Camming/Over hauling Buick 350

Discussion in 'Buick FAQ' started by Jon.angelilli, May 29, 2017.

  1. Jon.angelilli

    Jon.angelilli New Member

    Hi all,

    To start off, I'm new to motor building so any advice would be greatly appreciated. I have Buick 350 5.7L out of a 1972 Buick GS. Looking to overhaul the whole motor with a cam, push rods, and lifters. Can someone point me in the right direction for choosing which cam to use along with the rods/lifters. Intake choice I heard is extremely important when choosing a cam. Any and all help is greatly appreciated! Thanks -Jon
  2. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    What kind of budget are you working with and what kind of power are you looking for?

  3. Jon.angelilli

    Jon.angelilli New Member

    Looking around the 1000 dollar range just for the motor not including headers and intake. Not too sure which carb to run either. Going into an 87 cutlass in front of a turbo 350 trans. Power wise would like to see around 300hp.
  4. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

    Jon, first you have to tell us exactly what your goals and expectations are for this motor. It isn't as simple as, you put a bigger cam in and you get more power with no downsides. Bigger cams reduce engine vacuum and have a rougher idle. They also push the power range up the RPM scale. You give up low end to get more HP at a higher RPM. That frequently means higher stall torque converters and higher numerical gearing. All of this can reduce streetability and gas mileage.

    One big factor in power potential is head flow. The more air you can move in and out of a cylinder head, the more power the engine will make. Cylinder head porting can really make the difference here. Porting is labor intensive and can be costly. Still the better the head flows, the less cam you need to make the same power. Sometime in the near future, aluminum heads will be available for the 350 Buick. These heads will flow big numbers right out of the box. You may want to consider that before you sink any money into your current heads to rebuild them.
  5. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

  6. Jon.angelilli

    Jon.angelilli New Member

    Thanks Larry, I'm not going into it too blind don't worry. I have a buddy basically guiding me through it. I looked at the link you posted and the stage 1 engine build is basically what I want. Also, budget wise Im more than willing to dump a lot more into t. I was thinking of using this cam setup:

    Head wise, i would like send the stock ones out to be machined/ported if need be. Honestly, I'm pretty knew to this so I'm still learning as I go. Still in the extremely early stages of building and looking for info / guidance. Thanks! Any other tips you can give me?
  7. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

    A cam is the last thing you need to order. You need to know exactly what the compression ratio will be. Buick engines will want a split duration cam, one with more exhaust duration than intake. I suggest you head over to the small block forum and do A LOT of reading over there before you order anything. If you don't you will make mistakes and spend more money than you have to. You aren't the first guy to ask these questions. There are lots of threads over in that forum dealing with cam choice. Use the search.
  8. Jon.angelilli

    Jon.angelilli New Member

    Thank you, will do!
  9. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooo! That's one of the worst if not thee worst aftermarket sbb cams you can put in any Buick engine!

    Unless you don't want to spin your engine over 4,000 RPM because that's where that cam make the engine to start falling on its own face!

    Figure out what pistons you're going to get, the good ones aren't cheap and the really cheap ones suck.

    You can buy aftermarket rods for a sbb 350 now but those are probably out of reach for your budget.

    A stock rod engine you can get the cast aluminum 340P pistons that would be fine if you can get to the 300 HP range;

    This piston and ring kit is for people that want a bit more out of there sbb 350;

    You can even do a stroker build using nascar take out rods with the above pistons because of them being customizable.(probably a bit advanced for your first build though)

    At your power level you don't need to chase trying to find a set of the heavier cap screw rods from the '73 and newer sbb engines, the '72 rods with new ARP hardware installed are good to 450 HP and a once and a while rev to a bit over 6,000 as long as the RPM isn't held there for to long.

    Shoot for 9.5:1 to 10:1 compression and there are plenty of cams that will make your engine run strong if you don't mind running premium gas. Still with 9.5:1 static compression if you want to run on midgrade or even regular 87 octane you can run a bigger cam to get the dynamic compression down. Doing that will slow you down out of the hole though so you might want to upgrade the rear gears and torque converter if you go that route help aid acceleration from a dead start if that's something you want.

    Don't let the title of this thread fool you, it has a lot of beginner head porting info in it to help get you to your HP goals;

    For a mild build like this you'll probably want to stick with a dual plane intake, either the Stage 1 aluminum intake from TA or a factory 4bbl intake that you can do some porting on to make it better if you don't care about the weight.

    Stay AWAY from the Edelbrock carbs, they just don't run good on a sbb 350, get a Q-jet from one of the reputable Q-jets builders in the vendor section here, or a 750 CFM Holley D/P style carb with a dual plane and a 650 CFM D/P with the new SP3 single plane intake.

  10. Skippy597

    Skippy597 Silver Level contributor

    Hey Jon,
    If you need a set of low comp pistons I have some hypers they are sealed power dished h644p .020 overs that I would let go for cheap since I got them for cheap. I bought them from a member on here but decided to go a different way.
  11. Jon,
    All of the advice given, so far, is right on point. I would just like to add that if a small budget is key, then you might want to reconsider going overboard with the sbb 350. You'll have a lot of fun with the car with just an intake and carb swap, good flowing exhaust and a proper drivetrain. Assuming that you are going to have a rebuild done professionally, you will be looking into at least the $3,000 range for just a typical engine overhaul. Keep in mind that is not including any performance parts. My sbb 350 is currently at about 380-390hp and has cost me around $7,000 all said and done. Again, assuming you're having a professional do all the work. The Buick 350 is an excellent foundation, but unfortunately not budget friendly. I hope I don't deter you from the build, I just wanted to make you aware of the potential costs. Best of luck

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