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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,
Just purchased my dream car, 69 Camaro RS. The 350 engine is good but lacks a lot of the power that I expected. I want to rebuild but want to squeeze every once of horse power out of a 350 without swapping out the motor for bigger. What advice does anyone have to offer ?
 

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Hello everyone,
Just purchased my dream car, 69 Camaro RS. The 350 engine is good but lacks a lot of the power that I expected. I want to rebuild but want to squeeze every once of horse power out of a 350 without swapping out the motor for bigger. What advice does anyone have to offer ?
Welcome and congrats!
Since you asked we’ll need this for starters:
2bbl carburetor?
4 bb?
Is it the original engine?
miles on the engine regardless?
When was the last full tune up?
Do you know the compression ratio?
What transmission is it?
What is the rear end gear ratio?
Upload photos of the engine pad at the alternator
photos of the trim tag and VIN
If you can, upload photos of the engine and casting numbers
Also show us your dream car! We need to see it…outside and inside.
 

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Slow down and take a breath. Once the basic tune up is done, you might find the car runs well enough to meet your goals. First order of business if you are not happy after a good tune up is to decide how you are going to drive the car and what your goals are. It's possible to build a 600HP 350, but I will almost guarantee you won't like its manners or it's expense for a street car.
 
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I would recommend Hyper or Forged flat-top pistons, AFR 195cc heads with 65cc chambers to get 10 to 1 compression and a good matching hydraulic roller camshaft to fit your needs. I would also recommend an Edelbrock Performer RPM intake manifold and a Holley 650 Double Pumper carb or Holley Sniper or HolleyTerminator Stealth EFI.
This should be good for 450 to 500 HP. You are probably looking at a $5,000 expense if you do a lot of work yourself plus another $5000 if you want fuel injection with new tank and fuel pump. (very rough estimates)
 

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Curious why you are limiting to 350 cubes? Lots of good 383 and larger options that make good power and have good street manners.

Get a tune up on what you have and define your goals and budget. Everything will cost more than you expect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the suggestions as it’s giving me good ideas. I want to keep to the Camaro RS model without going overboard with modifications. To answer the first question.
2 bb,
not the original engine but is GM motor,
86,983 miles,
last tuneup unknown,
350 turbo transmission,
compression ratio unknown,
rear end is 3.25.
Runs good but just doesn’t have the power that it should. I have put 1000 miles on it already in the past 10 days.
 

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GM never made a 3.25 rear end.

my guess is your expectations were unrealistic.

from what you say it has the power it should based on what you say it is.

best way to go is a Crate Engine. Much more cost effective than a rebuild.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for letting me know that about the rear end, it’s that type of info and knowledge is what I’m looking for. I don’t have a trusted mechanic yet and going to depend on this site for helpful advice and information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Taking my Camaro in for a full inspection and this helps me when I’m talking to the mechanic on getting full details about transmission, the rear end, motor, AC unit, power steering. On of the first things I want to do is add power disc brakes. Any suggestions ?
 

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Thank you for letting me know that about the rear end, it’s that type of info and knowledge is what I’m looking for. I don’t have a trusted mechanic yet and going to depend on this site for helpful advice and information.
A gear ratio that low-albeit not a GM ratio-it could be a 3.08 or 3.23 or some version in that area. It was meant for highway driving. The 2bbl carb is more of the low end hp rating V8 offerings and was more than adequate but not built to designed in it’s form for performance. However, that engine can easily be rebuilt for great power. You’ll have to upgrade some parts, but you can easily get 300+ hp, you just need to figure out where you want the power to be.
 

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Taking my Camaro in for a full inspection and this helps me when I’m talking to the mechanic on getting full details about transmission, the rear end, motor, AC unit, power steering. On of the first things I want to do is add power disc brakes. Any suggestions ?
Upload some pictures of the VIN, the numbers stamped on the alternator pad, and the trim tag on the firewall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Want better acceleration and more speed out of the 350, some suggested to bore the engine out to accomplish this ? VS buying new motor and transmission. Will continue to research all options and will keep looking for
additional advice that is offered. Seen this combo engine and transmission, does anyone have any experience with this type ?
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Want better acceleration and more speed out of the 350, some suggested to bore the engine out to accomplish this ? VS buying new motor and transmission. Will continue to research all options and will keep looking for
additional advice that is offered. Seen this combo engine and transmission, does anyone have any experience with this type ? View attachment 293949 View attachment 293949
I’m a fan of replicating a GM production engine. The engineers were pretty damn smart. You could go the Z28 route..302 cubic inches with ”290”hp…more like 350, because of the amount of information out there. Or the 350 cube/360 hp route. The possibilities are endless. You can drive the car with the transmission as is and enjoy it until you break it or burn it up. Same with that rear end ratio...a 3.73 seems to be a happy number for many.…and it was a factory spec. Maybe just drive it more and enjoy it while making a plan for the winter, and gather information and maybe some parts to avoid waiting.
My 2 cents
 

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Want better acceleration and more speed out of the 350, some suggested to bore the engine out to accomplish this ?
Boring the engine will not add "more speed" to the car that you will notice. The couple cubic inches you pick up won't make a significant difference. The main reason people bore blocks is because the bores are out of round and/or worn.
 
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You want "better acceleration" and "more speed". First you need to find out what you have to see what it will take to upgrade the 350. The numbers on the engine block pad at the front of the passenger's side (under the alternator) may help to identify what you have and what you will need. During the 70s, the 350 was detuned and raped of horsepower for the sake of emissions. Some 350s had as little as 145 hp, less than that of a V-6 in today's cars. You may need to change heads, as well as cam and lifters, and pistons as well as intake, carburetor, and distributer to achieve your goals.
Better acceleration can be a combination of engine torque and gearing of the transmission and / or differential. Are you wanting tire smoking launches and fast 0 to 60 mph times. Do you cruise around town or mostly highway? Are you willing to accept 10 to 14 mpg?
You can get 400 hp or more out of your 350 if you want to spend the money, but the crate engine may be your most economical choice and comes with a warrantee.
BUTTTTTTT - then you still have the transmission and differential gears that are nice and adequate for the normal cruiser, but too weak and wrong for "better acceleration" and "more speed".
More info needed on what engine you have.
 
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