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Old 11-17-2003, 07:32 AM
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Cool 350 Engine rebuild

I am new to rebuilding engines. I have a 91 Camaro RS. I am planning on putting in a 350. I am going to be using a '73 350 4 bolt main with a 4bbl carb. I do have help from my dad who has rebuilt engines in the past but he is kinda old school. Sometimes he doesn't do things the way they should be done. But if I think if I do enough research I should be able to tell when he is about to do something that doesn't seem correct. I have a basic understanding of the parts of an engine and what they are for but I want to know how to gain more horsepower. What I mean by this is if I just rebuild the engine boring it .030 and using a 350 rebuild kit will that give me more horsepower? I would be happy getting like 300 to 350 Hp if this is possible. I also read up on the 383 stroker and was thinking about going that route but I read a lot of posts saying to start with the 350 build if this is my first rebuild. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 11-17-2003, 08:30 AM
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There are a number of ways you can approach this. Build your motor from scratch, by a crate motor from GM that will have a warranty, by a kit and build a stroker or by a crate motor from an aftermarket supplier.
It all depends on what you want to do. If you want to learn about building a motor doing it yourself is the best way to go but, talk to a reputable machine shop about combinations and what parts to use. Do your research (it's very easy to do online as you are doing here) and don't just let them lead you along.
Building your '73 will require some parts swapping (such as heads) to gain any appreciable Hp/Torque figures.
Buying a crate motor is an excellant way to upgrade your power also. You know what you are getting, there really isn't any guesswork involved and most of the combo's will be warranteed.
It's your choice. We can help you make it so ask your questions and we will point you in the right direction.
Mark
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Old 11-17-2003, 08:56 AM
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I kinda want to rebuild the engine just to learn how to do it. I broke it down this weekend and have the block on a stand. I am really just enjoying working on it. Anyway, with that said. Can you explain to me why I need to swap the heads or any other parts. Like I said I am very new to this stuff so I will ask a lot of dumb sounding questions but it is the only way to learn things.
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Old 11-17-2003, 10:05 AM
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Simply rebuilding your 350 (355 with +0.30 overbore) in the same configuration as original will not give you any more than perhaps 250 hp max. One of the reasons is stated by Astroracer. The engines built in, say, '73 and forward was by no means musclemachines. The reason being the demand for less pollution from cars. Therefore they started building so called "smog engines". That meant lower compression, mild cams and low flowing heads. If youīre looking for 300-350 hp, I would suggest GM:s 441, 461, 462 or 492 cyliderheads. The three latest are also known as "camel-hump heads" because of markings front and back. Since youīre boring it I would also suggest TRW forged, high compression pistons. Donīt worry about your connecting rods. The original will do perfect for the hp youīre talking about.
Just make sure they are free of cracks, straight and of the same weight.
As for camshaftm I canīt say for certain. I know GM has as 350hp cam (we call it that in Sweden anyway) which I think would do the trick.
Good luck!

//Henrik
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Old 11-17-2003, 10:12 AM
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Ask away... The only dumb questions are the unasked questions...
As far as your '73 350 goes what you have there is considered the first of the real "smogger" motors... Downsized valves, downsized ports and passages and no compression. The quickest way to increase HP and Torque is to bump the compression a couple of points and let the motor breathe. You can do this with older style heads or you can retrofit some later technology Vortec style heads.
You should probably pick up a couple of "How to Hotrod the small block chevy" books that outline and discuss some of these mods.
Everybody has a different way of getting there and I'm sure you will be given some good advice here. What you need to do is learn some of the why's and how's so you can apply the knowledge in a cost effective and effecient way.
Mark
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Old 11-17-2003, 03:20 PM
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Just donīt get too carried away by people that wants to sell you this and that. Sometimes less is more and you donīt always need a forged crank etc. Some people will say you do though.
On the other hand, try to think a bit ahead. Donīt go too cheap either. Thereīs a balance between. Do I make sense?
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Old 11-17-2003, 03:59 PM
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I totally agree with piano man many people think that the most expensive parts are always the best which couldn't be farther from the truth. for a 300-350 hp 350 you don't need forged pistons and a forged crank. I would use some good hyperutectic pistons and a stock cast crank with reconditioned stock con rods. Going to vortec heads is a very good suggestion as they are relatively cheap and are perfect for the street on a mild engine. This page has alot of good combo's on it and can give ya a basic idea http://www.ryanscarpage.50megs.com/combos1.html
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Old 11-17-2003, 04:56 PM
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Yep. That makes a lot of sense. I just want to give the car a little kick and learn how to rebuild an engine in the process. Thanks for the advice guys. When I am done it doesn't have to be the fastest car but as long as it runs good with some decent power I will be content.
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Old 11-17-2003, 05:08 PM
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Use your head like Pianoman said... You will be surprised but your 300 or 350 horse build up, if done correctly and with some eye toward building lowend torque, will usually beat a higher horsepower car off a light because you have a manageable combination that you can get to hook up and doesn't need to be redlined to move off the line... lowend torque is your friend here. Torque will get you moving quicker then the next guy so look at that, converters, transmission gearing and rear end gears to get you moving quicker.
Mark
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Old 11-17-2003, 06:07 PM
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Ok now I am more confused about what to do. Here is why. I found a rebuild kit that I am confortable with. (At least I think I am) It is this one. http://www.p-s-t.com/hipo.html

I went to the site Pianoman suggested... http://www.ryanscarpage.50megs.com/combos1.html


I think combo 2 or 3 looks good for me. I then called Summit Racing to get part numbers for things like the heads and the
intake. The sales guy was asking me if I was going to stick with a carb or use the TBI set up. He told me if I go carb then I won't pass emissions. I need to pass emissions. I am in Maryland. So he said I will need to stay with the TBI. Can I take the TBI setup off my old engine (the 305) and put it on the 350 I want to build?Also when I looked up the heads on summit site I looked for the World Products Sportsman II and it had more than one style. What style would I need? Any suggestions or tips would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-17-2003, 07:43 PM
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The TBI off the 305 will bolt right up. The beauty of GM . The 350 and 305 are the same block, just the cranks have a different stroke. As for heads find an old chevy block. I got heads off of a 68' 4 bolt that worked great for my 355. Check the salvage yards. Ask people where "backyard" junkyards are that are way out in the sticks. Lots of treasures in places like that.
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Old 11-17-2003, 07:45 PM
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Cool thanks dude. I have a bunch of salvage yards around here. The pull it yourself kind so they are cheaper if you do the work yourself. Thanks for the info .
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Old 11-18-2003, 06:19 AM
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Ok here is what my plan is so far. I am going to buy a engine rebuild kit, probably this one. http://www.p-s-t.com/hipo.html

Then I will get these heads. http://www.lmengines.com/WorldHeads.htm

And this intake. http://www.theengineshop.com/content/pg34.pdf

My questions are these. Will this intake work with a tpi setup?
( I am gonna try to find a tpi setup at a junk yard)

79Transam mentioned getting heads a junk yard. Would I be better off doing this? If so what kind of heads should I look for? I mean what kind of vehilce should I pull them from. I had someont mention vortec heads off of 90's trucks. If these are good what kind of truck have these?

Thanks again.
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Old 11-18-2003, 06:32 AM
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What motor is in your Camaro right now? If you have a 305 you can use the stock heads and TPI... That will get you your emissions sticker. Rebuild the heads with a little port and bowl work and you'll have a decent combo...
Mark
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Old 11-18-2003, 07:56 AM
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what a great thread!
caman, you and i are at exactly the same place. i bought a 350 gm goodwrench engine and am looking to do exactly the same as you.
i am sticking with the carb though. i was told a throttle body needs a computer for keeping it in sync..anyone tell you that?

also, i think less is more as well, if you have a tight budget, but i have a feeling, (and i dont know the answer), but there are some parts you're probably not supposed to skimp on--maybe someone can list them....?

thx
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