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Discussion Starter #1
can u guys help me with a build.
is there a proper order of operations.

i want to build a 350 for a 30 model T.
3200lbs. 700r trans, 3.43 rear 15" rims.
street manners low end torque. pump gas
im thinking aftermarket alum heads,180 intake ports, 202/160 valves, 64cc chambers.
stock crank.

where do we start?
squish, static compression, cam?
 

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It depends on your skill, garage space, tools, and so on.

The best place to start is saving. You can never have enough cash.
While saving make a build cost sheet.

If you already have the car then you need to look at what has to be done to make it handle and stop before looking at ways to make it faster.

If you dont have the car that can be a good thing. You can save thousands buying someones half done project as long as what they did was done in a fixable manner.

Like if I wanted to build a model T I would search for a "Speedway special" where the previous owner bought everything out of a catalog, bolted it together, then ran out of cash before the motor and transmission were finished.

Good chassis, suspension, axles, and maybe even a unpainted tub. For 20-40% less then what you could have paid and that does not include shipping time or freight cost.

Drivetrain wise take baby steps. Drop a smog 350 in to get all the fulfillment headaches figured out. Then grab another shortblock to build. This way the car is not sitting for months while that $3000 engine is being built. Thats how projects get avoided, forgotten, and eventually become like the speedway special referenced above.
 

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That's solid advice right there.
I like the part about having a different motor to start off with. Get all your plumbing right. Wiring, and accessories. Get that baby running, then put the power to it later!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks for the advice.
the car is my brothers and he is focusing on the car. he has asked for advice with the motor since i have a better understanding of that end. we will start in the spring with a stock 350. i am hear to plan the next motor step.
he wants to be able to spin the tire with ease.
so i need your help with the order of operations on the motor itself.
my reading tell me the static compression for the street should be 10:1 max with alum heads. but cam selection can change the dynamic compression so much , im not 100% sure where to start with static.
so back to order of operations?
 

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I just built a 10:1 SBC 350 with aluminum heads. It's long, but there is a lot of info in the thread I posted.
 

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Contemporary engine design constraints lead by the limits of available fuel octane, best power, lowest fuel burn, minimum emissions are optimized by the following:

- Modern design even with the constraint of best available octane being 91 to maybe 93 octane still results in an easy 400 foot pounds of torque and 400 horsepower at modest RPM and that with a moderate cam, compression, and a carburetor compared to a1969-1970, 350 where 350 to 375 horsepower was the streetable upper limit and at 375 with fuel injection.

- Nearly all of this is in modern intake manifold design such as the Edelbrock Performer RPM as an example of about 5 contenders; see this link https://www.hotrod.com/articles/dual-plane-intake-manifold-comparisons/ These manifolds will accommodate a self learning TBI with either the center divider cut down about 3/4 inch or an open spacer put between the TBI and intake; TBI prefers an opened plenum of a dual plane intake. Or you can go single plane intake with TBI without the low end penalty being as abrupt as with a carb on these type intakes. If you live where the weather is warm to hot and the humidity low an air gap is fine. If your weather tends toward cool and or with high humidity then fuel atomization and plenum ice can be problems.

- Heads run a mind numbing gambit of what is available with modern combustion chambers starting with the 1996 L31 Vortec. This introduces the modern heart shaped chamber for the first time since the 1954 Ford Y Block, a one year adventure in Ricardo chamber design they repeated for another year on the 360 hp, FE352. Then that chamber shape lay dormant for another 36 years till Chevy picked it up for the L31 head. Today this is the go to chamber design and is found in the wide array of aftermarket and Chevy GMPP heads in aluminum and cast iron. The problem with the production L31 head is it needs valve guide triming for lifts over .45 intake and .47 exhaust.

- The bottom of the combustion chamber is the piston crown. The factory to this day likes to use a circular dish to dial in compression I guess this is where cost over rides performance, efficiency, and emissions. The dish reduces anti-detonation performance to a high degree so seekers of best power and drivability characteristics of above are left to purchase higher octane fuel or a knock sensing mechanism. To tune the compression ratio to available octane fuel and preserve best combustion characteristics the D dish or D cup piston crown shape allows tailoring the compression ratios and maintains best chamber burn characteristics. Another way to go is with a modern 74ish cc chamber with a flat top piston. Head material and porting counts for a lot as does the piston crown shape. Digging out some of my old shop notes I have among a bunch of dyno runs an experiment we did with a 350 with factory round dish pistons then D dish pistons under modded for lift L31 heads and then AFR 190’s which are as 190 heads go are el’supreamo. Compression is at 9.4 static in all cases the cam is my all to common choice of the Comp XE268H. The peak with the L31 heads and round dish pistons is a wide band from 3400 to 4300 RPM that wiggles from 395 to 399 ft pounds with HP at 370 from 5400 to 5800 with a sharp drop off; with D dish pistons the torque peak is of shorter duration 3600 to 4400 RPM at 420 ft pounds with HP peaking at 390 over a range of 5600 to 5800 and still making 386 at 6000 before the valve train quite following the cam. Putting AFR 190’s showed much better performance with the D dishes with a nice but so huge gain as seen with the L31’s. The round dish piston generated a wicked flat torque plateau of 413 ft pounds at 3200 to 4800 RPM with a loft a little over 420 ft. lbs. from 3800 to 4600. But the torque curve dropped off faster but remained at least 10 ft pounds higher. The D dish piston picked up about 5 to 10 ft. lbs. over the same RPMs but has an oddity of picking up the bottom end torque ar 2600 RPM by 20 ft lbs but The horsepower curve with the D dish pistons was similar to the torque gains and extended power for another 200 RPM. The take away is the D dish piston on the L31 head had a massive torque and power increase over the round dish by 30 ft lbs and 20 horsepower and extended the useable power 400 RPM; with the aluminum AFR 190 power increases of D dish over round dish increased torque and power more modestly at 5 to 10 ft lbs and horsepowers. The D dish piston on a lesser head does a lot to close the distance on the better head which was less responsive to the piston change. Iron vs aluminum might be at play here as the operating temps and compression were kept the same, running higher operating temps and more compression might have shown more gains for the AFR as aluminum heads are more tolerant of these type changes than iron and actually need these changes as they are where you can capitalize power output on the material and thermal properties of aluminum.

Bogie
 

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Every Engine Project SHOULD start with a pen and paper to write down the goals and PN's and specs so one doesn't get lost in the direction of the build.
Trust me when I say that the internet is full of garbage and good deals. It's really easy to stray from the plan if there isn't one on paper.

For example, you might find a killer deal on some intake. You decide to buy it because it's cheap even though it's not exactly what you had on paper but it cheap enough, shiny enough, looks cool or a buddy say so or the internet says it the shiz nit. Now you have to plan around it, maybe buy new bolts, plates, gaskets, brackets, wires, housing or something to make it work because it saved you money. See the problem? You saved money with a compromise, then spent the same or more money making a compromise work.

Always start with a Pen and Paper and budget.
 

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It is a model t, it isn't heavy, you don't need anything fancy. As getting the power to the ground will be an issue unless you spend time on the read end set up. Gobbs of low end torque is great if you can use it.
A co-worker built a t bucket. it had 2 different 350's in it. one had lots of power from just off idle to 5800 rpm.
It was a hadful as you could light up the tires at any speed.
2nd one was built knowing it powercurve would extend past normal use.
big single plane intake, larger than needed ports, and a cam that power band started at 3500 rpm.
The T bucket was easier to get out of the hole (from a stand still) but you could still if you wanted fry the tires till you lifted, It also helped the car not step out every shift, unless you were WOT, the 1st one anything over 1/3 throttle and the car would step sideways when shifting leaving rubber. And it still went like hell from 2000 rpm on, because the car weight was nothing. The "too big" intake tract killed the low end torque enough that it wasn't a twitchy mess to drive, and still quick as hell.

Make a parts list, and the vehicles use, you have to be honest with yourself, here.
It itis a cruiser, building a fire breather is a drivebility headache.
You also have to be honest with yourself on what you are going to be doing the the rest of the car. So it can use what you give it. And 1) not break and 2) do more than light up the tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I just built a 10:1 SBC 350 with aluminum heads. It's long, but there is a lot of info in the thread I posted.

thanks
that sounds like a fun build i will give it a good read.
in the mean time can i ask how these light cars perform with a stock 350? can they spin the tires easily with peddle only?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Every Engine Project SHOULD start with a pen and paper to write down the goals and PN's and specs so one doesn't get lost in the direction of the build.
Trust me when I say that the internet is full of garbage and good deals. It's really easy to stray from the plan if there isn't one on paper.

For example, you might find a killer deal on some intake. You decide to buy it because it's cheap even though it's not exactly what you had on paper but it cheap enough, shiny enough, looks cool or a buddy say so or the internet says it the shiz nit. Now you have to plan around it, maybe buy new bolts, plates, gaskets, brackets, wires, housing or something to make it work because it saved you money. See the problem? You saved money with a compromise, then spent the same or more money making a compromise work.

Always start with a Pen and Paper and budget.
absolutely good advice. Have pen in hand. thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It is a model t, it isn't heavy, you don't need anything fancy. As getting the power to the ground will be an issue unless you spend time on the read end set up. Gobbs of low end torque is great if you can use it.
A co-worker built a t bucket. it had 2 different 350's in it. one had lots of power from just off idle to 5800 rpm.
It was a hadful as you could light up the tires at any speed.
2nd one was built knowing it powercurve would extend past normal use.
big single plane intake, larger than needed ports, and a cam that power band started at 3500 rpm.
The T bucket was easier to get out of the hole (from a stand still) but you could still if you wanted fry the tires till you lifted, It also helped the car not step out every shift, unless you were WOT, the 1st one anything over 1/3 throttle and the car would step sideways when shifting leaving rubber. And it still went like hell from 2000 rpm on, because the car weight was nothing. The "too big" intake tract killed the low end torque enough that it wasn't a twitchy mess to drive, and still quick as hell.

Make a parts list, and the vehicles use, you have to be honest with yourself, here.
It itis a cruiser, building a fire breather is a drivebility headache.
You also have to be honest with yourself on what you are going to be doing the the rest of the car. So it can use what you give it. And 1) not break and 2) do more than light up the tires.
great input and it brings me to an important part of the equation. how much power does a 2300lb. car need? this is why i want to start with a stock 350. so we can FEEL at the seat of our pant what that amount of torque is like. can u give me a sense of what was in the 2 builds? cams and head may give me an idea. he has had a 327 and 350 in another 3200 lb car, and they were dogs. but we didnt know anything about those motors and the r gone now.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Contemporary engine design constraints lead by the limits of available fuel octane, best power, lowest fuel burn, minimum emissions are optimized by the following:

- Modern design even with the constraint of best available octane being 91 to maybe 93 octane still results in an easy 400 foot pounds of torque and 400 horsepower at modest RPM and that with a moderate cam, compression, and a carburetor compared to a1969-1970, 350 where 350 to 375 horsepower was the streetable upper limit and at 375 with fuel injection.

- Nearly all of this is in modern intake manifold design such as the Edelbrock Performer RPM as an example of about 5 contenders; see this link Dual Plane Intake Manifold Comparisons - Car Craft Magazine These manifolds will accommodate a self learning TBI with either the center divider cut down about 3/4 inch or an open spacer put between the TBI and intake; TBI prefers an opened plenum of a dual plane intake. Or you can go single plane intake with TBI without the low end penalty being as abrupt as with a carb on these type intakes. If you live where the weather is warm to hot and the humidity low an air gap is fine. If your weather tends toward cool and or with high humidity then fuel atomization and plenum ice can be problems.

- Heads run a mind numbing gambit of what is available with modern combustion chambers starting with the 1996 L31 Vortec. This introduces the modern heart shaped chamber for the first time since the 1954 Ford Y Block, a one year adventure in Ricardo chamber design they repeated for another year on the 360 hp, FE352. Then that chamber shape lay dormant for another 36 years till Chevy picked it up for the L31 head. Today this is the go to chamber design and is found in the wide array of aftermarket and Chevy GMPP heads in aluminum and cast iron. The problem with the production L31 head is it needs valve guide triming for lifts over .45 intake and .47 exhaust.

- The bottom of the combustion chamber is the piston crown. The factory to this day likes to use a circular dish to dial in compression I guess this is where cost over rides performance, efficiency, and emissions. The dish reduces anti-detonation performance to a high degree so seekers of best power and drivability characteristics of above are left to purchase higher octane fuel or a knock sensing mechanism. To tune the compression ratio to available octane fuel and preserve best combustion characteristics the D dish or D cup piston crown shape allows tailoring the compression ratios and maintains best chamber burn characteristics. Another way to go is with a modern 74ish cc chamber with a flat top piston. Head material and porting counts for a lot as does the piston crown shape. Digging out some of my old shop notes I have among a bunch of dyno runs an experiment we did with a 350 with factory round dish pistons then D dish pistons under modded for lift L31 heads and then AFR 190’s which are as 190 heads go are el’supreamo. Compression is at 9.4 static in all cases the cam is my all to common choice of the Comp XE268H. The peak with the L31 heads and round dish pistons is a wide band from 3400 to 4300 RPM that wiggles from 395 to 399 ft pounds with HP at 370 from 5400 to 5800 with a sharp drop off; with D dish pistons the torque peak is of shorter duration 3600 to 4400 RPM at 420 ft pounds with HP peaking at 390 over a range of 5600 to 5800 and still making 386 at 6000 before the valve train quite following the cam. Putting AFR 190’s showed much better performance with the D dishes with a nice but so huge gain as seen with the L31’s. The round dish piston generated a wicked flat torque plateau of 413 ft pounds at 3200 to 4800 RPM with a loft a little over 420 ft. lbs. from 3800 to 4600. But the torque curve dropped off faster but remained at least 10 ft pounds higher. The D dish piston picked up about 5 to 10 ft. lbs. over the same RPMs but has an oddity of picking up the bottom end torque ar 2600 RPM by 20 ft lbs but The horsepower curve with the D dish pistons was similar to the torque gains and extended power for another 200 RPM. The take away is the D dish piston on the L31 head had a massive torque and power increase over the round dish by 30 ft lbs and 20 horsepower and extended the useable power 400 RPM; with the aluminum AFR 190 power increases of D dish over round dish increased torque and power more modestly at 5 to 10 ft lbs and horsepowers. The D dish piston on a lesser head does a lot to close the distance on the better head which was less responsive to the piston change. Iron vs aluminum might be at play here as the operating temps and compression were kept the same, running higher operating temps and more compression might have shown more gains for the AFR as aluminum heads are more tolerant of these type changes than iron and actually need these changes as they are where you can capitalize power output on the material and thermal properties of aluminum.

Bogie
there is a lot of great info hear.
thanks
this will steer me towards d dish pistons.
do u recommend 9.7:1 for most mild to mid pump gas apps?
i feel like i want to learn more about choosing a cam and dynamic ratio then the static required for that.
does the average guy need to do this or just stay under a certain ratio and go? most say 10:1 static is fine for the street. i assume this is due to the cams most guys use.
 

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If you are going to rebuild your own engine and are a first timer, There is great book by David Vizard on "Rebuilding the small block Chevy". This publication is a wealth of knowledge. I see that no one discusses the teardown, which is very important. Numbering and marking rods is critical. Has the engine been rebuilt before, check the bearing sizes. It may not be standard from the factory, this is rare but it happens. Looking for wear patterns, measuring crank journals, bore sizing for wear. Head gasket sealing, does it need to be decked? Are the head valve guides worn out etc. These are basic things to check, therefore you will know the condition of engine and know what machine work will be required. This may save you time and money.

It is almost laughable, however whenever I select a cam, I pick the cam that I think will perform good and then buy the next smaller grind. It's always been a wise decision. But that's me, your mileage may vary. Good luck on your project.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If you are going to rebuild your own engine and are a first timer, There is great book by David Vizard on "Rebuilding the small block Chevy". This publication is a wealth of knowledge. I see that no one discusses the teardown, which is very important. Numbering and marking rods is critical. Has the engine been rebuilt before, check the bearing sizes. It may not be standard from the factory, this is rare but it happens. Looking for wear patterns, measuring crank journals, bore sizing for wear. Head gasket sealing, does it need to be decked? Are the head valve guides worn out etc. These are basic things to check, therefore you will know the condition of engine and know what machine work will be required. This may save you time and money.

It is almost laughable, however whenever I select a cam, I pick the cam that I think will perform good and then buy the next smaller grind. It's always been a wise decision. But that's me, your mileage may vary. Good luck on your project.
thanks i have a few for his books, maybe that 1 as well. i have built a few motors but not gotten as deep as i want to hear.
 

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in the mean time can i ask how these light cars perform with a stock 350? can they spin the tires easily with peddle only?
A stock 350 will light the tires. Mine will melt them.
I just want to mention that if your brother has a 1930 Ford it is a Model A. Last year for T's was 1927.
 

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Light builds are diffrent then heavier builds.

I like to use a 1hp for every 10lbs of total weight. A 2300 car that has 230hp is going to be a nice driver. Because it "only" has 230hp that means you can use lighter drivetrain parts elsewhere. Usually parts that can take higher horsepower numbers are heavier or made from expensive materials.
But 230hp you can run things like transmissions weighing 100lbs and aluminum differential cases. Frankly 230hp can be made with a aluminum block, aluminum head 4 cylinder engine quite easily and safely that will give you mileage in the 20's on a bad day. A engine weighing 300 to 350lbs(thats everything that the engine takes including turbo acessory weights) can save you 200 to 300lbs over a sbc.
A miata 1.8, 5 speed, and irs would actually be a good place to start if you have a 230hp goal. You can get parts that will support that hp number while not being much heavier. Depending on what your planning for the front suspension you might consider using the entire lightweight chassis or building a aluminum frame to support a beam front.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
A stock 350 will light the tires. Mine will melt them.
I just want to mention that if your brother has a 1930 Ford it is a Model A. Last year for T's was 1927.
yes you r right, i noticed that after i posted. as i said he is the car guy. i'm intrigued buy motors. ive mostly been a motorcycle guy.
glad to hear your build when so well. it sounds like it is just what i need to build.
have u put many miles on it yet? at 9.7:1 im curious about the pump gas. did u get a chance to try diluting the high test a bit yet?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Light builds are diffrent then heavier builds.

I like to use a 1hp for every 10lbs of total weight. A 2300 car that has 230hp is going to be a nice driver. Because it "only" has 230hp that means you can use lighter drivetrain parts elsewhere. Usually parts that can take higher horsepower numbers are heavier or made from expensive materials.
But 230hp you can run things like transmissions weighing 100lbs and aluminum differential cases. Frankly 230hp can be made with a aluminum block, aluminum head 4 cylinder engine quite easily and safely that will give you mileage in the 20's on a bad day. A engine weighing 300 to 350lbs(thats everything that the engine takes including turbo acessory weights) can save you 200 to 300lbs over a sbc.
A miata 1.8, 5 speed, and irs would actually be a good place to start if you have a 230hp goal. You can get parts that will support that hp number while not being much heavier. Depending on what your planning for the front suspension you might consider using the entire lightweight chassis or building a aluminum frame to support a beam front.
im sure u r right but he is sold on the 350 chev build. thanks
 

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If you are going to rebuild your own engine and are a first timer, There is great book by David Vizard on "Rebuilding the small block Chevy". This publication is a wealth of knowledge. I see that no one discusses the teardown, which is very important. Numbering and marking rods is critical. Has the engine been rebuilt before, check the bearing sizes. It may not be standard from the factory, this is rare but it happens. Looking for wear patterns, measuring crank journals, bore sizing for wear. Head gasket sealing, does it need to be decked? Are the head valve guides worn out etc. These are basic things to check, therefore you will know the condition of engine and know what machine work will be required. This may save you time and money.

It is almost laughable, however whenever I select a cam, I pick the cam that I think will perform good and then buy the next smaller grind. It's always been a wise decision. But that's me, your mileage may vary. Good luck on your project.
Marking the main caps YES, rods. yes BUT
As the rods should have new bolts installed and that will need the rods big end resized.
When was young and dumb, many a Chevy small block got the dingle berry hone, file fit rings, emery cloth polish on the crank and bearings. cam/lifers and valve springs. valve job and knurling of guides and not much else. Somehow they lived . It was def, NOT how to build them but what is a broke kid to do that wants to go fast(er).
Today it is a lot easier to pick parts, as there is 1000 different ways to build it up. and all have been done . and most of the knowledge is only a web search away.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
thinking about head gaskets for another motor. on a 350- .060 over. 4.060" how big of a diameter should u exceed the bore size?. i guess my question applies to any bore of similar size. i m looking for a thickness about .022" for a 388 stroker with the piston .018" down. with alum heads. i see some close sizes but they are for bigger bores. whats the ideal size over the bore size?
 
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