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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Would like better take off, not necessarily tire smoking 0-60 time, more speed that this currently has. I will doing combination of both highway and town cruising. I’m looking for a happy medium between race car and cruising. If there is a way to get this without having to cut or modify the body.
The engine block number is well hidden behind the alternator and will be taking off to get those numbers to post.
I plan on having this car for a long, long time. If anyone knows of a reliable garage in Wisconsin who is experienced in these types of older vehicles please let me know. I am very limited on what I can do mechanically as don’t have lot of tools or my own garage to work in.
 

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Learning to work on these cars is part of the attraction for many of us. Take your time and learn to do bolt on things vs paying shop time. It does not take a lot of tools to get started.

You will learn a lot and save a ton of money.

This forum can help you with just about anything. Just ask and help will be there.
 

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OP, it's obvious from your posts that you have limited mechanical knowledge and/or capabilities and the pathway I see you going down is the same I see a lot of people take of which usually ends up with lots of dollars spent, disappointment, unfinished projects or selling for pennies on the dollar.

Take a step back before jumping between 'squeezing every last horsepower out the 350' and having something between 'a race car and cruising'. It sounds like your expectations going into this were somewhat skewed and now you're reacting to the disappointment. It also sounds like the large majority of your driving will be cruising on the highway and around town so I have to question why something between a race car and cruising (I might call this a street/strip build) is necessary? I also have to question why squeezing every last bit of horsepower out of your 350 is necessary? Do you understand what is involved in that statement? Big compression, expensive aftermarket heads, big camshaft and high dollar valvetrain, good flowing intake, high dollar quality carburettor or EFI, etc etc etc... oh and don't forget everything else down the line to support this such as an upgraded fuel system, cooling system, built transmission, built differential.... the list can go on forever. For what you want - FORGET THIS MENTALITY. You do not want that.

If you want more speed, go for taller diff gears and compromise acceleration... if you want quicker acceleration, go for shorter diff gears and compromise top speed and highway cruising, but again, I don't think this is what you want, which is the next important point here. If you're going to be largely dealing with shops to get work done on your car, you need to understand what it is you're asking for otherwise no shop will ever produce the ideal outcome for you. From your posts, I'm guessing you want a bit more low-mid range torque that puts you into your seat when you stab the accelerator but most importantly, need usability for highway/around town cruising.

The good news is that what you're after is a pretty mild engine combination. The even better news is you have a few ways to achieve what you want. The bad news is that if you can't do the work yourself, you're going to be up for thousands upon thousands of dollars. Laying out the facts, you have two options I see here:
  • Modify current 350 to requirements
  • Buy and install new crate engine
In terms of modifying your current 350, firstly, you need to work out exactly what you have. If you've got some smog era 2-bolt main low compression 350, I would strongly consider ending this path at this point as getting any decent horsepower and torque out of this engine will be nothing short of complete disassembly, machine work, replacement of many components.... a full rebuild essentially. If by some good luck, you have a good 350 with decent compression and good heads, you could probably get away with a mild camshaft swap (and associated valve train), a good intake and carburettor, a set of headers and a decent 2.5" exhaust. Compliment the engine work with a diff ratio swap to 3:73 and I'm confident you'll have exactly what you're after - a bit more acceleration off the line but also the perfect cruiser around town and on the highway.

The crate engine option is a suggestion thrown around often on this forum and for good reason. If your 350 is a low-performance factory variant that realistically needs major work, there isn't much point investing this money in the rebuild when you can buy a brand new crate engine for relatively cheap these days. Furthermore, even if you want to modify your existing 350, you'll need to weigh up the cost of parts plus factor in the delays with getting a lot of aftermarket parts these days. Take a look at Blueprint Engines. Many on this site have used them with excellent results and their small block range is plentiful and starts around $4,000 and goes up from there... not bad value all things considered. Something around a nice 400hp/400 ft-lbs of torque will get you where you want and careful selection will mean you don't need to start pouring money into transmission, differential, fuel system, cooling system, etc, upgrades. I would however still recommend the 3:73 diff gears.

Most importantly, and especially because you will be susceptible to paying labour rates if you're not doing the work yourself... what is your budget? What are you willing to spend all up? This alone will dictate your pathway more than anything else. Give us an idea about what you're happy to spend and we can guide you down the right pathway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
YenkoSC, thank you for the break down on the two options. It was very informative and also goes along with what others are suggesting Fairfax1000, Bob Tiley, Copo9560 and rplo78. The included info on rear end ratio of a 3:73. All these options lead to this. I have 11k to work with and I posted a combo package from monster transmission that has exactly what everyone is suggesting along with a 700R4 transmission with a option of a Holley sniper carburetor for 9500. Has anyone have rating on that company ? Or any suggestions on other companies that offer this kind of package ?
 

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Monster Transmissions are crap. Bought a 700R4 from them. It was no good out of the box. They shipped another one. Oil pump was bad. Two bad torque converters. Finally took the tranny to local shop. It was the 700 HP version. The shop found it was rebuilt with stock parts many of which were used. A friend had a similar experience.

scammers that sell you crap and hope it doesn’t break until the warranty is up.

here is some reading for you.


 
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The OD transmission will not make the car any quicker. As well fuel injection will not give you anymore power. So basically you’ll be spending $10k for nothing.

I do like OD transmissions and EFI. But not to accomplish what you say you want.

The 1st thing I would do is make sure the engine is properly tuned. 2nd I would consider a gear change to 3.55 or 3.73. (You’ll need to change them anyway if and when you install a 700R4).

This will cost you $1000-$1500 and you will feel the difference immediately.

Then drive it for a while and quantify exactly where you want to go from there.
 

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Plan B - Sell the car and use the proceeds plus the money you have to buy a car that meets your expectations. (y)
 

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YenkoSC, thank you for the break down on the two options. It was very informative and also goes along with what others are suggesting Fairfax1000, Bob Tiley, Copo9560 and rplo78. The included info on rear end ratio of a 3:73. All these options lead to this. I have 11k to work with and I posted a combo package from monster transmission that has exactly what everyone is suggesting along with a 700R4 transmission with a option of a Holley sniper carburetor for 9500. Has anyone have rating on that company ? Or any suggestions on other companies that offer this kind of package ?
I didn't suggest a Monster trans. I'd go with a 5 speed stick or just a old reliable 4 speed. If auto is your desire...TH400.
 

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You do not need to remove the alternator to wipe off the pad and see the numbers. You may also need to large casting number at the top back of the block. it is easy to see at the top back of the engine near the firewall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
My engine block number reads GM 18 and 3970010 located by the firewall and I can’t find any info on the internet.
Rear end number D304 and on bottom of pumpkin number is N 1235542B. If anyone has any info on this or what site to find info it would greatly be appreciated.
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3970010....302.....69....4...Z-28 Camaro
3970010....327.....69....2...Trucks and industrial
3970010....350...69-80...2 or 4

from Mortec

Date code on the rear end looks like April 30 1974. The casting is a 10 bolt and was used in 73 and 74 camaros so that aligns with the date code. 67-69 camaro/nova rears are 60" mounting surface to mounting surface. A 2nd gen camaro is 62.5".

So the engine could be original to the car but the rear end is clearly not original to the car. If you replace the rear end a 12 bolt will set you back a bit. Nova or camaro will work and are stronger than the 10 bolt you currently have.

On the engine, the date code should be back by where you found the casting code and in the same format as the rear end code. Also there should be a partial vin stamped on it. I'm not sure on small blocks if the partial vin is on the stamp pad by the head or by the oil filter on Camaros. Big blocks are by the oil filter.. On the stamp pad there should be a number stamped in it which tells the assembly date/configuration of the engine.

This should help also
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Additional info on the engine block numbers that I located by the oil filter is 010 020 171. The numbers located by top of engine near fire wall are 18 GM 3970010.
rpol78 provide me the information on what 3 engines this possibly could be, hoping that the additional numbers will help define which one of the 3 it is.
 

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You need to get the information off of the stamp pad on the front of the block by the front of the RH head.

It should look something like this. Partial VIN on the left and engine assembly information on the right. In your case the partial vin would be 19L525362 - 1 = Chevrolet, 9 =1969, L= Los Angeles and the rest is the serial number for your specific car.

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Date code for the block is at the back opposite side of the casting code 3970010. It should look like this. In the picture L=Month (December), 3=day, and 9=Year. In your case that date should be before 4th week in February 1969,

 

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By 1974, GM had dropped the compression ratio dramatically on the 350 to meet emissions standards. The resultant horsepower was in the neighborhood of 145 hp and the heads had very small valves. The distributor limited the mechanical advance to as little as 17 degrees vs the 30+ degrees of the 60s engines. The timing was on ported vacuum which killed performance. Mileage also suffered. All you seem to have now is a good block that may even be 4 bolt main.
A 1969 350 by comparison could be purchased with 275, 300, and 350 hp. Even the 327 could be had with 350 hp in a hydraulic cam shaft.
You can gain power by changing the distributor mechanical advance and initial timing (to get about 36 degrees total) as well as full time vacuum advance. CHEAP power for under $50.
You can throw a lot of $$$ at the existing heads and still not gain much. I would recommend a rebuild with a minimum of 9.5 or 10.0 to 1 compression pistons, 64 cc heads with a minimum of 1.94" intake and 1.60 exhaust valves, a 350 hp hydraulic cam or roller. A good intake and carburetor or fuel injection.
If 350 hp is not enough, it is probably cheaper to get a crate engine with a warrantee. Cubic inches and air flow are proportionately related to horsepower on these old engines. More cu.in. + more air w/ fuel = more hp.
 
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