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Old 08-24-2010, 12:27 PM   #1
Pre5tig3

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Default 1979 Olds 350

Im looking at a 79 350 out of a delta its a complete running engine for $250.
What would be the best performance upgrades for cheap.
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:09 PM   #2
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Default Re: 1979 Olds 350

Well if your being cheap about it.. then nothing.. a good tune up would do..

perhaps recurve the dist. and toss on a set of headers or at least a bare minimum dual exhaust..

my bro had a 77" cutlass with the 350.. after we pulled all the smog crap off the motor.. recurved the dist.. added richer secondary rods and installed a new 2.5 single exh.. no cat.. with a welded steel muffler it ran like a raped date..

considering it had 180k on the clock with lousy 2.41 gears it would run 16.70s @81mph.. not bad for a smogger

Your heads suck and your cam is weak.. if your going to do it right upgrade them both or leave it alone
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1979 Olds 350

Heads and cam are the weak points, I know I have one in my 72. A small cam will help, it got mine down to low 14s but heads would really get wake her up. Not only will it bump the compression, but the ports are bigger, allowing for a better cam
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1979 Olds 350

Would it be better to have the heads worked or find some early heads?
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1979 Olds 350

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pre5tig3 View Post
Would it be better to have the heads worked or find some early heads?
30-40 year old heads are going to need just as much work, probably. They may flow a tad bit better, or have some more compression to start with, but they are going to need a valve job, and guides, and possibly a milling, most likely anyways.

Best option is to find someone that is selling some heads that have been done recently. There is usually a huge savings to be had there.

This ad in our for sale section has a couple sets of #5's. http://www.oldspower.com/vb/showthread.php?t=54668. One set sounds like it's already been re-done, and for $450 that's not too bad really. The other set is cheaper, but may need another $200 work of work, so it's 6 in one half a dozen in the other....
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: 1979 Olds 350

Yep, what everybody else said.

Those engines are so choked off because of the exhaust. Also, crutched with super low compression, you can't even really put a bigger cam in it.
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:18 PM   #7
Pre5tig3

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Default Re: 1979 Olds 350

So I should just leave it stop maybe a edlebrock intake and leave it at that tell i get better heads. Than once i get better heads I can put a decent cam.. What kind of power could i see out of this i woulk like atleast 250.
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:48 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1979 Olds 350

You could swap a small cam in like the factory 83-85 307 HO cam or a smog 455 cam, pretty much the same. The smallest Voodoo cam might work nice in this motor too, no bigger. Much easier to put a cam and timing set in with the motor on the stand. A performer intake and headers will go nicely with that motor. Either the Sanderson shorty rear dump or Hedman G body full length elite series will work nicely. Put the headers in before the motor, the full length. The Sanderson I put in easy from underneath. The 307 cam worked well with a 8.3 to 1, will work just fine with your 350.
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:52 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1979 Olds 350

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Originally Posted by Pre5tig3 View Post
So I should just leave it stop maybe a edlebrock intake and leave it at that tell i get better heads. Than once i get better heads I can put a decent cam.. What kind of power could i see out of this i woulk like atleast 250.
Older heads won't get you much more compression, the pistons will still have a huge dish and you will still have a crappy compression ratio.
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:52 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1979 Olds 350

Supposedly the 1977-79 350 had 14cc pistons, a mild milling will give 9 to 1.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:18 PM   #11
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Default Re: 1979 Olds 350

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Originally Posted by olds307 and 403 View Post
Supposedly the 1977-79 350 had 14cc pistons, a mild milling will give 9 to 1.
I'm not sure. The one I had had pistons with a bigger dish, but they were aftermarket.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:31 PM   #12
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Default Re: 1979 Olds 350

I would not waste my money on a intake. The factory cast iron 4BL intake will work fine. Headers and dual EX,then set the ignition and carb up for the free flowing EX. Home made ram air. If the engine bottom end is in good shape and the engine has low miles on it, Stage 2 I would say x3 on a small cam and early heads 5 or 6 350 heads they flow well stock. The 330 head might be an option.First you will have to know what dish size the pistons are before you do a head swap to figure your new comp ratio. Good luck
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:57 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1979 Olds 350

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Originally Posted by dan2286 View Post
I'm not sure. The one I had had pistons with a bigger dish, but they were aftermarket.
Um, yeah, aftermarket pistons for the 350 are many times the huge 24cc dish versions that are not really specific to the particular year you are rebuilding, they are just what are available on the market. You can't just tell a shop to give you a set of pistons, you have to tell them specifically which pistons you want for your build or you'll get the cheapest generic pistons available.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:04 PM   #14
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Default Re: 1979 Olds 350

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Originally Posted by 71CutlassConvertible View Post
Um, yeah, aftermarket pistons for the 350 are many times the huge 24cc dish versions that are not really specific to the particular year you are rebuilding, they are just what are available on the market. You can't just tell a shop to give you a set of pistons, you have to tell them specifically which pistons you want for your build or you'll get the cheapest generic pistons available.
Yep I have a 72 and that has big dish pistons, and the 78 has small dish pistons
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:08 AM   #15
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Default Re: 1979 Olds 350

My 78s pistons are 16cc dish. I measured them the Quaz way.
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:27 PM   #16
Pre5tig3

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Default Re: 1979 Olds 350

Okay im just going to clean it real nice give it a coat of paint get some headmen long tubes summit is $190 probaly try to find them used on craigslist. then find some decent mufflers. get good parts for a tune up. And after all this ill start some body work when i look for some older heads 5 or 6 and put in a nice cam.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:25 PM   #17
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Default Re: 1979 Olds 350

Sounds like you are on the right path to me.

True duals are my number one suggestion. More performance oriented rear gear is my second.

and personally I would run a 14 X 3 open air cleaner.

Off course a nice tune and reasonable timing advancement should be automatic.
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Old 08-27-2010, 06:16 AM   #18
Pre5tig3

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Default Re: 1979 Olds 350

Is HEI worth the money or should that be a later thing and how do these 79 blocks like nitrous lol i know there not the strongest but just if i decide to get a little wild or should i deffently not or try getting a older block?
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Old 08-27-2010, 06:28 AM   #19
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Default Re: 1979 Olds 350

Where are you located? F-85 has 2 sets of early heads for a good price. 1 set is stock, the other milled and big valves done recently.
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1988 CSC, Ported #6, 9.5 to 1 Olds 350, 2004R, 3.42 open for now.....
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:18 AM   #20
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Default Re: 1979 Olds 350

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Originally Posted by Pre5tig3 View Post
Is HEI worth the money
Depends if your current distributor is in good shape and working well or not. I ran the original points distributor for many years with excellent results - good quality NAPA/Echlin cap, rotor, and Accel coil, wires, Accel Super coil, and NAPA/Echlin street points with a stiff spring. Blue Streak ignition parts are good, too, but whatever you do stay away from the el cheapo points as their springs are too weak and you'll get points bounce. My setup was good for 5800 RPM and when I eventually switched to HEI there was no difference in performance.

So as I said, if your current setup is working properly you likely won't see any difference.
If you just want to get rid of the points maintenance, then yes it's worth it.
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:11 PM   #21
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Default Re: 1979 Olds 350

Judging by the cars in your sig all of them should be set up for HEI anyways, unless this is going into a pre 74 car. Points are more than fine as he said if you car is set up for points though.

Nitrous, well it can probably handle 50-100shot, but it depends on how heathy the motor is, you would need to upgrade the ignition system for sure and make sure you have the fuel side handled. If the motor is fresh and built right 150 should be fine
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:20 PM   #22
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Default Re: 1979 Olds 350

Quote:
Originally Posted by 71CutlassConvertible View Post
Depends if your current distributor is in good shape and working well or not. I ran the original points distributor for many years with excellent results - good quality NAPA/Echlin cap, rotor, and Accel coil, wires, Accel Super coil, and NAPA/Echlin street points with a stiff spring. Blue Streak ignition parts are good, too, but whatever you do stay away from the el cheapo points as their springs are too weak and you'll get points bounce. My setup was good for 5800 RPM and when I eventually switched to HEI there was no difference in performance.

So as I said, if your current setup is working properly you likely won't see any difference.
If you just want to get rid of the points maintenance, then yes it's worth it.
I run points. I don't see the need other than the cost of points to change to hei, other than posting of the cost of point. I am a tight azz so i have a few sets that I will file down as they get pitted.
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Old 08-27-2010, 01:19 PM   #23
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Default Re: 1979 Olds 350

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Originally Posted by Psyco Diver 69 View Post
Judging by the cars in your sig all of them should be set up for HEI anyways, unless this is going into a pre 74 car. Points are more than fine as he said if you car is set up for points though.

Nitrous, well it can probably handle 50-100shot, but it depends on how heathy the motor is, you would need to upgrade the ignition system for sure and make sure you have the fuel side handled. If the motor is fresh and built right 150 should be fine
Aint no way I personally would spray a WMW 350 block.. no way no how. but that is just me.

Additionally, HEI is more tuning friendly unless you have the right dwell meter or know a few tricks (like a test light or cig box celophane. AND there are breakerless setups available for these now as well.

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Old 08-27-2010, 01:31 PM   #24
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Default Re: 1979 Olds 350

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Originally Posted by Eightupman View Post
Aint no way I personally would spray a WMW 350 block.. no way no how. but that is just me.

Additionally, HEI is more tuning friendly unless you have the right dwell meter or know a few tricks (like a test light or cig box celophane. AND there are breakerless setups available for these now as well.

John
I'd spray it. I plan on spraying my 403 a little bit too, eventually. Just don't go overboard. I see no problem with say a 50 or 75 shot with a good tune.....maybe I'm a fool.
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