Smartest way to get to a 350?

Discussion in 'Engine Topic' started by FunBobby, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. FunBobby

    FunBobby Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Hi Guys,

    Looking for a little advice. My car currently has a '71 307 in it. It's reliable, but not really what I want. I want to eventually move to a 350. I want the car to be fun to drive, but it will strictly be a street car. The current sbc has been equipped with 4bbl Qjet, everything seems to be in great working order. I am not an experienced mechanic, but I'm comfortable with my ability to follow directions and learn. I wouldn't want to jump into assembling an engine from scratch because I just don't have the experience, but I also don't want to pay for the "simple" stuff that I could do myself (and enjoy learning). All of that comes into play when I look at my options for changing engines. Whenever I find myself jumping back and forth between options, I always look for advice to help settle into a plan. So far, here's the way I see it:

    1) complete turn-key crate engine - drop it in myself
    2) long block crate - using existing intake, carb, water pump, etc.
    3) seek out used 350 (have rebuilt if necessary)
    4) probably other options I haven't thought of

    My subject says "smartest way"...that's because I'm not necessarily looking for the cheapest way - but then again, I'd rather spend $2k than $6k if I can achieve what I want.

    Any advice, or shared experiences are welcomed as always!

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  2. harbone66

    harbone66 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    these days crate motors are the way to go. by the time you bought a used engine and sent it to the machine shop to get rebuilt it would exceed the price of the crate setup. plus you can get some crate motors with a decent warranty
     
  3. FunBobby

    FunBobby Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I included a description of MY abilities so I could also discuss what kind of crate. Is turn-key the way to go, or supply the "extras" myself?
     
  4. Chevrolaine

    Chevrolaine Veteran Member Gold Member

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    Yup, unless you find a known good running one for $5-800, don't even mess around with rebuilding one . Buy a crate and be done. :cool:
     
  5. harbone66

    harbone66 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Depends on your time and the difference in cost between a long block and a fully dressed motor. You will benefit from a different intake and carb by ditching the Quadrabog carb you have now. But if you go with the bare block you also have to clean up all your tin work off the existing motor cause who wants to install a new motor with the old motors dirty clothes on it. Do a side by side price comparison between the 2 options and see by the time you add everything up, which works better for your abilities, time and cash flow.
     
  6. KEVS79

    KEVS79 Veteran Member

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    It depends on what you want to learn. I found a short block 350 on Craigslist for 50.00. Removed the slight ridge and honed the cylinders, re-ringed, had to buy a crank and lower bearings, cam and lifters. Re-used my 305 heads and put a 4barrel and Edlebrock intake that I already bought for the 305 and it runs great! I don't have a lot in it and it was a good learning experience and I can say I did all the work. If I had to take it o the machine shop and have them do all the work and could not have reused my heads then a crate would have been the better option.
     
  7. Ryker

    Ryker Member

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    Around here you can get decent used 350s for 150 to 400.
     
  8. Smokes

    Smokes Veteran Member

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    I'd look for a good running 350 if you can, don't take there word for one sitting in there garage, seeing your in SC there should be quit a few still around for a song, If you don't feel comfortable buying a used engine, i'd just get a crate or long-block, I don't like buying re-builders that much, because your paying twice, once for the engine & then all the machine work, it can/will add up.
     
  9. FunBobby

    FunBobby Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I especially love the ones on Craigslist - nothing but a greasy old engine block sitting in the corner of a garage, with the description, "good running 350" :)
     
  10. mgoad1971

    mgoad1971 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Really? I got a quote to get 290hp out of my engine rebuilt for $800. With the addition of a top end kit, it sounds like a good deal to me!

    I'm kinda in the same boat I guess. I've priced some good turn keys, but I really want reliability



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