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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Heyo!

This is my first time rebuilding an engine and honestly I've only really been "working" on cars for about a year. Fortunately my father has a good bit of know how from his era.
So, I've got an '89 360 that I pulled out of my dirt cheap '87 Ramcharger. I've already disassembled it and I'm getting ready to take it to the machine shop to be cleaned up and maybe ported. It was actually rebuilt not long before I got it. Too bad they put some of the wrong parts on it... (I think they may have thought it was a 318, as that's what it was sold to me as. Says 360 all over it though, clear as day.) It's bored 0.040" over but is pretty much stock as far as I can tell. I might get some different heads down the road but I'll be using stock for now. I've got a 4 barrel Edelbrock carb that might be replaced with EFI later. It's got some ratty headers on it now that are going to be replaced with new ones. This truck will mostly be my toy, but I may end up doing a bit of towing with it. I want to get as much HP and torque out of it without spending an arm and a leg. (who doesn't?)

Anyways, I'm sure someone at the machine shop will be able to help me out, but I figured I'd ask here seeing as you guys have got me to where I'm at.

To the point: I'm going to be replacing the camshaft (thinking Lunati 262/268 475/.494) and lifters, timing gears and chain, bearings and rings. I've been thinking about new pistons as well for higher compression. I don't want to do any grinding to the connecting rods or anything like that. I would like to be able to take all the parts to the machine shop in one trip simply because I always work and I don't get a lot of time during business hours to do anything else.

Given these details, is it enough to safely choose a set of pistons and if so, suggestions?
Is there something I can do at home with simple tools to narrow down my choices?
Any other suggestions as far as what I can do to maximize performance on a $2,000 parts budget?
 

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For $2,000 you won't be able to do much. Never "grind" your con-rods. If it was recently built by someone else and it was already bored .040 over wouldn't it already have custom pistons in it? You never want more compression than your finest fuel can support. Here in Canada the best fuel we have is 94 octane and 94 octane can not support anything more than 10.5:1 compression if you have aluminum heads or 9.5:1 with steel heads. What kind of power are you looking for? Do you want to race your truck or pull stumps out of the ground? The best way to maximize your power is to match ALL of your components. You want your induction, intake, cam, heads and pistons and wheel size and differential gears all to work in concert with each other. Decide what kind of power you want and look for components that all work in that power range you want. You could port match your heads and intake at home yourself by using the intake gasket as your template. Machining can be endless and can get expensive and really ad to the build cost. Of course some machining is critical.
 

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Plug the smog holes in those stock heads if you are going to use them. (assuming they have smog holes). Otherwise you will never get headers to seal up right.

Cheap and easy.
 

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because its a ROLLER lifter motor , Cam & lifters will cost you upwards of $500 , if its 40 over you cant go much if any more , with it being a 1989 then they already ditched the EFI that was on it

besides for $2000 grand l,d look into a REMAN motor

 

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because its a ROLLER lifter motor , Cam & lifters will cost you upwards of $500 , if its 40 over you cant go much if any more , with it being a 1989 then they already ditched the EFI that was on it

besides for $2000 grand l,d look into a REMAN motor

$1820 for a 360 reman? Your resources have me making poor financial decisions... LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
For $2,000 you won't be able to do much. Never "grind" your con-rods. If it was recently built by someone else and it was already bored .040 over wouldn't it already have custom pistons in it? You never want more compression than your finest fuel can support. Here in Canada the best fuel we have is 94 octane and 94 octane can not support anything more than 10.5:1 compression if you have aluminum heads or 9.5:1 with steel heads. What kind of power are you looking for? Do you want to race your truck or pull stumps out of the ground? The best way to maximize your power is to match ALL of your components. You want your induction, intake, cam, heads and pistons and wheel size and differential gears all to work in concert with each other. Decide what kind of power you want and look for components that all work in that power range you want. You could port match your heads and intake at home yourself by using the intake gasket as your template. Machining can be endless and can get expensive and really ad to the build cost. Of course some machining is critical.
Did some looking around and finished identifying what I have.
It has a 8 1/4 rear end and a 904 transmission. It's a complete engine minus getting a new flexplate, harmonic balancer. The pistons look to be some silvolite dome 0.04s on stock rods.. It's also got an Edelbrock Air Gap intake. It's got a stockish flat tappet cam and I'm thinking about getting the same cam I mentioned in my first post still. Keep the stock heads for now, might do a little at home porting. Keep the Edelbrock carb for now. Getting some new headers. Hone the cylinders.
Problem with it before I took it out was it was shaking (wrong balancer, flexplate), leaking oil, and had an exhaust leak (smog holes weren't filled and the headers on there are ratty).

That being said now, all other costs aside, what do you think it will take for me financially and in work to increase the compression in this engine to something around 9.5:1? What else could I do to increase the performance? You could say I want it to behave like a race engine.
 

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Well there's no way to answer your question properly. Is the engine assembled or apart? You need to take a bunch of measurements to be able to properly determine your C/R (compression ratio). You would need to measure chamber volume, displacement volume, cylinder bore, piston stroke length etc. When the engine is assembled it becomes a guessing game a bit. If it's all together and you want a little rumble but mostly a daily driver then look for a cam that has around a 280 duration and 480 lift. The only way to have an engine feel like a race engine is to build it like a race engine (tight clearances, lightweight valves, big cam, roller valvetrain, ported/polished heads, lightweight pistons, etc....
 

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for the first engine maybe try building one that will last a while , before you try to mix too many aftermarket hot rod parts , that is often where engine builders go wrong . domed pistons are allready a higher compression than the dished flatops it came with ....... yes my suggestion is first get some experience putting a good motor together THEN try mods .
 

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If the pistons are domed then get rid of them. Domed pistons are easily 12.0:1 or higher compression. Flat top is the best you get as that's all 91 to 94 octane can support, anything more will cause serious detonation which is the biggest killer to any engine. You could of course run race gas or octane boosters but that gets pricey real quick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Here's what I've got:
'89 360 Chrysler block, stock oil pump, Milodon windage tray, stock crank, stock rods, 40 over H116CP SpeedPro flat top pistons giving me about 9.2:1 compression.
Lunati 10200702LK flat tappet cam and lifters, .475/.494 lift, 262/268 duration. stock push rods. '89 heads that have been gasket matched and ported, stock rockers and springs at the moment -- I haven't gotten into making sure that everything on them will work with this new cam.
Edelbrock RPM air gap intake, also gasket matched to the heads. Edelbrock 1406 600 CFM carb on top.
New damper and B&M flexplate for external balancing heading into the 904 Torqueflite.

I think that covers most of the engine's parts. Does anyone have any suggestions, advice or input?
 

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check the deck height , low comp 360's were very low in the bores ...
 

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If your engine right now has or is expected to have 9.2:1 C/R with cast heads then that's pretty good as you won't be able to safely get much more. You could spend a ton of cash to gain that .3 -.8 gain in C/R or just go with what you got. What is the compressed thickness of the head gaskets that are used in the 9.2:1 C/R value? Can you go thinner? Can you take some meat from the heads and thin them out? (Of course that would mean new push rods and more machining). I would also put a bigger carb on it as well, at least a 650. 600 is a little too small. IMO.
 

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l wanna know how he has "flat tappets" in a ROLLER motor
 

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You can put a flat tappet cam in an LA that originally had a roller, why you'd want to I don't know except maybe cost, just like you can put a roller in an LA that had flat tappets provided the block has the bosses for the spider hold down.
 

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Nope. The factory lifter bores in the roller LA and Magnum are taller than the ones on the old LA engines with flat tappets. Yes, you can run a roller cam in an LA engine but those are specific special lifters with a tiebar linked to each other to keep them following the cam lobe properly (no spider needed). Can not mix factory rollers and flat tappets.
 

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I'm getting curious here. the 85 block in mine had a (wiped) flat tappet cam in it when I got it but also the drilled and tapped holes for the roller cam spider (or so I thought). If those holes aren't for a spider why are they there?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I'm getting curious here. the 85 block in mine had a (wiped) flat tappet cam in it when I got it but also the drilled and tapped holes for the roller cam spider (or so I thought). If those holes aren't for a spider why are they there?
I think my block does have the spots for a valley spider hold down as well and I assume at one point it may have been set up as a roller, but it ran with a flat tappet in it before and I didn't know what I know now when I made the decision to put another flat tappet in it. Not that big of a deal to me as this isn't a super high performance engine. Do I think that I should have went with rollers? Probably.

As to the blocks - the heads, rockers, cam/lifters, pushrods, etc. must match the block used. Mind you, these years are approximate. 71-88 360 blocks used "deck" oiling to the heads/rockers, and were for flat tappet cams, or rollers with a retro fit style lifter with tie bars. 88-92 360 blocks had "deck" oiling, and had cast in bosses to support the factory roller cam "spiders" assemblies that located the roller lifters. These blocks could also use flat tappet cams.
Yall being critical need to get a life. XD I asked for suggestions n help. If I knew it all like you do, I wouldn't be asking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If your engine right now has or is expected to have 9.2:1 C/R with cast heads then that's pretty good as you won't be able to safely get much more. You could spend a ton of cash to gain that .3 -.8 gain in C/R or just go with what you got. What is the compressed thickness of the head gaskets that are used in the 9.2:1 C/R value? Can you go thinner? Can you take some meat from the heads and thin them out? (Of course that would mean new push rods and more machining). I would also put a bigger carb on it as well, at least a 650. 600 is a little too small. IMO.
I'm happy with the CR now that I've purchased these other parts. My original post was before the new parts. Im mostly hoping to get some feedback on the build and any kind of advice or foresight that has to do with any problems I may run into with these parts.
The 9.2 is with a 0.04 compressed gasket.
Thanks for the input on the carb. I was thinking it was a little small too.
 

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l,d stay with the smaller carb , because in a heavy truck you will never need that last bit of top end unless yer mud boggin

also 1985 is the first year for "rollers" on a 318 , the 360 didnt get them till 1988

who the fuk is == XD , did l miss something
 
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