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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello guys I figured I would make a new post here so as not to throw things off from my other post. Many on here will already know my situation. Ok here is the thing I have only bought a used small block chevy motor one time and it was a running motor that came out of a running vehicle. I am in a situation right now that most likely my engine is going to have to be pulled to have it investigated further to find out the problem with it and meanwhile I will want something in my truck to have it drivable as it will take time for me to get if fixed if its a machining problem and worst need something replaced such as the block.

Ok on to the subject. I found a person close to me that has an early 80's small block chevy and he says its a 350 and it came out of a dump truck and it was low mileage and it has been sitting for about a year and said it had no smoking or knocking noises. Well that is there word. I am wondering what all would I want to look for and at to tell if this engine would be worth a gamble or not? They asking 500 for it. A picture is below of what it is. I can tell its an early 80-85 small block since the oil dipstick is on the passenger side.

Can you guys help me out on what to check and look for and what tools and things that would be good to bring to test things and also what casting number on the block and cylinder heads would verify of what I am looking at and its not actually a 305? Thanks guys and hope to hear some pointers.Going to check it out tomorrow.

Thanks guys
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I’d say no. The reason is heavy trucks use the engine super hard. Low mileage not withstanding it’s probably very tired with lots of wear on the cylinder bores as well as crank main and rod journals. Potential casting cracks from the constant heavy use. It’s one thing to get these out of a pick up something else out of a working truck. You’re basically looking at buying castings for a rebuild.

For the money your better off to buy the low end Goodwrench 350. You get a new 4 bolt block and innards. You want the bottom end version there is a high output using a big cam against the same poor SMOG heads and low compression for a lot more money where for the difference in cost you can buy the low power version change the cam and put decent heads on it for about the same total money.


As delivered this is about 250 horses, it is the same short block as the old 290/300 horse 350 of 1968-72 except for having low compression emission heads.

Except for dressing it, it’s ready to go no rebuild or overhaul required.

Bogie
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Bogie I was looking for that and thought about getting one but Jegs and Summit don't have any in stock and doing a google search it says either no longer available or can't ship to a way later date. That is what I would like to do since its for one a drop in engine and don't have to clean up and paint and look all over etc. Thanks for the heads up on that build and what it could have problems wise. I have searched ebay but would prefer a reputable company to get one but like stated seems nobody has any since this whole covid deal and parts being scarce.

I can' go past 2G's to much as funds don't allow that. Saw a few but they are asking like 3 grand plus and its out of my range. I did find two other potential 350 small blocks with one being a late 80's and the other a mid 70's that came out of a regular car. I am in process to work out a time with them to look at them and what should I look for and be able to check and get a good idea if its good or just a boat anchor? Thanks guys and thanks bogie I won't be after that one.
 

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Eric what about a simple short block with flat tops, then use you head and intake until you figure out block issue.


 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That looks good for the most part if I did not have to pay the extra almost 500 for shipping and then to have to add costs on top of things but I don't know for sure but will keep them on the list for options if I can't get anything else rounded up on my end. Still though would like to know what all to look for on a used build as the less I can spend the better off I am without breaking the bank as it will take some time to get funds to get my other build fixed if something is fixable on it and machine shop stuff is not cheap.

I also have other things to take care off and stuff is very tight and that would be the best route but the most costly as well. I could use my heads and stuff on that short block though and that would not be a problem. Hope to hear from anybody though on what to look for and stuff. I have one from a junk yard to look at tomorrow and its coming out of a box van and are only wanting 500 for the whole motor. If its something that is in good condition and usable then I will spring for it. I am in the state of Ohio.
 

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Paying $500 at a junkyard would be way better than giving an individual $500. Usually a yard will have at least a 90-day warranty, so you know you're getting a decent motor. Versus just taking someone's word for it who may, or may not have your best intentions in mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I saw the Mabccco on ebay and they have a horrible customer service rating of only 83 percent and does not sound too good on there part. Something used that is in good healthy running condition that I can use a mechanical fuel pump on and use my intake manifold and be pretty much a bolt in and go with little stuff needed is the best option for me right now. I don't really need something spanking brand new to be honest.

I just need something to hold me over for a year or so and have it running again as in the near future I might be moving and need to have thing drivable and stuff and the sooner the better. Just need some information on what to look for on a used motor and what to bring with me to check things etc if I can't hear it running.
 

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The best way to check for undue wear is to pull a head off the used engine and take a look. Cylinder scoring and other obvious signs will tell you a lot. Of course the best way is to mount it on an engine stand and start it up, though that may not be practical.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am guessing the guy is a junkyard person as he says they buy vehicles and sells the parts and stuff so I assume they are a dealer of sorts as he said they sell there motors for 500 on average. Also said he has guys to pull stuff out so sounds like a yard to me. I will pull plugs and check the oil and a few other things and if I can turn it over but he mentioned he might be able to start it up before pulling it but he said the vehicle he bought did not have the keyes to it and was going to try and hot wire to run it. I will be going tomorrow and hopefully find something decent.

Will have to see what is there and what he has. With my luck the way its going my truck will be a garage ornament for the rest of its lifetime. I don't have time in my life to have to keep dealing with all this bad luck problems with things just keep going bad like this.
 

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Ya know a couple years ago on this form I made the guess that GM was going to phase out building new Gen I SBC’s I hoped that wasn’t going to happen but the smells in ether layer just seemed to waft that way.

It‘s kind of looking that way for real. That’s too bad as the bottom feeder Goodwtench was a damn good place to start a performance build. Obviously not to the gnats race engine but a set of Vortec or aftermarket heads and a decent cam and you could build yourself a creditable 380-410 horse brand new engine on a working class budget.

Had to make a dump run today, the guy next to me had a big black Rivian pick up. The future has arrived. Fit and finish looked excellent, don’t know how it drives but it looks great.

Bogie
 

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Grab a breaker bar and turn the engine over slowly.Listen the "Hiss" that each cylinder makes as you turn it over. You will hear it. If they all sound even and it takes some grunt to turn it over , then compression is likely good.
Step 2

Take off distributor cap. Turn engine to TDC. Then slowly rotate it backerds. Look at the timing mark and also the rotor at the same time.You will need marty feldman eyes for that ...LOL

Point is , is that will tell you how much play is in the timing chain, which can give you an idea of how worn it is.
You can also pull a few plugs and see if they have signs of oil consumption ( grayish crusty deposit)
Dont be afraid, it wont bite. If seller wont let you check it out, run forest run.


The motoerlooks good in the pics, no bigs leaks. Looks like a new starter so it must have been worth putting a starter on.
Check it like I told ya.
If it checked out good , and I was looking , I would pull the trigger
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That is what I figured on was taking a breaker bar and then checking a few spark plugs and then looking at the oil dipstick. Its been sitting in a 84 chevy truck and he showed me the vin number and its a LT9 on what they call a M truck motor and its a pretty common size motor used in truck back in the mid 80's. It has all the accessories and stuff but looks like been sitting for a very long time as the steel freeze plugs look like they are almost rotted out or close to it or its just a really bad surface rust and looks like not ran in years.

I am no expert but I don't know if it would be a good enough candidate for just a few thing and a clean up and it be a good running engine without needing a rebuild which I don't have time or funds for everything at this time. Most likely its seen better days especially if sat that long. Will have to see but I am new to this sort of thing. Thank guys for your your help and appreciate it.
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I will try and see if they will let me do that. I have never been to this place. I will bring stuff with me and hope. Jayseablue56 thanks and I can certainly use that. Between my poor health and other things the last many of years and the last two years has been horrible for me. The previous build I had was fine then did a minor cam swap along with intake and it ran horrible and could never get it worked out. Then decided to go back to a 350 build and sold my previous short block and then put stuff over onto this nice Dart shp short block with scat forged rotating assembly with forged pistons and all the nice trim and it ran even worse since day one and then the leaking intake problem added to it.

Have never been able to work out and find out the running problem and feel the camshaft is not either ground right or it needs to be checked and advanced another 4 degrees. Because of the intake problem leaking I can't even drive the thing let alone run it now. Talked to my Father today and we are going to pull it out and tear it clear down and he is going to have the block put into a machine that can check angles and see how much run out there is and if they messed it up and don't even have to actually bring to that machine shop.

If it checks out they messed up the block depending on how bad and if it can be fixed, they will have to own up to it. He is also going to call the machine shop and tell them what is going on and see what they say. When a black cat crosses my path its good luck for me as my luck is so bad that it brings me good lol.
 
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