Carb vs LS - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 10th, 16, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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Carb vs LS

So I have a 1965 c10 that I plan on using as a daily and I'm still in high school and work so I need to rely on it and I was wondering should I keep the 350 and rebuild it or should I just go with a LS setup. Don't get me wrong I rely like the LS option but I really don't want to put one in my c10. So my real question is, if I rebuild the 350 and get it running good can I rely on? My dad was telling me he when he was using his Camaro as a daily driver it never let him down or left him stranded but I'm skeptical. If I do rebuild the 350 how many miles can I expect to get out of it considering the thing is completely gone through by a trusted builder. I plan on putting a new cam, intake, valve springs and a few other things. The motor runs fine right now it just has 2 pretty bad oil leaks and its starting to smoke a little bit. Just give me your advice and thanks.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 10th, 16, 10:35 PM
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Re: Carb vs LS

Considering there are still old C10s driving around with the original motor I would definitely say it would be reliable if the motor is done right. Along those lines I would seriously consider a crate engine that has a warranty as opposed to getting it rebuilt by a local shop. I'm not bashing re-builders but I would look for a newer engine with a roller cam. Check out Summit, Jegs and Year One. Those trucks are so much simpler then modern vehicles there is much less that can go wrong. To be truly reliable you also need to make sure all the other moving parts are in good shape like brakes, trans, wheel bearings, cooling system, etc. A good small block should last at least 100-150,000 miles is you don't abuse it and maintain it correctly.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 16, 03:08 AM
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Re: Carb vs LS

I got 363,892 miles out of a 350 in a three quarter ton Suburban before the thrust bearing wore out. I would call that reliable.

There isn't a question that is not worth asking, though I thought that this one was about the old which is better, carb or EFI when I first opened it. In your case it is an easy decision.

You have limited funds and really can not afford the LS at this point. An LS costs nearly three times as much as a 350 to get your truck moving again. Both are reliable in design, but the 350 has fewer parts that can go bad (the LS is covered in sensors required for it's operation that the 350 doesn't have); and as such will be the cheapest to maintain. Just do yourself a favor and buy a newer hydraulic roller short block to rebuild as flat tappets are no longer a viable option in terms of reliability with today's motor oils.

You can mount your old heads and intake on top of the hydraulic 5.7L block (says so right on the side so don't buy a 5.0 liter because the counterman at the junk yard says it is a 350) to maintain your vintage look and simplify reconnecting everything like a carburetor (newer Vortec 350 hydraulic roller blocks are all EFI even if it is only a TBI).

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 16, 03:37 AM
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Re: Carb vs LS

A crate motor from GM would be your best bet for everything you're asking.
Nothing more than a stock 350ci would be great IMO....IF you drive it like an old man (no hot rodding it) there is no reason you can't get 300,000 miles or more with proper care/maintenance.

K.I.S.S. is best....less parts (electronics) less things to go wrong.

SBC is what 3-5 wires, fuel pump and line, plus cooling system....done.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 16, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Carb vs LS

Why should I spend $2k and get a short block when I can just do a full rebuild? And I plan on aiming for about 350hp when its all done with the cam and everything so how many miles could I possibly expect if I really take car of it?
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 16, 12:43 PM
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Re: Carb vs LS

You can put a roller cam in the block you have
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 16, 01:12 PM
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Re: Carb vs LS

Need some info on what engine you currently have. "350" covers a multitude of SBC engines that started life as 350s.

It isn't original to the vehicle, as the 350 wasn't even around in 1965. First year was 1967, and even then, it was ONLY available in the Camaro.

So, what block, heads, intake and carb do you have? Are you planning to bore it and use oversize pistons?

I would not consider using a flat tappet cam on a car you want to be reliable as a daily driver.
With the price of QUALITY machine shop work these days, sometimes it is just as cheap to go crate motor. Personally, I prefer to build my own, but there are times when a crate motor is tempting, for both cost and time savings.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 16, 01:25 PM
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Re: Carb vs LS

I used to build SBC engines to pay for my personal build projects; and I got my cores off of a scrap metal train at $7 per 100 pounds of metal that was located in a ship yard were the engines being loaded onto a ship headed for Japan. The cost of machine work, new pistons, and rings and bearings with a full gasket set was often close to the price of parts and machine work in cost for a new crate engine which put me out of business. So yes a crate motor is the most economical way to get a reliable engine (that comes with a one year warranty from GM, just like a new car).

If you think a crate motor is expensive you can cross an LS off your wish list. The price of the parts to install an LS equal the price of a GM crate motor, and that doesn't include the cost of an LS core, and electronic tranny core or the wiring sensors and computer to get it running again under the hood of your C10.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 16, 04:00 PM
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Re: Carb vs LS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larger Dave View Post
I used to build SBC engines to pay for my personal build projects; and I got my cores off of a scrap metal train at $7 per 100 pounds of metal that was located in a ship yard were the engines being loaded onto a ship headed for Japan. The cost of machine work, new pistons, and rings and bearings with a full gasket set was often close to the price of parts and machine work in cost for a new crate engine which put me out of business. So yes a crate motor is the most economical way to get a reliable engine (that comes with a one year warranty from GM, just like a new car).

If you think a crate motor is expensive you can cross an LS off your wish list. The price of the parts to install an LS equal the price of a GM crate motor, and that doesn't include the cost of an LS core, and electronic tranny core or the wiring sensors and computer to get it running again under the hood of your C10.

Big Dave
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The cost of rebuilding is often more then a new crate with Warranty.

Hard to do it yourself when you can buy this for $3500 with free shipping and 30 month / 50,000 mile warranty

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 16, 05:30 PM
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Re: Carb vs LS

Mitchel,

You asked:

Is a 350 reliable - yes.
Miles on rebuilt - 100k+

I'm not sure what your contemplating, 350 vs. LS. Two different worlds and price points. If you don't want the carb anymore, go with an EFI throttle body on your 350.

Any engine is reliable if maintained and tuned properly. Carbs take more fiddling and with today's fuel I would go EFI if reliability is a concern. Not sure reliability is the right word. Once you have EFI you think - how did we do this before EFI? People skilled in carb tuning is getting harder to find.

Are you running a points distributor or HEI? Same kinda thinking.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 16, 10:28 PM
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Re: Carb vs LS

I like this one from Year One: https://www.yearone.com/Product/1967-81-camaro/ct350pc1
You will need to add a carb or fuel injection and should be able to use the distributor and accessories from your current engine.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 12th, 16, 04:24 AM
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Re: Carb vs LS

But then, if he wants EFI and a Gen I SBC, he could buy a carb'd crate engine, camshaft specs would be the deciding factor, add on TBI from a 88-93(?) truck or van with its ECM and harness and exhaust manifold oxygen sensor.
Yes, its only a 2-bbl, but better drivability, but even one from a 5.0L or a 5.7L would work - it learns.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 12th, 16, 04:45 AM
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Re: Carb vs LS

I had a 450hp 350 sb as my daily driver when I was a kid in my '68 camaro. I had it built professionally as crate motors were not so popular back then in the 80's but it did come with a 1 year warranty so better than nothing I guess. Long story short - the car had 4:10's in the rear with a 4-speed and I beat the hell out of it to put it mildly. Never had an issue with that motor. Had issues with just about everything else lol (normal wear and tear stuff) but drove it as my DD for a good 8 plus years.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 16, 03:03 PM
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Re: Carb vs LS

A properly tuned carb is more then reliable. Ask any of us who grew up driving carbed cars in the north during the winter. Cars sat outside for days without being ran only to fire right up and run just fine with a turn of the key.

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