I get...not a bad bang for the buck I wouldn't think.

3) Just found a guy selling a 454 our of 77 chevy and it is a 2 bolt main long block for $300. Rebuild kit seems to be about $500. I figured I wouldn't have to spend as much on the other parts (intake, carb, etc.) to get the HP i am looking for. However, is this too much engine? Am I going to spend WAY more in fuel for what it is worth in HP?

So my question to you guys that know about this is "what would you do?" Best bang for the buck for a semi everyday driver. Is the big block just opening a whole new can of worms? IS the gas going to be THAT much more than the 383 even when the 454 is mildly setup? If not...then what is a mild setup for a 454? I'm looking at a 750 carb...less maybe?

In any of these cases...I am going to get a new bolt kit with the rebuild, probably a new oil system as well.

Any opinions are welcome and appreciated. What do you think?
Nothin' puts a grin on your face and a hole in your wallet like a nicely built 454. If your Visa card's up to it go 454. There ain't no such thing as a too big engine. OK maybe a Merlin in your pick up would be a bit much, but damn if you could get one in there, wouldn't yall do it.

Bogie
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:31 PM
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Yeah I never thought about the weight of the engine of a big block I guess. I mean, how much HP am I gaining after you consider the extra load of weight from the engine? So a stroker 383 seems to be the winner so far?

Like you said...if I'm going to have to break into it already anyways...why not?
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:35 PM
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flat top pistons are pistons with only the valve reliefs cut in them and no dish, I prefer 2 VR's- they're a little more expensive but to me its worth it. A decent set of 4VR hyper pistons is less than $200, and the put you around 10:1 with Vortec heads and .040" quench. They also greatly improve quench- basically Flat tops and Vortec heads go together like ham and eggs, by themselves each one is fine but together they're really something special.

Most engine "master" rebuild kits can be had with flat top pistons- just be sure to watch the compression height so you're not in the hole .040"+.
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbogie
Nothin' puts a grin on your face and a hole in your wallet like a nicely built 454. If your Visa card's up to it go 454. There ain't no such thing as a too big engine. OK maybe a Merlin in your pick up would be a bit much, but damn if you could get one in there, wouldn't yall do it.

Bogie
See that is what I'm thinking! I mean if it is cheap...we are talking $300 for a LONG BLOCK! Rebuild is about $550 for the kit, about $150 for the block service and boring, new carb ($380 for the holley I want , heads rebuilt ($300), and an oil system....I'm thinking the whole thing at about $1300-$1500 and I'm grinnin' !

I'm probably missing many other things to keep in mind though. Tranny...headers, etc. I don't know.

I'm not going to say money is no object but it does seem that this long block might give me a jump on it. Like I said...I could always rebuild this 454 and sell it....put that into a 383?

I'm doing this mainly for the experience of rebuilding and the grin on my face at a light
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:46 PM
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if you weren't concerned about fuel mileage i would say the 454 all day long. as for the .060 350 block this is how the process is supose to go, you go to the mahcine shop, he tells you what will need to be done to the cylinders for them to be cleaned up, then you buy a set of pistons for the over bore that he tells you, then you take the pistons to the machinest, then he bores the cylinders out based on the diameter of the pistons, a over bore pistons is not a "one size fit all" principal, considering one piston for a 4.060 bore can have a slightly different diameter than another. so the block needs to be bored to the pistons. so stay away from the .060 block.

AP is mentioning using a flat-top piston with about a -4cc to -7cc valve relief crown. if they are 1.560 compression height pistons then it would put your compression above 10.0:1 rasing the compression of the motor. i would be a little more inclined to go with something like a -12cc V groove pistons from KB, since you mentioned driving this on the street more and never really going to the track, this would put your compression around 9.5:1, i would also more than likely rebuild the whole motor (not sure if AP is referring to this or not)

as for vortec AP is referring to the 5.7L 350 vortec engines put out from 96'-00' used in GM's truck line. the head casting numbers are 906 and 062 these are said to be the best performing head that GM ever produced, certainly better than the old school double humps. this would be a roller motor and typically you can reuse a lot of the parts from these motors as the crank can handle decent power and the rods are said to be able to handle 400+hp as long as everything is balanced well. with these motors you have to use a vortec compatable intake ( not hard to find) but this would be the way i would recomend going if fuel consumption is of any concern, but if it's not build the 454
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my87Z
if you weren't concerned about fuel mileage i would say the 454 all day long. as for the .060 350 block this is how the process is supose to go, you go to the mahcine shop, he tells you what will need to be done to the cylinders for them to be cleaned up, then you buy a set of pistons for the over bore that he tells you, then you take the pistons to the machinest, then he bores the cylinders out based on the diameter of the pistons, a over bore pistons is not a "one size fit all" principal, considering one piston for a 4.060 bore can have a slightly different diameter than another. so the block needs to be bored to the pistons. so stay away from the .060 block.

AP is mentioning using a flat-top piston with about a -4cc to -7cc valve relief crown. if they are 1.560 compression height pistons then it would put your compression above 10.0:1 rasing the compression of the motor. i would be a little more inclined to go with something like a -12cc V groove pistons from KB, since you mentioned driving this on the street more and never really going to the track, this would put your compression around 9.5:1, i would also more than likely rebuild the whole motor (not sure if AP is referring to this or not)

as for vortec AP is referring to the 5.7L 350 vortec engines put out from 96'-00' used in GM's truck line. the head casting numbers are 906 and 062 these are said to be the best performing head that GM ever produced, certainly better than the old school double humps. this would be a roller motor and typically you can reuse a lot of the parts from these motors as the crank can handle decent power and the rods are said to be able to handle 400+hp as long as everything is balanced well. with these motors you have to use a vortec compatable intake ( not hard to find) but this would be the way i would recomend going if fuel consumption is of any concern, but if it's not build the 454
Thanks for the info. As for the 350 that is bored .060. I'll stand clear then. So basically they need the pistons to "correctively" service the block bores? However I notice on the sites where they ask you the bore size....what am I supposed to say if I don't know what has already been done or needs to be done to get it right? Kind of a catch 22 isn't it? I need to know the bore size to order the piston set but they need the pistons to match them correctly?

Whats the best way to go about this then? Order the pistons first....? Seems risky.
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:12 PM
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You can find a complete 454 mark iv for around $400-500. The cost to rebuild the 454 (including any machining costs) will end up being cheaper than a 383 and you will make more hp/trq and the weight will be negated by the power made. Plus you will have a platform that overall will make more power and be easily upgraded down the road as you see fit. Worried about fuel consumption? Spend that 1300-1600 you were going to spend on a stroker kit and buy a TBI system from jegs or summit.
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Sandman1278
Thanks for the info. As for the 350 that is bored .060. I'll stand clear then. So basically they need the pistons to "correctively" service the block bores? However I notice on the sites where they ask you the bore size....what am I supposed to say if I don't know what has already been done or needs to be done to get it right? Kind of a catch 22 isn't it? I need to know the bore size to order the piston set but they need the pistons to match them correctly?

Whats the best way to go about this then? Order the pistons first....? Seems risky.
First thing you do is get your block. Take it to the machine shop and they'll tell you will need to be done. 350 bore sizes are STD / 4.00", 30 over / 4.030", 40 over / 4.040" or 60 over / 4.060".

The reason you don't want the .060 over is cause you can't rebuild it again and your machine shop hones the piston to a certain clearance. So the clearance maybe too tight or too much.

Let's say your pistons are 4.030, the manufacturer will recommend the cylinders to be honed to 4.03XX. Every piston isn't the same size from batch to batch or manufacturer to manufacturer so the machinist will measure the pistons and hone your block to those specific pistons. The tolerances are VERY tight. Talking thousands of an inch tolerances.
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:26 PM
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The 350 is a good start for a first engine. I did a 350 as my first. I later found the 350 long block I bought had a bad "spun" bearing which meant the crankshaft was garbage. So I opted for a 383 stroker kit. The cost of the 383 parts / kits are a few hundred more, but you get a little more power and torque then you would with a 350.

Also, when you build a 383 you will need to clearance the block for the larger stroke crankshaft. Very easy to do, but you need to know what you're doing.

PM me if you ever need some help. I'm in the NW Houston area.
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by V8 Super Beetle
First thing you do is get your block. Take it to the machine shop and they'll tell you will need to be done. 350 bore sizes are STD / 4.00", 30 over / 4.030", 40 over / 4.040" or 60 over / 4.060".

The reason you don't want the .060 over is cause you can't rebuild it again and your machine shop hones the piston to a certain clearance. So the clearance maybe too tight or too much.

Let's say your pistons are 4.030, the manufacturer will recommend the cylinders to be honed to 4.03XX. Every piston isn't the same size from batch to batch or manufacturer to manufacturer so the machinist will measure the pistons and hone your block to those specific pistons. The tolerances are VERY tight. Talking thousands of an inch tolerances.
Gotcha...so see what the shop tells me about the pistons I need. Probably still bring them in to them to see if they meet the qualifications. As for the .060 out block...no good to bore again cause it might not be within spec and run hotter.

I'm a sponge right now...so keep feeding the info! Lovin it. I need all this info.
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:30 PM
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Go with vortec heads. An easy 400 hp, cheap and reliable. Like mentioned, especially living in Houston, you could easily find a Vortec engine and rebuild it. Heck, you might even be able to reuse the pistons and just need a light hone job so new piston rings will seal up. A rebuild kit with gaskets and all is about $200 on summit.
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