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Post Info TOPIC: Budget SBC and Questions


- Ben #2 -

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Budget SBC and Questions
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I've got a small block I'm thinking of doing a budget rebuild on and looking for some insight. Got this from a friend who said it ran fine 10 years ago but he pulled it to put in an efi crate motor. Was developing a tick when he pulled it. He said it was a hi-po vette motor with low miles (aren't they all?). Ran the stamp numbers and it's a late 70's 2 bolt 350. 

Pulled it all apart yesterday and it is .030" over with trw L2256 flat top pistons, Comp 252H cam, 487 heads with 1.94"/1.5" valves. Timing chain was really sloppy.

My biggest questions are:

1. The cam looks and feels smooth, but there's jagged edges around the lobes. Would this just be casting flash from a cheaper cam or maybe the metal wearing down? (Pics) I'll get a new cam/lifters, mostly just curious if this was normal.

2. The rods on cylinder 1 and 2 wiggled just a tiny bit. Not side play but axial/radial play. Meant to get bearing pics but most of them look really copper or worn. I mic'd the crank journals and they all measure the same across the journals (at a few spots the width of the journal). 

I think I'll get the crank checked out, anyone have any suggestions where? I'll basically be building this for interim fun until I can put together the stuff to do a big block/manual swap, so I don't want to spend a lot on this motor. Cylinders look great. I figure I'll need gaskets, bearings, timing chain, new cam/lifters, rings (may reuse rings?), a little port work for the practice mostly and maybe shave heads a little to bump compression (after verifying what it is). Hoping for 300-325 hp, just a little more fun than the 307 really. 



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68 Malibu 307/PG. For now.....


- Beemer Brett - Redmond, WA

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I'm not expert but I'm sure others with more experience will chime in.
1. I think that's normal for the jagged edges. They are rough cast and the lobes and wear surface are ground into them. Lifter should ride more or less in the middle of the lobe. Looks like some of those lobes have a bit of irregular wear. May have quite a few miles or some metal started going through it. Obviously new cam and lifters!

2. Copper and worn bearings another indication of metal starting to go through system, dirty oil, or too tight. I would definitely measure the crank even if it looks good. No scoring or anything you can feel with a finger nail?

I would recommend doing a light hone on a drill and pop new cast rings on the pistons. Looks like it will be a fun build and should be able to get away pretty cheap.

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1966 Chevelle, 1972 K20, 1967 GTO, 1955 210 Coupe, 1969 Chevelle



- Ben #2 -

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Nothing i could feel with fingernail. I did measure the crank quickly and everything was the same, but figure I should have someone more knowledgeable look at it. Haven't measured rod ends/bearings yet. 

But otherwise your suggestions sound like my initial plan: hone, cam/lifters, rings, burnouts. 



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68 Malibu 307/PG. For now.....



- Mike -
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I would add I'd have the rods/pistons pin fit checked.

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'67 Chevelle -- 383ci, Jerico DR4 4 speed -- 3.19 1st gearset, Gear Vendors Overdrive/Underdrive, Strange S60 w/3.54 gears

'70 Camaro -- In the works TT 6.0L, 4L80E, ??? rear end 



- Big George -

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avoid the Edelbrock "Performer" cam.
DO consider new valve springs and new cam, matched set ;)

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SOLD 70 Elky 496/th400 3/.90
68 RatVette
68 Camaro Ragtop




- Shane -
Graham, WA


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i ran this camshaft in a 350,with a performer intake and headers.194 heads.in a 72 gmc 3/4 ton with 3.55 gears. had a lovely choppy idle.made great power in the 2200-5500 area..

www.compcams.com/Company/CC/cam-specs/Details.aspx

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- Ben #2 -

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Thanks everyone for the input!

Hpaven't quite got to cam selection yet, but the one you posted Shane is one I wrote down. Also a few of the summit and lunati cam sets. Figure I want my usable power in 1500-5500 or so range. Anyone that went to Ben's bbq and drove to the cruise in knows I must have a stiff accelerator pedal I have to overcome right off idle. That thing just goes idle or floor....  

Biggest thing for me now is have my crank and rods checked out. I don't want to dump a bunch of money in this motor because it's robbing money from the ultimate goal of a big block and a manual. I talked to Terry that set up his machine shop in Bryant and I'm going to swing out there next week and he's going to measure stuff for me and go from there. I'll update as it goes.

And suggestions are more than welcome!



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68 Malibu 307/PG. For now.....


- Ben #2 -

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Here's some rod bearing pics if they mean anything. The main bearings don't look copperish like the rods do. 



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68 Malibu 307/PG. For now.....


- Durand -

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I have a pump gas friendly 454 for sale.
Fresh build comes carb to pan with ignition.
Runs 12.35-12.45 in the 1/4 in a 3700lbs car.

DSC_0007.JPGDSC_0009.JPG



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'65 Pontiac Lemans 468 t400 4.10 12 bolt

Best ET  11.43 @ 117.7



- Ben #2 -

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I've got a 454 already that I plan on building. The engine is just part of the equation though. I'd like to switch to a manual trans, better cooling system, better fueling system, upgrade brakes, exhaust, etc. I can't afford all that right now so as I gather parts and wait, I just figured building a budget sbc with more power than my current 307 would be an acceptable diversion of funds. If I find out crank, rods, etc. are not usable or will cost too much to be usable, then it all goes back under the bench and I just live with the 307 a little longer. 

 

But that fat block is sexy! Makes me want to paint mine and bolt it together as is just to look at it on an engine stand. 



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68 Malibu 307/PG. For now.....


- Ben #2 -

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Looking for some input. 

I took my crank in to get turned and am being told its junk. Mains are fine. It's already .030" on the rods and the shop says it'd need turned to .040-050" but it's not good to turn it any more and they won't do it. I've known people to turn to .050" and have no problems but this shop says they can't. 

Is .050" safe? I can get bearings to .050" So that's not the problem. Anyone have a suggestion for a crank turner or have a good sbc crank cheapish?



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68 Malibu 307/PG. For now.....
Ben


- RAMBO -Mill Creek, WASite Administrator

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Just build the big block



If you are really set on building another SBC, it may be easier/cheaper to locate an entirely different core motor vs just a different crank. 

 

If it were me, i'd just slap a bigger cam in your 307 to give it a little bit of pep and growl, and spend the rest of your $$ on the Big block you really want.

 



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Ben R.

1968 Chevelle 300 - 454 / 4spd



- Ben #2 -

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That is where I'm starting to lean. Without crank turning, I could've done this motor under $500. With potentially a new crank, that adds $200 at least to the total cost. $700 or more is a big pile of parts to that big block. Although I got a little sticker shock when bs-ing with a machinist the other day on machining costs. 



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68 Malibu 307/PG. For now.....


- Big George -

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Terry at Bryant is a good guy


Just drive the 307 and build the BBC or buy a complete BBC and sell your parts
only put money in the 307 if you have to and you can buy a running 350 for the cost of fixing that wounded one or working on that 307

Having said this....a 307 does what it is supposed to...get you around cheaply
they only came with 2 bbl in car applications, had junk heads and low CR
add some better heads for more flow and a lot more compression.....like 305 HO heads or vortecs with all the parts swapping

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68 RatVette
68 Camaro Ragtop



- Ben #2 -

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I should note that terry isn't the one who looked at the crank. I haven't had a chance to get out there yet. There's an advance auto by my work that has a machine shop so I dropped it by there on my lunch. They are the ones saying it's no good. 

My neighbor actually offered up a crank, same casting number, out of a motor he has sitting. Crank is supposed to be in excellent shape and usable as is. It's not going anywhere so I've got time to debate it. 



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68 Malibu 307/PG. For now.....
Ben


- RAMBO -Mill Creek, WASite Administrator

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What all does your BBC still need?



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Ben R.

1968 Chevelle 300 - 454 / 4spd



- Ben #2 -

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Everything. 

I would like to bore over to make it 468". Crank and rods look good. Need pistons, engine boring, deck the block likely, cam, bearings, gaskets, oil pump, intake, valve work done for the heads.  Basically, I have a good block, crank, rods and heads. 



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68 Malibu 307/PG. For now.....


- Ben #2 -

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I'm thinking the budget sbc idea is about dead.

Ben, I believe you are pretty pleased with your motor, so... I'm starting to wonder if my 468 dreams are just a product of working 12 hours at a time and time to read too many bbc builds. 

My realistic goals are to put this in my 68 chevelle, be able to buy gas at any station (don't care if I need to run an additive), mate it to a 4 or 5 speed, likely never see over 5500-6000 rpm.

If I remember correctly, I have a 289 block, stock bore and 781 heads with stock valves. I figured a flat top hyper piston, air gap manifold w/ double pumper 750 or so, unsure on cam. I'd like to go 2.19/1.88 valves I think and some porting. I think for piece of mind, also larger rod bolts and of course, rings and bearings too. 

Basically, do I need to go to 468" or larger to get good, streetable power or is it just a case of inch envy? My buddy's r code galaxie is a 427, supposedly factory 500+ hp and I've driven that and REALLY like it. But with everything else I need/want to do with the car, I could go a little smaller now and always upgrade things like heads, etc down the road. (Or build a completely different motor). 

Sorry if this got long winded and rambling. 



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68 Malibu 307/PG. For now.....


- Durand -

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The big block I have for sale has all that and more.
It is still in the car to hear run and drive along with, I have pictures and receipt of the complete build.
Comes running carb to pan, distributor and everything.
Runs on 87 octane without issue, ran 12.40's on it in street trim right off the street.
The only reason the engine was put into my car, was to get Pat out racing one last time before cancer got him.
Selling it for his wife now that he's passed.
Only has about 200 miles and 8 passes on it.

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'65 Pontiac Lemans 468 t400 4.10 12 bolt

Best ET  11.43 @ 117.7



- Ben #2 -

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I just can't swing that cost all at once right now. Spreading it over a year or so is a lot more doable. Think I need to finish one of my bike projects to sell for some big block money. 



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