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Old 01-13-2013, 07:03 PM
mikebuongiorno mikebuongiorno is offline
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Project: 1965 Corvair Kelmark V8 - What motor / recipe?

Hello World,

First post ever. Revisiting a project started in the 90s by another, bought by me in 2004, worked on feverishly, then left to sit while raising kids, moving/saving bigger house, etc.

I've got a little bit of a war chest rebuilt and need to finish this project for my soul.

Its a 1965 Corvair Corsa setup for a mid engine Kelmark V8 conversion. Radiator plumbed in the front with copper tubing, disk brakes, 15" wheels, etc. Missing one critical component. The Engine.

Reaching out to the team (long time reader, first time poster) to help with engine selection / build recipe.

Want to build a fun to drive, decent mileage, decent power v8 car that doesnt brake my driveline. I understand the diff and input shaft are weak links. I'm running the hardened, 1" longer aftermarket shaft, and a 66 saginaw. Spider gears in the diff. Even still, what I've read is to keep hp and torque under 300 to be safe. People get away with more I've read but the standard SBC torque is what kills this setup as far as I can tell. The finished car will weigh between 2500-2700lbs.

What I'd like to build is something that will reliably rev to 6-7k, making good power between 2-7,000 rpm happily sacrificing low end torque to keep my driveline alive.

To do this I'm weighing these options (budget for finished motor is <$5k).

1. Get the 350/290 from jegs, run it for a while, see how it does, then move to aftermarket heads and longer duration cam to meet my goals.

2. Get the 350/330 and do as above, hoping with the torque that motor puts out, I'm not replacing my shaft and diff straight away.

3. Get the vortec truck motor (L31), deal with the electric fuel pump issue, but benefit from the better heads and roller cam setup, change out the cam down the road and see how much I can squeeze before I find a weak link.


All that being said, what do you guys think? Am I on the right track?

what way would you go? I'm not that savvy when it comes to all the SBC variables, but the obvious inputs for you gurus are relatively light car, low end torque is DANGEROUS, want to rev relatively high to drive this car as a mid engine roadster with great handling on windy roads.

Got some money burning a hole in my pocket and dying to get to driver status. Or should I just say screw it, save more money and lose (way) more time and just go LS1 and some other driveline all together. Would love that obviously, but a driver within site if I go Gen 1 SBC, way out in dreamland if I go LS1.

Thanks in advance for the wisdom.

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