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#258090 - January 26th 2009 6:51 pm Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest?
Jan_Egil Offline
newbie

Registered: January 17th 2009 9:35 pm
Posts: 29
Loc: Norway,Jotunheimen

Hi everyone!

This might seem like a stupid question, but Im pretty new in both Vans, and V8`s so i hope its ok that i ask you guys some questions.:)

Im thinking of buying a 81 chevy G20 van cause the body is just like i want for my project, but the engine is Broken.(it got a big crack in the block. and its a 305)
I want to Put in a 350 engine in it instead. and i also need some interior parts and some body sheetmetal parts. SO i was thinking of buying anouther van as a donorcar.
What year "s" did chevy Vans have the strongest 350 engines? Are the "old" carburettor engine or the newer TBI engines the best? I know that its not just a "yes/no" question, but im wery gratefull for anny tips and replies:o) My thought is that maybe the carburettor engines are easyer and cheaper to tune etc.? But i guess they also use a little bitt more fuel? Or maybe im thinking wrong? My planes arent to have a Dragstrip van or annything like that, but a Nice "alround" van that i can go on hollydays with and chruuse, but also have fun with, and to be able to use it as a tow car for my "racecar". when im going to the track. And of course the most inportant thing! that it is strong enough to do some burnouts to show al the youngsters at carshows that you can have Alot of fun with outher cars than just Toyota supras an BMWs.:) hehe:D

thanks in advance!

Best Regards
Jan Egil

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#258103 - January 26th 2009 8:44 pm Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: Jan_Egil]
weird Harold Offline
veteran

Registered: January 15th 2006 12:00 pm
Posts: 2298
Loc: Powers oregon
for the price i would buy a new crate motor from chevy. a 4 bolt main block out of a truck is the best. i my self like a carb to keep it simple.. if a new motor is not in the card's i would look for a late 70's truck motor i don't know about smog in you area. you will want to check that out as well.
_________________________
Member of Lead Foot Trucker West Coast Chapter Pea On

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#258155 - January 27th 2009 5:47 am Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: weird Harold]
Superbeast Offline

Madman!


Registered: October 25th 2001 12:00 pm
Posts: 28121
Loc: Dayton, New Jersey, U.S.A.
They claim that the 4 bolt main engines are stronger than the 2 bolt main blocks, but I've know guys to build both with no problems. If you have no issues over there with pollution inspection, I too would go with a carbed set up also for ease. Altho, I'm kinda old school that way too (I can rebuild a carb, but hate puters) grin As far as fuel economy, I will still bet most carbed engines can get just as good if not better mileage than injected ones. The older the engine, the better as anything newer will start to have less performance features because of pollution standards over here.

A crate motor would be ideal for you, but availability of that in your country may be slim.

Hope this helps.
_________________________
Ken Schwarz
Tricky Truckers, N.J.
Van Clan Plus One, Canada
Manse Vans, Finland
Rebel Vanners, N.J. "USA"
Toopa Sinner Tribe, N.C.

www.showvans.com

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/360991



"Coolness ALWAYS trumps comfort"

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#258199 - January 27th 2009 10:42 am Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: Jan_Egil]
Jan_Egil Offline
newbie

Registered: January 17th 2009 9:35 pm
Posts: 29
Loc: Norway,Jotunheimen
Hi, and thanks for the answers! everything helps:)
of course a crate motor had been the easyest way to go, but for the first thing, crate motors are Werry hard to come buy her ein norway, and the prices are totaly insaine!:(
And it also going to be werry expensive to get a crate engine shipped over.:( And to be onnest i dont like to buy things "redy to go" I like to build and do everything myself. That way i learn a great deal, and i get a better feeling "inside" my self.:) (i hope you understand what i meen, Its not so easy to explain in english..hehe)
Regarding the pollution inspections that wont be anny problems for me because of the age of the car.:)I also need outher van parts, thats why i want to buy a complete donorvan instead of a engine from another car/truck if i can.:)

Superbeast: I totaly agree with you on the carb. engines. Do you know what year and modell van the 350 4bolt engines was deliverd?

Thanks again!

Best Regards

Jan Egil

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#258205 - January 27th 2009 11:23 am Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: Jan_Egil]
Superbeast Offline

Madman!


Registered: October 25th 2001 12:00 pm
Posts: 28121
Loc: Dayton, New Jersey, U.S.A.
I totally understand your views on the crate engines.

Sorry, I'm not really a GM guy, so I can't answer the 2 & 4 bolt main question, but I believe they made them for quite a while. I believe the 4 bolt main blocks were used primarily in heavy duty and performance applications.

I'm sure someone will chime in that knows all of this.
_________________________
Ken Schwarz
Tricky Truckers, N.J.
Van Clan Plus One, Canada
Manse Vans, Finland
Rebel Vanners, N.J. "USA"
Toopa Sinner Tribe, N.C.

www.showvans.com

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/360991



"Coolness ALWAYS trumps comfort"

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#258237 - January 27th 2009 12:54 pm Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: Superbeast]
Beast_Lee Offline


Registered: August 20th 2008 8:24 pm
Posts: 1456
Loc: the Great White North in Edmon...
350c.i. 4-bolt main blocks were made from 1968-96...
_________________________
later...

Beast Lee...

"It has to have an ending to exist - Beast Lee"
"If it doesn't have a V8, it's not a sport - Beast Lee"

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#258240 - January 27th 2009 12:59 pm Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: Beast_Lee]
Wizard78 Offline
Supreme Master

Registered: August 20th 2008 10:14 pm
Posts: 17160
Loc: Virginia
Sorry don't know anything about Chevys either
_________________________
Everyday above ground is a Good Day!!!
Never Stop Vannin'


Owner & Creator of Wizard's Van-In Videos
Member of Riding High Truckers from 1982 to 1996
2nd Member of The Toopa Sinner Tribe
Member of Free Bird Vanners 1996 to Present
Member of Cape Atlantic Truckers South Jersey
Host Club of Freeze Out
Certified Nats Judge
Member of Shenandoah Valley Vans

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#258243 - January 27th 2009 1:07 pm Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: Wizard78]
DocCyber Offline
addict

Registered: November 14th 2008 6:48 pm
Posts: 404
Loc: Blaine Washington
the 4 bolts are mostly for torque........they can take a good amount of pulling/ hauling......but for a van it doesnt matter unless your going to be pulling trailers all the time........ the race guyz like em cause you can spin emm hard .

i like carb 2...but i like the bolt on fuel injection units that fit to the carburator...they just have more tuning capabilities when driving high elevation and can improve gas milage when run by a chip.

id pull anything out of anywhere.......throw some main bearings in it and maybe a valve job and put it back together.

I know there must be a few guyz here who spent friday in the junkyard so saturday cruise night happened.



Edited by DocCyber (January 27th 2009 1:08 pm)
_________________________
An old van painter from the 70,s.

You can find me here http://doccybercustoms.lefora.com/forum/ its a private site for those who love customizing vans.

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#258244 - January 27th 2009 1:07 pm Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: Wizard78]
matchstickBGV Offline



Registered: January 01st 2008 10:24 am
Posts: 3428
Loc: louisville, ky
I'll chime in with this, my van with a stock 350 with 4 bbl, and 3 speed transmission presently gets better gas mileage than my dads 89 s-10 with a Four cylinder engine and overdrive transmission. Somehow he gets 12 mpg and I get 14 mpg. Those computers can go nuts and cause all kinds of hard to solve problems in my opinion. Good old carburetor is easier to diagnose and should not be ruled out when talking about fuel economy. Just stick with a 600 or a 650 CFM and you're not overdoing it.

87 was the first year for TBI on chevy vans. From what I've been told the TBI from 87 was not very good either.
_________________________
I go to Truck-ins. How about you?

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#258698 - January 28th 2009 7:52 pm Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: matchstickBGV]
Johan Offline
enthusiast

Registered: December 10th 2004 12:00 pm
Posts: 352
Loc: Manning, Alberta
My dad's 88 has a 350 tbi, with the right tyres he was getting 26 mpg. My vandura has a 400 and the stock rochester 4barrel, I got about 17-19 mpg. I've yet to find out what mileage this new 79 beauville, 400 and 4barrel, will be getting.

I'd recommend a carbed unit, just for simplicity's sake.
_________________________

1979 GMC Vandura 2500 - 400 sbc, th350 trans (Sleipnir)
1979 Chevrolet Beauville 2500 - 400sbc, th350 trans (no name yet)
1988 GMC Safari SLE

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#258706 - January 28th 2009 8:19 pm Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: Jan_Egil]
Jan_Egil Offline
newbie

Registered: January 17th 2009 9:35 pm
Posts: 29
Loc: Norway,Jotunheimen

Hi again everyone, and THANKS ALOT for all your answers!!:)
Im going for a carbd 350.:) But do annyone of you know what year they gave the most HP? Im talking about " 350 van engines" not out of outher chevy cars, just so you know.;o)

thanks again for your answers!

Its so nice to have bunch of friendly guys to ask questions,share ideeas and problems with!!

Best Regards

Jan egil

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#258707 - January 28th 2009 8:26 pm Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: Jan_Egil]
Johan Offline
enthusiast

Registered: December 10th 2004 12:00 pm
Posts: 352
Loc: Manning, Alberta
There shouldn't be a great deal of variation among the different 350's, until they came out with vortec heads, that kicked them up a good deal. I'm not positive of when that was, but some other vanners should know.

By the name of your hometown, I'm thinking you and your neighbors are very tall ;).
_________________________

1979 GMC Vandura 2500 - 400 sbc, th350 trans (Sleipnir)
1979 Chevrolet Beauville 2500 - 400sbc, th350 trans (no name yet)
1988 GMC Safari SLE

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#258714 - January 28th 2009 8:46 pm Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: Jan_Egil]
Jan_Egil Offline
newbie

Registered: January 17th 2009 9:35 pm
Posts: 29
Loc: Norway,Jotunheimen
ahaa, yes maybe some of the outher vanners know:)

hehe, no im not tall at al "unfortunately":P but not all "vikings" was tall;o) Lol.

but hey, do i see a norwegian flag on your van?? where do you live?

Best Regards

Jan Egil


Edited by Jan_Egil (January 28th 2009 8:47 pm)

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#258717 - January 28th 2009 8:55 pm Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: Jan_Egil]
Johan Offline
enthusiast

Registered: December 10th 2004 12:00 pm
Posts: 352
Loc: Manning, Alberta
I'm in Canada, but I'm about 3/4 Norsk. I was making a joke about Jotunheimen, suggesting that you were one of the Jotun ;).
_________________________

1979 GMC Vandura 2500 - 400 sbc, th350 trans (Sleipnir)
1979 Chevrolet Beauville 2500 - 400sbc, th350 trans (no name yet)
1988 GMC Safari SLE

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#258726 - January 28th 2009 9:21 pm Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: Jan_Egil]
Jan_Egil Offline
newbie

Registered: January 17th 2009 9:35 pm
Posts: 29
Loc: Norway,Jotunheimen
:)lol yes i understood what you ment:) you know we got a bunch of Troll`s up here also:P

Ah, so your 3/4 norsk:)cool:) what part of norway are your relatives from?

I dont think i got anny relatives in canada, but i know i have som in the US somewhere. sadly i dont know them.
But as i have heard from my grandparents they are in a totaly different "class" than us.( i think they have a big load of money) so i dont think i would fitt inn annyway:)

Best Regards

Jan Egil

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#258729 - January 28th 2009 9:28 pm Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: Jan_Egil]
Johan Offline
enthusiast

Registered: December 10th 2004 12:00 pm
Posts: 352
Loc: Manning, Alberta
My gandfather came here from the "Bakkelund" farm, in the Vestre Toten parish in Oppland.
_________________________

1979 GMC Vandura 2500 - 400 sbc, th350 trans (Sleipnir)
1979 Chevrolet Beauville 2500 - 400sbc, th350 trans (no name yet)
1988 GMC Safari SLE

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#258730 - January 28th 2009 9:37 pm Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: Jan_Egil]
Jan_Egil Offline
newbie

Registered: January 17th 2009 9:35 pm
Posts: 29
Loc: Norway,Jotunheimen
cool:o) Have you ever been here in norway on wisit? My parents also live in Oppland but in a plase called Vågå in Gudbrandsdalen.

Best Regards

Jan Egil

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#258738 - January 28th 2009 10:00 pm Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: Jan_Egil]
Johan Offline
enthusiast

Registered: December 10th 2004 12:00 pm
Posts: 352
Loc: Manning, Alberta
I've never had a chance to leave Canada, but I do want to visit Norway as soon as I can. Apparently I have a lot of relatives there.
_________________________

1979 GMC Vandura 2500 - 400 sbc, th350 trans (Sleipnir)
1979 Chevrolet Beauville 2500 - 400sbc, th350 trans (no name yet)
1988 GMC Safari SLE

Top
#259194 - January 30th 2009 7:54 pm Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: Jan_Egil]
Jan_Egil Offline
newbie

Registered: January 17th 2009 9:35 pm
Posts: 29
Loc: Norway,Jotunheimen
Its the same with me. I have never been overseas, but i would realy realy like to get the chance to do it some time. And i realy wish i would be able to get to experience and be a part of a vannin meeting sometime. I have looked at a lot of pics from different meets, and it looks awsome!:) It seams like almost everyone is "like family".

Yes, i hope you get the chance to come to norway sometime smile i can give you a "guided tour" in Gudbrandsdalen/Jotunheimen if you are passing by:P hehe

Have a great weekend!

Best Regards
Jan Egil

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#259324 - January 31st 2009 4:54 pm Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: Jan_Egil]
rust_collector Offline


Registered: October 14th 2006 7:35 pm
Posts: 217
Loc: Horten, Norway
Ther eis a guy at work that has a 350 van engine...
I do not know anything about it, but I can ask, if you want me to?

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#260134 - February 03rd 2009 2:37 pm Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: rust_collector]
swimmster Offline
old hand

Registered: February 16th 2008 9:41 am
Posts: 1189
Loc: New York
Vortec heads came out in '97. maybe early 96. they are derived from the corvette LT1-LT4 engines from 92 and up. have a tall intake port and awesome combustion chamber. The only difference between the truck versions of these heads and the High performance ones is the exhaust seat. the truck seat is a much thicker seat. Put vortec heads on most any 350 and you're adding a min of 75 horsepower. put in flat top pistons, and you have a "documented" 400 hp easily. then start adding cheap upgrades. headers, aluminum performance intake, high flow carb, etc and it just gets better and better. I have a set for sale, but not trying to make this about an advertisement. I ran them briefly on a STOCK truck 350. standard truck cam, dished pistons, etc.. had headers, edelbrock intake, holley carb and was pushing 425 hp in my firebird. (short lived due to a VERY badly chamfered rod journal oil hole.) Otherwise, any ole 350 is capable of serious horsepower on the cheap. one ULTRA cheap upgrade is a bone stock GM aluminum quadrajet manifold and a slightly retuned q-jet. If you are building a two vehicle with a good overdrive for the highway, then slightly reworking a set of chevy 305 heads will bump your compressoin WAY up, speeds up your intake runner velocity, and gives you GOBBS of low end torque.. they will run great to a little over 4000 rpms. Then they loose their efficiency cause of the small intake runners. The sped up intake velocity using 305 heads and a q-jet, increases the vacc signal on the primaries so you can de-tune it some and because it ends up being so accurate, your gas milage will go up ALOT. I know guys who have gotten 30mpg on highway (in a car of course) using that setup. not to mention, it'll pull like the dickins up a steep hill.


Are you looking for a very specific engine? cause honestly, if you take out the cams, then line up nearly every 350 ever made, they are pretty much all identical. some head variations here n there, but it all came down to dished or flat top pistons, cam profiles, and heads. then 2 bbl or 4 bbl carbs, etc..
_________________________
Yeah..... I know I know.... It's NOT a van... But if you squint, It could be a REALLY long van?


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#406096 - August 18th 2010 6:29 pm Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: Johan]
vanburgo Offline
enthusiast

Registered: October 23rd 2009 4:34 pm
Posts: 254
Loc: Cleveland Ohio
My 78 350 with stock 4barrel is getting 10. Advice?
_________________________
78 Vandura

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#406205 - August 19th 2010 8:14 am Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: vanburgo]
Bullet Offline
old hand

Registered: September 10th 2009 9:14 pm
Posts: 1016
Loc: Bristol, TN
The high torque 350 for a number of years has the RPO code LS9 (see pic), it is better suited to towing because of the cam grind. 4 bolt mains were intended to hold everything together in cars and trucks with manual transmissions when you are off the throttle and the engine is holding the car back, at least according to the GM engineer that came in the auto machine shop I used to work at. There is a significant load on the bottom end when you are in and out of the throttle in a vehicle with a manual transmission because there is no "hydraulic cushion" as there is with an automatic trans. The link between the driveline and the engine is basically direct and solid. I've seen and had 2 bolt main engines live quite happily above 7 grand.
_________________________
'85 GMC Shorty
'99 AWD Astro
'55 Chevy 150 ex-racer
"I thought you weren't allowed to talk to guys with vans??"

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#406255 - August 19th 2010 11:27 am Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: vanburgo]
fatvanman Offline
addict

Registered: January 31st 2010 8:51 pm
Posts: 573
Loc: Now in Emmett, ID
If you're only getting 10mpg, then you need some tune up work. I would bet the carb is dumping too much fuel and needs tweaking, and check your ignition timing. You should be around 6 degrees BTDC at idle and between 30 - 40 degrees by 2,200RPM. Service all the fluids, check all your tire pressures, etc. Even with the TH350 you should be getting at least 4mpg better.
_________________________
Colin
aka "Fatvanman"
1975 Chevy G20 Shorty "Lunchbox"

"The great ones never die, they just get older, fatter and drive better vans!"

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/3913766/1975-chevrolet-van

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#406361 - August 19th 2010 5:49 pm Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: Jan_Egil]
JackAttack Offline
journeyman

Registered: February 03rd 2010 12:16 am
Posts: 77
Loc: Chicago
This motor is great and cheap. scoggin dickey In their catalog They refer to a similar motor as two hours and a six pack, because if you have enough engine swapping experience that's all it takes.

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#407248 - August 24th 2010 12:51 am Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: vanburgo]
2percent Offline
member

Registered: March 14th 2010 5:07 pm
Posts: 104
Loc: Enterprise, Oregon
Originally Posted By: vanburgo
My 78 350 with stock 4barrel is getting 10. Advice?
yup, replace the TH350 with 4-speed automatic
_________________________
George

1998 Chevy G2500, Vortec 5700, 4L80E, hand-controls and wheelchair lift smile

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#407249 - August 24th 2010 1:07 am Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: Jan_Egil]
2percent Offline
member

Registered: March 14th 2010 5:07 pm
Posts: 104
Loc: Enterprise, Oregon
Quote:
... My plans arent to have a Dragstrip van or anything like that, but a Nice "alround" van that i can go on holidays with and cruise, but also have fun with, and to be able to use it as a tow vehicle for my "racecar" when im going to the track. And of course the most important thing! that it is strong enough to do some burnouts ....
Hi Jan, to be honest with you i would recommend a 383 stroker for your van. It's got the torque you seek and will outpull any 350, buy the longblock for $2600 and use your choice of manifold/carb/distributor/etc, easy 400hp and 425torque
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/MLL-BP3832CT1/
or buy a ready to run version for about $600 more
_________________________
George

1998 Chevy G2500, Vortec 5700, 4L80E, hand-controls and wheelchair lift smile

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#407315 - August 24th 2010 12:11 pm Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: 2percent]
fatvanman Offline
addict

Registered: January 31st 2010 8:51 pm
Posts: 573
Loc: Now in Emmett, ID
I would have to agree with 2Percent on the 383. That's what I plan on for the Lunchbox. You gain the torque the extra cubic inches provides without a mileage penalty if you plan correctly. Don't go too wild with the cam - its not like we're looking for high RPM screamers, right? Add in a 700R4 for the overdrive and lower 1st gear, and you'll be doing your burnouts, getting good highway mileage, and grinning from ear to ear the whole time!
_________________________
Colin
aka "Fatvanman"
1975 Chevy G20 Shorty "Lunchbox"

"The great ones never die, they just get older, fatter and drive better vans!"

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/3913766/1975-chevrolet-van

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#412126 - September 18th 2010 11:14 pm Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: fatvanman]
burr_78g10 Offline
journeyman

Registered: February 21st 2005 12:00 pm
Posts: 74
Loc: Agoura Hills, CA
Originally Posted By: fatvanman
I would have to agree with 2Percent on the 383. That's what I plan on for the Lunchbox. You gain the torque the extra cubic inches provides without a mileage penalty if you plan correctly. Don't go too wild with the cam - its not like we're looking for high RPM screamers, right? Add in a 700R4 for the overdrive and lower 1st gear, and you'll be doing your burnouts, getting good highway mileage, and grinning from ear to ear the whole time!


I have to agree with fatvanman here. I have a 385 (original 2 bolt block at .040 overbore with stroker crank) that is built with good heads, full roller valvetrain and 10 to 1 compression. I backed it with a 700-R4 trans, it has enough power to show a lot of sports cars its' taillights in a stoplight race.

It's an aggressive engine, but I can still get 16 to 17 mpg on the highway cruising at 70 with the A/C on.

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#438795 - January 17th 2011 2:20 pm Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: Johan]
frscke1 Offline
carpal tunnel

Registered: June 26th 2010 7:35 pm
Posts: 8516
Loc: San Diego California
I vote a BB 454 Tonawonda TBI
_________________________
ADRENALIN BY THE GALLON & CHASIN RACIN
ONE FOR THE DIRT & ONE FOR THE STREETS
'93 CHEVY G30 454 4X4 SPORTVAN EXT 146 WB
'92 CHEVY G30 454 BEAUVILLE EXT 146 WB




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#441212 - January 26th 2011 11:20 am Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: Johan]
frscke1 Offline
carpal tunnel

Registered: June 26th 2010 7:35 pm
Posts: 8516
Loc: San Diego California
Both of my Chevy's have a 454 Tonawanda motor out of New York (I stand corrected)and they both get 11-14 mpg..so my vote is to put a 454 in your van..same milage and more power..dont know how much more power you need but i still have way more motor than tire even on 35" BFG's. Both my van were built at the GM plant in Canada & they only made 3.


Edited by frscke1 (January 26th 2011 6:03 pm)
_________________________
ADRENALIN BY THE GALLON & CHASIN RACIN
ONE FOR THE DIRT & ONE FOR THE STREETS
'93 CHEVY G30 454 4X4 SPORTVAN EXT 146 WB
'92 CHEVY G30 454 BEAUVILLE EXT 146 WB




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#441214 - January 26th 2011 11:38 am Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: frscke1]
SFS60 Offline
old hand

Registered: January 22nd 2008 4:30 pm
Posts: 1130
Loc: BUFFALO,NEW YORK
I'm sorry to correct you, but it's TONAWANDA and it's in BUFFALO ,NEW YORK !
_________________________
1978 CHEVY PATHFINDER 4X4 VAN -WHITE
1979 CHEVY 4X4 VAN - BLACK
1978 CHEVY 4X4 VAN - BLUE-GREY
1985 FORD 4X4 VAN- TAN

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#447733 - February 22nd 2011 9:02 am Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: Jan_Egil]
mwemmerwwt Offline
newbie

Registered: February 03rd 2008 10:27 pm
Posts: 47
Loc: newark ohio usa
If you are interested I have a 1983 g-20 lwb doner van. It has a low milage zz4 350 cu in 355hp crate motor in it and an 83 camero 700r4 trans. many extras like new headers, carb.Body is not in great shape but does have black dash and dog house unmolested. crate motor alone is over 5k. ill take 2900 for the project if interested. Its located in newark ohio.

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#491854 - August 27th 2011 12:09 am Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: swimmster]
BudVanBeer1 Offline
addict

Registered: January 09th 2003 12:00 pm
Posts: 650
Loc: East Nottingham, PennsylVANia
[quote=swimmster]Vortec heads came out in '97. maybe early 96... The only difference between the truck versions of these heads and the High performance ones is the exhaust seat. the truck seat is a much thicker seat. Put vortec heads on most any 350 and you're adding a min of 75 horsepower...

Swimmster, would a set of '96-'99 VORTEC heads mate up to my '83 350?? What about intake & exhaust??
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#498434 - September 20th 2011 11:47 pm Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: BudVanBeer1]
Star Dreamer Offline
old hand

Registered: May 24th 2001 12:00 pm
Posts: 705
Loc: Minnesota
Exhaust will typically work but you need a new intake as the vortec heads use a different bolt arrangment for the intake.

Revew GM's specs for their 330hp 350CI crate motor, you can take a regular 350 engine, add the vortec heads, change the cam to match and get an intake and performer carb from edelbrock and you will have a very nice engine set up with hp to match GM's crate motor if a crate motor is too expensive to ship over to Norway
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#498612 - September 21st 2011 8:00 pm Re: Hi! which 350 van engine is the "best" n strongest? [Re: Jan_Egil]
chevygod Offline
enthusiast

Registered: February 21st 2006 12:00 pm
Posts: 208
Loc: Corona, California
As stated, a 350 is a 350, cam/compression/2-vs-4 barrel/valve size-head type, those were the differences that made the power changes. Unless you find a 4 bolt block really cheap, or are going to be doing something crazy (notrous, blower, insane redlines) a 2 bolt main block should be fine.

Some other thoughts about Small Block Chevy's...

At some time in the (late I think) 70's, Chevy/GM went to lighter weight castings for Chevy V8 engines, and therefore an earlier heavier 2 bolt engine block may be more desirable than a later lighter 4 bolt block. However, many later blocks have one piece rear seals and provisions for roller cams cast in. For me and what I do, a later light-cast block with the roller/one piece seal would be acceptable.

Same deal with heads, there are early heavy heads and later lighter heads. The later heads have less metal in the deck which can lead to cracking in the combustion chamber and have revised coolant passages that don't allow coolant around the exhaust port. Also, the exhaust crossover/preheater port is cast huge in some late heads to allow for really preheating the carb. However, the last of the late heads (carb, TBI and Vortec) have the centerbolt valve covers, which are bitchin' t o control oil leakage, and as mentioned the Vortec heads are really something special.

For me, I'd find a complete nice clean late 350 motor takeout (TBI is OK, Vortec would be better), ditch the EFI, leave compression/pistons alone, buy the appropriate intake (Vortec heads require Vortec carb intakes which are different from regular 350 Chevy intakes), put a nice cam in it (ZZ4 roller is great) and drive the heck out of it. If you want other available GM factory heads that are nice for this motor, look for a set of the Chevy aluminum Vette heads. An ex-TBI/Vortec motor with these heads could be built to closely match a ZZ4 crate engine.

Another thought is to find a late Corvette/Camaro/Caprice LT1 takeout, ditch the EFI and get the carb conversion intake and an HEI distributor, and run that. Hot Rod magazine got stupidly huge power out of one of these combos back in the 90's.

Good luck on your project,
Tom
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