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Chevrolet 350 Engine - Sharp Dressed Mill - Tech - Classic Trucks Magazine

Chevrolet 350 Engine - Sharp Dressed Mill - Tech

Just because you're a classic truck enthusiast doesn't mean you're a gearhead. While the majority of us can tell the difference between carburetion and fuel injection, that's not to say we all know our way around the inside of an engine. And that's fine-those who want to know, will learn; the rest will rely on those who do know. That said, there's no reason why the same majority shouldn't be somewhat proficient with the externals of an engine, as that's what you'll probably end up dealing with more frequently.

Whether it's simply changing your valve cover gaskets, swapping an intake manifold, or installing a fuel pump, regular engine maintenance isn't just about topping off fluids and replacing filters. Beyond that, there may come a day where you find yourself acquiring a new (or used) long-block for no particular reason-it's surely not going to morph itself into a turnkey motor, now is it? Regardless of the situation, there are numerous tricks and procedures to slap together an engine the right way...you know, to not only keep the oil from seeping out, but to ensure it even starts from the get-go.

(Editor's disclaimer: Certain procedures depicted herein are ways the author has found to work best-there are alternatives that achieve the same results.)

There's nothing worse than firing up a newly transplanted engine for break-in only to find it leaving its mark on your clean driveway. Well, actually, it's a lot worse if the engine won't even turn over at all-but hopefully we can avoid all that with the following installment.

Like its blue-blooded competitor, GM Performance Parts (GMPP) offers complete crate engines in many shapes and sizes. They also offer them in lesser states of dress, better known as long-blocks or partials. For the end user who's not certain how or even where a new engine is going to be used, the latter is often the best choice, as incidentals such as induction, ignition, and exhaust can all be determined at a later date. As luck would have it, GMPP offers those, too-from carburetors to distributors, water pumps to fuel pumps, if it's a vital component of the internal combustion process, they've got it.

Among GMPP's gamut of powerplants, they offer a nifty little entry-level SBC often referred to simply as the "290 Horse." And that's pretty much what it is, a 290hp, four-bolt main, small-block 350 with no-frills iron heads and a hydraulic flat tappet cam. It's the perfect starter for a beginner's project, a replacement for a driver, or, as in this case, a mule for external assembly tips. Along with utilizing GMPP for pretty much everything needed to make this motor run, we will also be installing their deluxe serpentine accessory belt drive system so it not only runs, it'll also be ready to drop in a truck and go. Obviously, we needed something to fasten most of the items to the long-block, and for that we went to ARP for one of their complete fastener kits to avoid multiple trips to the hardware store during the process of assembly (but more importantly, to provide a uniform look with the same type of bolts used consistently). Finally, for a proper seal, SCE Gaskets supplied us with their latest intake, exhaust, and valve cover gaskets.

If assembling an engine just ain't your gig, don't sweat it-there's a turnkey crate with your name on it just waiting to be delivered!