Called TA to see how my order is doing.

Discussion in 'Small Block Tech' started by Mark Demko, Jan 7, 2021.

  1. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut

    All that 5.3 testing has been done already so it’s easy to compare the two engines. A (99-06) 5.3 LM-7 is 350 HP dyno proven with or without a carb. Add a good cam and it’s 420 HP, headers another 20. So 440 hp is pretty standard for a cammed stock 5.3.

    I do think that a 11:1 350 Buick with ported TA heads and the right cam is an easy 450 HP with a better torque curve. Obviously $ are way different but it’s still very cool to do something different.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
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  2. pbr400

    pbr400 68GS400

    A Skylark is a lot cheaper than a comparable Chevelle, so put that savings into the engine!
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  3. Mark Demko

    Mark Demko Well-Known Member

    Good point!
  4. Mark Demko

    Mark Demko Well-Known Member

    He does have 4 something gears too
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  5. Dano

    Dano Platinum Level Contributor

    He & I had talked about that when he had the 3.42's and he wanted to keep it streetable but IIRC wound up putting in a GV OD and the 4 series gears.
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  6. Mark Demko

    Mark Demko Well-Known Member

    If I can attain his performance he had with 3.42's Id be happy:D
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  7. Mark Demko

    Mark Demko Well-Known Member

    Yes it is, and we end up with the same issue, the cost of going fast with a Buick:p
    But I like being different;)
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  8. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut

    oh yes I sure spent some $ there lol...

    Agreed. I just finished a 5.3 for my SUV and it was pretty simple. Cam, valve springs, headers, converter, dyno tune and it will be an easy way to make good power with full drivability. Was $300 for the engine, cam and springs was $450, headers $400, converter $400, tune $400. So $1950. But it’s not interesting when you pop the hood.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
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  9. Dano

    Dano Platinum Level Contributor

    My last 350 car (very low option so pretty light) was pretty fast but my 60' times were horrid. The M-21 & 3.73's seemed to work quite well together. 1st engine (mid/late 80's) was just TA intake, headers & KB Mark II cam. I didn't know anything about tuning. Ran consistent 14.0 @104 so it was making good power. Next build (mid/late 90's) went to ported big valve heads and a C108 cam. Picked up about 1-sec. If I hadn't sold the car, next was going to be 4.10's and I think I'd have been solidly in the mid-high 12's.
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  10. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut

    Is there a plan to get back in the SBB game?
  11. Dano

    Dano Platinum Level Contributor

    Definitely - Read some of my posts above (I was on your SBB FB forum but disabled my FB acct - Will be back for better/worse). I'm a big fan of these little engines largely because my last one ran so well plus I like being different. I have 2 GS 350's ('70 4-sp. & '71 auto). Unfortunately both are basket cases so a ways off. Both engines are #'s matching and were supposedly rebuilt by PO's - Need to go through them myself & I have a test mule Skylark to run them in.

    The '70 4-sp is a factory SCO 3.64 car w/virtually no options (manual steering/brakes, straight bench, etc.). Car prob. only weighed 3550 or so brand new so was quite possibly the quickest factory GS 350 ever made. I'm really inclined to build the original engine to m/l stock specs (actually get the comp. to advertised, maybe TA's mildest cam, alum. front drums, & add HD cooling option for the clutch fan) & see what it would've run brand new (I suspect mid 14's) then build another (stroker?) engine for it (I have a couple spares). Either alum heads/intake/headers & Tremco or a FAST (Factory Appearing Stock Tire) type build. I think a high 12's FAST 350 is quite attainable.

    Will probably build the orig '71 engine a little more than stock w/the TH350/308's (maybe 3.42's) then build an alum. head engine for it w/a 200-4R & 4.33 or 4.56 rear.

    Would love to build a 350 tube chassis dedicated racer & really see what one is capable of, but don't know that I'll ever have the time/$.

    Just watching/learning/enjoying (living vicariously:)) what you guys are doing and accumulating ideas. Back when I built my last 350 we didn't have any information exc. KB & a few tips that would pop up in the GS-Xtra mag. Sonny was really the only guy w/a fast 350 & TA was in it@ infancy (Mike's current wagon I believe ran 11's w/a 350 back in the early '80's).
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  12. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut

    All good, I got rid of Facebook so much junk and censorship on there.... I look forward to seeing us all make steps towards our goals this year. I know months are flying bye for me and I have to get my SUV back together before I jump into the turbo car again.
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  13. Jim Weise

    Jim Weise EFI/DIS 482

    I know that TA was disappointed in the sales of the 350 heads.. so Sean may be right, it will be hard to justify buying a pallet of castings, if it takes years to sell them. If you really want 350 heads, I would suggest that you buy them while they are available. I will be working with a set this spring/early summer, depending on when they get some more machined.

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  14. Dano

    Dano Platinum Level Contributor

    We're all looking forward to some of your builds.
  15. dr

    dr Well-Known Member

    Jim I sent you a PM about 350s
  16. PGSS

    PGSS Silver Level contributor

    I'm thinking people are waiting for others to buy these 350 AL and see their results before pulling the plug and buying them themselves?
    Which just keeps going in loops.
    Shame because they are finally somewhat available after 350 owners wanting these heads for 30 years.

    Covid is slowing things down I understand but TA should of ran that 481 hp dyno motor down the track in some type of Skylark body for idea's of what it could do.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
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  17. Jim Blackwood

    Jim Blackwood Well-Known Member

    I bought a set of TA's Rover heads and they are really quite nice. Much more rugged than the stock aluminum heads, but naturally they are also heavier. It was easy to fit them up with a set of beehive springs, though I've since learned that these springs should be set up near coil bind for best damping and mine were made for a bigger cam than I'll be running but they'll still be better than the standard dual coil I think. I was also able to fit titanium valves by cutting down some racing surplus valves. A little tricky but not expensive. I fitted urethane umbrella seals to minimize stem wear.

    These heads are going on a stroker 300/350 with a nice assortment of goodies like Carillo rods and hemispherical dish pistons, and a roller cam is in the future, probably a mild profile solid if I can get that. Oh, and a blower of course. That is getting mounted inverted in the lifter valley, and boost will be under 8psi, how far I don't know yet.

    Anyway for anybody sitting on the fence I'd encourage you to go ahead and get the heads, I don't think they will disappoint you. Personally I lean towards the bare heads but I do have a customer I'm recommending the finished heads to, possibly even the CNC ported version if he can swing that.

    Even in days of uncertainty you have to plan for the future and that's what I'm doing here, but you also have to live in the present, so at the moment my little sports car just got an engine that will round out my experience with the Buick engine line. In this case the lowly 2bbl iron head 300. There are some real good reasons for this to happen, first because of cam issues with the 340 but also to pave the way for the stroker 300 later on. The 300 is the ideal engine for an MGB engine conversion due to size and fitment issues and 210 hp is more than adequate in that size car so this will be a pleasant interlude between the 340 and the stroker. Here's a few photos.


    Attached Files:

  18. Fox's Den

    Fox's Den 27 years of racing the same 355 Buick motor

    They should have done this 20 years ago when there was more people interested. There was 20 on that original list back then it would have tripled easily by now if it was done back then

    this is my 27th year on the same build how long did it need to take.
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  19. Jim Weise

    Jim Weise EFI/DIS 482

    Honestly, from a Business perspective, the Buick 350 never had enough of a following to warrant the investment required to make a cylinder head. There was a viable alternative to this motor, easily purchased and installed (the 455), and 30-40 years ago. in the late 70's to early 90's, high torque 455's where available everywhere, for cheap. Because the 455 was a factory install in the common A body, the swap was easy, with no fabrication required. Very few folks were interested in hopping up the 350.

    Fast forward to this century... by now many, many guys had replaced the 350 with a 455, and now about 20 years ago, lots of speed parts start becoming available for the 455. The market was these guys, looking to make more power from the engine they put in 10 or so years ago.

    I very much doubt any of those guys go back to a 350 to put alum heads on it, if they were available then. So there was not a great demand for 350 speed parts, or vendors looking to produce them.

    Ironically TA was.. since Mike was a 350 racer at first, hence the intake manifold.. but even he knew that from a business perspective, it would be a long time before he could justify the investment for a 350 head. I actually thought the investment was risky, when I heard he was making them now. In my estimation a better bet for those dollars would have been a performer rpm style dual plane high rise intake for the 455. That is the manifold that 90% of you would/should be running, if there were available for a Buick.

    For better or for worst, this is just how it rolled out for the Buick 350.. as they say, timing is everything.

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  20. Mark Demko

    Mark Demko Well-Known Member

    Naaah, you 455 guys have enough aftermarket go fast parts, LOL:p:p

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