Winter 2020 (Now Winter 2021) 350 Fresh-Up Project

Discussion in 'Small Block Tech' started by knucklebusted, Mar 13, 2021.

  1. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    Money isn't the issue. I've got a slush fund from wrapping steering wheels and selling other spares that will fund it without the wife finding out how much I "invested" in this project. I do like a return on my "investment" though. I was looking at the cost matrix between finishing the 350 or going to the big block. I like the 350 4 speed and it will be even better with the M23Z, BUT (big BUT) it would be a blast with a mild 455. Only you guys would know that the 350 breather actually hid a 455. Folks around here think I only have one Buick since they are both red. The fact one is stick and one is auto, one is winged and one is plain, one is half vinyl top and one is hardtop doesn't seem to phase them until they see them side by side.

    I can spiral out of control and came close to buying a set of TA heads, forged pistons and rods to make it really sing. Buying new solves a lot of machine work issues I'm having.

    It's a stick car so my biggest hinderance was the 3.08 rear gears with the original M21. When I swapped to the M20, it got a lot better but after 90K, the clutch was already pretty worn down. I've got the M23Z and haven't actually had it in the car but I know that it will really wake the 3.08s up with the 2.98 first gear. It will launch like 4.10s compared to 1st in the M21. I know it will be fun but my patience is wearing thin when that 455 is begging for some love.

    The only reason I pulled the 455 was because I was too lazy to put my Edelbrock heads on it. I bought a short block and built another motor to avoid undue down time with a head swap. It is easier to swap motors than change heads in the car for me.

    That is why I pulled the motor, to get the manifolds off for a header install. Since it was out, I was going to regasket. Now that it is apart, I want to make it as reliable as possible with a little freshening at 92K miles. It definitely needs a new cam, lifters, clutch and pressure plate. While they still were running, they were definitely past the best used by date. The rest of the motor is looking pretty good.

    Even that wasn't the greatest. I had better luck with my cheap digital caliper. At least it gives repeatable results. The bore gages were the worst. They would loosen up when you tightened them. The locking mechanism was terrible. There was no easy way to get it tight enough not to open but not so tight it could be rolled into the bearing and easily size it.
     
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  2. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    Update: The engine has been drilled for 1/2" oil passages. My cousin, the machinist, had the drill bit he freshly sharpened for me and it did the remaining 9" a lot easier than I did the first 3".

    I also dropped the parts off for checking at the machinist I'd been trying to reach. I just showed up and we unloaded them.

    Of course, he like everyone else, is covered up but he said he'd let me know when he gets to it. I told him no hurry, no worries.

    He said he needed to hire another person. I half-heartedly offered to hot tank and disassemble parts if it would help. LOL

    Now, it is my turn to clean up the front cover and enlarge the holes in it.

    So, the engine is out of the garage and the lift is being delivered tomorrow!
     
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  3. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut

    Which lift did you get?
     
  4. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    The Defender DBX10 asymmetrical.
     
  5. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut

  6. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    Are Delphi lifters good for a mild TA 212 cam? My machinist says he sells them for a lot less than list.

    On the lift: Turns out is is going in symmetrical. Space limitations. I'll post the pics on lift thread.
     
  7. Fox's Den

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

    I used Comp Cams pro magnum lifters they never bleed down or get mushy.
     
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  8. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    I just looking for ones that will run reliably on the TA212 cam without ruining either the cam or the motor. I had heard Delphi (GM) was a good brand in the current market.
     
  9. Fox's Den

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

    I just said it
     
  10. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    Update: Dropped the flywheel off yesterday to get resurfaced and he said he was about to get to my stuff. He's very busy and only works in the mornings until it gets too hot in the shop. I don't blame him.
     
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  11. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    Here we are, another month gone by. I'm starting to get that 455 itch.
     
  12. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    <string of expletives>

    The guy has closed up shop! Now, I have to figure out how to get my stuff. Not to mention, I've burned 4 months with no progress.
     
  13. Dano

    Dano Platinum Level Contributor

    Wtf? Was recently wondering if you'd made any progress. Sorry to hear. Hopefully you can get your stuff.
     
  14. FLGS400

    FLGS400 Gold Level Contributor

    Oh that sucks! Hope you get it all back...

    Unfortunately, I hear and read about this happening a lot lately
     
  15. Mart

    Mart Gold level member

    You have to baby sit some, maybe most, of these machine shops these days.... good luck Greg.
     
  16. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    OK, it may not be as bad as we first assumed.

    He isn't taking any new work AND he had problems with his old phone. He got a new one with a new number. He is communicating with me.

    Some folks that knew of him said he was closed down. He is not. He has taken on too much and is refusing any extra at the moment until he gets his backlog cleared. I asked if I needed to collect my stuff or if he was still willing to do it when he got caught up. He said once he got his cam grinding machine setup, he'd work on my stuff. I've got my fingers crossed.

    He sent me his new phone number after a mutual friend tracked him down. I sent him a text and he confirmed it was working.
     
  17. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut

    That’s a good sign
     
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  18. Dano

    Dano Platinum Level Contributor

    Whew...
     
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  19. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    Nobody was more relieved than I was.
     
    Dano likes this.
  20. Mart

    Mart Gold level member

    Greg, I'd lower the centerline on that stand. It's going to wanna whomp over when you rotate it, especially with the heads on.:)
     
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