1969 Camaro 350: Keep it or replace it? - Team Camaro Tech
Engine General Engine Discussion.

 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 01, 06:03 AM Thread Starter
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Just curious on everyone's opinion...

I just bought a 1969 Camaro about 2 weeks ago. It's not an SS or Z28. It came with a 350/2 barrel...I believe that it's the original motor. Currently it has about 86K on it...no rebuild. I can forsee some problems in the next year or so. My question is do I keep this motor and have it rebuilt or do I just order up a crate motor instead?

If I keep the stock motor it's going to need a full rebuild including the heads. What's that going to cost?

If I go with a crate motor I can just slip it in and pretty much enjoy. What's a decent 300hp to 350hp crate motor cost?

Thanks in advance for your opinions.

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1969 Camaro - 350...and that's about it for now.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 01, 06:13 AM
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Go to one of the web sites like scoggin dickey or jim pace or salle chevrolet and you'll be able to price a crate motor. expect for them to go between 3 and 4 grand depending on which one you choose. I personally like the 385 fast burn motor. Its plug and play.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 01, 07:12 AM
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If you do go with the crate motor, hang onto the 350 that's in the car. If you post the numbers off of it in Tag Team, you may be able to determine if it really is original for the car. If it is, then it will make the car worth more if you do decide to sell it.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 01, 08:02 AM
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I would at least utilize the short-block. Take it to the machine shop/engine rebuilder...ask them to go through it. It'll probably need an .030 bore and new pistons is all (well, besides rings, bearings, seals, machine-work, etc). Pick you a new cam and take it with you to be installed. This whole cam/short-block job should run about $500. You can use your iron heads (1.94 in. intake valves) or purchase some Trick Flows or something else for about $1000 complete (+/-). An new intake and carb and you'd have a damn strong engine, that would cost half of what crate would cost. My opinion. But, I'm not sure a numbers mathching two barrel engine is reason to keep the old stuff...but you could save some pesos.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 01, 08:14 AM
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If you're looking to take the easy way out, the GMPP ZZ4 from Scoggin-Dickey, www.sdpc2000.com , at $3400 is not a bad deal. 355hp and 405 lb-ft in a roller cammed engine for that price, when you pretty much only need to add a 4bbl carb and headers is a pretty good deal.

Don't know about the build quality (weight matched components, degree of balancing, quench height, main bore alignment, etc.), but cost-wise it's probably not THAT much more than I've got into my non-roller engine, which took about a month to get machined, assembled, etc., and which should (though have not gotten it on the dyno yet) put out just a bit more torque and power (maybe 375-400hp and 410-430 lb.-ft.) And if it falls apart, it's mostly my fault since I did the assembly - no warranty. On the other hand, if it continues to run just fine (about 5000 miles, sounds good, and no metal fragments yet), that's also to my credit. (And of course my machinist, who also helped advise me on the build, deserves a LITTLE of the credit too! - thanks, Dana!)

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Huck
355 SBC powered '87 Chrysler Conquest TSi - 10.3:1, Vortec heads, XE 268H cam, HEI, eq. length shorties, Performer RPM intake, 750 Edelbrock (1407), T-5 and 3.54:1 posi indep. rear
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 01, 08:18 AM
 
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For just a driver, you might think about the $1200 or so Goodwrench engine assy. It seems to be a low cost winner if you really don't want to spring for one of the more powerful crate engines right now. IMHO. pdq67



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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 01, 09:59 AM
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pdq's got a point. And if that's not quite enough output, you could add a diffent cam, carb, intake and headers, and for about $2000, total, have a pretty fair performer. Replace/modify the heads down the road and it wouldn't be bad at all.

It's all a question of how much performance you want and how much you want to spend.

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Huck
355 SBC powered '87 Chrysler Conquest TSi - 10.3:1, Vortec heads, XE 268H cam, HEI, eq. length shorties, Performer RPM intake, 750 Edelbrock (1407), T-5 and 3.54:1 posi indep. rear
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 01, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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Well, just like anyone, i'd rather spend little than a lot, but if that means I'm gonna end up with junk then forget it.

Currently, I drive the Camaro everyday. I will continue to do this until Winter arrives. I'll then put her away in the garage and start working on replacing the motor or rebuilding the original one. I had originally thought about just adding a set of heads, intake, carb, and cam to this motor, but that may be like wrapping duct tape on the whole thing and hoping that she holds together. The inevitable will happen, the motor will go, so I am trying to prepare myself for what needs to be done.

I'd really like to pull this motor and use it, but sometimes swapping in a crate motor just seems so much easier. I guess I'm just impatient.

So, a rebuild goes for how much? Say I wanted to have the block bored .30 over, add new pistons, rings, etc., and have the heads rebuilt, how much would that run...roughly?

On that note, am I better off digging deep and just buying a new set of heads?

Lastly, am I just jumping the gun here? Do I really need to worry about the engine just yet? It has 86K miles on it. Will it last me another 20K or so? Maybe my original idea of adding the carb, intake, heads, and cam isn't such a bad idea, huh? What do you think?

Thanks again for the advice.

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1969 Camaro - 350...and that's about it for now.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 01, 11:44 AM
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Is the motor using any oil? Do a compression test or leakdown test that might help make your decision.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 01, 11:49 AM
Ren
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If you are worried about it, pull a head off and look at the cylinder walls. If there is alot of wear on the bores and goop in the lifter valley, you might want to go ahead and tear her down. If all looks good then you are in no hurry... start collecting parts so you have everything for when you tear into it. You could even purchase heads/intake/carb/etc and use them to perk it up, and reuse them when the build happens.

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 01, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe I'm just over-reacting. I have plans on doing an intake/carb swap this weekend. I think at that point I'll take a closer look at the motor and see if she's still got plenty of miles left in her.

I think you have a good point, Ren. I might as well add the good parts now and just re-use them on the rebuild later. No loss other than install time.

Thanks, guys!

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1969 Camaro - 350...and that's about it for now.
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