I figured I would start a thread to track my progress and just put some information out there for anyone who is looking for vortec info and also for me who may have some questions. My initial plan was to do a vintage looking small block that was period correct, but life happened and so I went ahead and put that on the back burner for now, and do a simple heads, cam and intake package so the car would at least make decent HP for the time being. As anyone knows, as nice is my 77 Z28 is, 185hp is ridiculous. I went ahead and bought NEW GM 062 Mexican casting Vortec heads assembled as part of a top end package that Chevrolet Performance sells, p/n 12558060K1 which comes with the heads, head gaskets, head bolts and intake bolts. I believe the head gaskets are .028" compressed but I am not sure if I will need them or not yet. Now, knowing that the springs are not going to work with the cam and retainer to seal clearance is an issue, I went ahead and purchased Alex's Spring kit p/n VSK4H50 for use with the cam I need (more on that later) and also remedy the clearance issue. For the intake I chose to stay GM (I work for GM) and went with the Chevrolet Performance 12366573. This is the same high rise dual plane GM uses on a lot of its crate engines which should be perfect for what this car needs. These intakes have a good reputation with the circle track crowd and is said to be very similar to the Edelbrock RPM. For the camshaft I am going to run a hydraulic flat tappet this go round. After talking to a few well known builders, the flat tappet below 220-ish or so lift really does not give up much to the roller. For the price difference I am willing to take that chance and find out. The only problem is Im not sure which one, so I bought both cams I liked as well as the lifter kit, 3100 roller timing chain, Magnum 1.5:1 rocker arms and pushrods, which is still waiting to be filled due to a lifter shortage. Cam #1 choice is an XE262H-10, 218/224 .462"/.469" ground on a 110 with a 106 ICL. This cam I think would be the better of the 2 for drivability and cruising. I have found numerous people who run this cam with Vortec heads and reported they are very happy with the results. I have seen anywhere from 260rwhp to 340rwhp with this build. There have also been a few magazine builds with this cam, making over 415hp. Project Danger Mouse - https://www.motortrend.com/how-to/s...est-engine-results-danger-mouse-part-fifteen/ - and - Project Clone - a copy engine made after Danger Mouse that also put up about the same numbers https://www.motortrend.com/how-to/sucp-0401-chevy-350-small-block-clone/ Cam option #2 is the Comp XE274H-10. This cam is more aggressive with 230/236 .487"/.490" also ground on a 110 with a 106 ICL. I have heard idle videos of this cam and also researched a ton of info where this was used with Vortec heads with great results. There are also a few builds I could highlight but I will just tell you what you already know, it made more power but sacrificed some low end tq and driveability. The reason I am hanging on to this cam is for the simple truth, I might need it! This past weekend I drove to Houston to go see the in-laws and dropped my new heads off to Mark at MK Racing Heads, a local respected porter who does a lot of Super Stock Class heads for a little clean up and to set up the valve springs. We talked and BS'd for literally a couple hours and I have to say that I was really impressed. He works out of his house and believe me, he DOESN'T need to BS for money. He even showed me exactly what he was going to do to the heads, and how he focuses on port shape more than anything. It was really cool to see his work and how the ports had a really trick twist to them. Were going to stay with a 1.94 intake valve and try to get the velocity up as much as possible all the way up to .500-.550" lift and keep them flowing where the flow will not drop off like stock vortec heads do. This, I believe will be my ace in the hole. He basically gave me a wink and said, expect 30 more hp. http://www.mkracingheads.com/ I am also going to mill the heads a little, but I need to get some measurements first so its back to the garage for tear down. Not wanting to scuff the paint, I ordered a full face fender cover from Bob's fender covers. It fits like a charm and it works! As you can see I got the intake and valve covers off and all the coolant drained. I also ordered a few more parts. The clutch was no doubt going to have to be upgraded, so for this I leaned on my own experience and bought a McCleod Super Street Pro Clutch kit. p/n 75224. I also need to see if I can resurface the flywheel I have or just replace it. I will know once I remove it and check for damage which should be any weekend now. The factory exhaust on the car is also a y-pipe into a dual outlet type exhaust. This will not work. I ended up ordering the Flowmaster 17149 2 1/2" exhaust system but it is also on back order. They are saying mid August due to covid, but we'll see. https://www.holley.com/products/exhaust/exhaust_systems/flowmaster/american_thunder/parts/17149 Alright. Enough for tonight. I need to go check on some of my orders and hit the sack.