2/27/2016. The engine that was in the car was a 4-bolt main 350, manufactured in late 1971. The idea was to open it up, inspect it, and reseal it. Problem was that I encountered things that I didn’t know what to do with. Main and rod bearings I could replace (they were very badly worn—considerable metal had gone through the engine), but the rods had too much side clearance. The cylinder walls had no ridges and very little taper. So there was evidence that while the engine had few miles, something had not been right for so much metal to have gone through the bearings and chewed them up. The part numbers on the heads indicated that they were really nothing to get excited about, but they did have push rod guide plates (like my LT1 has), and upon further inspection had 2.02 intake valves and what appeared to be extensive porting. That’s interesting.
I looked into buying a crate motor. In the meantime, I took the engine over to an experienced Phoenix engine builder, Greg Gruelich of Greulich Engines Machining. He inspected it and we decided that it was worth rebuilding. The rods had had too much ground off the sides and end caps and several were way too thin. There was too much end play in the cam, and it had ground out a notch on the front of the block. Greg replaced the cam which was way too lumpy for the way the engine was set up, and replaced it with a milder Competition Cam camshaft. He said it wouldn’t be as lumpy, but would produce more power. I was ultimately glad I had him rebuild the engine and keep the business local rather than buying an unknown crate motor. The cost was about the same.
I never considered putting an LS motor in the car. Not interested. Great engines, but not for this car. I want it more period and I don’t like computers.