Question/Help about engine selection - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Nov 20th, 12, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Question/Help about engine selection


I'll be the first to admit I know very little about engines and customizing them. I'm building a 68 street car that I'd like to be able to smoke the tires every now and again but would more enjoy a car that runs well and can just be fun to drive with some power .... not like my 4 cyl everyday work driver that when I turn on the A/C it seems like it doesn't want to climb a steep hill.

Anyway, I've been offered to buy an engine from someone that is an aquintance (19 year old that tried to restore a Camaro, then sold the car). The description that I received is:

350 SBC, no carb currently but would recommend a 750cfm, has Holley intake and Holley aluminum heads that were part of a performance package sold by Jegs, Roller Rockers, Has a Lunati hydraulic Cam (unknown specs) and forged pistons. The person who built the engine had it in a Chevelle with a turbo 350 auto transmission and took it out of the car because it did not run right with the auto tranny. He suggested it needed a tranny with at least a 3,000 stall converter to run right. The builder replaced this motor with a crate motor, then sold it to the person I know.

My question .... Knowing the next to nothing I do about engines ... would I be happy with this motor in my car as a driver ... or will I regret it because it doesn't want to idle/run properly for the street? Sorry for the small amount of specs, but that is all I was told or know.

Offered to me for $1,000

thanks for your opionions.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Nov 20th, 12, 02:47 PM
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Re: Question/Help about engine selection

Sounds like a good price for that package, but for a 350 to need a 750cfm carb and a 3000 stall converter tells me that it has a pretty radical cam, and probably doesn't do we'll in the lower rpm range that you'd see most in a daily driver. It's probably not a great choice for your desired use, IMO.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Nov 20th, 12, 03:21 PM
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Re: Question/Help about engine selection

Rich, I agree with Bob. 750cfm carb and 3k stall converter is steep for a daily
driver. Because the PO stated it was removed from a car that didn't run
correctly with auto trans is a dead giveaway as to idle problems. Another
thing to consider is who built it. There are some awesome home garage and
professional engine builders and then there are those that aren't so great.
Sounds like you don't want something that's going to require tweaking all the
time so I'd pass on it. I don't know what your budget is but you may want to
look into a crate engine. Do you have the original engine and trans ?


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Nov 21st, 12, 04:17 AM
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Re: Question/Help about engine selection

$1000 is a good price for that engine.The parts alone are worth more than that. I agree with the guys,proceed with caution. It sounds like that motor might be a little too radical for your intended use. You could buy/build a 400 horse 350 for next to nothing these days that will give you great driveability with good idle characteristics for accessories like A/C and power brakes. At the very least,if you bought that motor,it would be worth it to tear it down just to make sure it was assembled properly and to verify the parts combo installed. I would pass and look into having a motor built by a reputable engine builder.Ask anyone on this site for a recommendation and I am sure you will get a flood of responses.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Nov 21st, 12, 05:28 AM
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Re: Question/Help about engine selection

I have the same engine package in my car. Holley sold the kits under the SysteMax II name. The Holley website probably still has the specs for the different components like the cam (if you're interested). The engines work fine with a stick, but I suppose you could put another cam in to make it more slushbox friendly (for the street).

I ended up putting a different cam in because I put the engine together for my (at the time) high school aged sons and a 650DP.

It's a pretty good setup for the money.

My car has power brakes (vacuum) and factory AC (gotta idle right) with no problems.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Nov 21st, 12, 05:31 AM
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Re: Question/Help about engine selection

A 750 carb is fine for the street-GM put millions of 750 and 800 CFM carbs on stock 327s and 350s over several decades.

A new 350 that is simarly equipped would cost around 3K give or take 300 or so bucks. The prospect of saving money is very appealing with a used engine, but if there are issues those savings will likely go up in smoke.

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1968 Street/Strip Camaro 350 w/PG
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Nov 21st, 12, 08:33 AM
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Re: Question/Help about engine selection

Do you have any friends that are knowledgeable and can help inspect the motor ? Price of a couple beers could save you losing $1000

Before any money changes hands, pull the spark plugs if installed and turn the motor over and ensure it moves freely. If it doesn't, walk away. If it turns over nicely, pull the valve covers and look around with a flashlight or inspection light. Look and smell for burnt oil and deposits. If the owner balks, walk away.

For a daily driver Camaro it's hard to beat a GM crate motor w/345/350hp.

Russ (RJ)
The Garlic Capital, Gilroy,CA

(sold June 15,2014) 1968 RS convertible that is not quite stock

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Nov 21st, 12, 12:16 PM
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Re: Question/Help about engine selection

If you open up the engine get the part number off he cam. You can then go to the Lunati website and get a copy of the cam card for the cam. This will give you the specs for the cam which you can post here and someone will be able to comment as to how radical (and streetable) the cam is.

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