Chevy Nova Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
544 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to decide on a few things as far as engine wise goes with my 63 wagon and the 350 I am building for it. Currently it has a 327 but I am building a 350 to throw in soon and will be using the car for my daily driver and on long road trips. I am pushing for reliability, simplicity, and fuel mileage. I do not plan to stick with a basic stock 350, I do want to up the power some (hoping 320 HP range). I also plan to add A/C to it as well.
Anyways, post up your 327 or 350 information such as heads, cam, compression ratio, etc and what kind of milage your getting out of it. Also don't forget to post your year Chevy II or Nova, transmission and rear end along with things like A/C and power steering that can affect your mileage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,146 Posts
well I can tell ya what I was gonna use in my 63 wagon but never got to test it. I had built a 406 with 9.5 to 1 comp, hydraulic cam 268 duration, ported GM 941 heads, dual plane high rise intake, small tube headers, HEI and a 750 vac sec carb. I had a 2200 stall converter called a GM-6 used in 70 SS 454 chevelles. Th350 with 3.08's and 235/60-15's. I was gonna dial it in for best combo of performance and efficiency. Did a similar combo but a 383 in my truck that got 16mph on the freeway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,904 Posts
im building my 350 up as well dude for a daily driver, i already got ac factory ac :D but i do want power as well but im not focusing on that at the moment, im more focused on getting her running 100% and problem free so i have no worries when shes on the road :yes: after all that them im gonna get in to Hp and making her fast with some balls :devil:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
544 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
My idea or goal I should say is about 17 MPG in city and 20-22 MPG highway. Maybe I am asking for way too much I don't know. I am trying to build a reliable 350 right now but haven't decided on whether to go with a roller cam setup or not. Also, not sure on the heads. The heads it came with are 75cc GM crate style heads that were for trucks and for smog. With the pistons I have and 75cc's this will keep my compression at 9:1 which is pretty much what I want but I believe these heads will greatly hurt performance and mileage. For temporary use I am going to pull the Powerglide and throw in a TH350 that I have until I can afford a 200-4R or 700-R4 overdrive unit. I think this with a taller than stock rear tire should help some along with little things like HEI, electric fan, etc.
The 350 I have now has a Comps Cam Magnum 270 but I do not want to run a stall converter which will hurt performance. I hear I can run the Rhoads lifters to help but looked into that and talked to some engine builders who said they do not recommend it for a street car.
I don't know, it's all up in the air and I have no clue which way to go. There's so many options and now I wish I would have just bought a crate roller motor and thrown it in with a nice dress up kit and let it go. Too late for that now...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,895 Posts
I'd build that engine like this. Get a reverse dome 383 kit (all cast--no need for forged).
Vortec heads (RHS Pro-Torquers would be nice but not mandatory)
a small hydraulic roller like the Lunati #60110.
# Advertised Duration (Int/Exh): 262/270
# Duration @ .050 (Int/Exh): 211/219
# Gross Valve Lift (Int/Exh): .507/.515
# LSA/ICL: 112/106
# Valve Lash (Int/Exh): Hyd/Hyd
# RPM Range: 1600-5600
With a good dual plane intake and vacuum secondary carb it should have TONS of low and mid-range torque!!
A mild converter and a 200r4 and about 3.42 gears would be about perfect.:yes:
It will easily meet your HP goal and with the smaller cam should idle smooth and have plenty vacuum for all of your accessories (power brakes, a/c, etc.)..:yes:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,072 Posts
The best way to increase mpg on a small block Chevy is to keep the rpm under 2000. With the Comp 270 cam it wouldn't be real torquey at that rpm.
I'd use a Vortec head, a Performer, a Q-Jet, short duration cam,
1-1/2" tube headers thru a 2" or 2-1/4" exhaust. A tight converter like a stocker unless you go to the 200 or 700 with a lock-up unit.
Lunati has a High Efficiency line of cams like this:
http://www.lunatipower.com/Product.aspx?id=1851&gid=258
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
im puting a 350hd whit a th700r4 i dont have to worry about the milage because here in mexico we dont have as much freeways as all of you do but my dream was a 396 but is too expencive!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
544 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Yeah I think I will be going with a Q-Jet. I like the fact it has the small primaries for driving around town and big secondaries when I need the power. Some say they are junk but usually the ones I see saying that are the ones who dont know how to tune them. My biggest issue is heads and cam kit. A few engine builders say that roller setup is my best bet, not sure... As for Vortec heads, has anyone tried Summits line of Vortec heads? Are they any good? I hear that stock GM ones are not worth the money and to spend a little more for aftermarket ones. :confused:
Thanks for all the help and info guys.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
654 Posts
If you go the vortec head route, get a single pattern camshaft for it. The added exhaust duration on a dual pattern cam wont be a benefit until 4500 rpm or higher. With 9-1 you can use up to 216 @ .050" before it starts to kill gas mileage. A hydraulic flat tappet 212/212 @ .050" with .470"/.470" lift (1.6's) on a 114 lsa would be my choice.

the hyd roller choice is a lot more money, but the added valve are will get you more torque and hp at the same rpm. You could go 214/214 @.050" with .530" lift.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
544 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
What size vortec heads do you recommend with the TRW pistons I have? They are TRW's (Speed Pro) L2256 .030 over Forged pistons. The pistons are supposed to have 9.72:1 compression ratio with 64 cc heads I believe. The heads I have are 3998993 which show as 75cc heads NOT 76cc which I didn't know they have 75cc. I believe that 9.72:1 is way too high for the street but then again I am no pro when it comes to engine building and specs and could be wrong. I of course want to be able to run mid grade fuel or premium if I have to but nothing above that at all. What brand Vortec heads would you recommend? Someone told me that they can get me PBM Thunder heads for the $600 dollar range and an Erson cam but it seems that PBM heads are not too great. They are a little better than stock though but made in China, assembled in Australia and finish in USA I believe. I hear lots of good things about Erson cams though and hear that their stage 2 RV cams would be a great one for non roller street motor. I haven't decided on the whole roller or non roller thing. I'd love to do the vortec heads and roller cam setup and then again I'd like to do the heads and just a plain cam. Some that I have talked to said they only use roller setups now and will never go back to hydraulic flat tappet cams again and that they wear quick, etc. IMO, they used plain hyd, flat tappet cams forever without a problem so I dont see the big deal and then again the whole thing about more power and torque with the roller setup sounds nice.
Ahhh, I just don't know what to do! All I do know is what I have to work with is a clean 350 block with the TRW pistons, Comps Cam timing gear and chain set and those crappy heads I mentioned above. Also have a Weiand Street Avenger intake I believe it is called and plan to run either a plain Holley 650 or Q-Jet. Most likely will go with a Q-Jet and try to learn to tune it very good since they make great street carbs for better MPG and power with the big secondaries when you stomp on the pedal.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,365 Posts
You are going to need an overdrive transmission to that kind of gas mileage. My ZZ4 with it's 208/221 duration cam pulls 6th gear at 1600 RPM, but only gets 13-14 MPH in town.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,146 Posts
I'd get the vortecs from summit or scoggin dickey. They're done and ready to bolt on. IF you decide to get the PBM ones just have the heads checked out by a machine shop to see if the valve job is good and they're clean and the valve stem to guide clearance is correct. IT would suck to have a valve stick in the head. Sometimes you can find a set of cores off craigslist or from a friend just make sure they're not cracked. Stock vortecs are prone to cracking. Go the junkyards find a 96-99 small block and nabbed the heads. Check them for cracks then have them done up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
i run a 350 ram jet, fuel injected 450 hp. motor. Lt4 hot cam, gm aluminum heads, 3:73 posi. daily driver. 15+ city, 20+ highway. the main ingriedient 700R4 transmission.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,045 Posts
I built a 327 that I bought for $100's...It was out of a 1968 camaro...I had the heads done, as far as valve's and reserfacing...The block was bored .30 over. It has a large journal crank which makes it vertually a 350...I added heddman hedders, Summit duel exhaust ...along with a performer intake and Eddy 600 cfm carb. I can't tell you how much I love driving my Nova now....It's not built to race..Just to be a fun driver..Not only that...but after pulling the 230 inline...I save tons of ****$ on gas..I can put 50 miles on it before the needle hits the full mark on the gauge.........You can have a stock mill , or a titan ..it's your choice...But I'm sure you'll be happy with whatever you choose................good luck and have fun.........:D:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
544 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Well guys I thought I'd bring an old thread back from the dead... I have decided now for sure to go with a 700R4 transmission on this project of mine. I will have about $2000 to spend on the wagon in 3-4 weeks and I plan to use it wisely. It will not be enough to get all the parts needed to finish the wagon but it will be a big step to get the engine and transmission taken care of.
Before I was going to just run the TH350 I had but as I have been doing research, there is no way I will reach my 20's MPG highway mark if I do not at least run a 700R4.
Now as I mentioned before, it's got a 327 in the car now and I am building a 350 in the garage for it. I am debating on which motor to go with for now. Eventually I want to run the 350 but the one I have now needs a lot of parts to even get going such as heads, cam, lifters, springs, carb, timing cover, gasket kit, oil pump, water pump, HEI dissy, etc etc. Pretty much I have a block with the TRW pistons in it... Downside to running the 327 for now is when I first bought and drove the car home it had a VERY rough idle and the exhaust was just raw fuel spraying out. I changed the carb, plugs, wires, checked timing, etc and no difference. I think it has a huge cam in it that just can't be ran with the stock Powerglide and converter.
I will either finish this 350 with Votec heads and roller cam setup or buy a roller cam crate motor with Vortec heads already and whatever pistons they come with to stick to the 9:1 compression ratio if possible.

Any ideas, suggestions or opinions here? I am hoping to figure this all out by the end of next week so I can start organizing and planning things out here.
Thanks!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,966 Posts
For fuel mileage you need torque.
The 350 has more torque than a 327. And works better at lower RPM's.

IMO!!!
GM Vortec heads will do the best job for power and result your looking for and very affordable.

I might surprise you at what I have that can help finish that engine.
And you know I need your help with the quarter on my 68.

Al
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
544 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Al, I will be leaving the fire department in about 5 minutes to go home and look at something on my wagon. I will be giving you a call in about 45 minutes if that is ok?
Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
I drive my 73 Camaro everyday. It is an original AC equipped car that works great still. The motor is a 260hp GM crate (low compression) with Edelbrock performer manifold, q-jet carb, small tube headers, mechanical fan, and a Flowmaster exhaust. It has a th350 with a stock stall converter and 3.23 gears. I drive across town in moderate traffic to/from work with stop lights and regularly see 15 mpg's. This is my real world experience.

Now with a little more compression, better cam grind, electric fan, and an OD transmission, I don't see how low 20's would not be possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
544 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Well this is good to hear! I think the overdrive transmission will be one of the best things I will do to this thing in order to achieve good mileage. We will see!
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top