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Old 10-30-2011, 05:53 PM   #1
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355 with vortec heads

so i have decided to hold off on the 383 and just do a 355 with vortec heads, but what i am stomped on is what cam to use. this is basically a street car and will maybe see the strip 3 times a year. i am shooting for a 400 hp range. any suggestions? this will be a carb set up and the vortecs have a 64cc chamber.
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:30 PM   #2
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

are you setup for a roller?

compression ratio? rear gear? transmission, etc, etc, etc.
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Old 10-30-2011, 11:47 PM   #3
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

idk if the heads are set up for roller. i havent bought them yet i found a local junk yard that has them for 100 each. im looking to keep it under 10:1 bc the highest pump gas we have is 91 and the nearest track is an hr. drive. as for rear ratio idk what i have right now, but i will prolly be putting in 3:55 or 3:73 with a locker. i know the 10 bold wont hold up to well. i have a 5speed as well.
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:43 PM   #4
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

I was talking about the cam. Is the block machined for a roller cam?

That 5 speed is not going to be happy.

Have the heads checked for cracks, do a good valve job, install screw in studs, and machine the valve guides.
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:40 PM   #5
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

Yea it should be the block is from a 95 suburban and I am having all that done to the heads and stuff but I was just curious on what would be a decent cam and I know the 5 speed isnt gonna be happy. It's just a toy until I either get out of the army or go somewhere else where I actually have a garage to work on it.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:14 AM   #6
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

95 L05's didnt get the roller cam hardware. If you didnt put it in there when it was at the machine shop it's not gonna be there.

So you're limited to retrofit roller lifters and retrofit cams or flat tappet cams.

If it's only gonna see the strip 3 times a year and you want 400hp you should have built a 383. Doing it from a 350 is gonna be tough. The biggest cam you can go with and have any kind of tolerable street manners is gonna be something like the Lunati Voodoo 60103 or the Comp xe274, or even a magnum 280H. They'll get you to 350hp probably, but they're not gonna be the best putt around town cams. They'll work, but I dont know that you wouldnt be happier with the torque curve of a more moderate cam like the xe268. Past the 60103 and the xe274 and 280H it gets into territory where you just wont want to drive it around town. The cam's operating range wont even start til beyond 2000 RPMs. You could get your 400hp that way probably, but it wont be a streetable car. I'd suggest going with something like the xe268 for a good sound, good street manners, and good power all in one, just know that the xe268's lift numbers are well into the Vortec danger zone and will need to be accounted for.

Also, start making arrangements for the 5-speed's funeral.

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Old 11-01-2011, 10:40 AM   #7
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

Thanks for all the info. I just want a good motor for when these little rice burners wanna play. I already know the 5 speed and the 10 bolt won't hold up to long. I just put it up for the winter yesterday as we already have 1/4 of snow on the ground so hopefully I can start buying parts. And the block hasn't been to the shop yet so maybe I'll look into what it'll cost to have it set for roller.
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:15 AM   #8
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

IMHO, it is worth the cost to have a roller cam. You may be able to swap your block for one that is a roller if the machine shop has any laying around for a small amount. It would worth it to check.

I was actually going to mention checking out the xe268. Since you mentioned you are having the correct work done to the heads, there shouldnt be any problems with the lift numbers.
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:50 AM   #9
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

Thanks. Do y'all think flat tops w valve relief pistons will be to high of a cr?
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:11 PM   #10
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

With Vortecs, flat tops, a .040 quench, and 64cc chambers gets you right around 10:1. 9.9-10.2 that kind of range. That's a lot, but doable for these heads. If you get an xe268 your dynamic CR will be in a good range to bleed off enough pressure to stay off the ragged edge and maintain enough to be very streetable. Since you are going to do the smart thing and convert it over to a roller block (talk to your machine shop about it - mine was more than willing to do it, not a lot of work, but I was just real tight on my budget at the time and couldnt swing it plus the cost of beefy roller cam beehive springs for my heads etc. But if I wasnt stuck in the circumstances I was in at the time on my 3rd rebuild of that engine over about 45 minutes of run time due to bad parts, then I would have definitely had it converted over.

If you get a roller cam, getting the heads machined for proper valve springs will get in in a very nice area for cam choices. A Comp 986 set for $70 will run most medium cams you throw at it. You can get an XR276 and that will SCREAM down the track and still be streetable. Although to be honest Im not completely sure if the XR276 is too big for the stock roller lifter setup. I think it may be just below the safety margin limit, but do a little research to be sure.

Just MAKE ABSOLUTELY SURE you get pistons with a 1.560" compression height. DO NOT GET 1.540 COMPRESSION HEIGHT PISTONS. They will be .045 in the hole, even NO head gasket will be enough to ruin your quench. This is something I didnt pay attention to when I was amassing parts and just got lucky. The exception would be, of course, if your block needs decking and zero-deck it. The 1.540 pistons will put them, I think .015 in the hole. These are very small numbers and tolerance stack from a LOT of different things will affect the real world installed measurements, and they will vary from bore to bore and piston to piston, but theoretically these would be the values. Just do what you can to get your setup in the ballpark.

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Old 11-01-2011, 02:03 PM   #11
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

So if I decide to stay flat rapper and use the xe268 I should be safe to use flat ops.
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Old 11-01-2011, 02:12 PM   #12
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

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So if I decide to stay flat rapper and use the xe268 I should be safe to use flat ops.
It depends on a lot of factors, but generally yes.

http://www.empirenet.com/pkelley2/DynamicCR.html

Play around with that and read that page and see what you come up with.

Quote:
...the 7.5 to 8.5:1 desirable for a street engine...

...

Running an engine at the upper limit of the DCR range requires that the engine be well built, with the correct quench distance, and kept cool (170). Hot intake air and hot coolant are an inducement to detonation. If you anticipate hot conditions, pulling some timing out might be needed. A good cooling system is wise. Staying below 8.25 DCR is probably best for trouble free motoring.
Specs on cams will have the stats you're looking for listed (lobe centerline, total duration) and you just plug in all the numbers.

Just me playing with it seems like if you have a tight quench the DCR will be pretty high. 8.4 or thereabouts.

It's up to you whether you want to run a small dish or not. Alternatively... you could run a bigger cam. Xe274 is what I plan on upgrading to, and while I'm at it I'm gonna fix my quench problem.

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Old 11-01-2011, 02:34 PM   #13
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

Yea I know it depends on like the deck height an all. And thanks for the help guys
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Old 12-04-2011, 03:58 AM   #14
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

well heres an update guys, the block is at the shop now getting machined. i am going .30 over. i found a set of 062 vortecs that was pressure tested and had a 3 angle valve job done for 550 for the set. the shop said my block doesnt need decked. so i am still stuck on the cam. I am getting a set of pistons with +10 cc reliefs. im still a little confused on the cp i will have. the heads are 64cc.
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:52 AM   #15
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

If the block doesnt need to be decked AND you got GOOD pistons with a 1.560 compression height instead of the USUAL 1.540 compression height like most of the ones available, your pistons are theoretically around .025 inches in the hole. With pistons .025 in the hole you need a .015-.020 thick head gasket to get your quench distance where it needs to be that keep detonation down and burn efficiency up. If you use a normal head gasket you're going ot end up with your pistons .065 inches in the hole, which is unacceptable. So be sure you tell them you want your quench distance between .040 and .045 inches and you'll have to run a super thin steel or copper shim head gasket to do that - so make sure your deck truly is flat enough for that.

If they balk and tell you it's unimportant then just ignore them and ask them if the deck is good enough for a gasket of that type, if it's not, it may be in your best interest to deck it .015 or so just to make it easier to find a good gasket. Then you're looking at something in the .025-.030 range.
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:11 PM   #16
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

thanks vortex, i see you are running the 262 how do you like it? and does any one know where i can get a COMPLETE sbc bolt kit from oil pan to intake?
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:15 PM   #17
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

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thanks vortex, i see you are running the 262 how do you like it? and does any one know where i can get a COMPLETE sbc bolt kit from oil pan to intake?
I went with the xe262 for two reasons. I was on a limited budget at the time (aren't we all? lol) and I still had my stock 700r4 and 2.73 highway gears at the time. I couldn't go too big on the cam because of those two things. I had some issues with a bad block and some bad heads, but by the time I finally got it back together for good, I had found a 3.27 rear, and a T56. But the T56's first gear is SO tall that the 3.27's are a lot closer to a 700r4 with 2.73's than a 700r4 with 3.27's. It was truly a dog to drive around, felt like I didnt have a first gear, but that xe262 made a ton of very usable torque and made it work.


So at the end of the day, the 262 makes a ton of torque, very flat, smooth torque curve. Has a mild idle but it still sounds good. If I had decent gears and/or a stall I would have gone with an xe268, xe274, or 280H. My choosng the xe262 was based on the limitations I had at the time, and I have no regrets, it's a storng ~300hp motor and it was teh only way to make that combo work, but Im ready for more power now. I'm wanting to put a 280H in it sometime this year. The xe262 is a great strong daily driver type cam to me. It sounds good, makes a ton of low end torque (I can cruise in 6th gear in overdrive at 1250 RPMs no problem) and pulls hard, but it just falls off after 5500 adn when you dont make power above 5500RPMs you're leaving power on the table.


As far as a complete bolt kit, those are gonna be kind of expensive. If you're doing a rebuild, you're fine re-using the stock main bolts. You'll want ARP head bolts, and some 5/16's 12 point header bolts (trust me, it'll help you out a ton) and intake manifold bolts are going to depend on what heads/intake/carb etc you have. If you have vortec heads, I suggest you buying the ARP vortec intake manifold bolts. I tried a bunch from the hardware store and couldnt get any that I felt were a good length. The longer ones I had to put two washers under them to keep them from trying to dig into the lifter valley, and the short ones didn't engage enough threads I think. The ARP ones look really nice too, and that's what I ended up with. I didnt really need or want polished, stainless, intake bolts, but Vortecs have different intake bolts than any other sbc, so I wanted to make sure I got correct ones.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/ARP-434-2102/

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/ARP-134-3601/

Im having a hard time finding the 5/16's head header bolts, but these may work fine:

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/ARP-100-1110/

I have a set of 3/8's ones, and they're a horrible pain to work with. I found a partial set of 5/16's ones, and I just replaced the bolts that were the hardest to get to with them, and it made a HUGE difference in being able to get to them. Its definitely worth it to try to make one of those work. But it's your call, I think most people go with 3/8's head header bolts.

Beyond that it's just about oil pan bolts and front cover bolts which are just cheap throwaway bolts for the most part.

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Old 12-06-2011, 01:21 PM   #18
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

Yea I understand that, the heads I bought have just been rebuilt and my wife is getting pissed. Do you think the 262 will be a good cam for now I have the 5 speed w 3.08 gears.
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:34 PM   #19
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

Yea but the thing is when I bought the block I didn't get any bolts or anything.
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Old 12-06-2011, 04:54 PM   #20
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

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Yea but the thing is when I bought the block I didn't get any bolts or anything.
You got main bolts right?

Oil pan bolts:
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/MIL-85000/

timing cover bolts:
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/MIL-85260/

Cheap.

You would want new head bolts and vortec-specific intake bolts, good header bolts, and my valve covers came with their own hold-down bolts...

All that leaves is the distributor hold down bolt, and that's probably on summit too.

I cant find a kit, but the problem is that people like us dont have factory stock engines from a 197x GM Generiwagon. We have cobbled together parts, and special needs, like headers.

So you need new head bolts, nice header bolts will save you a lot of frustration, and the vortec intake bolts can be had from a hardware store if you get the right length, but they're available from ARP too. A normal bolt kit will not have Vortec intake bolts.

Also, 10-bolt gears are $50-$75 a set. Get some used gears and toss em in. If they make noise, whine, or break, who cares, they are $50 a set. Put some real gears in that thing and put a bigger cam in it. After you get the right gears in you will be wanting that big raunchy cam.

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Old 12-06-2011, 05:03 PM   #21
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

Thanks which would be better a 3:55 or 73 and no I didn't get main bolts
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:19 PM   #22
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

well i learn something new everyday. they wont have 3:55 for the 10 bolt. so my ? now is would a 3.42 work better than a 3.73 being this is my dd in the summer and will not see much track time at all?
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Old 12-07-2011, 01:23 PM   #23
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

With a 700r4 you'll be fine with 3.42's.

You can find bolt kits, but when you cobble stuff together like us racers do, it's gonna be hard to find a kit that covers all the bases you need covered.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/ARP-534-9801/

But that doesn't include all the big stuff you need like head bolts, main bolts, and flywheel/flexplate bolts, maybe carb studs/nuts either.

You might almost be better off buying a core block or a blown up engine with an unusable block to pillage all the random bolts off of it. If you already have a v8 in the car I would suggest you move over as much as possible.

Things like main bolts, head bolts, I'd get brand new. The main bolts will probably make it necessary to align-hone the mains since they're not original, and you dont know which main cap goes where either Im sure. That's not really a good situation to be in, but I'm just somewhat superstitious about taht sort of thing.
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Old 12-07-2011, 01:40 PM   #24
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

The mains I have came from the block and they are numbered. I don't have a 700r4 I have a 5 speed. So I'll order the new main bolts tonight prolly and have the mains aligned honed since I'm using the new bolts.
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:04 PM   #25
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

oh yeah, that's right, you said you had a T5 with 3.08's. Factory T5 gears were 3.42's or 3.45's. If you truly never go to the track, I'd get the 3.42's. You ever watn to go to the track then I would get 3.73's, but you'll be at relatively high RPMs on the highway. Probably 2300-2400 at 65-70mph. The shorter gears will make the car a LOT easier to drive though. They give you a lot more room for error when at stops on hills and so forth. I imagine you have to slip the clutch a LOT to get that thing rolling with the 3.08's. The 3.73's will make it a breeze to get moving.

If you go with an xe262 or larger cam the 3.73's will be great for it. If you go with a smaller cam the 3.42's are better.
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:39 PM   #26
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

Ok thanks for all the help.
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:13 PM   #27
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

i have been looking but cant seem to find what wires i will need to keep when i do my swap. how do i run my alt and what not. any pics/ advice is helpful thanks.
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:36 PM   #28
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

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i have been looking but cant seem to find what wires i will need to keep when i do my swap. how do i run my alt and what not. any pics/ advice is helpful thanks.
Take the ECM out of the car and run it through the firewall with its harness and get it out in the open. Just start tracing wires. Wires tago to HVAC components you keep. Wires that go to sensors you no longer have will go. The wires on the passenger side of the car are going to considerably thinned out. Most all of the ones on the driver's side will be staying - mixed into those are things like your starter wiring, your gauge sender wiring, fuse box wiring, etc.

For example, the ECM has a CTS - coolant temperature sensor. You can remove that sensor... and its plugs can go with the ECM. Then you have the Coolant Temperature Sending unit.... or whatever it's called. It will be a weird shaped plug in the side of one of the cylinder heads, and it will have an odd slide-on connector that goes to the driver's side of the car. That goes to your water temperature gauge in the dash. You keep one, you lose the other, make sense? If you get to a sensor and it's wires go to the driver's side of the car and through the firewall - you are going to want to keep it. Anything you see going through/to the passenger side is going to be suspect, though. You will need to separate A/C wiring from ECM wiring.

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Old 12-19-2011, 03:46 PM   #29
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

Ok thanks, this is gonna be fun lol I hate wiring
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Old 12-24-2011, 12:22 AM   #30
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

Is this the cam you are talking about? cl12-210-2*thanks
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Old 12-24-2011, 04:08 AM   #31
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

i picked up a eldebrock performer intake today for a good price, do yall think this intake will work good with the vortecs and the comp 268 cam? i know i should have got the rpm but it was a good deal.
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Old 12-24-2011, 12:50 PM   #32
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

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Originally Posted by clean92rs View Post
i picked up a eldebrock performer intake today for a good price, do yall think this intake will work good with the vortecs and the comp 268 cam? i know i should have got the rpm but it was a good deal.
I don't think the performer is much better than stock.
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:41 PM   #33
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

well if its not much better than stock, than i guess ill just have a spare intake and order the RPM as well. thanks
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Old 12-24-2011, 08:44 PM   #34
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

ok so i know i have asked this before but im still a little confused. will this kit work for what i am shooting for. I need to be at 9:1 bc alaska only offers 91 oct at most if your lucky. i am running vortec heads with the 268 cam. the kit is offered thru summit the number is MKP-6394A300. thanks for all the help guys.
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:42 PM   #35
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

my machinist gave me some valve springs and he is going to cut my valve seats down to allow the springs, do you think the valve guides will need to be cut as well? and is the cam yall was talking about the 12-210-2? thanks
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:44 PM   #36
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

i forgot to ask, should i order a flex plate for a camaro or a suburban like the block came from or will it matter as long as i get a 1pc rear main flex plate. thanks
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:50 PM   #37
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

Flexplates are about two things:

1 or 2 pc RMS
153 or 168 tooth flexplate

Camaros are the smaller 153 tooth. I think the other is 168... I forget the exact numbers, but we have the smaller version. The engine only cares about the bolt pattern which translates into 1 vs 2 pc RMS mounting flanges. The transmission determines determines what flywheel size you need. if you have a 3rd gen transmission then you need the smaller flywheel size. The only other concern is to make sure it's got the correct starter bolt holes for the smaller flexplate required by your transmission.

The short of it:

If it's a 87+ Suburban, just reuse a flexplate that's stock for your car. I'm pretty sure they were all 153 tooth by then.
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:00 PM   #38
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

i dont have one off the motor but i have the one off my 305 thats in the car now. do you know any about cutting the valve seats down to accommodate lt4 springs?
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Old 01-01-2012, 01:22 AM   #39
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

Do y'all still think that the xe268 cam is a good choice. My compression should be at about 9.35:1 and it'll see mostly street and running vortec heads. Thanks
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Old 01-01-2012, 04:30 AM   #40
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

From what I've been reading the comps have alot of valve-train noise. I read on the chevelle forum that the voodoo 262 cam would be a good match. Any suggestions, thanks. Trying to figure it out so I can order it and start on the heads.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:12 PM   #41
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

anyone?
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:35 PM   #42
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

If you have some good gears and a stall I'd go bigger than 262. Get something around 224/230 or 225/225. The Voodoo 268 would probably work. Depends on the compression you end up with, though.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:39 PM   #43
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

I dont have a stall. i am running a 5speed. according to summit the kit i bought should be right around 9.35:1 using my 64cc vortecs. I will prolly swap gears out to 3:42 being that this is mostly a street car. thanks
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Old 01-15-2012, 02:55 AM   #44
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

ive got the short block all put together. im still debating on the cam. i calculated im am sitting at about 9.5:1 cr.i will also be running a 5 speed with 3.42 gears. i am considering the 60102 or 60103. what do you guys think? i am also thinking about using beehives so im not limiting my heads if i ever decide to change routes. any help appreciated. thanks

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Old 01-15-2012, 11:45 PM   #45
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

anyone?
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:17 PM   #46
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

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Originally Posted by clean92rs View Post
ive got the short block all put together. im still debating on the cam. i calculated im am sitting at about 9.5:1 cr.i will also be running a 5 speed with 3.42 gears. i am considering the 60102 or 60103. what do you guys think? i am also thinking about using beehives so im not limiting my heads if i ever decide to change routes. any help appreciated. thanks
If you are only looking for that lift cam, this might interest you...
http://www.alexsparts.com/valve-spri...erf-hyd-roller

Alot cheaper than beehives and can get the job done up to .550 lift which at that time you could even put in a bigger cam depending on what you want to do with it. They have alot of good stuff on the site having to do with vortec heads and running a bigger lift.

Also for what lift that cam is these would be able to sustain that easily. Goodluck!
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:31 PM   #47
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

IMO, lunati 60103 with the beehive springs or small diameter double spring with 135+ lbs on seat, 350+ open.
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:33 PM   #48
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

Go with Lunati. I don't think Comp makes bad stuff (I've got a xe274 in my motor) but I think there are some better choices. My last cam that I bought was from Crower, though.
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:38 PM   #49
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

i ordered the 60102 and ill run that and see how i like it. if i decide i want more ill get the 60103 being that im using beehives i should be able to get away with using the same springs over. thanks for all the help guys.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:51 AM   #50
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Re: 355 with vortec heads

trying to figure out my compression ratio but i cant seem to figure it out. i am running a .030 over 350 3.48 stroke +5cc pistons. .40 in the hole and standard felpro gaskets 64cc vortecs. thanks for the help guys
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:51 AM
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