Spark Plugs for basic tune up? / Waking up a 307

Clone TIE Pilot

Comic Book Super Hero
Aug 14, 2011
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Galaxy far far away
Another plus of staying with a larger displacement small block olds is that ALL of your current parts will swap over. That means no having to hunt down sbc accessory brackets, pulleys, transmission, starter, motor mounts ect. That will save considerable time and money in the long run. Plus a 350 olds is a better engine overall according to many people, myself included.

The CCC system can run on the larger Olds motors, plenty of Olds guys have done it. The link which 85422/86buick posted missed one upgrade, installing a 3 wire heated O2 sensor.
 
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ck80

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Feb 18, 2014
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Thanks for the reply. Looks like you're an Olds engine guy, another question for you /anyone else- any thoughts/ tricks to wake up the stock engine a little aside from what I'm already doing? I have a Chevy Vortec 350 crate engine that will eventually go in there so I'm not so inclined to go buy all the typical bolt ons for the Olds, just looking for the little things that will help the stock power levels or MPG a little.
Here's my take... enjoy with a complimentary grain of salt.

It all comes down to timeline. You said you already have a sbc to go in. Well, why throw good money after bad? If the swap is a year away? Maybe do something. If its in 2 months... why bother?

An 18 sec car feels like a 17 sec car. No boost to driving enjoyment. Meanwhile, if you KNOW the Olds lump is a boat anchor, and you're going Chevy, don't waste time or effort.

Unless there's soot in the tailpipe and you smell unburnt gas, if things are burning OK and running smooth... it's OK.

On a car getting 18mpg highway, jumping to 19mpg.does the following: it means you save 1 gallon if gas at $2 per full tank (not fill up since you normally refill at 1/4 or so left). That means you save 3 galls every 4 fillups, if you run it low. Put another way, for every 198 gallons, you save at best 11. So in 3600 miles of driving you save... $22.

How much money, how much time, are you spending to save that $22?

Buying a cam, springs, plugs, wires, timing sets, headers... you're talking $500, 700 in parts you're going to toss if you go SBC. To save $500, you need to drive 60-70,000 miles to break even on costs.

Then add your time and busted knuckles working on it.

Basically none of us are in it for the money. And basically all of us are gluttons for beating up our bodies working on them. If you want to toy with it for sh*ts and grins, and money is no object, OK, go for it.

But if it works OK for now, and you know you're yanking it anyways, save the money for sbc conversion parts and suspension upgrades.
 
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SRD art

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Jun 16, 2011
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Instead of the 350 SBC, why not a 350 Olds? There are enough Olds fanatics hereabouts that among them they could direct you down the right rabbit hole to building a hot 3-5-0. Think you might even hear from the 403 and 455 crowd too. Don't misunderstand me here, that SBC will do the job and will respond to the correct combination of parts thrown at it. But the extra effort to drop an Old is worth the eyeball shock from the lookie-lous when you rumble into the cruise night at the drive in and pop the hood (or not. let 'em suffer).



Nick
If I didn't already have the 350 Chevy I might have done that. I got the low mileage Vortec crate engine pretty cheap from a guy that was clearing out his garage. I then traded a friend some rendering work for a ZZ4 cam and Edelbrock RPM intake so it's an easy dependable 300 hp engine. I like to do my own head porting and the local engine builder gave me some tips on what his port guy does for the circle track cheats, he said with a .510 cam these "claimer" engines will approach 425 hp on his dyno. I have a SBC 406 in my Pumkinator Cutlass wagon, my 86 Bonneville will also get a 406 SBC, and my other Cutlass wagon is getting a 5.3, so I guess the Chevy motors are kinda in the family. I have one more G-body I want to build after these, another Cutlass wagon that I found out west here that's just sitting waiting for me to make the purchase cost a priority. If I build that one it'll for sure have a 455 Olds...

79 Cutlass Wagon new 8 72.jpg
 
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SRD art

G-Body Guru
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Jun 16, 2011
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... Basically none of us are in it for the money. And basically all of us are gluttons for beating up our bodies working on them. If you want to toy with it for sh*ts and grins, and money is no object, OK, go for it.

But if it works OK for now, and you know you're yanking it anyways, save the money for sbc conversion parts and suspension upgrades.
I really appreciate you writing all that. That really puts it into perspective, right? It's got just barely over 75,000 original miles so I think I'm going to do just the basic tune up stuff (assuming it hasn't already been done recently) and call it good. My son works in a local hot rod shop, which shop is also a good rendering client of mine so I may entertain the better exhaust idea. My son and I are allowed to use the shop on the weekends and they have an exhaust tube bender, so the cost of just some tubing wouldn't be a big deal. Converting just the head pipes to fit the SBC later should be fairly easy.
 

SRD art

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Jun 16, 2011
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Wrong hobby if your trying to save gas, yeah get the best mileage possible but well never get 30 miles a gallon or more
Lol! My daily driver right now is a 77 Suburban with a 454. I get 9 mpg on the highway. I don't bother to check gas mileage in Pumkinator. The closet place to race is 120 miles away, since this 307 is no tire shredder at least I can get decent mileage on the drive to autocross. Any basic stuff to help that means extra lunch money. ;)
 

SRD art

G-Body Guru
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Jun 16, 2011
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St. George, UT
Another plus of staying with a larger displacement small block olds is that ALL of your current parts will swap over. That means no having to hunt down sbc accessory brackets, pulleys, transmission, starter, motor mounts ect. That will save considerable time and money in the long run. Plus a 350 olds is a better engine overall according to many people, myself included.
I've been farting with SBCs for over 30 years and have a bunch of extra parts laying around. That's nice to know about the Olds motors though, I was wondering about that.
 

SRD art

G-Body Guru
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Jun 16, 2011
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St. George, UT
Dual exhaust is a big one, guys have gained a second in the 1/4 mile with their 442's over the shitty factory exhaust. Your single exhaust is even worse. Full length headers like Hedman are worth 30 hp over manifolds on a hotter motor, hard to say on a 8 to 1 motor with a peanut cam. Any flat tappet Olds cam will swap in, a Vin 9 cam is an upgrade or the generic 204/214 cam, don't go any bigger. I would seriously consider a timing set replacement if your car has any amount of miles. They stretch and retard the cam timing or even worse the nylon teeth flake off and end up in the oil pump pickup. All this swaps directly over to an Olds 350. You will need new mounts, and accessory brackets to put a sbc 350 in your car.
Good insight, thanks for that, I'm liking learning about the other GM engines. My last G-body build will be based on an H/O so that one will likely be Olds powered. I have 3 other G-bodies with SBCs and have a garage full of extra parts so I lucked out and have an engine and all the swap parts already.
 
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SRD art

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Jun 16, 2011
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The CCC system can run on the larger Olds motors, plenty of Olds guys have done it. The link which 85422/86buick posted missed one upgrade, installing a 3 wire heated O2 sensor.
Where I live emissions testing isn't required so all that will get nixed. The later on 350 Chevy build for it will be a pretty basic old school engine with a Holley carb, Edelbrock intake and a ZZ4 cam.
 
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