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Old 06-15-2012, 04:31 PM   #1
63burban4x4
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using early ramhorns on a 350

I'm preparing to install a circa '86 350 from a C-60 truck (low,low miles)
in my '63. I'm looking for good driving dependability, not a high performance motor. I putt around town, but do plan some long distance travel with a camping trailer. Not changing cam or valve train, but will probably change the governed 2 barrell carb to a quadrajet. Panning for a 2004R trans, and am running 3:73 gears with close to stock height tires.
My question is this, I guess the original 283 ramhorn exhaust manifolds probably have smaller ports than the set of ramhorns that came with the 350. Thing is, all the original '63 pulleys and brackets for the front of the motor work beautifully, except the newer ramhorns have no mount for the alternator, like the 283 ones. If I use the 283 manifolds, I'm done fooling around with pulleys and brackets. If I use the 350 manifolds, I have to fabricate a new mount somehow for the alternator.
Question is, will this have a noticeable performance difference, if in fact the ports are smaller on the 283 manifolds?
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Old 06-15-2012, 06:06 PM   #2
68gmsee
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Re: using early ramhorns on a 350

You must be one of those young guys to call 1986 "circa." Makes me feel old.

Anyway, what you are going through is what I'm going through right now on a 75 engine I'm rebuilding. I have pulleys and brackets I pulled off my 77 engine but for some reason I can't get them the pulleys to line up exactly right. I think what you will wind up having to do is to decide what you want to end up with -early engine or later engine - and convert everything over.

In my case, I have rams horns from the 75 and will be converting or trying to convert everything over to long water pump. Problem is finding a complete engine to take everything off of it.

Also in your case, since you're not going to be using the truck for putting around town and only an occasional trip I wouldn't worry too much about manifold size. I doubt it will have a noticeable effect on performance.
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:03 PM   #3
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Re: using early ramhorns on a 350

Oh, I already know I want all the stuff I can get from the original 283. It all works perfectly (with a slight mod to the lower PS pump bracket to clear the larger harmonic balancer) and all the pulleys work and line up perfectly, except for the missing aternator mount on the end of the 350 exhaust manifold. After reading all the posts here about troubles getting all the pulleys correct, I was psyched to think that I had absolutely everything I need on the 283, as long as I use the manifolds, too. I've switched it all over & it's perfect. I just wondered about the smaller exhaust ports on the 283 manifolds.

Don't misunderstand, this truck will be doing some serious cross country with a camp trailer in tow. Not just an occasional trip, but out for several months at a time on the road. The better it runs, the happier I'll be.

As for being one of the younger guys, I'm sure I am younger than many here. Let's just say I grew up on Howdy Doody & Buffalo Bob, Sky King, The Lone Ranger, and Ozzie & Harriet!

When I got my driver's licence, these trucks were new in the Chevy dealer showrooms.......I went to work in high school for the local Chevy dealer in '66! (taking delivery and prepping the new '67's, cleaning up the trade ins, pumping gas & LOF. Changing the ad materials in the showroom.....Oh, the stuff that went into the dumpster! ) sorry for the ramble!
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:29 PM   #4
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Re: using early ramhorns on a 350

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Originally Posted by 63burban4x4 View Post
..........As for being one of the younger guys, I'm sure I am younger than many here. Let's just say I grew up on Howdy Doody & Buffalo Bob, Sky King, The Lone Ranger, and Ozzie & Harriet! ...........
Well in that case, I take back the "young guy" comment.

Have you thought about headers? Personally, I don't like the noise they make but it would gain you some hp's.
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:36 PM   #5
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Re: using early ramhorns on a 350

I did think about headers, but I like the mostly stock look, and my experience with headers years ago was less than great. They rusted out, they loosened up. they were a PITA. I'm sure they are better today, but the ramhorns cost me nada and they should last forever, with few problems.
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:47 PM   #6
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Re: using early ramhorns on a 350

To my knowledge all rams horn manifolds have the same exhaust port size.
Most truck/car manifolds have 2" collectors, Some Corvettes had 2 1/2" collectors.

I run 300hp LT1's with 283/327 rams horns on Jaguar conversions all the time, Finding a good matching set is hard, If yours are not cracked, Put the money toward having them resurfaced & put them back on with NO gasket "I use a VERY thin coat of High Temp Red Permatex silicone" Torque new grade 8 manifold bolts to 35 ft.lbs. Retorque in 100 miles...They will never leak!!!

Rams horn manfolds never had gaskets from the factory.
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:23 AM   #7
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Re: using early ramhorns on a 350

I agree. With the exception of the collector (2" on trucks versus 2 1/2" straight dumps on Vettes), they should be the same. I don't think the ports are different. Though if you have some time and tools, a die grinder can really make a difference! :-)

I've always run ramhorns, even on my 383 stroker. It's a low RPM beast, and usually stays below 4000 RPM, and never sees over 5200 RPM. It's a workhorse and needs nothing special. Ramhorns work great, no problems, no leaks. They just work. And if they fail, I can order new ones all day long from local parts stores. I do run good foil gaskets with mine, always have on all cast iron exhaust manifolds on all SBCs. New parts store ramhorns come with them in the box. Every once in a while, I had a cheapo gasket blow out, but the good foil Felpro ones work fine. But as mentioned, some choose not to use gaskets, which is fine too. YMMV.

By the way, that's cool running ramhorns on a LT1. The stock LT1 manifolds flow better, but I can see how the ramhorns would fit better in some cases.

The other thing I find interesting about your swap from a C-60 is the engine type. Back in the older days, a C-60 would have a tall deck engine. Usually like a 366, 409, or 427. Or even a huge 351 V6.
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Last edited by storm9c1; 06-16-2012 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:00 AM   #8
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Re: using early ramhorns on a 350

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Originally Posted by storm9c1 View Post
By the way, that's cool running ramhorns on a LT1. The stock LT1 manifolds flow better, but I can see how the ramhorns would fit better in some cases.
Yeah, The B-body & F-body manifolds dont fit, I have made LT1 Vette center dump manifolds work though.
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:03 AM   #9
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Re: using early ramhorns on a 350

tnks guys. I'm just going to polish up those 283 manifolds and call it good!
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