I thought the 350 HO was quite the engine? but y'all say it's pretty futile to build it up, what makes the Pontiac 350 so much worse than the Chevy 350?
Hold on there cowboy....
It's not "worse", just different. Actually, the core of the issue is the fact that there a eleventy-gazillion bowtie 350's (and other varieties of mouse motors) out there. It was in production a very long time, a lot of them were sold, they were cheap to build, cheap to buy, cheap to work on, etc. (Did I mention they were "cheap"?
) One of the results of that situation is that there are TON's of aftermarket parts out there for them and also TON"s of research/knowledge/experience on how to build them.
They're easy. For me that also makes them BOOOOORRRRINGGGGG! (but that's just me).
The Pontiac 350 wasn't produced or sold in anywhere near the same numbers, the dimensions (bore and stroke) are different, the heads are different, etc. so that makes their personalities different. Things that work on one o' them (cheap
) orange motors don't necessarily work the same on a Pontiac. Couple that with the fact that the availability of 'go fast' parts available for them is a mere fraction of what's out there for "the others", and you can begin to understand why you don't see nearly as many fast Poncho 350's. It's not that they "can't", it's just more expensive because of lower demand for parts and also in order to build one you have to actually "think".
I did know the 350 and 400 were the same dimensionally
Oh yeah... so if you're interested in what it sounds like you're interested in (going fast on the cheap) then you, sir, are in the cat bird seat as it were. All you have to do is be patient, find yourself a nice decent running stock Pontiac 455 in good condition that already has a 4bbl carb on it (like from Grandma's station wagon or uncle Joe's Bonneville), unbolt your 350, bolt in the 455, and then hang on to your butt....
It really is that easy.
Be too abusive and the big torque from the 455 is probably going to overpower your existing drive train (rear end and transmission) and start breaking things, but the beauty of it is that you can work on the car a little at a time, upgrading parts of it as you go, having a blast surprising and embarrassing the bowtie brigade the whole time. You'll even be able to raise the hood and say, "yeah, it's just the original 350" and get away with it most of the time
Now... don't that sound like fun???