350 SBC Advice Needed - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old Nov 2nd, 05, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
 
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350 SBC Advice Needed

Hey everyone, new to the site and new '69 owner looking for advice. When I bought my car, it came with an extra 350 long block - casting #3956618, suffix TO529HD. It's a 2-bolt and was rebuilt about 7 years ago but never installed (I have the original build sheet).

Should I keep it or sell it? Here's why I'm asking.

I'm trying to stay within a reasonable budget, but I want a strong bottom end for future "projects" as my engine knowledge improves. I was thinking of selling this engine and starting over with a stock 4-bolt long block (pricey), but I've read that converting a 2-bolt to 4-bolt w/ splayed main caps is stronger than a stock 4-bolt. The 3956618 blocks came from the factory as either a 2-bolt or 4-bolt depending on application, so I'm wondering if I'm better off keeping it (at least it's date code correct), and since I'd have to tear it down anyways after sitting so long, I could have it drilled & line bored. If I do this, can I reuse the internal parts that are already in there (eg, crankshaft)?

thx for any insights!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old Nov 2nd, 05, 01:55 PM
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Re: 350 SBC Advice Needed

First off - WELCOME to Team Camaro -


IMHO I wouldn't go to a lot of effort to modify a 'stock numbers matching' block for performance use if you are worring about having this block around in the future.
There are lots of cheap 4-bolt blocks out there for use in mild to high peformance builds that wouldn't need the investment in parts and machine work to convert your block. Add to that the fact that you will have to go through the engine (cam bearings, mains and rods ) anyway after the machine mods are completed and you would be better off starting with a machined 4-bolt block or assembly.
If your intent is to get into the upper 500+ HP ranges eventually you would be much better off starting with a GM performance block or an aftermarket block made specifically for these applications. You would then be assured the unit would hold up to just about anything you are going to use it for. Fully preped aftermarket performance blocks can be had for prices not far above the amount you would have in preping an older unit to serve your needs.

As far as your question about being able to reuse your rotating assembly - we would have to know a lot more about the parts presently in the motor.
The crankshaft in your original engine 350/250hp 2-bl carb "HD" is most likely cast - so it's not a very stout unit to base a performance build on. Same would propably go for the other stock parts internal to this motor if they were all retained during it's last rebuild.
You would be much better off to look into GM or aftermarket HD/HP parts for the rotating assembly to be sure they would hold up to your performance modifications.

The same logic is going to apply to the cylinder heads and other parts on your motor. If they are mainly reminats of the original 'HD' coded engine, they will most likely have to be replaced by higher performance pieces to achieve your goals of a reliable base to perform future upgrades to.

Hope some of this helps;
John

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old Nov 2nd, 05, 02:19 PM
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Re: 350 SBC Advice Needed

When I bought my '69 back in '86 it had an HC 2-bolt 350 in it that didn't match my car. I got a good deal on a complete 4-bolt 350 with aluminum heads and rebuilt it the way I wanted. A few months after I put the new engine in I got a call from the guy that had the '69 Camaro the old engine belonged to. I made him happy by selling the engine to him and he made me happy by paying for a lot of the new engine. I know I could have gotten more for it, but screwing motorheads isn't one of my hobbies. It would be nice to someday find the original engine for mine. However I don't think I'll be that lucky.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old Nov 2nd, 05, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: 350 SBC Advice Needed

thx for the welcome and the inputs. I stopped by an engine shop today and showed the guy the build sheet for this motor and he said it's actually got some pretty good parts in it, so we're going to run some oil thru it and see what happens. If it needs to be torn down again, I'll start with a new block.

John, I just sent you a followup e-mail.
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