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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-14-2002, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Engine prospect, is this a decent price?

First, a little background. I have my Scrambler, which has been undergoing a buildup now for some time. It has F/R D44's from a Scout, locked with 4.10's, SM465/NP205, 8" lift, and had the stock GM151 engine. I sold my 33" Swampers and will be running 36's (probably, maybe 38's, but the cops let 36's slide). Well, I traded a guy a welded Scout D44 rear for a carb'd stock 305 out of a van, which is being transplanted. Due to previous jobs, I have not had a lot of time to complete it, moving away all the time, or working out of state during the week. I have since (last month or so) gotten a new job that will put me at home every afternoon and weekend, so I'll have plenty of time.

The guy I now work with moonlights rebuilding engine heads (large ones from a power plant backup generators) at a machine shop, and has a 350 he built up over the last few years. He was going to replace the 4.3 in his truck, but hasn't yet as the body work was just done and it's in storage for the winter. I guess it's quite the show truck, expensive paint, chrome, and all that.

Anyway, he built this 350, and has since decided to sell all his vehicles and get a 2003 Vette, as he's nearing his 40th birthday. He's serious about it, of that I have no doubt.

The engine is a 350 block, bored 0.060", and fitted with an array of "goodies", mostly acquired through Summit. I don't know a lot about engines, I'm not afraid to admit it, which is why I'm posting here. It has a TPI from an '85 Camaro (305 engine), Dart 194cc heads (with some sort of valves), roller rockers (priced at $350, they were gold in color), special injectors (like $400), some kind of special rings and pistons, high torque (but not torquer) cam, high capacity oil pump and water pump, shorty headers (maybe 2.5" dia), new crank, and a harmonic balancer on the front (like around $300). All in all it looks very well put together, and the parts are certainly new, it looks like a work of art all painted and shiny. I assume he knows what he is doing, he seems very knowledgeable about engines in general, and is a Chevy fanatic (but loves the 5.0 as well). He is asking $2,000 for the engine, and has the stock computer and complete wiring harness as well, also a HEI, but I don't know if it's stock or not as it wasn't on the engine. I think he also had the block and heads checked out, but to what extent I have no idea. I'd post a pic, but my digital is in the shop.

Based on the above, is this a decent deal? It sounds like it to me, as he has more than $2,000 into the engine just in parts, but like I mentioned, I do not know a ton about them. He said they have a program at the shop that will give theoretical output numbers based on parts/tolerances/whatever, and it should put out about 350 hp and 420 ft-lb of torque, and at a low rpm (maybe 3,200 - 3,500?) as he designed it for low rpm's.

Anything I should check out? I can possibly look a little closer, or even get a breakdown on parts and get back to someone who knows something about it. I'm not looking for a screamer for the Scrambler, but the TPI would be nice and a little extra torque would go a long way, it's also new. This is not something I could get right away, as I have to sell some jeep parts to fund this. Not a problem, but it'll be spring before I'll have the cash.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-14-2002, 12:46 PM
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Re: Engine prospect, is this a decent price?

That sounds really good. A guy here at work just bought a used 351 to put in his mustang and it cost him $3k. The engine came out of a stock car a guy was building and then ran out of funds. Its supposed to put 450 hp. So if you can get FI plus the engine for $2, I'd take it. Heck I have (foolishly) more than that in my 258!! Make sure it has all of the sensors for the TBI because these can get expensive quick to buy replacements.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-14-2002, 12:57 PM
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Re: Engine prospect, is this a decent price?

Sounds like a great deal to me. That complete TPI set up with harness and computer is worth $500-$600. The stock distributor used with TPI systems is a computer controlled job with no advance mechanism inside, I would assume that is what he has.

The only word of caution I have is to beware of the aluminum roller rockers. They tend to fatigue over time and can start to break at around 30K, sometimes earlier if you have a stout set of valve springs and a lumpy cam. They can be replaced with any number of options. Steel rollers are available, including stamped steel with roller tips although these do not have bearings at the pivot like a "true" roller rocker has. Assuming he has installed new screw in studs and girdles on the heads going back to a stock type rocker is probably more trouble than simply replacing them with different rollers.

You don't have to replace them right away but I would be sure to get around to it before they cause problems.

Roller rockers on high performance engines are fine but one must understand that unlike the stock type, aluminum rockers are a consumable item. Unfortunatly, no one at the "speed shop" bothers to mention this and people tend to think they can install them and forget about them.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-14-2002, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Engine prospect, is this a decent price?

You are correct, he did install the screw in studs. Thanks for the tip about the aluminum rockers, I never knew that. I assume they are aluminum since they are gold colored. If I do get it I'll make it a point to check them frequently and replace them before they become an issue.

This is some good stuff!
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-14-2002, 01:33 PM
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Re: Engine prospect, is this a decent price?

<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

It has a TPI from an '85 Camaro (305 engine)

<hr></blockquote>That's identical to the 350 except the injectors. Make sure you get the MAF to go with it or may have been converted to MAP.

<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

special injectors (like $400)

<hr></blockquote>Higher flow rate. You probably won't need them unless you're gonna run it on the 1320, but you'll always be able to trade for stock.

<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

and has the stock computer and wiring harness as well

<hr></blockquote>The stock harness has a lot of stuff in there you don't need. There's a book available on the web that tells you how to cut it down. It's cheap, I bought it just for the schematic. Make sure the chip in the harness didn't come out of a 'vette. I think they had VATS back then and used that special key with the chip in it. You'll either have to have get an OEM for a Camaro/Firebird of a reprogrammed to defeat the VATS. There's also supposed to be a way to hang a resistor across two pins to defeat it, but it's trial and error, it's one of 12 values.

Get the number off the memcal chip and see if you can find it on the web. A 305 chip will work but you really need one for a 350.

<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

also a HEI

<hr></blockquote>Not a big deal on the computer controlled. You'll have a clearance problem with the firewall.

<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

he designed it for low rpm's

<hr></blockquote>That's characteristic of the TPI. Also depends on what cam he used and forget the headers, they're a high rpm item.

<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

I'm not looking for a screamer for the Scrambler, but the TPI would be nice and a little extra torque would go a long way, it's also new.

<hr></blockquote>Nevertheless, it will be. My stock 305 in a 'glass bodied Jeep outruns any Camaro/Firebird/Mustang I've come up against. It keeps up with 'vettes. As far as the torque, it's got plenty. I hardly use second gear anymore, just shift 1st to 3rd.

I'd say go for it if you trust the builder. Check out the price of the TPI injection alone on ebay. The '85 fits the old style engine and sometimes brings higher prices. Seven years ago when I was looking, the going price on a used, not rebuilt, TPI was just over $2000.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-14-2002, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Engine prospect, is this a decent price?

Thanks for the info, this is great. I forgot to mention the Scrambler weighs approximately 5,000 lbs, so it's REAL heavy.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-14-2002, 08:04 PM
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Re: Engine prospect, is this a decent price?

Thats great JEEPN that you got a job now that is normal and you can enjoy your toys again!! Do you still have that commando? I just got one to build now.. it has got the V8 in it [img]images/icons/cool.gif[/img]

That 350 would be great in your scrambler... You have fun toys [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 09-15-2002, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Engine prospect, is this a decent price?

I still have my Commando, but it only has the V-6 in it. That's enough, and it's a good drivetrain.

Plenty of toys, and I usually come about them cheap, but no time to work on anything. That has all changed though. Today is my last day at my former job (been working 2 jobs for 5 weeks now, kinda tiring), so I'll have some time to relax.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 09-15-2002, 02:00 PM
 
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Re: Engine prospect, is this a decent price?

Dan's just kidding, he's got a Bronco [img]images/icons/laugh.gif[/img] He tries to pass it off as a bullnose but that's just wishful thinking [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

Matt came by with the engine today and we managed to get it in the bed of the truck with the school's tractor. I think the Comanche is down to running on 4 cylinders now, and it detonates badly when over 1000 rpms [img]images/icons/frown.gif[/img] I wonder if the old block is even going to be rebuildable as a stroker.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 09-15-2002, 06:49 PM
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Re: Engine prospect, is this a decent price?

I have faith in you. you will get it up and running. And once you sell the commanchee, you will have funds to make the J10 a monster. Are you going to keep both the wrangler and truck as trail vehicles, or is one of them going to the wayside? Glad you were able to get the motor without killing your backs, I told matt to use the box truck so the lift gate would make it a dream to lower the engine down.
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