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Old 09-12-2007, 02:33 PM
OneBeast OneBeast is offline
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Starting on first engine soon, lots of questions

I am going to start building my first engine very soon, right now I am in the process of buying the tools that I do not have.

The engine will go in a 1988 Camaro that has a L03 305 and T5 in it right now. I currently have 3.08 gears in the rear end, but I plan on upgrading to a 9 inch with 3.73 (or whatever is close to that with a 9 inch) and would like to build around that number.

I want to build a 350 or 383. The car will see about 150 to 200 miles a month. I would like to take it to the strip for fun. For a horsepower goal I would like to see at least 300 at the wheels. I have a friend with a 07 Mustang with some bolt ons, I would like to be able to run with him.

My first question is about flat tappet vs hydraulic lifters. From what I understand flat tappet has to be adjusted, but can rev higher? Do they make more power? If they only require adjustment once a month (200 miles) then I have no problem with that. If they require more of a weekly adjustment then I would want to go with hydrailic.

Do I need a certain block casting to use a hydraulic cam/lifters?

From what I have read on forums I will come out spending less money to make a set amount of horsepower with a roller setup. I have read blocks from 87 or so up are set up for a roller cam, but some need machine work. I have read that 95-99(?) truck blocks all have 4 bolt main and everything set up for a roller cam.

Also with the amount of power I am wanting will a 2 bolt main block be okay?

Will a factory crankshaft and rods be okay with the amount of power I want?

If the crankshaft is not able to be fixed I would like to go with a 400 crank to make a 383. I saw Eagle makes entire rotating assembly kits, are these reliable?

How much more will it cost to get the block machines for a 400 crank? Will this still be required with the eagle rotating assembly kit?

I understand that depending on if the engine is a 350 or 383 I will want different heads. The ones I want to get are Dart Iron Eagle. I assume 383 I would want the 215cc intake runners, with a 350 the 200cc intake runners?

I was told to not be cheap on the heads and my torque wrench, are these heads going to not be the bottle neck of my motor? I would like to use the 'out of the box' and later on if I want a more powerfull motor maybe send them off for some port work. If these heads are not good, what are some other heads in the same price range? (600 ea. assembled)

I do not know a lot about cams, I read an article on LSA and I have read on here a lot the duration you want depends on your gearing. I plan on keeping the T5 and running 3.73s. I would like to get at least 14 MPG. I do like the overlap sound where the motor sounds like it is going to die, but only if it will help performance. I love the sound of the cars at the dragstrip, but if that goes against my plan I do not want it.

The Hooker Competition headers are in my price range, not sure what size. I would like to upgrade to the Super Comp headers at a later time if they are better.

I saw a MSD ignition set for sale that comes with a Pro Billet Distributor, MSD 6AL, wires, and a blaster coil. I think that seems to be the standard for ignition systems I have seen.

I do not know what intake manifold to use, if I go with the Iron Eagle heads I have seen a Iron Eagle top end kit that includes an intake manifold, if those intake manifolds are good I would like to buy the top end kit to save money.

I did a quick add up of all the parts and guess this engine to cost around $4,000 if I have to buy a rotating assembly kit does that sounds about right?

Sorry for so many random and out of place questions. I have been doing a lot of reading and this is some of the stuff I am unsure about. Thanks.
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