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Old 04-26-2012, 02:07 PM
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Advice on my unknown 350

Hey guys. So I bought this 65 Nova. It's got a 350, TH350 with a shift kit, rear end is a 10 bolt Posi with 3.73 gears.

This is what I know just from a visual. The engine is running an Edlebrock RPM airgap, Edlebrock 600 carb, I installed an Accel HEI distributor, it's got Headman shorty headers into 2 1/12" exaust and 40 series Flowmasters. No x pipe. The heads are 882s.

Engine runs well. Sounds like it has a bit of a cam in it. Although its a bit of a dog off the line at WOT. But when it it's about 2500 3000rpm it pulls hard and chirps 2nd gear pretty hard. I'm trying to Discribe it the best I can because I would like some thoughts as to what I might have inside this engine. Maybe it's impossible to tell at all without tearing it down. The previous owner was a young guy just out of the military. He bought it off his buddy who just shipped out to Afghanistan. He had to sell it because of a nasty divorce/custody. But he didn't know all the details of the build. I asked him to try and find out but he never got back to me.

The car was set up for the track. Heidts subframe, gutted with a single racing seat, Fuel cell in the trunk. Batt in the trunk. All new fuel lines and steel braided stuff. They dumped some money into this car. Oh to be young!

Anyway I'm trying to figure out how I can improve my bottom end without totally taking it apart. Maybe it needs a stall? Wondering if the heads were worked? Any way to tell without taking them off? I'd like to get the Edlebrock RPM cam to match the intake. But if the heads are not worked they will need to be.

How would you guys go about this? Just start taking it apart? Or are there things I could look for to give me hints on what I'll need to do? And how do you think this setup will run with the intake and cam with the 882 heads? I have an extra set of those heads in my garage. And a very good shop in my area who's has been there for 50 years quoted me 335.00 to work them for the RPM cam. That's a rebuild with a 3 angle grind. Stock valves. If I did that should I go with 2.02s? Of would I not see the benifit with this setup? I'm on a budget and am trying to use as much of the stuff I have already. Much of it looks newer. Any advice will be welcome.
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Old 04-26-2012, 02:24 PM
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it sounds as if you have an over cam'd motor for the current vehicle set up. my advice would be to try and find out what stall is in it. this wont give you and accurate number but it can help to let you know whether the stall is a factory style stall or an aftermarket one; footbrake it, at a dead stop hold the break in and slowly press in the gas, pay attention to your tach and see at around what rpm you start to break the tires loose.

dont put any money into those 882 heads, others have heard me say this before and i'm gonna say it again "you can polish a turd all you want but in the end you just end up with a shiny turd". i would say look into a set of heads with around a 180cc intake runner.

one way to get an idea of what kind of cam in the motor would be to pull the valve cover, pull the sparkplugs out, have a friend hand crank the motor over slowly while you measure how far the pushrod (any cylinder) goes up from being on the base of the cam to the lobe (highest the pushrod goes up) then multiply that number by 1.5, this will give you an idea of how much lift the cam has but you will need a digital micrometer to do this.

other than doing these things, there isn't much you will find out without taking somethings apart. as far as ordering that performer rpm cam, i would buy a different set of heads first to see how the cam in there responds to that.
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Old 04-26-2012, 03:49 PM
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Thanks for the advice. Good idea on measuring the cam. I'll do that. As for the heads? I know they are the best of the worst heads. If I had more money I'd go with Vortecs and a new intake. I'm not looking to squeeze every bit of power out of this motor. I just thought for 335.00 for both heads sounded like a much smaller investment over almost double the amount for the cheapest Summit heads I could find. And the only have 165cc intake runners. And would I see double the improvement? Unless you or anyone has another suggestion on a set of heads?

Oh on the cam that's in there now? It doesn't sound like a very big cam. The lope on it isn't too crazy. And if it was a high lift cam I would think these heads would have been worked to accept something big.

Quote:
Originally Posted by my87Z
it sounds as if you have an over cam'd motor for the current vehicle set up. my advice would be to try and find out what stall is in it. this wont give you and accurate number but it can help to let you know whether the stall is a factory style stall or an aftermarket one; footbrake it, at a dead stop hold the break in and slowly press in the gas, pay attention to your tach and see at around what rpm you start to break the tires loose.

dont put any money into those 882 heads, others have heard me say this before and i'm gonna say it again "you can polish a turd all you want but in the end you just end up with a shiny turd". i would say look into a set of heads with around a 180cc intake runner.

one way to get an idea of what kind of cam in the motor would be to pull the valve cover, pull the sparkplugs out, have a friend hand crank the motor over slowly while you measure how far the pushrod (any cylinder) goes up from being on the base of the cam to the lobe (highest the pushrod goes up) then multiply that number by 1.5, this will give you an idea of how much lift the cam has but you will need a digital micrometer to do this.

other than doing these things, there isn't much you will find out without taking somethings apart. as far as ordering that performer rpm cam, i would buy a different set of heads first to see how the cam in there responds to that.
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Old 04-26-2012, 04:39 PM
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it is a waste of money, think long term here. if you are willing to spend 300+ right now then save that money and maybe a few months from now you can spend a little more. i'm not much for spending alittle money now and getting sub par results i would rather save my money and spend a little more later and know i did somthing right.


if you do spend the money on the heads you might get another 10-20hp MAX, but if you save that money and spend wisely you could see up to a 60-80hp gain depending on how the motor is already built.
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Old 04-26-2012, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my87Z
it is a waste of money, think long term here. if you are willing to spend 300+ right now then save that money and maybe a few months from now you can spend a little more. i'm not much for spending alittle money now and getting sub par results i would rather save my money and spend a little more later and know i did somthing right.


if you do spend the money on the heads you might get another 10-20hp MAX, but if you save that money and spend wisely you could see up to a 60-80hp gain depending on how the motor is already built.
Would that be the gain in HP you think? I guess I was thinking I'd get a lot more than 10-20hp. If that's so then it would be a waste of money. I was thinking with the matching cam to the intake and the head work I'd get somewhere in the 50hp range. But that's just me guessing at a number. my plans down the line are a 383 and 700r. It's just a street cruiser. But it needs to smoke the tires once in awhile.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:11 PM
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To get 50 more horse out of those heads you would need to do a good amount of material removal but in doing so you would loose bottom end power. And the amount of money you would spend in getting those heads to flow any decent numbers you could buy a decent we of aftermarket iron heads. Head work is expensive, I'm sure the quote you got was pretty much for disassembly, stock rebuild with cheap "Z28" springs and maybe a little guide clearancing. This work really wouldn't have gotten you any more up over stock. It would just allow you to run a larger lift cam.
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my87Z
To get 50 more horse out of those heads you would need to do a good amount of material removal but in doing so you would loose bottom end power. And the amount of money you would spend in getting those heads to flow any decent numbers you could buy a decent we of aftermarket iron heads. Head work is expensive, I'm sure the quote you got was pretty much for disassembly, stock rebuild with cheap "Z28" springs and maybe a little guide clearancing. This work really wouldn't have gotten you any more up over stock. It would just allow you to run a larger lift cam.
Ok, thank you for that info. What heads would you suggest? The edlebrock RPMs would match the cam and intake. Is there another set that would work well? I don't have to go with the RPM cam. Can you or anyone suggest a cam and heads that would work well with the intake I have? Looking for something with a bit of a lope to it. Also want more bottom end if possible. Thanks!
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:39 PM
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If the cam you got now is anything else but stock you will improve the Low end response a lot by recurving that distributor you dropped in.

try 20 to 24deg base timing and 34 to 36deg max mechanical.
to get this curve:

Shorten-limit the curve from stock 20-22deg to around 10-12deg mechanical.
Use 92 octane gas and some CHampion RV8c or RV9YC plugs (.035" gap)
in your crappy 882 heads.
with this new more agressive timing curve.

The increased idle timing really helps the throttle response.

One way to evaluate the cams size is to measure the intake manifold vacuum at idle. (1000 rpm) the result will give you a idea of the cam duration.
Combine that with measureing the cam lobe lift at the pushrod, should nail down the cam ID.


Big cams (like the edelbrock performer rpm cam) need increased compression and a high stall converter. And dos not like a crappy head like the 882.
The 882 heads have a large chamber and poor low flow ports.
Get different better heads.

A really good entry level hi perf cylinder head is the Brodix IK200 w a 64cc chamber. Big gains over the 882 heads.
Do not spend money paying anyone to work on 882 heads.

If you want to use the edelbrock rpm cam, get a 10" 3500stall converter.

If you want to use the stock 2000 stall th350 converter get a cam with less duration
218 or less @.050"
The edelbrock 600carb will need fine tuning to get it right.
acel shooters, jets, rods, accelerator pump linkage adjsutments.

You really want a 750cfm on that 350 for max performance.

The 882 heads really limit how much power the engine can make.
low port flow and large, crappy low cr chamber.
Big cams do not like these restrictive heads at all.

Last edited by F-BIRD'88; 04-29-2012 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F-BIRD'88
If the cam you got now is anything else but stock you will improve the Low end response a lot by recurving that distributor you dropped in.

try 20 to 24deg base timing and 34 to 36deg max mechanical.
to get this curve:

Shorten-limit the curve from stock 20-22deg to around 10-12deg mechanical.
Use 92 octane gas and some CHampion RV8c or RV9YC plugs (.035" gap)
in your crappy 882 heads.
with this new more agressive timing curve.

The increased idle timing really helps the throttle response.

One way to evaluate the cams size is to measure the intake manifold vacuum at idle. (1000 rpm) the result will give you a idea of the cam duration.
Combine that with measureing the cam lobe lift at the pushrod, should nail down the cam ID.


Big cams (like the edelbrock performer rpm cam) need increased compression and a high stall converter. And dos not like a crappy head like the 882.
The 882 heads have a large chamber and poor low flow ports.
Get different better heads.

A really good entry level hi perf cylinder head is the Brodix IK200 w a 64cc chamber. Big gains over the 882 heads.
Do not spend money paying anyone to work on 882 heads.

If you want to use the edelbrock rpm cam, get a 10" 3500stall converter.

If you want to use the stock 2000 stall th350 converter get a cam with less duration
218 or less @.050"
The edelbrock 600carb will need fine tuning to get it right.
acel shooters, jets, rods, accelerator pump linkage adjsutments.

You really want a 750cfm on that 350 for max performance.

The 882 heads really limit how much power the engine can make.
low port flow and large, crappy low cr chamber.
Big cams do not like these restrictive heads at all.
Thank you for that added info! I will research your walk through on the recurve here. I'm pretty sure you have written one up. Guess I'll start collecting parts. If I went for those heads would the RPM cam be the best choice with the RPM intake I have? Or would you suggest another cam? Thanks for your help!
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:08 AM
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The performer rpm cam would not be my prefered choice.
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F-BIRD'88
The performer rpm cam would not be my prefered choice.
Well if you had the intake and didn't want to spend on another. Which cam would you get? I'm just trying to use the intake that I have to save a few bucks. Plus it looks new. With this intake and the heads you mentioned, what cam would you get? Sorry this is not my expertise.
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