Smartest way to get to a 350?

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

  1. 79CamaroVERT

    79CamaroVERT Member

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    My Crate Engine

    I went with the entry level GM Crate engine about 4 years ago in my 79 Camaro.. 220 HP w/4bolt main (was an improvement over stock 190 HP).. best lil' engine I've ever owned... great for cruising, parades and car shows.. and above all DEPENDABLE !
     

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  2. 81 Sport Coupe

    81 Sport Coupe Veteran Member

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    I would build a 350 yourself, even if you dont have experience, it would be a good learning experience and then you could say you built it. its not that difficult. anyone could build a 350 hotter than any crate motor for the same price if not less anyhow but thier are some that will disagree, its what you want
     
  3. Flextrainer

    Flextrainer Veteran Member

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    Get what YOU want. BUT be honest about what you want. Don't go buy a crate motor if you are gonna race or show out a little. If you never plan to do either go crate. What I'm getting at is it is cheaper to get what you want than get something you don't and have to put more time and money modding it. I have never understood why people go buy a crate because "it's cheaper" and "you get a magical warranty" just to start modding it right away. What good is a warranty I would rather get a new motor thinking I'm glad I don't need a warranty. Who the heck buys something because if it breaks I can pull it out, send it back, wait a month or two and put it back in if it breaks. By the way just about any internal (cam, lifters, valve springs) mod makes the "magical warranty" magically disappear. True it may take more time, but you usually get better parts (that you don't have to buy and install later) and always more power per dollar. Once you go over 400 hp on a crate you are in the $45-5000 (conservatively) range any way. It will be the same either way though I guess you can spend more time on saving and getting the build now or more time and more on parts later. Again people have differing ways of wanting to get there. A good builder will kill crate motors in every way if talking $ to $ which was part of your equation. You can even get a warranty with just about any reputable builder btw just ask. They will insist on them doing assembly, but they will give one. You don't have a choice with crates. Some will even let you do the long block meaning they will let you do heads up. I may take having a great builder for granted, but they are out there and the options and customer service is better so is the outcome. I have been lucky I guess because my warranty would be about up by now and I have done no mods (to motor) and am beyond happy I went build over crate after months of research. I guess to answer your question which is smarter, I'd have to say build if you are out to get what you want, crate if you want cookie cutter. Or you could have more money than you can spend, in that case buy the supercharged Ls7 crate or 572 duh...the smartest way is to do your research and do what you can on the assembly and install, and picking out parts with a builder you have checked out references for and has earned your business by spending time. My builder still calls me every now and then after over two years (we do go way back too) to ask about one of his babies. If you can find one of those you are good and it won't take but 30 seconds talking to him or her to see the passion, you don't get that from an order taker. Just some things to think about. Btw the vids have her in action and I didn't spend a lot more (considering) than the 360hp crate although I did wait 10 agonizing weeks and had to travel 250 miles, but she has over two years of hard service and runs faster every trip to strip. Runs 7.50's @94-95 in 1/8 in a full weight stock suspended 78 that's ethanol pump gas. I also drive it about 100 miles a week in the spring, summer, fall. About 50/week in winter. I hope you get what you want in the end. I can't believe someone hasn't recommended a builder, there has to be one on here. Mine retired to the public this year and I will have to beg him to build my next one. Btw don't go big name builder they are never as good as the mom and pops and the mom and pops don't make you pay for their name to be on it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  4. z28dug

    z28dug Veteran Member

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    I'm very old school...what's the fun of a SBC without a leaking rear main seal :)
     
  5. BigEd36

    BigEd36 Veteran Member

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    Then you should buy my 355! You'd have a LOT of fun with it!
     
  6. GoCamaro27

    GoCamaro27 New Member

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  7. 973800CamaroRs

    973800CamaroRs Veteran Member

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    If you wanted to get your hands dirty... I have seen many 96+ small blocks on the internet with all accessories, running for $3-500. Why those years ? They come with good vortec heads, and a roller cam. Depending on what the engine comes out of you could have around 9.5-1 compression. With a simple re-ring kit, bearings, seals, you could have a good motor. Add some port work and a cam change, intake, and carb and your set.
     

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