Author Topic: $4000 to spend on engine upgrade  (Read 8626 times)

Offline bdog

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$4000 to spend on engine upgrade
« on: January 26, 2009, 12:46:42 PM »
My 83 short wide 2wd has a goodwrench crate 350 in it. I am not sure how many miles it has but it runs ok, no smoke, noises, etc.  I am looking to upgrade the performance of my truck and am not sure what is the best route. I have up to 4k to spend on it.

1) heads, cam, intake, carb  - cheapest route but not sure of the condition of the engine

2) swap in big block - major cool factor but maybe a hassle in changing over accessories

3) Buy a crate souped up small block


Offline frogman68

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« Last Edit: January 26, 2009, 12:52:31 PM by frogman68 »

Offline eventhorizon66

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Re: $4000 to spend on engine upgrade
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2009, 01:15:16 PM »
I'm in the same boat.  I have a Goodwrench engine and I want more power.  The fact that your engine doesn't smoke and runs good are indications that you can reuse the short block.

I plan on reusing the complete shortblock when I go for more power.  But I will most likely tear it all apart to check all my bearing clearances, relieve all the major block oil passages and drain back holes, blueprint the pump, and give the cylinders a little clean-up hone.  Then I'll reassemble with a fresh set of rings.  Even with the cast pistons, I figure it can put up with 350-400 hp in a street engine.

From there I'll look for a pair of aftermarket 64cc chamber heads; maybe a set of vortecs if I want to be really cheap.  But I'm really leaning towards (in order of preference) A) EQ 180cc heads B) Dart Iron Eagle 180cc C) World SR/Torquers 170cc.  In case you aren't familiar with the EQ heads here is a PHR article covering a David Vizard build featuring these awesome heads.  You can buy them bare direct from Engine Quest or assembled from Shaver Racing.

As far as a cam goes I'll try to find room in the budget for a hyd roller in the 224 @ 0.05 duration range and have it ground on a 108 LCA.  I'll definitely use 1.6:1 rockers on the intake side, as well, shooting for .530" to .540" lift.  With the 64cc heads and a 0.015 shim head gasket, the compression will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 10:1, so I could go more for overlap if I want to.  But I'm gonna start small and work my way up.  And if a hyd roller doesn't fit in the budget, I'll just go with something along the lines of a Comp Magnum 270 - ground on a 108 LCA, of course.

For carb, I'll try to play with my Edelbrock 600 cfm, but as soon as a Holley 750 pops up for the right price I'm gonna go for it.  I'll also try out my current Performer EPS manifold on the new combination, but as soon as I find a nice RPM air-gap for real cheap, I'll make the swap.

At any rate, I'm shooting for about $2000 for the whole shootin' match and I think that's reasonable.  Really it'll be $3000 because I'll rebuild my 700R4 and go with about a 2500 stall converter at the same time.

So after that, you can see I'm in favor building your own engine.  Probably because I've never done it before and have no idea how much work it is, LOL.  Good luck.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2009, 01:20:45 PM by eventhorizon66 »
'85 C10 SWB 350 700R4 TKO600

Offline Captkaos

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Re: $4000 to spend on engine upgrade
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2009, 01:15:52 PM »
Are you wanting to upgrade the current setup or get a new one.  With 4K on had you could do the later cheaper.
If you want to do upgrades, check the Tech pages for the Goodwrench crate build.

Offline cracker0169

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Re: $4000 to spend on engine upgrade
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2009, 02:49:35 PM »
For 4K you could find a late model LS motor and drop it in. Pick up some power and lose some weight all at the same time. You could probably get by with less than 2k in the motor and then spend a little extra on upgrades including tranny...
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Offline Captkaos

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Re: $4000 to spend on engine upgrade
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2009, 02:54:55 PM »
For 4K you could find a late model LS motor and drop it in. Pick up some power and lose some weight all at the same time. You could probably get by with less than 2k in the motor and then spend a little extra on upgrades including tranny...
That is what I was going at...  Cheaper, better mileage, better power....  Just better.

Offline eventhorizon66

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Re: $4000 to spend on engine upgrade
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2009, 03:08:20 PM »
The only problem is, if you want significantly more power than they came with stock, the cost goes up dramatically.  If you want 400+ hp and you all ready have a good 350 core it will be cheaper to build that.

That said, you will still have an engine that is carbureted and can't achieve the gas mileage or streetability of an LS motor.  So if you are leaning toward replacing the 350 all together, then, yes definitely consider an LS swap.  You can buy a good used LQ9, custom tune, headers, a TR224 cam, pushrods, and springs, and have real nice 400-420 hp motor for less than $4000.
'85 C10 SWB 350 700R4 TKO600

Offline SUX2BU99

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Re: $4000 to spend on engine upgrade
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2009, 03:21:56 PM »
With that kind of budget, he should get a performance crate 350 or maybe even a 383 that should for sure produce between 350-400 HP. Already built, just swap n' go. Minimal downtime. And if the motor he has now is good, then sell it and recoup maybe $1k of that cost.

Event, that sounds like an awesome plan you have. 400 HP should be a done deal with that setup.
85 Chevy Silverado C10 short, wide, yellow, 2wd. Lowered, 60-over 350 with Dart Iron Eagle heads and Comp Cams XE268 cam, TH350 w/ shift kit, 3.40 Gov-lok 12 bolt.

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Offline eventhorizon66

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Re: $4000 to spend on engine upgrade
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2009, 06:16:25 PM »
LOL.  That's the easy way out.
'85 C10 SWB 350 700R4 TKO600

Offline choptop

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Offline bdog

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Re: $4000 to spend on engine upgrade
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2009, 11:02:29 PM »
Well I have been doing some more research. I have 4k to spend, but who says I have to spend it all?

What about this http://www.sdpc2000.com/product/SD8060AG/VortecHeadKitEdelbrockPerformerRPMAirGap.aspx  A vortec head kit complete with intake.

That would set me back about $900 and then I could spend $600 on a carb, cam and headers and I should be at around 400 hp according to the tech article for $1500. If the bottom end gives way down the road I could easily spring for a new short block.. Thoughts?

Offline joesgarage71

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Re: $4000 to spend on engine upgrade
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2009, 10:17:59 AM »
swap in big block - major cool factor
4 grand would buy a nice BB
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Offline Lt.Del

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Re: $4000 to spend on engine upgrade
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2009, 07:23:20 PM »

Offline SUX2BU99

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Re: $4000 to spend on engine upgrade
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2009, 10:12:35 PM »
Well I have been doing some more research. I have 4k to spend, but who says I have to spend it all?

What about this http://www.sdpc2000.com/product/SD8060AG/VortecHeadKitEdelbrockPerformerRPMAirGap.aspx  A vortec head kit complete with intake.

That would set me back about $900 and then I could spend $600 on a carb, cam and headers and I should be at around 400 hp according to the tech article for $1500. If the bottom end gives way down the road I could easily spring for a new short block.. Thoughts?

Not a bad price but you can buy RHS Vortecs or the Dart Iron Eagles and an Air Gap intake for about that, AND you get 0.525" lift valve springs. Those stock GM Vortecs will really limit your cam choices unless you buy new valve springs and have them installed. And for sure, if you don't NEED to spend it all and don't mind buying pieces to make a package to have installed, then following what Event suggested is a good plan.
85 Chevy Silverado C10 short, wide, yellow, 2wd. Lowered, 60-over 350 with Dart Iron Eagle heads and Comp Cams XE268 cam, TH350 w/ shift kit, 3.40 Gov-lok 12 bolt.