77 Camaro needs engine, help! - Team Camaro Tech
Engine General Engine Discussion.

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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 3rd, 03, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Hey guys,
My brother's 77 threw a rod and needs a new engine. The 350 block (original) is cracked, heads damaged, cam broke. We were going down the highway at ~3000 RPM when this happened, not hot-rodding. I guess the guy he bought the car from did the engine work himself and maybe wasn't experienced enough in assembling an engine.

He wants to get the car back on the road very cheaply. He found a 96 or 97 Vortec 5.7 L engine out of a 3/4 ton truck for $600. It has a roller cam. Is this a good price and engine to buy? Don't know the miles.

If he bought the Vortec engine would it work with the stuff he has:
-TH350 transmission?
-Accessories (alt, PS pump, water pump)?
-Headers?
-Intake and Carter AFB carb? I think he needs a new intake from what I know about Vortec heads.

We would use the heads and basically not touch the internals of the engine. He would like new rear gears (has 3.08) but I said if he wants taller gears he probably needs a different cam and the truck cam would be adequate for now with the gears he has. I'm not sure if he'll have the money to get new gears and posi. Would it make sense, though, to put a new cam in while the engine is out of the car?

Thanks for any help, this is a great site!

Dan

PS I'm still saving money for my dream: 68 RS!

[ 10-03-2003, 09:32 PM: Message edited by: danhei ]

Dan Heiberger<br /><br />72 Buick Skylark 455/TH400/4.10 Posi
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 03, 11:25 PM
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I don't belive the later truck engines even have provisions for a mechanical fuel pump (I could be wrong though) which would require plumbing in an electric fuel pump. You would also need an edelbrock or gm vortec intake, carb, and a distributor with a roller cam compatible gear on it, if the truck motor uses a steel cam (I don't know if they do or not). Just a few issues to watch out for.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 03, 07:17 AM
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That price sounds fair to me, if the engine is in decent condition. Do you know how many miles are on it or more improtant the compression readings? At the begining of your post I thought you said it came with heads, if so I would keep the Vortec heads. Just buy a Vortec compatable intake you can still use your old carb. The headers should also fit as well as the distributor. You should not need to change the distributor gear either. It should botl up to your tranny. You will have to check to see if the Vortec has a provision for a fuel pump. I know some did and some didn't (I don't remember what years or applications). I would jump on the deal if the engine is decent. It would be hard to get back on the road for much cheaper.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 03, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Hey guys,

Thanks for the help! I really appreciate. The one thing is I've seen conflicting info on the tranny. I told my bro just to make a template with his bolt holes and see if it lines up to the engine. If so, then I told him to get it.

I guess an electric fuel pump isn't too big a deal.

We would stick with the vortec heads on the engine.

Thanks again, I'll keep you posted.

Dan

Dan Heiberger<br /><br />72 Buick Skylark 455/TH400/4.10 Posi
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 03, 06:59 PM
 
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hey this is the brother with the car. thanks for the info. ill check it out later this week and let you know. as mentioned, i have seen some vortecs with the fuel pump but dont know about this one. if you guys would like to see pics of the engine and broken cam and all, let me know.

Rob

1977 Camaro with a '96 Vortec and a few goodies<br />1992 Chevy 3/4 4x4 with a weak 305
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 03, 08:09 PM
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The T-350 will bolt up.


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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 03, 10:56 PM
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the lack of a fuel pump boss seems to be the only stumbling block. make sure it has an auto tranny flexplate on it, otherwise you need to get one for a one piece rear seal engine that matches whatever starter you are using- a small or a big flexplate. your starter will bolt up- but if it still has the stock starter on it, i'd use that, as it should be a smaller, more powerful design. engine mounts are the same. front accessories will bolt on. you don't need a special gear on the distributor- so that wil ldrop right in. if you have no qualms about hooking up an electric pump, then grab the thing if it's in decent shape. if you aren't running a heater, make sure you drill a few 1/8" holes in the thermostat to allow the water to flow before the thermostat opens- the bypass in the block under the water pump isn't drilled on these engines for some reason or another.

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you have to make it up on the spot.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 10th, 03, 03:25 PM
 
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Got the Vortec and it looks like everything will work out ok. It is a 1996 casting, 5.7. It has a plate covering (three bolts holding it in) the spot for the mechanical fuel pump. Tomorrow I will pull it off tomorrow and see if it has the rest of the neccessities for the fuel system. I will order the new intake after I know if I will need an electric fuel pump. It came with a starter and flexplate so no worries there. One thing I did not think of though, it had an oil cooler. So what do I do with those lines? Thanks again.

Rob

1977 Camaro with a '96 Vortec and a few goodies<br />1992 Chevy 3/4 4x4 with a weak 305
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 03, 05:07 PM
 
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The mechanical fuel pump should work just fine. On the oil lines, can I just take out the adapter with the line fittings and put my old one in? Thanks guys.

Rob

1977 Camaro with a '96 Vortec and a few goodies<br />1992 Chevy 3/4 4x4 with a weak 305
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 12th, 03, 07:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by orange77:
The mechanical fuel pump should work just fine. On the oil lines, can I just take out the adapter with the line fittings and put my old one in? Thanks guys.

Rob
I don't see why you can't do that. Be sure that the cam has a lobe to drive the fuel pump. I've read somewhere that they do. You are fortunate to have the block w/ the fuel pump boss. I think you have a much better motor now w/ the Vortec heads and roller cam. You'll see a 50 hp increase. As far as the gears, you said taller? He wants to go to numerically lower number, i.e. 2.73 ? Not many people move in that direction. If so, the mild truck cam would be very suitable for that. I'd leave that cam in for now. Unless you know exactly what gears you will run and what cam you want, because it will be easier to do it now. If you need to wait do it due to financial issues, you can do it later. One benefit to that approach is that if you have any startup problems, at least you will separate the variables. You can swap the cam w/ the motor in the car later if you remove the radiator and A/C condenser. I was able to move the condenser out of the way with the hoses still connected so I didn't have to blow down the system. You will save bucks by being able to re-use the same roller lifters. If you money to burn, I highly recommend the setup I have in my '79 Camaro. I replaced the 2.41 one legger with a 3.42 posi out of a wrecked '78 Z-28 and bought a 700R4 out of a wrecked '92 Camaro (305 TBI version), rebuilt it and installed it along w/ a lockuo t.c. . This is one of the best mods I did. BUT it is not cheap. Are you a student at TAMU? Good luck and good score on that motor.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 12th, 03, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by need-for-speed:
He wants to go to numerically lower number, i.e. 2.73 ? Not many people move in that direction.
Sorry for the confusion. I meant to say going for a numerically higher gear like a 3.42 or 3.55. Those seem to be good compromise gears and would work well with an overdrive tranny later.

Dan

Dan Heiberger<br /><br />72 Buick Skylark 455/TH400/4.10 Posi
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 03, 03:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by danhei:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />
Sorry for the confusion. I meant to say going for a numerically higher gear like a 3.42 or 3.55. Those seem to be good compromise gears and would work well with an overdrive tranny later.

Dan [/QB]</font>[/QUOTE]That makes more sense. Those are the ratios I would recommend. When I went from 2.41 to 3.42 it was a totally different car! If you try to buy a complete rear end out of a wrecked Z-28 (I bought one out of a wrecked '78 Z-28 for $175) note that most auto's came with 3.42's and most 4 speeds came w/ a 3.73 but this is a general rule of thumb. There are exceptions. It is best to pull the cover to inspect and count the teeth.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 03, 06:57 AM
 
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need-for-speed-yes I am a student at TAMU, although my car is orange. I'm going to try and get a rear end out of a Z28 like you suggested.

I think the oil adapter should bolt right in. I checked the holes and they are the same as the old block.

On the fuel pump, I put the rod in and pushed it against the cam, then turned the engine over by hand. I could hear air coming out of the hole below where the rod enters, but could not tell if the rod moved. Does it move enough for you to notice it when turning over by hand?

Rob
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 03, 09:30 AM
 
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One more thing. I'm thinking of putting a cam in it, so I guess its better to do it now while it is out than to wait. Any suggestions? I'm going to run it with a Edelbrock Performer RPM intake and Carter AFB 650 carb. Thanks again guys.

Rob

1977 Camaro with a '96 Vortec and a few goodies<br />1992 Chevy 3/4 4x4 with a weak 305
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 03, 11:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by orange77:
One more thing. I'm thinking of putting a cam in it, so I guess its better to do it now while it is out than to wait. Any suggestions? I'm going to run it with a Edelbrock Performer RPM intake and Carter AFB 650 carb. Thanks again guys.

Rob
Well Orange, hopefully it's not "burnt" orange. Class of '86 here [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

The rod doesn't move a lot so it may be hard to feel it when turning the engine over by hand. Since you're buying a new cam, you don't need to worry about the existing one having a fuel pump lobe though. You will save yourself a lot of work by doing it now. I put an extreme energy 262 (flat tappet) in mine and I'm extermely happy w/ it. It has tons of torque. That's what Comp Cams recommended for a t.c. w/ stock stall. Of course, I wound up installing the 700R4 and a 2400 stall t.c. so I could have gone with the 268. Your's will be a roller set up so the lift and duration will vary slightly from the number I am quoting but I think they still use the same advertised duration. So all this is a long winded way of saying go w/ a 262 or 268 (or equivalent in a comp cams roller cam). You will need to decide what gear, tranny, and t.c. you will eventually wind up with. Also, you will have to buy another intake manifold. Others here will recommend a little more cam but don't go too agressive. You will wind up scratching your head and wondering why it won't even spin the tires anymore. Good luck and let us know how it goes. In fact, after it's all done, I can learn from you. I will eventually pull the tired old 305 (w/ quadrajet) w/ 199,000 miles on it out of my '86 Silverado and replace it w/ a 350 Vortec like the one you bought.
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