Ď71 Chevelle 350, looking for direction - Chevelle Tech
Engine General Engine Discussion.

 5Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old Jul 16th, 19, 3:32 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 10
Ď71 Chevelle 350, looking for direction

My Ď71 Chevelle Malibu has been in the family forever. Itís currently all original, 2 door coupe with a 350 and automatic transmission. Looking to boost the engine and turn it into a 4 speed manual. Not really a gear head but Iím learning. Looking for the best option to turn this 350 into a fun run about with some get up and go. Itís only got 95k miles on it so feel like a rebuild is a better option than dropping a crate engine in it. After reading lots of posts Iíve only gotten more confused with the multitude of options that are out there. Would love to hear what you guys think is the best set up/direction to go. Thanks in advance for any input. I posted a few pics of her in the intro section.
Slysharky is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old Jul 16th, 19, 3:56 AM
Senior Tech Team
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 10,042
Re: Ď71 Chevelle 350, looking for direction

The best place to start is by figuring out what you want from the car. Do you want a car that is basically a cruiser with more power than stock that has a bit of a lopey idle, to take to the track or something in between? This is the most important thing you can do, if you miss the mark in either direction you wonít be happy with the finished product. Do you want headers or stock exhaust manifolds, stock heads or aftermarket. Whatís your budget including parts, machine work, assembly and installation. Donít forget to factor in the smaller parts that go along with a rebuild, but arenít strictly part of the engine.
blue_69_malibu likes this.
Steve R is online now  
post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old Jul 16th, 19, 9:33 AM
Lifetime Premium Member
steve
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Bucks County PA
Posts: 1,102
Re: Ď71 Chevelle 350, looking for direction

Like Steve said, figure out what you want. My 71 was a 2spd 307. Then I put a 350/TH350 in it only to pull them out right after and put in a LQ9(6.0) with a T56/6speed in it. If you want simple, you can do the basic 350 stuff and throw a cam in it. Things add up fast.
Steve R likes this.

71 malibu 6spd 6.0 procharged
2011 streetglide stage 1- sold
05 F350 dually- 602 HP 853 ft lbs torque
former KC-10A Chief-"Our Goal Is Your Hole"
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
71'bu is offline  
 
post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old Jul 17th, 19, 2:34 AM
Lifetime Premium Member
Al
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: SO CAL...Huntington Beach and Rancho Cucamonga
Posts: 5,195
Garage
Re: Ď71 Chevelle 350, looking for direction

What's our budget?
71350SS likes this.
DUTCH MAX HEADWORK is offline  
post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old Jul 17th, 19, 3:58 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 10
Re: Ď71 Chevelle 350, looking for direction

Whatís a budget? Arenít cars like women....they take it all? Iíd be happy around $3,500 but think $5k is more reasonable which means Iíll end up spending $7,500 and saying crap whyíd I do that? She just feels tired currently and the tranny is slipping on a more regular basis so feel like itís time to put some life back in her. I donít see myself taking her to the track but Iíd like to be able to open it up and know Iíve still got more. And since I want to add more power I figure now is the time to convert the tranny to a manual. But with all the different setups out there I just donít know where to focus.
Slysharky is offline  
post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old Jul 17th, 19, 7:28 AM
Senior Tech Team
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 10,042
Re: Ď71 Chevelle 350, looking for direction

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slysharky View Post
Whatís a budget? Arenít cars like women....they take it all? Iíd be happy around $3,500 but think $5k is more reasonable which means Iíll end up spending $7,500 and saying crap whyíd I do that? She just feels tired currently and the tranny is slipping on a more regular basis so feel like itís time to put some life back in her. I donít see myself taking her to the track but Iíd like to be able to open it up and know Iíve still got more. And since I want to add more power I figure now is the time to convert the tranny to a manual. But with all the different setups out there I just donít know where to focus.
Your budget is tight. Iíd be surprised if the transmission swap doesnít eat close to $2,500 of your budget by the time it leaves the shop. A good transmission plus the bellhousing, clutch, flywheel, clutch linkage, shifter, transmission hump and possible new carpet adds up fast. An engine rebuild, even with just a few performance upgrades can get out of hand quickly, especially when you add in labor. Itís good you know what you want. Iíd talk to your mechanic and hash out a plan and do some research before spending any money. That will be the key at keeping costs down. Know exactly what you are buying when it comes to the transmission, do your research, pickings can be slim and expensive in the Bay Area.

Steve R

Last edited by Steve R; Jul 17th, 19 at 7:30 AM. Reason: C
Steve R is online now  
post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old Jul 17th, 19, 7:50 PM
von
Lifetime Founding Member
Von
 
Join Date: Oct 1998
Location: Mooresville, IN (Indianapolis)
Posts: 14,400
Re: Ď71 Chevelle 350, looking for direction

On the engine do you want the stock original 350 4 bbl look or the "aftermarket" look?

von '69 Malibu Team Chevelle Member #15
[img]

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
von is offline  
post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old Jul 17th, 19, 10:37 PM
Lifetime Premium Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1998
Location: Florida
Posts: 10,896
Re: Ď71 Chevelle 350, looking for direction

My opinion on the engine.

If the bearings are still good, I would research what a jump to a Felpro 1094 heads yields in compression ratio then get a cam that works with that compression and a set of 195, 2.02 aftermarket aluminium heads. Stay with a flat tappet for money sake.

If you need a total rebuild, I vote to get a 383 rotating assembly and the same heads mentioned above.

67 chevelle malibu / SS/ custom

Currently undergoing a metal work to remove all rust, if I ever get there.

Cant decide on prostreet or cruiser with a 4 speed.
Aaron is offline  
post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old Jul 18th, 19, 12:01 AM
Tech Team
Jim
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 360
Re: Ď71 Chevelle 350, looking for direction

I've done mine in stages over time to soften the blow $$. Started with a similar setup - 350/TH350 and 2.73 rearend. Changed rearend to 3.73 knowing my next step was a 200R4. This by itself made a tired 350 feel like a new engine. Now I've got a crate engine in the garage waiting for assembly as the final phase of the drive train. I didn't want anything too radical - just a street cruiser that will respond when you put your foot into it - similar to what it sounds like you're looking for.

If you can't afford everything you want together, you may be able to similarly do it in logical stages and be able to drive and have fun in between.

jim
Jim's69Ragtop is offline  
post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old Jul 18th, 19, 12:03 AM
Team Member
Tony
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 3,211
Garage
Re: Ď71 Chevelle 350, looking for direction

My totally biased opinion is as follows: Two Step It.

Step 1: ditch the manual tranny b/c cash is tight. instead spend 1500 or so on a new TH-350. Keep the stock converter....for now. Have your carb and distributor professionally tuned on a dyno. 200-500 bucks more. Do any other basic maintenance that is needed.

Step 2: Save up about 7K or so. Then build a 383 like mine, get a custom converter from a place like Edge, and enjoy all of your low 12 second passes while being a totally mellow cruiser.

'69 Malibu 383/TCI TH350/8.2 3.36 Eaton Posi. Street Edge 10" 2800, E-Tec 170s, Custom Mike Jones HR Cam, RPM Air-Gap, StreetAvenger 770, Pertronix HEI, Hedman 1 5/8" Headers, Moser Axles, PMT 1320R Kit. [email protected] 111 MPH, 1.6865 60 ft, Nitto 555
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
blue_69_malibu is offline  
post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old Jul 18th, 19, 11:05 AM
Lifetime Premium Member
Tom
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Traverse City, MI
Posts: 108
Re: Ď71 Chevelle 350, looking for direction

My opinion - YRMV!

If you are looking at a rebuild, do not even bother with the stock heads unless you want the stock look. On a tight budget Summit has their own replacement cast iron head with 2.02/1.6 valves and 72cc chambers - with a flattop piston that would give you about 9.3:1 compression and the heads are the updated fast burn chambers with 165cc intake runners.

For pistons I would go with a flattop Hypereutectic (again Summit has their house brand) with the stock crank and stock rods - freshened up of course. Not saying the 350 is the only game in town, but they can make a good street engine.

For a cam, I would recommend you contact the manufacture (Comp Cams, Isky, Engle or what ever brand you would like to use) and discuss what you are looking for in performance. the right cam with the above heads and pistons can easily make 350 - 400 HP. The tech staff can help you pick the cam that best suites you goals.

If your budget were not tight, a 383 is a great alternative. You would have areas in the block that would have to be clearanced as well as the rods. Pistons are a little more than 350 pistons plus the cost of a crank (there is cost in freshening up the old crank). What ever route you end up going, the best money spent is in the heads, it will not matter what cam you choose if the heads cannot breath enough - TBI 350's and 454's are proof of this!
1975TypeS-3 is offline  
post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old Jul 19th, 19, 7:51 AM
Bob
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Atl
Posts: 27
Re: Ď71 Chevelle 350, looking for direction

I would start with headers and good freeflowing mufflers, my experience with small block engines indicates the cam and timing chain are seriously
degraded with your mileage, just a mild cam and new timing set will provide a lot of snap, unless you can find a used trans I agree changing to manual will probably cost $ 2500 but it's much more fun to drive
DUTCH MAX HEADWORK likes this.
pbcbob is offline  
post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old Jul 19th, 19, 10:34 AM
Tech Team
Jim
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Central MD
Posts: 51
Garage
Re: Ď71 Chevelle 350, looking for direction

My opinion...If its an all original numbers matching car, personally I would keep that aspect intact. Get the transmission rebuilt, crisping up the shifts. New converter (stock, or just a smidge above, nothing crazy). Rebuild the engine with minor modifications. If the cylinder bores are good you can just cut the ridge and hone the cylinders with new rings, or go .030 over with a new set of pistons/rings. Get the heads/valves done with new guides that'll work on today's pump gas and new springs to match a mild cam. A kit like the K12-238-2 from Competition Cams would include a good cam for your application and includes springs, lifters, timing gears/chain, seals, and spring retainers and will be under $350. Upgrade the distributor to electronic ignition.

Now here is the only thing I would change. Edelbrock Performer manifold, a Holley 600 with vacuum secondaries (or if you already have a 4bbl Q-Jet, get that rebuilt and tuned), and a set of headers with dual exhaust. (Keep ALL the original parts you replace and store them away for safe keeping, and if the stock exhaust is good don't let some butcher hack it up and scrap it, keep that too)

Make sure to dial in (degree) the cam and gasket match the intake ports on the heads and intake.

You'll have a basically unmolested "numbers matching" Malibu (getting harder to find) that you'll be able to drive anywhere (assuming the chassis/suspension is all good to go) and still have some lead footed fun for probably WAY under your budget.

Again, my opinion.
DUTCH MAX HEADWORK likes this.

'71 SS 350
3rd and 6th owner
2017 Harley Davidson Road Glide Ultra
Raineman is offline  
post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old Jul 19th, 19, 5:03 PM
Lifetime Premium Member
Al
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: SO CAL...Huntington Beach and Rancho Cucamonga
Posts: 5,195
Garage
Re: Ď71 Chevelle 350, looking for direction

Do you have a posi rear end or a 12 bolt now? Figure out what your rear gear ratio is and we can help recommend a trans to work with what you have.
DUTCH MAX HEADWORK is offline  
post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old Jul 20th, 19, 3:22 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 10
Re: Ď71 Chevelle 350, looking for direction

Hey all, loving the information and opinions! Thank you. I am torn because I like the all original aspect of it but I also see potential to make it a lot more fun to drive. I am agreeing with everybody thatís said go in steps. So I think Iíll be holding off on the transmission and focus the money on the engine this phase. Time to research up on the information youíve all given me so I can ask some educated questions. Great forum here, and excited to get this project rolling once I get the direction dialed in.
Slysharky is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Chevelle Tech forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address. Note, you will be sent a confirmation request to this address.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome