Author Topic: Need info on choosing an engine  (Read 7562 times)

Offline woodstrooper

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 9
  • Newbie
Need info on choosing an engine
« on: October 15, 2013, 08:25:02 AM »
New to this forum. New to fixing up Chevy's (was tractors). The 79 c10 Chevy me and my son bought to fix up has a 305CID V8 in it. We want to replace it with a 350CID.  We're looking for a larger engine but we want to be able to drive it past a gas station.  Looking at many websites I keep seeing the number 10067353 for 350CID crate engines. Some of the engines have different HP ratings (260,290).  Why the different HP ratings for the same part number and how can I be sure of what I'm ordering?

Since I don't know too much about this I'm thinking an engine with a carburetor type system would be the way to go.

1979
C10 1/2 ton
Shortbed
Automatic trans
RWD
TH400
305CID (soon to be replaced)

Offline Fairlane514

  • Frequent Member
  • **
  • Posts: 493
  • Newbie
Re: Need info on choosing an engine
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2013, 09:15:51 AM »
Look into the LS swap with the 5.3 out of a 2001 or so Chevy truck. Mileage would be better than a carbureted 350. More involved project, but may be worth it.

Offline rich weyand

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1391
Re: Need info on choosing an engine
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2013, 10:14:24 AM »
GM part no. 10067353 is the stock 350 engine that came in the 1979 C-10.  It is capable of 260 hp when set up properly as GM notes, but was detuned to 155 hp as installed for smog and mileage reasons.

The GM 350/290 engine is part # 12499529.  It is the same block and heads as the 10067353, the only difference being the camshaft.  This camshaft was designed for high-compression heads and is a poor choice for this engine.  You will get reduced gas mileage and low torque in the bottom end, but it will wind up and produce more horsepower in the top of the rpm range.  Not a good choice for a truck.  Been there, done that.

If you go back in time before the 1979 period, to the late 60's, you could get a higher compression engine that made a ton of horsepower.  It also ran on gas you can no longer buy.  Since you don't want to have to fuel up out at the airport, where high-octane fuel is still available, let's leave those alone.

If you come forward in time from the 1979 period, there are two or three major developments that may affect your choice of engine.  One is roller lifters, in which there are rollers on the bottoms of the lifters to ride on the cams.  Previous flat-tappet lifters rode on the cam directly and depended on oil with ZDPP to protect them.  ZDPP was reduced in oils because it is hard on catalytic converters, but you can get ZDPP additives for running flat-tappet cams.  Nevertheless, all modern engines are roller lifters, and there are a lot of people who will tell you to go that way.

The second more modern item is fuel injection.  Computer technology allows very sophisticated yet cheap control systems for fuel injection rather than carburetion.  Carburetion is necessarily an approximation of what the engine needs, where fuel injection is exact because the computer uses an oxygen sensor in the exhaust pipe to monitor the engine's needs and respond in real time.  Performance and mileage will both improve with fuel injection, but the systems are more expensive and complicated than carburetion.

The third more modern item is head design.  GM came out with Vortec heads for the 350 long after 1979, and they have been called the best heads GM ever made.  These were somewhat higher compression than the 1979 heads (9.4:1 vs. a nominal 8.5:1 (more like 8:1 really)), and used a knock sensor connected to the engine computer to detect detonation and adjust the engine timing and mixture to prevent it.  Lots of people like the Vortec heads, and many run them without knock sensors, but they have to be set up carefully and you should run premium gas.

So, you have several choices, depending on how much you want to spend.

1) You can go with the 350/260 #10067353 engine.  New engine, stock out of the box.  Put a dual plane intake manifold and a nice carb on it, with long-tube headers and low-restriction mufflers.  You will get about 260 horsepower and 350 lbft of torque.  It will definitely be quite a bit more zippy than stock if you leave all the pollution crap off it and tune it properly.

2) You can go with the 350/260 #10067353 engine, and put a new cam in it.  I recommend the Comp Cams 12-235-2 cam or one of its similar brethren.  This voids the warranty.  Same accoutrements as above.  You will get about 300 horsepower and 375 lbft of torque.

3) You can go with a higher-output 350 (lots of choices), or a Vortec 350, with the same accoutrements. 

4) You can go with a TBI setup on any of the above.  More expensive and involved than a carb installation, but better mileage and performace.

Lots of people will have a lot of opinions on the "best" way to go, but mostly it depends on your trade-off between money and performance.

As for the accoutrements:

For carbs, you can go with a Quadrajet, an Edelbrock, a Holley, or a Demon.  Each has its fans.  For mileage and performance, the Quadrajet is probably the best choice, but it is hard to set up properly.  Any of these carbs when set up properly will outperform all the others when they aren't set up properly.  I have an Edelbrock, but if I had to do a new carb right now, I would get a Quadrajet set up properly from Sean Murphy Induction.  He's set up Quadrajets for pretty much any engine/vehicle combination you can imagine, and apparently kept all his notes.  If you go with an Edelbrock, I can help you, because I set up the Edelbrock on my 350 with an air/fuel ratio meter and know all the proper settings for the Edelbrock on a more-or-less stock 350.

For an intake manifold, you want a dual-plane manifold that matches up to the heads.  Stock heads and Vortec heads take different manifolds.  The Edelbrock Performer manifolds are a good choice here, available for both stock and Vortec heads.

For headers, a lot of choices.  Get good ones; cheap ones will suffer premature failure, usually cracking.  I have Hooker headers.  Hedman also makes good ones.  Note they are specific to the vehicle, because they have to fit in between the frame rails and miss the firewall, etc.

For exhaust, I would go with Flowmaster 40 (louder) or 50 (quieter) mufflers, and have a good local muffler shop mandrel bend up the pipes for it.  Have them put the h-tube between the two exhaust pipes in front of the mufflers.  My whole setup with the h-pipe was $500.

That will get you started, I think.  No shortage of opinions on this topic!  But with this you can start reading up on your options and figure out where your trade-off between performance and money lies.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2013, 10:18:15 AM by rich weyand »
Rich

"Working Girl": 1978 K-10 RCSB 350/TH350/NP203 +2/+3 Tuff Country lift

Offline woodstrooper

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 9
  • Newbie
Re: Need info on choosing an engine
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2013, 04:37:02 PM »
Wow!  Thanks for the thorough response.  You have tremendous knowledge.  Now I need to digest all the information you just shared with me.  This decision is going to be more complicated than I thought, but I'm grateful to know that.  I'm sure I'll have more questions as I proceed with buying this engine.

Offline rich weyand

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1391
Re: Need info on choosing an engine
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2013, 05:16:45 PM »
The decision is complicated because there are so many options, and there are so many options because you have a huge engine bay that will accept anything up to and including a ZZ572.  The only real limit is in what you want to spend.

As an example, you could just buy an engine/transmission/electronic controller from GM Performance, ready to go in as a package deal.  You hook up the fuel, exhaust, plus and minus power, the throttle pedal and the driveshaft.  Done.

How about a 556 horsepower LSA with overdrive? 
http://www.chevroletperformance.com/connect-cruise-crate-powertrain-systems/
Rich

"Working Girl": 1978 K-10 RCSB 350/TH350/NP203 +2/+3 Tuff Country lift

Offline woodstrooper

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 9
  • Newbie
Re: Need info on choosing an engine
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2013, 05:06:09 PM »
In my dreams.

You mentioned just buying an engine/transmission/electronic controller.  Then hook up the fuel, exhaust, plus and minus power, throttle pedal and driveshaft and be done.  Actually that's what I was planning on doing before I decided to post to this site for advice.
My top candidate is found on the website below.

http://www.jegs.com/i/Chevrolet+Performance/809/10067353K1/10002/-1

Not having much experience I thought buy buying a package like this I couldn't go wrong.  Everything is chosen for me.  (My son wants the chrome stuff).  What's your thoughts on this?

Offline rich weyand

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1391
Re: Need info on choosing an engine
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2013, 07:42:55 PM »
That would get you all the parts you need in one box.  Nothing wrong with any of those.  You should add up all the prices and make sure you are getting a decent deal on the package or you can shop them separately.

You will also need exhaust gaskets and valve cover gaskets and water pump gaskets, a balancer, and a new water pump and thermostat (195*).

Again, that's the base GM engine.  You can re-cam it now (which would void the warranty, but those Mexican 350s are pretty reliable, and good luck collecting on a warranty anyway) and then you don't need new springs or lifters, because it hasn't been run in yet.  It is much easier to do now than to do later!  All the stuff you put on top like the manifold and carb and all have to come off again, and you have to pull the radiator and everything to get it out.

But that engine as it is will be zippier by a bunch than a brand new truck back in the day, because you aren't going to detune it and hang all the pollution crap back on it.  Depending on your son's age, that will be more than enough to get him in trouble.  ;-)

Read my response #12 in this thread.  You probably want to pick up the parts and tune the Edelbrock on the bench before you put it on.  Much easier.  Also hang on to the thermostatic air cleaner.  Avoid the temptation to do the two chrome pie plates thing.
http://forum.73-87chevytrucks.com/smforum/index.php/topic,26985.msg224714.html#msg224714

I would also put a decent balance plate cover on it for good timing marks.  I used this one.  The timing tag goes on that engine about 1 o'clock (there's more than one possible position, but for that engine, that's the right one with this wheel).
http://www.jegs.com/i/Proform/778/66518BKC/10002/-1

There's some tricks to breaking one in.  Mostly follow the instructions that come with that engine.

As far as Jegs, I've had very good service from them, including engine purchases.  No problems to report at all, fast shipping, and easy returns.
Rich

"Working Girl": 1978 K-10 RCSB 350/TH350/NP203 +2/+3 Tuff Country lift

Offline rich weyand

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1391
Re: Need info on choosing an engine
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2013, 08:15:47 PM »
A couple other things:

Why a new water pump?  Why would you put an old water pump on a new engine?  You might need to change the fan out too, not sure what comes on the 305, if it'll bolt up or not.  The stock 350 runs pretty cold, even under load, so if it bolts up, it's fine.

Thinking about the balancer and the flexplate, now that I think about it I think all the GM small blocks, 265-350, use the same ones, so you can use the ones off the 305.  I think.  Someone else on here will know.  Use new hardware.
http://www.jegs.com/i/Mr.+Gasket/720/6710/10002/-1
http://www.jegs.com/i/Mr.+Gasket/720/945G/10002/-1

You will need one of these to put the stock air cleaner on the Edelbrock.  There's a clearance issue otherwise.  I glued it to the bottom of the air cleaner with 3M Weatherstrip Adhesive, then put the whole thing on the carb and screwed it down to set overnight.  Pain in the butt otherwise.  You will also need a longer air cleaner screw with this, but it's just a 1/4"-20 threaded rod into the carb -- cut it to what length you need.
http://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS+Performance+Products/555/50071/10002/-1

More stuff I used:
http://www.jegs.com/i/Mr.+Gasket/720/2661/10002/-1
http://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS+Performance+Products/555/15840/10002/-1
http://www.jegs.com/i/Mr.+Gasket/720/6716/10002/-1
(for headers) http://www.jegs.com/i/Mr.+Gasket/720/3420G/10002/-1
http://www.jegs.com/i/ACDelco/065/R45TS/10002/-1

You'll need this as well:
http://www.amazon.com/ZDDPPlus-Engine-Additive-Phosphorus-Bottle/dp/B006LBAAD4/ref=sr_1_sc_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1381972471&sr=8-2-spell&keywords=zdppplus
Rich

"Working Girl": 1978 K-10 RCSB 350/TH350/NP203 +2/+3 Tuff Country lift

Offline Irish_Alley

  • Tim
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13271
  • Family is not an important thing. It's everything.
Re: Need info on choosing an engine
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2013, 11:30:24 PM »
also you can do a cummins swap, engine for 2k just have to figure out what trans you want. then you can see 20 mpgs with power. or
for 3k you can get 400hp 400Torque
https://www.yearone.com/Product/1967-87-chevy-gmc-truck/ct350pc1
3.5k
https://www.yearone.com/Product/1967-87-chevy-gmc-truck/at350pc1

and then

sgt del swears by his 383
tuff dawg engines.

http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=tuff+dawg&_sacat=0&_odkw=enginebuilder1&_osacat=0&_trksid=p3286.c0.m270.l1313

I bought my 383 ( www.delbridge.net/install ) from  them a few years back and love it. No core, free shipping.  Bypass ebay, call him directly with whatever specs you want on it like i did... i specified the intake and cam, 4 bolt main, etc..and he shipped it out two days later.  Ask for Darl.  He's in Arizona and shipped it to VA for free.
If you canít tell yourself the truth, who can you tell it to?~Irish_Alley

When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth ~Sherlock Holmes

Offline woodstrooper

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 9
  • Newbie
Re: Need info on choosing an engine
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2013, 09:07:32 PM »
Thanks for all your help.  I still have a few more questions.  They're about flexplates, harmonic balancers, and headers.  I've been told I should probably get a new flexplate and harmonic balancer.  As I mention before I'm new to all this stuff and many times when I look things up on the web it just confuses me more. 

Flexplates come with 153 or 168 teeth, are internally or externally balanced and some are SPI approved.  I don't know what I need.

Harmonic balancers come in different sizes, 6-1/4, 6-3/4, and 8 inches. They are also either internally or externally balanced.  Which should I used?  There are also have flexplate covers. Do I need one of those?

Headers.  Do I need headers?  Are headers better than a regular exhaust system? I was planning on using the existing exhaust manifolds, exhaust pipes and mufflers.  Right now the truck has dual glass packs which seem to be in pretty good shape.

Any advice you could give on any of these topics would be greatly appreciated.


Offline Irish_Alley

  • Tim
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13271
  • Family is not an important thing. It's everything.
Re: Need info on choosing an engine
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2013, 11:14:17 PM »
headers sure. but the rest depends on what engine you get
If you canít tell yourself the truth, who can you tell it to?~Irish_Alley

When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth ~Sherlock Holmes

Offline rich weyand

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1391
Re: Need info on choosing an engine
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2013, 12:15:15 AM »
You don't *need* headers.  They do add horsepower and torque.  Easiest to do it all at once, but you can do them later or stick with the stock manifolds.  The thing to remember is that an engine is basically a self-powered pump.  The fluid being pumped -- the fuel/air mixture -- is what is powering the pump.  The more you can pump, the more fuel-air mixture goes through the engine, the more horsepower you get.  Simple as that.  A good induction system on top (a good, well-tuned carb and a dual-plane manifold) and good evacuation on the bottom (headers with low restriction exhaust and an H-pipe) helps the engine pump more mixture, and that's the name of the game.

Some engines (I think; other people here know more) are internally balanced, but not the 350.  You need a balancer on the front.  Like I said, I think all the SBCs take the same balancer, which is basically a steel plate that doesn't have a uniform mass around the edge.  Some have extra lumps cast in, some have holes drilled in different places.  There are also fancy ones with moving parts and stuff,  Unnecessary (and expensive) for what you are doing.  So I think the one from the 305 will work fine.  Somebody else chime in here, please, and confirm that I'm right or correct me.  Mine was an 8" one, and I put a balancer cover on it to have nice clean timing marks to make life a little easier in the tuning department.

I used the flexplate from my old 350 with 150,000 miles on it.  It was fine, so no problem, I just re-used it.  It has to be the right size for the starter to engage, but since I just used the one that was on the old 350, I don't know much about picking one out.  Somebody else jump in and help here please.  Best is to have someone tell you what they used that worked out (like I did with the other stuff above) and then just get that.  But again, it looks like the SBCs pretty much all take the same one.  I would think the one from the 305 would be fine, but I don't know for sure.  The difference in teeth may have to do with giving the starter a little more mechanical advantage on bigger engines.
Rich

"Working Girl": 1978 K-10 RCSB 350/TH350/NP203 +2/+3 Tuff Country lift

Offline bd

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5695
Re: Need info on choosing an engine
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2013, 02:47:13 AM »
Thanks for all your help.  I still have a few more questions.  They're about flexplates, harmonic balancers, and headers.  I've been told I should probably get a new flexplate and harmonic balancer.  As I mention before I'm new to all this stuff and many times when I look things up on the web it just confuses me more. 

Flexplates come with 153 or 168 teeth, are internally or externally balanced and some are SPI approved.  I don't know what I need.

Harmonic balancers come in different sizes, 6-1/4, 6-3/4, and 8 inches. They are also either internally or externally balanced.  Which should I used?  There are also have flexplate covers. Do I need one of those?

Headers.  Do I need headers?  Are headers better than a regular exhaust system? I was planning on using the existing exhaust manifolds, exhaust pipes and mufflers.  Right now the truck has dual glass packs which seem to be in pretty good shape.

Any advice you could give on any of these topics would be greatly appreciated.

It's easy to spend unnecessarily - especially when you start drooling over goodies and all the associated "hype."  Remember, all advertising is geared to sell products - beneficial or not.  Educate yourself through research.  And, then research some more.  Be realistic and decide on the type of driving you'll be doing based on the vehicle's primary use (i.e., daily driver, stop light terror, towing, hauling, worker, show, etc.).  Plan!  Make your selections fit the vehicle's purpose.  Stay focused and on track.  Bear in mind that once you deviate from stock configuration, you'll need to be prepared to solve unforeseen problems - many will be minor, some may be more involved.  Much beyond a stock configuration, modifications are rarely bolt-n-go.  The further you deviate, the more time and money expended, both initially and in subsequent maintenance.  It's just a fact. 

GM two-piece rear main seal small blocks, with the notable exception of the 400, are internally, rotationally balanced.  That is to say the balancers and flywheel/flexplates are not differentially weighted around their circumferences.  They are neutral balanced.  The 400 small block is externally balanced, so the balancer and flywheel/flexplate are counterweighted.

In contrast, the factory one-piece rear main seal small block engines are internally balanced at the front, but externally balanced at the rear.  The balancers are neutral, while the flywheels/flexplates are counterweighted.  Yet, many aftermarket high performance rotating assemblies for one-piece seal blocks are 100% internally balanced.  You need to know what you have in the engine.

Whether neutral or counterweighted, balancers are necessary to dampen transient vibrations that occur as a result of crankshaft flex and twisting.  Such vibrations are imparted to the crankshaft by the levering of the rods on the crank as the pistons move in the cylinders.  Use the balancer specified for the year model of the engine you are running.  If you are going to twist the engine to high RPM and work it hard regularly, because of significant power adders, consider installing a Streetdampr, otherwise a stock balancer will be fine.  Just make sure the diameter of the balancer you choose will fit under the timing marks on the timing chain cover.

Harmonic balancers are tuned to dampen specific frequency ranges.  An engine that will rarely rev above 4,000 RPM will be fine sporting a stock style balancer.  But, if you are road racing and turning the engine over 5,000 RPM often, a dampener with a broader frequency range is more suitable to your use.  The Streetdampr or its SFI approved pappy, the Fluidampr, fulfill that requirement and may be the better choice for such circumstances.

153 and 168 tooth ring gears are not interchangeable.  The 168 tooth ring is larger in diameter and requires a different starter offset.  The starter must match the ring gear, because of the differences in starter mounting.  Additionally, there are straight and staggered starter mountings.  Most late small blocks are drilled and tapped for both styles. 

SFI approval concerns the safety regulations of various sanctioning race organizations.  Fortunately, you don't need to be concerned about that for street use.
Rich
It's difficult to know just how much you don't know until you know it.
In other words... if people learn by making mistakes, by now I should know just about everything!!!
87 R10 Silverado Fleetside 355 MPFI 700R4 3.42 Locker (aka Rusty, aka Mater)

Offline rich weyand

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1391
Re: Need info on choosing an engine
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2013, 12:42:53 PM »
Given what bd said, I think you can go ahead and use the balancer off the 305.  I know that the timing tab holes on the engine you are looking at are set up for an 8" balancer, but you can just use an 8" balancer cover if the existing balancer is one of the smaller ones.  Or you can buy a cheap balancer for Chevy SBCs from Jegs.

I would probably try and fit the 305 flex plate as well, assuming all the gear teeth are in good shape, and see how it goes.  You should be able to pick one up at NAPA locally if you need something else when you get that far.  Jegs also ships pretty fast.

I don't see any problems with re-using those components, but use new hardware to mount them!

I hope we're closing in on your questions!
Rich

"Working Girl": 1978 K-10 RCSB 350/TH350/NP203 +2/+3 Tuff Country lift

Offline woodstrooper

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 9
  • Newbie
Re: Need info on choosing an engine
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2013, 08:07:21 PM »
Thanks all for the excellent responses.  I'll research your recommendations.