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Old 01-16-2013, 01:38 AM   #1
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Default Budget 350/355 Advice?

Hey guys, I haven't posted in a while, but I got to thinking and now I'm curious, haha. I had a much bigger post written, but my computer f---ed up and I lost it all...so in a nutshell, after I do full bolt-ons and suspension mods, I want to run 11's with H/C, and make around 400whp. Most likely a LE/AI matched setup, and a 230-ish (think cc306) cam. Now I'm on a small budget, but what would be best based on price vs performance, and ultimately reliability...go full on with a 355 and forged rods/pistons, or stick with the stock internals? Also can the bone stock crank handle 6400+/-rpms regularly, or should it be undercut and rolled (eg-LT4), with a splayed 4 bolt main (basically, is it overkill?)? And is it hard/necessary to replace the rod and main bearings? I've seen bone stock LT1s handle nasty cams and high (6500-6900) rpms with supporting heads, and I've seen stock LT1s spin bearings...what is the most efficient? Thanks so much fellas!
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:24 PM   #2
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The stock crank will put up with those rpm's, but it's the rods that are going to be your weak link. The big ends and rod bolts will stretch and lose the rod bearings at high rpm. That's why you see so many LT1's with spun rod bearings.

If I was on a budget and wanted to stay with a 350/355 configuration, I'd buy a decent set of rods and forged pistons and hang them on a properly prepped stock crank after a thorough balance. I think I'd run a set of Scat 2-ICR6125-7/16, 6.125" I-beams and Icon IC718 forged flat-tops on the stock crank, cut the deck to 9.015" and run a Victor .026" head gasket. That will give you a decent rod length/stroke ratio and a .041" quench.

From there, if you want to run a cam in the CC306 range (please do not run a CC306...there are many, many better cams out there), have Lloyd Elliott, AI or someone who knows LT1's spec one out for you. I've run a custom 236/242, on a 110 LSA in a 383 LT1 with good success, but that might be a bit much for what you're doing. Lloyd's 232/240 would be a good choice as well. You'll need some head work to run a cam like these, but it will be worthwhile!

If you've got the money, a splayed 4 bolt setup is certainly nice, but not 100% necessary in your case. Plus, it's quite spendy to do correctly.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:42 PM   #3
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I agree on the semi custom cam from LE, it doesn't cost any more than an off the shelf one and will match car and mods a little better. I ran the stock bottom end at the track for three years shifting at 65-6800 RPM's before a rod bolt stretched and spun a bearing. If you don't do four bolt mains, again really not needed for this application, get ARP studs and have it align honed.
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:02 PM   #4
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I'm gonna be the 3rd person to tell you to walk away from the 306 cam .

If you're gonna have Lloyd Elliot or Advance Induction do heads for you.....let THEM also do the cam for you.

They will match the cam to the capabilities of the heads and the resulting compression ratio of the engine. The result will be an engine that makes as much or more power than the '306' cam.....and at the same time, with give you a faster/quicker car at the track, and better drivability on the street.

As far as the '355' is concerned.....4-bolt mains won't be necessary.....but you can do it anyway; I mean.....it's an option that you can choose.....your engine .

Depending on your budget, you can simply rebuild the engine and reuse the existing rotating assembly (350ci); of course, you'd want to have the crank polished and (re-)balanced. You could also go with forged pistons and rods ($$$$).....I'd at least do rods.

If you go the 355 route, then you'd need to do pistons too.



Just understand.....the more parts you swap, the higher you budget's gonna have to be. The only real advice I'll give ya is this.....if you're gonna spray it (NO2) then you'll want to use forged pistons.

BTW.....yes, the stock crank will rev to 6400 RPMs as long as everything is properly balanced.

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SR 398ci in the works
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:14 AM   #5
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Wow guys, great info! Firstly, Dynamic, you really know your stuff. Basically everything to the exact detail, thanks for not giving me any guesswork haha. And, no, I won't get a 306, I was just using that as a common reference so everyone had an idea of what size/characteristics I'm after. I will DEFINITELY get a matched head and cam from either AI or LE (probably AI as much as I hear about their work). And Mystery Bird, that's why I was kinda sorta leaning towards leaving it stock, I've seen quite a few stock motored cars running H/C with no problems. KW, like I said, I will let whoever I'm buying from pick the best cam for me (: Now I know later F bodies came with a powdered con-rod vs the early pink rods, which are supposedly stronger, I've heard they can hold over 500hp. If this is anywhere near true, I would trust them to hold up to a little over 400 if I replaced the bearings and did ARP bolts. And I'm sure a 4 bolt isn't even close to necessary for what I want, it's just a little peace of mind I suppose. Well hell guys, the more I hear it...I guess I'll eventually save up and get rods and pistons and get it bored if I have to, maybe even have it splayed. BUT, say if in the meantime, I wanted to just run H/C on a stock motor, could it live, or should I go ahead and replace the bearings and do ARP bolts? Would that be too much of a PITA to justify? By the way, this motor will never see Nitrous, and I wouldn't be taking it to 6400+ constantly. Anyway, sorry for the long-winded-ness, and thanks for such great answers fellas!
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Black 1997 Trans Am A4 "Konstaze"
Mostly Stock with CAI, SLP Loudmouth 1 and factory 3.23s, full bolt ons in progress...

Red 1985 Toyota MR2 M5 "The Ferrari"
New DD, JDM Red Top Small Port 4age swap, 2.25" straight pipe, black DR20's and other appearance stuff...getting the bugs worked out.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:42 AM   #6
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You can spin it that high now and then if your bottom end has been taken care of and mileage isn't too high. I beat the crap out of mine for three years like I said up to 6800 and didn't care if it blew. That's on the street and at the track once a month for 3-10 runs at a time.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:30 AM   #7
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Well...I'm seriously thinking about just getting the heads and cam and running them in my car for a while until I can get internals...Ultimately I want to turbo the car, but that will probably be several years for now...unsure if I should get low compression pistons when I put it back together, or just run stock internals and save up for a forged 383 or 396 setup in the meantime...SO MANY CHOICES. Honestly, I don't want the fastest car on the road, but I want a great handling, good looking car, that still has enough power to surprise people. Ultimately, I want to do a T56 swap, full on race suspension, and I'm not sure about the engine just yet. For now I just want respectable power haha.
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Mostly Stock with CAI, SLP Loudmouth 1 and factory 3.23s, full bolt ons in progress...

Red 1985 Toyota MR2 M5 "The Ferrari"
New DD, JDM Red Top Small Port 4age swap, 2.25" straight pipe, black DR20's and other appearance stuff...getting the bugs worked out.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:51 AM   #8
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I did the t56 swap, lasted about three months. I prefer a high stall auto. You will have to add that to your list, a higher stall converter.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:24 PM   #9
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That's why I wanna do a T56...I'll keep the auto as long as I'm doing bolt ons, and MIGHT go to a 2000 or 2500 stall, but I absolutely hate big stalls. They're just not for me. I know they are great for drag cars, but I want to do road course/auto-X racing etc, and I want the control of a manual. Plus I just don't like my car sounding like it has one speed haha.
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Mostly Stock with CAI, SLP Loudmouth 1 and factory 3.23s, full bolt ons in progress...

Red 1985 Toyota MR2 M5 "The Ferrari"
New DD, JDM Red Top Small Port 4age swap, 2.25" straight pipe, black DR20's and other appearance stuff...getting the bugs worked out.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:15 PM   #10
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Have you driven in a car with a modern day lock up style converter? They don't even compare to the old school or full race converters. I DD a 3600 and will be going to a 4000 this year.
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Best 1/4 so far 10.87@ 123, 1.48 60ft, 3450lbs.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:37 PM   #11
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I just looked into it...a locked is where the car free revs, and unlocked is basically like having the clutch disengaged in a standard, right? Can't you get a switch to lock it, so you can drive the car normally, and then unlock it to launch it at high rpms? Sorry for sounding like an idiot, I've just never looked into stalls because they've always seemed like a drag only, straight line kinda thing,
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Black 1997 Trans Am A4 "Konstaze"
Mostly Stock with CAI, SLP Loudmouth 1 and factory 3.23s, full bolt ons in progress...

Red 1985 Toyota MR2 M5 "The Ferrari"
New DD, JDM Red Top Small Port 4age swap, 2.25" straight pipe, black DR20's and other appearance stuff...getting the bugs worked out.

Last edited by Rockerdude29; 01-17-2013 at 07:27 PM. Reason: Confusion on the subject.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:34 PM   #12
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Not that it's a high stall converter.....but the TC in your car is a lockup converter.....and the lockup function is controlled by the PCM.

BTW.....auto-a and turbo is not a very good match.

Might wanna just do a high-torque stroker for that.

Jus' sayin'........

KW
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Competition Cam 236/242 Custom Grind
58mm TB, Clear Image 1 3/4" Quad-1 Headers with 3" Cut-outs, DynoMax 2.5" Cat-back
Yank 3200 stall TC, 4.10 gears
Bryan Herter tuning = 419 rwHP @ 6250 and 450 rwTQ @ 3750
SR 398ci in the works
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:19 PM   #13
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I make basically 40rwhp on the nose with stock intake and and bottom end. I reguarly see 6500 rpm when i merge on the interstate. If your gonna do a manual then id add a new rear to your list. Auto with a high converter cushions the impact on the rear vs all the power right to it with a stick. Thats my 2 cents take it like a grain of salt
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:57 PM   #14
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Btw wats your budget?
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:35 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockerdude29 View Post
I just looked into it...a locked is where the car free revs, and unlocked is basically like having the clutch disengaged in a standard, right? Can't you get a switch to lock it, so you can drive the car normally, and then unlock it to launch it at high rpms? Sorry for sounding like an idiot, I've just never looked into stalls because they've always seemed like a drag only, straight line kinda thing,
Not even close. All car have a different stall speed to make use of their torque and power level and the lock up feature engages the clutches in the converter one to one with the engine speed. All modern autos have a locking converter. Do some more research and watch some videos with people driving in car with a higher stall speed. My 3600 drives like stock until you really put your foot down.
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Best 1/4 so far 10.87@ 123, 1.48 60ft, 3450lbs.
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