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Old 03-03-2011, 11:59 AM   #1
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350 short blocks. whats the difference?

What is the difference of a 96-02 vortec short block. Compaired to my 91 350 shor block? I know the head bolt pattern is different. But what is different internally? and/or differences in the block?
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:25 PM   #2
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Re: 350 short blocks. whats the difference?

Let's assume you're talking about the 96-00 350, which is what is usually meant by "Vortec" engine (although they slap that word on everything now, it's sort of taken on a life of its own, kind of like "WS6").

Quote:
I know the head bolt pattern is different
Un-"know" that, because it's WRONG. That's why people can put Vortec heads on ANY SBC from 1955 up (except LT1).

There are NO DIFFERENCES WHATSOEVER in the block itself; the same block is used in other "non-Vortec" 350s, such as the zz4. However, in the actual "Vortec" 350, as it was installed in trucks, with CPFI, there is a reluctor wheel on the crank, a crank position sensor, and a different timing cover with a hole for the sensor.

That engine was discontinued after 2000. The other engines that say "Vortec" on some cover or something, such as the 4.8, 5.3, 6.0, etc., are completely different. They belong to the "LSx" family, since they are further developments of the engine series that first appeared as the LS1.
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Roughly paraphrased into modern English, and applied to figuring out what's wrong with your car:

The simplest explanation that fits all the facts is probably the right one.

Last edited by sofakingdom; 03-03-2011 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:36 PM   #3
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Re: 350 short blocks. whats the difference?

It is the intake manifold side of the heads that's different. But that has nothing to do with the shortblock.

Depending on the specific engine, the block may be drilled for a mechanical fuel pump pushrod, or it may just have the cast-in feature for where it mounts. Chances are this isn't relevant to you either.

In my case, my 88 model year 350 was ready to bolt on the mech fuel pump, but my 98 vortec block was not drilled.
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:42 PM   #4
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Re: 350 short blocks. whats the difference?

OOPS i knew that. I meant my tpi won't bolt to vortec heads but anyhow. I ask because I can get a rebuilt l98 or a 96-00 vortec. for 600 smackers. The shop that rebuilt them are people i know and trust. I was just wondering if I should buy one over the other and why? Or if it's pretty much the same engines as for performance wise. They are both short block rebuilds.
I ask cause i'm going to replace my l98 and I am going to vortec heads and a WSR , headers, mild cam ect.
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:10 PM   #5
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Re: 350 short blocks. whats the difference?

Since the only thing about a "Vortec" engine that's really "Vortec" is the heads, then if you want Vortec heads anyway, just buy the Vortec long block.
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Roughly paraphrased into modern English, and applied to figuring out what's wrong with your car:

The simplest explanation that fits all the facts is probably the right one.
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:37 PM   #6
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Re: 350 short blocks. whats the difference?

IIRC all L98s were 2 bolt mains, whereas if ya got lucky, you might end up with a 4-bolt main vortec block.
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Old 03-03-2011, 02:01 PM   #7
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Re: 350 short blocks. whats the difference?

Those are good points.
But I want to run a LT4 hot cam and the same shop has a set of 062 vortec heads that are already set up to handle the hot cam and I get a good deal on them. So I wont be buying the long block. I just wanted to know if ther short blocks were different or if one will be a better choice for the cam(maybe I should have stated from the start about the cam) If theres no difference I'll buy the L98 so I don't have to fool with the plastic timing cover or the sensor hole.
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Old 03-03-2011, 03:12 PM   #8
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Re: 350 short blocks. whats the difference?

Timing cover is nbd. Just bolt on an earlier cover.

There aren't any significant differences between the two. Pick the one that would be a better deal for ya. If the l98 is freshly rebuilt and the vortec isn't, go with the l98. if the vortec is a 4 bolt block, go with that one.
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Old 03-03-2011, 03:50 PM   #9
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Re: 350 short blocks. whats the difference?

Oh. well in that case i'll ask to see if the vortec is a 4 bolt main. both engines are freshly rebuilt short blocks. So with this info i'll go for the vortec block if it's a 4 bolt. If not I'll close my eyes and any meny miny mo. lol
But thanks 88 and sofa for the info. and ideas
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Old 03-03-2011, 04:40 PM   #10
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Re: 350 short blocks. whats the difference?

IMO the 4-bolt feature isn't of much consequence. IMO it would boil down to the individual block; which one was bored less or otherwise in better shape, has less casting core shift, etc. A useful feature to check is the squareness of the block, i.e. the deck clearance on each of the 4 corners; pick the one that's more consistent.
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Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate.
William of Ockham, c. 1330 AD, from Quaestiones et decisiones in quattuor libros Sententiarum Petri Lombardi

Roughly paraphrased into modern English, and applied to figuring out what's wrong with your car:

The simplest explanation that fits all the facts is probably the right one.
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Old 03-03-2011, 04:40 PM
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