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Old 07-17-2011, 08:18 PM   #1
Huhsnare

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Default 1979 350 rocket build

Hello olds family. I bought my 1985 cutlass almost 5 years ago with the dreaded 79 350 already under the hood. Now I've gotten serious about rebuilding the engine to make it into a nice streetable but worthy road warrior. Parts I've already purchased are Lunati voodoo 60801 cam and lifter kit, cloyes double roller, Lunati spring kit 73126K2LUN. I'm going to change out rockers, push rods, oil pump and pan. As far as the stock heads what can I do to them to make them better for this build. What else would I need to make this build a good one. Any info is appreciated thanks in advance

Jeff
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Old 07-17-2011, 08:52 PM   #2
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Default Re: 1979 350 rocket build

Best thing you can do to those heads is chuck em in the trash, find yourself a set of pre 72 heads. It will flow alot better and bump your compression up some. What pistons are you putting in and whats your compression ration? Personally, since its a street build I would go with cast small dish pistons, zero deck the block, that will give you a compression ratio of 9.2:1 which will work well with that cam you have.
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Old 07-17-2011, 09:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1979 350 rocket build

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Originally Posted by Psyco Diver 69 View Post
Best thing you can do to those heads is chuck em in the trash, find yourself a set of pre 72 heads. It will flow alot better and bump your compression up some. What pistons are you putting in and whats your compression ration? Personally, since its a street build I would go with cast small dish pistons, zero deck the block, that will give you a compression ratio of 9.2:1 which will work well with that cam you have.
x2 find some early 68-72 heads
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Old 07-17-2011, 09:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1979 350 rocket build

Ok thanks. Im still learning about compression ratios and the whole thing about the pistons so this advice is pretty helpful. What are the other steps that need to be taken in reference to changing out the pistons as far as the crank, block, and connecting rods?
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: 1979 350 rocket build

Well if your crank and rods are in good shape, then just reuse them. The pistons will come down to if you need to bore the block. If your stock bores are good you can probably keep the stock pistons. Chances though the bores might need to be cleaned up though which will mean you will probably need new pistons
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: 1979 350 rocket build

Also keep in mind that the early heads need to have the bolt holes drilled out to accept the " head bolts.
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Old 07-18-2011, 07:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1979 350 rocket build

Just noticed the o.p. updated his location. Surely now, he'll be getting a bunch of pm's from some guy in S.C. selling him parts.
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1979 350 rocket build

Hey guys sorry about the delay, i had something going on with my account that wouldnt let me reply to any threads. Are there any other ways to boost the compression if I absolutely can't find any of the earlier model heads? Do you guys have part #'s for the small cast dish pistons? I found sone #5's on eBay for about 100 bucks is that reasonable?
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:54 PM   #9
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Default 1979 350 rocket build

Too bad the swap wasn't a 403, with a new chain, duals, & a radiator you are done. The 350 build has the potential for more horsepower, at the trade off of a peaky maximum power rpm and the need for expensive fuel + parts. Bruce (has owned a few 79 350s & 403s) Roe
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1979 350 rocket build

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huhsnare View Post
Hey guys sorry about the delay, i had something going on with my account that wouldnt let me reply to any threads. Are there any other ways to boost the compression if I absolutely can't find any of the earlier model heads? Do you guys have part #'s for the small cast dish pistons? I found sone #5's on eBay for about 100 bucks is that reasonable?
#5 heads for 100? Yes, very reasonable
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:45 PM   #11
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Default Re: 1979 350 rocket build

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Originally Posted by bcroe View Post
Too bad the swap wasn't a 403, with a new chain, duals, & a radiator you are done. The 350 build has the potential for more horsepower, at the trade off of a peaky maximum power rpm and the need for expensive fuel + parts. Bruce (has owned a few 79 350s & 403s) Roe
Lol yeah man I know but I'm just gonna work with what got with the car. Wouldn't mind lucking up on a 403 especially since from what I understand all of the parts I've already bought will work with it also
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:29 AM   #12
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Default Re: 1979 350 rocket build

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Originally Posted by Huhsnare View Post
Are there any other ways to boost the compression if I absolutely can't find any of the earlier model heads?
You can have the current heads milled, use a thinner head gasket, or have the block zero decked. Any of those changes will raise the static compression ratio. And, of course, so will changing out the pistons.

Swapping to the earlier heads would be the way to get the most bang for the buck without digging into the bottom end of the engine, though. In addition to raising the compression ratio, they will also flow better than the #3A heads used in 1979.
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Old 07-21-2011, 06:51 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1979 350 rocket build

All the above is true. But , no matter what heads you have, I would at least do a good valve job on them and back cut the valves.

The better the heads flow the less cam you need. But, getting good low lift numbers are king.
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:33 PM   #14
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Default Re: 1979 350 rocket build

I'm gonna try some of the area salvage yards and hope I get lucky enough to find a decent set. I've also seen a few eBay and craigslist adds also. So hopefully I get lucky. I'm just gathering parts now hopefully I'll have it apart and back together late aug/ mid sept. That's my goal.
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:44 AM   #15
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Default Re: 1979 350 rocket build

This is great. I have a 1977 350 with same 3 a heads. This gives me hope and I hope that you post updates as you go. I'm glad to see someone taking a chance with the later blocks.

Last edited by BigGeorge : 07-22-2011 at 10:45 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:39 PM   #16
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Default Re: 1979 350 rocket build

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Originally Posted by BigGeorge View Post
This is great. I have a 1977 350 with same 3 a heads. This gives me hope and I hope that you post updates as you go. I'm glad to see someone taking a chance with the later blocks.
Yeah I'm going to take plenty of pictures along the way and share with you guys. This is my first build so im pretty hyped up about it. I'm ready to dig into it now but I'm going to be patient and gather these parts first. I'm trying to get all of the expensive stuff out of the way first I'll probably wait until I take the block to the machine shop so I'll know what pistons to go with but they'll most likely be the speed pro pistons. Should I get flat topped or ones with a small dish? And if dished how do I tell how much of a dish
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Old 07-22-2011, 03:32 PM   #17
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Default Re: 1979 350 rocket build

What rear axle ratio do you have?

I know youre looking for engine tips, but you can add some real acceleration to the car right now by upgrading to a 3.xx ratio, and that will still work with your engine upgrades.
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Old 07-22-2011, 06:09 PM   #18
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Default Re: 1979 350 rocket build

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Originally Posted by Huhsnare View Post
they'll most likely be the speed pro pistons. Should I get flat topped or ones with a small dish? And if dished how do I tell how much of a dish
Depends upon what is still available on the market. Last time I checked the 6cc dish L2321F Speed Pro forged pistons were hard to locate.

FYI, you can get the L2320 flat tops and have the machine shop mill a dish into the tops. I have a set with 12 cc dishes milled into them that were destined for a 400E build.
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:46 PM   #19
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Cool Re: 1979 350 rocket build

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Originally Posted by 70W-32 View Post
What rear axle ratio do you have?

I know youre looking for engine tips, but you can add some real acceleration to the car right now by upgrading to a 3.xx ratio, and that will still work with your engine upgrades.
I'm gonna put 3.23 posi gears In the rear while I'm building the engine. I don't really drive the car that much right now I have a 85 Regal wit the 3.8 that I drive around.
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:49 PM   #20
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Default Re: 1979 350 rocket build

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Originally Posted by 71CutlassConvertible View Post
Depends upon what is still available on the market. Last time I checked the 6cc dish L2321F Speed Pro forged pistons were hard to locate.

FYI, you can get the L2320 flat tops and have the machine shop mill a dish into the tops. I have a set with 12 cc dishes milled into them that were destined for a 400E build.
Would it be easier/better to run them as flat tops or getting the dish put in? The piston/block milling, and compression ratio is still foreign to me lol
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:24 PM   #21
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Default Re: 1979 350 rocket build

The 3A heads work for a budget street engine. I had a .030" over '77 350 for the first engine in my '76 (bought the car rolling chassis) when I was 17. My dad cleaned up the the bowls and very little on the port runners and they flowed very close to sbc Edelbrock performer heads. 355, comp 272 cam, performer rpm, Edelbrock 600 cfm carb and headers. The car ran a 15.1 @89mph with a 2.73 gear, turbo 400, stall converter, leaking headers and first time ever being on a drag strip!
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:28 AM   #22
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Default Re: 1979 350 rocket build

I'm in the junk yard. And found a nearly fully assembled olds v8 in a 67 cutlass supreme with #4 heads are the capatible and or good for my build
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Old 07-23-2011, 09:58 AM   #23
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Default Re: 1979 350 rocket build

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I'm in the junk yard. And found a nearly fully assembled olds v8 in a 67 cutlass supreme with #4 heads are the capatible and or good for my build
hell yes, its acctually a 330 you have there and they came with a factory forged crank, grab the whole motor if possible
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:15 AM   #24
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Default Re: 1979 350 rocket build

Yeah, you might want to build the 330 instead!
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:27 AM   #25
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Default Re: 1979 350 rocket build

Those heads should be a direct bolt in. I believe 67 used the same 39 degree cam bank angle. Most 330's used the 45 degree, you cannot swap cams or will run horrible. If you can re ring your block, you will get good compression, right around 9 to 1 with the .028" Corteco gaskets. You could also rebuild the 330 with SBC 350 pistons and rods(cheap) and offset grind the 330 crank. That motor would be much stronger and rev without taking the bottom end out. The only reason the 403 is built because it is a SBO with a huge bore and makes nearly BBO torque.
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