Smartest way to get to a 350?

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

  1. Zspoiler

    Zspoiler Veteran Member

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    I have a 290 HP 350 in my 1981 El Camino. Its a great daily driver engine.Plus you have a warranty. Junk yard ,and used engines are always a crap shoot. You can get a good deal or it could bite you in the butt.
     
  2. roadrace2

    roadrace2 Veteran Member

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    I like this idea - so im going to have to say, "+1" for this.
     
  3. Rich Schmidt

    Rich Schmidt Veteran Member

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    If you are going the used engine route,sek out a 90's era Vortec headed truck engine. Get one that you can gear run,and don't pay more then $500 for it. Rake it apart,clean and reseal everything,put a real mild cam in it so htat you don't need to machine the heads,you need to stay under about .450" lift,but there are plenty of such cams out there. You will need the correct Vortec intake,but it will be he best overall used engine combo you can put ogether on a shoestring. Factory fuel injected engines hold up way better then the old carb'd engines because the injection provides more accurate fuel metering and doesn't use a choke(which usually doesn't get adjusted properly) like a carb,so the rings don get washed out with too much fuel. Modern oils and higher operating tempatures means there is usually less sludge in late model engines as well.
     
  4. FunBobby

    FunBobby Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Thanks for all of the opinions and links - I'll go through these and make some comparisons. There is always the possibility of finding a fairly complete (running) engine locally, but if I don't find that, I'm not going to buy something and hope it works out. I don't want to learn how to buy a used 350 the hard way...so my only decision may come down to whether I get turn-key, or long block crate. I need to assemble a list of everything I'd need to add to a long block and add it up. As easy as a turn-key would be, I'd probably enjoy bolting on the intake, carb, etc....I just don't want to get in over my head.
     
  5. FunBobby

    FunBobby Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I didn't include this on my original options (more modern engine), but I had thought about this too (thanks for the detail of what to look for)!
     
  6. FunBobby

    FunBobby Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I will seek out threads on swapping engines for newbies....right now its a mystery to me what will work. An old sbc is a "sure thing", so I guess that's the only reason I've been leaning that way.
     
  7. ProStreet383

    ProStreet383 Veteran Member

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    I agree 100%. Get the one designed for the 3/4 and 1 ton trucks. That one has a 4 bolt block and the (from my understanding correct me if I am wrong) thicker casting vortec heads. Jegs also offers free shipping on GM crate engines.


    http://www.jegs.com/i/Chevrolet-Performance/809/12530283/10002/-1?parentProductId=


    Slap a better cam in it and a good vortec air gap intake and you are ready to go. Same engine that came in our 98 K2500 that now has over 200K miles on it of hard work 5 to 6 days a week. The only thing you would need to change is to install an electric fuel pump because these blocks do not have a provision for the old style mechanical fuel pumps. Other than having to get an intake and electric fuel pump the engine itself is a direct drop in no mods needed deal.
     
  8. ssenay72

    ssenay72 Veteran Member

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    I have a zz383 in my corvette. Its really kinda nice. Lots of torque and gets up and goes for sure. Runs very smooth. No issues yet.
     
  9. mgoad1971

    mgoad1971 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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  10. troutman

    troutman Veteran Member

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    Newer model engines also require a different flexplate/flywheel for one piece rear seal verses your old style two piece rear seal engine.
     

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