This weekend was a busy one! We spent most of the weekend swapping the Frankenstein 350 into the Scavenger, but we also managed some exhaust work on Winston and I got to drive Sams 54′ for a little over a minute!
The Scavenger has been leaking coolant for a while but it was becoming noticeably worse. Sam built a 350 last year that pulled parts from a bunch of other engines and a cam from a stock car, so we dubbed it the Frankenstein 350. That engine has been sitting in the old Dodge Sam used to drive, that truck was retired so it’s been sitting for at least a year. The Scavenger is no stranger to engine swaps. In fact, the engine that started having issues is a 305 out of Ashleys Camaro, which was retired due to it’s semi-missing frame. So we took a few vehicles that had good parts and put them all together, it’s the spirit of the Scavenger. We pushed the Laser out of the garage, pulled the Scavenger in, and kicked off the engine swap.
We decided to grab the Frankenstein 350 first, so we headed out to Sams property and then picked the engine out of the old Dodge. One of Sams buddies lent Sam his tractor so we used that to pick the 350 out.
We headed home and started tearing the 305 out. Pulling the old engine out wasn’t too hard. There are only two motor mounts on the frame, the transmission brace, and the drive shaft. Pull the power steering pump and the headers and you’re pretty much good to evict the old engine. My dad had grabbed a nice hoist system from his work buddies place and set it up in the garage. We’ve had I-beams in place for ~20 years but never had an engine picker to use them with. Better late than never!
We yanked the transmission off (and by we I mean Sam, I mostly watched and chronicled) and then made sure to swap over whatever accessories we needed. With that done we started getting the 350 set in place. The nice thing about Chevy engines is that for the most part, they all fit in the same space and bolt up to the same accessories, transmissions, and headers. It’s one of the reasons they’re so damn good, and that’s also why you see the LS platform used in damn near every swap. The LS, simply put, is just a revised small block Chevy with newer technology like fuel injection and VVT.
Anyway, this was a fairly simple process. Sam had some trouble with the oil filter, which is what happens when you leave an engine sitting for a long period of time, seals and what not tend to dry out and crack or get super stuck. We also had some issues with header fitment, we had two sets of headers and the first didn’t want to fit the B-body with the 350 in place. We had to trim the motor mounts on the 350 a little to make the other set fit but after a lot of swearing and bashing things we got it all set.
Next up is all the small stuff; accessories, hoses, carburetor, that sort of thing. We got most of that in place and then loaded up the 305 to take back to Sams. The plan with that is to rebuild it and then turbo it, that plan might change but it sounds like something I want to see. You can see the 305 has bad head gaskets on both heads and also has a cracked exhaust manifold.
Sam had planned to use the velocity stack he ran on the Dodge as his intake, but he couldn’t quite commit to cutting a hole in the hood and using a cowl we had lying around. Luckily we found another air cleaner lying around and slapped it on. After some more messing around with things like the throttle cable and some carb hookups we were ready to fire it up. We poured some fuel down the carb and turned it over. It fired right up and the roar it made is something you need to hear. Conveniently, I’ve got a little video of it below. It took a bit of playing with the timing to get things just right, but it wasn’t long until Sam was doing loud, smokey burnouts.
Sam pulled the Scavenger out and I pulled the Benz in to take a look at the exhaust system and see if we can’t quite it down a bit. I actually managed to rip everything from the header back off the damn thing on a speed bump, so we had to get a little creative and make something work. It’s not quite done so I’ll cover it in another post when it is done. Sam also had to do some exhaust work as the headers on the 350 are longer than the stock manifolds on the 305, so it’s actually much quieter now.
Anyway, that’s it for today. I’ve got a huge backlog of work to post about so stay tuned!