New engine - taking votes
Thanks to those who replied to my earlier post a few days ago. As I stated, I would love to build up another 4-bolt 350, but I don't really have the time to go chasing parts and waiting on machine work to get done. I won't be able to free up any time until late September, then, it's duck season and I'll be around home even less than now (hopefully driving my truck I've been working on for the last year!). The engine is going into my `84 3/4 ton.
I have pretty much decided to go the crate engine route at this point, merely for the convenience that's offered by doing so. Now, the question is... WHICH CRATE???
The 350 HO I am looking at comes pretty much complete from oil pan to carb (Holley 650), harmonic balancer to flex plate. It's rated at 330 HP @ 5000 with 380 Ft-Lb torque at about 3800. Aluminum intake. 9.1:1 compression with 64cc cast iron Vortec heads, CAST IRON crankshaft. Pistons are cast aluminum. I think the cam is pretty mild, with .435" lift and .050 212 degrees duration on intake, .460" lift on exhaust with 222 degrees duration. I don't need the carb (have new Edelbrock 650), but the Holley is part of the package.
Basically, this engine will work well for me, and I don't think I will have to pump premium gas exclusively if the price of fuel goes through the roof again like it recently did here in Michigan.
Then, there's the 350 ZZ4. The price difference between the two engines isn't really significant (about $200). The ZZ4 makes 355 HP at 5250, and 405 Ft-Lb at around 3500. Aluminum intake, but no carb. The compression on this beast is 10:1 (premium fuel only?), and it's got a FORGED steel crankshaft. The pistons claim to have high silicon content with offset pins. Hydraulic roller cam with .47" lift and .050 208 degrees duration on intake and .51" lift and 221 degrees duration on exhaust. Heads are 58cc Vortec ALUMINUM heads. Aside from that, the engines are pretty much the same.
Either way, I'm pulling the 4-bolt that's in the truck now and transplanting it into my `83 work truck. This means I don't have a block worth rebuilding (work truck has a 350 2 bolt in it and she's about ready to come apart) and most of the spare Chevy engine parts that I HAD now reside in my former sister-in-law father's garage, because my roommate brother wanted to store them elsewhere before things went sour between him & his wife. Chances of getting them back are about as slim as Klinton ever gettin' it on with Hillary again.
So, what do you all think, the 350HO or the ZZ4? Price is essentially the same, but I don't know if I want to be locked into running premium 100% of the time for the slight difference in performance between the engines. Would it be worth it to just go with the ZZ4 and bite the bullet at the gas pump?