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Fresh Chevy 350 Vortek long block

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by '41 Chev, May 11, 2013.

  1. '41 Chev
    Joined: Feb 23, 2013
    Posts: 76

    '41 Chev
    Member

    I'm looking at a fresh rebuild 0.30 over 350 Chevy Vortek engine. Is there any downside to a Vortek 350?

    Thanks in advance for all opinions

    '41 Chev
     
  2. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,630

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  3. davidh73750
    Joined: Apr 21, 2009
    Posts: 1,561

    davidh73750
    Member

    Only thing I can see is you can't run a mechanical fuel pump. I have one I bought for the heads I will rebuild later.
     
  4. Used intakes arent as easy to find.
     

  5. davidh73750
    Joined: Apr 21, 2009
    Posts: 1,561

    davidh73750
    Member

    you can get one for $150 new.
     
  6. Yes you can, but I can find $30 used regular 4V Chevs any day of the week. Thats all I was saying.
     
  7. J scow
    Joined: Mar 3, 2010
    Posts: 489

    J scow
    Member
    from Seattle

    Fuel pump hole is blocked/Intake and valve cover bolt holes make it tough to pass as traditional. Other than that its a good ol' 350 chev.
     
  8. Hefty Lefty
    Joined: Apr 30, 2013
    Posts: 170

    Hefty Lefty
    Member


    You can use an electric pump easily enough. The visuals are nontraditional, true. But the Vortec is a generally better engine in terms of gas flow and efficiency and power and they seem to live a long time. Unless it's a straight resto I'd take the Vortec every time.
     
  9. '41 Chev
    Joined: Feb 23, 2013
    Posts: 76

    '41 Chev
    Member

    Thanks, men. Obviously, I'm not familiar with the Vortek engine. You have made me feel better about it.

    The one I'm looking at is a fresh 0.30 long block built with all Chevy OEM parts (the guy ran the parts dept.). It comes with an earlier style 350 4V engine that needs building (running when removed). I can get them for $1000 so, after your comments, I'm gonna buy 'em.

    No, it isn't a restoration. I'm gonna stuff the Vortek into a '41 Chevy.

    Thanks to one and all

    '41 Chevy
     
  10. black 62
    Joined: Jul 12, 2012
    Posts: 1,895

    black 62
    Member
    from arkansas

  11. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 3,921

    indyjps
    Member

    no drawbacks other than some different equipment. 1 pc rear main seal, vortec specific intake, roller cam ready block, no mech fuel pump. The heads flow better than any other stock SBC heads, max lift is in the 460 to 470 range which can be overcome with some machining or beehive springs from CompCams. Depending on how you want to equip the engine check cylinder head bolt holes and also be sure to get the water pump direction correct, most vortecs used a serpentine belt, may have reverse rotation water pump than old small block, dont remember, check it out.
     
  12. mustang6147
    Joined: Feb 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,847

    mustang6147
    Member
    from Kent, Ohio

    I am not a fan, only cuz the fuel pump issue, and intake issue.....and everything else said in the thread....I am not a vortec fan, I am also not a 94 LT1 design either though...
     
  13. davedriveschevy
    Joined: Mar 16, 2011
    Posts: 37

    davedriveschevy
    Member

    Also in addition to what has been mentioned above. The one piece rear main seal blocks take a different flexplate/flywheel due to the last counterweight on the crank being removed to accommodate said seal. And the weight added back to the flexplate/flywheel.
     
  14. lht
    Joined: Jan 18, 2013
    Posts: 243

    lht
    Member

    you can get valve cover adaptors so you can run regular covers
     
  15. When I was building my 32 sedan 15 years ago I bought a brand new Vortec engine and it's still in the car now,,the only draw back with me is the valve covers but I can live with it,,the 330 HP is fun. HRP
     
  16. They came with a roller cam, that's a big plus for me. You can bolt older or aftermarket heads to them, solving the intake issues. I would buy one if I needed one.
     
  17. I like all of the GM V-8s, and if you're looking to put a small block together for pretty cheap, don't overlook the Vortec.
    You can pick them up cheap, especially now that there are lots of LS engines out there for sale, and many guys are going that route instead. The 1-piece rear seal is nice, and if you use the good-quality steel/rubber oil pan and valve cover gaskets, they stay dry.

    There seems to be a lot of confusion about the Vortec terminology. Many people think that the Vortec started when GM went to the center-bolt valve covers, but that's not true. Center-bolt valve covers came out in '88, whereas the Vortec came out in 1996. I actually like the '88-'95 "Pre-Vortec" engines even more because many of the early ones still have a provision for a mechanical fuel pump, and the wrecking yards and Craigslist are full of them and the prices are incredibly low.

    I like the factory hydraulic roller cam set-up as well. Parts are readily available and cheap. The factory Delphi roller lifter is heavy, but it's a very reliable piece.

    You have to do a little homework on Vortecs because some of the parts are slightly different than the older generation small blocks. Once you understand the differences, it's no problem at all making 375 dependable horsepower out of a Vortec 350.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2013
  18. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    I had a 99 Vortec in my 23 that I pulled out of a boat and rebuilt. It was a great engine, lots of power and super good fuel economy. The roller cam is a real plus with today's oils not having much zinc, and with some dress up items they can be made to look pretty good.

    Don

    [​IMG]
     
  19. You get a little more horsepower out of the Vortek Heads but you're going to have to shop around for an intake that will fit those heads, however they are not really hard to find. They can be bought new or used. The valve covers will also be an issue since Vortek heads have the bolts at the center of the valve covers versus a regular small block where the bolts are on the corners of the valve covers. I hope this helps, I've never ever had any problems with Vorteks..
     
  20. '41 Chev
    Joined: Feb 23, 2013
    Posts: 76

    '41 Chev
    Member

    Men, I really appreciatea your experience and advice (I need all the help I can get). You guys have obviously "been there & done that".

    I've committed to buy the engine. Now, I'm looking for the necessary 'trimmings". Gonna use an all syncro Saginaw 3-speed Overdrive behind it. About all I have is a new Holley 4 bl and a new elec distributor (gonna use adjustible advance). So, I'm looking for everything else.

    Many thanks for all the help.

    '41 Chev
     
  21. spiderdeville
    Joined: Jun 30, 2007
    Posts: 1,134

    spiderdeville
    Member
    from BOGOTA,NJ

    350 R ? makes lots of power at high revs
     
  22. '41 Chev
    Joined: Feb 23, 2013
    Posts: 76

    '41 Chev
    Member

    Spider, I'm not familiar with the "R". Is that a special version of the Vortek?

    '41 Chev
     
  23. Don,where did you get the valve coves?,,at least they look traditional,,mine suck!:rolleyes: HRP
     
  24. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,630

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Those look like Cal Customs's, and that appears to be a SBC with centerbolt heads, not a Vortec V8. The Vortec name was applied to the 4.3L V6, in 1988, which had centerbolt heads. It was then poached and applied to the SBC, which, by then, also had centerbolt heads.

    Centerbolt-head V8 (often referred to as a Vortec):
    [​IMG]

    This has the 4 center manifold-to-head bolts at a different angle from the others.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2013
  25. That ^^^big picture (now removed)is a generation lll small block commonly known as a LS or LSX series.

    Any time someone refers to "vortec" heads on a 350 they are referring to 5.7 L31 or L30 305 heads found in Trucks vans and SUVs model years 1996 to 2002. Yes they have center bolt valve covers but not all center bolt heads are vortec from L31 Sbc. That means it is impossible to ID them by center bolt valve covers alone. The 300% tell all are 8 intake bolts and the angle of those is vertical, perpendicular to pavement when assembled. You can see the front 2 intake bolts in Dons pic.

    Here's the wiki
    The Vortec 5700 L31 (Vin code 8th digit "R") is a V8 truck engine. Displacement is 5.7 L. It is the last production Generation I small-block from Chevrolet. The cylinder heads feature combustion chambers and intake ports very similar to those of the LT1 V8, but without the reverse-flow cooling. As such, the L31 head is compatible with all older small-blocks, and is a very popular upgrade. It offers the performance of more expensive heads, at a much lower cost. It does, however, require a specific intake manifold (a Vortec head has 8 bolts attaching the intake manifold as opposed to the traditional twelve bolts per head). The L31 was replaced by the 5.3 L 5300 LM7. The 2002 model year was the final year for the L31 5.7 L small block V-8 whose origins date back to 1955. The Vortec 5700 produces 255 hp (190 kW) to 350 hp (261 kW) at 4600 rpm and 330 lb·ft (447 N·m) to 350 lb·ft (475 N·m) of torque at 2800 rpm. It is currently being produced as a crate engine for marine applications and automotive hobbyists as the "ramjet 350" with minor modifications.

    L31 applications:

    1996–2003 Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana full-size vans
    1996–1999 Chevrolet/GMC C/K full-size trucks
    1996–1999 Chevrolet Suburban/GMC Suburban full-size long-wheelbase SUVs
    1996–1999 Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon (and 2000 Tahoe Limited and 2000 Tahoe Z71 models) full-size short-wheelbase SUVs
    1999–2000 Cadillac Escalade
    TBI L31 applications

    1996 G-Series vans over 8,500 lb (3,856 kg) GVW w/ 4L80E transmission
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  26. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    Yes, they are Cal Customs, I think from Speedway. They were a gift from my Son Dan, so not sure exactly where he got them, but that is what I remember.

    It is a Vortec. It is a 350 with 305 heads for more compression. I had to buy a Vortec type intake but guys sell them new at large car shows in the $100 range. The one I bought was some name brand with the name ground off.

    Don
     
  27. mixedupamx
    Joined: Dec 2, 2006
    Posts: 513

    mixedupamx
    Member

    I've read that the heads can be re drilled and tapped to accept the earlier intake and have read many good things about the power potential of the vortec heads. if I was to build a sbc I would look for a vortec to begin with.
     
  28. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,630

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Fair to say, if just the four center manifold-to-head bolts are at a different angle from the others, then they are centerbolt heads. If ALL the manifold-to-head bolts are straight-down, it's a Vortec?
     
  29. snaptwo
    Joined: Apr 25, 2011
    Posts: 696

    snaptwo
    Member

    The vertical bolt pattern is vortec. They are a strong base engine and can be upgraded with GMPP stuff. Summit sells a house brand intake for about $130 but the proper GM intake gaskets run $55. It has a steel cam so make sure any dist. you drop in it has a melonized gear.
     
  30. Vortec heads, the ones that are sought after because of the power increase only have 8 intake bolts. Two on each corner on each side of the coolant passages. All 8 of those are vertical.

    This might fit together if you've heard this stuff before....
    The other earlier heads with center bolt valve covers are TBI heads. These have the normal amount of intake bolts. The 4 most center intake bolts are vertical. The reason they are vertical is because of the TBI intake configuration. It's almost impossible to install those bolts if they were like the pre 1986 heads. Putting an old school pre 86 manifold on TBI heads requires the use of 4 wedge washers and reaming the holes. If by chance you were to ever have to install a TBI manifold on pre 86 heads you will bitch constantly and probably throw things and eventually figure that it was a bad idea to attempt this. You'll need small head bolts and have to grind down your wrench as well as clearance the manifold. Oh and wedge washers there too but flipped around.
     

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