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Old 01-22-2009, 04:21 PM
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350 block/$2000 budget/forum build

Just got a remanufactured 350 block casting number 10125327 and a $2000 budget to build a real mean machine. Mainly focusing on the motor not really worried about drive train now. Iwant her to be an all out beast for my budget, but all motor no nos heads, cam, carb, etc. I know you guys need to know what shes going in but its between a 85 cutlass(yea i know oldsmobile) or a 59 chevy apache(yea i know heavy) but these are projects with no motor in them. I wanna see how much power I can squeeze from this budget and it is tight with you guys help. This will be sort of a forum build up and ill only go with what you all suggest thats in the budget. Me and uncle started the project and though it over real hard. once parts have been purchased and installed we'll update with pics. all work will be done by us.

Let the build begin.

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Old 01-22-2009, 04:28 PM
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Sounds like fun. Will you be doing your own machine work or will that need to be factored into the budget as well?

Sounds like time to start shoping for used parts. I know this word is going to come up, so let me be the first to say it. Vortec!

I guess the place to start is what kind of core do you have? Good heads? Quadrajet maybe? That $2,000 is gonna go fast..
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Old 01-22-2009, 04:39 PM
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I wanna try and have everything new TRY THAT IS. Ill be getting alot from summit. not really sure if im going vortec. Should I? I want her as mean as $2000 bucks can make her. Tranny and rear end are all in the shop already. TH350 w/ shift kit and 10 bolt 3:73.
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Old 01-22-2009, 06:17 PM
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I guy just pm me with some L31 vortec heads he's trying to get rid of. Says he'll take 300 bucks for them. Should I get them? I told him to hang on to them. If so are they capable of the horsepower im looking for?
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by American Muscle
I guy just pm me with some L31 vortec heads he's trying to get rid of. Says he'll take 300 bucks for them. Should I get them? I told him to hang on to them. If so are they capable of the horsepower im looking for?
Vortec's are great heads, especially when the budget is tight. If those are fresh/rebuilt $300 is a good price, if not look here, these are modified for more lift etc.. The assembled pairs in the middle.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
http://www.competitionproducts.com/p....asp?dept=1262
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:56 AM
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lets get a bit more specific as to just what you are starting with..2000 is doable but one has to be real careful with the budget in order to get there..

Lets start with short block prep and go from there..probably you will have to use carefully selected crank and rods..have everything magnafluxed Before any machine work and then have the rotating assembly balanced and of course buy an ARP bolt kit..Cam since I am not a Chev kinda guy dunno but i would be inclined to the old 365 HP fuelie grind in a hydraulic configuration with some Rhoades lifters or similar..those go like stink and are not too spendy..

Vortec heads sound good to me..

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Old 01-23-2009, 07:47 AM
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Vortecs are great but remember that with them you will also have to factor in a new Vortec intake manifold and possibly extra machine work depending on the cam lift. Another thing you might consider is trying to source out a deal on a 400 crank and make it a stroker. Even a basic stroker will run with a pretty hot 350 and that should be very doable with 2 g's.

If you are planing on buying all new parts then you either would run out of $ before it was finished or you would have to settle for less in power as opposed to looking for good deals, (like the Vortec heads).

Actually I can tell you the first thing you should buy already. A copy of how to build chevy small block HP on a budget by David Vizard. Its been the best 15 bucks Ive spent on my motor yet..

Last edited by 65smallblock; 01-23-2009 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:41 AM
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I'll give a definite nod to the Vortecs as well. They might hold back ultimate power, but what you save in vortecs can be applied elsewhere to make more streetable power.

I say get some vortecs and very mildly port them. Focus on the bowls and port matching. Intakes can be found used on ebay. I know you said new if possible, but new intake manifold appearance is just a bead blasting away. Rebuilt junkyard Qjet from a 76-up truck or van (but pre-electric). That will mostly ensure you get the latest, greatest, and 800cfm.

Stock rods should hold up and they're cheap. A cast crank can handle anything vortecs can dish out. Hypereutectic pistons and file-fit rings should be more than adequate.

With a $2000 budget, I would think you could build a really nice shortblock with Vortec heads, or spend a lot of money on good heads (which is smart) but then be left with little money to build a reliable shortblock.
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:29 AM
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Going with L31 vortec heads from a guy thats on the forum.

$2000 budget
$300 L31 vortec heads

I want the cam next to be my purchase. Whats a good one? remember we're racing this baby
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by American Muscle
Going with L31 vortec heads from a guy thats on the forum.

$2000 budget
$300 L31 vortec heads

I want the cam next to be my purchase. Whats a good one? remember we're racing this baby

Good choice! I'm currently building a similar project.

Did the heads come with self-aligning rocker arms (which you'll need for the vortec heads)? If not, stock GM rockers will work great and they're inexpensive.

GMPP #NAL-12495490 - $55.95


You can use stock hydraulic lifters and pushrods. You'll need intake gaskets.

Fel-Pro Performance Z1255 #FPP-1255 - $21.95


You'll also want to upgrade the valve springs if they are stock. These will work with your stock retainers and locks. Minus the inner damper!!!

Lunati #73943 - $55.95
or Isky #205-D - $93.69


Here are a few cams that'll work great with the .450 lift limit and give your motor a nasty idle. They're oval track hydraulic cams with a 106 LSA and have a good amount of duration.

Isky Racing Cams 201268 - $109.95
Isky Racing Cams #201278 - $109.95 (more duration than the first one, read into F-Bird'88 410hp 350 build, it uses this cam)
COMP Cams #12-522-5 - $176.39 (little more lift on the ex lobe, and a little more duration on the ex.)

"techinspector1" ran this setup on a dynosim:

355 with KB120 pistons, 9.011" block deck height, Victor Reinz 5746 gasket, 4.100" X 0.025"
10.30:1 static compression ratio, 8.34:1 dynamic compression ratio, 0.035" squish.
vortec heads - L31
1.5 rockers
750 cfm carb
Dyno'd straight out the collectors, no mufflers. 1 3/4", long-tube, equal-length headers.

High rise dual plane intake: 12-522-5 cam, 472 hp @ 6000, 450 tq @ 5000.
Low rise dual plane intake: 12-522-5 cam, 427 hp @ 6500, 400 tq @ 4500.

The amount of vacuum is really low though using the Comp cam if you intend to use power breaks. Something to think about.

I hope this helps.

BTW, here's a video of F-Bird's suggested built by "Dencouch". It'll give you an idea of how the cam sounds at least.

Video Link
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:27 PM
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If you're racing, I'm guessing your looking for more torque than HP? Plan before you buy, there is always another good deal. But I don't think you can go wrong with the Vortech's.

Machine work is a major expense and you need to check what you already have before you buy anything. You could easily end up with an awsome set-up and a useless cracked block.

If your block requires extensive machine work I would seriously consider looking for an 87+ roller block with a one-piece main seal and putting your machine work money in that. You'll have a better foundation to build on. C4 corvettes after 87 had a four bolt roller block. If you can find one in a junkyard you maybe able to sell the stock aluminum heads on ebay and make enough to pay for the shortblock. If you find one with the TPI induction on it figure its worth another $200-300 alone on ebay. So conservatively speaking, if you can get $200-250 for the heads and $300 for the intake, try to buy the complete engine for less than $600. Not hard to do at a junk yard if you can find one.
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Old 01-23-2009, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by American Muscle
I want the cam next to be my purchase. Whats a good one? remember we're racing this baby
You need more info for that. What will your final compression ratio be? If this is strictly for racing then higher compression pistons should be a consideration. Going with those heads can help to pick a good cam since you know roughly how well they will flow, but again, if you want to go agressive on the cam then you will have to machine down the valve boses or things are gonna go "crunch"! IF that hasnt already been done.. Then there are lift limitations of springs and desired RPM range to consider.. And by the way, what is this going in?? Heavy car? Light car? What about transmission and rear end gears??

I would suggest holding off on picking a cam for a while until you have a better idea of how the rest is gonna shape up.. But thats up to you. In a nutshell you want the cam to match the rest of the "project", not just the motor, and you need to know what you want to accomplish with your choice.

You will basicaly find that there is really no such thing as "a good cam" because there are trade offs. Less torque/street manners but higher peak power, more torque but lower operating range, that sort of thing. What is possible to get though is "a good cam for your application". The folks who sell them will help you with that if you make a call. But they will need more information too.

Last edited by 65smallblock; 01-23-2009 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 01-23-2009, 02:35 PM
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Do you have any parts besides a block ? Do you need a roatating assembly as part of the deal ? If you have a short block what pistons are in it ? $2,000 for everything new sounds very unrealistic to me.
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Old 01-23-2009, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RustoRod
? $2,000 for everything new sounds very unrealistic to me.

Yep!

If your settled on the heads then something you NEED is a vortec intake manifold. Try E-bay.

Slow down and tell us exactly what youve got. And what you DONT! A 350 block and Vortec heads are a good foundation. What you need now is NOT a mish-mash of parts, but a plan..

Last edited by 65smallblock; 01-23-2009 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 01-24-2009, 03:47 PM
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Alright sorry fellas for the lack of info. The block is a remanufactured crate motor ordered from my local speed shop. It has all the internal goods like nodular iron crankshaft, hydrualic flat tappet camshaft, cast aluminum pistons. I was wanting to do a $2000 buildup from what i have by changing camshafts, good heads, rocker arms, intake carb. Was trying to get everything to match
and have her for racing only.

So with that little info I already have vortec heads? what would be another upgrade with 1700 bucks left. Remember I have a crate 350 so what is necessary for me to keep or change for maximum hp.

Drive Train- th350, b&m shift kit, 10 bolt posi 3:73 295/50/15 rear tires

Vehicle- 1959 Chevy Apache roughly 5000 pounds
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