View Full Version : Building a 355?

12-22-2010, 12:46 AM
Well it's almost that time for me to get started on my motor and I am a little hesitant on where to start. A buddy of mine picked up an old 4 bolt main that has been sitting in the desert for who know how long and gave it to me not too long ago. He said it could just be cleaned up and bored .30 over. I haven't done that yet because of $ and I wasn't sure if I wanted build a 383 or just a 355. After reading around I've come down to just building a 355. #1 reason is to save money but I can really only get parts piece by piece for now until tax return comes in. Should I start on buying crank, pistons and cam seperatly, then give them to the machine shop with the dirty block? They need the cam bearings right? What cam do I use? I'm clueless on cams!!!! Do they need crank and crank bearings? Bottom end, I was thinking eagle crank and speed pro flat top, valve relief pistons. Do I get 4.030 pistons and 3.48 crank? I don't wanna end up buying the wrong stuff! Also is it safe to buy on ebay? I'm affraid to buy defective pistons or some imitated crap from there! I just don't know how to start my budget build!:dontknow:

12-22-2010, 06:23 AM
Joe I would take the block to a machine shop and have it checked first then have it fluxed and bored.

12-22-2010, 07:33 AM
Before you spend money on parts, have the block checked like Johnie said. They'll tell you how much is needed to do a clean-up bore (for piston size),Etc.
I will be asking myself how I plan on using my trucklet. Street, street/strip (What % will be street driven and what % will be strip driven), Do I want the engine to operate on regular or premium gas (can I afford premiun on a daily basis,,,,,$$$?). How much vacuum will the engine have to make to operate power brakes, AC?, Etc. Emission control systems if needed. Fuel injection or carb. One or two piece rear main seal. Two or four bolt block. Roller or flat tappet cam. Aluminum or cast iron heads (valve size and chamber volume).
These are a few of the questions I'll be asking my self when the time comes for my engine build! I have alot more questions, but my list is out in my shop and I haven't been outside yet. I'm sure I've missed alot but hopefully others will fill in the blanks......Oh, talk to cam manufactures when you've decided on how your engine will be built and how you plan on driving your car.


12-22-2010, 08:09 AM
first, only deal with well known national suppliers
I would not even think of buying used stuff off ebay, too many people use EBAY to dump defective parts, and regain some of there money.
before you start thinking of building an engine make a detailed list of the machine work costs and parts listing,the parts required and cost.
that engine block may or may not be salvageable, but it will cost several hundred dollars to have it cleaned,bored,and have it sonic tested, freeze plugs and cam bearings installed and decked and line honed, by the time youve correctly installed a rotating assembly youll be lucky to have less than $1200-$1400 in the short block, the heads can easily cost $500 more in machine work

youll more than likely be well ahead buying a NEW G.M. 350 4 bolt block CRATE ENGINE, with a warranty



I build engines as a hobby, and used to do it as a business and if your looking for a basic 350 sbc with under 330hp,your going to find a G.M. crate engine with a warranty the best value
you can very easily spend a good deal more on a rebuild and have a less durable engine that costs more and runs worse
In many cases guys just want to get back on the road with a dependable engine, your going to find most rebuilds need a good deal more parts to be in complete running order , that boosts costs significantly

01-11-2011, 12:05 AM
Well I'll be taking the block to a machine shop by the end of the month. I ran into a buddy of mine who is selling a new forged crank, TRW domed forged pistons .30 over, (pink?) rods, and all the berrings to me for $450. Good deal? Hopefully he will hold on to them, for me, like he said! A mechanic buddy of mine is gonna help me build the motor myself in his garage, so when I get the block done, I'll start a new thread on the whole build process. I can't wait! Here is my buddy's ad but I'm gonna ask him to take these off!

SBC 350 3.48 Forged Steel Crank: ballanced, blue printed, hot tanked, shot peened,
chamferred oil holes, Clevite Crank Bearings #MS909P very nice original crank . . $ 250.00

SBC 350 Pink Rods: hot tanked, magnafluxed, ballanced, shot peened, polished
side beams, new ARP bolts, comes with TRW .030 Fordged Alum. Pistons 10:1,
Speed Pro Rings #R9342 .035 gap NEW, Clevite Rod Bearings # CB663-P

01-11-2011, 07:55 AM
Sounds like a plan Joe.

02-03-2011, 01:11 AM
I built my vortec 355 for 2300. I re-used some parts and got my intake free. Anyway. Just an idea, my rotating assembly was like 650 bucks, if I had decided to do a 383 I estimate it would have costed like 250-350 more dollars. So it's not that much to save up, of course I did a lot things myself so your price could differ.

02-03-2011, 04:49 PM
Don't buy any parts until you have the block checked. It may have been rebuilt once already. Based on the wear of the cylinders you may need to punch it out more.

02-03-2011, 05:10 PM
Don't buy any parts until you have the block checked. It may have been rebuilt once already. Based on the wear of the cylinders you may need to punch it out more.
X's 2

02-04-2011, 05:09 AM
you may want to think it thru, in most cases if you need a new crank or rotating assembly its little or no extra expense to build a 383