Gasser HotRod Forums banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,277 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After someone did a "hit & run" on the front bumper of my wife's Avalanche last week I thought "what next????".

Yesterday was a great weather day..... VERY SUNNY & temps in the upper 60's.

So after a LONG Winter's nap I started the bikes & also let the Opel run for awhile a couple of times during the day.

Just as I was about to shut it off I revved the engine a few times as we tend to do and all of a sudden there was a bang & the engine immediately quit running.

I looked under the car & oil was pouring out of the oil pan and a rod was sticking out.

After anxiously waiting all Winter to have fun with the Opel this upcoming "cruise season" my plans have changed.

No doubt I am going to find more stuff in the oil pan. Hope to get the "energy" to crawl under the car sooner or later. Right now I'm just trying to deal with it.

I do have an older LT1 block that used to belong to my best friend who passed away a few years ago. I had plans to "build it BIG" one of the days. Guess that "day" is all of a sudden NOW!!!!!



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
374 Posts
It's better that it happened at home than at the track or a hundred miles from home. At least you don't have an expensive tow bill. Sucks either way, I know. Sorry to hear, man.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,502 Posts
Ooh Man! That's terrible!!! I know that's a bummer but it could have been on the road somewhere and that wouldn't have been pretty either. Get on that bike and take a nice long ride, get some fresh air, clear your head and come up with the next plan of action. Maybe this'll turn out to be one of those blessings in disquise. Hang in there!!! :)
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
13,309 Posts
What a bummer John! Not sure there's an upside when it's so close to the summer cruise season! I know I'd be scrambling to get something together myself! Wsih we could all be closer and come give a hand!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,470 Posts
Dang, I just know your heart was in your throat when you heard that thing hit. Sorry for the bad news. Build it bigger and make it go faster.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,502 Posts
D/GAS....Not quite as drastic but you know the feeling, don't you? How's your motor coming along?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
Bob thanks for asking. Everything was saveable. We were able to coat the skirt of the pistons with a dry film, polished the crank and take a .002 taper out of the cylinder walls. I have not done anything with the heads yet. Brian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,277 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Guys. Knew I could count on all of you for encouraging words. I just can't believe it happened. But then, it must be in the "cards".

Just about the last thing (paint would have been last) I planned to do was a engine rebuild.

Yes, I do need to "...... clear my head and come up with the next plan of action". I am having all kinds of fragmented (no pun intended) thoughts that need to be put together into a plan what I will do with the "wounded Opel".

There are "pros & cons" that I must weigh and decide which to be OK with. clear your head and come up with the next plan of action.

Yes, part of me is feeling that I NEED to be "scrambling to get something together"!

Yes, with the SUMMER CRUISE SEASON so close I can see NO UPSIDE to many of the things I need to do.

"Dammed if I do"....... "Dammed if I don't"

Tomorrow is going to a great Spring day (70 degrees) so I am going to drop the oil pan and see what else I can find..... Yuck!!!!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
13,309 Posts
I'm sure you'll take a few days to get a plan together before making a decision. Then decide what the budget/time allows you to do. Might be you'll want to just put something fairly stock into the Opel to use this summer, then start building your dream motor as time and funds allow. At least you'd have a driver all summer then!
Sure hope you get her on the road again soon! Keep us posted!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,322 Posts
Oh Man John, I'm so sorry that the engine let go. But like its been already said, could have been worse. Time to redirect. Start checking Craigslist for built motors. Lots of them out there with the economy, waiting to be used. But it's just not easy having to start all over again. I hope you can swing the cost to get her rolling again. Good luck with whatever you have to do. Mark L
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,277 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
When I read the posts written so far on this thread they ALL collectively tell of the "feelings" & the "what should I do's" I am having right now.

Plus I have hot rod buddies here in Pittsburgh who also are saying "let's do this" & "let's do that".

Even after a long Winter's wait right now I am thinking I will be OK with NOT rushing into anything just to get the Opel back on the streets ASAP.

Actually the Opel was NEVER really on the streets much anyway. As a 100% drag car the only thing that made it barely streetable is the "temporary" exhaust system I put on right after I first traded for the car late last Summer.



I have one buddy (Joe) who thinks I should salvage what I can from the 350 and use it to put together the 010 short block just so I can get back on the streets for the upcoming cruise season.

I have planned to build that short block into a 383 stroker when $$$$ became available. Even though "part of me" wants to get the Opel running again another part of me says (or should I say SCREAMS) for me to "WAIT" and do it "RIGHT"!!!!! As right as I can AFFORD to do right now.

To do it right now financially there is NO way I could ever build the stroker motor I have wanted for years using the 010 engine block (that used to be in my "best friend's" Vette from many years ago).

His name was Mike & we worked together at GE for close to 30 years. I was a couple of years older than him so I was able retire early and we had planned that when both of us were retired we would spend our "retirement years" working on hot rods & choppers.

Then a few years later he committed suicide!!!!!

Still can't understand why!!!! A day does not go by that I do not think about him. So his engine will not only be the heart of my hot rod Opel but also a tribute to his memory.

So what I am planning (at least for now) is to build a "healthy" 355 ...... instead of the 383 stroker beast that I can not afford to do anytime soon.

I just cannot see myself running around with the Opel having a stock engine in it just so I can drive it again.

Plus if you may recall I have said in the past there is SO MUCH that needs to be done to make this car more "street friendly" and even MORE to make it "street legal"

So while I have NO engine in it I can do some MAJOR fab work on ALL of the car.... most of which will take NO MONEY to complete.

Looks like we'll be riding our motorcycles to the cruises/shows again for most this year...... NOT such a bad thing!!!!!!

Any suggestions & recommendations for building a "HEALTHY & STRONG" 355 will be appreciated
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,277 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
After spending hours in the catalogs & on-line figuring out what I would need to get the 331ci long block (a friend of ours has for sale) in the Opel and then just recently losing my part-time job due to sales being slow I find myself stuck in a rut..... more like an "abyss !!!!!

As I think more about this mess I am in it is becoming clear unless I start making some "compromises" I will not be driving the Opel anytime soon.

I do plan to pull the 350 out of the Opel soon and take a look to see if anything can be salvaged.

As much as would like to get the "Mighty Mouse 331ci" for the Opel I am starting to realize that I cannot afford to do it.

So I will SOON have to make a decision whether to delay getting the Opel running until I can get the bucks together for the 331 or compromise and put together the 350 short block as best I can for now.

Guess I will know more once I get the blown-up 350 out of the Opel and take it apart see if the heads can be used.

I can also use its starter, alternator, 750 cfm Holley carb, & ignition. If so, I will at least opt for an "RPM Air Gap" to replace the stock low-rise GM aluminum manifold that is on the engine now.

This would be "good-for-now" as I would eventually still replace the 350 with either the 331 or build a 383 stroker as funds becomes available.

Could put the 350 together for much less than either of the other two engines. Even if I have to replace the heads along with the intake I could still do it for less than a grand ...... whereas the 331 or 383 would take "thousands" to get done.

More about this later..... once I get the engine pulled & taken apart. Plus the first of our area's BIG SWAP MEETS is happening the first weekend of May..... soooooooo you never know what we'll find !!!!!!:confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,470 Posts
Hang in there John! Things fall into place. I am sure you will find a decision soon. I could tell you, yes do this or not, but like you say everyone has their own opinion. Everyone asks me how I am doing on my car and I just say its coming along. They dont think I will ever have it run. I just dont want to rush it and screw something up, well at least nothing big :) Have fun at the swap meet.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
13,309 Posts
If it will help you John I'll give you an Edelbrock Performer if you pay the shipping. It was on the 327 when I bought it, and it's just sitting in my shed. It's not an air gap, but it should be a better intake than the stock aluminum Chevy.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,595 Posts
John, sounds like a mild 350 might be the way to at least enjoy the car with the limited budget. Cam and heads make the most difference, so if your heads are good ones, find a good 350 long-block and poke in a decent cam, add Vall's intake (nice offer Vall :D ) and you should be running. I rebuilt the 350 in my '55 to Car Craft specs, and I've seen the combo recently in Super Chevy. 355 with Thumpr cam (flat tappet about $150) and aluminum Vortec heads ( Patriot has them for $600 complete now - cheaper than when I bought them) and an Air-Gap intake (about $225). The stories show that this combo is a solid 410/410 +/- engine. You should be close to this with a good cam and heads. Still tons of fun to drive and easy as pie to build. Nothing exotic, no clearance issues, lumpy idle. What's not to like?

Be creative and run what ya brung. Good luck on the job search, too.

Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,277 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
You guys are reading my mind!!!!!

If it will help you John I'll give you an Edelbrock Performer if you pay the shipping. It was on the 327 when I bought it, and it's just sitting in my shed. It's not an air gap, but it should be a better intake than the stock aluminum Chevy.
John, sounds like a mild 350 might be the way to at least enjoy the car with the limited budget. Cam and heads make the most difference, so if your heads are good ones, find a good 350 long-block and poke in a decent cam, add Vall's intake (nice offer Vall :D ) and you should be running. I rebuilt the 350 in my '55 to Car Craft specs, and I've seen the combo recently in Super Chevy. 355 with Thumpr cam (flat tappet about $150) and aluminum Vortec heads ( Patriot has them for $600 complete now - cheaper than when I bought them) and an Air-Gap intake (about $225). The stories show that this combo is a solid 410/410 +/- engine. You should be close to this with a good cam and heads. Still tons of fun to drive and easy as pie to build. Nothing exotic, no clearance issues, lumpy idle. What's not to like?

Be creative and run what ya brung. Good luck on the job search, too.

Mike
WoW!!!! Talk about irony!!!!

I was just posting a reply on another thread and was going to post this there ..... it fits better here .... especially with all that Mike just said (read above):

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
So here the Opel sits..... in my driveway waiting for me to make up my mind what I should do. If I had unlimited funds the choice would be easy!!!!!


With all of the options I have about what to do and of course the advice from all of my friends here in Pittsburgh my head is "spinning".... or should I say "turning from one side to the other".
IF $$$$ were no object the choice would be much easier.

But with limited funds and lots of "well intended" advice I have lots options to choose from .... ALL of which "would work". So what's a hot rodder to do????

Seems like every time I seem to "settle in" on what to do I get another bit of advice or a suggestion that gets me thinking what to do all over again.

My latest thought is to use the 010 350 short block I already have and take it to the machine shop for a through check and then either rebuild it or also bore it to a 355.

Some initial advice was to simply use the 350 "as is" and just bolt on all of the blown-up 350's usable parts to it. I NEVER liked that idea.

The short block use to belonged to my best hot rod buddy who died a few years ago. I believe he never would have dismantled the engine unless it had to be for some reason.

When I got it the block (a very LONG story) it was covered with a thick protective coating of grease. After cleaning it all up it appears it is in pretty good shape, no major wear or damage in any of the cylinders and the crank/pistons turn over "freely".



Even so ..... I would still rather have it checked by a professional machine shop before doing anything with it.


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The reason I was posting this is today I plan to drive to DLK Performance to see what they think & to check on how much it would cost me to either do a 350 or 355 rebuild.

I do have a RPM Performer Air Gap & also a dual four "cross ram" manifold (for future use) hanging on the wall inside the workshop. So I am good to go with at least that. (Vall Thank you so very much for your offer)

I'll post more about this tonight after I talk to the guys at DLK.

Thanks again for all of your support & advice..... we are becoming a "family" here!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,277 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Went to DLK Performance yesterday afternoon ..... had been awhile since being there so I got lost along the way..... HA!!!! Possibly that was an omen of things to come.

Got estimates for a rebuilt of the 350 short block we have and also one for doing it to 355. Prices sure have gone up since my last visit there. :(

For a rebuild of the 350 with new aluminum heads, Thumpr camshaft kit & new rotating assembly and all new ARP bolts, gaskets, etc, etc comes to $2700..... the 355 would be $3600..... both unassembled.

Additional "assembled price" would include balance, align bore decking & bench testing.... all for another $1500.

Really NOT sure what to do just yet. Would prefer to rebuild the 010 block I have to 355 specs with ALL new stuff.

Of course hoping that short block is OK (it looks good & spins) and putting it together with the parts I have laying around along with new parts as needed (heads, cam kit, etc) and skipping the machine shop completely would be the least expensive way to go..... and also the least desirable fix.

Buying the "331 long block" one of my hot rod buddies has for sale would be a more economical than the options at DLK ..... with that engine having practically everything that can be done is ALREADY DONE already. My BIGGEST concern that engine is a pretty radical setup ..... solid lifter roller cam with everything that can be done has been DONE using top shelf parts and every machine shop trick possible..... the downside being it also comes with a 12 to 1 compression ratio which I FEEL is a bit much for a street/strip car.

Considering the type of "street driving" we would be doing (25 mile radius MAX) is why I am still considering the 331 as an option to consider.

Worse case scenario is needing to add or run higher octane fuel. Less not forget this engine turned low 10's so we would have to take it easy on the drive train currently in the Opel until upgrades to the 350 tranny & replacement of the Mustang rear with a 9" Ford would be done.

So my trip to the machine shop did not give me the answer I needed to hear. Although it did help to put things into perspective. At least I THINK so!!!!! HA!!!!

I have quite a few "things" that can be sold on Craigs List & eBay to help with the $$$.

So the story continues ......
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top