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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

I'm not sure if this is in the right section, but here goes.

I have a 74 chevelle with a 350 and a 2bbl carb. It's been sitting for 3 years now, but I finally have the space to work on it with some friends (who are much more experienced than I am ).

It's been sitting for so long b/c it developed a major oil leak and hasn't been moved since. So...for the project, this is what I want to do.

-replace all gaskets
-more power all around (this is where i need your input)
-probably new brakes (are there disc upgrades available cheap?)
-points to HEI
-whatever else I will need to do

This car will be for the street (mostly a weekend car) not for racing, but probably some spirited driving on occassions.
What can i do to get her running and running fast?

I am thinking about: keep in mind that I'm on a budget
-4bbl carb (what kind would be best?)
-intake to go with the carb (what kind is best?)
-HEI distributor (what do I go with?)
Cam??? (don't know if I need a new one?)
What else can i do???

Any and all help is greatly appreciated!!!!

Thanks guys,
Joe
 

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Considering your budget and goals, I think an Edelbrock performer package including Performer Manifold, cam kit, & carb wold fill the bill perfectly. Those parts are EGR pollution compatible. If you don't want that feature, they have the non EGR versions too.

As far as ignition goes, the stock Chevy HEI is great for all but the hottest street/strip engines so go to your local Pick-A-Part and get what you need there for pennies.

Those mods will run around $800 assuming you do a tune up with plugs, new wires, and all that arm waiving. If your budget allows, you can look at new heads, higher compression pistons, headers, etc., etc. then you need to look at a bigger cam Performer+ manifold, 750 carb etc. Speed costs - how much do you want to spend?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the tips! I don't want to spend too much...I don't have a set budget though. I am a college student, so the money that I don't spend can be used in other areas.

Where is the best place to buy parts? Are there any online places that are a great deal?

I am also looking into a front end rebuild kit by Performance suspension components. It's only 269.

Thanks for the help and I look forward to hearing more comments and suggestions!

I also want to do headers and possibly some sort of mufflers straight from the headers...any ideas on what sounds the best on a budget?

Joe
 

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I like Summit and Jegs mail order. Their parts end up being cheaper than local speed shops - usually no sales tax - and delivery is quick, service top notch.

Suspension rebuilds are always a good idea on a vintage car. After you do the rebuilt, the absolute best addition you can make, if the car doesn't have them, is front and rear sway bars.

With your car specs, you need a long tube header, something with 34" to 36" primary tubes and 1 1/2" to 1/34" tube diameter. Get them with a 3/8" flange and 16ga tubing. Cost a little more but the quality is worth it. Get them ceramic coated which will make them 100% maintenance free and last forever.
Then any 2 1/2" exhaust with turbo or glass packs will be very economical and perform and sound great.
 

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What kind of budget are you looking at. $500-1000 or less than that? Shop around or get with the buds and see if anyone can hook you up with a used intake. You should be able to find one used for almost nothing. Then go for a nice street cam and new lifter for less than $200. Then go for the carb to go with the intake. Something along the line of a 650 Edelbrock. New will set you back about $300 or shop used and get a rebuild kit. Do a lot of shopping on Ebay to get the most bang for the buck. After all of that look into a new exhaust system. Something a little less restrictive than stock but do not go overboard with size. If headers are not in the budget at least get new pipes and plan on headers in the future.

Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My total budget will be slightly over 1000.
I would like to do the points to HEI converstion, headers, new carb/intake/cam, and whatever else that I will need to do in order to get the car in tip top condition.

I would like to get some cheaper headers, but i want it to sound good and loud.

As for a used intake...what kind will be best? I don't want stock, i would prefer something that can provide some power.

What do you think about the intake kit by edelbrock sold by Jegs? It has the intake manifold, cam, and carb that are all designed to work together for about 500. It sounds pretty good to me.

Thanks for the help!!
 

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Willys36 is providing sound advice. So often parts are purchased with little or no regard for how the combination of the "package" will work together. Edelbrock has done their homework on their powerpackages so the components will work well together.

I too have been satisfied with Summit and Jegs. You can shop around on Ebay as well.

You might save money buying used parts but my exoerience has been I am much happier (and sometimes money ahead) on an overall basis buying the new parts.

If you don't know how well the engine was functioning I would perform a compression and leak down tests to verify the rings and valves were sealing.

Suspension parts could also be bought at NAPA and don't overlook the brakes. You wanna be able to stop better than you can go.

Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The brakes will also be an important part of this project. I know that a new master cylinder will be purchased and the brakes will be replaced.

Are there any cheap upgrades available?? Are there any larger rotors/calipers that are compatible?
I have disc up front and drum in the rear.


I will definately do the testing before bolting on any performance parts!!

Thanks for the help!!
 

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Places for brake upgrades - you could check with Master Power, Baer, Wilwood.

If you are going to use the car for cruising at normal road speeds the base brakes functioning as the factory intended should be sufficient.
 

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or Jeff, or Doc, or...
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Didn't the 74 come standard with Discs? I thought they did. If not, you can get everything you need at the local parts store. Master cylinder , rotors, calipers, etc. Try Team Chevelle for brake swap info using stock parts. Not sure if the spindles interchange or not.


If your going to buy a carb and intake, go with the Edelbrock package. Same if you add a cam. Let someone else make the mismatch mistakes.

The benefit? If you have a tuning issue, you can dump it in Edelbrocks lap, and they can walk you through it. If you bought an ABC Cam, with a DEF carb and a GHI intake, everyone will point fingers at the other manufacturer.

BIG POINT ! Make sure whoever sells you a carb, KNOWS what cam you are using. A long duration cam has less vacuum to provide the idle circuit (in the carb) the vacuum signal it needs to operate correctly.
Case in point: 330hp Crate motor can not use the Road Demon carb efficiently. Won't idle, and you get an offidel stumble when you accelrate. You need the "Crate Demon" for that carb. I made that mistake. So be sure to ASK QUESTIONS before buying anything, and if they "don't know", don't buy until you do.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the good insight. It looks like I will go with the edelbrock package. Jegs has it for sale, but are there any other vendors that might have it at a cheaper price?

I have disc brakes up front and i plan on redoing them with new parts.

Thanks!!
 

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Don't know if the package is cheaper anywhere else. You might want to google it, check for dealer links at Edelbrock, check on Ebay etc. Shop around and do a price and quality of service analysis.
 

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big joey71,

Absolutely do a compression test first. Don't buy anything until you know the cylinder pressures match and are in the good range

Second buy a good oil pressure guage. You want a minumum 20 lbs at idle with the engine warmed up, 30-60 lbs while driving.

(Hey chevy guys, what's a good cylinder psi # and oil pressure numbers for his car, I'm a "we put the distributor in the right place Blue Oval" guy)

That's the best $100 you can spend to start your build up.

Last comment: full length headers really only help at high RPM's and are a pain in the ### for about 10 reasons on a street car.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
What brand header would be best for my buck? Do you have a specific model/part # that would work well with a chevy 350 on a 74 chevelle??

Thanks,
Joe
 

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Joe-

When shopping, make sure you count the shipping costs, and order everything at once to minimize the costs (Obviously). You can negotiate a price with your Advance Auto, or Napa or whoever. Show them your catalog or webpage. Most of the times they will deal.


Jeff
 

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Big Joey,

You wrote "I want headers, I want it to be loud and sound good".

You don't need headers (or want) for that. A $70 "H" pipe off the stock manifolds to make it dual exhaust. Then start really cheap with a pair of glasspacks $40/pair to see if the sound suits you.

That's all you need for the basic Performer kit. Adding full length headers may make your stock enging run like a dog at low RPM's with just the Edelbrock kit.
 
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