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Old 06-28-2013, 08:59 AM
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350 Vortec Truck Engine Build

Hey everybody.Hope fully fixin to be able to get my block to the shop so I can get this thing back together.Motor is a 97 350 I pulled @ 250K due mainly to low oil psi.The Goodwrench crate I replaced it with is @ 283K & having the same problem.Block & crank look great & per my measurements,would not need a bore,but,i'll let the shop have final say.Pistons are currently setting .028 in the hole,so,I am havin .007 to .008 taken down for cleanup & to get a good quench.Current plans & parts as of now are Complete rebuild on heads including upgraded springs,KB 193 pistons,Sealed Power moly rings,King bearings,#14097395 Ramjet cam along with decking block & any work the shop deems necessary & a .025 composite head gasket..045 quench.I have a set of 1.52 roller tip rockers,but,not too sure about using them.A friend installed a set last week & his are really noisy.PCM will be retuned also to bring everything together.This is all goin in a 97 ECSB Z71.Daily driver @ 100 miles a day.3 to 4 smalltown local truckpulls,quite a bit of playin in the mud,& pulling my horses & trailer.My calc show me comin @ 9.7:1 SCR & about 8.2 DCR.Gears are 3:42.Hopin for about 300 to 320 HP.More interested in torque than actual HP tho. Oh almost forgot,I will be using midlength headers w/ 3" collector into 2 HushThrush mufflers then into a single 3" TP.

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Old 06-28-2013, 09:17 AM
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I was looking into using a Comp XR264HR cam,but,unless I'm missing something,I just can't see $200 worth of performance difference between the 2 cams.
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jokerZ71 View Post
Hey everybody.Hope fully fixin to be able to get my block to the shop so I can get this thing back together.Motor is a 97 350 I pulled @ 250K due mainly to low oil psi.The Goodwrench crate I replaced it with is @ 283K & having the same problem.Block & crank look great & per my measurements,would not need a bore,but,i'll let the shop have final say.Pistons are currently setting .028 in the hole,so,I am havin .007 to .008 taken down for cleanup & to get a good quench.Current plans & parts as of now are Complete rebuild on heads including upgraded springs,KB 193 pistons,Sealed Power moly rings,King bearings,#14097395 Ramjet cam along with decking block & any work the shop deems necessary & a .025 composite head gasket..045 quench.I have a set of 1.52 roller tip rockers,but,not too sure about using them.A friend installed a set last week & his are really noisy.PCM will be retuned also to bring everything together.This is all goin in a 97 ECSB Z71.Daily driver @ 100 miles a day.3 to 4 smalltown local truckpulls,quite a bit of playin in the mud,& pulling my horses & trailer.My calc show me comin @ 9.7:1 SCR & about 8.2 DCR.Gears are 3:42.Hopin for about 300 to 320 HP.More interested in torque than actual HP tho. Oh almost forgot,I will be using midlength headers w/ 3" collector into 2 HushThrush mufflers then into a single 3" TP.
My concern is connecting rods. At jammin' 300 kilo miles these babies are at that design life cycle. While most of your use is as a DD playing in the mud I'm sure demands more RPM and RPMs alone plus lots of throttle opening is just killer on rods. These PMs have proven to be pretty good but they do seem to experience a higher rate of high mileage failure, that may be because older engines that still used the factor forged rod didn't tend to live as long lives for reasons other than rod failure. Like you say at 280 some thousand miles there is low to no wear on the cylinder walls which is not something you'd see 20-30 years ago, those engines would have used up the wall life by 100 or 150 thousand miles, well before the rod's design life would have been lived so those old forgings were not pressed to their life cycle limits like today's PM rods. So I'd recommend some new rods just to cover the possibility of a high cycle fatigue failure. One of my favorites for this type build can be seen at this link <<< Scat Crankshafts >>>.

I think the only way to go with valve springs is with beehives, you get the needed contol with lower spring pressures which while not the concern it is with a flat tappet cam, even a roller cam and the rollerized joints inbetween the lifter and rocker benefit from the reduced effort to keep things tracking that a lighter but more stable spring brings.

Bogie
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:36 AM
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why not a new vortec crate. #12530283 for 4 bolt main change the last # to a 2 for 2 bolt mains.
1919.00 through jegs
ramjet cam 168.00
#
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:48 AM
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Thanks for the recommendation on the rods.I honestly hadn't figured the fatigue factor with the high milage.Very good point.The springs will be beehives & I'm gonna go ahead & have some xtra clearancing just in case I decide to go with a different cam later.If I can get another vehicle later for a DD I plan on doing some more serious mods to this truck.The engine bein rebuilt is the 250K.The 280Ish is still in the truck running.But 30K isn't gonna matter.LOL.I will plan on new rods.Original plans were for a 383,but,my youngest ran afoul of the law,so,most of my motor money went to the court & bail bondsman.Maybe I can do the 383 with the engine I'm running now after gettin this 1 finished & put in.I'll have more time & hopefully better $ by then.This 1 I'm runnin now is goin down pretty quik,so,I need to get the ball rolling.Again thanks for bringin the rods to my attention.My last engine rebuild was in 82 on a 65 327.A lot has changed since then.As you stated,that kinda milage was unheard of then & also trying to come up to speed with all computer controls & EFI.You can't just throw a buncha parts in anymore.LOL.
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:49 AM
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Oil problems on two different engines. Granted both are high mileage but I would take this time to address your oiling system to prevent any problems in the future.

Enlarge and smooth your oil galleys, port your pump (and get a high volume one if you do a lot of low rpm driving), and enlarge and smooth all of your drain back passageways. This goes a long way towards engine life.

Next, there is a big difference between cam choices, the ramjet cam may get you to 350hp, the 264hr cam you selected would go way past that, easily 40+hp more, so it depends on what you want. The Ramjet cam will get better mileage and will be a lot easier to tune. There are also MANY other cams out there that fall between those two as well- so you don't have to even pick one or the other. Roller ROckers are nice, but you may as well go for 1.6 or 1.65 ratio, the ratio helps more than the roller when it comes to power. The RamJet cam with a 1.65 ratio roller rocker would be a good combination for a mild street engine. Also, if you haven't had your heads done yet look over at headbytes.com and give that guy a call- he can rebuild and port your heads for what most guys charge to mill and do a valve job. He's not the best head guy around but he is certainly one of the best values.

For this application IMO connecting rods are connecting rods, any good stock rod that has been checked over should suffice, you're not going to make crazy power or RPM's, with the RamJet cam this thing will be done before 5500.

I'm glad you already plan on tuning though- there is a lot of power there and most people don't realize it.
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:54 AM
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I just have the urge to build this one.The engine I'm running now is a GM crate.I got the cam off EBay for $99. I wanna go ahead & get away from the dish pistons,excessive quench,etc to establish a good base in case I wanna do more serious mods later.
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:15 AM
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I've got some concerns over the heads.Blew the intake gaskets @ 120K.Engine got pretty hot,but,it ran another 130K without any issues.From what I hear,these heads will get cracks & not leak until they are retorqued.The shop says bout 8 outta 10 sets he gets in have some sorta crack.
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:05 PM
How fast is fast enough?
 
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yep, they crack a lot, the only factory sbc heads that didn't were the old heads (pre '72~ish).

If it were my build I'd just swap on some Assault Racing heads, but a lot of people here are going to cry over that suggestion.
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:35 PM
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yep, they crack a lot, the only factory sbc heads that didn't were the old heads (pre '72~ish).

If it were my build I'd just swap on some Assault Racing heads, but a lot of people here are going to cry over that suggestion.
If these turn out to be cracked,i'm definitely gonna ck into aftermarket of some kind.I know I'll catch some flak,but,my shop says that awhile back he wouldn't even suggest PC heads,but,he's used a lot of em in last couple of yrs with no issues.He buys em bare & cks em out,then does all the assembly himself.My biggest concern is with any head that says it will work with Vortec,or,nonVortec heads is intake fitment with my OEM EFI intake. There has to be a difference in
The runner hgt for it to work either way.IDK what effect,if any,that may cause.It may be perfectly OK, but,there has to be a difference in runner hgt for it to work.@ this point,i'm hopin real hard that mine r OK.I haven't seriously looked into a lot of heads,but,most I have looked @ start out @ 190cc runner size vs my current 170cc.What effect would this have.My current heads cc'd @ 62 cc.If I could go up to 67 or so,I could run flat tops instead of the D cup KB's.
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:49 PM
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If these turn out to be cracked,i'm definitely gonna ck into aftermarket of some kind.I know I'll catch some flak,but,my shop says that awhile back he wouldn't even suggest PC heads,but,he's used a lot of em in last couple of yrs with no issues.He buys em bare & cks em out,then does all the assembly himself.My biggest concern is with any head that says it will work with Vortec,or,nonVortec heads is intake fitment with my OEM EFI intake. There has to be a difference in
The runner hgt for it to work either way.IDK what effect,if any,that may cause.It may be perfectly OK, but,there has to be a difference in runner hgt for it to work.@ this point,i'm hopin real hard that mine r OK.I haven't seriously looked into a lot of heads,but,most I have looked @ start out @ 190cc runner size vs my current 170cc.What effect would this have.My current heads cc'd @ 62 cc.If I could go up to 67 or so,I could run flat tops instead of the D cup KB's.
you can run 64cc aluminum heads with flat top pistons with no problems, that's basically what a gen2 LT1 is.

If you go aftermarket go with the ones I recommended, same price as PC, still made in china, but better head. 190cc or even 210cc head will run fine, BUT they will run a little differently than 170cc heads, they are built for higher rpm, but can be ran at lower rpm if matched with proper components, especially with a dialed in EFI system.
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:54 PM
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My concern is connecting rods. At jammin' 300 kilo miles these babies are at that design life cycle. While most of your use is as a DD playing in the mud I'm sure demands more RPM and RPMs alone plus lots of throttle opening is just killer on rods. These PMs have proven to be pretty good but they do seem to experience a higher rate of high mileage failure, that may be because older engines that still used the factor forged rod didn't tend to live as long lives for reasons other than rod failure. Like you say at 280 some thousand miles there is low to no wear on the cylinder walls which is not something you'd see 20-30 years ago, those engines would have used up the wall life by 100 or 150 thousand miles, well before the rod's design life would have been lived so those old forgings were not pressed to their life cycle limits like today's PM rods. So I'd recommend some new rods just to cover the possibility of a high cycle fatigue failure. One of my favorites for this type build can be seen at this link <<< Scat Crankshafts >>>.

I think the only way to go with valve springs is with beehives, you get the needed contol with lower spring pressures which while not the concern it is with a flat tappet cam, even a roller cam and the rollerized joints inbetween the lifter and rocker benefit from the reduced effort to keep things tracking that a lighter but more stable spring brings.

Bogie
There are usually some short bursts of high RPMs in the mudding.Mostly from slinging mud from the tires as the tread packs.The truck pulls are mostly for fun & usually shutdown due to wheelhop on the hard packed dirt befor really seein any extended hi RPMs.If I were to get into this very seriously,i'd hav to do some major suspension upgrades before adding anymore power.
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:04 PM
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you can run 64cc aluminum heads with flat top pistons with no problems, that's basically what a gen2 LT1 is.

If you go aftermarket go with the ones I recommended, same price as PC, still made in china, but better head. 190cc or even 210cc head will run fine, BUT they will run a little differently than 170cc heads, they are built for higher rpm, but can be ran at lower rpm if matched with proper components, especially with a dialed in EFI system.
I'll sure ck into em if I end up needing a set.If I get to build the 383 out of my current motor after pulling it,I'm plannin on a more serious build.If this goes rite,the current 350 or 355,if I end up boring, will end up in my son's 93 GMC to replace his 6.2 diesel & the 383 will go into mine.
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:57 PM
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In post #10,I meant to say Vortec,or,NonVortec intake.Not head.LOL. My fingers work faster than my brain @ times.
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Old 06-28-2013, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by gearheadslife View Post
why not a new vortec crate. #12530283 for 4 bolt main change the last # to a 2 for 2 bolt mains.
1919.00 through jegs
ramjet cam 168.00
#
I went the crate engine way before.I'm just gettin back into doin stuff like this.Being a single Dad to 3 kids kinda took most of my time & money,but,now they are grown & I have the urge to get back @ it.I built several SBC & SBF back in my younger yrs,however,most of my hi po experience has been with Harleys.I built & owned a few really quik Sportsters that would smoke alotta riceburners back @ that time period.I do realize now tho that I musta had alotta luck back then cuz now I hav a lil better understanding of things & realize I didn't know jack.LOL.
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