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Old 01-28-2019, 01:03 PM   #1
demian5
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Blew up the truck, deciding on a cam and trans upgrades

This kinda long, thanks to those that read it and help.

I flog my truck as a daily driver. I enjoy the truck a lot. Its a solid driver and never misses a beat, even when getting half a bed of firewood.

I traded trucks with my kid and on his way home from the swap, crank broke. Coolant in engine, front of crank trying to look up and out of engine compartment (image attached). I said to him "I beat the crap out of that thing and its never given me any problems". I believe he just got the luck of the draw and was in possession of it when it let go.

What a crappy call to have to make as a 19 year old kid "dad, i blew up your truck".

I have another motor in the garage that a flattened a cam lobe. Ill go through the motor and get it cleaned up as it only had about 2000 miles on it after full rebuild before the cam went and my father swapped to a big block (I feel the cam may not have been broken in properly). Clean block, new bearings, etc...

I have options for an intake. I have a single plane Torker, and a couple dual planes, one is taller than the other. I also have options for carbs with holleys, demons and edelbrock 650 and 750 (even a matched pair if I want a dual quad setup).

I need to get a new cam. I have one that was purchased for the engine but it has a 470 lift 300 duration and 108 lobe sep. This seems a little to much for a stock converter and a truck with tall gears. Would do 200 MPH through...

I plan on going through the trans as well at this time.
Truck will be daily driven. Looking for suggestion for a cam and trans upgrades. Not going to "LS swap the world" on this, as its a nice truck Id love to keep original to its origin and kind of period correct.

Specs below:

ENGINE NOW:
Target 350 boat anchor

ENGINE TO PUT IN:
355 4-bolt main
Steel crank
Edelbrock 6090 heads
Full Roller rockers (have a set of 1.5 and 1.6 to choose from)

Engine Accessories:
Mid-length hedman headers
Performer dual plane intake
Demon 625 street carb
MSD billet distributor with vacuum advance locked out

Drivetrain:
TH350 trans
Stock Converter
3:07 gears
31" tires

Thank you in advance for your expertise.
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Old 01-28-2019, 01:30 PM   #2
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Wink Re: Blew up the truck, deciding on a cam and trans upgrades

....sounds like your son is going to have a busy and expensive couple of weeks ahead of him..lol
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Old 01-28-2019, 06:48 PM   #3
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Re: Blew up the truck, deciding on a cam and trans upgrades

Just my thoughts on this one:

If the trans was ok before...leave it....just make sure its serviced and has no leaks from seals etc...

Engine: Daily driver....why not consider a roller cam Vortec engine as the base....yes it will need a different manifold....but you will never flatten a cam lobe ever again...

Make sure the heads are not cracked....and run a ring and bearing kit thru it...

You will, in most cases, need to add an electric fuel pump as most Vortecs do not have the fuel pump hole drilled in the block..

You could always go to Scoggin Dickey and grab a new L31 $1999 free shipping...

https://sdparts.com//i-24111530-gm-e...CABEgL-l_D_BwE

That cam you mentioned...way too much for a street daily driver...IMO
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Old 01-28-2019, 09:21 PM   #4
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Re: Blew up the truck, deciding on a cam and trans upgrades

I would stay below 218 @ .050 on the cam. That's the Comp 268 or equivalent. Or I would be looking at a converter and gear upgrade. I run the 266 Crane in my Jimmy with a 331" motor. But 4 speed and 4.11's with 35" tires works out to 3.30 gear or so.

Check out some of the Howard's cams that have the no-fault 5 year warranty. You can get the lifters that have the laser hole in the bottom to pressure feed the cam lobe as well.
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Old 01-29-2019, 12:38 AM   #5
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Re: Blew up the truck, deciding on a cam and trans upgrades

Sorry to hear about your truck. I know your son hated to make that call, rode my dads bike and broke the transmission in it. Turned out to be a couple bolts came loose, not my fault but still dreaded that call. Why not do a roller cam conversion on the 355? I mean its about a $600 upgrade but then your good to go. No Zink oil additives and you can go with a more aggressive cam profile without sacrificing reliability.
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Old 01-29-2019, 01:29 AM   #6
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Re: Blew up the truck, deciding on a cam and trans upgrades

Just pick up a late model roller cam block. Already set up, 1 piece rear main. For less than the cost of the retro kit you can get a complete builder
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Old 01-29-2019, 08:01 AM   #7
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Re: Blew up the truck, deciding on a cam and trans upgrades

Yes, 880 block all the way! They’re out there and relatively cheap.
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Old 01-29-2019, 09:09 AM   #8
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Re: Blew up the truck, deciding on a cam and trans upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieinNC View Post
Just my thoughts on this one:

If the trans was ok before...leave it....just make sure its serviced and has no leaks from seals etc...

Engine: Daily driver....why not consider a roller cam Vortec engine as the base....yes it will need a different manifold....but you will never flatten a cam lobe ever again...

Make sure the heads are not cracked....and run a ring and bearing kit thru it...

You will, in most cases, need to add an electric fuel pump as most Vortecs do not have the fuel pump hole drilled in the block..

You could always go to Scoggin Dickey and grab a new L31 $1999 free shipping...

https://sdparts.com//i-24111530-gm-e...CABEgL-l_D_BwE

That cam you mentioned...way too much for a street daily driver...IMO
Just one more thing...if you do go with roller block, you will need a different flexplate as the crank end is different due to one piece rear seal on the roller motors...
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Old 01-29-2019, 01:44 PM   #9
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Re: Blew up the truck, deciding on a cam and trans upgrades

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Yes, 880 block all the way! They’re out there and relatively cheap.
Id rather put this $$ into the trans. I live on the left coast and have little disposable income.
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Old 01-29-2019, 02:20 PM   #10
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Re: Blew up the truck, deciding on a cam and trans upgrades

If the trans was ok before the crank issue...I would just run front and rear seals and pan gasket / filter into it while engine trans is out...

Obviously, if you find a load of crap in the pan when you remove it, the trans will need a rebuild...

Historically, when I have come across SBC or BBC with flattened cam lobes, the resultant metal dust has usually polluted everywhere,,,,always destroys the oil pump...and usually the cam and crank bearings....

You can get em clean, but its usually a huge job including oil gallery plug removal and numerous hot deep soaking processes.

I have built maybe 20 or so roller motors in past 2 years...only two flat tappet cam engines...and one was an original build on a 327 keeping it original as per owner request....

Roller motors are a better solution....in the long run...just my humble opinion....and as mentioned, they are plentiful in wrecking yards...

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Old 01-29-2019, 08:23 PM   #11
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Re: Blew up the truck, deciding on a cam and trans upgrades

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Originally Posted by demian5 View Post
Id rather put this $$ into the trans. I live on the left coast and have little disposable income.
The left coast
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Old 01-31-2019, 06:05 PM   #12
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Re: Blew up the truck, deciding on a cam and trans upgrades

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Originally Posted by AussieinNC View Post
If the trans was ok before the crank issue...I would just run front and rear seals and pan gasket / filter into it while engine trans is out...

Obviously, if you find a load of crap in the pan when you remove it, the trans will need a rebuild...

Historically, when I have come across SBC or BBC with flattened cam lobes, the resultant metal dust has usually polluted everywhere,,,,always destroys the oil pump...and usually the cam and crank bearings....

You can get em clean, but its usually a huge job including oil gallery plug removal and numerous hot deep soaking processes.

I have built maybe 20 or so roller motors in past 2 years...only two flat tappet cam engines...and one was an original build on a 327 keeping it original as per owner request....

Roller motors are a better solution....in the long run...just my humble opinion....and as mentioned, they are plentiful in wrecking yards...

Trans has been slow to engage in the AM lately and has unknown miles on it. I have a set of bearings for the engine so i can pull it apart, clean it up and freshen it up as well.
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Old 01-31-2019, 09:54 PM   #13
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Re: Blew up the truck, deciding on a cam and trans upgrades

Trans slow to pickup in AM in Winter is usually sign of hard seals....

I would put a full overhaul kit in it...and new convertor...

Re the engine rebuild...I would be worried about the root cause of the crank breaking...if it has spun a main bearing in that block you may as well use it as a boat anchor....

I build quite a few engines...4 so far this year...and none were flat tappet cam engines...I have two more in process right now...one roller and one flat cam 327 original build...(hence my WTB recently for a 2BBL carb...I have one on the way )

I buy Vortec cores from salvage yards or craigslist,,,usually throw new heads on, depends on what the client wants, and always hot run test each engine before installing...I firmly believe the flat tappet cam engines can be built to last, but once you build a roller you will wonder why it took you so long to try.

The SBC will never give the performance and fuel efficiency of the LS variants, but I do prefer the semi authentic look of a Vortec 350.

Just this old dudes opinion...anyhoo...

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Old 02-01-2019, 08:11 PM   #14
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Re: Blew up the truck, deciding on a cam and trans upgrades

I'm not spending $600-800 to put a roller cam in this.
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Old 02-01-2019, 10:20 PM   #15
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Re: Blew up the truck, deciding on a cam and trans upgrades

we all have champagne taste on someone elses budget.
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Old 02-01-2019, 10:37 PM   #16
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Re: Blew up the truck, deciding on a cam and trans upgrades

So you have a complete 355 with a bad cam? Buy a stock L-79 cam, use lucas break in oil and zinc additives. Use correct engine oil for older motors. Watch videos on youtube on modern engine oils in older motors.

I like turbo 350 transmissions, simple and affordable. Add a trans cooler, a deep pan and filter extension.
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Old 02-04-2019, 01:10 PM   #17
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Re: Blew up the truck, deciding on a cam and trans upgrades

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So you have a complete 355 with a bad cam? Buy a stock L-79 cam, use lucas break in oil and zinc additives. Use correct engine oil for older motors. Watch videos on youtube on modern engine oils in older motors.

I like turbo 350 transmissions, simple and affordable. Add a trans cooler, a deep pan and filter extension.
Thanks - I've been reading about the L79 and the L46 cams. I like the 350 as it is lighter than a 400 and take less power to run (and I already have it)... And with 307 rear end, I don't need an OD to go 170 MPH...
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Old 04-10-2019, 04:56 PM   #18
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Re: Blew up the truck, deciding on a cam and trans upgrades

I ended up with a comp cams 268H
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:05 PM   #19
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Re: Blew up the truck, deciding on a cam and trans upgrades

You will like that cam, good power and no crappy idle/cold start antics.
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:16 PM   #20
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Re: Blew up the truck, deciding on a cam and trans upgrades

Your stock converter will hate that Torker intake. Get a good dual plane like an RPM air-gap.

Gary
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:33 PM   #21
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Re: Blew up the truck, deciding on a cam and trans upgrades

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Your stock converter will hate that Torker intake. Get a good dual plane like an RPM air-gap.

Gary
Im installing the performer air gap. That will get the range down to about 1500 RPM to match the cam.
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Old 04-12-2019, 08:29 PM   #22
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Re: Blew up the truck, deciding on a cam and trans upgrades

I'm sorry to hear your engine popped. I've enjoyed your truck and seeing your posts. Glad to hear you're going to get it back on the road. That truck deserves to roll once again.
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:53 PM   #23
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Re: Blew up the truck, deciding on a cam and trans upgrades

Run break in oil with lots of zinc in it for brake in.Then run oil with zinc or use a zinc additive.

Some people will disagree but flat tappet cams like zinc.If your oil doesn’t have zinc they will sometimes destroy lobes.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:02 PM   #24
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Re: Blew up the truck, deciding on a cam and trans upgrades

I've been daily driving a 305 with flat tappet cam for the last 16 years. My 95 Grand Cherokee is also flat tappet. No issues. Last few sbc I built also no issues. My method has been Valvoline VR1 conventional for break in along with a small bottle of break in additive. Then continue with VR1 for the first 10000 miles. Then I switch to Rotella T6 synthetin. I run that T6 in everything from my pushmower to a 300hp supercharged jet ski.
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:44 AM   #25
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I've been daily driving a 305 with flat tappet cam for the last 16 years. My 95 Grand Cherokee is also flat tappet. No issues. Last few sbc I built also no issues. My method has been Valvoline VR1 conventional for break in along with a small bottle of break in additive. Then continue with VR1 for the first 10000 miles. Then I switch to Rotella T6 synthetin. I run that T6 in everything from my pushmower to a 300hp supercharged jet ski.
As I said not everyone would agree.By the way Rotella changed the amount of zinc in t6 so what working before may not work as well now.heres some reading.
ikewise with motorcycles, though marketed as an engine oil for diesel trucks, Rotella T6 5w-40 synthetic oil has also found popularity with drivers and tuners of gasoline powered vehicles that utilize turbocharging or other forms of forced induction. Several owners of high performance model cars have adopted its use due to its high heat tolerance and its resistance to shearing. Rotella T6 is a Non Energy Conserving Oil, and does not meet GF-5 Oil specifications. When Rotella T6 was revised for the API specification(for use in spark ignition engines), its Zinc levels were effectively reduced. Higher(content) Zinc Additives(ZDDP) are required for flat tappet engines and cartridge bearings, which In previous formulations Rotella T6 had desirable levels of Zinc(ZDDP).
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