Low Budget 350 Chev - Page 2

Crisis Racing Budget 350 Chev Buildup - Selecting the Engine Block
Crisis Racing Budget 350 Chev Buildup - Grouting the block


Availability of Chev parts here in Australia is a lot better than it was when I was younger but with the value of our dollar compared to the US dollar, most parts of any quality come at a price. Every time there is a price rise the retailers blame the falling au dollar but the price never seems to drop when our dollar rises. For instance the price of the pistons I ended up purchasing rose by over 30% in less than 30 days. Reason: "A new shipment came in to the importers and that is the new price. The dollar is up to shit" Funny how the dollar is actually higher now than it was at the beginning of the year!

For the budget buildup I needed basic pistons not high end lightweight forgings - Maybe in the next buildup with the help of a few good sponsors :^)

The hypereutectic pistons seemed better than basic cast pistons and were quite affordable for a low budget, although I did seriously consider the "claimer pistons" but their only drawback was they are suitable for press fit pins only. You may be wondering why that should influence the budgie? The reason will come to light in the next section on conrods.

Using the net I found a few different pistons that would be suited. I will say that Federal Mogul need to get their Internet act together as they have almost no information on their range of pistons i.e.. part numbers and specs etc. I found more specs on their products at the Summit Racing site.

I was looking for a dome top to get as much compression as possible as the engine will be running on methanol but I didn't need them that high that valve clearance matching was needed - saving more expense. If possible it would be an advantage if they came with circlip and grooved to use floating conrods. What I found was a set of hypereutectic with a .270 dome top (about 12:1 with 64cc heads) and no-one knew if they had circlip grooves. I had a choice of three sets of rods I could use one pressed and one floating.


I had in my possession three sets of rods, one set from an old Mercruiser 305 marine engine, one set of X-series Chev rods that I had sent away some 15 years ago for shotblasting and resizing. They also had a new set of rod bolts but were pressfit. The third option was an old set of Mickey Thompson alloy rods that had been used for a short time in a 327 Chev engine at least 20 years ago. They wouldn't even fetch $50 at a swap meet!

A couple of hours using my brothers glass bead blaster and they were good enough to use in the budgie.


The set of pistons arrived and the box was marked as a "matched set". Using a set of accurate scales at the local soil testers lab I weighed each piston and pin and they were pretty good as far a matching was concerned for a cheap set of pistons. A bit of juggling of pins and the eight were within 1.8grams of each other.

The rods were already weight matched years ago so they are ready to go in.

Purchased a set of welsh plugs and over weekend the next step - Grouting the block...

Crisis Racing Budget 350 Chev Buildup - Intro & Block SelectionCrisis Racing Budget 350 Chev Buildup - Intro & About BlockCrisis Racing Projects PageCrisis Racing Budget 350 Chev Buildup - Grouting the blockLast page in the 350 Chevy buildup.


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Lumpy Top Hypereutectic Piston
Hypereutectic pistons used in buildup.

Alloy Rod Balancing
Swap meet rods.

Hypereutectic Piston weight matching
Weighing each piston. These scales are only for the purpose of the pic. I used more accurate scales at a local soil testing lab.

Hypereutectic Piston and Alloy Rod assembly
Piston Rod Assembly.

Balancing Chart for Pistons and Conrods
Piston/Pin weight chart used when matching.


Time Crisis Racing

© 2002 David Huckett