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Old 07-15-2012, 02:40 PM
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Oil Leakin, Poor Performin, AWD S10

Hey all, after getting my engine in my truck, got a couple questions I hope to get the answers to in this fine place.

First, it is a (supposedly) stone stock late 70s 350, with an Edelbrock Victor intake and a Holley 600. It seems to run okay, not as quick as I think it should be, but I have no basis for comparison. Is this intake restricting my horsepower, and am I better off with something like, say, a Performer RPM?

Second, I have an oil leak. Looks like it is coming from the head gasket, at the right rear of the motor. Is it more likely to be the intake, or the head gasket needing replaced?

Thanks...

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Old 07-15-2012, 02:43 PM
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well if it is stone stock, you'd be much happier with a performer eps intake

it will give you a lot more power in the bottom end

maybe some headers will help make the most out of that holley and intake

as for your oil leak, it's most likely your rear main seal, try some black rtv on the valve covers and tighten them down good hopefully that's your leak instead of the rear main

Last edited by xzero117; 07-15-2012 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 07-15-2012, 03:22 PM
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A head gasket's not going to leak oil. A rear main seal leak will be at the crank near the bottom of the block. I'd look around the valve covers, (don't tighten them super tight you'll only crush or push out the gasket), rear of the intake, distributor base and oil pressure line next to it. If your valve covers are stamped steel, do you have spanners on the bolt holes, on the rails?
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big_c_snow View Post
Hey all, after getting my engine in my truck, got a couple questions I hope to get the answers to in this fine place.

First, it is a (supposedly) stone stock late 70s 350, with an Edelbrock Victor intake and a Holley 600. It seems to run okay, not as quick as I think it should be, but I have no basis for comparison. Is this intake restricting my horsepower, and am I better off with something like, say, a Performer RPM?

Second, I have an oil leak. Looks like it is coming from the head gasket, at the right rear of the motor. Is it more likely to be the intake, or the head gasket needing replaced?

Thanks...
The problem with a stone stock late 1970's 350 is that they don't make much power to start with (somewhere around 190), so it for sure isn't going to be as quick as you think it should be.

Better intakes and carbs are not a lot of help as the real problem with getting power from these engines is way inside. The cam timing is extremely mild usually not more than 180 degrees of duration measured at .050 inch lift with peak lifts at the valve of under .4 inch. The compression ratios are low, while GM advertises about 8 to 1 nearly everyone of these I've had apart measures out around 7.2 to 7.8. While the combustion chamber shape is poor with the spark plug mounted way off from the center of the chamber resulting in a long burn time, the real problems come with the circular dish piston which has very little squish/quench activity. The lack of squish/quench makes the engine detonation and preignition prone if you push the compression up where it needs to be which would be about 9 to 1. It also makes for a lazy chamber with inadequate swirl which in turn drives you to run more fuel through it to get the meager power it does produce. On the good side these engines produce very little in the way of NOx emissions.

Unfortunately the only path to getting power is to replace the cam and pistons, and everything above them.

Bogie
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:38 PM
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Well, this engine is more of a stopgap solution to find and solve overheating problems while I get the good engine built... But, hopefully the Performer RPM will give me a little more low end torque and whatnot, and do slightly better on fuel.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by big_c_snow View Post
Well, this engine is more of a stopgap solution to find and solve overheating problems while I get the good engine built... But, hopefully the Performer RPM will give me a little more low end torque and whatnot, and do slightly better on fuel.
V8 swaps into S10/15 always prove to be a cooling challenge even when fitted with a radiator that is otherwise used as a production item for the 350 and even the 454 in such vehicles as the 1970's era Malibu, Monte Carlo, etc. These OEM brass and copper units while heavy are easy to fit without having to carve up the support structure and they measure about 19 inches from the bottom frame to the radiator cap which allows the hood to close. There are aftermarket aluminum units but several of these require the lower radiator frame to have the upper part of its box section to be cut and the side toward the engine folded down to drop the radiator low enough to close the hood because the published height measurement of these at 19 inches is bottom to top of the radiator not including the height of the filler/cap nipple.

The big cooling problem is with stop and go traffic. There just isn't a way to flow enough air across the core when idling of moving in stop and go traffic. On various projects of these things I've been through electric fans, pump driven fans, shrouds and no shrouds, water wetter and no water wetter, 50/50 coolant mixes to nothing but water at one and to nothing but glycol at the other. All of this moves the problem around a little bit some being marginally better than others I've yet to see a solution that works anywhere close to what you'd expect from factory production. A big part of this problem is simply a lack of space to move air around, not enough space for fans, nor adequate shroud and no space to move the air efficiently around the engine.

Probably the best solution I've tested is using the short water pump which requires all the accessory drives and mounts move back about inch from the locations they would occupy with a standard post 1968 long production pump. I've had better results with an engine driven fan than I've had with electrics. Along with the engine fan the use of a hand built sheet metal shroud to enclose the edges of the core so the fan pulls air through the entire core. For the radiator I've had good cooling with a Summit 381331 which is brazed aluminum 2 row core. It cools the same as the heavier Monte-Carlo 3 tube unit but the Summit does require cutting the truck's lower radiator frame as I described to get hood closure clearance. A set of brackets like 380100 will provide the material with minor modification to mount the upper radiator to the truck's radiator frame. Use the stock hard rubber pads to isolate the lower radiator in the normal direction that the OEM uses and use the hard uppers in a vertical direction between the radiator and the upper sides of the truck's radiator frame. This will keep the radiator "floating" on hard rubber mounts as it is with the production design.

Bogie

Last edited by oldbogie; 07-17-2012 at 10:19 AM. Reason: s for d
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:48 AM
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Clean things up well and then get a mirror and a flashlight to determine where the oil is coming from. Could be a valve cover, intake gasket, or pan gasket/rear seal. Air movement can make oil drips migrate everywhere, and makes it tough to tell where it's really coming from.
Once it's clean and you can idle the engine and look for leaks, you may see it's something simple.
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:14 PM
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Well, I'd love to, but the alternator and battery both quit on me. Gotta replace/upgrade those first. Phooey.
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