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Chevy 348 Engine...Advice Needed.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 40HeavyChevy, Nov 5, 2015.

  1. Jimmy2car
    Joined: Nov 26, 2003
    Posts: 1,707

    Jimmy2car
    Member
    from No. Cal

    I witnessed first hand a 521 CI W motor make over 800 HP @ over 7000 rpm on John Beck's Dyno in Chico, Cal. earlier this year. The block/heads/manifold were all aluminum custom items. Wilson or Hogan intake. Engine cost exceeded 50 large. Was VERY cool.
    Just need to be able to write BIG checks. The engine had a home back in New Jersey in a 60 or 61 Impala for a street racer with deep pockets.
     
  2. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 3,214

    slowmotion
    Member

    Wow, that's alotta change.^^^^
     
  3. Yep speed costs . . .how fast do ya wanna go? :D
     
  4. Tn. Trash
    Joined: Apr 21, 2015
    Posts: 302

    Tn. Trash
    Member

    How fast can you afford to go, the way I have to look at it. Right now I`m pretty damn slow.:rolleyes::D

    I would go for the 348 myself, just because in my opinion it would look cool as hell in a shoebox. Not something you see everyday.
    Best of luck with the direction you decide to go.
     
  5. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,295

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    There were a few 348s around Santa Clara in '60. I found them to be over rated, as stated in these posts. As usual, there are 'stories'...

    1. Older guy, 'Ralph', drove a '58 tudor with a 348 3spd., 280 H.P., 3 two bbs. Reputed to be fast, I shut him off 3 out of 3 with my trusty 292Y '56 Ford ragtop.

    2. Wally, co-owner of Speed Incorporated in San Jose drove a 250 H.P. '58 Del Rey, tuned by his partner Sid Waterman! (Sid later teamed with Ed Pink) Waxed Wally with my Ford also.
    I was convinced that the new 'tractor' motor was a poorly designed 'dog'.

    3. My pal Jack Belick bought a new '58 Impala convert, 280 H.P. 348, 3 speed stick. Fast car.
    We decided to work on it. Howard M14 solid cam, 3 angle valve job, matched ports.
    Mallory ign., with Magspark transformer. Ansen shift linkage, and 'Pro-Link' progressive linkage on carbs.
    Jack proceeded to race everybody with a reputation. His 348 was 'unbeatable', it seemed. A friend,
    (and business partner) Don Serventi was a class record holder at Fremont with his street driven '56
    Chevy 210. Belick beat him 3 out of 3.
    That 348 Chevy pulled harder than anything near its class, (just one of those 'freaks'?)
    A 'curiosity', for sure.
     
  6. That's the main reason I quit tuning my own cars in favor of twisting wrenches on fast cars that belong to someone else.

    I used to run with a couple of twins that ran W motors when I was in high school. They never owned anything but Ws. Mostly 348s, they were never revvers but they could be if you take the time to lighten everything up, that is free HP or almost free HP. Its work but poor people have poor ways I guess. :D
     
    Tn. Trash likes this.
  7. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,375

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    Shit I would hope that 50 large would net more than that.
    Must have been with car.
    Sounds like someone needs to go back to school.
     
  8. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 3,214

    slowmotion
    Member



    <<<<<See that handle? :D
     
  9. BSL409
    Joined: Aug 28, 2011
    Posts: 546

    BSL409
    Member

    If you have a machine shop that knows W engines you will be fine the 348 is a nice little engine!! my 61 Biscayne 409 made 780HP and not close to 50K
     
    saltflats likes this.
  10. cavman
    Joined: Mar 23, 2005
    Posts: 632

    cavman
    Member

    In 1969 I bought a '58 Impala, from a co-worker. 348, 3 speed, really cheap for even back then ($135.) Beautiful car with a bad clutch. I wondered why the 1/4 panels looked slightly wavy under the top layer of paint. I took fine wet or dry sand paper and started sanding. "National Record Holder" 1960-'61 is when it was raced. Must have beat something.....
     
  11. 40HeavyChevy
    Joined: Apr 29, 2012
    Posts: 65

    40HeavyChevy
    Member
    from US

    That's awesome. It'd be interesting to know what kind of cars it beat to become a "national record holder".

    With the 348, I'm thinking my only huge hurdle will be finding a competent machine shop close to me to do the necessary machine work. Anyone have recommendations on engine machine shops familiar with the 348/409s in the Louisiana/Texas area?
     
  12. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,375

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    There is Ronnie Russell in Ladonia Texas not sure how close but he would know who to have do the machine work.
     
  13. junior 1957
    Joined: Dec 10, 2006
    Posts: 217

    junior 1957
    Member

    i bought a 348 a few years ago off of craigslist, i rebuilt the lower end stock bore with a small bit of wear, crank was standard. the rings i used were mahle, same ring package as 402 big block, had the heads rebuilt with new springs and valves, had a local cam grinder put a comp cams smallblock 268 grind on a good core [his suggestion]. IMG_0618.jpg
     
  14. Before you get too far I would get the numbers off the block. Check with the 348-409 site and it will give you all the info you need to determine what you have. Some of the early 58 blocks had cooling issues with the head so stay away from them. Lots of interchanges will work including some truck heads. Truck blocks had very low compression and reliefs cut in the side wall of the cyl. Used to be passed over but not today anymore. I would check with Ronnie Russell in TX for sure. He is on the 348-409 site. Great builder and knows the in and outs of the W blocks.
    I have a later 58 348 tri power in one of my cars...........was expensive to rebuild but is a neat engine.
     
  15. 40HeavyChevy
    Joined: Apr 29, 2012
    Posts: 65

    40HeavyChevy
    Member
    from US

    Thanks for the info. I had checked the date code on the block a few years ago and if I remember right it is an early '60s block.
     
  16. If you're looking in the Louisiana area, Atlanta shouldn't be out of your reach- Lamar Walden's shop is a great place to go for 348/409 work- they know the W motor inside and out, and has the expertise to successfully fix cracked blocks, etc. Lamar recently passed away, and his son Robb is running the shop now.
     
  17. PackardV8
    Joined: Jun 7, 2007
    Posts: 890

    PackardV8
    Member

    A well-built 348" is as reliable as an anvil and will pull a 283" off the line in a NY minute. I've got a pile of extra 348" and 409" parts, so PM me if you need anything.

    jack vines
     
  18. 40HeavyChevy
    Joined: Apr 29, 2012
    Posts: 65

    40HeavyChevy
    Member
    from US

    Jack, I'll keep that in mind when it comes time for the rebuild. Thanks to everyone for the information and leads, much appreciated.
     
  19. 40HeavyChevy
    Joined: Apr 29, 2012
    Posts: 65

    40HeavyChevy
    Member
    from US

    Question: Can anyone confirm whether or not the 348/409s share the same engine mount location as a standard SBC or BBC. I'm about 99% sure that I remember reading somewhere that they do share the same mount locations, but just wanted to know if anyone had first-hand knowledge. Thanks.
     
  20. rsssbelair
    Joined: Dec 29, 2009
    Posts: 36

    rsssbelair
    Member
    from nebraska

    Thank you all for the info. I just picked up a '60 348 for my 55 bel Air. I will get it going with a SBC first, as I figured all the mods I have to do to the car to make a W fit in a tri-5.
     
  21. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,375

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    Yes the same mount location.
     
  22. 59Apachegail
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,378

    59Apachegail
    Member
    from New York

    The 348/409 in trucks used a U-mount for 59-62. There are 4 pads on the front of the 348/409 that will line up with the holes in the U-mount. Some of those pads need to be drilled and tapped for U-mount bolts. The U-mount would then bolt into the middle of the frame. My U-mount holes lines up perfectly on the same pads in the front of a 283. I can take a picture later on.

    Edit adding photos:
    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1447116178.113673.jpg
    This is an August 58 car block after cooling was added. As you can see only one post hole is drilled.

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1447116264.789367.jpg
    This is a small block with all 4 holes drilled.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015
  23. ROADSTER1927
    Joined: Feb 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,823

    ROADSTER1927
    Member

    This is a 63 truck 409 and the have the same side mount holes even if they used the front mount. It fits the same as a small block. Gary PB090004.JPG PB090003.JPG
     
  24. 40HeavyChevy
    Joined: Apr 29, 2012
    Posts: 65

    40HeavyChevy
    Member
    from US

    Gary, thanks for the pics and I appreciate the info.
     
  25. D.N.D.
    Joined: Aug 15, 2012
    Posts: 1,385

    D.N.D.
    Member Emeritus

    Hey Heavy I bought a 2 month old repo 59' Impala in 59' with the 3 2 set up on the stock motor and 4 speed, well it ran 92 mph at the old San Gaberial drag strip

    Pulling that heavy car at that speed was not too shabby, with the W motor plus like they say it looks very cool

    A stock warmed over W engine would be just fine for your street cruiser, so buy that beauty and have some fun

    DND
     
  26. 40HeavyChevy
    Joined: Apr 29, 2012
    Posts: 65

    40HeavyChevy
    Member
    from US

    DND, thanks for the pep talk. My mind is made up for the most part. I'll be planning to rebuild the 348 with only a few minor upgrades. The only thing that'll be keeping it from going between the frame rails of the Shoebox is if the 348's internals are too far gone.
     
  27. neilswheels
    Joined: Aug 26, 2006
    Posts: 832

    neilswheels
    Member
    from England

    I've got a 348 cos i love the way they look, but they have a great reputation for low end torque, and thats where the fun is. As for carbs, Hot Rod ran a bunch of tests in 58 on the 58 348, they swapped out the rochesters for strombergs, made a big difference. A cam is a good upgrade as well, but things start getting complicated after that due to engine design. Here's a link to the book.
    http://www.themotorbookstore.com/chevy-409-manual.html
     
  28. GeeRam
    Joined: Jun 9, 2007
    Posts: 392

    GeeRam
    Member

  29. 40HeavyChevy
    Joined: Apr 29, 2012
    Posts: 65

    40HeavyChevy
    Member
    from US

    Just wanted to do a quick update. So, I was able to stop by my buddies place a few days ago and grab some numbers off of the 348. Good news, it's not a '58 block. Casting numbers are:

    Block: 3755011
    348 59-61 Passenger

    Cylinder Heads: 3758379
    348 59-61 Passenger

    Factory Cast Iron 3x2 Intake: 3749948
    348 58-61
    Date Code: J2857= Oct. 28th, 1957

    The 4bbl intake was pretty crusty and I wasn't able to get the numbers off of it.
     

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