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Thread: Rebuild & beef up my 350

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    DFW, Texas

    Default Rebuild & beef up my 350

    Sorry if I accidentally posted this twice but...
    Im wanting to Rebuild my 73 Buick 350 Mtr. and Im thinking of putting a CAM in it and Boring it out a little. Any suggestions.? Im wanting a LITTLE Rock from a lope of a cam but not sure where to start. I want to Rebuild the mtr so I figured I might as well do it the way Id like it. Im wanting a little more power and SPEED... I plan on using the same Q.J. Carb. and Im not wanting to make it a drag car... I still want it to have the stock look too. Plz give me yalls thoughts and suggestions and if yall know where I might be able to get better info from, plz let me know. Im all ears and not in a rush and want to do it right but not over done where im always having to fix something. Thank you all for yalls time.
    Is it what you know or who you know...?

  2. #2


    There are some great 350 engine builds on the V8 Buick board. There is one thread with computer estimated dyno curves for a range of camshafts. They'll have the details you need.

    Here are some generalities.
    1) The stock engine is focused on producing torque and is a pretty good base. You can have some remarkeable gains by changing the advance curve in the distributor adding a mild cam and having the Q-Jet built and adjusted based on your engine combination. There are some impressive numbers coming from people who have massaged the stock intake, heads and exhaust manifolds swapped the cam and then carefully tuned the carb and distributor. You don't need lots of aftermarket parts instead spend the money on people with experience and spend your time on tuning.
    2) The engine does not respond well to random bolt on parts. Swapping the intake or adding headers without changing anything else does not yeild much improvement. You get the benefits when the parts work as a system and everything is tuned to work together.
    3) The heads appear to be the limiting factor in building big horsepower. All of the engine builds that have impressive numbers have some fairly serious headwork. There is some indication that the waterjacket walls are thin in places and heavy handed porting can break through. Anything beyond a basic polish and clean up is best left to someone with experience.
    4) I haven't found anyone who has significantly increased the displacement beyond a slight overbore.
    5) There are a couple of detailed threads for turbo-charged 350's with amazing results.

    There is a ton of potential depending on your cubic dollars. There is one dyno-proven build that topped 1,000 horsepower. It took huge amounts of work and development and it didn't last long but it's a warm fuzzy feeling to know.

    Tuning the carb and distributor will give you the biggest bang for the fewest bucks. If you want to spend more dollars and get more power Nitrous Oxide is probably the next option up the scale. Swapping the cam is a bit higher on the dollar per pony scale. Having the heads professionally ported is more dollars for fewer ponies, but it's required if you want to go any further with the build. Massaged stock intake and exhaust manifolds or an aluminum intake and headers will give limited results until the heads are done.

    Finally, there is no argument that dollar per horsepower the best money you can spend is to swap in a 455. They are torque monsters, they are relatively light for a big block and the supply of aftermarket parts is vastly improved. There is a lot more experience with different combinations with dyno records to show the results. I have a 350 and no plans to change it. I'm not recommending you change the engine, just acknowledging that if you want to get beyond a certain threshold a 455 is the cheapest way to get there.

    Good luck and let us know what you find.

    Livin' Large.

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