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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking for a complete Chevy 350 to rebuild. I'm not looking for anything exotic. But, what should I avoid? How much of an impact did the mid 1970's have on power?

I want an engine that I can use basically stock. The only mods I plan to make are in cam, intake manifold, short headers, port match, polish, valve job. I want to run 87 octane all day and night.

What makes a good donor engine?

Thanks
 

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a hyd roller engine would be the best place to start. The 70s-mid 80s engines were low comression smog engines, but if your rebuilding it anyway, you can use whatever pistons/heads you want to correct that.
The late 80s early 90s had hyd. roller cam & vortec heads...great baseline performance.
 

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So, there's no problem taking a vortec engine and and slapping an intake manifold and carb on it? This will be my first rebuild, so please excuse my ignorance. Thanks.
 

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nope, eldelbrock makes performer and performer RPM intakes for vortec heads, you might have to change the gear on the distributer for the roller cam
 

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lots of 305 vortecs out there to avoid.

i would get any 350. put whatever pistons you want and then just forget the heads. at about $400PLUS for a good rebuild you can buy new ones from several different sources. as for better blocks, there are those with higher nickel content and such, but i wouldn't worry too much about it.
 

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is it a daily driver and how far,what do you intend on doing with it,racing or driving,remember most of your horsepower is gained or lost in the drive train low compression is best for 87 octane.
 

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Find ya a 350 out of an early 90's Caprice, or Roadmaster. You get centerbolt heads, and 1-pc rear main, plus factory roller cam. It may not be a Vortec, but it'll make you a good driver.

The shop foreman I worked under, at the dealership, dropped one, out of a 92 Roadmaster, in his 86 1/2T 4x4. It ran awesome, considering it was a bone stock takeout engine. The only thing he did was drop a GM tall ironintake on it, with a fresh Q-jet.

I don't recall right now, if it had the mech fuel pump provision, or if he dropped an electric on it.

Come to think of it. You might stumble across a cop Caprice, with an LT-1, if you ar e luckier than me. :D
 
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