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Discussion Starter #1
Ok you guys, here's an opportunity to make up my mind for me (since I'm too lame). I've got a '70 Malibu fake SS. see http://members.tripod.com/dfdoler for a quick picture. It's a small block 350/TH350/2.73 8.2" 10-bolt snooze-mobile now.

I've done the SB to BB brainstorming and wonder if I'd be living out of cardboard box from the cost of it all and if it would ever run again. My inclination is to build a SB motor, buy a TCI or BM Turbo 350 with a 2400 converter install a 3.73 12-bolt posi rear for good measure.

Question is - Installing a BB requires new springs, radiator, support parts, headers, TH400, crossmember, exhaust work to mach the headers along with cost of BB parts and work.
Is it THAT big of a deal or is it ego ? Would a nicely warmed up small block and all the saving that go with it make YOU happy or would you morgage the house and kids for the rat ?

I trust your opinion. You've never let me down before!



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You mistyped your URL. Here it is:

http://members.tripod.com/dfdolerjr

I have a similar '70. 350/350/2.73 12 bolt. I have future plans to build the small block. I just upgraded suspension with new springs and do not want to deal with them again. I am thinking a rebuild to a 383 would be pretty stout. I also want to change the 2.73 gears.

I think you are right on track with the SB build and the 3.73 rear. Good luck!
 

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GM has some real nice crate motors that you might want to think about.....ZZ4, HO350, ZZ502, etc. and even come with a 12/12 warranty.

Since your car has a SB now it will be cheaper to stick with a SB.

[This message has been edited by 71velle (edited 04-21-99).]
 

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Just my .02cents but I think that if your budget allows you to spend in the range of say $4,500-5,500 on the engine set-up, I would vote for a stout 383 stroker. With the right parts matched well, you will produce a very strong (and lightweight) mouse for the money and will not need to worry about the mods $$ necessary to fit a rat between the fenders.

Another option may be to forego the 383 and stick with the 350. Instead of spending the extra machine work needed on the 383 set-up, use that extra money and invest it into some serious cylinder heads and build the rest of your engine with quality matched components. If I were on a budget and needed to also address transmission, rear-end, brakes, etc., the latter option is probably the best plan of attack for your project Chevelle. As far as satisfaction goes, a nicely warmed up (or screaming hot for that matter) small block has definitely filled my qwest for forward motivation! Have fun with your build-up!

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The big block conversion is definetly expensive. However, if your patient and lucky, you can find the right BB for your budget. I did and I am currently in the process of the conversion on my 67. When it's said and done, I will be in the neighborhood of 5,500.00. It's full of goodies and it is fresh. I go big block.

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If you're going to clone a '70 SS then it has to be a big block doesn't it? The Chevelle conversion to big block is the easiest one to do and you can do it in stages. It'll run behind a two-core A/C radiator (I've had to do it) and in front of a TH350 for a while. aYou don't have to change your tranny crossmember or engine mounts. Yes you'll need new headers (but you'd do that with a small block too). You can use the starter, carb, and distributer from your small block too. Springs can wait for a while too. Accessory brackets can be found at junk yards.

Yes it'll cost more to go big block but it seems to me that that's what you want except you're balking at the cost. Do it in stages, to offset the cost and allow carpeting in your cardboard box. Achieve the higher goal - you'll be glad you did in the end.

[This message has been edited by Kevin (edited 04-21-99).]
 

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My vote is for the stout 383 even though you did clone it.

Remember though, whatever you decide, that it'll probably cost you more than what you expect. So as a good rule of thumb, take what you think you're going to spend and double it.

-Joe Y.
P.S. you might want weather proof your cardboard box with shingles.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well the SB pundits slightly outweigh the SB pundits. (is there a pun in there some where). So as to get my cardbard box freshly painted, carpeted and shingled, I'm leaning to the small block. I'm getting lazy over the years and the BB looks like a LOT of work - much more than installing the central vacuum cleaner system in the cardbard box.

To be fair and accurate, with a SB I couldn't really call the car an 'SS' so I'd have to just call it an 'S'.

My wife says that I should bite the bullet and do the BB swap. She's also the one that thought that 'War & Peace' would make a good afternood read at the beach.

I'm still not sure.......


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Find a suitable small block core, don't leave out the little 400.

Build your replacement engine as you can, time and money.

Use your vehicle as normal while you do the build.

When all done it will be an easy swap-out and shorten your down time.

John
 

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Great looking clone Dave. Why not listen to your wife on this one, you know you do any other time. Maybe she will hold off on the carpets? If you went to all the trouble to create the clone, why not finish it. I just finished doing the exact same thing and installed a 454. I am running the TH 350 trans for now. I had an original LS6 back in the early 70's, and always regretted selling it. So I did the next best thing by creating a clone. I know what it is, I never deny what it is, and I would not try to sell it as a true SS, but at 60 mph, it is really difficult to tell. I have spent close to $5000 on the conversion, but I am totally satisfied with the end result.

Love those BB's.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Oh the pain, the confusion, the wallet ache.

So I'm sitting in a restaraunt with the wife after work talking about the days events (bosses, projects, vacations, etc..) and out of the blue she says "you really want a big block don't you". I mean, how wierd does your life get when you start obsessing over a car. My wife is a petite little blond secretary who thinks the most valuable item in her 98 Saturn SL2 is the vanity mirror. Her speaking of big blocks over dinner is like me discussing the merits of Este Lauder nail polish over Cafe Latte' at Starbucks.

Go figure.

[This message has been edited by ddoler (edited 04-23-99).]
 

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well, you certainly wouldn't want to disappoint the little lady, would you?

seriously though, I'd run a 406 SB, 9:1, hydraulic roller, Dart heads. Drive right by the typical 396 and cheaper.

Tom
 

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OK now I KNOW you want the big block. You have a beautiful '70 Chevelle and now you're going to try to be practical? Sure you can get some small blocks that are absolutely awesome but when you open that hood...there is nothing like a big block - nothing.
 

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A car that looks like that is expected to have a big block in it. I am not biased, I've never even owned a big block. But if I were in your shoes I would put one in it. If I were walking up to your car at a show or something and looked under the hood I would be disappointed if I saw a small block.
There is just something about an SS that means big block.
 

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I just finished a 70 Malibu conv for my wife that was 307/3sp/ac & pwr. It is now SB400/Muncie + cruise(factory from the salvage yard) and Cowl Ind Hood (all new pieces). The rear is 3.08 10bolt open. The SB400 is plenty for her and I am happy with it, I built it pretty healthy with headers. The grand total on the COMPLETE hood, painted and installed was about$1100. I could have put that $1100 with the $$ for the SB400 and built one helluva 454. But then the car would still have a flat hood. The total for everything I did to upgrade a plain looking Malibu conv was about $4500. Now it runs moderately strong and looks super. I would love to have a 454/502 in it, but also, I like having the extra room under the hood with a SB, much easier to work on. So, pick your poison.

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[This message has been edited by DZAUTO (edited 04-23-99).]
 
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