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Technical New to me SBC

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 1great40, Sep 11, 2020.

  1. 1great40
    Joined: Jan 1, 2008
    Posts: 471

    1great40
    Member
    from Walpole MA

    I just bought a used 25K mile Chevy350. The plan is to put it in my 40 Ford pickup. I was told that it's a Targetmaster engine with an RV cam. Although it was done years ago, the guy who installed the cam when the engine was new is still around and I plan to talk to him next week to see what he remembers about it.

    Here's what I know about it
    Mexican block
    Holley 600 CFM square bore electric choke carb
    Mallory Unilite distributor, mechanical advance
    Edelbrock Performer intake manifold
    Edelbrock polished/black fined valve covers

    It's been decades since I last played with a SBC so I will have a few questions that I hope someone here can answer for me...

    If I want to run an electric fuel pump, do I need to leave the fuel pump pushrod in the block before I install the block off plate?
    What is the correct harmonic balancer and flex plate for this engine.
    What is a good base timing setting?
     
  2. David Gersic
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 2,454

    David Gersic
    Member
    from DeKalb, IL

    Remove the pushrod with the fuel pump.

    I think most SBC start around 10* to 12*, with a total advance around 30*, but you’ll need to adjust it for your engine. Got a vacuum gauge?




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    Elcohaulic likes this.
  3. sdluck
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,806

    sdluck
    Member

    10 to 12 is a good starting place ,total without vacuum advance 35 to 40 with premium fuel ,although some of these gm crate motor were 7.0 to 1 comp so might use regular.
     
  4. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 21,564

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    You say it's a target master motor?????.....
    Get rid of it!!!!!!..... Those were junk from the git go..... The blocks were cast from soft iron and they wore out very quick......
     
    J. A. Miller likes this.

  5. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,695

    56sedandelivery
    Member Emeritus

    They were all 4 bolt main blocks, some say the crank is nodular iron, they have good rods, but dished pistons, hence the low compression ratio. Heads are 76 CC chambers with 1.94 intake valves. I bought a one new from the local Chevrolet dealer in about 2000; right after the 12K warranty expired, so did the engine; it dropped number eight exhaust valve, imbedded the valve head in the piston top, the valve stem got pushed through the chamber head into a water jacket, and that flooded the engine. I'd heard the blocks were soft iron, but the ridge was really negligible in mine. I just recently sold the block,k and a 302 rotating assembly I had, along with a really nice pair of 461, double hump heads. I should have kept and assembled that block with a 350 rotating assembly I also have, as the 454 in my truck just ate the camshaft. Too bad you're on the polar opposite of this country, I'd buy it from you! Other than the low compression ratio, more like 8:1, it should work out well for you. Any neutral balance dampener, and flywheel/flex-plate (153 or 168 tooth with the correct starter motor) will work. JMO. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
  6. How long has it been sitting for?

    the target master engines get a bit of a bad name simply because it was your generic replacement engine offered by the dealer, nothing fancy just an engine to get your caprice , c10, impala or what ever other smogged our family car or work vehicle up and running in a economic fashion.

    if your just looking for a good cruising engine, it’s got some nice bolt ons that come with it, so run it !!


    Personally a gasket set is cheap I would pull it apart so you get a good look at it , if it’s all with in limits clean it, paint it and put it back together.

    At the very least you now know what you have and it’s been resealed and detailed so it should last a good long time.
    And if anything should need attention nows the time to do it before you install it in your truck!
     
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  7. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,090

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    Impossible to say what the correct harmonic balancer and flexplate are for your engine, as you don't know what year it is, or whether it's a 1 piece main seal, or two piece main seal. The '87 and later SBC engines use a two piece main seal, and they're also an oddball as to balancers and flywheels. They are not fully internal balanced like a 1986 and before SBC. So the flexplates and flywheels have a balance weight to complete the balance on the engine. And the harmonic balancer is a different ID, as the crank snout is a different size.
    So you'll need to determine if this Mexican SBC is based on the 1 piece rear seal, or the 2 piece rear seal. Then you can figure out the balancer and flexplate.
    And they also use a different oil pan, and the dipstick tube is passenger side, if this is a one piece main seal late SBC. One of mine is a 1 piece main seal 1990 Roller Motor, but with mechanical fuel pump (swapped this in as I prefer them) but I put the old LT1 heads on it as I wanted the old style valve covers, but better performance heads too.

    [​IMG]
     
    Deuces likes this.
  8. Wrench97
    Joined: Jan 29, 2020
    Posts: 502

    Wrench97

    The early Target Master engines were junk, but by the mid 80's they were an ok stock replacement product and got better into the 90's so how good it is really depends on when it made.
     
  9. the-rodster
    Joined: Jul 2, 2003
    Posts: 6,851

    the-rodster
    Member

    FYI If you run a mech fuel pump, you will have to cut a big notch out of the crossmember
     
  10. 1great40
    Joined: Jan 1, 2008
    Posts: 471

    1great40
    Member
    from Walpole MA

    Hi, thanks for the information. Looks like the engine has the older style 2 piece rear main seal and the perimeter bolts for the rocker covers. This engine can use the dipstick on either side but it’s installed on the drivers side. I believe that the previous owner said the engine is from ‘91. I guess I need to measure the crank snout diameter too.


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  11. 1great40
    Joined: Jan 1, 2008
    Posts: 471

    1great40
    Member
    from Walpole MA

    To answer an earlier question... it’s only been out of service for a few months, stored indoors on a stand.


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  12. fortynut
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,038

    fortynut
    Member

    Common sense things to do before going to the trouble of dropping it into your pickup. Do a leak down compression check on all 8 cylinders. As mentioned a gasket set is a good idea. I personally would toss the timing chain and gear and replace it with a true roller. Some of Chevy engines have odd ball gears that die horrible deaths. I personally would also replace the oil pump. Nothing fancy just a Melling pump. Not the high pressure or high output. That's just me and cheap insurance. If it has an HEI distributor, keep it. If not find one and replace whatever it has. You would be surprised how much difference that makes. I know others may disagree. I'm not sure if Accel still has their brown distributor caps but they are not made of plastic, have brass lugs and prevent the erosion that happens to the aluminum lugged ones. Good wires also make a difference. Low compression does not gobs of power make, but with fuel prices being what they are and the cubic inches you have it should be more powerful than you think. I am opinionated, yes. I have struggled with many issues that are created by crappy parts. My suggestion, of course, avoids the obvious. A complete rebuild, or over haul in order to know what's on the sheet of paper.
     
  13. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 3,602

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    Leak down & compression check ......most smogger 350's are lucky to get 12-15 mpg. Its only been out of service a few months ,why replace gaskets ??
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2020
  14. 1great40
    Joined: Jan 1, 2008
    Posts: 471

    1great40
    Member
    from Walpole MA

    As mentioned earlier, it has a Mallory Unilite distributor. This engine was taken out of the vehicle because the owner was going to have new gaskets installed. He says it has minor leaks.

    I’ve known this guy for a few years now and he’s fastidious about his cars. While it was out, he decided to go with a 350 Vortec and EFI.
    What I want to do is cleaning, new gaskets and paint... a “rattle can rebuild “.

    The advice about the timing chain is well taken. Very cheap insurance.


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  15. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,185

    Mr48chev
    Member

    Locally the standard procedure when installing a Targetmaster was to pull the pan and retorque the rods and mains. When my buddy was the parts manager at a Chevy Dealership in the area he included a new pan gasket in the sale of the engines and sold a lot of them for fleet service.

    The bad rep may be because the yahoos that drove a lot of those fleet rigs that the engines were put in weren't the best drivers and abused the engines pretty bad.
     
  16. big john d
    Joined: Nov 24, 2011
    Posts: 259

    big john d
    Member
    from ma

    if you remove the fuel pump and push rod you should put a short bolt with a copper washer on the top right front (55 - 57 ) motor mount hole it goes into the push rod hole and will leak oil
     
    Asphalt Angel likes this.
  17. 1great40
    Joined: Jan 1, 2008
    Posts: 471

    1great40
    Member
    from Walpole MA

    Been there, done that. But I ended up figuring that one out myself many years ago


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
  18. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,185

    Mr48chev
    Member

    You have to have that short bolt and copper washer on there push rod or not. They puke oil out like a maniac if you don't have a bolt in there. A longer 3/8 bolt with a jam nut on it to just thread it in a half inch and tighten the nut will work as a rest area fix when you find the oil leak though.
     
  19. 1great40
    Joined: Jan 1, 2008
    Posts: 471

    1great40
    Member
    from Walpole MA

    Hey, I have another question... I took the cap off the Mallory Unilite distributor, the center button appears to be broken off flush with the the cap. I think they're replaceable. How do the old ones come out?
     

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