How you built your 350, what worked, what didn't...

Discussion in 'Jeeps with the Buick Heartbeat' started by lkmarsh, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. lkmarsh

    lkmarsh Well-Known Member

    I've been holding off pulling the 350 from the 69 till I could read Sean's book. Also been reading a book by Jefferson Bryant on Buick motors, mostly focusing on oil mods. The motor I want to build is for endurance and longevity, not rock climbing but freeway cruising and running around town. I want to know what you guys have done to build your motors to last. Having read what I could I seem to have done everything possible to torpedo my Dauntless, so second time around I want to know what works. Thanks!
  2. Mark Demko

    Mark Demko Well-Known Member

    My 350 is in my '71 GS, heres what I've learned over the years (30) that I've owned it:
    I have the Jefferson Bryant book, DONT GO BY ANYTHING IN THAT BOOK! Its a nice read with color pics, but a TON of mis-information!
    Main bearings, .002
    Rods .002
    Re-size big end of rods to "round again"
    Make sure timing cover is in good shape, oil pump cavity is most important, no scores, gouges, and make sure the pump gears protrude above pump cavity, if they don't, cavity is worn, get a new cover from TA Performance.
    If pump cavity is good, use shim kit from TA Performance to achieve .002 end clearance.
    Use TA's back grooved cam bearings.
    Use seals on exhaust guides, Buick didn't use them. The guides will have to be cut.
    Get a good valve job
    Bore over (.020 .030)
  3. lkmarsh

    lkmarsh Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your reply. The TA cam bearings are on my to-do list, have a new timing cover and booster plate, considering the oil passage drilling and larger diameter oil pickup. Both of my blocks are bored over 0.040, is this too much? Still looking for the definitive book on building Buick motors. Any idea when Sean's book is available?
  4. Mark Demko

    Mark Demko Well-Known Member

    Seans book wont be available for awhile as far as I know.
    Best thing to do is ask any questions on here that you have as they come to mind during your build:TU:
    This board is full of people that have real life experience with Buick engines, people that build 'em, and run/race 'em!
  5. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    A .040" overbore is nothing for a sbb 350 block, only going that much over you don't need to bother having the block sonic tested. I have sonic tested a couple of sbb 350s and one of them was thick enough to bore .200" over to take it from a 3.800" bore to a 4.00" bore! The other one was thick enough to go at least .100" over.

    Sean won't have his book done until TA sells sbb 350 aluminum heads, so when that happens that would be a good time to ask him. He actually has his own MB in the vendors section here on v8 Buick. While you wait this site is better than any book for rebuilding knowledge, you just have to ask. GL

  6. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    Yes sorry for the delay on the book I need the alum heads in hand then ported and dynod before I can put the book to print.
  7. ctlikon

    ctlikon Well-Known Member

    Is the consensus on booster plates that they are ok or are they like the tall gear HV oil pumps, bad for the distributor/cam gear?
  8. Mark Demko

    Mark Demko Well-Known Member

    The booster plate is all good.
    Instead of your pump gears riding on the aluminum pump cover, they ride on a machined iron/steel plate. Well the gears really shouldn't ride on anything, there should be a film of oil in between, BUT with the booster plate in there, the steel/iron expands less than the aluminum would, thereby keeping the tolerances MUCH tighter, AND maintaining oil pressure much much better.
    They're pretty much a standard upgrade to the Buick oil pump:TU:
  9. ctlikon

    ctlikon Well-Known Member

    Thanks Mark. I have seen some that appeared to be anodized aluminum. I guess the anodize provides a tougher wear surface too. Good stuff.
  10. Phil

    Phil It really *is* a 350...

    I had to rebuild mine back in 92 because I'd bent the crank and three rods, but the machinist said the crank, bores, and deck were all square. He said I could have gotten a new crank and rods, re-ringed the pistons, and put it back together. Lesson: Find out what the machinist has to say before you buy anything.

    Zero deck '72 block bored .030
    10.25:1 Hypereutectic Pistons
    '75 crank and rods
    Poston GS114 (.480/.495) Camshaft
    Melling HV oil pump kit
    Comp Cams rockers and chromoly shafts
    TA Stage 1 (first gen) 350 Intake
    Q-Jet Carbeurator with 1" open spacer
    MSD 6AL
    Accell HEI Super Coil
    Taylor 8MM wires
    AC plugs
    Hooker Super Competition Headers

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