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  #1  
Old Dec 11th, 12, 08:15 PM
Mike-in-South-Texas Mike-in-South-Texas is offline

Mike
 
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Default engine for 68 project - have a 327 block, looking for advice

OK, so first off let me say that I've looked through some of the previous topics on this and found a lot of good info, but I still wanted to start a new thread because every build and every opinion seems different, so I wanted to get recommendations as tailored to my specific situation as possible. I am finishing suspension and brake lines / disc conversion, so engine/trans is my next step (along with paint).

Engine is in parts in the garage. It came with the camaro I am currently working on, but apparently was not the original engine (and did not come IN the camaro, just with it).

What I have:
Block: 3914660 (reads as a '68 2 bolt main 327, 210-275 HP)
18J286545 (dunno what this number is)
T0603HN (Tohawonda, June 3rd, 327 4barrel with 250HP and a p-glide)
Intake: 3919803 ('68 327/350)
GM2T (dunno)
Head: 3917290 (not sure)
Crank: 3911001 (327 large journal)

No carb. Engine has been sitting forever and needs a lot of cleanup. I found a guy in Kerrville that says he will rebuild it for $1200.

Questions: Is the $1200 a reasonable price for a rebuild? What can I expect for asking him to rebuild it to a 302 or 383? Which is better?

Parameters: This will be a daily street driver, not a trailer queen or a racer. I value torque and responsiveness over raw horsepower, and would rather the car be hella-fun to drive rather than try to win a race I'll probably never have. I also don't have a transmission for the car at this point, so i will wait until I have the engine ready and pair the trans to it based on recommendations here. I plan to use a manual trans, and most likely will go with headers and low-restriction exhaust of some type (will ask about that later I'm sure)

Thanks in advance, and I truly have fun reading everyone's passionate talk in these forums. The '68 Camaro is the car I've wanted since I found out what muscle cars were as a kid, so this is an exciting and dear project for me.

-Mike

Last edited by Mike-in-South-Texas; Dec 11th, 12 at 08:17 PM. Reason: Addind additional info
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  #2  
Old Dec 11th, 12, 08:55 PM
Eleanor's Nemesis Eleanor's Nemesis is offline
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Michael Gekko
 
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Default Re: engine for 68 project - have a 327 block, looking for advice

Mike,

Good luck with your project. It's always refreshing to see someone in the hobby brimming with enthusiasm.

All 327's were 2 bolt main, and '68 had all large journal cranks iirc. The small journal were pre-'68.

The engine you have is identical to the ones I use in my '68 Caprice Stock Eliminator drag car. The heads are indeed '290' small block heads, and they are some of the worst castings made by Chevy in the '60s. You will be doing yourself a favor by upgrading to aftermarket offerings or the 'double hump' OE style heads, casting numbers 462, 291, 186, 492, 041, 461, etc.....all are pretty similar. Aftermarket heads will give you better performance over the OE offerings.

Hard to beat a 383, especially in a street car. You can use the block you have, you will have to work with a builder to get a good 'rotating assembly' (aka rotator) which is the crank, rods, pistons.
The block will need to be clearanced for the bigger crank, but this isn't very expensive and almost any reputable shop can do it for 100 bucks or less.
The 383 will naturally make more torque over a 350, 327, and especially a 302. Torque is what you want with a street car more than peak HP.

The 383 will be more expensive to build, easily hit 2K especially if you buy different heads which I would absolutely recommend. The 290 sbc head has small valves (1.72 IV, 1.5 EV) has a large chamber (low compression) and the ports are small and awful overall. I think they are 137 CC intake runners, the OE double humps are 155, and new aftermarket offerings are 180 up to 227 and more.
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  #3  
Old Dec 11th, 12, 09:15 PM
ace's68 ace's68 is offline
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Default Re: engine for 68 project - have a 327 block, looking for advice

It seems like the Vortec L31 is a perfect choice for you, throw on a carb and go. Google it, best engine GM ever made besides the ls/lq newer motors. You can find one extremely cheap and do a cheap rebuild if even needed.
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Old Dec 11th, 12, 11:55 PM
novaderrik novaderrik is offline
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Default Re: engine for 68 project - have a 327 block, looking for advice

rebuild the 327 short block, put in an L79 cam, and top it off with a set of vortec heads.. back it with a 4 speed and some 3.73 gears.. that would be one fun and reliable combo for not much dollars ..

slightly off topic: i was in Corpus Christi for a night last June.. stayed at the Radisson down on the beach by the Lexington. nice little tourist trap area down there after the sun went down and the ship and bridge got lit up.
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  #5  
Old Dec 12th, 12, 07:25 AM
captcanuck68 captcanuck68 is offline
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Ted
 
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Default Re: engine for 68 project - have a 327 block, looking for advice

As already mentioned the 327 is your best best. Diff heads would be a plus.

Is the price mentioned just the rebuild without or without new parts, and does the block need to be bored?

capt
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  #6  
Old Dec 12th, 12, 07:52 AM
Melrose RS Melrose RS is online now
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Default Re: engine for 68 project - have a 327 block, looking for advice

Whatever you do, don't put a cent into those heads. They are boat anchors and will be the limiting factor to a 327 build because they are 2 barrel 210 hp heads.
You will be very happy with some vortecs and headers and a cam that optimizes the torque the 327 has to offer. Gearing is crucial for a 327 also. A 383 or 350 will be a different animal altogether, much easier to make torque because of the additional cubes.
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  #7  
Old Dec 12th, 12, 01:48 PM
Mike-in-South-Texas Mike-in-South-Texas is offline

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Default Re: engine for 68 project - have a 327 block, looking for advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by captcanuck68 View Post
As already mentioned the 327 is your best best. Diff heads would be a plus.

Is the price mentioned just the rebuild without or without new parts, and does the block need to be bored?

capt
The $1200 quoted included 'common wear items' so I am not entirely sure what that meant. I have not taken the parts to the guy yet because I wanted to get my ducks in a row first.
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  #8  
Old Dec 12th, 12, 02:55 PM
keithl1967 keithl1967 is offline
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Default Re: engine for 68 project - have a 327 block, looking for advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eleanor's Nemesis View Post
Mike,



Hard to beat a 383, especially in a street car. You can use the block you have, you will have to work with a builder to get a good 'rotating assembly' (aka rotator) which is the crank, rods, pistons.
The block will need to be clearanced for the bigger crank, but this isn't very expensive and almost any reputable shop can do it for 100 bucks or less.
The 383 will naturally make more torque over a 350, 327, and especially a 302. Torque is what you want with a street car more than peak HP.

The 383 will be more expensive to build, easily hit 2K especially if you buy different heads which I would absolutely recommend. The 290 sbc head has small valves (1.72 IV, 1.5 EV) has a large chamber (low compression) and the ports are small and awful overall. I think they are 137 CC intake runners, the OE double humps are 155, and new aftermarket offerings are 180 up to 227 and more.
I thought you neede a 350 block to start with in order to make a 383...4.030 bore, and a 3.75 stroke (400 crank)?
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  #9  
Old Dec 12th, 12, 04:36 PM
bigblockragtop bigblockragtop is offline
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Default Re: engine for 68 project - have a 327 block, looking for advice

With so many people selling off their already built small blocks to upgrade they are a dime a dozen. A lot of times you can even check them out running in the car before they sell. I agree with everyone else on the heads. Check craigslist for some local results in your area. sounds like a fun start to a project.If I had to do it again I would save up for the new ls or lx lq etc. with fuel injection.
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  #10  
Old Dec 12th, 12, 04:43 PM
bigblockragtop bigblockragtop is offline
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Default Re: engine for 68 project - have a 327 block, looking for advice

Just looked on C.L. corpus site there is a guy selling complete truck motor tranny lots of stuff take a look http://corpuschristi.craigslist.org/...inAsk=&maxAsk=
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  #11  
Old Dec 12th, 12, 05:00 PM
Mike-in-South-Texas Mike-in-South-Texas is offline

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Default Re: engine for 68 project - have a 327 block, looking for advice

Was wondering why everyone kept mentioning Corpus... It's been a while since I was on here when I got the Camaro and have since moved to San Antonio. I have updated my profile to reflect the new city, sorry for any inconvenience.

So, back to the engine:
I can get a 300HP 350 from west coast engines for $1400
I can get a 383 for around the $3900 range.

With the motor I have, I don't have timing chain, oil pan, carb, distributor, nothing but the block & rotating assembly, heads, and intake.

Since I am not a collector and don't really care about matching numbers, period correctness, etc, is it really worth it to try to save the 327? Or should I sell the 327 arts to someone who is a stickler for that stuff and just buy a new / reman engine?

OR... how much money do you think I could save trying to rebuild the engine myself? Heads alone are around $1000 if I remember correctly.

My head is spinning with all the possibilities and I haven't even gotten to the tranny part yet. Help me out, guys, what would it look like if YOU were in my shoes? Should I offer one of you gurus the 327 parts to help me get a decently priced already-made 383 / 350?

More confused than when I started.

-Mike
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  #12  
Old Dec 12th, 12, 06:34 PM
ace's68 ace's68 is offline
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AJ
 
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Default Re: engine for 68 project - have a 327 block, looking for advice

If I were you, I would just do a 350 with a small hydraulic roller cam, vortec heads, and a 4bbl. 320-350hp and extremely street able. An L-31 based engine would offer a perfect start. Sit down and figure out what your goals are and what you expect, you'll be all over the place until you decide what you really want. Look at the pros and cons of every aspect of every motor. 302, 327, and 350 blocks are all 4.000" bores and are the basis for every 383 engine. In many cases, you get lucky and there is no need to clearance the block. This happened to a friend with a scat 3.75 (400) crank in a 010 LT-1 block. absolutely no clearancing needed, even the stock pan cleared. I have relatives who drag race in San Antonio and may visit them over the break, I could help you out if need be.
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  #13  
Old Dec 12th, 12, 06:34 PM
captcanuck68 captcanuck68 is offline
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Ted
 
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Default Re: engine for 68 project - have a 327 block, looking for advice

From what I've read and with your lack of experience with a motor rebuild...go with the a new motor. If you do the work yourself, you really have to be able to "read" it as it comes apart to see the different wear in crucial places. This takes time, experience and lots of taking apart to know these things. One mistake in the rebuild could cost you the motor!

Personally, I would search the market for a fresh rebuild, one with a good warranty to back it up, and coming from a reputable company that has been in the rebuilding for some years. Take note already in this thread what has been suggested, they are good ones.

I'd advise you to get a hold of some books to increase your knowledge base, BEFORE you go into some rebuild place, and know what is what, before you start laying out the hard cash. There are takers in this field of endeavour as there are in the other related restore areas. A good place to start would be to go into the archives that TC offers, as there's plenty of advice/info/ suggestions of people who have walked this path before you, eh?

capt
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  #14  
Old Dec 12th, 12, 07:07 PM
Eleanor's Nemesis Eleanor's Nemesis is offline
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Michael Gekko
 
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Default Re: engine for 68 project - have a 327 block, looking for advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by keithl1967 View Post
I thought you neede a 350 block to start with in order to make a 383...4.030 bore, and a 3.75 stroke (400 crank)?
the 302, 327, and 350 sbc all utilize the same block essentially and can be used to make a '383'. They are all 4 inch bore blocks.

The 3.75" stroke crank is part of the 383 combination, but doesn't have to be a '400' shaft. These cranks are available now with '350' crank main journals which do not require proper machining to fit in a '350' block.
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  #15  
Old Dec 12th, 12, 07:21 PM
Eleanor's Nemesis Eleanor's Nemesis is offline
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Michael Gekko
 
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Default Re: engine for 68 project - have a 327 block, looking for advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike-in-South-Texas View Post
Was wondering why everyone kept mentioning Corpus... It's been a while since I was on here when I got the Camaro and have since moved to San Antonio. I have updated my profile to reflect the new city, sorry for any inconvenience.

So, back to the engine:
I can get a 300HP 350 from west coast engines for $1400
I can get a 383 for around the $3900 range.

With the motor I have, I don't have timing chain, oil pan, carb, distributor, nothing but the block & rotating assembly, heads, and intake.

Since I am not a collector and don't really care about matching numbers, period correctness, etc, is it really worth it to try to save the 327? Or should I sell the 327 arts to someone who is a stickler for that stuff and just buy a new / reman engine?

OR... how much money do you think I could save trying to rebuild the engine myself? Heads alone are around $1000 if I remember correctly.

My head is spinning with all the possibilities and I haven't even gotten to the tranny part yet. Help me out, guys, what would it look like if YOU were in my shoes? Should I offer one of you gurus the 327 parts to help me get a decently priced already-made 383 / 350?

More confused than when I started.

-Mike
You won't find many people wanting those parts-the block is the best piece of the lot. Shipping the heads and the crank is going to be pretty pricey-probably 125 bucks just for that.

You can easily build the 327 to make 350-375 HP without breaking the bank. Or, as suggested earlier, you can search around and find a running 350 for less.

Is there a ridge in the top of the cylinders? You could possibly-an outside chance really-get away with just honing the cylinders and re-using the existing pistons.

You could find some Vortec heads or double hump style OE heads in good shape and recondition them....hydraulic flat tappet cam and new lifters, matched valve springs, etc......probably 2000-2500 bucks would get you in the ballpark. If you need new pistons add another 500 or so.
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1968 Street/Strip Camaro 350 w/PG
1968 Caprice NHRA/IHRA Stock ELiminator O/SA 327-250 HP



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