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Chevy 348 Engine...Advice Needed.

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

  1. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,563

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    As I understand it, it was only the 58 HEADS that were the concern; the blocks were fine. I would like to have a W-motor, 348 or 409, either one, just for the uniqueness of them. Same mounting as SBC/BBC. Years ago, there was a Bracket Racer at Bremerton Raceway with a 67 or 68 Camaro, with a 409 in the car. Very different to see a W-motor under that hood. Go with the 348! I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
  2. next time you get out there see what the block number is on the front tab in front of the head on the ps. seen some crazy stuff over the years like a 3x2 hp FH code block with a 4 bbl intake that someone change in the past! you probably won't get that lucky but it would be good to see that number as well.
     
  3. 40HeavyChevy
    Joined: Apr 29, 2012
    Posts: 65

    40HeavyChevy
    Member
    from US

    I'll check next time I stop. May not be until later this month, but I'll update when I get it. Thanks for the input, guys.
     
  4. Sounds like you have your mind made up. I don't think you'll go wrong for 300 bucks. If you decide to sell it you wont' get rich but you won't get hurt either.
    My classmate, Mike back in 1965 had a super sanitary 60 Impala with a factory 348 three two's/4 speed. It was a heavy ol girl but working part time at the local gear-head gs station, he had lots of help with super tuning. I rode in that car one day and it was more than a little impressive! That barge would HONK! [50's-60's vernacular] If you tune it and put it in a 50 ford???Yow! It should be a lot more than a reliable workhorse.
    PS....change the rear axle and transmission to something a little stronger . I can't even count the trannys/axles/u-joints I've changed in shoeboxes with flathead motors.
     
  5. 40HeavyChevy
    Joined: Apr 29, 2012
    Posts: 65

    40HeavyChevy
    Member
    from US

    Yea I'm with you on that. I'm thinking for $300 I'd be stupid to pass it up. The car already has a Ford 9" rear, although it is a small bearing 28-spline rear I think it'll hold up ok. Plans are to swap in a 700r4 in place of the TH350 that's currently in the car. I'm looking to set it up to be as reliable and cruiser friendly as possible.
     
  6. Years ago 1968 I bought a 58 impala 348 three 2 bbl carbs. Mallory ignition. three speed floor shift. 411 posi rear. Went to the sat nite street drags. Six cyls where out running me. The thing ran hot. Tore it down found a cracked head. Installed a worn out 421 pontiac super duty. removed the inner sheet metal and front bumper. The tin indian mill could pull the front wheels and beat brand new Plymouth road runners. But I still didn't learn my lesson a few years I learned it all over again with 409 engines in trucks. My advice build the small block. W engines are cool to look at and that's about the only good thing they have going for them.
     
  7. G V Gordon
    Joined: Oct 29, 2002
    Posts: 5,697

    G V Gordon
    Member
    from Enid OK

    The one in my T ('58 block, later heads) has run just fine for the last 10+ years. Not a high winder but tourque out the wahzoo. Dare to be different!
     
  8. 40HeavyChevy
    Joined: Apr 29, 2012
    Posts: 65

    40HeavyChevy
    Member
    from US

    Guys, can anyone provide recommendations and contact information for reputable 348/409 engine builders? I've been searching for Ronnie Russell's contact info online but keep coming up empty-handed. I really appreciate any help on the matter. Thanks.
     
  9. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,440

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    You can try Precision Engine Service
    Austin Texas.
     
  10. You can get in touch with Ronnie over on the 348-409.com site. His handle is Ronnie Russell if I remember correctly. Anyone over there can assist you with getting in touch with him.
     
  11. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,440

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    I think the guys I mentioned does his work also.
     
  12. 40HeavyChevy
    Joined: Apr 29, 2012
    Posts: 65

    40HeavyChevy
    Member
    from US

    vtwhead, sorry I'm just getting back to you on this but I just recently got the 348 in my possession. The block number you referred to is: T04I9G.

    If, you don't mind, could you please elaborate on the significance of this stamping? I personally have no clue. Thanks!
     
  13. 59Apachegail
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,378

    59Apachegail
    Member
    from New York

    T for tonowanda
    04 for April
    19 for day
    G for 1958-60 Pass. Car 250HP 348 V8 4 bbl., Powerglide

    http://www.348-409.com/suffix.html
     
  14. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 6,945

    krylon32
    Alliance Vendor
    from Nebraska

    Love um. Back in 64 I had a 58 Bel Air 2 dr HDTP with W motor/4 speed and Turbo Glide rear and was kicking ass every Sat night. Only problem I had was bending push rods. Built a package 32 Roadster Highboy with a W motor a few years ago and it ended up finished and is I think in Florida. I used the chassis for a season as a display in my booth at events and it really drew a lot of attention.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2015
  15. 40HeavyChevy
    Joined: Apr 29, 2012
    Posts: 65

    40HeavyChevy
    Member
    from US

    59Apachegail, thanks for the breakdown and the link, much appreciated.

    Hopefully within the next few weeks I'll get it down to a bare block and do a quick inspection to see if any obvious damage is there. Thanks for all the positive and reassuring stories/comments. They're much appreciated.
     
  16. 59Apachegail
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,378

    59Apachegail
    Member
    from New York

    Good Luck Heavy!

    I am new to the 348 myself I got mine in August. That site has been an awesome reference point for me.
     
  17. That is the same block I have in my custom 64 with 3x2's. Nice motor....you will be pleased with it
     
  18. Tom Kochtanek
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 29

    Tom Kochtanek
    Member

    Here are some of the parts/engines SaltFlats (James) has been contemplating for the next build, a 1961 Biscayne drag car:
    IMG_0028.JPG

    IMG_0029.JPG
    I guarantee you'll have a load of fun with that 348 :).

    Enjoy!
    Tom
     
    lawman likes this.
  19. 40HeavyChevy
    Joined: Apr 29, 2012
    Posts: 65

    40HeavyChevy
    Member
    from US

    Ok, so I've got the 348 torn down to short block status, and it looks fairly NASTY. 3 cylinders holding water with a fair amount of corrosion in each. To be honest, this is the worst looking engine that I've personally torn down so I could really use some input here. I'm not sure whether or not the cylinders can be cleaned up or if they may be too far gone. I know it may be hard to tell from pictures, but any input and opinions are greatly appreciated. Just wondering where I should go from here. Thanks!

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1451605754.759459.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1451605778.400215.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1451605804.801834.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1451605837.297521.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1451605861.896782.jpg
     
  20. Well....that can be a bit discouraging. I have saved worse. Got a Olds J2 that was setting outside on a board covered with an old tarp for 7 years, had to beat the pistons out with a 4 lb sledge hammer but we saved it. I would start soaking this block and try to get it stripped down as much as possible. After you get it all apart you will be able to better ascertain the future of the engine. I soaked mine with a 50/50 mix of acetone and tranny fluid but many use different mixes. I have sources for parts over in NY state if you need parts in the future.
    Have you checked the sides of the block just below the head surface for freeze cracks? Common place on these blocks for cracking if left over the winter with water in the block.
     
  21. 40HeavyChevy
    Joined: Apr 29, 2012
    Posts: 65

    40HeavyChevy
    Member
    from US

    I haven't checked the sides of the block yet, but thanks for the info. I was thinking about the 50/50 acetone and ATF soak or maybe a healthy dose of muriatic acid in each cylinder to try and free up the pistons. From what I've been reading, it doesn't seem the 348/409s take well to any boring over .060". Seems they have issues with overheating after that. I guess the next step is to attempt to get everything freed up and disassembled, then evaluate to see if the cylinders can be cleaned up.
     
  22. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,440

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    How bad do you want one?
     
  23. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,037

    indyjps
    Member

    Congrats, it's pretty scrougy looking, start soaking it and get it apart. Gotta see what the cylinders really look like before you can make the call. Boil and magnaflux, see whats left. If that block is cracked, you still thinking W engine?
    I've had sbc's that looked worse clean up with .030, depends on how long it's been sitting.
     
  24. 40HeavyChevy
    Joined: Apr 29, 2012
    Posts: 65

    40HeavyChevy
    Member
    from US

    Honestly, not bad enough to start looking for another block to replace this one if its too far gone. The funds just aren't there to start purchasing additional parts just to build a 348. If this block can't be saved I'll probably just go back with the 327 that I was originally going to put in the car.
     
  25. 40HeavyChevy
    Joined: Apr 29, 2012
    Posts: 65

    40HeavyChevy
    Member
    from US

    Yea that's what I'm thinking my next move is, get it all cleaned up and torn completely down then see what it looks like. If the block is cracked I'll probably go a different route. Thanks
     
  26. 40HeavyChevy
    Joined: Apr 29, 2012
    Posts: 65

    40HeavyChevy
    Member
    from US

    I'd like to try to remove as much scale and corrosion from the cylinder walls and piston tops as possible before trying to free-up the engine. I was thinking a small brass wire wheel on a die grinder shouldn't do any harm. Opinions/recommendations?

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1452107295.434918.jpg
     
  27. 59Apachegail
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,378

    59Apachegail
    Member
    from New York

    Maybe try some CLR or Gibbs brand spray. I wouldn't take any kind of metal to the bore IMHO.
     
  28. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,440

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    I don't think that a wire wheel (steel) is going to hurt that.
     
  29. Gibbs brand for sure. That stuff is like magic.
     
  30. 40HeavyChevy
    Joined: Apr 29, 2012
    Posts: 65

    40HeavyChevy
    Member
    from US

    Thanks for the tips. I was planning on using Kroil or acetone/ATF to try and get everything loosened up, I just want to try and remove all the scale and rust from the cylinders before hand so the penetrant can really work its way down into the cylinders.
     

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