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Small-Block 350 Engine Build - Mighty Mouse Motor: Part 2

Posted in How To on April 30, 2013
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Photographers: Agustin Jimenez

If you remember all the way back to January 2013's issue ("Budget-Built Small-Block: Part 1"), we started to build a basic small-block 350 with a Summit Racing Top End kit that could be had for less than $1,300. A somewhat unique truck purchase (shortbed 3/4-ton GMC) for only $900 had inspired us to dump some money into the engine, and Summit's aluminum heads, manifold, camshaft, and timing chain package was the best bang we could find for our buck.

But we found the short-block to be no good when we pulled the engine apart, making our "budget-built" project a lot more costly. We decided that finding a four-bolt main short-block to start with would be easier (and better) than rebuilding this two-bolt main short-block. After scouring Craigslist, we came across an old engine master working out of a no-name shop backed up to the side of the 210 freeway. He was offering rebuilt short-blocks for around a grand and since we needed one now, we bit. Of course, when we stopped by, Willy Germann had no four-bolt main blocks available. A deal was struck that if we could find a bare old block to start with and provide parts, he’d rebuild it as quickly as he could.

Upon finding an earlier four-bolt main block, the project was started with the block being cleaned, machined, and bored out to 0.080 over, at the same time checking to see if it needed to be decked. While it was more expensive to start with a freshly rebuilt four-bolt main block, it was the right thing to do and will pay off in longevity down the road. We doled out some cash and waited for Willy to finish.

Extra time can be a bad thing (on your checkbook) if you have a phone and a catalog handy. The downtime gave us the opportunity to complement our top end kit with the addition of a new Summit water pump and pulley, Summit oil pan and oil pump, Summit timing chain cover, Summit valve covers, Summit roller rockers, and a few other goodies.

Once the bottom end was finished, we rushed to start putting the parts on to complete the engine and get it into the truck as soon as we could.

Did our build get monetarily out of hand compared to what we intended? Undoubtedly. Are we happy with the outcome? Without question. The total price tag on the engine was still not bad at $3,242.50, not including incidental costs. Using almost all Summit Racing branded parts (which also kept costs down), we got a totally fresh Chevy 360ci V-8 engine that will reliably put out around 400 horsepower and be a perfect powerplant for our project truck.

Total Cost of Engine Build

Fresh four-bolt main short block: $1,000.00
Summit Top End Kit: $1,288.00
Summit finned aluminum oil pan (SUM-121010): $94.95
Summit standard volume oil pump (SES-3-60-08-018): $119.95
Summit engine bolt kit (SUM-56490HS): $36.95
Summit aluminum roller rocker arms (SUM-G6906): $199.95
Summit aluminum water pump (SUM-311015): $119.95
Summit die-cast aluminum valve covers (SUM-440401): $129.95
Summit aluminum timing chain cover (SUM-G6300W): $52.95
Summit aluminum water pump pulley (SUM-G3960): $49.95
Summit aluminum water neck (SUM-371100): $19.95
Silv-O-Lite 0.080 over pistons (UEM-1436-080): $129.95

Total Engine Cost: $3,242.50

PhotosView Slideshow


Summit Racing
Akron, OH
Willy's Engines

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