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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so "Cheap Engine" not really a true thing... I have a 78 corvette and as everyone knows they sort of lacking a certain power. What I want to do is build an engine for my Vette that will beat my buddies Stang... He has a 351 (nothing special) pretty standard built truck motor in a 67 350 shelby look alike. I have a 78 Vette (a real car) but I am a little iffy on how much I want to do with the engine. I will go into a little detail on spec's in the next paragraph.

I have a couple specific issue's / concerns:
1. I want my headlights to work
A. The engine must provide enough vacume for the headlights, AC,
heat dampers, etc to work properly...
2. I don't want an engine that will only run on the strip
A. I am willing to install a stall converter (1500 - 2000 stall)
B. but I like the sound of a lope
C. but I want to hear the radio.. :)
3. I WANT TO SPIN MY TIRES ANY TIME I WANT
A. Currently my "weak" engine (it sat for 4 years without start so it is
tired) won't cherp, spin, etc...
5. Cost and Time
A. I would like to keep the cost under 1000, however that is a
laugh :rolling: thus I can go up to maybe 2000 (but really perfer to
stay below 1500)


I have searched several forum's and have not found a satisfactory answer yet, Hopefully you will be able to assist me.

Thanks
 

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Think about this combo
ZZ4 short block and edlebrock 430 top end kit
This is the edlebrockcrate engine 430 hp kit for alot less
 

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If you had about 3K to play with, I'd say stroke it (383). IMO, you don't have a realistic budget to make wholesale improvements like cam and heads (a must).
IF you can, ditch the cat, and put on true duals, change the induction to something used off ebay, dual plane, send the carb to LARS for rebuild, and get that timeing correct in the dizzy, B2B can help there....

looking for 36-8 degrees at 3000 rpm, no vac advance, eliminate all that smog controll on it....get a 180 stat in there and leave the raw castings for the rams horns on there, but eliminate all that heat riser valves/crossover crap.....use a decent air cleaner assy, I think you be outta there for less than a grand easy....

ASSUMING there are NO serious operational problems with the engine...like valves, cam, short block, etc....that is your issue price wise....

:cheers:
 

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The GM perfomance parts 454 is pretty well priced. There are lots of articles in the magazines or in the bookstores on build-ups based on these motors.
 

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is your engine a L-48 or L82?

since you mention a torque convertor its easy to assume you have an automatic...
L-48 means 3.08:1 rear - L-82 would be 3.55:1

get a pair of vortech heads $620 these are excellent flowing heads that will bump the CR of your dished piston motor

find the cheapest aluminum intake for a vortech you can get. $169

cam & lifters.... $107this cam isnt all that powerful although its better than an L-82 cam and light years ahead of a L-48 cam.... it will give you a very mild lope but will run strong...

there are a bazillion cams so I offer this only as a budget starting point.

Ditch your Catalytic converter if you can - otherwise go to a high flow unit $150

you can keep your rams horns for now (i think they will work with the vortech heads.... could be wrong there) but regardless open up that exhaust anyway you can...duals are best... or get a set of these $90

theres a start for you.. it would wake up a L-48 ike nobodies business and would be an improvement over an L-82 as well... its no fire breather...but thats easily adjustable with a better cam - headers - and a good exhaust...but you got a tight budget....cant expect the moon

thats just a hair over a grand - not including fluids gaskets and your time...it doesnt require you to pull the motor and could be accomplished over a relaxed weekend.
 

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is your engine a L-48 or L82?

since you mention a torque convertor its easy to assume you have an automatic...
L-48 means 3.08:1 rear - L-82 would be 3.55:1

get a pair of vortech heads $620 these are excellent flowing heads that will bump the CR of your dished piston motor

find the cheapest aluminum intake for a vortech you can get. $169

cam & lifters.... $107this cam isnt all that powerful although its better than an L-82 cam and light years ahead of a L-48 cam.... it will give you a very mild lope but will run strong...

there are a bazillion cams so I offer this only as a budget starting point.

Ditch your Catalytic converter if you can - otherwise go to a high flow unit $150

you can keep your rams horns for now (i think they will work with the vortech heads.... could be wrong there) but regardless open up that exhaust anyway you can...duals are best... or get a set of these $90

theres a start for you.. it would wake up a L-48 ike nobodies business and would be an improvement over an L-82 as well... its no fire breather...but thats easily adjustable with a better cam - headers - and a good exhaust...but you got a tight budget....cant expect the moon

thats just a hair over a grand - not including fluids gaskets and your time...it doesnt require you to pull the motor and could be accomplished over a relaxed weekend.

Great advice. Any tutorials out there on how one would replace the heads and cam? I'm a beginner at all this, lol. :smack
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok... Upgrade to the question

I may be able to spend a little more... Here is what I am going to have to deal with...

I am thinking about purchasing a 70's model 350 motor out of a pickup, it is a 4-bolt main and has flat top pistons. Currently it has 1.94 intake / 1.50 exhaust valves.


  1. should I buy it
  2. If so what should I plan on upgrade wise... (assuming all machine work is already done)
  3. I was thinking 383 stroker...
 

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I may be able to spend a little more... Here is what I am going to have to deal with...

I am thinking about purchasing a 70's model 350 motor out of a pickup, it is a 4-bolt main and has flat top pistons. Currently it has 1.94 intake / 1.50 exhaust valves.


  1. should I buy it
  2. If so what should I plan on upgrade wise... (assuming all machine work is already done)
  3. I was thinking 383 stroker...
Unless your L-48 is in real world of hurt, there aint nothing within your budget you can do to that motor that you cant do to your existing motor and get the same results. the only difference being the pistons and the 4 bolt mains..

4 bolt mains are worth nothing powerwise by themselves...new pistons are cheaper than a motor most likely...

and if your gonna stroke the motor well then wave bye-bye to the budget youve outlined cause your gonna need at least double (if not triple) :)
 
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