350 build

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80elky

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Jun 23, 2019
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I posted a similar thread a few months ago about a 454 build but I may have found another project to put that in, but either way, I was looking for some suggestions on how to get decent power out of my 350. Right now it's just a standard 350 with cast iron heads, 650 edelbrock carb, no bore, and original cam and crank. Could I get some recommendations for how to decently boost the power on this? Not looking for a race car but I'd still like some respectable horse.
 

Wageslave

Royal Smart Person
Jan 25, 2017
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The way I would build it is as an Idle-5000 RPM engine.

Stock bore
Stock crank and bearings
Stock hydraulic lifters
Flat top pistons
062 Vortec heads
Edelbrock 2116 Vortec intake
600-700 cfm Carburetor
Idle-5000 RPM cam, something under 0.500 lift for streetability. My car uses a Comp Cam's XE262h cam with good results.
Quality HEI distributor - DUI, Pertronix, or a fresh stock distributor.
 
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Yav8

Master Mechanic
Aug 19, 2014
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I have done several of what wageslave has posted. That combo will put a smile on your face every time you drive it. The upper end of the cam swap would be the comp EX.-274 and a set of Z-28 valve springs. But you will be shifting it higher in the RPM range. Might be a little soft in the bottom end unless you have some gear and converter.
 
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64nailhead

Goat Herder
Dec 1, 2014
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I'd go with the XE268 - still very driveable and will easily be over 300hp. A set of long tube headers will add another 20 minimum.

Wageslave's formula with long tubes - 320-340hp. For this range nothing will beat the Vortec heads. The issue has become that they are getting hard to find. But they can be found if you spend the time looking.

Good luck - Jim
 
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lilbowtie

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Jan 7, 2006
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Depends on how far you want to go. Perfect advice above and depending on what your current heads are the vortex & cam might make you happy. The El Camino didn't have a 350 in 1980 so it would be interesting to know what you have. Another thing check what rear gear you have you might want a better ratio to help it out.

 

81_El_Homewrecker

Greasemonkey
Oct 26, 2015
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I have a slightly more modded version of what’s mentioned above but similar.

355 with aftermarket vortec heads (summit) with a XR274 hydraulic roller. On top I have an Edelbrock RPM performer and Demon 650. I also have a 2800 stall and a 700r4 with a Ford 8.8 and 3.27 gear.

The vortec heads are definitely the way to go!
 
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bracketchev1221

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Jan 18, 2018
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What rearend gear is in it? That would probably be a bigger gain off the bat than making more power.
 

Wageslave

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Jan 25, 2017
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I'd go with the XE268 - still very driveable and will easily be over 300hp. A set of long tube headers will add another 20 minimum.

Wageslave's formula with long tubes - 320-340hp. For this up range nothing will beat the Vortex heads. The issue has become that they are getting hard to find. But they can be found if you spend the time looking.

Good luck - Jim
The trick to finding Vortec heads anymore is to just skip the junkyard and go with a set of Autozone remanufactured heads or get them through Summit. I got mine for $299 each, fully dressed with valves, stock springs, and the correct rockers. It was worth it to me to have known good heads to start with.
 
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