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Chevy 350 Engine Value Pack - Bullet Short-Block--On The Cheap!

We Pump Up Our 350 Test Mule With A Teaspoon Of Compression Courtesy Of A Summit Racing Rotating Assembly Value Pack And "Hot Off The Shelf" Summit 750CFM Carburetor.

By Mike Ficacci, Photography by Mike Ficacci

In our November 2008 issue, we slapped a Trick Flow Specialties top-end kit on our high-mileage passenger car 350 ci short-block and forced out 428 hp and 421 lb-ft of torque. No doubt, our stressed short-block was kicking and screaming all the way through the rpm range, but performed like a champ nonetheless. At 8.0:1 compression, and on 87-octane, our passenger car powerplant could have lived for another 50,000 miles ... maybe.

We weren't ready to take that chance, as the smogger 350 from 1973 was showing its age. The rings had jagged edges, the rods and crankshaft were practically touching, and 20 pounds of sludge had accrued just about everywhere. Thankfully, Summit Racing Products provided a cheap and efficient resolution with its 350 Rotating Assembly Value Pack spec-ed out at 9.6:1 compression. The kit comes with a cast steel crankshaft, forged I-beam connecting rods, and hypereutectic 0.030-over pistons, balanced and ready for assembly.

Also included in the kit are wrist pins, piston rings, rod and crank bearings, gaskets, oil pump, timing chain, and essentially everything you need to complete assembly in your stock block.

We took the standard bore 350 block down to Pro-Motion Racing Engines (East Hanover, New Jersey) for some essential machine work. We gave it a steam bath, decked the block, bored it out to 0.030-over, and gave it a final finishing hone. Then, the assembly began at Steve Ficacci Racing Engines where we washed and cleaned all the parts, cut the piston rings, and put the puzzle together piece by piece. Once completed, we went over to B&B Automotive in Lynbrook, New York, (not to be confused with B&B in Rahway, New Jersey, where the November tests were completed) and got to makin' horsepower.

We had the 355 on the hydraulic roller-cammed engine dynamometer early in the morning and began the 20-minute break-in. After some tuning and tweaking with both the shop carburetor and out-of-the-box 750cfm Summit Racing carb, we made 468 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. This was thanks to 37-degrees of timing, 93-octane fuel (at $1.96 a gallon mind you) and 150-degrees of oil temperature. We have some plans for our now brand-spankin'-new small-block, including some time at the track, but not before we throw a rubber-band-style beatin' on it next month. Make sure to check next issue for a supercharged follow-up that is not to be missed.

Dyno Results
Before
Horsepower

Torque
After
Horsepower

Torque
4000 295 387 321 422
4100 310 397 332 425
4200 319 399 340 425
4300 332 405 355 434
4400 343 410 363 434
4500 354 413 370 432
4600 364 415 384 439
4700 376 419 396 *443
4800 387 *421 404 442
4900 391 417 412 442
5000 394 409 418 439
5100 399 411 421 431
5200 403 407 432 433
5300 404 400 435 428
5400 412 401 446 429
5500 427 398 446 421
5600 421 395 447 413
5700 423 390 450 409
5800 425 385 450 401
5900 *428 381 463 405
6000 425 372 465 394
6100 423 364 465 388
6200 416 353 *468 388
6300 419 349 461 376
6400 421 345 455 374
6500 413 334 452 361
* PEAK NUMBERS
By Mike Ficacci
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