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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a bone stock 69 with a 307/TH350. I'm just looking to make it a little more fun and capable. Planning to do a full suspension upgrade next. But for starters, the engine.

I was planning on just doing exactly what they did in the following article and using that as my first foray into engine building. I've done plenty of motorcycles/ATV's but never tore into a v8 before.

As it is, I'm not very knowledgeable on the technical details of which cam/head/etc specs work best together so I'm leaning on articles like this one for parts lists as a baseline. But as I was putting together a cart at Jegs, I noticed an issue with their setup.

307 Chevy Engine Build - Danger Mouse - And Now for Something Completely Different (motortrend.com)

So this article says they used "Edelbrock E-Tec 170 cylinder heads, a Performer intake manifold with a Performer 600 carb, MSD Pro Billet HEI, and a complete COMP Cams kit that included a CS X4 262H-11"

The E-Tec 170 says "S/B Chevy heads may not be used on engines with less than 4" bore (262, 265, 283, 305, 307 c.i.d.) except with cams having less than .450'' valve lift."

And the kit I found at Jegs with the CS X4 262H-11 (marketed as an extreme 4x4 cam [part # 249-SK12-239-3]) has the following specs: .462'' Intake / .480'' Exhaust

So I went and found the Edelbrock Performer RPM Cylinder Head (Part Number: 350-61019) which has a higher maximum valve lift and is designed for a range of engines including the 307.

Am I missing something obvious about how they managed to get those parts (cam + heads) to work together or did they maybe miss the obvious and put the wrong stuff together?

To make matters more confusing, Everything I've read about the 262 cam seems to be the way to go but it's usually referred to as XE262H-10. The one in the article is an "X4 262H-11" and the specs that pull up on comp cam's site seem to indicate this model was made for big blocks/etc.

Anyone care to help a brother out?

EDIT: Well ****, looks like this went in the brakes forum. Tried to delete/move but I guess I don't have permissions to do that.
 

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307 best used as a boat anchor IMO.
 

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The 307 is no different than any other engine. I am not sure why people hate them so much. They are kind of an oddball bore/stroke combination but so what ? Its sort of like a stroked 283. The main thing is you need to be ok with the fact that you only have 307 cubic inches to work with.

The Edelbrock heads look interesting. Looks like they have a smaller intake valve ( 1.91" ) in them so it will work ok with the small bore size.

As far as cams go I have been in the business for over 30 years and I do not try to pick camshafts. Pick a manufacturer that you feel happy with and call them and ask them what cam to use with your combination once you know exactly what you are building. One thing for certain ...... with a small cubic inch engine you do not want too much camshaft.

One bit of advice . . . I can tell by the part numbers you listed that you are getting info from the Summit and Jegs sites. Forget it. I have found more incorrect information there than correct. Go to the actual part manufacturers site and get the correct specifications.
 

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At minimum, I'd make it a 327"

I had two 307 cars a 71 Nova and a 70 Chevelle, I went with 350 4bolt blocks when it was upgrade time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info so far.

My car is a nothing special survivor 307 base coupe original everything and if I can get 300hp out of the thing with a few bolt ons then that sounds like a good plan to me. I feel I at least owe it to the engine/car combo to let it really rip before scrapping/blowing up the motor for a typical 350 or other swap. I've read enough on these 307s that with the right heads/cam/exhaust, you can get surprisingly good results and have fun with it. I'm not drag racing it nor do I feel the need to reach speeds in excess of 100mph (yet).

I plan to test it out stock as-is at the autocross and after every modification thereafter to make informed decisions about the upgrades I choose and see/feel how they affect things.

The 307 is no different than any other engine. I am not sure why people hate them so much. They are kind of an oddball bore/stroke combination but so what ? Its sort of like a stroked 283. The main thing is you need to be ok with the fact that you only have 307 cubic inches to work with.
I think it's the bigger = better mentality that causes so much dislike for the 307, that and the soft cams that were originally installed in these things which quickly lead to them feeling sluggish compared to bigger motors.

As far as cams go I have been in the business for over 30 years and I do not try to pick camshafts. Pick a manufacturer that you feel happy with and call them and ask them what cam to use with your combination once you know exactly what you are building.
In my experience in other areas, most people answering phones or working parts counters don't know anything and experts are few and far between so I've learned that it's best to try piecing things together myself even if I don't really know what I'm doing.

But if you think I'll have better luck reaching out to Comp for example and giving them my head/motor info then I'll give that a shot.

Reading a lot of the other forum posts out there on topics like this makes it seem like a lot of people just know some of this stuff off the top of their heads so when I saw the discrepancy on the motortrend article vs what the parts descriptions say, I thought I'd bring it up and see if anyone knew something I didn't.

I can tell by the part numbers you listed that you are getting info from the Summit and Jegs sites. Forget it. I have found more incorrect information there than correct. Go to the actual part manufacturers site and get the correct specifications.
And yeah, I went to Comp Cams and Edelbrock websites and they have the same information on their website which says that the cam/head combination used in that motortrend article are not compatible. But as someone pretty new to this I thought I'd ask and see if I'm missing something or if motortrend did actually make that basic of a mistake.
 

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Reading a lot of the other forum posts out there on topics like this makes it seem like a lot of people just know some of this stuff off the top of their heads
And that is a big problem because 95% of those same people actually dont know much at all and have no business posting what they post :) That is why I always defer to the manufacturer.
 

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The heads on my last 307 was only a 1.74 intake valve I think ?,tiny, crappy heads,

If your block will take a bigger bore you may make 327" then put a decent head on it,
300hp should be easy with a good street type came.

Like the article you linked, a 307 is just a 283 bore with a 327 stroke.
I'd try and open it up a bit, if I was rebuilding it anyway.
Definitely toss the stock heads.

Howards cams has a decent tech line, and a comprehensive online cam build request form you could try.

also you could try Chris Straub @ Straub Technologies
 

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My car is a nothing special survivor 307 base coupe original everything and if I can get 300hp out of the thing with a few bolt ons then that sounds like a good plan to me. I feel I at least owe it to the engine/car combo to let it really rip before scrapping/blowing up the motor for a typical 350 or other swap. I've read enough on these 307s that with the right heads/cam/exhaust, you can get surprisingly good results and have fun with it. I'm not drag racing it nor do I feel the need to reach speeds in excess of 100mph (yet).
If you intend to swap in a larger engine later - why throw money at a 307, especially if your intention is to beat up on it to the death? You may as well put that money into building a larger cubic inch engine instead of wasting money and doing things twice. Furthermore, if it's the original matching numbers 307, it would be best to store it aside instead of blowing it up... how many owners of these cars wish they didn't blow up their matching numbers engine back in the day... or even still had it...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you intend to swap in a larger engine later - why throw money at a 307, especially if your intention is to beat up on it to the death? You may as well put that money into building a larger cubic inch engine instead of wasting money and doing things twice. Furthermore, if it's the original matching numbers 307, it would be best to store it aside instead of blowing it up... how many owners of these cars wish they didn't blow up their matching numbers engine back in the day... or even still had it...
Because
1. I already have a running 307 and
2. just about everything could be swapped out to a 350 in the future

Yes it's the numbers matching 307 but if they're such boat anchors why does anyone lament getting rid of them? Genuine question. For a base model I don't see it adding much value. I don't plan to blow it up but I would accept catastrophic failure as a risk of doing business.

If a running 350 ended up in my garage, I'd have second thoughts about the 307 but I'm just trying to move forward with what I've got and have fun with it.
 

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Because
1. I already have a running 307 and
2. just about everything could be swapped out to a 350 in the future

Yes it's the numbers matching 307 but if they're such boat anchors why does anyone lament getting rid of them? Genuine question. For a base model I don't see it adding much value. I don't plan to blow it up but I would accept catastrophic failure as a risk of doing business.

If a running 350 ended up in my garage, I'd have second thoughts about the 307 but I'm just trying to move forward with what I've got and have fun with it.
Yes, you already have a running 307, but you're talking about throwing thousands of dollars and many hours labour at it, which you would need to do for an engine swap anyway, no? You're talking about swapping the heads, camshaft, valvetrain, etc - all relatively major tasks which would be infinitely times easier with the engine out of the car so it's already at that point... how much more effort is it really to store the 307 and start with a fresh base e.g. a brand new crate motor from BPE... complete 350 crate motors starting from under $4K USD (GM Compatible Small Block Longblocksand Complete Engines). It's your time and money but given your future plans, this 307 work is a waste of both of the aforementioned.

PS, people lament getting rid of them because their potential for improvement can be limited relative to larger engines. That doesn't make them a bad engine for their original intended purpose. The way you've presented your car to us is a "survivor with original everything". You've just described the value in your car without us having to tell you; the original engine does add value, however small or large, and accepting catastrophic failure of the numbers matching engine as a risk will only be at your detriment.
 

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Because
1. I already have a running 307 and
2. just about everything could be swapped out to a 350 in the future

Yes it's the numbers matching 307 but if they're such boat anchors why does anyone lament getting rid of them? Genuine question. For a base model I don't see it adding much value. I don't plan to blow it up but I would accept catastrophic failure as a risk of doing business.

If a running 350 ended up in my garage, I'd have second thoughts about the 307 but I'm just trying to move forward with what I've got and have fun with it.
But the swapped heads and cam would be far from optimal on a 350.
 

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Build a network in the hobby. I can pick up many small blocks and reach out to other builders. Same with big blocks in multiple makes and models. Plenty of people out there to help you if you just do your homework.

Or buy a crate motor and call it a day. Simple.

If your car is a pristine survivor then keep your 307.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yes, you already have a running 307, but you're talking about throwing thousands of dollars and many hours labour at it, which you would need to do for an engine swap anyway, no? You're talking about swapping the heads, camshaft, valvetrain, etc - all relatively major tasks which would be infinitely times easier with the engine out of the car so it's already at that point... how much more effort is it really to store the 307 and start with a fresh base e.g. a brand new crate motor from BPE... complete 350 crate motors starting from under $4K USD (GM Compatible Small Block Longblocksand Complete Engines). It's your time and money but given your future plans, this 307 work is a waste of both of the aforementioned.
Well, yeah just buying a whole new 350 for $4399 from that site would be the easiest method I guess.

PS, people lament getting rid of them because their potential for improvement can be limited relative to larger engines.
I don't quite follow this explanation

That doesn't make them a bad engine for their original intended purpose. The way you've presented your car to us is a "survivor with original everything". You've just described the value in your car without us having to tell you; the original engine does add value, however small or large, and accepting catastrophic failure of the numbers matching engine as a risk will only be at your detriment.
I've owned the car for a long time and will never sell it. I have been and will be a good steward of this piece of machinery until I'm dead. But this engine's original purpose was to propel this car.

I'm merely interested in providing this chassis + drivetrain that I have been blessed with the opportunity to fulfill their destiny. Why not work with what I've got?

Build a network in the hobby. I can pick up many small blocks and reach out to other builders. Same with big blocks in multiple makes and models. Plenty of people out there to help you if you just do your homework.

Or buy a crate motor and call it a day. Simple.

If your car is a pristine survivor then keep your 307.
The car is not pristine, it's merely complete and running.
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Believe it or not: I wasn't coming on here for life advice, I came here for build advice. I wasn't asking what motor you would swap it with I was asking about building a 307. I don't care about being the fastest guy around. I'm only looking to have fun. I couldn't care less if someone thinks it's dumb to build a 307. I think it's dumb to build a car you can't drive on the street.
 

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I applaud your dedication to the numbers matching car. If you are not racing the car frequently, the 307 was a very dependable engine just like the 283. The 307 was built from a 283 block with a 327 crank after GM stole the 283 cranks for the 327 block to make the 302 for European racing as I recall the story.
A 307 will get better mileage and last as long or longer than any other Chevy engine. The main performance problem is the heads and the small valves. A larger intake and exhaust valve will really wake the engine up and let it breathe.
I would drop a set of heads with 1.94 intakes and 1.60 exhausts on it, like a set of double hump 64 cc or so heads. Or, you may be able to add the larger valves to your heads. You will get very near the performance of the 300hp / 327 with that same cam and a 4 bbl intake / carb. Maybe even more depending on the compression ration you chose to use. You might make a few of the nay sayers cry with their high dollar 350s and such.
It is your car and you can be proud of numbers matching where the nay sayers can't.
Ron
 

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Well, yeah just buying a whole new 350 for $4399 from that site would be the easiest method I guess.



I don't quite follow this explanation



I've owned the car for a long time and will never sell it. I have been and will be a good steward of this piece of machinery until I'm dead. But this engine's original purpose was to propel this car.

I'm merely interested in providing this chassis + drivetrain that I have been blessed with the opportunity to fulfill their destiny. Why not work with what I've got?



The car is not pristine, it's merely complete and running.
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Believe it or not: I wasn't coming on here for life advice, I came here for build advice. I wasn't asking what motor you would swap it with I was asking about building a 307. I don't give two shits about being the fastest guy around. I'm only looking to have fun. I couldn't care less if someone thinks it's dumb to build a 307. I think it's dumb to build a car you can't drive on the street.
Then build your 307 and call it a day and be done with it. I never advised building the fastest street car. Sorry. I'm just used to people who do this everyday, all day and build cars from beginning to end. Have a nice day.
 

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Well, yeah just buying a whole new 350 for $4399 from that site would be the easiest method I guess.
So, why spend money on the original 307 then? Doesn't it make sense to go this way for your time, money and the end result?

I don't quite follow this explanation
Apologies, wrong wording here. What I'm saying is that some people look to remove 307s in favour of larger engines because the 307 has limited potential compared to a larger engine when trying to make power. People lament getting rid of 307s, or any engine when it's the numbers matching engine; as history has shown us time and time again.

I've owned the car for a long time and will never sell it. I have been and will be a good steward of this piece of machinery until I'm dead. But this engine's original purpose was to propel this car.

I'm merely interested in providing this chassis + drivetrain that I have been blessed with the opportunity to fulfill their destiny. Why not work with what I've got?
I agree, the 307 was designed to propel the car and nothing more and it works for its purpose. You're looking to go faster and improve - give yourself the best base to enable that. If you had no intentions of doing an engine swap later and wanted to modify the 307 and keep it that way forever: sure, go ahead. You've expressed an interest in doing an engine swap so it's time to plan ahead to avoid wasting money and time. I only tell you all of this because I've done similar and wish I had someone to tell me otherwise.

RE working with what you've got, you also need to take into account the unforeseen issues that can arise from cracking open an original engine that is over 50 years old and might have an unknown history. Throwing performance parts at a worn and tired engine is counter-productive at best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
So, why spend money on the original 307 then? Doesn't it make sense to go this way for your time, money and the end result?
A new motor is the easy method but also the most expensive. Also, I would assume there's not as much satisfaction out of simply sticking someone else's brand new motor in a vehicle vs one you poured your blood and sweat into.

People lament getting rid of 307s, or any engine when it's the numbers matching engine; as history has shown us time and time again.
But again I ask: of what value is the original unmodified 307 for a base coupe? It's not like this is a z28/ss/rs or something where original stuff is highly sought after/adds value. You've seen the response a simple question about a 307 elicits: It's apparently just a useless boat anchor.

Maybe I'm just crazy, but I'd like to wear my car's wimpy 307 fender badges with pride as I tear around the autocross track with a set of new headers/intake/exhaust and beat lap times and then comfortably cruise back home sipping minimal gas along the way all the while telling the haters to kiss my arse.

I agree, the 307 was designed to propel the car and nothing more and it works for its purpose. You're looking to go faster and improve - give yourself the best base to enable that. If you had no intentions of doing an engine swap later and wanted to modify the 307 and keep it that way forever: sure, go ahead. You've expressed an interest in doing an engine swap so it's time to plan ahead to avoid wasting money and time. I only tell you all of this because I've done similar and wish I had someone to tell me otherwise.
Perhaps that's where the confusion lies. I have no plans to swap out the engine. The only reason I can see swapping out the motor is if this one dies. Or if I get bored at some point down the line and have money burning a hole in my pocket. But that's not at all in the plans at this point.

RE working with what you've got, you also need to take into account the unforeseen issues that can arise from cracking open an original engine that is over 50 years old and might have an unknown history. Throwing performance parts at a worn and tired engine is counter-productive at best.
I don't disagree with this sentiment. But. Conveniently, I actually know some of the history of the engine fairly well and while old, it's not particularly worn out.

I wasn't trying to get into my life story on here but I've owned the vehicle for over a decade and I was told the odometer is correct (fairly low mileage) by the previous owner and I was able to get semi-verification of this with someone who knew the vehicle before them by having recognizing something unique about this vehicle (a very small barely noticeable modification done before my time). They saw it parked outside my work, inquired and accurately identified one of the car's previous paint colors (which wasn't visible anywhere on the exterior) and gave me some history on it and confirmed the mileage was low at the time they knew the vehicle.

Furthermore new heads, intake, carburetor and probably even the exhaust system would all be transferrable to a 350 if I ever decided to go that route. As far as the cost of doing so, well this might kill some of you to learn but I have (altogether) less than the total cost of the upgrades I'm looking at already put in this car and that includes what I paid for the thing originally. In other words, I lucked out and got this thing for dirt cheap and have hardly put any money into it in all the years I've owned it. I could realistically dump 3x the amount of money I have into it and still be able to recoup all money invested if I had to sell it. But you would have to pry this car out of my cold dead hands.

I don't want to jinx anything but the 307 runs extremely smooth. It therefore seems like a good base upon which to improve. I don't see any reason not to wake the old girl up with some new stuff.

As far as the comments about building a network in the hobby and knowing enough people to get motors handed to you for nothing, well that's cool and all and good for those of you who have been doing this long enough to have such a network of people. Me, I'm just a guy who's (probably close to half the age of most people who own/drive these cars) just now getting a game plan together and going it alone. If I had a network of friends with spare 350's falling out their arses I probably wouldn't be posting here.

So yeah, I'm not interested in arguing about what motor I should put in here. I'm only interested in building upon the 307 that's already in it. And I only came here seeking out clarification on the discrepancy I found in the motortrend article to see if there was something I was missing and to possibly see what others had to say in regards to the specific components I had selected or alternatively what components they would use (in a 307), etc.

Hell, if there was a simple way to plug the specs into an engine calculator that would tell you if it works or not, I'd just do that and call it a day. I found this, but I don't know if it's actually reliable or not. Auto-Ware (Autoware Inc) Engine Shop Software
 

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I'm not an engine builder but here's my two cents on the subject' the heads in the article are for a four inch bore and your engine has a 3 7/8 inch bore. At a lift over .450 you run the risk of the valve hitting the engine block. There are ways to figure out if it clears but rather expensive if you have to buy the parts in question.

For what it's worth I'm unable to find a VIN stamped on my 307 but it's clearly on the trans.

Jeff
 

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Well, yeah just buying a whole new 350 for $4399 from that site would be the easiest method I guess.



I don't quite follow this explanation



I've owned the car for a long time and will never sell it. I have been and will be a good steward of this piece of machinery until I'm dead. But this engine's original purpose was to propel this car.

I'm merely interested in providing this chassis + drivetrain that I have been blessed with the opportunity to fulfill their destiny. Why not work with what I've got?



The car is not pristine, it's merely complete and running.
-

Believe it or not: I wasn't coming on here for life advice, I came here for build advice. I wasn't asking what motor you would swap it with I was asking about building a 307. I don't care about being the fastest guy around. I'm only looking to have fun. I couldn't care less if someone thinks it's dumb to build a 307. I think it's dumb to build a car you can't drive on the street.

Like I said In Post #7 above,

I kept it pretty simple,
As mentioned, I ran two 307's The nylon faced timing chain killed one.(I was 16) So make sure you don't have that time bomb in there.

Try to find some decent heads in your budget,
those stock 307 heads choked that lil engine.300hp will be easy with a mild cam and good heads, even 50 year old good heads, seriously, throw the 307 heads away.

Stab a warmer cam and related components and drive that thing.
 

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Please don't take the push-back from the guys as inconsiderate. I think it is just confirmation of the small percentage group you are in regarding the choice the use an engine most would not. This is an effort in their hearts to help.
I did a quick search and found a rebuilt 350 for $1800. This was a engine with everything but the intake and carb. I am building a 427 for my SS396 69 Camaro and will have the current 396 which runs that I will be selling. I would sell it to you cheap, and I mean real cheap.
To answer your original question, either there was a mixup and the person that listed part numbers did that in error after the people doing the article discovered what you did and replaced the incompatible parts but did not update the list used for the article, or they were lucky and encountered no interference by a k##t hair.
It is truly your car. The recommendation would be to confirm that the parts you choose to use are compatible. You will definitely be learning as you go. Good Luck!
Brett 🚀 🚀 🚀
 
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