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Old 07-15-2004, 08:00 AM
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Streetable engine with lots of low-end torque and minimal $$?

My ride has a '79 GM 350 Goodwrench, 2-barrel carb, 350 turbo transmission and a '73 Impala rear end; it weighs about 3400 pounds with a 138" wheelbase. I'd like to get some more HP out of it, but especially more torque at low RPMs since it's not raced (no towing either) and is used as a boulevard cruiser. Oh, and this needs a relatively low-buck approach to keep my wife happy, but I'm willing to wait to save a few more bucks if I really need more expensive parts.

To that end, I have read some Chevy motor build-up books, reviewed this forum and done a web search. Unfortunately, most of this information seems to focused on getting 400-600 HP out of the engines to turn in fast quarter-mile times; not what I want.

I have an Edelbrock 3701 manifold and a 1400 carb. I'll be using the stock exhaust manifolds because there is really no room for headers until I move a few things -- I understand that long-tube headers are better for what I want.

Up to now, I've improved the suspension and drivetrain and am in the process or upgrading the cooling to handle the additional engine heat and the A/C at the same time: High-flow water pump and electric puller fan with shroud and distilled water with anti-corrosion additive (no driving in the winter in this car).

Am I headed in the right direction here? Will just the manifold and carb accomplish what I want? A different stall converter after the change? I'm not certain. I really think I need a camshaft change to get there, probably not a stall converter as well. Edlebrock, of course, recommends their 2102 package. Some local folks have recommended an RV grind. I'd appreciate any advice on cams as well as if I have figured this stuff out enough to accomplish my goal.

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Old 07-15-2004, 09:11 AM
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yeah you're definitely going to want to put another cam in there, that's the most effective way to modify your powerband. While RV cams are rather torquey in the bottom end, I don't think they'll tend to have very much lift... what i'd recommend is figure out how much lift your springs / heads can handle, and go from there. If you're concerned about price, go with a Summit branded camshaft, in fact it's been pointed out before that Summit's cam's are manufactured by the same folks that put out the other aftermarket cams as well. There's only a few cam manufacturers that supply most of the major brands in America.

Given your existing setup, I'd reccomend calling someone like Comp Cams and giving them your specifics, your application, your intended power goals... they'll recommend a cam, then you can go from the specs on their recommendation and pick something similar from Summit's inventory.

I'm sure there will be plenty of other recommendations to follow.

good luck

tbw
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Old 07-15-2004, 10:03 AM
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I'm with blndweasel on this one. Recurve distrib. A better carb and intake (600 Holley and Performer) then go with an RV type or better cam. Keep the .050 duration low and use high lift. No convertor problems. Lots of low-mid range torque.
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Old 07-15-2004, 10:04 AM
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Suggestions are good, but I think an RV type motor is probably not what you're looking for for that lightweight car. Torque is good and it will get gas milage, but you won't be making very impressive ET's with these motors. Is that what you're looking for?

K
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Old 07-15-2004, 10:21 AM
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i make it a practice NEVER to disagree with BobCRman BUT .... i think your 2bbl crate already has the most low-ball torque cam you can get in it, or close to it, and ought to just change the intake, play with the dist. too maybe a better coil/wires, air cleaner
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Old 07-15-2004, 04:43 PM
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Thanks, everyone, for your comments. I'm usually hesitant to follow manufacturers' suggestions without investigation since their job is to sell what they have. I'm not interested in low ET's, just lots of torque, so this is what I think I'll do for now:

I'll install the Edelbrock manifold and carb (600cfm) because I already have them. Then I'll see how it drives. I could look at the ignition system if it seems that it might be a bottleneck. Maybe then consider a cam if I can determine the specs of the cam that's in there.
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Old 07-15-2004, 05:01 PM
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the fact of the matter is, that the camshaft is the "heart" of the engine. there's so many factors that go in to designing a cam profile that it can begin to seem like some sort of "black magic" at times.

while you're right, the folks at comp cams *would* recommend one of their cams for you to use, the point is they know a heck of a lot about camshaft profiles, and will recommend a profile based on what your goals are for performance, as well as what parts you have available.

I'm not saying you should necessarily buy one of their cams but you can take the specs of the cam they recommend and use that as a guideline to look at other cams which are probably less expensive.

The call is free, or you can email them. It's free information, that's a pretty good deal in my opinion.

Your intake and carb are going to make a world of difference, but if you find yourself topping out and you're still hungry for more power, you're really going to want to look into your cam options.

good luck!
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