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Old 11-17-2010, 10:26 PM
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SBC 355 rebuild questions

I"m thinking about doing a mild rebuild on my engine. I want to change the piston rings(maybe), rod bearings, main bearings, Cam & lifters. Everything else I am going to reuse if it's good when I take it apart. It has been rebuilt before but I have no idea how long ago that was. It runs real strong but I want to go through it over the winter.

Its a 010 block & the heads I have right now are stock. the casting # is 462624. I plan on upgrading to a set of vortec heads soon. Which ones will be best on my 355?

What would be a good cam for this engine. I'm just looking for a nice cam that I can drive on the streets & it will produce enough power to win a few street races.

When I order the main bearings is there a certain kind I need to get. What i mean by that is do they come in different thickness. If so. how do I figure out which ones I need.

I know it was more questions I wanted to ask but I can't think of them right now. I'll add them later.

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Old 11-17-2010, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veltboy314
I plan on upgrading to a set of vortec heads soon. Which ones will be best on my 355?
There is only one true Vortec cylinder head, the L31 head produced by General Motors under casting numbers 12558062 and 10239906. These heads were used on Chevy and GMC trucks and vans from '96 to '00 on motors that were labeled 5700 Vortec.

Since these are the best flowing cast iron production heads ever produced for a small block Chevy, every other supplier and his cousin have jumped on the bandwagon and are selling immitation "Vortec" heads. BULL HOCKEY. There is only one Vortec head, either of the casting numbers I listed above. All these other "Vortec" cylinder heads are phoneys and the manufacturers who are producing them are just riding on the coattails of success of General Motors. This pi$$e$ me off.

How, having gotten that off my chest, there is one manufacturer who is casting up what they call a Vortec head that really is a good flowing head, the 170cc intake runner head produced by Racing Head Service. This head might be a better choice than the L31 GM heads for a daily driver 350. They generate tremendous torque when used with a reasonable static compression ratio which leads to compatibility with pump gas.

The L31 GM Vortecs have a couple of downfalls, even though they flow so well. They come with limited valve lift due to the design of the head. Valve lift should be limited to 0.420" unless you are willing to change retainers and springs. Then, if you use too much spring, the pressed-in rocker studs can pull up out of the heads. They also use rail rockers to locate the rocker over the valve stem tip, not necessarily the hot tip for a performance motor. If a fellow were going to alter the L31 heads to equal the quality of the Racing Head Service 170's, he would have to cut the valve guide diameter and seats to install better springs, use different retainers that would clear the guide seal, cut the stud pads down and tap the holes for screw-in studs and guide plates to eliminate the rail rockers and use a more conventional rocker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by veltboy314
What would be a good cam for this engine. I'm just looking for a nice cam that I can drive on the streets & it will produce enough power to win a few street races.
Choice of cam timing will be dictated by static compression ratio, desired range of operation, transmission used, rear gears used, tire size, etc. If you don't know how to figure static compression ratio, ask me when you have the heads off the motor, but before you start to disassemble the short block. I will give you instructions for measuring the piston deck height and describing the piston crowns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by veltboy314
When I order the main bearings is there a certain kind I need to get. What i mean by that is do they come in different thickness. If so. how do I figure out which ones I need.
When you take the old bearings out, examine them closely. They will be marked whether they are standard, 0.010" undersize, 0.020" undersize or 0.030" undersize. Don't get this confused with pistons. Pistons go oversize, bearings go undersize.
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