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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone.
I have narrowed down my engine choices to 3 different engines from 3 different shops. I will list each down below and let me know what you think I should go with. The car that gets this engine will be a 1980 Camaro Z28 fully restored. Here I go.

Engine #1
Chevy 350 410hp/428ft/lbs torque, 4 bolt, dome pistons 11.5, cam is 510+ hydraulic dual patterned, SS roller rockers, runs on 91 + boost

Engine #2
Chevy 350 440hp @5900rpm 450ft/lbs of torque @4400rpm, runs on 91 octane alone, 3.484 stroke crank, 5.7 forged big beam rods with ARP bolts, 10.1 compression flat top pistons, 4 bolt block, hydraulic flat tappet cam with .512 valve lift, dart/world/rhs heads 200cc intake runners 2.02int/1.600 exh swirl polished, heads have extra thick deck surface, 1.440 high performance springs, roller rockers, perfect circle rings, hardened push rods

Engine #3
Chevy 383 stroker, gm iron vortech heads 175cc intake 64cc chambers, eagle crankshaft, 5.7 long ibeam rods, speedpro flattop pistons with moly rings, 10:1 compression, comp cam 230/[email protected] with 480"lift, power range 2000-5500 rms, no roller rockers but they are 250 extra and stage 2 porting is 300.00 extra.


Let me know what you think would be the best buy. All engines I can have built for about 2700.00. Just trying to get the best bang for the buck. I just want a reliable build, that I can go to car shows with and also make a pass or two at the drag. Thanks Peter
 

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Normally I'd say 383, and with a 1.6 Intake/ 1,5 Exhaust rocker set in this case, but you had better do some more research -- 383 with Flat top pistons and 64cc heads is well over 10-1 compression, closer to 11-1.

I still wouldn't even consider a 350 when a 383 is available, your Z is a heavy car, more than 3800lbs stock.
 

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if you have a 400 already build a 400 long rod engine with flat top pistons, less rotating mass means more giddy up when you need it, a deacent cam witha set of split ratio rockers with a new set of alum heads and a intake that will give you a good mid range. heads with 175 cc runners ar totally streetable no bigger than 200 runners because you want some low end torque and all should be able to be built for 2500 to 2800 and will perfom very very well
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the quick replies. I asked the guy about the 10:1 compression and he insists that is what the engine has. He said he would guarantee the compression with a money back guarantee and he would pay return shipping. I asked for it in writing and he said no problem. My other question would be are the vortec heads any good. I liked engine number 2 the best but the 383 is quite tempting. My other question is why does it matter if the engine is a 350 vs a 383 in a 3800lbs car. The 350 has more hp and torque, so how would the 383 be better? Just a question, this is my first chevy, I am a Pontiac guy normally but the car was too good to resist for the price I got it for so I sold my 67 Firebird. Now just need a good engine. Thanks for your help everyone I really appreciate your suggestions. Peter
 

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Don't get too hung up on the peak hp and torque numbers, the average power the 383 makes acrossed the power band will move the car better than the 350, and you could always put a bigger cam in the 383 for more power yet.

The 350 will require more rear gear and converter stall also. You will need 3.90 or deeper gears and 3200+ stall where the 383 will be happy with 3.42-3.73 gears and 2600-3100 stall.

Ideally, I'd want to mix parts from #2 and #3, put the 200cc heads and the bigger cam in the 383 and you could get 475+ streetable hp and 485+ ft.lbs torque.

As they are listed there probably isn't much difference between them and you might choose whichever one has the better grade of parts or matches the rear gear and stall you have if you figure you are never going to look for more power down the road. The 383 just has potential for more based on the larger cubes.
 

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It looks to me that # 2 has the better parts in it.That would be my choice,then if you wanted to later on add a good quality stroker kit,you would have a good foundation to start with.Something else to check is weather the pistons are forged or cast,forged being the better choice.As techinspector says,Eagle parts have at times been questionable.
Guy
 

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ericnova72 said:
Don't get too hung up on the peak hp and torque numbers, the average power the 383 makes acrossed the power band will move the car better than the 350, and you could always put a bigger cam in the 383 for more power yet.

The 350 will require more rear gear and converter stall also. You will need 3.90 or deeper gears and 3200+ stall where the 383 will be happy with 3.42-3.73 gears and 2600-3100 stall.

Ideally, I'd want to mix parts from #2 and #3, put the 200cc heads and the bigger cam in the 383 and you could get 475+ streetable hp and 485+ ft.lbs torque.

As they are listed there probably isn't much difference between them and you might choose whichever one has the better grade of parts or matches the rear gear and stall you have if you figure you are never going to look for more power down the road. The 383 just has potential for more based on the larger cubes.

You're ASSUMING the average is lower on the 350 when that is probably not the case. #2 looks to have better parts, and if the warranty is as good I would definitely go that route. #3 ain't bad as long as they will warranty their crappy parts. Of course I don't mind pulling an engine a few times to collect a warranty, others may.
 

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I would buy locally, any competent shop can build any of those engine combos, and should you have issues, its a hell of a lot easier to deal with someone local. People can make all the guarentees they want, but when it comes down to it, if they aint local, you'll have problems.
 

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FmrStrtracer said:
I would buy locally, any competent shop can build any of those engine combos, and should you have issues, its a hell of a lot easier to deal with someone local. People can make all the guarentees they want, but when it comes down to it, if they aint local, you'll have problems.

GREAT POINT! I assumed they were all local. freight alone would eb enough to give some people second thoughts on collecting a warranty in a lot of cases.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi everyone, thanks again for the replies. None of the engines are local. I live in the chicago area and have the local Chevy shop here and for the engines I listed, they want about 1000-1500 dollars more for the same builds. They want $2195 for a crate 350 with 325hp. If anyone knows of a shop in my area that can get me that type of engine for 2700 please let me know, I will scoop it up immediately. These shops are all in Arizona. One is called Tuff Dawg Engines and the other is Phoenix Engine. Their websites are their names without spaces. I need to stay under 3k and trying to get the best bang for the buck, unless someone wants to trade straight up for a rebuilt Pontiac 455. Thanks Peter J.
 

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petes67bird said:
they want about 1000-1500 dollars more for the same builds.
I doubt this is actually the case. You, as the buyer, are charged with closely examining what parts are used and how they are assembled. For instance, is one shop decking the block to set the piston deck height and the other one isn't? Is one shop using rebuilder pistons with a reduced piston compression height and the other is using premium pistons with the proper OEM compression height? Is one shop using premium quality ARP fasteners in the rods and other places in the motor and the other shop is using perhaps used and fatigued fasteners? Is one shop using cast iron rings and the other is using plasma moly? Is one shop using stainless steel valves and the other is using run of the mill OEM valves? What about gasket quality. Is one shop using premium quality gaskets, while the other shop is using some offshore junk? Is one shop setting the squish properly at somewhere between 0.035" and 0.055" while the other shop may not be concerned where the squish ends up or may not even know about squish in the first place?

As you gain experience in life, you'll learn to seek out the truth and find that not all things are equal.

Usually, the bottom line is....you get what you pay for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi Tech,
Can you point me to a great set up, intake to oil pan, under 3k to my door. Either a 350 or 383. I know nothing about engines. So I am afraid to get ripped. Here are the listings word for word


This is the sbc 350 440hp
This Chevy 350 crate engine by Tuff Dawg Engines would be EXCELLENT for a Street/Strip car, Street Rod, or Pickup Truck. With 440HP @ 5900rpm and 450ft lbs of torque @ 4400rpm this engine has a rough idle and will run on leaded or unleaded 91 Octane pump fuel.

The balanced rotating assembly (typically includes crankshaft, pistons, rings, connecting rods, rod bearings, balancer, and flexplate) featured in this engine:

3.484" stroke crank
5.7" forged big beam rods with ARP rod bolts
10 to 1 compression hypereutectic flat top pistons
More special features of this engine include:

Seasoned 4-bolt main block with one piece rear main seal to prevent oil leaks
Block has provision for mechanical fuel pump
Engine comes with automatic transmission flexplate - 14" diameter, 168 teeth
Deck head gasket surface on block to ensure a good seal
New Hydraulic flat tappet cam with .512" valve lift
New Dart/World/RHS heart-shaped chamber, 200cc intake runners, straight plug heads with 2.02"Int/1.600"Exh swirl polished stainless valves with undercut stems for even more flow
Heads cast with extra thick deck surface
Hardened exhaust seats for use with both leaded or unleaded fuels
New 1.440" High performance springs set up to match cam
New Chrome moly retainers and hardened keepers
New High temperature valve seals
New Valve guides
New Screw-in rocker studs with guide plates
New Roller rocker arms
New Hardened push rods
New Perfect Circle rings
New Double row timing set
New High volume oil pump with welded big pickup screen and steel drive shaft and steel guide
New Revolutionary 1-pc design molded rubber oil pan gasket with load limiters to prevent over-tightening and higher temperature resistance than standard cork-rubber gaskets
New Brass expansion plugs
New Edelbrock Victor Jr aluminum intake manifold
All parts are painted separately before assembly for that show quality look
This engine comes completely assembled with oil pan, driver side chrome dipstick and tube, chrome bowtie timing cover, harmonic balancer, valve covers, and an Edelbrock Victor Jr aluminum intake manifold.

This engine is custom built from start to finish in our state of the art facility by professionals that take pride in their work to guarantee that you get a top quality engine the first time!.

This engine is covered by a 1 year written warranty.

The 383 only says this.

This offer is a Chevy 383 stroker motor, with GM iron VORTECH heads. The block is a 350 with 1-piece seal, that recieves this machining: Bored and honed- Grind for rod clearance with stroker crank. The VORTECH iron heads, feature 175cc intake ports - heart shaped 64cc chambers, for greater strength and performance. No core exchange required, saving you HUNDRED$$

This engine is built to order, taking appox. 3 weeks, after payment thru PayPal. The engine comes with a NEW 5qt. oil pan and balancer installed, along with a NEW (Satin or Polished finish) dual plane intake manifold. The engine will be painted the color of your choice, and comes with valvecovers of choice (chrome plated steel - black/red letters - gray/blue letters).

The cast crankshaft is by EAGLE products, with 5.7" long I-beam rods and SpeedPro flatop pistons with moly rings, giving 10to1 compression ratio. A custom ground hydralic camshaft, spec's (230/230`@.050" with .480" lift) with matching valve springs, that provides a power range from 2000-5500 rpm's.

Expect 425hp and 420 ft.lbs. torque, PERFECT for your CAMARO / FIREBIRD / TRANS AM / C-10 / S-10 / CHEVELLE / MALIBU / CORVETTE / VEGA / STREET ROD / IMPALA / BEL AIR / EL CAMINO. This motor has serious power!

Price is only $2599.00 + freight. Please give city and zip code, for accurate shipping cost. Questions, call HERB 281-546-6232

Want to unleash 30hp? Stage II porting available, only $300.00 extra. Aluminum 1.6 ratio roller rocker $250.00 extra.
 

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I wouldn't go with either of them without the exact brand names and part # of every piece used. I've seen enough about Eagle from professional machinists and builders to stay away from their stuff, the quality is all over the place. Just listing everything as "New" doesn't cut it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Everyone has been telling me not to buy them, what should I buy then, please just dont say dont buy it and thats it, give me a suggestion on where to pick up a decent engine for 3k dollars, I am seriously all ears. Thanks everyone Peter
 

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Honestly, I'd go with a 350 Vortec crate engine from GM. They're quality is pretty good, warranty is great, and down the rod if you want to build for more power you can get the heads machined, new intake, and a cam and gain 75hp.

I'm NOT a big fan of crates. The other option is to find a machinist that will build you an engine using a core you provide and all the parts you provide. You won't get a warranty BUT you knwo just where the quality lies. Most shops will charge about $400 for assembly, and probably about $600 for tear down and various machining to your core- leaving you $500 to purchase a Vortec core, $500 to purchase a rebuild kit, and $500 to purchase a cam/spring kit. If you throw in an extra $500 to spring for the added cost of a 383 kit VS a 350 and a nice intake you're now at about 3G's and have the potential to make a 10:1 Vortec engine with a nice hyd. roller cam that has close to 500 hp...

Which is why I don't like crates, for an added $400 you can usually gain about 50hp if you pick the parts yourself instead of having the shops use whatever budget replacement parts they can buy in bulk.
 
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