I was seriously considering purchasing a crate motor and just doing a motor swap. This would be the quickest and simplest fix to my motor problem. After some careful thought, I decided to go the 'hard' way and build the motor myself. This took longer and was more difficult, but every time I tell somebody I built the motor, I'm proud to say it.
I decided to go with a small-block to save some money and because parts would be easy to come by. In addition, I should be able to get the power I was looking for out of a small-block without much trouble. Here are some of the parts I went with:
New GM 350 block
New 400 crank
5.7" shot peened rods
TRW forged racing pistons (11.2:1)
Edelbrock Performer RPM heads (2.02" x 1.60", 64cc)
Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake, CNC ported (part #2900)
Holley 750cfm double pumper carb
Comp Cams solid racing cam, 242/250 (@ 0.050") duration, .507"/.532" lift
Aluminum full roller rocker arms
Dynagear gear drive
MSD Billet distributor
Holley Strip Annihilator ignition
Holley LaserShot Pro coil
Etc, etc, etc.
UPDATE (2/10/2001): I changed the composite head gaskets for a set of steel shim gaskets. The compressed thickness of the new gaskets is .015", compared to the old gaskets thickness of .041". This raised the compression from 10.6:1 to 11.2:1. It also improved the quench area of the motor by reducing it from .066" to .040". I will most likely start mixing some racing fuel in with the regular 92 unleaded when I race now.
UPDATE (3/1/2001): I replaced the crappy plastic flex fan with an electric fan from a Lincoln Mark VIII. This fan moves a ton of air (more than any of the aftermarket ones) and can be had for $99. It works great and frees up some power lost with the mechanical fan. See the install here...
UPDATE (5/25/2001): I replaced the Performer RPM Air-Gap intake with a new Victor Jr. intake. I used part #2900, which is already port matched to the heads.
UPDATE (6/8/2001): I strapped the car to the Dynojet at Superior Automotive Engineering in Anaheim, CA. The car put down 375 HP to the rear wheels. This is the equivalent of 475-500 HP at the crank (depending on whose formula you use). See the dyno sheet here.
UPDATE (12/2001): I added the Holley Strip Annihilator ignition system. I had to convert my MSD Ready-To-Run distributor, to a standard magnetic trigger output to get the Holley to work correctly. I'm using the Holley LaserShot Pro coil with the new ignition box. This system has a wired remote programmer that allows you to adjust 3 different rev limiters, two rpm triggers, and several other features from the driver's seat. I'm using one of the rpm switches to activate a stand-alone shift light.
Here's a couple pictures of the engine with just the heads on:
Here's the completed engine getting ready for installation:
Updated engine pics taken on 11/2/2000:
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