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beefing up a 350sbc without spending thousands...???

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by lkydevils13, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. lkydevils13
    Joined: Apr 11, 2011
    Posts: 23


    i have a stock 350sbc stock motor with the usual bad smoking issue Im thinking about taking the motor apart and going threw it and give it some horsepower but im in a budget with this economy im pretty short on $$$$$$$ seen a few threads on the hamb to give some ideas talked to a few guys some say i should just go with the edelbrock power package but that alone runs $1,700 some say i should re-do my heads others say heads and a cam will do the job.... any tips and pics will help thanks again
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,591

    from SIDNEY, NY

    Anyone that may have a suggestion concerning the cylinder heads or cam specs will need more information. How heavy is the vehicle it's going to power? Stick or automatic? Rear gear ratio? What are you going to expect it to do?
  3. 56oldssuper88
    Joined: Mar 3, 2010
    Posts: 213


  4. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,907


    ....and most important, just how much money do you have?

  5. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,208

    from Sultan, WA

    I have about $2500 into my almost race 302 chev.....
  6. dmulally
    Joined: Jul 14, 2010
    Posts: 34


    If you are on a budget seriously think about intake, exhaust and cam. Anything interesting will need something else and it will be chasing your tail. Even with the cam you wont be able to go too far.

    Depending on your budget, you may only be able to afford a rebuild. In that case your machine shop can advise whats best with your budget.

    Try not to overlook the cheapest way to make your ride go faster and that is to add lightness. Why do you think a poxy little Lotus 7 replica with 130hp can spank a late model mustang and vette all day long at the track? ;)
  7. wood470
    Joined: May 21, 2008
    Posts: 226


    By far the cheapest horsepower is less weight. Had a 57 chevey with a pretty mild 327 that ran in the tens by removing parts that were not needed to go fast such as fenders hood, top, wind shield, interior etc. Not pretty but fast
  8. 69fury
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,419


    if the rotator is shot, consider a 383 stroker- they're damned near the same money as stoke parts, and the extra cubes pushing on a longer arm give a tremendous boost to the grunt.

    freshening heads is one thing-porting or other fancy work isn't worth it when newer heads are about the same price and kickass. Vortec heads are plentiful, affordable and flow well.

  9. Jarred Hodges
    Joined: Jul 30, 2008
    Posts: 564

    Jarred Hodges

    My buddy has a 76 ventura with a vortec 350 that is stock other than a .480 lift cam, dual plane intake, quickfuel 750 I believe and a 3200 stall in a turbo 350. The car will run 8.00's like clockwork in the 1/8 mile. I have a good running 350 In my 65 mustang but it would probaly be a little to aggressive for a driver. Here is the specs
    350 with stock block and cast crank
    scat pro stock I beam rods and sealed power forged dome pistons
    comp 292H magnum flat tappet cam
    dart iron eagle heads 200cc with 1.5 erson roller rockers
    team g intake with 650 dp holley
    powerglide transmission with 4500 stall
    9 inch rear with 4.56 gears and 26x10 slicks
    The best run is a 7.43 at 91mph in the 1/8 with a few problems. I think with the carb jetted up it could go 7.30's at 92 or so. All together I have about $3000 in the engine and converter. I already has the intake carb, distrubor and headers though
  10. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,970


    350-375 HP is very easy....9.5 compression flat top pistons,Vortec or similar after market heads,typical performance cam around 220 degrees at .050 lift ,flat tappet,but roller is better,good ignition,600 cfm 4 barrel and headers.A stock cast crank will be ok.If you can score used heads,intake ,headers etc, and assemble the engine yourself,should be 2000 bucks. This engine won't be fussy,have good mid range power and still give a thrill in a lighter vehicle.
    The Vortec type heads are the key item here.
  11. lkydevils13
    Joined: Apr 11, 2011
    Posts: 23


    thanks for all the great info... im not trying to a cheap ass just dont want to purchase pointless parts that i dont really need..
  12. lkydevils13
    Joined: Apr 11, 2011
    Posts: 23


    i have a stock 350 with stock heads runs good i have it on a little hot rod just want to give it more hp ...
  13. If you have a smoker, it needs a good general going through. If you can re-use the pistons, rods and crank (even needing to be cut) you can build it up on a budget. If the parts pass the visual, I'd have the parts checked by the machine shop that I use. Cheap insurance in the long run. Many shops have a standard basic rebuild charge and often give you a break on parts.

  14. dirtcop
    Joined: Dec 16, 2005
    Posts: 184


    I'm building a sbc '350' right now to replace the tired sbc in my '55' chevy. I just got it back from the machine shop and bought a kit from them for $900. It is basically a stock engine, bored 30 over, and with a mild cam. I'm going to find a nice edelbrock or Weiand intake and small 4 barrel carb and at that point I should have less than $1500 into a new engine and right around 300 h.p. I could always replace heads later if I really wanted more performance. The machine shop said they assemble engines for between $200 to $300. I really like mild dependable engines for just cruising around. My brother recently bought a crate sbc that is about the same I'm building for a little over $2000.
  15. lkydevils13
    Joined: Apr 11, 2011
    Posts: 23


    thanks for the input....dirtcop and bobss
  16. lkydevils13
    Joined: Apr 11, 2011
    Posts: 23


    been doing some research on those vortex heads...
  17. $200-300 for an assembly charge is a pretty good deal. I'd consider it in my next build if I'm strapped for time. Also I'd like to grab a new set of Dart steel heads, but that shoots a strict budget build. Mild engines are my choice with a RV hydraulic cam, less to mess around with and reliable.

  18. Jarred Hodges
    Joined: Jul 30, 2008
    Posts: 564

    Jarred Hodges

    if your willing to go used you can find good deals on aftermarket heads. I paid $600 for my iron eagles fresh out of the machine shop with the erson 1.5 roller rockers
  19. brandon
    Joined: Jul 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,333


    Keyword.....vortec ;) then make it efficient. Match parts to the same rpm range....want to say a 330hp crate motor has a 435/465 lift cam and dual plane intake.....invest in some Msd ignition if you have the extra cash
  20. specialk
    Joined: Sep 28, 2005
    Posts: 598


    Keep in mind that the Goodwrench 350 (260hp IIRC) is about $1600, with a 3 yr/36,000 mile warranty.
  21. lkydevils13
    Joined: Apr 11, 2011
    Posts: 23


    i have a goodwrench 350.. i just dont know how old it is
  22. mustang6147
    Joined: Feb 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,847

    from Kent, Ohio

    Buy a 350 off summit. Goodwrench engines are $1500 new plus tax. It is so much cheaper.
  23. Dakota Boy
    Joined: Sep 8, 2010
    Posts: 173

    Dakota Boy
    from Racine, WI

    Put a JEGS or Summit sticker on the air cleaner !! :D

    Sorry. couldnt resist.
  24. TERPU
    Joined: Jan 2, 2004
    Posts: 2,271


    This opinion may go against many but here goes.

    Pull the motor apart, hopefully it doesn't have to be bored. Buy a micrometer and a caliper. Get a good book with all the tolerances. Check them all. Learn to polish instead of grind. MEaning if it'll polish to tolerance on the crank do it. If the ring land can be removed and the cylinders honed instead of bored out do it. Buy bearings or a whole kit from Summit/Jegs/Speedway. Pull the heads apart and carefully check the valves for pits and burnt markes. A good three angle valve job with umbrella seals runs $250.00 around here. But before you put the heads back together port match the gasket surfaces on the intakes. Heavy porting isn't needed for a good solid street motor. Will it help-yes but don't get crazy. Hopefully if all the tolerances check out and the valve springs are in working tolerance re-assemble yourself. Buy good bearings and rings.

    The most important choice you will make in this equation is the Camshaft. Figure out what size your chambers are and what compression ratio your motor will be when done. Whatever intake you have match the cam to that. HEI distributorworks good to about 5000RPM, Even the Quadrajet can be made to run like a scalded dog. Exhaust is important as well, but good SBC headers can be found for as little as $300.00. A good oil pump and away you go.

    You have to do the leg work yourself, education on tolerances and assembly by you will save you thousands. IT's easy to drop one off and spend thousands on 10 more horsepower, but it's more fun to do it yourself and enjoy the hundreds of horsepower just awaiting careful planning and sweat equity.

    Good luck and let us know how it turns out. I bet you can get in under a grand with some careful shopping.
    MUNCIE likes this.

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