View Full Version : best cam for the $1550 GM crate 350?


351maverick
06-03-2012, 04:29:13 AM
so I'm looking at this GM crate 350 for a replacement of the tired 305 in my 86 monte carlo

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/NAL-10067353/

$1550 & free shipping....I can't do better than that rebuilding anything that I've got, and this is NEW

so I've heard that the only difference between that motor & this motor is the cam:

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/NAL-12499529/

...but I like the higher 290hp rating

so my thought is to buy the $1550 motor & replace just the cam - I should be able to use the original lifters because I don't think GM runs these engines before shipping them

the car is my daily driver, currently the 305 is 165hp so this would be a great improvement, I'm just not sure of the best cam choice since these are just 8.5:1 w/76cc heads

the car has the original (still nice & tight) 200R4, the original convertor which I would like to keep & 3.08 gears, and 225/60/15s on the rear....Edelbrock 600, regular HEI, headers & a pair of dumped Flowmasters

the intakes I have are an Edelbrock Performer or a Torker II

and NO I do not want to convert to an LS anything

hhott71
06-03-2012, 04:46:48 AM
Change heads. 64cc chambers will get you 9.5: 1 and that's a big boost in itself.The old stand by .454" lift 216* cam (any MFG) is perfect to add a real boost.
3.73 gears will also be a big kick in the butt. The 0.67 : 1 OD drops it to 2.499 rear ratio.

Air_Adam
06-03-2012, 05:31:57 AM
Why not go for the 290hp? Its basically the same, but with the L82 cam. I bet that L82 cam would work nice with a set of Vortec heads....

Damon
06-03-2012, 07:12:22 AM
For a motor that mild the XE256 is about as big as I'd go. And you're going to want to upgrade the valve springs when you do it. Even though it's not a big lumpy cam the lobes are much more aggressive than tht stock cam and will work the valvetrain quite a bit harder. I just qestion whether the upgrade is really going to be worth the time and expense of doing it. If you don't want to touch the valve springs then use an older lobe design like the base model Edlebrock Performer cam (also sold as the Summit house brand 1102 for silly-small bucks).

Changing over to Vortec heads without touching the cam would probably net you the same or more power, but would cost even more (and it sounds like those funds would not be in the budget).

Your call.

Definitely use your Performer intake on that moto, not the Torker II.

my24ktrat
06-03-2012, 07:28:09 AM
...Or try the regular Comp cams 268 with the performer intake , should run nice in a stock 350, just my.02, DC:bowtie:

Todd80Z28
06-03-2012, 09:43:13 AM
Why not just buy a Vortec crate to begin with? You get the heads and a roller cam for a few hundred more than the Goodwrench engine.

http://www.jegs.com/p/GM-Performance/GM-Goodwrench-1996-2000-57L-350-Truck-Engine/813788/10002/-1

351maverick
06-03-2012, 10:41:58 AM
the whole point of this is to be INEXPENSIVE

so no swapping heads

that vortec roller 350 is $2060 and needs a cam swap itself (255hp)

I am not scared of a hyd flat tappet cam - and man this one is cheap:

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/SUM-1102/

or I could take a chance with the stock valve springs, this 256:

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/CCA-12-234-2/

Todd80Z28
06-03-2012, 10:53:56 AM
the whole point of this is to be INEXPENSIVEI can relate, but after the cam swap, you're looking at $300 difference. You will need to drop another $200 or so on the correct manifold.

'86 305- is that one-piece or two-piece rear seal? I know the 350s went to one-piece that rear, so dropping back to a Goodwrench two-piece means new flex plate.

Personally, I think the Vortec will net you much better performance for the roughly $500 difference. I think that 255hp rating was stock factory, whereas the 250hp rating on the Goodwrench was with headers, exhaust, etc... Put some 1.6 rockers on the Vortec and forget the cam.:)

I know you'll disagree. I'll leave it from here.

markw
06-03-2012, 10:57:29 AM
http://www.carcraft.com/techarticles/ccrp_1205_budget_gm_goodwrench_350_build/viewall.html
This was with the Summit cam # SUM-1105. Ignore the nitrous, to dangerous on this motor. Also note the head gasket change and the comments about the intake manifold. (They ran a single plane for the nitrous but a dual plane would add as much as 20 lb-ft.) Also pass on the 750 DP.

Damon
06-03-2012, 11:19:33 AM
Remember that CarCraft was also going to as much power as they could get with cheap parts. Drivability wasn't high on their agenda. That cam would be too much against a stock stall converter and mild gearing. The last thing you want to do with a low compression/meidocre heads motor is stick too much cam in it.

Leave the cam alone or choose something very mild is my advice.

Just as a point of reference, the cam that comes in that Goodwrench motor has specs something like 192*/201* @ .050, .390"/.410" lift (w/ 1.5 rockers) and a LSA of 112*. That's from memory, so don't quote me down to the single digits.

That means even the Summit 1102 cam is already 10*+ more duration and almost half a thenth more lift on both intake and exhaust than the Goodwrench cam. That's a noticable change when you consider how mild the cam is you're starting with.

Ryan 79
06-03-2012, 12:05:48 PM
Ive got the 1102 in my truck, and I am NOT a fan of it. Id just keep my money and use the stock cam

REARSPROCKET
06-03-2012, 01:17:19 PM
The Old "151" GM 327 350hp cam works well in that smogger.

351maverick
06-03-2012, 02:26:53 PM
I can relate, but after the cam swap, you're looking at $300 difference. You will need to drop another $200 or so on the correct manifold.

'86 305- is that one-piece or two-piece rear seal? I know the 350s went to one-piece that rear, so dropping back to a Goodwrench two-piece means new flex plate.

Personally, I think the Vortec will net you much better performance for the roughly $500 difference. I think that 255hp rating was stock factory, whereas the 250hp rating on the Goodwrench was with headers, exhaust, etc... Put some 1.6 rockers on the Vortec and forget the cam.:)

I know you'll disagree. I'll leave it from here.

now you've got me thinking...

are the vortec heads the same on the exhaust side as the old school heads (I can use my existing headers?)

I could sell my two intakes & fund a new vortec intake, so that'll be taken care of...and the 1.6 rockers is an easy mod....hmmmm

kenny77
06-03-2012, 04:43:17 PM
Hey Mav,

Why not just do something like Twisted Metal did and run that engine as is, that way later you can always upgrade later with the right amount of time and money,

" Not like Twisted Metal is ever going to buy a set of Vortecs and cam though" :rolleyes:

AJ_72
06-03-2012, 05:06:56 PM
Here are links to a build up Chevy High Performance did on a similar engine, if not that exact engine.

I'll give you the cliff notes, too.

The Goodwrench Quest, Part 1 (http://www.chevyhiperformance.com/techarticles/46320_gm_350_crate_engine_build/index.html) <-- Stock aluminum intake manifold, a Q-jet carburetor, and cast-iron exhaust manifolds connected to a pair of Hooker 2-¼-inch turbo-style mufflers. 239 hp at 4,300 & torque at 3,700 rpm @ 324 lb-ft.
Added Hooker 1-5/8" headers, an Edelbrock Performer intake, and a stock Q-jet was worth 350 lb-ft of torque and 265 hp.

The Goodwrench Quest, Part 2 (http://www.chevyhiperformance.com/techarticles/46326_gm_350_crate_engine_build_ii/index.html) <-- Found out true compression ratio is 7.8:1. Ported heads, milled heads to 73cc and used 0.015" head gasket from Fel-Pro. (8.4:1 C/R), put in The Comp Cams Xtreme Energy 268H, 336 hp @ 5,300 rpm, 377 lb-ft @ 3,800 rpm.

The rest is swapping heads, intake manifolds, etc., etc.

The Goodwrench Quest, Part 3 (http://www.chevyhiperformance.com/techarticles/46359_gm_350_crate_engine_build_iii/index.html)

The Goodwrench Quest, Part 4 (http://www.chevyhiperformance.com/techarticles/46364_gm_350_crate_engine_build_iv/index.html)

The Goodwrench Quest, Part 5 (http://www.chevyhiperformance.com/techarticles/46370_gm_350_crate_engine_build_v/index.html)

351maverick
06-03-2012, 11:04:58 PM
336hp is more than my target of 300..that would be GREAT!

I'm 165hp right now

AND that is just a cam swap & using the original iron smog heads - WELL within my meager budget

^^^^thanks for the info^^^^^^

if it wasn't for the valve seals leaking as bad as they are on this 305 I wouldn't even be thinking about another motor, but the tailpipe smoke show at startup is getting old

BondoSpecial
06-03-2012, 11:47:20 PM
Even if it was a full $500 more for the vortec crate motor I'd do it. The goodwrench 350 is about as low output of a 350 as ever existed despite its gross hp rating. Big inefficient heads, small cam. It's basically what came in any 70s-early 80s car or truck with a 350. I put about 10 miles on a new goodwrench 350 I had before I took it out and upgraded the pistons, rebalanced rotating assy, and upgraded the heads and cam. If you are keeping this car for the long term I would start out with a better engine.

351maverick
06-04-2012, 12:02:21 AM
that particular vortec truck crate motor does NOT have provisions for a mechanical fuel pump = not cool

all I want is about 300hp as cheap as possible - if that can be accomplished with the $1550 GM crate motor & a simple 268 cam swap & all the parts I already have, my Performer intake, 600 Edelbrock carb, headers & Flowmasters I'll be VERY happy

this car is only 3300# & with the short 225/60s it's really fun to drive as-is

HyPer
06-04-2012, 05:19:28 AM
Since you mentioned the gm engine having the 76cc heads, another option would be to order the short block assembly then grab some 64cc or 53cc heads, you can get pairs of iron 64 or 53 heads for relatively cheap. Then do like you were gonna do anyways, and throw a cam and your intake, carb, headers, etc on it.

BigEd36
06-05-2012, 06:17:47 AM
Maverick, Pace Performance has a version of the Goodwrench 350 that comes with an upgraded cam with the specs of the Summit K1103 cam, they rate it at 300 horse power. It's available for $1729.95 HERE (http://paceperformance.com/i-6237688-gmp-10067353-4-chevy-350cid-300hp-brand-new-crate-engine-no-intake.html). It's also available with a Performer intake for $1799.95 HERE (http://paceperformance.com/i-5146377-gmp-10067353-k-chevy-350cid-300hp-brand-new-crate-engine.html). Since you already have an intake this would be a pretty cost effective way to go and still have Pace's warranty. Would be a little cheaper to buy the Goodwrench engine and put the cam in yourself, but you would have no warranty after a cam change because you modified the engine.

The K1103 has slightly more lift and a couple more degrees duration at .050 than the GM 24502476 cam used in the 350HO crate engine and CT350 circle track crate engine (the 24502476 would also be a very good cam for you). This setup hits your target of 300 HP, then when funds permit upgrade to Vortec heads, you'll have duplicated the specs of the 350HO with an engine that still uses your present parts like flywheel/flexplate.

I believe the cam in the Pace version is a better match for the compression ratio in the Goodwrench 350 than the cam used in the GMPP 350 290HP version. If the GMPP engineers were as smart as the guys at Pace this is the version they would have brought out instead of the 350/290.

jjs3788
06-06-2012, 09:07:03 PM
351maverick, just a side note. If you are interested in the warranty at all with a new motor make sure you do your homework with a GM motor. I am just finishing up going through this. I installed that same base 350 in my wifes T/A last year. 14 months and under 2000 miles later one of the rod cap came loose and went through the oil pan. No big deal, when I purchased three motor from a dealer they said it had a 3yr 100,000 mile warranty. What they didn't day was if that motor went into a car that didn't originally have a 350, gets had the 301, that the warranty is only 12 months. I had to you're the car to the dealer for them to inspect it. They did end up giving me a new motor anyway because of the low mileage. So I was happy. So make sure you ask a bunch of warrant questions when you purchase it

351maverick
06-06-2012, 11:49:06 PM
I'm not concerned about the warranty, since I'll be cracking it open to install a cam right away anyway

I called around to the local machine shops & I can buy a new crank for what they want to turn one, a new block for what they want to machine one & new heads for what they want to rebuild a set - doesn't really make $$$ sense for me to rebuild anything

I'm thinking this Blueprint 383 might be the way to go - it meets all my hp goals for now, and will easily be upgradable (heads) when the funds allow:

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/MLL-BP3832CT1/

or I'll stick with the original wheezer GM 350 for the $1550 & stab in a cam and call it a day

AJ_72
06-07-2012, 04:47:43 AM
I'm not concerned about the warranty, since I'll be cracking it open to install a cam right away anyway

I called around to the local machine shops & I can buy a new crank for what they want to turn one, a new block for what they want to machine one & new heads for what they want to rebuild a set - doesn't really make $$$ sense for me to rebuild anything

I'm thinking this Blueprint 383 might be the way to go - it meets all my hp goals for now, and will easily be upgradable (heads) when the funds allow:

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/MLL-BP3832CT1/

or I'll stick with the original wheezer GM 350 for the $1550 & stab in a cam and call it a day

Let me start out by saying, the end result of your plan is good, and it'll get you what you want, but try not to get blinded by the perceived cost of rebuilding an engine compared to buying new, individual parts. I see way too many people do that, blindly, then get stuck going over budget because they don't realize the added costs involved with buying new internal engine parts.

First off, I'd love for you to show me a pair of new heads that you can buy for the cost of rebuilding a pair. You may be able to buy rebuilt heads for that, or maybe even slightly cheaper if done by a mass producer, but not new. The cheapest heads on the market right now are Vortec heads, and you're looking at over $620 just for standard replacement heads. Then, as someone pointed out, they have to be modified for larger springs and higher lift if you plan on going larger than ~.460" lift, not including the cost of the valve springs and Viton seals. If you're dealing with a machine shop that charges over $650 to rebuild a pair of stock heads, they better throw in a free jar of Vaseline when you pick them up.

Second, While it may be more cost effective to buy a new crank, initially, now you're talking in excess of $150 to have the rotating assembly balanced. You just doubled the cost of the new crank. That's assuming the new crank is already ground and polished, not a blank casting. Many new cranks require at least a polish.

I'm not even going to get into the machining costs of finishing a new block because I'm sure you've figured out where I'm going with this. ;)

The Blueprint engine you're considering is basically a rebuilt engine. They start with a seasoned block, resized rods and rebuilt cylinder heads. The only thing new (as far as hard parts) will be the crank, new pistons and wrist pins, valves, spring, etc. Plus, it's a 1 pc. rear main seal, which I vaguely recall you saying earlier that you wanted to avoid.

From what it sounds like to me, you either need to go full fledged and get a $3,500 GMPP engine, or get by with the Goodwrench engine you were first considering.

The other alternative is to speak to a machine shop see what a package deal from them would cost. If you get everything done at once, they may lower the total cost, slightly. But that's assuming you have a rebuildable 350.

A machine shop in my area rebuilds stock 350's like it's going out of style and they have a storage room with at least 5 at a time, $900 for the basic, with a rebuildable core charge of $200. So, worse case scenario is $1,100. That's complete, top to bottom, including stock valve covers, etc. Heck, a machine shop near you may even have a pair of heads, or even a short block someone didn't pay for and has been sitting collecting dust for the last 2-3 years. You never know until you ask. ;)

rockheadrocks
06-28-2012, 05:00:34 PM
The Old "151" GM 327 350hp cam works well in that smogger.

+1 to this. I have a 1975 LM1 with nothing more than a set of headers, a Carter street/strip fuel pump, and the Wolverine/Blue Racer version of this cam, and it runs great. If you're bucks down, buy the 260 horse version of the same motor, and grab the Crane version of the 151 cam.

Later on, you can upgrade the heads for something like the Brodix IK200 for a pretty big performance boost without changing anything else.

ProStreet383
06-28-2012, 07:54:54 PM
This is the best budget engine out right now by far. $1900 for a new 4 bolt main, 1 piece seal, roller cam and vortec heads. Swap the cam and springs and slap a air gap on it and have one sweet engine. With a cam swap and good intake you will easily match or beat the hp and torque rating of that blueprint 383 and on top of it you will have brand new gm quality oem crate engine. That is the same exact engine that is in our 98 K2500 with 200,000 very hard miles on it towing daily and plowing in the winters.

1986-2000 style block, 4 bolt mains -(No Fuel Pump Provision)
1pc rear seal nodular iron crankshaft
Powdered metal connecting rods
Hypereutectic pistons 9.4:1 compression Ratio
Hydraulic roller camshaft: Int Lift .414", Exh Lift .428", Int Duration @.050" 191, Exh Duration @ .050" 196, Lobe Centerline-111
Vortec cylinder heads - 64cc, 1.94'' intake valve, 1.50'' exhaust valve
Also includes: Oil pan, timing cover, valve covers, harmonic balancer

http://www.jegs.com/p/Chevrolet-Performance/Chevrolet-Performance-1996-2000-Truck-350ci-L31-R-Long-Block-Assembly/1532025/10002/-1

krabben1
06-28-2012, 08:31:21 PM
This is the best budget engine out right now by far. $1900 for a new 4 bolt main, 1 piece seal, roller cam and vortec heads. Swap the cam and springs and slap a air gap on it and have one sweet engine. With a cam swap and good intake you will easily match or beat the hp and torque rating of that blueprint 383 and on top of it you will have brand new gm quality oem crate engine. That is the same exact engine that is in our 98 K2500 with 200,000 very hard miles on it towing daily and plowing in the winters.

1986-2000 style block, 4 bolt mains -(No Fuel Pump Provision)
1pc rear seal nodular iron crankshaft
Powdered metal connecting rods
Hypereutectic pistons 9.4:1 compression Ratio
Hydraulic roller camshaft: Int Lift .414", Exh Lift .428", Int Duration @.050" 191, Exh Duration @ .050" 196, Lobe Centerline-111
Vortec cylinder heads - 64cc, 1.94'' intake valve, 1.50'' exhaust valve
Also includes: Oil pan, timing cover, valve covers, harmonic balancer

http://www.jegs.com/p/Chevrolet-Performance/Chevrolet-Performance-1996-2000-Truck-350ci-L31-R-Long-Block-Assembly/1532025/10002/-1
Can you say what the horsepower on that motor is?Say going into my stock 96 K2500?(stock fuel set up..etc)

ProStreet383
06-28-2012, 09:29:23 PM
Can you say what the horsepower on that motor is?Say going into my stock 96 K2500?(stock fuel set up..etc)


Stock in our 98 K2500 that engine makes 255hp @ 4,600rpm and 330ft/lb @ 2800rpm. Our 98 K2500 towed as good or better than our 08 2500HD with the 6.0 and 6 speed auto. I think they under rated those vortec engines.

http://www.truckinweb.com/gmc/99/k2500/1998/performance.html

krabben1
06-29-2012, 08:46:53 AM
Stock in our 98 K2500 that engine makes 255hp @ 4,600rpm and 330ft/lb @ 2800rpm. Our 98 K2500 towed as good or better than our 08 2500HD with the 6.0 and 6 speed auto. I think they under rated those vortec engines.

http://www.truckinweb.com/gmc/99/k2500/1998/performance.html
Thanks man. I'll have to check my window sticker and see what they advertised on there.My motors still good,its just nice to know I can get one for that price.