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Author Topic:   350 on a budget
JordanBlanton
Dirt Newbie

Total posts: 4
posted December 23, 2005 08:45 PM  
I'm thinking about trying to get started in a local bomber division around here. Problem is, I'd be doing it on a fairly tight budget (yeah, I know; who isn't?) I'd be buying a metric car almost race-ready minus engine/trans.
The engine rules are basically iron heads, iron manifolds, stock type carbs, hydraulic cams. My goal would be to put the engine together for around $2,000. I was thinking something along these lines: 350 block, stock crank (any chance of a stock crank holding up?), 6" Eagle SIR rods, hypereutetic pistons (something in the 10:1 range to live on 97 octane), ported stock heads, perhaps a high-flow iron intake manifold, a tuned 4-barrel and I have no clue on the cam, but that's something I figure I could talk to different manufacturers about to get an idea of what I need.
This would be run at a 1/4 mile dirt track. I'm obviously not looking to take home any track championships, just wanting to go out and have a little fun at a penny-pincher's expense. I think I could get it together for around 2 grand. Any chances what I described would not self-destruct after 3 laps? Any tips for a good engine setup on a tight budget? Thanks.

john56h
Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 80
posted December 23, 2005 09:17 PM  
I've had good luck with stock cast crankshafts, but I always spent the extra $$$ for a good balancing job. Although, sometimes you can buy one of the economy aftermarket cranks brand new for about the same price as re-grinding a stock one. If you don't mind running off-shore parts. Your $2000 budget sounds a little low if you are starting from scratch. Remember to add in for oil pan & pickup, water pump, fuel pump, ignition, etc...

oceanridge motorsports
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 54
posted December 23, 2005 11:15 PM  
A stock crank is WAY better than one of those $179 scatter jobs . Cast is light , 350 hp. , 6000 rpm . It will live all year with a proper balance job . Steel is heavier , harder on the wallet , and not really needed for your application .It would be nice to have . We have turned cast cranks 7000 , with 12 to 1 comp . and not had a problem all season , it was a hand grenade , just never went off , but it was machined right , dead on the tolerances , and very carefully assembled . Check out midwest motorsports , they have a $1000 shortblock , there heads are about 450 , they have an "altered" intake for about a 100, get your self an hei , and a q-jet from knetic , some manifolds off of a mid 90's pickup , 2 grand , assembled ,race ready , and pretty competive !

johder
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 194
posted December 24, 2005 07:38 AM  
what about pulleys, alternator, water pump?, balancer, fuel pump, valve covers, breathers, air filter and housing, gotta have the outerwears unless your engine likes eating dirt. oil pan and pick up, gaskets, etc...there is well over 500 dollars sitting there.

i say get a hyper rebuild kit from summit for about $230. Have your block checked out...honed...have him check out your rods, resize if necessisary $10 per rod, have him regrind your crank $100 to 10/10. Press the pistons on your rods. Get a cam from midwest #8. Bout 100 with lifters. $30 double row timming chain. That is a pretty solid bottom end for about 500. Spend 500 on a set of heads. 1/4 mile track i'd reccomend the 416 castings. 58cc chambers, bump up your compression about a point. You dont need 7000 rpm flow..cleaned up they will pull to 6-6500. Which is all you'll wanna turn on a small track like that. Build it to pull out of the turns, lotta torque. I bought a set of 416s from local machine shop for 200...shaved, gasket matched, hogged out, flow benched, machined for screw in studs and umbrella seals, and a valve job. THey were done for someone and they never came back. Check your local shop for a set of heads already done that none has ever paid or picked up. You can get a good deal on stuff like that.

Spend the 100 on a GOOD kevko pan and pick up.

Hope some of this has helped. Derek

john56h
Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 80
posted December 24, 2005 09:44 AM  
My experience with cast cranks has been better than with forged. The forged cranks usually show cracks after one season if they are magnafluxed. The cast cranks have the ductility to take the pounding and not crack. And it is true...they are lighter, by a few pounds, than forged. I have successfully used the 305 crank in the 350 also. It is the same crank (stroke, jornal size, bolt pattern, etc..), but it has had some weight removed to compensate for the small pistons in a 305 engine. It saves the machinist from having to drill so much weight out of a 350 crank to balance it for lightweight pistons. And I agree with OceanRidge, the offshore stuff hasn't impressed me. The quality doesn't seem too good and the radius at the journal filets seemed to be out of spec on the one I had.

[This message has been edited by john56h (edited December 24, 2005).]

JordanBlanton
Dirt Newbie

Total posts: 4
posted December 24, 2005 01:19 PM  
So is 10:1 a wise compression ratio to shoot for with hyper pistons on 97 octane pump gas? Any particular 350 blocks I should shy away from when searching (I'll be junkyard diving, and whatever I find will make its way to a machine shop to be prepped and have the rotating assembly installed and balanced). Thanks for the help thus far.

STREET16
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 168
posted December 24, 2005 03:33 PM  
I would stay away from the 350's with the one-piece rear main seal and the ones with the right hand sice dipstick. Other than that, any 350 block should do fine. There isn't anything wrong with the blocks I've advised against, but some of the parts are more expensive.

Eljojo
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1009
posted December 24, 2005 04:46 PM  
You might also kep your eye out for the words "Hecho en Mexico" on the back of the block. I've been told those castings weren't the best. Estos blockos no buenos!

James Ott
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 183
posted December 24, 2005 05:27 PM  
I feel the need to add that if you have never built a motor before you might want to have your local guy do the bottom end for you. Then you can bring home your short block and load the cam and heads and the rest of it. Alot of guy's on here may disagree, but if you are on a budget it might be worth the money for the piece of mind. Then as you go you will run across all kinds of parts either cheap of free and then the next one you can have a go at building yourself. Heck you will need to spend money on alot of tools just to measure the parts. anyway my 2 cents

JordanBlanton
Dirt Newbie

Total posts: 4
posted December 24, 2005 05:29 PM  
quote:
Originally posted by James Ott:
I feel the need to add that if you have never built a motor before you might want to have your local guy do the bottom end for you. Then you can bring home your short block and load the cam and heads and the rest of it. Alot of guy's on here may disagree, but if you are on a budget it might be worth the money for the piece of mind. Then as you go you will run across all kinds of parts either cheap of free and then the next one you can have a go at building yourself. Heck you will need to spend money on alot of tools just to measure the parts. anyway my 2 cents

Yeah; I'll definitely be going that route. The peace of mind in knowing it won't blow up as soon as I peg the throttle will be more than worth the money I pay to have the bottom end assembled for me.

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