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Old 05-17-2016, 09:28 AM
79El 79El is offline
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Default 1979 El Camino 350 Build Help

Hello, my Dad gave me a rare half vinyl top El Camino a few years ago. its super clean being from Arizona and I have since had it repainted. I have a 305 HO in it and a 350 turbo transmission that's been rebuilt with a shift kit added. I have a 350 engine I would like to rebuild mildly to put in it to make it sound nice and have some good get up and go to it. thinking around 350-400Hp. I for one, no little about any of this, therefore I bring build options to you gentlemen. where do I start I have a brand new Edlebrock 700 carb for it, that's all. Budget is about $1000-1500.
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Old 05-17-2016, 10:52 AM
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Welcome!
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:30 AM
79El 79El is offline
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Thank you.
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:33 AM
79El 79El is offline
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This is my baby
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:45 AM
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79El, welcome from mid-Michigan. Are you saying the $1000 to $1500 is the budget for your 350 engine?

Doug
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:56 AM
79El 79El is offline
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Originally Posted by oldtinsmith View Post
79El, welcome from mid-Michigan. Are you saying the $1000 to $1500 is the budget for your 350 engine?

Doug
would like it to be, I am not running it on track, just driving around to shows and burn tires off at lights.

would like it to have a good amount of get up and go and sound nice.
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Old 05-17-2016, 12:47 PM
79El 79El is offline
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I considered buying an MSD ignition system but further research is saying its a waste of money unless I'm running Hi PPerformance, Hi RPM for races.
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Old 05-17-2016, 01:48 PM
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Welcome to the site!. I'm not sure what the best way is to get power from the 350 you have but I know others here will be able to help and try to keep you in budget.
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Old 05-17-2016, 07:00 PM
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sooooooo,you took the vinyl top off?!?!?
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Old 05-17-2016, 08:33 PM
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wish you luck on the motor build on that budget !
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Old 05-17-2016, 10:12 PM
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You have several options but first make sure the 350 you have I'd good enough to build.
If so,northern auto parts sells a 350 engine rebuild kits for around $300-$500 depending on the additional upgrades you want. If you need to buy flat top pistons,it'll go over $500 for the kit.

Just make sure of what you have to work with first.

Your second option is to buy a crate 350 from Jegs for $1500 shipped,and swap over your accessories such as the alternator,starter,AC compressor,etc. You'll also want to get a dual plane intake if you don't have one.
Your 3rd option is to save more to add to the budget so you can get a high performance crate for around $3600 from Blueprint Engines.

If you decide to build it yourself in the first option,you'll geyvaround 375HP out of it at the crank.
Going with the Jegs motor is a nice warranty but the HP is only 260-290HP.
I'm running an upgraded Blueprint Engine that's putting down some impressive numbers close to 500HP naturally aspirated but this is really not a daily driver setup I have.
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Old 05-18-2016, 05:47 AM
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If you're looking for just bolt on stuff with the existing engine and no power adders (no boost/NOS) 1500 can go along way if you are doing the work yourself. This all depends on what the engine already has done to it and whether or not you buy new or used parts. Obviously, if you know what you're looking at, used is a fantastic option! BIG BANG for your buck!

here is a list that I would (and do) start off with, if it were me in your shoes:

1) 650cfm Carb (Edelbrocks are easy to tune/ Demons and holleys can be a pain)

2) Mid rise dual plane intake (Edelbrock/Dart/Weind)

3) Long tube headers with true dual exhaust (These can be used or cheap just buy the 60 dollar aluminum crush gaskets at the flange and collector. Mr gaskets are ok, but I use Percys) Just don't over tighten, most people over tighten the bolts which results in leaks. Use either a thread locker or a mechanical locker here.

*4) Cam and lifter kit: If you have it in your budget and have the skills to do it. A cam kit could net you a healthy gain with all of the above listed parts. However, if you choose wrong and your existing heads, rockers, springs and push rods are not within spec for that cam......Yeah don't do that, It gets ugly. Completely doable, just get help if you don't know how to chose them.

**5) A set of 1.94 or 2.02 heads: A set of bigger valved heads WOW!! Those will knock your socks off! By themselves, they will net HUGE gains in HP and seat of the pants power. Again you will need to do homework here so you don't choose wrong or you could find yourself with a junk set.

If using new, this stuff will run you about 1,500 or so with the miscellaneous little stuff that could nickel and dime you. Just remember, the key to a good repair is quality gaskets, REALLY CLEAN surfaces and components, and take your time! Chase all the thread holes and clean the bolts too, if they are not new.

* If you have room in the budget
** If you buy all used parts and for sure doing all the work this could work in the 1500 range all day. (Well, here in Texas buying from CL and ebay)
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:50 AM
79El 79El is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 90045ryder View Post
sooooooo,you took the vinyl top off?!?!?
No, this was after I had it painted, before i put the top back on
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:57 AM
79El 79El is offline
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i would like to only spend $1000-1500. my buddy and I are rebuilding my old 350. I had gotten water into the engine and it messed it up. While trying to fix it, someone, myself or my friend must have had a nut or washer or bolt fall into the manifold unknowingly. started it up and it smoked real bad, idled hard, and sounded like popcorn. so, i ended up dropping a 305 HO into it. plan to rebuild the 350 since everything I read says not to waste my time with the 305
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Old 05-20-2016, 05:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 79El View Post
i would like to only spend $1000-1500. my buddy and I are rebuilding my old 350. I had gotten water into the engine and it messed it up. While trying to fix it, someone, myself or my friend must have had a nut or washer or bolt fall into the manifold unknowingly. started it up and it smoked real bad, idled hard, and sounded like popcorn. so, i ended up dropping a 305 HO into it. plan to rebuild the 350 since everything I read says not to waste my time with the 305
The 305 is a good engine for a daily run around vehicle. They are no slouch in the performance dept either! It is a SBC after all. But, you are starting with 45 ci less right off the bat. So from this stand point, Yes don't waste your time. So unless your above mentioned 350ci is a roached out junk heap due to the dropped debris or the water damage.... You're good to go. But......If your 350 is junk, then you still have options with using the two and making one engine. Did you read my above post about your budget and where your options lay?
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