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Old 08-13-2002, 08:29 PM
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Question jack of all trades

I've got a '74 Checker Marathon with a stock GM 350, TH400, Dana 44 with 3.31:1 gears, and a monster x-brace full channel frame. Unfortunately, the motor is a stock neuter making 145hp and 255lb/ft. In replacing the dog I'm looking to turn the Checker into a jack of all trades. Reasonably economical daily driver, highway screaming, beast of burden towing-just about everything but racing. My minimums are 200hp 300lb/ft and 15mpg (its already got a gcvwr of 14,000lbs). I don't mean to sound like a jerk but so far no magazines are geared towards this. Either they aim towards unstreetable power, octogenarian vehicles, ricers, more electronics than a jumbo jet, or something other than a cool ride you can get some use outa. But nobody seems to care about the kind of car you see in 60s adds. Ward rippin down the highway, towin the boat, and gettin the groceries home in traffic. Why else would they put big blocks in all those Catalinas and Squire wagons.
Any suggestions on a durable economical 350? I'm figuring a vortec TBI would be the trick. Scoggins Dickey has a truck TBI crate but its a 2bolt block with cast rotating assembly. At what point does a person need to worry about 2bolt or 4, cast crank or forged, etc. I'm not worried about high rpm, but the motor will see a lot of uphill acceleration under load, so I imagine that involves a lot of stress. Also: is a blown 305 insane? I saw a writeup on a blown 302 chevy that got 20mpg in a chevy II while making tremendous power.

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Old 08-14-2002, 04:59 PM
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i don't think you need to worry about the 2bolt block if you're only looking for 200hp. I would think a 2bolt could easily handle that and i don't think you would need a 4bolt until you're talking some serious performance. I would go for a crate motor. You should be able to pick up a solid engine with enough performance for your application. Also, a cast crank is not that bad in these situations as cast is lighter than forged steel. You also said you're going to keep the revs down so that is good as well. This isn't really a high-performance situation so you don't need all the catch-phrase mods.

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