Author Topic: Temporary Progress Thread  (Read 551 times)

EspriTA350

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Temporary Progress Thread
« on: March 02, 2021, 04:42:22 PM »
So I'll get right to the point. I am going to stick with building a Pontiac 350. The 400 is of course tempting, but all of the deals I tried to make kept falling through, or they wouldn't answer the phone, or it'd turn out that the block is a thin-wall casting, but oh hey wait I've got this 1970 block I'll let you have for $500. Just turned me off from it entirely when I know I can get a 350 easily.

So the "underdog" build is back! I am going to look at and hopefully pick up another 350 early next week from a gentleman who runs a GTO club. He wants next to nothing for the block, so I told him I'll help him excavate it. The day always goes by faster when I'm getting my hands dirty. It should be a fun time.

Meanwhile I am trying to make sure I save everything that I can from my cracked 350, namely the oil pan/pump setup, and the crank since it's already mag'd. It's a road race pan and pump so they're worth hanging onto as well. I also know the engine mounts were replaced very recently, as in right before I bought the car, according to receipts. I have a hunch that they may be the Lab14 engine mounts. However,  I can't ask the previous owner anymore if that's what they are, since we fell out of touch. How would you tell the difference between the Lab14 mounts and the regular ones?

This is the only picture I have where you can see them... I won't be up close with them again until I bring the other 350 to the machine shop.


« Last Edit: March 02, 2021, 10:09:40 PM by EspriTA350 »

5th T/A

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Re: Temporary Progress Thread
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2021, 06:27:57 PM »
Sorry I can’t help you on the engine mounts. I am not aware of any problem with OEM type mounts, so if they look good I wouldn’t hesitate to use them. Congratulations on finding a reasonably priced 350 core. Kudos for building a 350, I see no reason why you shouldn’t be able to get some pretty decent performance as the displacement isn’t that far from a 400, especially if you have decent heads. Looking forward to watching your build!
1980 T/A 4.9 Non turbo

Gone but not forgotten;
1973 T/A 455
1975 T/A 400
1978 T/A W72
1982 T/A cross fire injected

Two wheel toys;
2014 Harley Ultra Classic Limited
2013 Honda CB1100
2010 Yamaha Vmax
1982 Yamaha Seca 750

EspriTA350

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Re: Temporary Progress Thread
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2021, 10:57:49 PM »
Sorry I can’t help you on the engine mounts. I am not aware of any problem with OEM type mounts, so if they look good I wouldn’t hesitate to use them. Congratulations on finding a reasonably priced 350 core. Kudos for building a 350, I see no reason why you shouldn’t be able to get some pretty decent performance as the displacement isn’t that far from a 400, especially if you have decent heads. Looking forward to watching your build!

The Lab14 engine mounts are stronger than stock, which is why I'm so curious about whether that's what they are or aren't. If they are just regular replacements I'd be tempted to pick up a set of the upgraded ones.

I feel like the heads are a good choice, they're pocket-ported small-valve 16's with a valve job, screw-in studs, and hardened seats. I was advised to pick a cam with duration no higher than 220 @ 0.050 on the exhaust side so that's what I asked for from Crane Cams. A lot of this is egyptian hieroglyphics to me, and to be honest I am not quite sure what to expect but I know it will run a heck of a lot stronger than stock. There's a gentleman on a few other Pontiac forums by the name of "Ponyakr" who claims to have a 434 hp Pontiac 350. That would be awesome! But I don't think mine is going to be quite as strong as that. I'm hoping to hit numbers that are better than what a 350 HO could do. I've looked at the specs for an 068 cam, and it has significantly more duration than my new cam, although waaaaaay less valve lift.

Here's the stock cam for comparison:


Here's the cam I'm switching to:


068 cam specs


I've read a lot about this cam saying that it's almost too rowdy for a 350. If you ask me, it sounds very streetable.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8F5rfk_lPPE

Was I too cautious with my cam choice?

ryeguy2006a

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Re: Temporary Progress Thread
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2021, 05:59:03 AM »
Good deal on finding a new useable block. You'll be happy you stuck with the 350 as it seems like the theme of your build. I can't remember, but did you have any plans for EFI? Keep up the good work.

I've always wondered what a built Pontiac motor would do if it was built similarly to an LS motor. Sequential EFI, roller cam, ported heads, etc.

1976 Trans Am LS1, 6 speed, C5 Brakes, LS1 rear 12" brakes, and much more...SOLD
My Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=24465.0

New project: 1968 Camaro LS6, T56, Speedtech, Hotchkis, DSE, Z51 13.4" front brakes, LS1 rear disks, etc.
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=74591.0

EspriTA350

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Re: Temporary Progress Thread
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2021, 10:58:18 AM »
Tadaa! It's a 1968 350, complete with all of the valve reliefs. Looking a little "feral" in this state, but at least I've rescued it now.



The owner pulled it out with a backhoe after we hooked it up to a hoist, and I got to work stripping it down to the bare block. The whole disassembly process only took about 2 hours. This was so much easier to do with an engine out of a car, compared to me doing this with my previous engine months ago. Honestly it was such a fun day even though it wasn't anything more than undoing bolts most of the time. I even found myself wishing I could work for this guy full-time even if I was nothing more than a "gopher" in his shop. He was very jovial and helpful the entire time. I had brought some of my own tools but he let me use whatever else I needed. He apparently works alone, mostly on Pontiacs. Building, restoring, fixing, painting, you name it he does it.

Speaking of his shop, here is what I was greeted by upon walking in:



 
The day was not without its hitches, however. We tried to turn the 350 engine by hand and it would only move a little in either direction before stopping. Upon stripping most of the engine we found that the #7 cylinder is stuck pretty good (and by extension... the torque converter is also stuck since we can't reach all of the bolts). He seemed insistent that it would be best to deliver it to the machine shop without the torque converter still attached. I admit I feel a little sheepish at this point since the last block I delivered still had the torque converter on it. Hopefully there were no hard feelings at the machine shop, as I honestly did not know that was even an issue.

Good deal on finding a new useable block. You'll be happy you stuck with the 350 as it seems like the theme of your build. I can't remember, but did you have any plans for EFI? Keep up the good work.

No plans for EFI, I am loving my qjet.




EspriTA350

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Re: Temporary Progress Thread
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2021, 09:48:20 AM »
The seller is going to cut the converter off with a torch. Hopefully we can free the stuck piston, too, and get all of the internals out this time so that the machine shop is happier with me.

My old headers have come back from being ceramic coated.

ryeguy2006a

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Re: Temporary Progress Thread
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2021, 10:57:06 AM »
Wow, that motor has seen better days for sure. It'll make a great before and after shot though! Keep us updated on the progress. Also, love those headers. Tri-Y for the win.

1976 Trans Am LS1, 6 speed, C5 Brakes, LS1 rear 12" brakes, and much more...SOLD
My Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=24465.0

New project: 1968 Camaro LS6, T56, Speedtech, Hotchkis, DSE, Z51 13.4" front brakes, LS1 rear disks, etc.
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=74591.0

EspriTA350

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Re: Temporary Progress Thread
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2021, 02:13:34 PM »
Wow, that motor has seen better days for sure. It'll make a great before and after shot though! Keep us updated on the progress. Also, love those headers. Tri-Y for the win.

It's a carcass, for sure. The way I rationalize it is I only really needed a good core.

MNBob

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Re: Temporary Progress Thread
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2021, 01:31:26 PM »
I think that cam will be perfect for your build.  The 114 LSA should give a broad power band with a smooth idle.

Those headers look great and are definitely worth the coating.  They should provide extra torque for the 350.
1979 TATA Extreme TKO .64
Hedman elite; Pypes 2.5; Borla XS; MSD 6A; Performer intake; open scoop; Sniper QJ;  110 Amp Alt; 4 core radiator/Mark VIII fan; RobbMc mini starter; subframe connectors; solid body mounts; fiberglass rear springs; poly sway bar and link bushings; 81 master; D52’s; Blazer disks; 225/60 & 235/60 17's TrueContact's; relays for PW, PDL, lights; keyless entry

john finneran

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Re: Temporary Progress Thread
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2021, 12:24:52 AM »
If your in the Mn area I've got an alum. Manifold edelbrock I think,for 10$  I'm not gonna use it so let me know if your interested
johnny

MNBob

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Re: Temporary Progress Thread
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2021, 07:05:14 AM »
I just bought a new Edelbrock Performer last summer (ouch).  It is probably the best intake for my low rpm 400.  Thanks, anyway.
1979 TATA Extreme TKO .64
Hedman elite; Pypes 2.5; Borla XS; MSD 6A; Performer intake; open scoop; Sniper QJ;  110 Amp Alt; 4 core radiator/Mark VIII fan; RobbMc mini starter; subframe connectors; solid body mounts; fiberglass rear springs; poly sway bar and link bushings; 81 master; D52’s; Blazer disks; 225/60 & 235/60 17's TrueContact's; relays for PW, PDL, lights; keyless entry

EspriTA350

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Re: Temporary Progress Thread
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2021, 10:27:33 AM »
Torque converter is off, and all of the internals are out! This block is ready to be delivered!

Before we started on removing the internals, the seller suggested I sand down the lime deposits in two "trouble" cylinders. So I got to work with some sandpaper and some metal brushes. By the time I finished I could tell the #7 cylinder will likely need a sleeve. It had lots of pitting. Since it is just the one cylinder and I am planning on getting it overbored, I was not too concerned about this.

Then, the distributor fought us even harder than the stuck piston did. The block just didn't want to let that dist go. Between prying, PB blaster, and hammering, nothing we tried could get it out. The seller had to break out an impact hammer to finally free it. The piston took multiple soakings in ATF and lots of hammer blows on the connecting rod to get it out. All in all it was another fun day, just a different kind of fun.

Through the whole disassembly process we couldn't help but notice this block has never been opened up before. It still had all of the original seals and bearings, a real "virgin" block, at least until I came along. Another thing I found interesting was that despite it sitting outside for many years, somehow no water got into the oil either. The oil was of course darker than my soul, however it was just oil, with no coolant or anything else mixed in with it. I'll take that as a good sign!


















I think that cam will be perfect for your build.  The 114 LSA should give a broad power band with a smooth idle.

Those headers look great and are definitely worth the coating.  They should provide extra torque for the 350.

Glad to see some good feedback on the cam choice. Makes me feel a little better about it all. I suppose having a 2.73 rear and stock tq converter means I should stay away from a hotter cam anyway. "More power" is a constant temptation.

ryeguy2006a

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Re: Temporary Progress Thread
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2021, 05:50:46 AM »
Looking good! The more work that you can do will end up with a cheaper bill from the machine shop. If they had to do all of that, you'd be paying big bucks for just the teardown. Seller seems like a real car guy.

1976 Trans Am LS1, 6 speed, C5 Brakes, LS1 rear 12" brakes, and much more...SOLD
My Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=24465.0

New project: 1968 Camaro LS6, T56, Speedtech, Hotchkis, DSE, Z51 13.4" front brakes, LS1 rear disks, etc.
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=74591.0

Nexus

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Re: Temporary Progress Thread
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2021, 08:28:29 AM »
Caught up and re-subscribed
Charlie

79 Esprit but like many, it will be a T/A clone
(20 years and counting but still have her)
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=79648.0

EspriTA350

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Re: Temporary Progress Thread
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2021, 12:30:31 PM »
No progress yet but I do have new rods.




Pistons will be forthcoming from shanons engineering.


5th T/A

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Re: Temporary Progress Thread
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2021, 04:59:28 PM »
Those are pretty beefy looking rods, what are they?
1980 T/A 4.9 Non turbo

Gone but not forgotten;
1973 T/A 455
1975 T/A 400
1978 T/A W72
1982 T/A cross fire injected

Two wheel toys;
2014 Harley Ultra Classic Limited
2013 Honda CB1100
2010 Yamaha Vmax
1982 Yamaha Seca 750

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