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Old 03-04-2011, 03:10 PM
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350 performance upgrades

i have a 74 chevy blazer that i converted over to a 3/4 ton. the engine that is currently in it is a mystery engine that doesn't quite do the trick. i have a spare 350 engine out of a 81 3/4 ton that i would like to do a budget rebuild and get a little extra power. if anyone has any ideas im open to all, even if its im dreaming, and there is no such thing as a budget build. vortec heads was one idea that a buddy recomended but it seems that that will quickly add up in price as well.
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Old 03-04-2011, 03:32 PM
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It will really depend on just exactly what you have to work with. Funds and parts. IMHO What is your budget ?




Cole
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Old 03-04-2011, 04:20 PM
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If you can't afford a Goodwrench (still around $1500) and you're just looking for enough grunt to get the job done, you could just change the cam, lifters and maybe the valve springs and pushrods. Don't go for anything hairy or fancy. If the motor needs more repair than that, you're probably going to wind up in Goodwrench price territory anyway, assuming you can reuse your parts from the old motor to complete the long block.
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:43 AM
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I had hopes of completing this project under $600. i have two complete engines and 3 carbs. two are edelbrock (new and newer) and the other rochester that needs rebuilt. the intake on the engine im currently running is an edelbrock high rpm, but i wouldn't be able to reuse that if i did vortec heads. when i did a tune up on the engine curently running i couldnt identify the casting number. i think it is a block out of mexico but im not sure. but i know its not the stock engine of the 74.
my goal is that i just want my engine to push around my blazer a little better than what its doing now. i haven't done a lot of vehicle engine work, so i planned on taking it slow to really learn as i go. ive started to think that it might just be worth doing a little bit at a time (bottom up) and spread it out over a couple years. that way the finished product would be worth it and not nickel and dimed.
thank you for the advice on the cam, lifters, valve springs and pushrods. ill read up on those. if you know any good articles let me know.

thanks
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:14 AM
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The most common upgrade for a vehicle like yours (a truck) is to use a moderate range cam in the range of 204/214 @ .050, dual plane intake manifold (like an Edelbrock Performer), well-tuned carburetor, and small primary tube headers with dual exhaust, low restriction turbo mufflers and h-pipe. You also want to switch to HEI if the '74 engine still has points. With that combination you should be about to get about 270-280 HP, and still keep the low to mid range torque you need for your truck. You can go more aggressive with the cam or use a high rise intake, but all the extra horsepower will be in the upper range where you probably don't need it.

The next step up would be Vortec heads, but you won't cover that with a $600 budget.

Bruce
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottwrote
I had hopes of completing this project under $600. i have two complete engines and 3 carbs. two are edelbrock (new and newer) and the other rochester that needs rebuilt. the intake on the engine im currently running is an edelbrock high rpm, but i wouldn't be able to reuse that if i did vortec heads. when i did a tune up on the engine curently running i couldnt identify the casting number. i think it is a block out of mexico but im not sure. but i know its not the stock engine of the 74.
my goal is that i just want my engine to push around my blazer a little better than what its doing now. i haven't done a lot of vehicle engine work, so i planned on taking it slow to really learn as i go. ive started to think that it might just be worth doing a little bit at a time (bottom up) and spread it out over a couple years. that way the finished product would be worth it and not nickel and dimed.
thank you for the advice on the cam, lifters, valve springs and pushrods. ill read up on those. if you know any good articles let me know.

thanks
A quick look around the web gets me a list like this:
Jegs 555-200002 cam - $56 (specs as suggested above, one step higher on their list wouldn't hurt either)
Jegs 555-20700 lifters - $50
Comp Cams 7812-16 pushrod set - $26
Lunati 73943k1 valve spring kit - $99
Total: $231

Of course you'll need the various tools, lubes, gaskets, sealers etc. You can reuse your carbs and intake. They may be a little large, but not bad. If you don't have an HEI distributor kicking around you can get an MSD for around $130.
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottwrote
I had hopes of completing this project under $600.

Are you going to be doing all the work your self or paying someone to do it ?
on the $600 budget ? You can bur up $600 pretty fast and still not be done or be very pleased when it's running . JMO


Cole
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Old 03-05-2011, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leoman
A quick look around the web gets me a list like this:
Jegs 555-200002 cam - $56 (specs as suggested above, one step higher on their list wouldn't hurt either)
Jegs 555-20700 lifters - $50
Comp Cams 7812-16 pushrod set - $26
Lunati 73943k1 valve spring kit - $99
Total: $231

Of course you'll need the various tools, lubes, gaskets, sealers etc. You can reuse your carbs and intake. They may be a little large, but not bad. If you don't have an HEI distributor kicking around you can get an MSD for around $130.
You might check out Competition Products at www.competitionproducts.com. Big circle track supplier, you can get parts to match the above specs a lot cheaper with as good a quality. I use these guys a lot, and so do many others in the know.

Cam and lifters of that spec #E923M $90, valvesprings #98212 $46, complete engine gasket set #RB31000 $27. New pushrods would be entirely uneccessary at this performance level, the stockers wil do just fine.

Adding headers would also help a good bit, if you don't want headers at least use a dual exhaust system off the stock manifolds.
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:32 PM
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The cam is not a bigger gain than the vortec heads. Make those priority one. The switch can be done for budget prices, my vortec swap was total about 500. Thats 5117 gmp gaskets and felp1255 intake set , mills ,seals , springs , retainers. Even with only a stock cam, the Vortec heads boost power, and compression.

When removing the heads, snake a set of cheap 90 headers in there.

Then hit the rear gear . At least a 3.73+ w/ 28" tire, ratio, type.

The 2 hydraulic cams that stood the test of time, the Performer for a driver, and hotter St/Sp the Comp Magnum 270 are great cams .
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Old 03-05-2011, 07:31 PM
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cheap hedders, x or h pipe,curved HEI dist, and a good tune up
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Old 03-06-2011, 11:03 AM
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Blazer 350

Your biggest gains will always be through a good set of heads. Then your exhaust must be up to the task as well. You do not need "high compression", not even a radical, bottom of the page cam. Simple formula,...good flowing heads, good exhaust (headers, duals) and a mild to moderate cam. If you had a buddy that could port your factory heads for you, you could save some cash, or just buck up and make the investment into some good heads.
Doing most of the work yourself, you should be able to build a solid little engine with great torque for around 800 to 900 bucks. Find a good used Edelbrock Performer intake or a Weiand Stealth. 350 horsepower is a very easy goal to reach, even on a budget. Your motor must beable to breath well.
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