The power train is up for some significant changes. First off, the tired Turbo 350 is going to be replaced by a freshened non-locking 700R4 transmission from Glenn at Capital City Transmission. We cleaned up the transmission with a good scrubbing of engine cleaner and simple green to get rid of any remaining grease, oil, and grime. Some of the casting flanges and mould marks were smoothed and a fresh coat of high temp primer was applied. It's ready for a finish color as soon as we determine what that will be. If we don't paint it the same color as the engine block, I'll throw a couple coats of silver and clear over the primer for good measure. We will need to order a 4-speed conversion kit for our console staple shifter from ShiftWorks (P/N: SC2243) to get everything working correctly. I'm little apprehensive about the non-locking configuration and the TV cable installation, but Glenn assured us once setup correctly, it will be outstanding. I'm looking forward to the overdrive with lower gears in the rear end.
The stock 8.2" 10-Bolt rear end received a complete makeover by Jim's Driveline in Garden City on July 26th. Jim and his team tore everything down and Donny over at Primo's Powder Coating did a nice job of media blasting and applying the 60% gloss black at the same time he did the suspension. Once the powder coat was down, Jim loaded a fresh set of 1:3.55 gears and an Eaton Posi after we consulted with Matt Compton over at Performance Solutions. The rear end was capped with a nice cast aluminum cover and ready to install. We really would like to have put in a 12-bolt, but the plan is to keep the power just under 400HP so the 10-bolt should be just fine.
The drive line will have to be cut and shortened to accommodate the 700R4 length. The cross member will have to move back some as well to align with the new transmission mount location. Nothing can happen until the frame comes back from having the new quarters welded in place and fresh blast/powder coat.
The starting point for the engine was the original 350CI that was bored 0.030" over with 10:1 pistons, Edelbrock Performer Plus cam, Holly aluminum intake and Edelbrock 600CFM carb. The stock heads will need new seats and valves to put up with the lead-free gas and it would be good to drop the compression ratio a bit to reduce the pinging that is predominant. The dilemma is whether to keep and rebuild the current motor or go for a crate 350 or mild 383. The appeal of a 350-400HP GM Performance crate motor with a warranty is tough to beat if we have to touch the bottom end of our original 350.
01Aug10 - Performance Solutions just about has the engine wrapped up. Here are the first shots of the engine before hitting the dyno.
03Aug10 - Engine on the dyno at Performance Solutions. Initial testing resulted in 392.7HP and 454lb-ft of torque.
To position the cross-member for the new 700R4 transmission, we needed to mate the old engine and new transmission together and see where everything ended up. Fortunately, one set of holes in the frame matched perfectly and the second hole on each side only needed slight persuasion with the drill for the bolts to drop in.
Engine and Transmission Installation
25Sept09 - Mated the torque converter by Continental with the transmission and engine. Dropped the package between the rails and mocked up the headers. The Concept One serpentine system installed very easily.