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Old 03-24-2013, 08:02 PM
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Help with my engine build

I have a stock 1972 Chevelle 4 door hardtop in great shape except for the tired engine. I ran across an L-31 GM crate engine, 12530282 for 96-00 trucks with vortec heads and roller cam for just under $1900. My plan was to put the cam from the RamJet 350 in it with an Edelbrock Performer Vortec intake and 600 cfm carb. Is the RamJet cam 14097395 intended to be run 4 degrees retarded or at 0 degrees? Can I run with an early timing chain set with the old style timing cover? Would that cause any problems with the balancer that comes with the engine? What ignition system should I use. My thoughts are this would be a smooth torquey combo that would work great in my TH350, 2.73 rear gear, Chevelle. Thanks in advance for the help!

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Old 03-25-2013, 01:16 AM
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4 degrees early might be even better with 273 gears. do you have build specs for the engine?
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:11 AM
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The difference between the two cams does not justify the swap.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:32 AM
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Not much difference between the two cams. FYI, the balancer on the engine now has a shorter neck that compensates for the reluctor ring for the crank sensor.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:25 AM
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Agreed on cam

Cam A 1996-2002 L31 Vortec 350/1994-96 Impala SS/Caprice Iron head LT1 350/94-96 Caprice L99 4.3 V8 camshaft has specs of:
191║/196║ 0.412"/.428" on a 111║LSA

Cam B The Ramjet 350/HT383/Marine 305-350-383 cam specs:
196║/206║ 0.431"/.451" 109║ LSA

Not worth the money or time to swap out from cam A to cam B

Decent price on the p/n 282 longblock.

The balance that comes with the longblock is slightly narrower in order to fit the 4x reluctor wheel which is under the timing cover.
The width of this part:


Here are the 2 balancers


Here is the timing set you should run its the LT4 chain and its only $50 for the set, bought individually the parts are $180 (LT4 had stock rev limit of 6412 rpm, this is a good single roller chain-not sure what your crate will have as is though)
p/n 12371043



Here are the 2 front covers


And here is the front of a roller cam block like your 880 block.


Front timing cover part number that has the crank position sensor hole(the cover that came with your crate engine) 10244600

p/n for the plastic front cover that does NOT have the CKP sensor hole is
12562818 . This cover comes on the ZZ383, ZZ4 etc crates.

peace
Hog
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:30 PM
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Wait wait wait, hold up for a minute. $1900!!!? For a 350 are you crazy? That is NOT a good deal. Unless it's brand freaking new and fully dressed there is no way you should even think about paying more than $500or $600 for a used engine.
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:15 PM
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Thanks for the pics Hog. It's been 30 years since I've wrenched on a sb chevy. I've never seen the roller cam/plastic front cover before. The bolt pattern looks the same so is it possible to use an old school metal cover? If I did would I need a new balancer? Also, is their a slightly higher performance cam that would still work with the stock springs on the vortecs? The other route I thought about taking is rebuilding my current 2 bolt main short block and using a set of bowtie heads. They have much better springs and I would have more cam choices. Thanks again from an old school newb.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eversincetomorrow View Post
Thanks for the pics Hog. It's been 30 years since I've wrenched on a sb chevy. I've never seen the roller cam/plastic front cover before. The bolt pattern looks the same so is it possible to use an old school metal cover? If I did would I need a new balancer? Also, is their a slightly higher performance cam that would still work with the stock springs on the vortecs? The other route I thought about taking is rebuilding my current 2 bolt main short block and using a set of bowtie heads. They have much better springs and I would have more cam choices. Thanks again from an old school newb.
Nothing wrong with a 2 bolt. It will hold 350+hp without a fuss. If you want more than that then go with splayed caps. It will be stronger than any stock 4 bolt out there. This is the reason I prefer 2 bolts. Go ahead and use that since you already have it. You can retrofit the roller cam into it too, not hard at all. Just please don't buy that $1900 used engine, there's no reason why you should pay that much and then have to build it on top of that. I could understand if it was built and ready to go, but for something that you're going to have to buy more parts and put in more work, it's just a rip off.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:53 PM
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The $1900 engine is a new 96-00 chevy truck long block pn 12530282 complete except the intake, carb and distributor. That seemed like a pretty good deal for a roller cam, vortec head engine that would have a 100,000 mile warranty if I was installing it in a chevy truck. I figured I'd probably spend close to that rebuilding my current engine including the cost of new heads...plus I'd be able to build the engine first then just swap the two out. At first I thought the only exteior difference was the centerbolt valve covers on the vortec heads. Then I found out about the different timing cover. I'm not sure I want center bolt valve covers and a plastic timing cover in my now completely stock '72 Chevelle. I think I'm leaning toward a set of small port bowtie heads and rebuilding my current engine. That way I can keep the car looking more period correct.
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eversincetomorrow View Post
The $1900 engine is a new 96-00 chevy truck long block pn 12530282 complete except the intake, carb and distributor. That seemed like a pretty good deal for a roller cam, vortec head engine that would have a 100,000 mile warranty if I was installing it in a chevy truck. I figured I'd probably spend close to that rebuilding my current engine including the cost of new heads...plus I'd be able to build the engine first then just swap the two out. At first I thought the only exteior difference was the centerbolt valve covers on the vortec heads. Then I found out about the different timing cover. I'm not sure I want center bolt valve covers and a plastic timing cover in my now completely stock '72 Chevelle. I think I'm leaning toward a set of small port bowtie heads and rebuilding my current engine. That way I can keep the car looking more period correct.
Alright well for a new engine it's a decent price. But remember you have to pay for that then pay for all the parts you want to swap in. With building your current motor you just buy the parts you want to begin with and you're set. It will be cheaper to build your current engine. It will take some extra time since you have to pull it, build it, reinstall it. But unless it's your daily driver i don't see why it would be a problem.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:35 PM
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Thanks for the input. I leaning towards building my current engine. just need to pick out a good cam to go with small port bowtie heads, Edelbrock Performer, and 600 cfm carb. Any thoughts??
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:28 AM
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A new engine comes at a decent price. However, you will need to shell out an additional amount of money on the parts you want to add in your vehicle. So it entirely depends on you now.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eversincetomorrow View Post
Thanks for the input. I leaning towards building my current engine. just need to pick out a good cam to go with small port bowtie heads, Edelbrock Performer, and 600 cfm carb. Any thoughts??

Lunati 10120701 or 10120702 depending on more specific details of your engine/car/usage
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