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Username Post: Where to Start on Former Drag Car?        (Topic#348972)
tyler2you 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 4

Loc: N. Alabama
Reg: 01-02-18
01-02-18 07:57 AM - Post#2719769    

I apologize for the long read, but thought I'd try to provide as much info as possible. I'm looking for advice on how to tackle the powertrain portion of a project I picked up. I recently bought a 64 Chevy II that was a Pro Street kind of car (more strip than street as some things were gutted) with the intention of putting it back to primarily street use.

The owner of the car unfortunately wasn't the builder, so I'm working on limited info. I talked briefly with the builder on the phone while looking at the car and he gave me some details on the car he put together about 19 years ago. He put it away in 2006 and sold it to the previous owner a few years later. It's been started and driven up and down the street once a month or so since 2009, but hasn't had any other attention.

Here's what I know:

-Engine is a SBC. Car builder said it was a 4 bolt main block at .030 over for 355 CI put together by a local engine shop. Domed pistons and ported/polished iron angle plug heads (64cc combustion chambers) that he had $2-3K in. He said static CR was in the 11.5 to 1 neighborhood and he always ran it on race or Aviation gas from a barrel. Has a pretty radical roller cam in it, but he didn't remember any specs. He said the bottom end had 6 years on it with anywhere from 5-12 1/8 mi. runs a year and light street use.

-Engine pulled very hard with no obvious issues when I drove it (no smoke, leaks, noises, etc.) Best 1/8 mi. ET was 6.95. Car has a Holley 4150 on it and a Victor Jr. intake. TH350 transmission w/ a 2K converter. Rear end is a Ford 8" w/ 4.11s.

I plan to install a Heidt's front clip on it as the first order of business, so I've got some time to figure out the powertrain. I'm looking for recommendations on how to make the car drivable on the street on pump gas without sinking a ton of money into the engine right now.

Would you pull it all apart and put in dished pistons? Ditch the 64cc heads and slap on ones with 75cc chambers? New short block or some other approach. Thanks in advance for any advice on how to approach this.



 




raycow 
Honored Member
Posts: 27992
raycow
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Reg: 11-26-02
01-02-18 12:29 PM - Post#2719786    
    In response to tyler2you

Heads first, to get the CR down to something that can tolerate pump gas. Then street gears, ideally in a complete center section for easy swapping. Maybe a milder cam, but only after you drive it enough to find out whether or not you can live with the grind that's in there now.

If cost isn't too much of an issue, replace the TH350 with an OD trans and re-install the 4.11s. Of course you can always do that at a later date.

Ray

Those who choose an automatic transmission want transportation. Those who choose a manual transmission want to drive.


 
tyler2you 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 4

Loc: N. Alabama
Reg: 01-02-18
01-02-18 12:55 PM - Post#2719793    
    In response to raycow

  • raycow Said:
Heads first, to get the CR down to something that can tolerate pump gas.
Ray



Thanks. That was my thought at first, but after looking at the prices on 75cc heads, I'm reconsidering ($1500 and up for a pair). If the cylinders are in good shape, maybe do a ball hone and install a cheaper set of dished forged pistons and new rings to bring down the compression. I believe Summit has their own line of forged pistons for around $300 a set.





 
Impala65SS 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4085
Impala65SS
Loc: Sweden
Reg: 08-23-07
01-02-18 01:28 PM - Post#2719795    
    In response to tyler2you

That engine sounds like it's excellent for "another drag racer".
I'd sell the race engine as is - since it seems to be a well built race engine. For the money I'd get another street engine with a hydraulic roller. Like a 96-00 vortec. If you are adventurous - an LS-series. 5.3 LM7 are often sold cheap with their respective 4L60E overdrive tranny, it's feasible even in my backwards part of the world. An all aluminum 350hp LS1 would be nice in a small, light car like yours. The money and time for your first LS-operation is of course twice or thrice that of an ordinary smallblock (like the vortec) once you're done (at least over here).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXn2QVipK2o&a mp;fea...


 
tyler2you 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 4

Loc: N. Alabama
Reg: 01-02-18
01-02-18 05:12 PM - Post#2719821    
    In response to Impala65SS

  • Impala65SS Said:
That engine sounds like it's excellent for "another drag racer".
I'd sell the race engine as is - since it seems to be a well built race engine. For the money I'd get another street engine with a hydraulic roller. Like a 96-00 vortec.



Thanks--that's probably the way I'll go. I'm not looking to get into the complexity of an LS just yet. Thinking about this guy:

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/mll-bp3833ct1





 
Don57 
"13th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1372
Don57
Age: 68
Loc: Illinois
Reg: 04-28-00
01-03-18 08:30 AM - Post#2719872    
    In response to tyler2you

If the rear is a spool type (common in drag racing), you may want to think about an LSD. Also think about a more practical ratio.

Don
1957 3200 Stepside


 
beagrizzly 
"10th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 1932
beagrizzly
Age: 68
Loc: south texas
Reg: 08-04-12
01-04-18 09:36 AM - Post#2719979    
    In response to tyler2you

Tyler,
You might consider a "working take out" engine from a late model suburban or pickup, for example. By late model, I am talking about a small block, roller cam. You have already stated an aversion to a swap to LS power, so stick with a 350.
Aftermarket intake with a Quadrajet, or Holley carb.
If you try to "undo" the race engine, you'll likely spend a big bunch of bucks. A working takeout would likely cost less than a thousand, and be a bolt in. No streetable cam issues. If you want to cam it a little to get some rumpty, that's cheaply done as well.
With a little foot work, you could likely get an overdrive trans with the engine as a complete unit. Then you can keep your 4:11 gears for performance and still drive it on the street.
If it has exhaust on the car, that would bolt on as well.
Simplicity is the key here.
Just my two pennies.
Griff

if you're gonna be a bear...........

if you're gonna be a bear..................

1960 Biscayne (the 6T)
2005 Yukon XL
2007 GMC Sierra Classic 8.1
2009 Silverado
2011 Escalade ESV


 
tyler2you 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 4

Loc: N. Alabama
Reg: 01-02-18
01-04-18 07:27 PM - Post#2720043    
    In response to beagrizzly

  • beagrizzly Said:
Tyler,
You might consider a "working take out" engine from a late model suburban or pickup, for example.




Thanks for the advice. I'm tossing it all around now.

The latest episode of Engine Masters on Motor Trend has me wondering whether running E-85 in this thing might be an option. A new carb and fuel filter should get me running and I would get to keep the performance benefit of the high compression motor. More research to do . . .



 
454cid 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3026

Age: 45
Loc: West Michigan
Reg: 02-18-12
01-05-18 05:39 PM - Post#2720156    
    In response to beagrizzly

  • beagrizzly Said:
..By late model, I am talking about a small block, roller cam. You have already stated an aversion to a swap to LS power, so stick with a 350.



That's not really late model, anymore..... the last 350's are pushing 20 years old. Still a good idea, but finding one that's got lower mileage might take a bit.


99 K3500 RCLB


 




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