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Old 02-22-2009, 11:11 PM
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where to start........

i just got a 350 small block as a project. I want to build a fast motor but i dont know where to start.

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Old 02-23-2009, 12:23 AM
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Take the engine out, get it taken apart, and get the block (with main caps and bolts, they will need them) and crank up the machine shop. While its at the machine shop be thinking about what you want to do with it. Cam, compression, intake, etc. The machine shop should clean the block all up and check it out (for cracks, see if it needs to be line bored, decked, and how much it needs to be bored out) and replace the freeze and oil galley plugs.

You'll probably want to start with the cam, unless youre going for a stroker. Decide what you want to do. Go fast, on the street? Strip only? Choose your cam from that. If you have an auto trans, and high gears (numerically smaller ratio, like a 3.08 or 3.42) you'll need to take that into consideration as well as the weight of the vehicle and power brakes. Get too wild and the engine wont make enough vacuum to run them.

From that you chose compression ratio (you need to know what bore the block will be at), rockers, valve springs, etc.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-23-2009, 10:02 AM
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Get this book and read it before you ever twist a wrench on the motor....
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listi...5408380&sr=1-1
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Old 02-23-2009, 05:29 PM
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I think the best thing to do is figure out what you want the vehicle to do and if you have the budget to make it work. Realistically a 450 hp engine won't be much good with an open 2.73 rear and a stock torque converter. Set realistic goals before you start picking parts. Are you talking about a fast drag car, a healthy daily driver or something else ? What parts do you already have ?
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:06 PM
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I will give you three words and you can only pick two of them,

GOOD FAST CHEAP

you can have two of the three but not all three!

I agree, you need to decide what you need it to do and make it fit your needs
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:49 PM
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A quick primer on engine performance...

1) an engine is an air pump that makes power as a byproduct. The more air you can move the more power it can make... BUT, more air means higher RPM. You can build a 900 hp small block, but you'll have to spin it to 9000 rpms to get it, which means about $24,000.

2) the engine MUST match the intended use or it will be a pain in the butt to drive. Heavy car + a desire for MPG = lower power and high torque. Increasing power often means shifting the torque and power peaks up higher in the RPM range. That means from idle to 3000 RPMs, you get very little oomph to move a heavy vehicle. Factory engines have a lot of room for improvement, but going too far will mean a race-type engine. Really souped-up engines are designed to operate in a very narrow RPM range during a race. Street engines spend 90% of their time between idle and 4000 rpms, so keep that in mind.

3) EVERYTHING has to match. You can't just drop a 500 hp engine in the car and expect it to perform. You have to make sure the transmission can handle it, the rear axle ratio is right, the tire size and grip will provide traction, the rear axle won't blow up the first time you mash the pedal... its a whole-car thing, not just an engine thing. High-hp engines make their torque and HP up high in the RPMs. If you have a really high (numerically low) rear axle gear and you mash the pedal, you'll spend ages slowly accelerating through a part of the RPM band that doesn't make much power. You need to use a lower (numerically higher) rear gear so you reach those RPMs sooner.

4) cubes are king. If you want the best of both worlds, go big. Airflow and cam timing make big power. Cubes make big torque. For example, if you wanted to make 500 hp, you can do it two ways: you can use a tiny engine, give it a bunch of airflow, and spin it to 7000 rpms. It will make very little torque. Or, you could use a huge engine, give it the same airflow, and spin it to 5500 rpms, but it will make a LOT more torque.

its all a dance. Everything has to match. Give us the specs of the vehicle you plan to put it in and we can help you decide. A budget will help too. A stock rebuild is just north of $1000 depending on what you get done. A 450 hp build will probably be more like $3500.
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Old 02-23-2009, 10:49 PM
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all i have right now is the bare block, 350 small.
im shooting for a faster every day driver. as for specs, i don't know much.
how do i find specs out?
im going to put it in an 85 grand prix
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Old 02-25-2009, 07:06 PM
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What are you doing for transmission, torque converter, exhaust and rear end gearing ? Are you planning on reusing the stock pistons rods and crank ?
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:42 PM
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i'm just a rookie at this but i'm told for the street to go around 25-2800 stall converter, i have a 350 witha 700r4 tranny and it runs great plus with the overdrive it runs at lower rpm on the highway, which is a benefit. if you want reasonable power, i was told to focus on three main things, cam, intake, and heads. its hard to get the best of both worlds(streetability and strip performance), but if your shooting for a good street motor, keep the cam mild, nice flowing heads will help with the power, and since weight isnt a huge deal, i woudl go with cast heads since they are generally cheaper, use a high rise,dual plane intake for better tourque, and i'm told carb spacers give good hp, depending on your intake, which is good for the 120 dollars you'll pay for it. this is just a rookies guess but this would be streetable and probably make pretty good hp. anything over 450 hp i would look into changing your crank and rods etc, but otherwise they shoudl be fine. as for gears, i have a set of 355's and my truck is an enjoyable ride, it does 100 kmh at 1800rpm in o.d, hope this helps
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