What motor should I go with?

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If you are starting out on a budget and early on the learning curve, sticking with a small block Chevy is the place to start. I agree with recent posts, don't try to upgrade a 305 with anything that can't be used on a 350. Since you are not yet in a hurry, I might even suggest a SBC 400. They are getting hard to find, but the power guys have moved on to LS motors. I recently picked up an uncut 2-bolt block for $50 on Craigslist. The best bet is an '87-up roller cam motor, common in 'K' or 'R' truck motors, because there are lots of choices now that benefit from roller lifters. The only downside is that most were not drilled for a fuel pump.

Meanwhile, save your cash, and find a survivor. Plastic and metal prefer different lattitudes. Depending upon how serious you are, consider a rust-free South or Southwest car, and locate a rotten Northern car with a cherry interior. Then you have the motor to drop in. A700-R4 is a good place to start, with steep first gear that permits you to keep your 2.XX rear axle until your cash flow improves. If you end up with BOP, the 200-4R is a better direction if you have to start from a core - slightly taller overdrive, first gear compatible with 3.XX rear gears. Almost all 200-4Rs had the dual-block bolt pattern, so you can replace a 307 with the 350 or 400 with no changes.

If you have read this far, be a good sport and go back to your second post and change or delete your thumbs down. For regular posters, that's like a metal splinter in a finger tip.
 
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Budget and goal is the place to start. If your budget is reasonable and you can find a car in your price range, then the best bet for your goal of wanting a driver with some performance is a Vortec crate. 300+ HP, reliable and less than $3K. Bolt a TH350 or 700R4 behind it depending on gears and enjoy.

Many can reference full rebuild specs, but for the entry level motor guy the crate motor is a GREAT option. You'll learn some basic tuning and assembly, but don't have to have oodles of tools and knowledge to assemble a motor.

Good luck - Jim
 
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Pretty much all that needs to be said seems to have been said. If nothing else and you are just starting out, TBI truck engines are a dime a dozen in the pull a part yards, and are easily converted to a carb. Vortech heads flow really well for what they are. You might just be surprised what that, and a cam/intake will do in a G body, but get the trans too. A metric trans will not stand for much abuse without heavy mods. in other words $$$. pretty much if you stay with a chevy powered car you can find an inexpensive bolt in option. (I bought an olds roller out of WA and a parts car out of WI expecting to bolt in a 350 SBO, but went LSX... $$$ and time) Tinworm is your enemy, a tick or even a knock is relatively easy deal with by comparison.
 
By now you should see that there are a lot of ways you could go once you get your G-body. The first thing to do is to figure out your budget and time frame, as that will help you narrow down your options.

Now, my opinion - and my plan for my own G-body project - is LS power! I’m thinking a 5.3L truck motor backed by a 4L60E trans. This combo makes 310-320 hp dead stock in my 2007 GMC 1500 4x4 and pushes that 5000+ lb truck around with no problem. Imagine what that combo could do in a 3600 lb G-body! And that’s just for starters — throw cam and heads and/or a turbo at it and make some serious power.
 
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By now you should see that there are a lot of ways you could go once you get your G-body. The first thing to do is to figure out your budget and time frame, as that will help you narrow down your options.

Now, my opinion - and my plan for my own G-body project - is LS power! I’m thinking a 5.3L truck motor backed by a 4L60E trans. This combo makes 310-320 hp dead stock in my 2007 GMC 1500 4x4 and pushes that 5000+ lb truck around with no problem. Imagine what that combo could do in a 3600 lb G-body! And that’s just for starters — throw cam and heads and/or a turbo at it and make some serious power.
That's my current build status as well. I've got a 5.3 LM7 long block buttoned up with good BTR .660 springs, upgraded stock rockers to hold the Tick stage 1 turbo cam (.613/.598 lift) in place. I will be putting on a pair of twins when $$$ permits, and backing it with a 4L80E and stoutly rebuilt 8.5" out back. It should make for a ton of fun!!!!!
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Now, my opinion - and my plan for my own G-body project - is LS power! I’m thinking a 5.3L truck motor backed by a 4L60E trans. This combo makes 310-320 hp dead stock in my 2007 GMC 1500 4x4 and pushes that 5000+ lb truck around with no problem. Imagine what that combo could do in a 3600 lb G-body! And that’s just for starters — throw cam and heads and/or a turbo at it and make some serious power.

The 4L60 at 500+HP is a time bomb.
 
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No I don’t now what does that have to do with helping me understand engines?

at least you now understand that the G body runs on an engine, Teslas and sewing machines run on motors. Unless you have unlimited funds it is a legitimate question to ask about whether you own a car yet. Depending on the condition of the car you may up spending more than you have on getting the car ready to take some power. All the body and control arm bushings on these 30 year old cars have all past their life expectancy and need to be changed. No use building a quick car that doesn't have a stable platform.
 
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at least you now understand that the G body runs on an engine, Teslas and sewing machines run on motors.
I remember one of my friends saying something along those lines when I was a kid and for some reason it stuck with me all these years. Still hits my ear funny when someone says motor even thought it's generally accepted and I do it myself on occasion.
 
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