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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From a previous post, I asked about "upgrading" my plain-jane '72 grocery getter with a new motor, trans, and rear. If it makes you mad to think about ruining a matching numbers car, be assured, that I intend to keep all the old parts. For now, though, I am young, and I want to drive my chevy to and fro everyday. I don't have the ability to build my own right know, so I might as well use all new parts, starting with a (gasp!)crate motor. Thinking along those lines, which one should I get? I'd like to go with a small block, only because the parts are cheaper, the tend to suck less gas, and I can still use alot of existing parts. The enigma is that I also want a good bit of muscle, but also reliability. The latter being more important.

My price range tops out at $3000 for the motor.

Any feed-back would be greatly welcomed,
this is a tough one.
 

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Well, if you insist on a crate motor, I suggest a ZZ4 HO. It's a little over your budget( about $3200+shipping), but I believe it's complete except for accessories. Don't sell yourself short, building a 350 is pretty simple and there are many books to guide you through it! I built my first almost two years ago and there is no way that firing up a crate can compare to hearing your first motor rumble to life!!!!
 

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I will take that into consideration. What I really want is a 396, but I don't think they make that in a crate, and scoring one at a junk yard would be rough. In Maryland, they tax junk yards for the cars that are just sitting around, so they get rid of all the oldies. It's becoming a real hassle to find old parts nowadays. Does anyone know how good the "goodwrench" 350 is? It's only $1,200 for a long block, whereas the "target" motor is $2,200. What's the difference?
 

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Don;t neglect to check the auto machine shops in your area as well. They will sometimes have a complete long block for sale ( customer didn't pay, fill in work, etc)and as long as they have a good reputation and stand behind it I think you can get a better mill than the Goodwrench at the same cost.

Heck Wally or Bill K might have a good 350 longblock! They're within driving distance of you.

The Goodwrench 350 is a "hencho en mexico" high volume production piece. OK for a daily driver but I personally wouldn't want to hot rod it at all. The kind of mill that'll live long if it stays between 1000-4000 rpm.

Frankly I think you can get more bag for your buck if you dig around. Email Bill K and see if he has any leads on a complete small block. No hurt in asking and the worst he can say is no. Upside is you might get lucky. A friend of mine just sold a fresh 350/350, 202 heads ( hardened), 4 bolt mill that the customer reniged on. Some lucky dude has a wonderful $1100 mill. (mostly my friends cost of parts and labor).

Additionally, there are many providers of good crate motors in he $1000-2500 prioce range. Other members here will fill you in.

Hey, don;t think you;re less of a man if you don;t rebuild your own mill or tranny.

[This message has been edited by Gene Chas (edited 02-09-2000).]
 

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How about a ZZ2 aluminum headed 350, rated at 345hp, but freshened up, and balanced.the engine is my father in- laws, and on an engine stand at his school. He is the Automotive tech teacher at a highschool in a town above me. He frreshened it up in the early summer, and it can be cranked for examination!It has all the goodies, 4 bolt main, steel crank, pick rods, roller cam, aluminum heads, Z aluminum intake, H.E.I., winadge tray, and it's BAD!!

He is asking $2200 for it, new ones go for $3295 and up.


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1972 Malibu (1 st. car) Project waiting to happen
Team Chevelle # 427
A.C.E.S. # 1282
 

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Sounds like you would prefer the "crate" engine route. And it sounds like you are a little unsure about engine building, so a crate would be a logical choice.

The Goodwrench 350 is a good value. It has the 4-bolt main block which would be a great building block for something better later on down the road. But if you ever decided to increase the performance on this engine, you would have to get better heads and cam.

I would recommend the 350HO with 300HP. Its got good heads and cam. I've installed several of these and the owners were always impressed. Cost is about $2200. That leaves you with a little bit left over.

All above suggestions are good too. Good luck!
 
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