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alex
alex SuperDork
8/17/11 12:05 p.m.

...or, "Learn Me SBC's."

I'm talking old school 350 Chebby iron lumps: once ubiquitous, possibly shuffling into obsolescence thanks to it's younger, lighter, higher-tech kid brother, but still capable of good performance on the cheap-and-easy.

I'm looking to introduce myself into this wonderful world in the near-term. I have an '88 GM 1500 pickemup with a tired 305, and a half-built Ford 460 on an engine stand with no potential home, so I'm going to make a trade from BBF to SBC.

For all its ubiquity, though, neither I nor anyone in my family has ever owned anything with a 350, so this is all new to me. Where do I start? What should I be reading?

Moreover, is there a specific motor I should be looking for in order to make the swap into my truck as hassle-free as possible? My '88 has a 460LE and is TBI, but I have no qualms about going with carbs and MSD, if that's a good setup. (For the record, I don't really feel like screwing with a MS build for this project. Anyway, anything that can possibly be accomplished with MS has to have been done 1,000 times with carbs by now, right?) I think I need a one piece rear main, but I can adapt a two-piece to my 460LE with the right flywheel...right?

So, teach a 350 virgin the ways of the glorious SBC.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic SuperDork
8/17/11 12:08 p.m.

This thread had some good info in it.

http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/building-a-cheap-sbchelp-me-plan/25893/page1/

alex
alex SuperDork
8/17/11 12:14 p.m.

Good info indeed. Gracias.

patgizz
patgizz SuperDork
8/17/11 9:34 p.m.

your rig has a plain old non E 700r4/4l60.

find later roller block, vortec heads, nice mild roller cam, and have fun

fritzsch
fritzsch Reader
8/17/11 9:38 p.m.

make sure you get a book on rebuilding a SBC thats not the only book out there, there are many

novaderrik
novaderrik Dork
8/17/11 10:07 p.m.

a 96-99 vortec 350 will drop right in, and GM sells a TBI intake manifold to use your stock fuel injection setup. get a custom chip burned and you will have about 100 more horses and torques under the hood than stock and get better gas mileage, too.

curtis73
curtis73 Dork
8/17/11 11:59 p.m.

87 started one piece rear mains, but as you said the only real difference is the bolt pattern on the crank. Get a flexplate to match and it will bolt to the 700r4 regardless of what engine you use.

Vortec is great, but GM used the vortec name on everything from V6s to LS-based blocks. Like Derrik says, 96-99 Vortec 350s are the ones to get. Head castings are either 062 or 906. But... the Vortec heads will bolt on any small block, its just that it has a unique intake port shape and bolt pattern. In fact, the blocks aren't that special - lightweight wimpy castings. The TBI block tends to be beefier. Find a TBI block that is cast to accept a roller cam, put Vortec heads on it, have fun.

alex
alex SuperDork
8/18/11 4:17 a.m.
patgizz wrote: your rig has a plain old non E 700r4/4l60.

Wait... are 700R4 and 460L transmissions the same? Or am I misunderstanding you?

alex
alex SuperDork
8/18/11 4:18 a.m.
fritzsch wrote: make sure you get a book on rebuilding a SBC thats not the only book out there, there are many

Any recommendations on books? I'm definitely a fan of rebuild books. I used two when I was working on my 460, and checked them against each other.

novaderrik
novaderrik Dork
8/18/11 4:23 a.m.
alex wrote:
patgizz wrote: your rig has a plain old non E 700r4/4l60.

Wait... are 700R4 and 460L transmissions the same? Or am I misunderstanding you?

the 700r4 became the 4L60 in the early 90's- i guess it just looks cooler in the tech manuals or something- and became the 4L60E when they ditched the tv cable and put electric solenoids in it to control the shifting. i know Corvettes and AWD Astro vans had the 4L60E in the 92 model year, but F (Camaro, Firebird) and B(Caprice, etc) bodies didn't get the electronic version until 94, and i think the pickups got it in either 94 or 95.

alex
alex SuperDork
8/18/11 4:28 a.m.

Well, how about that. Start a thread on engines, learn about transmissions. You guys rock.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla SuperDork
8/18/11 7:33 a.m.

88-93 Caprice 9C1 5.7's were all roller cam'd TBI's. Great place to start from. Same block as the 87-up L98 Corvette. There's lots of options out there, but my suggestion would be a roller block, vortec heads with the TBI intake, 454 Throttle body and injectors, custom PROM, EGR delete, long tube headers and a computer friendly cam.

That combo should be good for ~300hp, 350 tq and will literally run forever.

BoostedBrandon
BoostedBrandon Reader
8/18/11 9:57 a.m.

I never knew they made a TBI intake to fit vortec heads... That means it can drop right in the camaro! Got a part number by chance? Should my local chevrolet dealer be able to get that?

Bobzilla
Bobzilla SuperDork
8/18/11 10:16 a.m.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/NAL-12496821/

ReverendDexter
ReverendDexter SuperDork
8/18/11 10:32 a.m.
Bobzilla wrote: 88-93 Caprice 9C1 5.7's were all roller cam'd TBI's. Great place to start from. Same block as the 87-up L98 Corvette.

Is this true of the Roadmaster, too?

Bobzilla
Bobzilla SuperDork
8/18/11 1:06 p.m.

Yes... 91-93 B-bodies (Caprice, Roadmaster, Fleetwood) all recieved roller cam'd TBI's. 94-96 got roller cam'd L99/LT1's.

rotard
rotard Reader
8/18/11 2:27 p.m.

It's probably easier/cheaper to do the LSx thing.

81cpcamaro
81cpcamaro New Reader
8/18/11 2:34 p.m.
rotard wrote: It's probably easier/cheaper to do the LSx thing.

Probably not. Remember he already has all the accessories, exhaust, fuel injection (if he goes that way), motor mounts and other stuff he will need. Plus SBC stuff is very cheap now, thanks in part to LSx engines.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla SuperDork
8/18/11 2:37 p.m.

^ This. I am rebuilding/upgrading my L98 in the C4. Valve job, little portwork, bolck dipped, bored, new bearings, pistons, rings, gaslets, cam (upgrade) are going to come in at under a grand.

BoostedBrandon
BoostedBrandon Reader
8/18/11 5:46 p.m.

In reply to Bobzilla:

Why thank you Bobzilla, paint that guy black, use my existing stuff, people wouldn't look twice and think its an LO3 305 bwahahaha!!

ReverendDexter
ReverendDexter SuperDork
8/18/11 6:00 p.m.
Bobzilla wrote: http://www.summitracing.com/parts/NAL-12496821/

I thought SBC stuff was supposed to be crazy cheap, even compared to SBF parts, but I could buy a full upper & lower intake for my 5.0 for the price of that intake manifold. What gives?

novaderrik
novaderrik Dork
8/18/11 6:49 p.m.
ReverendDexter wrote:
Bobzilla wrote: http://www.summitracing.com/parts/NAL-12496821/

I thought SBC stuff was supposed to be crazy cheap, even compared to SBF parts, but I could buy a full upper & lower intake for my 5.0 for the price of that intake manifold. What gives?

that's not a part that they make and sell in high quantities, and the price of a lot of the parts in the GM Performance Parts catalog went waaaayyy up after the bankruptcy and bailout. $200 intake manifolds became $400 intake manifolds and $2500 crate engines became $4000 crate engines virtually over night.

if that TBI intake seems a bit expensive- there are other options. you could pick up a used Edelbrock Performer vortec intake and make an adapter to bolt the TBI throttle body to it. if you have a junkyard near you, start popping the hoods of late 80's/early 90's Chevy and GMC 3/4 ton pickups until you find one with a 454 in it and grab the TBI adapter plate.. they used the same carbureted intake that they used with a quadrajet before the switch to TBI in the 88 model year with an adapter to use the TBI setup.. it might be tough to find one, but they are out there.

tuna55
tuna55 SuperDork
8/18/11 8:36 p.m.
ReverendDexter wrote:
Bobzilla wrote: http://www.summitracing.com/parts/NAL-12496821/

I thought SBC stuff was supposed to be crazy cheap, even compared to SBF parts, but I could buy a full upper & lower intake for my 5.0 for the price of that intake manifold. What gives?

That's a weirdo intake. Get a regular old intake for $50 from some swapmeet and put an adapter on it - someone has to make one.

BoostedBrandon
BoostedBrandon Reader
8/18/11 9:48 p.m.

I think holley made an adapter that fit the TBI to a standard square bore intake, I found it on a website many moons ago, since holley embraced the TBI world back when, who knows if its even available anymore. When I'm back on my computer I'll do a search again.

I now realize that no one is looking for vortec-TBI love besides me, so I guess I'm thinking out loud again.... Hello?

donalson
donalson SuperDork
8/18/11 11:01 p.m.
tuna55 wrote:
ReverendDexter wrote:
Bobzilla wrote: http://www.summitracing.com/parts/NAL-12496821/

I thought SBC stuff was supposed to be crazy cheap, even compared to SBF parts, but I could buy a full upper & lower intake for my 5.0 for the price of that intake manifold. What gives?

That's a weirdo intake. Get a regular old intake for $50 from some swapmeet and put an adapter on it - someone has to make one.

ebay search "carb to tbi adapter" found a few options for several types of carb styles...

which means... find a standard carb intake manifold that fits your needs (rpm/tourqe curve) and then buy the adapter that fits.

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