Buick 350 Shortblock build

Discussion in 'Small Block Tech' started by DauntlessSB92, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. 8ad-f85

    8ad-f85 Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure what would be considered "reasonable" for porting, but it's worth it's weight in gold for some moderate bowl work.
    I would consider a basic amount of porting to be paramount to a project like this.

    Not to bash anyone either...
    It isn't a difficult guess when designing a head, the cores aren't designed blindly.
    I can't imagine casting a head with a ton of porting still required from a performance oriented company, given the other heads TA has done.
    The idea is to hit the target market with the basic casting and leave plenty of potential to work with.
  2. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut

    I agree, I would be willing to bet that out of the box the TA heads will be better than 90% of the ported iron heads.... Time will tell.
  3. UNDERDOG350

    UNDERDOG350 350 Buick purestock racer

    So the intake port opening is in the stock location. The exhaust port is in the stock location. The valves are in the stock location. The combustion chamber is stock size, and the valves are stock size. The only thing not stock is the material and this is going to allow you to out flow 90% of all ported heads and make 1000HP?
    Time for a reality check, You guys are nuts!
  4. 8ad-f85

    8ad-f85 Well-Known Member

    On the contrary! :):):)
    The locations and valve sizes are only limiters when the casting itself has reached it's limits... there's a TON of play area in between those points.
    Being able to change the water jacket cores and section thicknesses is the holy grail to this whole thing.
    This is where you can easily reverse engineer a head and basically copy another effective design.
    The import sourced castings out there are largely copies of old but effective port and chamber designs.
    Pontiac 897 comes to mind as a source for sbc heads.

    On the aftermarket heads I worked with, we left the outside alone and added material by shrinking the water jackets to make the crack-prone areas thicker.
    That was the objective of those projects.
    (Industrial applications, not performance)

    As far as porting any head, there isn't always a ton of material removed, and not always in the area you think it should be.
    The port becomes more "ideal" as far as velocities and direction.
    The lowest hanging fruit with CFM's are when the port has a velocity increase by getting the air to go around the valve and into the cylinder.
    Mild porting evens out the fast and slow areas first.
    Better flow, faster flow, (at first).
    The limits to the factory castings with most engine types is easily seen when you've made the seat geometry and throat area as ideal as possible, and that the entry to the cylinder isn't shrouded by the chamber.
    That's the easy stuff.
    The next improvements are much more difficult to find.
    That's where you wish you could move walls, eliminate useless pockets of water jacket, thin spots, move other features, rotate things, etc.

    This is why it's an absolute gift to the Buick community to have a fresh casting to start with!
    Hopefully long gone are the days of welding in new walls or working with various epoxies to get around the limitations GM left us.

    If one doesn't understand this stuff yet, I highly encourage playing with a flow bench, esp. with the probe...to see where the fast or dead areas of the port might be.
    Make some dust, cut some chips, go to the eye Dr. a couple of times (don't really do that), scrap some castings...
    More importantly, make some plaster and RTV molds using the factory openings, outside dimensions, and valve sizes.
    Then cast up a solid piece and play with what's in between, put it on a flow bench, duplicate it on the real head, run it at the track and come back to tell me that I am nuts! :grin:
  5. DauntlessSB92

    DauntlessSB92 Addicted to Buick

    Lots of progress this weekend. I have the cam degreed and installed at 0* advance like you guys have recommended and Tim at TA agreed with that as well.

    Of course when I showed up at the shop Friday the crazy swing in temperature and weather played havoc on anything not soaked in oil at my shop. Lots Of flash rust and it caught me off guard because I've had the motor back for over 6 months now and have kept everything clean and oiled and covered. So it must have taken a ton of humidity along with the temp rise to cause this. I have a dehumidifier too and that must not have kept up. I cleaned it off as best I could without making a mess and moved on.

    Once the cam was degreed I lubed everything up and got the pushrods in. I did a preliminary adjustment on the valves to get an idea of where everything will sit and to make sure my pushrod lengths are good. I'm thinking .025 preload might be okay. It also makes me feel better not having to adjust the rockers as much as I have a couple lengths that measured 9.025 and not 9.00 so I don't want to over adjust the rocker and cause geometry and strength issues.

    Then I took a stab at setting the cam end play. It took a few tries and I got it to .005 but of course I got that measurement with only 4 bolts in the timing cover. Once I installed the water pump and torqued everything the end play was gone so I'll have to take it back apart and readjust. But that should be quick.

    I can't get the cam sensor to engage properly into the timing cover. It feels engaged in the oil pump drive but the sensor housing sticks up above the timing cover still. The oring is completely exposed. I'm not sure if this is a distributor gear issue or something else.

    The TA performance mini starter has some clearance issues. The back of the starter solenoid contacts the block so I'll have to come up with something to fix that.

    Finally I have to weld the oil pick up tube at the right height, install the windage tray and bolt the oil pan on and the motor should be done except for the intake which is being sent out to have the injector bungs welded up. I'm sure I'm forgetting a few small things here or there but I have it all written down.

    Next week I'll fix those issues and hopefully get started on making a crank sensor. I'll start painting the rest of the motor and accessories too.

    By the way that wix oil filter in my picture is not the right part number. Thanks summit racing. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
  6. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut

    Be sure to check valve to piston clearance..
  7. DauntlessSB92

    DauntlessSB92 Addicted to Buick

    Yes I did, surprisingly I have more than .100 for intake and exhaust
  8. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut

    Perfect im glad to hear. Are the pistons at zero deck? Did i miss it, curious what your compresion worked out to.
  9. DauntlessSB92

    DauntlessSB92 Addicted to Buick

    Yes pistons are 0 deck but they are also a 30cc dish my CR works out to 8.5:1, with this cam it's 7.88 DCR
  10. DauntlessSB92

    DauntlessSB92 Addicted to Buick

    So the pickup tube is all welded up, oil pan is installed, timing cover and water pump are installed, cam endplay is good, I figured out why the cam sensor wasn't seating all the way as well. I'm getting really excited. The hard part of this engine build is done.

    I still have to clean and paint the engine accessories and install them, I have to make a crank sensor bracket and of course install the intake once that is back. Then once the motor is in the car its time to start wiring everything.

    I am starting to wonder if I should start getting turbo parts together or wait till next winter. I really want to drive the car this summer and I also spent way way way more than I should have on this project, (Makes my student loans look like a phone bill:shock:). That, and I am getting married this summer means that I probably should calm down with the car parts for a bit and enjoy what I have. I am just worried I'll be disappointed with all this work without getting the turbo side of things done. I've considered doing a single turbo to save money, especially since I won't be making nearly enough power to require a large single turbo. So I could have a very streetable single turbo setup and cut the costs in half.

    Anyways, I should get this thing running first I suppose. Let me know what you all think of the black timing cover and water pump. Thought I'd try something different
    12800175_10205702519271538_4041958374282147439_n.jpg 12043047_10205702518631522_7067359887192699400_n.jpg
  11. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    Might be a good idea to at least buy all the turbo parts before you get married while your $ is still yours before its "our" $$ and it has to be discussed how its spent. :shock: Seeing how its still only Feb. it looks like you have time to get the turbos on it before the summer, you can probably have it ALL done by late spring. If you don't do it now you may never get to it?

    Either get a Burton Machine kit or make a sbc kit work by either making adapter plates for the exhaust or making new flanges for the sbc turbo headers. If you ever took a sbc header gasket and put it on a sbb ex. ports you would see how they almost line up exactly with only a different port shape and mounting holes. To bad the TA header flanges that they sell aren't available in stainless steal like most of the sbc turbo kit headers are made of or you could just swap those on the sbc turbo headers. :Do No: You can still make them yourself though even without a mill, will just be a little more labor intensive using a drill and a die grinder. Same deal with adapters that would bolt to the Buick heads and the sbc headers would bolt to the adapters, make them about 1/2" thick so you have good thread engagement for the header bolts. GL

  12. hugger

    hugger Well-Known Member

    Just do.mild steel, cheaper easier to work with and will hold up longer than the car will be together. I wouldn't fool with twins regardless, a $750 turbonetics 72mm with a .98 ar will come on PLENTY quick and is just all around easier
  13. hugger

    hugger Well-Known Member

    Hell you can get a 78mm from CX racing or on3 for less than $350. Columbia River Mandrel for your hotside stuff. Racepartssoulutions,Treadstone,Frozenboost are all good budget sources for parts
  14. DauntlessSB92

    DauntlessSB92 Addicted to Buick

    I cannot find a mild steel SBC header kit. So it is looking like maybe it would be easier to make stainless flanges to fit the SBC headers. I have a junk head I can use as a jig. I think I should make my goal to obtain a set of turbo headers. Whether I make them, Mark makes them or someone else does. Then once I have a finished set of headers or manifolds in my hands then I'll order turbo stuff. I feel like the manifolds are the hardest part. Everything else is easy. I have just learned my lesson about ordering parts before I need them. They end up sitting around, getting misplaced and forgotten about.

    So when I am ready to do the full swap then I'll order a turbo/turbos and get everything started. I still feel like this will not get accomplished this season. I should focus on getting my current setup going and then I'll have all winter 2016 to make the turbo swap happen. It should seem simple compared to this engine build. Don't forget, not only have I rebuilt this engine, I've also replaced all the suspension on my car, built a chevy 12 bolt, refinished the frame and engine bay and I am converting my motor to multi-port efi. I still have to do all the wiring, finish painting the frame and running brake lines and I have to re route my fuel lines. So I've taken a simple task and turned into a full rebuild of the car. I also should do body work at some point or find another shell as Ive been neglecting that pressing issue for 6 years now:shock:

    Trust me, I want to have a turbo on this motor. Its so hard to think that I'll be waiting another 6 months or so before I can start getting parts together. I worry Ill be disappointed with this motor off boost but I can only spend so much money at once and this build has added up to cost more than you might believe. Its certainly not been a budget build by any means. Ive learned all the places not to spend money and I have a lot of regrets on how this all went. Im sure it will work out in the end but it certainly could have gone better. All that said, this car will see forced induction very soon. I am not very patient and I haven't done all this work just to build a hot RV motor. Ideally I'd like to wait until Mark starts offering turbo manifolds for sale again as that will probably be around the fall. That gives me time to iron out all the EFI bugs and make sure this motor is sound. I've always wanted to break into the 13s on a relatively simple motor too and I think that's something to shoot for this season. I was so close I could taste it with the stock motor.
  15. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    Yeah, I couldn't find any sbc turbo kits that had mild steal headers either! Anyway if there is enough room adapters may be the easier way to go because those could be made out of mild steal and there would be no cutting and welding of the headers required.(because of the sbb 350's huge deck height, not sure if there is room for adapters though new flanges would probably be the way to go?) If you go with new flanges just make sure they are bolted to the head and the headers fitted in the engine compartment, tacked in place then welded solid out of the car but bolted to a head to minimize warpage.

    And don't discount the power of an RV engine build, that is basically what my '65 impala has in it with a cam that has 202* and 212* @ .050" duration in it. The car weighs about 4,400 lbs and has went a best of 13.2 @ 101 mph. If I ever get around to putting it on its weight loss plan I can make it lose 400 lbs which for every 100 lbs less = .1 faster that would get that land barge .4 faster and in the 12s!! :Brow:

  16. hugger

    hugger Well-Known Member

    Don't forget you can mig weld 409 stainless to mild steel just fine and dandy, 304 doesn't weld with steel mig wire
  17. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut

    I vote for getting it running NA first and then swapping to turbo next winter. It is a lot of trial and error to build headers, just wait till Mark makes his new batch and then build the rest of the kit yourself. He plans to sell manifolds separately. Get the bugs worked out with your setup NA and then you will know how much the boost helped your performance. You can run around on low octane fuel and have some fun.
  18. pmuller9

    pmuller9 Well-Known Member

  19. DauntlessSB92

    DauntlessSB92 Addicted to Buick

    I appreciate the input guys. I am starting to feel a lot better about things and I am sure this motor will run well once it is done. I always managed to impress with the outgoing stock motor so I'm confident even off boost this setup will catch some people off guard. Especially with a stock sounding idle:bglasses: I want to get back to more of this

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/79gkuSXCUKs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Like I said earlier, obtaining manifolds will be my reference point for when I start doing the work for the turbos. If Mark has a set by spring then maybe I'll start work during the first half of summer (Not likely though, I have a busy summer ahead of me) but really its looking like next winter. The goal is to mock everything up and tack in place. Then I'll pull the front end and do all the work I need to do. I'd also really like to address some major body work issues. I'll have to decide if I can live with attempting the repairs myself or finding another body as I cannot afford to spend what it takes to have someone else repair the body. I do feel an attachment to this car as it has certainly come a long way from the $100 flood victim it was when I first bought it. I also know all the little quirks and what it takes to fix them so I'd rather keep it that way then start over with project started by someone else.

    My intake should be back within a week or two and I've gotten all the brackets and pulleys cleaned up and even did a little oven powdercoating to make them look somewhat decent. Eventually I'll have a GN serpentine setup but to save money I'll use my stock stuff for now.

    I need to get the crank pulley and trigger wheel machined this week and then I can make a bracket for a crank sensor. Its looking like the best way to do this will be to make a steel fuel pump block off plate and use that as the base of the bracket, then maybe tie it in to one of the timing cover bolts for stability. I'll need to incorporate some form of adjustment so I can set my base timing for the EFI to work off of. Can't say this is an original idea as Randall (TheSilverBuick) is certainly the one I've been drawing inspiration from.

    Does anyone have a picture of what the late model 350/ TA timing cover uses for a distributor hold down? I don't see a clear picture in the catalog but if its something simple I'll just make it.

  20. DauntlessSB92

    DauntlessSB92 Addicted to Buick

    And here is the intake, I think I may just have the first EFI converted SP3. I cant wait to get the motor in the car. I just have to bolt the intake on, make a bracket for the crank sensor and then the motor can go in. [​IMG][​IMG]

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