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Old 03-11-2012, 12:14 AM
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Poor mans race motor

Hey guys, this is my first post here, but I've lurked on here for quite a while. My question is, I'm building a CHEAP 355 sbc for my 83 Thunderbird. I have a good 2 bolt main 350 block, freshened rods with ARP bolts, and a set of 416 305 heads. This will be a race only motor, and will be ran off E85 so running higher compression is not a problem. I haven't decided on a piston or cam yet. I need a few suggestions on those two. I was thinking a small dome piston, heads ported, unshrouded with 1.94 intake valves. I already have guide plates and screw-in studs. I'm wanting to build this motor to get the car going until I can get my 302 chevy motor built and the car lightened up.

Thanks guys

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Old 03-11-2012, 10:05 AM
How fast is fast enough?
 
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If budget is tight why are you planning to build 2 engines? Why do you want a 302? Why waste the time and money on those heads? None of that makes sense.

If you want to do it right forget the 302 idea. Spend money on building a reliable 350 short block and keep an eye out for 200-220cc heads that you can get a deal on. Scrap the 416's. The cost of new valves and a valve job will cover half of a good set of heads so why waste it on 416's? For moving that heavy car you'll need all the power you can get so don't waste your time chasing less cubic inches.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:22 AM
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the main reason I'm buildng the first motor is because I have most of that stuff laying around already. I also want to build the first 350 to get the car running this season. I have all the machines to rework the heads and to do valvejobs with. also, I'm not dead set on a 302, I wanted to build one so I could say the ford had a 302 in it.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:33 AM
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But you can still say its a 302.
i have a 496 in my 67 Camaro n tell people its a 396
Who knows unless ur racing in ci limited class n if u are I doubt if you are gonna win any races with those heads anyway.
Get some good heads with 2.02 valves as was suggested in the prvious post
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap72
If budget is tight why are you planning to build 2 engines? Why do you want a 302? Why waste the time and money on those heads? None of that makes sense.

If you want to do it right forget the 302 idea. Spend money on building a reliable 350 short block and keep an eye out for 200-220cc heads that you can get a deal on. Scrap the 416's. The cost of new valves and a valve job will cover half of a good set of heads so why waste it on 416's? For moving that heavy car you'll need all the power you can get so don't waste your time chasing less cubic inches.
Sorry i forgot to put this in in my previous post
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:51 AM
How fast is fast enough?
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigford99
the main reason I'm buildng the first motor is because I have most of that stuff laying around already. I also want to build the first 350 to get the car running this season. I have all the machines to rework the heads and to do valvejobs with. also, I'm not dead set on a 302, I wanted to build one so I could say the ford had a 302 in it.
If its laying around try to sell it or just scrap it. Owning it does not make it better. 416's need a LOT of work to even be a decent street head and will never compete with a good aftermarket 220cc head. Your next issue would be fuel. A 350 with 10:1 compression and large port bowtie vortecs will make more power on pump fuel that you 416 heads ever could on race gas. If you go through even 50gallons of fuel you lost more money right there.

If you wanted a 350hp street engine the 416's can work if you want to go racing you need race parts.

If you do go the 416 route only go with larger valves after extensive porting, fill in the exhaust "y" on the center cylinders, and put as little money as possible into the engine. Keep your cam below 220 degrees run an RPM intake and a 4,000 or so stall.
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:06 PM
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I agree the heads ( 416 / 305 ) . What type of racing are you doing ? If it is a bracket car why the E85? I would recomend pump gas . If an index car you will need heads anyway , or will have to gut the bird to get light . The SBC ina Fox is a great drag racing platform , if thats what your doing . I did a 383 in a 88 GT with good luck .
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:26 PM
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I will be bracket racing with it. Yes it'll be a SBC in a foxbody. E85 is to be able to run the higher compression with those heads and not have to worry about pinging. I know there are plenty of better options out there, but this is what I have to work with.

The 302 is in the future, I'm not concerned about that motor at all. I know the car will need to be much lighter, and it'll have to be rev'd very high. This car will in no way be streetable. I'm simply looking to get this car running. Next winter, I will be completely rebuilding the car and strip the thing out.
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:17 AM
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Sounds like a plan . Are you using the K-member or motor plates . Sounds like a cool project . Post some pics up .
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:43 AM
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I'll be using a k member for the swap. I will be staring work on it after we get the 406 sbc pinto outta the garage
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:10 AM
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http://youtu.be/mme9z3-sFYs
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F-BIRD'88
I fully do up a set of 416 heads for less than $500 tax included.
400hp capable.
I drill and roll pin the stock studs. Shorten the valve guide boss for high lift and seals.
In addition to pinned studs and shortened guide bosses, does this include:

guides replaced/relined
3-angle valve job
porting, if so to what extent (full runners, bowl only, etc.)
enlarging the intake seats for 1.94" intakes
valves
springs
retainers/locks

What does the shipping cost from KY to Canada and back?
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:20 AM
How fast is fast enough?
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F-BIRD'88
The guides were fine. They were barley worn. I knurled them. I wanted generous valve guide clearance. (Nitrous)

I don't sell cylinder heads
I am telling you what it cost me to do my ported 305 heads.

i have done many sets of these heads. I have only had to pay to get 1 ( busted) guide replaced

You for got milling the decks. Yes a .005" to .010" clean up cut is included in the machining cost.

Further max milling to reduce the chambers may/ will cost a bit more labour

I do all my own precision measuring, porting work, most of the mods, cleaning and final assembly.

If your machinist has to hold your hand etc etc you are going to pay for that.

You save money by doing things for yourself.
its not worth paying someone to port these heads. Get real. DIY

The last set cost my $460 CAN all cost and tax inc.
i don't sell cylinder heads. But I get more than that when I do sell off a set.
So you can spend $500 for worked over POS heads or $600 for new 210 aluminum Chinese (eeeek, gasp, etc., etc.) that are in every way better? This doesn't even consider what you can find used or rebuilt locally. I have a buddy that will sell you your choice of "double humps" for $250 a set- fully rebuilt.

I went the 416 route once, and I'll never do it again. To be honest its no longer even worth rebuilding a set of Vortecs unless you're just doing a spring swap, guide work and some light porting.
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:25 AM
How fast is fast enough?
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F-BIRD'88
if you can buy fully rebuilt camel; hump heads for $250 go for it.
Questionalble casting go for more than that here:
Most of the used stuff is used up fubared junk. Thats why its for sale cheap.

What complete chinese cylinder heads are $600 to your door in Canada.



Wonder what I could Do with a decent chinese casting. That ain't going to get all done for $460 all inc.

These are not 500 horsepower heads. But they do make 400+ hp when you jack then up and slide a 400hp capable motor under them.

The only vortecs I would buy is a new casting. Or a guaranteed mag checked head.

I have never even seen a cracked 305 head.
If I need a Camel hump casting I have a source, but he does not give them away. LOL.

My 305 head stuff performs to expectation or I would not do it.
There are many ways to skin a cat. And this is hosw you do the 305 head cat at reasonable cost. Its up to you to keep the budget in check.

For power beyond that:

For new castings I don;t buy junk. I like Brodix, Dart, Edelbrock ,AFR, GMPP
Summit Racing house branded etc. All the chinese casting I have looked at in person so far did not seem worth the cost and rework hassle. They seem to be improving thou. The cheapest stuff is getting more and more expensive. The good CNC Patriots (the real deal ones) etc are just as costly as a USA cast head. More entry level stuff is entering the market.

Note: If the stock 305 heads I start with have fubared guides I don;t buy them. I have never paid more than $35 for a usable set. Lots of times people give them to me. There are a few other GM SBC casting I keep an eye out for.
Cause I know I can make then into a pretty good head for the money.
I don;t even look for used vortecs.

Search my old posts for pics etc of completed poor man's 305 racer heads .
if I can do it you can too.
I don't know what the CN cost is of any of this, I'm in MO, smack in the middle of the US so I only watch US prices. Maybe the chinese heads are $800+ up there in which case reworking a stock head may make sense, a 416 would still be down on my list though, I'd prefer Vortec or "double hump" heads, the later being much heavier and durable but having a poorer chamber and tiny port. Those heads usually are not "given away" but when you're sinking that much time and money into heads anyway it makes sense to start with something worth working on.

You didn't mention the time it takes to get a set of 416's into decent shape- 20+ hours.


The heads can be reworked as you have described and it is an improvement, but when you look at the cost/bennefit it doesn't make sense to even venture down that road unless you have all the tools to do it and your time is worth nothing.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:14 AM
How fast is fast enough?
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F-BIRD'88
The current prices I quoted are US prices. The Canadian Dollar is just over par. There was a time when the Can $ was worth .60 US. DO that math.

The time is just time you otherwise waste on the internet.

Ya I own a few tools. I fix my own car.
Summit is a 4 hour drive from my house. Fortunately its a nice drive to Ohio.

I used to get brand new vortec castings dirt cheap but not any more.

My POS $460/pr 305 heads are mid 12sec ET performance capable (3500LBS)
I'm just telling you how I do it.
You make up all the excuses you want.

Its not excuses, its figuring a cost/bennefit relationship- I've gone down the 416 heads route and having been there I know its not worth it. mid 12's is a decent time, but mid 12's can be had with just about any head that came on a 350 if you put in the work.

The one thing the 305 heads can do is raise your compression, but if you're buying pistons anyway that's a non-issue. I've worked on a lot of different SBC heads, and while I keep telling myself I won't touch another one I have a set of LT1's on my bench now.

After going through all the expense and trouble I learned that you're better off starting with a good core rather than what's free. Which is why I keep teling myself not to waste time on SBC anything when the LS stuff is SO much better and the prices have become very reasonable.
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