FFT: Top End of the 350 Chevy

Here’s some shots from day 2. You’ll have to apologize for the lack of depth in my early shots as I wasn’t expecting to show them in such context. As you can see from the picture above I had laid a little gray primer aross the top of the grill surround. You’ll also notice the brown quarter panel on the passenger side. As you can see, the truck was in a bit of a collision before I purchased it, which is why the grille, lights and front bumper have been removed. The gray primer really shows the extent of the damage under the light of the flash. That passenger side is tweaked. The original fender on that side was badly crumpled as well. Thankfully I had many part trucks to grab off of when I first started.

The coolant that you see in under the rockers is from a congealed cooling system sealant holding in all of the coolant. It was a real pain to drain the block until I got the heads off. From here you can see the roller rockers (nothing special) and the headers. The 455 will have a clutch fan and all of that braided hosing (along with that glass sighted fuel filter) will be history.

The only things I plan on keeping from the 350 are the headers and the performer intake manifold (spreadbore mount). Obviously neither will bolt up to the olds mill, but having two other sbc-powered vehicles makes these parts worth hanging on to. You might even see them pop up in a future build. As far as the edlebrock carb is concerned, my dad happens to like them and also happens to have a Rochester Quadra-jet that I want. So we’ll be trading those in the near future. The short block will be examined and then thrown on craigslist, separate from the heads. I want sell them apart for two reasons:

  • To make sure they never, never, EVER meet again
  • and because I believe there will be a bigger profit in selling them apart

I was really disappointed when I got this far into the build. First because I had to wait on an impact wrench to get the heads off, and second because my dreams of these heads at least being something other than stock were completely dashed. This thing is your classic 350 goodwrench bolt-on build up from a hotrodders magazine applied to the worst stock 350 chevy of all time. I’d have been happier to find swirl ports on top of the block.

I was hoping that I might have been able to at least salvage something fun out of what I had until I found a suitable 455 to build, but when I got this deep and I saw the extent of problems with the coolant, the awful heads and the cost to even get this thing somewhere near 250 horsepower at the crank using what I had; I hardened my resolve towards removing the drive train and focusing on other aspects of the vehicle for the time being.