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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 11-18-2011, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starnest
If you do decide on headers, for me it's a simple choice.

Hooker Competition, there have been thousands of them used on sbc El Camino's and Chevelles. They are good quality, will fit nicely, and offer great performance for any street driven application. Unless you are going to build a screaming stroker motor you don't need more headers.

Even if you have small exhaust pipes and stock mufflers, the headers will probably help. If you plan other upgrades, then at least 2" pipes (Not saying bigger won't be better, just not needed) and some free flow mufflers should be part of your plan. But, I usually wait until I need to replace them before I spend the money.
i appreciate the post! i'm researching headers as i want something good, don't want poor quality but looking at the prices i certainly don't want over kill for daily driver car.
Mark

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Old 11-18-2011, 09:32 AM
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My advice is about the same as others.

Your crate engine, if the engine is a GM crate get the casting numbers of the back and engine ID number of the RH front block tab. I can get it identified.

Headers & exhaust. The main advantage to them is heat removal, dual exhaust and headers flow more and remove power robbing heat. On a stock engine combo, the advantages are minimal, as you change the engine cam, intake etc, the exhaust system upgrade enhances those changes. Highly recommended.

head and cam, too big of a cam can kill the drive ability & mileage. Some of the new grinds by Lunati are very responsive and driver friendly. Example: Lunati 60101 A lot of cams in this area are same ones used for years and years by other company's like comp. I am not saying Comp is bad, they are just marginal when others have better. IMHO with results.

One of the best upgrades and eliminates the ZDDP issue is upgrade to a Hydraulic roller cam, nothing gives better bang for the buck IMHO. .500 lift and short duration rollers are a hot ticket getting the best of both worlds with great increased air flow and still keeping it friendly.

head change, being the engine is a 72, you might luck out and have a descent set already. With that said, those heads of that era don't hold a candle to whats available today. One of the most affordable durable changes is going to a Vortec GM head. They work, build torque and keep drive ability and increase mileage in mild performance engines.

it's hard to stay in moderation when wanting more performance, it's easy to go overboard.

Now that I got your head spinning, good luck.

Al
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:43 AM
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Mark,
You get what you pay for in headers and the finish on Thorley's is usually second to none. The coating will make them last twice as long as non coated headers and I currently pay $200-500 a set to get race headers coated depending on the materials I coat with. You will also see that they are pretty close to equal length tubes so you engine will pulse properly. You will also see the collecters are nicer than most.

As far as rockers go you have to realize that they increase the cam profile as well as increasing the lift curve over the entire range of valve travel.

If you spend a little extra and get the MSD pick-up for HEI you will see immediate results.

Are these items worth it and will they make power.

I have had my own Superflow Chassis DYno and Flow Bench for 25 years and I have a pretty good handle on what makes engines perform better for the least amount of work and money.

I have been bolting pieces on peoples cars / trucks for 25 years and tell them if it don't make more power don't buy it.

As far as carbs I am not a big fan of Q-Jets as I am a Holley guy. I think quadra-jets are quirky and hard for customers to tune. I work on 10 holleys a week and have been forever so I know them and how to get them to run almost as good as fuel injection.

Best thing to do if you want to increase your performance substantially is start on another engine and piece it together as you can afford it but you can build a 500ft# SBC that still is street drivable for less than 5K. I am working on one for a Mustang right now and it will be a 350 block based, 390" aluminum head, should get 15mpg and make 500hp / 500ft# and turn up to 6500 if you want to. That includes a set of my Alien heads for a little over a grand complete.

If you purchase all your other stuff wisely it will all apply to your next engine build.

Also, I am not against SuperComp Hookers but they are not really a good street header, as they are short and big tube and unless you drag race from red light to red light stick with a smaller, long tube equal length header.
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Old 11-18-2011, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THE BIG AL
My advice is about the same as others.

Your crate engine, if the engine is a GM crate get the casting numbers of the back and engine ID number of the RH front block tab. I can get it identified.

Headers & exhaust. The main advantage to them is heat removal, dual exhaust and headers flow more and remove power robbing heat. On a stock engine combo, the advantages are minimal, as you change the engine cam, intake etc, the exhaust system upgrade enhances those changes. Highly recommended.

head and cam, too big of a cam can kill the drive ability & mileage. Some of the new grinds by Lunati are very responsive and driver friendly. Example: Lunati 60101 A lot of cams in this area are same ones used for years and years by other company's like comp. I am not saying Comp is bad, they are just marginal when others have better. IMHO with results.

One of the best upgrades and eliminates the ZDDP issue is upgrade to a Hydraulic roller cam, nothing gives better bang for the buck IMHO. .500 lift and short duration rollers are a hot ticket getting the best of both worlds with great increased air flow and still keeping it friendly.

head change, being the engine is a 72, you might luck out and have a descent set already. With that said, those heads of that era don't hold a candle to whats available today. One of the most affordable durable changes is going to a Vortec GM head. They work, build torque and keep drive ability and increase mileage in mild performance engines.

it's hard to stay in moderation when wanting more performance, it's easy to go overboard.

Now that I got your head spinning, good luck.

Al


again this engine is a new rebuilt engine, its is not the original 72 motor. ( this is my 5th motor since owning the car in 1982 including the original 402 i had swapped out when i was young and dumb. my dad had a shop and we thought for better gas millage a 350 would be better)

it doesn't seem the change from stock iron manifolds to headers are minimal from what i have been reading and seems to be a good step in being ready for a head/cam swap down the road as well. i don't think one would change the heads/cam and then down the road do headers, correct?

i appreciate the cam information.


so a Hydraulic roller cam with the stock head ports is the way to go?
you can see i want to do a little at a time here. or would going with a move to Vortec heads be a better choice?
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 11-18-2011, 03:51 PM
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That casting is not a GM crate engine.

That is a 350 2/4 bolt main block covers about 15 years.

Al
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 11-18-2011, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THE BIG AL
That casting is not a GM crate engine.

That is a 350 2/4 bolt main block covers about 15 years.

Al
is this good or bad?
thanks Al,
Mark
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Old 11-18-2011, 05:13 PM
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Al is right, you have a regular production 350 block. Production of this block started in 69 and continued for about 15 years with HP ratings up to 370, my book only covers 70-75. These engines were built in 2 and 4 bolt configurations with both cast and forged crankshafts.

There is a 3 character date code cast on the other side (top -rear) that will help identify the year. The next step is to check for stamping numbers on the block (front of deck, rh side), sometimes these get removed by machining on rebuilt engines.

Also we want to identify the heads, first look for the casting symbols on the front end of the heads (a picture would be good). Then you might want to pull a valve cover and get the casting number and/or date codes on the heads.
Since we won't know if the heads have been milled or received other work, identifying the heads will just be a good guess, still useful information for deciding what updates will help.
When we know what heads you have, we can figure out compression and other things to better choose a cam or other upgrades.

I do like Al's idea to build the engine you want a little at a time while still enjoying your El Camino for cruising.
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