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What year 350 to rebuild

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by thebird00, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. thebird00

    thebird00 1/2 ton status

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    I'm looking at getting a spare motor to rebuild and replace the stock motor in my 1984 K10. I'm gonna stay with a carburetor, but was wondering what are good years to look for. Just looking for a basic 350 with 4 bolt main. Stock heads or aluminum, doesn't really matter to me. I'll probably run a mild RV cam.

    Thanks, Mark
     
  2. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Roller motor out of a later car or truck.

    No real reason to go with those over an older block except the factory roller cam components, but if you don't have a block yet, that's a good upgrade which is basically free. :)

    If you get a complete Vortec motor, you'd have roller lifters AND heads, but the heads I don't consider worth much if used, maybe $100.

    Edit: as others mentioned, the one piece rear main is another selling point, and likelihood of a 4 bolt main are better with a Vortec block than a non-Vortec '86+ block
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2007
  3. gmc4cw

    gmc4cw 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    start with a newer tbi motor, it will have a one piece rear main seal.
     
  4. JEBSR

    JEBSR 1/2 ton status

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    I agree with dyeager, get a newer vortec block. Then you can a 4bolt roller block with a one piece rear main. All the things you want in a good block for about the same price as any other core block.
     
  5. thebird00

    thebird00 1/2 ton status

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    Sorry I haven't been quick on a response. Been away from work a few days. But thanks to everyone for the responses.

    Are the vortec heads something you could port and rebuild for a decent set of heads? Seems like if you could get some decent power out of them it may be a cheaper route than even some of the lower cost aluminum heads. Guess that depends on machine shop costs though.

    Thanks again.
    Mark
     
  6. slyguy_22

    slyguy_22 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Just stock vortec heads would flow great by themselves. No real need to port them unless you are making a very mean motor. (over 450 hp.) Probably one of the best heads gm ever created. i would look for a complete block from the junkyard and get the wiring harness and everything. a fuel injected motor for wheeling is great! but they also make a carburated intake for the vortec heads too. good luck.
     
  7. drop the hammer

    drop the hammer 1/2 ton status

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    I agree with everything that has been said, but I have a 90% complete block out of a '70 chevy truck. its a 4-bolt main motor, and is one of the high nickle content, thick skirted beasts. The upside its DIRT cheap, downside is the 2 piece rear main. As long as its a 4 bolt main chevy you have a solid starting point, but thats just my 2 cents
     
  8. thebird00

    thebird00 1/2 ton status

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    I'd really like to have a motor that is basically a direct swap. I'd like to just pull the old one out and put the mildly built one in and have everything just plug right up. Are there some year of vortec motors that will do this in an 84 K10?
     
  9. JEBSR

    JEBSR 1/2 ton status

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    As long as you run your original accessories and carb, it will all be a direct bolt in. If you use the vortec heads you will need an intake specific to the vortec heads with a carb. You will have to use center bolt valve covers as well. Other than that everything will bolt up as removed.
     
  10. mostwanted

    mostwanted 1/2 ton status

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    You are going to have to ask yourself what is important. You could buy a motor to match yours and swap alot of parts over if something were to happen, or quicker yet the entire motor ready to go.
     
  11. slyguy_22

    slyguy_22 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    just reading threw ur specs seems like you have a pretty stout truck. Why not build a bigger motor? 355 383 406 454? all of them are direct bolt in (454 need differ mounts) but all pretty simple to do. just my 2cents
     
  12. roadnotca

    roadnotca 3/4 ton status

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    Are you looking to rebuild to be able to "wear that tattoo"?
    Building an "awesome motor Dude" is hard work, and big spendy.
    If you'd rather drive your rig, look into a crate motor. @$1500 delivered for a 350 crate with warranty.
    GM, Scoggin/Dickey, Summit, Jeg's, Pace.
    I think for another @$500 you could add Vortec iron.:D
     
  13. u2slow

    u2slow 1/2 ton status

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    I wouldn't build something with only 350 c.i.... but if I was, it would be an 86+ block for the one-piece rear main seal and prepped for roller cam.

    If I was buying a 'crate' engine it would be at least 400c.i.
     
  14. thebird00

    thebird00 1/2 ton status

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    My main goals are dependability, cheapest route, and around 300 horsepower. I'd love to have 500 hp and big torque, but by staying mild I'm hoping to limit breakage on other parts.

    I'm figuring the stock 350 has around 160 hp stock, though these specs could be lower than actual hp. If i could get 300 hp cheap then I think I would notice a big difference.

    Even with 5.13s and 39 boggers, I just am not gettting the tire speed in 4-high that I would like and that i need to keep the truck moving in thick mud.

    Thanks again for all the replies,
    Mark
     
  15. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I think you'd be well served to do some research (either google or directly with the websites) on the "Vortec" head/engine builds that have been done quite a bit in the past couple of years. Some of them were on 350's, and as I recall, were in the 400HP range pretty easily. Easier to make less power than more, so a more mild cam alone would probably get you "down" to where you want to be. :) Of course, there is always the "more is better" approach, but what some people call streetability (and brakes lol) is different than what others think.

    check out enginemasters, chevy high performance, and probably hot rod for some build ideas, there are probably others out there that have done Vortec builds that turned out really good numbers.

    Remember though, that the 160 number is net output, (not that it will be 300hp if gross) the ones that are being dynoed in the articles are going to be gross.
     
  16. 76zimmer

    76zimmer Flyin Rat Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I think you can subtract about 25% from a dyno number to get your net reading. (as they are rated in the vehicle) In addition rear wheel HP is considerably less than that too.
     

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