Refreshing And Measuring Up To Its Glory Days

DorianL

solid fixture here in the forum
Staff member
Alrightee folks, we are going to start one of those threads we like best... advise on building an engine and witnessing someone do it. :D

The L-46 Corvette originally came with a jolly 350HP/370TQ plant, with enough vacuum to run wiper door, headlights and power brakes. I want to match this or slightly improve. Gone are my drag racing days. This is an homage restoration to the original motor's performance and it will be a weekend cruiser. (My wife needs to be able to drive it too :rolleyes:)

Sadly, L-46 plan is gone... but the replacement (nothing-special) looks in reasonable shape. It seems to have good oil pressure and good compression. The heads guides may be tired: the vacuum reading has a flicker and I get a puff of blue smoke on start up. The freeze plugs look solid. I replaced the cam with a GM off-the-shelf (it was free). I do hear a nasty ticking sound that sounds like a lifter gone bad... which is odd because they are all new.

The heads are 882s. The block is an 0014.

The intake is an Edelbrock EPS. The carb is well... actually a Fi-Tech EFI :rolleyes:. Ignition is an no-brand HEI distributor with MSD coil and CDI box.

I once peaked underneath the pan... an it looked reasonable, other than one nut that was a different color that the others.

1A.jpeg 2A.jpeg

The only issue I have is that somebody screwed up heli-coiling two timing chain cover bolt holes. That seems relatively minor as issue.

Like all of us o_O I want to keep costs down as I pursue 350/370.

I like the idea of a refresh with new, aluminum heads. I suspect there is not much I can do with the 882s.

As I said - I do want to drive this fellow till November (save my nickels and dimes ad interim). Right now seems a good time to assess what is possible with what I have.

Anyway... :cool: those are my thoughts. What are yours ? Anything I should examine on this engine as I consider a refresh ?
 

Indycars

Administrator
Staff member
Spend your money on things that are internal and hard to go back and upgrade. Things like the
distributor you can do later, but as long as it's working correctly don't worry about it now.

The freeze plugs you always replace and preferably with brass and not steel.

Are you thinking you will spend the extra money for a roller camshaft or stay with flat tappet ?

You might find this Excel spreadsheet helpful with tracking your machine shop costs. Just put a
cost and a "Y" for yes where you want the service and Excel takes care of the rest.
http://garage.grumpysperformance.co...et-for-tracking-your-machine-shop-costs.3423/

MachineShopCosts.JPG
 

DorianL

solid fixture here in the forum
Staff member
Spend your money on things that are internal and hard to go back and upgrade. Things like the
distributor you can do later, but as long as it's working correctly don't worry about it now.

The freeze plugs you always replace and preferably with brass and not steel.

Are you thinking you will spend the extra money for a roller camshaft or stay with flat tappet ?

You might find this Excel spreadsheet helpful with tracking your machine shop costs. Just put a
cost and a "Y" for yes where you want the service and Excel takes care of the rest.
http://garage.grumpysperformance.co...et-for-tracking-your-machine-shop-costs.3423/

View attachment 13949

Ummm, :eek: wow that's impressive AF !
 

DorianL

solid fixture here in the forum
Staff member
FOUND ONE !!!!! At least I am quite sure I did.

A buddy of mine (who runs a garage for USA vehicles) just scrapped a 350 "R" SBC from a 2000 van. It was burning up oil, so it might need rings, possibly an overbore but allegedly it is complete; even the cam an lifters are still in it.

I know the motor was relatively well maintained and not abused. It hasn't been rebuilt either.

As soon as the lockdown is over, or loosened up, I am zipping over to get it. I can't wait !!! :D:cool:
 

Grumpy

The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer.
Staff member
the stock vortec heads are CRAP compared to many of the aftermarket heads available and vortec heads,
may not fit your existing intake manifold if thats a consideration

http://garage.grumpysperformance.co...ding-sbc-crate-engine-heads.13041/#post-69328

STOCK 170 CC VORTEC HEADS FLOW DECENT,
but hardly exceptionally good NUMBERS
but they can,t come close to a decent set of aftermarket heads
get the compression up to about 9.5:1-10:1 on a street driven 350 and select heads
that flow a minimum of 250 cfm at .500 lift

flat tappet hydraulic

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/crn-114132


or an improved hydraulic roller cam:D
http://www.pbm-erson.com/Catalog/Erson/Camshafts/Retro_Fit Hydraulic Roller_E/ERSE119814


a cam like this will have a noticeable rumble in the exhaust note,
but will function with the stock converter and power brakes in a 350
add headers, a low flow restriction exhaust,
matched to a set of BRODIX 200cc or AFR 195cc port heads ,
on a 10:1 compression ratio, short block, you have a known combo in a 350 chevy
that will boost power significantly over stock,
but still works with power brakes and a stock stall converter stall speed

vortec heads
Valve Lift Intake Exhaust
.100 70 48
.200 139 101
.300 190 121
.400 227 140
.500 239 147
.600 229 151



https://www.jegs.com/i/Brodix/158/1021000/10002/-1

https://www.airflowresearch.com/195cc-sbc-street-cylinder-head/
195cc Street Head Flow Chart
.200 .300 .400 .500 .550
Int 146 201 247 275 280
Exh 119 166 197 213 218

http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?threads/should-you-buy-bare-or-assembled-heads.534/

http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?threads/sellecting-cylinder-heads.796/

https://www.hotrod.com/articles/ccrp-1209-eight-budget-sbc-head-shootout/
 
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DorianL

solid fixture here in the forum
Staff member
Mmmm, I have been burned before :confused: and I will not count my chicks until they have hatched. I first need to see o_O this motor.

If this L31 checks out, I am thinking of a rather economical build.

The Vortec heads (refreshed with small tweaks) should out-flow the 1969, double hump, corvette heads. An aftermarket roller cam should also out perform whatever was in the 1969. Ditto an Edlbrock EPS intake.

My plan is to match the L46 Corvette specs (350HP/380TQ) and go slightly over... slightly, with enough vacuum to run light/wiper door/brakes. I would even bias on TQ over HP :rolleyes:.
 

rlphvac

solid fixture here in the forum
Save up for a set of heads just look at the money that you just saved LOL but seriously like Grumpy said a set of heads will make a big difference
 

DorianL

solid fixture here in the forum
Staff member
Save up for a set of heads just look at the money that you just saved LOL but seriously like Grumpy said a set of heads will make a big difference

It’s tempting. I admit. Really tempting. But again, if my goal is to match the L46 that was... aftermarket heads would be overkill.
 
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