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Old 11-28-2003, 12:58 PM
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cheap engine build on a chevy 350

what would be the easiest and cheapest engine build for a chevy 350 to achieve at least 400 hp i would like about 450 but 400 is good and stay under about 2g and performes good on my 63 nova just any info would help


thanks

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Old 11-28-2003, 01:00 PM
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http://www.carcraft.com/techarticles/81998/index.html

That's what I am pursuing. I doubt you will manage under $2k. However, if you get a cheap short block and assemble the parts together yourself, I think it is doable.

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Old 11-28-2003, 02:15 PM
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It depends what kind of 400 hp you want. There's the normal kind of 400 hp that a lot of people have, and then there's the real 400 hp! It's my opinion that most people who think they have 400 hp, actually have far less. My point is that making 400 or 450 hp out of a small block is quite a bit of power. I suppose it could be done with $2000, but not easily (if at all). There is a huge difference in the cost of parts between making a 325 and 450 hp small block. I think you're going to have to inflate your budget if you want to make an honest 400 hp. My 0.02; good luck
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Old 11-28-2003, 03:21 PM
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heads to allow you to get up to 400hp and/or beyond are gonna be in the $1500 range

trying to hit 400 in my 351W but it's gonna take more than a $3k budget so far

you can reach 400 hp with a 350hp motor and a 50hp nitrous shot for cheaper but the engine might not last (but it's a thought)
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Old 11-28-2003, 05:30 PM
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I think my principle in making big power on a budget would definitely be as follows:

1: I would use an inexpensive type 2 bolt block and cast crank
2: I would probably opt for some KB type flat top pistons
3: I would keep compression around 9.5:1
4: Use one of the most modern hydraulic flat tappet cams (more cost effective than a roller)
5: I would most definitely opt for the factory Vortec head
6:I would use either an Edelbrock RPM air gap or Victor Jr. Intake with the tried and true 3310 style holley carb.
7: Cam selection would be the critical choice in an engine like this, and would really dictate maximum horsepower and driveability. If you want that 450 horses, you are going to sacrifice streetability.

I believe this would easily attain the desired 400 plus horsepower within the constraints of the 2,000.00 budget.
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Old 11-28-2003, 05:50 PM
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Why not just spend your 2 grand on your motor, make it reliable. It will be a strong runner, dependable and fun. Just let the numbers fall where they lay. They mean nothing anyways. Just have fun with it.
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Old 11-28-2003, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by NAIRB
2: I would probably opt for some KB type flat top pistons.
if all you had to do was pop everything off and throw in new slugs, but what about the cost of machining the block and alignboring the mains, turning the crank if needed, ect.

I thought i could get 400hp easy out of a 350cid engine, but it's the stuff you don't think about that ends up adding up
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Old 11-28-2003, 07:01 PM
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Everyone is making sense here!

$2000 is a tough way to meet that goal...but it is possible.. Raise your budget to $3000 and it is much easier!

Look at it this way......A 80`s carburerated 350 c.i. engine is worth about 240 hp. A good set of heads are worth a potential 100 hp and a decent cam.. toss on another 30-40 horsepower. That equation would bring you to about 375 hp. As far as I`m concerned that`s where you stay until you re-build the bottom end, unless you toss on nitrous............ but I would not do that unless you build up the bottom end.

If you build the bottom end ( pistons , over bore ) then you can raise your Compression Ratio and that would be a ticket to get you into the 400+ hp range...but only if you have a bigger carb (750 cfm) and adequete air flow.

Have you ever heard of "Cheap Street"? Them boys have 350 Carb engines ( with Nitrous) that run in the 9 second range AND they spend no more than $3000 on thier engines...
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Old 11-28-2003, 07:26 PM
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I am well aware of what machine shop operations cost, as that's what I do for a living, and in no way do I infer that you need to skip basic machining costs factored into the equation.
What I am saying is that if you are on a budget, you probably need to forget about trick parts so you CAN afford to have your block properly machined. I, in no way gave the idea that you could basically take the heads and pan off of your greasy engine and put some KB pistons in there, and voila!!!!! you have 400 horses, not at all.
So, let's assume the guy that's putting this engine together has some basic mechanical ability, because if he doesn't, forget it, he can't get the job done for $2,000.00 because he is going to have to have someone else do it for him, and unless he's got a buddy who is in the know, his budget is doomed. Now, let's assume he does know, like I do. Here is the budget to a "T"

1.One Good, non fuel injected core engine----- $100.00
2.Disassembly and general inspection ---- do it yourself
3.Hot tank block and magnaflux----- $80.00
4.Block inspection, deck warp, main bearing sizing and general inspection--- do it yourself.
5. Grind and polish crankshaft --- $80.00
6. Bore and hone block with torqueplate--125.00
7. Hot tank miscellaneous parts, pan, front cover etc----$20.00
8. Recondition stock type connecting rods with ARP bolts---$100.00
9. Stock type rebuild kit with high volume pump and double roller chain, includes, rings, rod bearings, main bearings, cam bearings and complete gasket set------$150.00
10. KB flat top pistons----$250.00
11. Install pistons-----$40.00
12. Install cam bearings---$40.00
13. Vortec Cylinder heads, reman with performance springs ---$400.00
14. Vortec compatible intake manifold---$150.00
15. 3310 Holley--- $150.00 or cheaper for used
16. Name brand cam and lifter set----- $150.00
17. Fuel pump---$35.00
18. Distributor--- stock HEI with new cap, budget performance module and rotor---- $50.00
19. New pushrods and rockers---- $75.00

It's easy to see that it would not be hard to do at all, and you could make some deals here and there on some good used stuff, and get it down even cheaper. You could get a deal on a carb, and opt for some roller tipped rockers or find a cam and lifters on sale. I could do this deal all week long for 2 grand. Yea, maybe you spend a few more coins for chrome, plugs, wires and oil. Just some skill and some saavy shopping is all that's needed.
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Old 11-28-2003, 08:46 PM
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That is a good recipe for a good engine. It would certainly be a lot of fun, and it would make an early nova fly. However, I still think that's more of a 350 horse buildup, not 400 hp. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with 350 hp! And sure, a huge solid lifter cam might make up most of the difference, but that will take some compromising in driveability.
dh
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Old 11-28-2003, 09:09 PM
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The secret to the horsepower is going to be air flow. The factory 350 LT-1 was rated at 360 horsepower, used an inferior flowing set of heads, old school solid cam and Z-28 style intake.
I know for a fact, that with proper cam selection and careful tuning you can ring 400 plus horsepower out of a setup like the one listed above.
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Old 11-29-2003, 01:10 AM
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Do you just flat out want 400HP or do you want to run a certain ET at the track?

If it is the later of the two, what ET are you shooting for???
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Old 11-29-2003, 08:25 AM
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budget 400hp build on 350

Follow the article to part 5 (1st article)

Then look thru the many dyno sheets
in the 2nd link -

Seems a stock 2 bolt lo comp block, upgraded Vortec heads, thinner head gaskets to get comp up to lo 9's, Perf RPM intake, Demon or Holley, and Comp Cams XE268 (or 262 for better lo & mid range, about same max hp) flat tappet hydr with 1.6 rockers can do it.

http://www.corvettefaq.com/c3/goodwr...20part%201.htm
http://ryanscarpage.50megs.com/combos2.html

enjoy!!

In the last thread, in the dyno articles,.
check comb's 73, 78, 83 & 99 -
particularly 78 & 99. Outstanding power
with Vortecs, RPM intake, and the Comp XE cam!

Last edited by macx; 11-29-2003 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 11-29-2003, 09:28 AM
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Dont forget about the tranny and rear and also traction...If you are gonna beef up the engine.Nothing worse than putting all your $$$ in one thing that ends up breaking something else....Jay
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Old 11-29-2003, 12:04 PM
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well thanks for all the help i forgot to mentioned that i already had the engine it is a latter year 350 four bolt main its all std. i picked it up from a friend which does machine work so i can get the machine work done for a reasonable price plus i dont really want to run any additives such as nitrous or a blower.
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