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Old 08-26-2008, 08:58 PM
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chevy 350 help

I have searched the internet read books and articles and have too many ideas, not enough time or money and need some down to earth solid direction.

First off I have an 84 camaro z28. The 305 was replaced with a 350 by previous owner. The 350 was a TBI engine with center bolt heads #193s. The TBI unit was removed and the carb, intake, and distributor from the 305 was used. Who ever did the work on this car tried to make something out of it but by the time I came around to buying it there were plenty of problems. When I first got it about 8 months ago It smoked bad some of the time. Kept losing transmission fluid and was running rich idle mixture screws had no effect on the engine. I could run them all the way in and it would just keep running.

After weeks of trouble shooting in my spare time added a fuel pressure regulator since I found an electric fuel pump hooked up. (Only found this out since there was a 14 gauge speaker wire shoved into one of the fuses in the fuse box which I thought was just a power wire they used for an amp that use to be in there since all the wiring was still in the trunk for it. I happened to kick the wire out of the fuse box with my foot getting out one night and it took about 30 minutes to find out it was my fuel pump power the next morning when my car won't run.)

With the fuel pressure regulator I was able to set my idle mixture screws. Made some improvement at idle.

A few days later I come to discover someone had hooked a manifold vacuum line from the carb to the vent tube on the transmission. This was the source of my smoking issue and transmission leak.

3 months ago I had lost my 3-4 clutch pack in the transmission. Probably from the constant drops in transmission fluid in the car over the years. Luckily my wife had a bonus and gave me $3000 to spend on my car. I spend 1200 to have the transmission rebuilt. The shop modified the valve body, he said he could do the same thing a shift kit would do and I won't have to spend the extra money on the kit. Also he updated the transmission with a 30 spline input shaft from the 27 spline.

I had a hard time trying to decide what to do with the car. It looks good from a distance but needs TLC to just about everything.

I had 2 olds 403 motors which I wanted to build one to put in the camaro since I have seen some good results from this combo online. 2 Friends from work each tried to talk me into a different direction. One was a simple man and told me just to stick with the 350 since parts are easy to find and I could get things on impulse since that's how I end up buying most of my stuff. While my other friend has always work on 350's wanted me to build the 403 since it has some great low end torque and this car was going to continue to be a daily driver, I just want the most power in a dependable street car.

So I decided to put money into the simple bolt on stuff. Holley 600 carb with vac sec. MSD street fire distributor, Edelbrock performer RPM intake, UMI subframe connectors, Energy Suspension Master Bushing kit, MSD custom wires, New A/C compressor, hoses, orifice tube, evaporator core, and accumulator.

Now at this point in time I have only installed the Distributor, Carb and the A/C components. I did install the sway bar end links in the bushing kit since they were quick and easy.

I have been waiting on the intake since I have been thinking about doing the cam and heads.

The bad thing is I just spent 5 grand to move for my wife and kids and took a 30,000 dollar a year pay cut with my new job. Our cost of living is much less since we moved to Iowa from Mississippi. I am limited to maybe $300 a month I can spare on "extras" for my car, as my wife calls it.

So what do I do?

Do I just go ahead an put the intake on there and worry about the cam and heads in a year?

Do I save some money and get new heads and a new cam?

Do I get a new cam and used heads?

Or do I stop where I am at with the engine and finish the suspension and interior. And save for a new motor altogether?

Should I build the 403?

I have 3 small kids, ages 2,3,4, so I don't have much free time. 98% of my tools I keep at work. the only good thing is my step father and uncle both live 30 minutes away and are both pretty good shade trees.

What do you all think. I drive about 3 miles a day. maybe 30 to 40 miles a week.

I don't know how many miles on the engine all I know is that it seems stock. I have also replaced the starer and alternator.

Give me your suggestions so hopefully I will have an better idea of what to shot for.


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Old 08-26-2008, 09:22 PM
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Small block to small block I am a 350 fan. depending on what your 350 came out of, stock should be around 220. The olds 403 from 77- 79 came equiped with 185 stock. But with with a little cash you could be pushing 300-350 hp with it. A set of early olds 350 heads for more compression. You will want to add a cam and intake to match the heads. upgrade your HEI to include a 50,000 volt coil. must stress, the details (degree the cam, port match the intake and heads, performance HEI with curve kit) will maximize your performance gains. cost roughly
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:28 PM
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Chevy Help

Stick with the small block, cheap and reliable. Add stuff when you can. Interior and paint won't get you home. It's gotta run and stop to do that.

Last edited by sonicweb; 08-26-2008 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:38 PM
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I have come to realize I need to be patient with my car and that this is a project that I will have for many years to come. I want to have a car that I can take to a show someday but able to drive it around. I think it should handle and drive as well as it looks. So for me my plan is to make every upgrade that will improve drive and handling as well as looks.

I want to be able to enjoy driving it as much as I enjoy working on it.

My ultimate goal is to get the most power out of it without turning it into a race car.
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