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Building an engine? Any words of advice?

  
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Building an engine? Any words of advice?

 
cbreiter cbreiter
I love my Chevy Chevette! | Posts: 6 | Joined: 01/13
Posted: 02/02/13
10:08 PM

I have a 1984 Pontiac Firebird S/E, with a 305, and a 700 R4. I am looking at possably building a 383 for it. The block that I have is a 350 from a '91 GMC truck, with a 1 piece rear main seal. I am looking to just use the block, and put new heads, intake, cam, bottom end, lifters, basicly replace everything on it. I'm new to this muscle type stuff, and I was wondering what you guys would reccomend. I am working with a guy to build it, that builds engines for a living. He wants me to build a drag engine, 230 cfm AFR heads, 3" hooker super competition headers, forged crank, forged pistons, solid roler cam with .50 - .60 lift, victor jr intake, and a holly 750 street HP. I don't know that I'm looking for that kind of power, or application. I am mainly looking to make some some power than stock, and have something that gets half decent millage (is 10 - 15 mpg too much to ask?) I don't know that I want to put as much power down as he is talking about, cause then I have to replace my tranny, and rear end. I plan to drive it as a weekend car that I would put quite a few miles on, on highway trips, and such. One more question now. Has anyone ever heard of a car like this getting Z28 fender badges? I was decoding the buildsheet and thats what it said that it had from factory. Oh, and before anyone asks, it doesnt have a feedback carb on it, just a late model quadrajet currently.
PA210037 Zps9c7aea51
Here is a picture of the buildsheet.  

68scott385 68scott385
I have an SS396 tatoo | Posts: 325 | Joined: 07/09
Posted: 02/03/13
10:23 AM

You can get a good quality cast crank kit but you probably do want the forged pistons. They are more forgiving than regualr cast or hyperuetectic pistons. Don't expect to rev your cast crank stroker past 6000rpm.

A set of properly prepared Vortec heads will work fine or you could go with aluminum heads but I would suggest, after reading your desire/application/wants, staying under 200cc port head. The AFR 180 or 190 heads would give good power & streetability without being too much for you application.

A hydraulic flat tappet cam with an intake duration of 204*-214* @.050 lift again will give decent power & drivability without giving up any street manners. Or you could step up to a hydraulic roller cam but the step up in price is triple that of a flat tappet.

Use a good dual plane intake such as the Edelbrock Performer RPM or RPM AirGap. Other manufactures make good dual planes too if you don't want/like Edelbrock.

Use a set of headers from a reputable company with a free-flowing exhaust at least 2.25" diameter. You can go bigger but over 2.5" diameter isn't necessary for a street car.

A combination like this will work with minimal changes to torque convertor stall, transmission internals, or rear gears.

Just My Opinion(s)  
68scott385 68scott385 68scott385

JTH55 JTH55
I love my Chevy Chevette! | Posts: 6 | Joined: 12/12
Posted: 02/03/13
07:44 PM

sounds like 2 different motors with 2 different price tags.I would weigh my wants and needs before pulling the trigger on a full race motor(not real street friendly)  

cbreiter cbreiter
I love my Chevy Chevette! | Posts: 6 | Joined: 01/13
Posted: 02/03/13
08:19 PM

Hey, thanks for the input. The money isn't a huge issue to me, so I would probably still go with a forged bottom end, cause that way if I decide to do more upgrades in the future I won't have to change it. And I really don't know on cams(I don't really know a lot about engines, at least not the internal workings), at this point, but I definately want to go with a roller cam. My rear end has 3.23 gears I think, with posi. Maybe I just have the wrong idea when it comes to all this kind of stuff though. In my opinion, the main area money should go first is into the suspention. No point in making a lot of power if all you can do with it is spin the tires (as fun as that is at times Smile ) . I definately want to go aluminum on the heads, as the weight it cuts off is a plus for me. And I don't plan to race with it much so, 6000 Rpm shouldnt be an issue. I do plan to put a msd 6AL-2 on it though. Again thanks for the input on it!  

68scott385 68scott385
I have an SS396 tatoo | Posts: 325 | Joined: 07/09
Posted: 02/03/13
11:12 PM

IMO your thinking is on the right track...having a suspension system that will handle what the motor throws at it...make sure the trans will also handle what the motor has to offer.  
68scott385 68scott385 68scott385

68scott385 68scott385
I have an SS396 tatoo | Posts: 325 | Joined: 07/09
Posted: 02/04/13
09:32 AM

Do you have any plans to use a power adder in the future?  
68scott385 68scott385 68scott385

cbreiter cbreiter
I love my Chevy Chevette! | Posts: 6 | Joined: 01/13
Posted: 02/05/13
04:35 AM

I'm thinking I may put a pro-charger on it at some point in time, but befor then I am going to make sure that I have all the suspention upgrades done, and I would want to upgrade to a ford 9", and some sort of Overdrive tranny that will handle the power. I see that TCI has a six speed automatic, maybe I'll have to look into that for the future. At this point I just want a fun car to drive, that I dont have to haul a slip tank behind, if I want to go on a longer trip, lol.  

pepsi1 pepsi1
Big Block power for the win | Posts: 940 | Joined: 03/11
Posted: 02/05/13
08:47 AM

cbreiter
You have so many things going on for a build. Why not look into a GM crate engine, and just stuff the cam you want in it. By the time you get done buying all your parts, you will have $5,000 to $6,000 in it. My 2 cents

Bob  

cbreiter cbreiter
I love my Chevy Chevette! | Posts: 6 | Joined: 01/13
Posted: 02/06/13
04:02 AM

Thanks for your input, but the main reason I want to build the engine for it, is to learn about engines. I have done lots of external repairs, but I have never had the chance to actually rebuild an engine. The money isn't a big issue, like I said before, mostly because I'm doing this as a learning project, and cause I really like the styling of the car I bought. I guess if I wanted to go the cheapest way I could just buy something new, and be done with it, but I like learning how things work, and doing the work myself helps me learn.  

68scott385 68scott385
I have an SS396 tatoo | Posts: 325 | Joined: 07/09
Posted: 02/06/13
08:56 AM

Micrometers are you friend, NOT plastigage.

Since money isn't an issue AND you have plans for a future power adder, the heads your engine builder suggested would be the way to go, along with the roller cam.  
68scott385 68scott385 68scott385

cbreiter cbreiter
I love my Chevy Chevette! | Posts: 6 | Joined: 01/13
Posted: 02/07/13
04:18 AM

The pro-charger is a a possability. I've never driven anything over 150 hp, so I'll have to see how I like it. Money isn't really an issue, I mean I don't mind paying for good stuff, I just don't want to end up putting 8 or 9 grand into an engine, and not be able to afford to drive the car, or have something that isn't at all streetable.  

68scott385 68scott385
I have an SS396 tatoo | Posts: 325 | Joined: 07/09
Posted: 02/07/13
12:53 PM

Keep the compression ratio to about 10:1 or less so it'll run on pump gas without detenating.  Choose a cam with an intake duration below 235 @.050 lift and it should have decent street manners and be a blast to drive.  
68scott385 68scott385 68scott385

cbreiter cbreiter
I love my Chevy Chevette! | Posts: 6 | Joined: 01/13
Posted: 02/10/13
11:29 AM

Just finished tearing down my 350 block I had gotten, and to seems to be in pritty decent shape. It has 2 bolt mains, and has provions for a roller cam, so we decided that a hydralic roller cam would be my best route to go. My engine builder said that AFR 190 heads would be best for a hydralic roller, rather that the other ones he had suggested for the solid roller before.  

68scott385 68scott385
I have an SS396 tatoo | Posts: 325 | Joined: 07/09
Posted: 02/10/13
09:19 PM

Those heads coupled with a moderate hydraulic roller cam will give you a fun to drive motor that will last for a long time if it's maintained well.  
68scott385 68scott385 68scott385

redneckjoe69 redneckjoe69
Everything in my driveway’s a Chevy | Posts: 612 | Joined: 02/10
Posted: 02/11/13
06:13 AM

glad to hear its starting to come together. Cool     AFR has a great reputation for heads.  

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