350 swap: I\'ve decided; now I need some advice.
Most of you have no doubt been waiting with bated breath for my next update to my jeep project. Sorry for the delay; here is the next episode, after which you can breathe a sigh of relief and go back to living your life. [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
I have a 1973 CJ5 currently undergoing renovation. Call it reincarnation, rather, as there will be not much left stock by the time I'm done. I bought an SM465 tranny and NP205 case, and was going to mount them on a custom frame, keeping the stock body, engine, axles and assorted doodads.
While waiting for an adapter bellhousing to bolt the AMC304 to the SM465, I started thinking, why go through the pain an additional expense of adapting to the 304 when a 350 will bolt right up with no additional expense? I had thought I may make that swap at some point in the distant future, why lay out $400 unnecessarily for the adapter bellhousing when I can just cough up the cash for the 350 and do it now?
So, I think I've pretty much decided to swap to the 350. What I need to know now is: new crate engine, or rebuild an old one? Fuel injection or carburetion? Performance mods?
Here are the pro's and con's I have now:
crate engine pro: new, warranty con: expensive
rebuilt engine pro: built to my specs, perhaps cheaper con: perhaps more expensive if I go for serious mods, perhaps no warranty, time involved in finding, deciding what specs.
carb pro: simple, reliable, easier to work on (pro for trail riding) con: less performance than FI, difficulty with inclines(true???)
Fuel Inj pro: better performance con: more expensive, difficult to work on, less reliable
Performance Mods pro: better performance con: expense
So...right now I am leaning toward getting the crate 4 bolt main, putting edelbrock intake and carb on it, putting headers on it and worrying about mods some day in the future. I'm thinking "I already have a project" and don't need another [img]images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
Any input from those who have been there?
P.S. If I do this, I'll soon have the OEM AMC304 + t15 tranny + dana20 xfer case, all bolted together, for sale. Any offers? Whats a good price? The tranny may need some work (small parts kit rebuild), but it would be great for someone building up a CJ5 who wants to stick with jeep parts.