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 Need advice, Turbo 327 Build 
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:52 pm
Posts: 35
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Part of TN: East
Post Need advice, Turbo 327 Build
I am hoping to get some feedback and guidance by posting about my engine build. I've been researching for a while now but still many things are confusing. Most of the problem is my goals are different than most people. I bought a 327 block and rotating assembly for a quickie mild n/a rebuild to replace the tired 307 but then I stumbled into a Martin Turbo Systems kit that I would like to use. I have seen a lot of advice and build sheets for big HP super and turbo engines but really I just want a low boost (5psi) reliable engine. I daily drive my truck so I need it as reliable and carefree as possible. Really the turbo is just for the cool points and the occasional spirited driving. I dont need break neck speeds or stump pulling capability.

The questions / problems that I have now are: the turbo that came with my kit is not the right one and needs a rebuild anyways so I need some guidance for picking a turbo to go with my mild 327. I dont really care if it bolts up, I was looking at adapters anyways so I can run a wastegate for boost control.

I have no heads, I might as well get some aftermarket aluminum heads but picking one set from all the options available has me dumbfounded. I would just grab a set of OE iron heads but I have no idea if any would be decent on a low boost 327?

Camshaft, I have found plenty of info on choosing a cam for maximum performance drag cars, but I just want something that will play well under boost and have that pleasant old school lope at idle that is why I bought a v8 in the first place. I'm sure I'll just end up calling a custom cam shop and letting them figure that one out, but I need to have the other bits sorted first.

I've been working on a 327 because thats what I have available, but I see Slick68 has a rebuildable 350 for sale and it is tempting me because its basically complete, unlike my 327 block and rotating assembly that needs ...everything.

This is my first SBC rebuild so I appologize if some questions are obvious. I have more questions of course but these are the biggies for now. Thanks.


Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:05 pm
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Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:38 pm
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Location: Beech Bluff, TN
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Post Re: Need advice, Turbo 327 Build
I'm not a engine builder, but subscribing to hear the responses.

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Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:13 pm
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Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 8:47 am
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Location: Sevierville, TN
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Post Re: Need advice, Turbo 327 Build
I've never built a turbo rig, so I'm not sure what you need to start with. As far as heads, the most bang for the buck heads are Vortec heads. They flow really good and from what I've heard, still respond well to boost.

A 350 will help with power because of the "no replacement for displacement" rule, but a turbo 327 will definetely win in the cool factor.

As for a cam, again from what little I know, a choppy idle and boost don't really work well together. With a turbo, I would definetely look into a roller cam with probably custom specs to get the desired power levels, dependability, and overall driveability.

Now, if you really want all out great power and something that responds great to boost, you might also want to look into the GenIII/IV engines. You can pick up 5.3 and 6.0 truck engines very reasonable and usually pick them up with overdrive trannys with them.

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Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:39 pm
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Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:21 pm
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Location: Rives, TN
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Post Re: Need advice, Turbo 327 Build
Keep me in mind if you decide to get another engine. I would let one of my take out engines go. That would give you every nut, bolt, bracket, pulley, etc. you need to make it happen.

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Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:15 am
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:52 pm
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Location: Chattanooga, TN
Part of TN: East
Post Re: Need advice, Turbo 327 Build
Thanks for the Vortec tip, I'll look into it.

Since I'm not looking for all out performance I'm sure I could slap some parts together and have a runner but I daily drive the truck so for the sake of reliability I think having something designed to work togther will be better. Unfortunately mild performance and turbo are rarely used in the same sentance.

I did think about swapping to an LS engine but I already have a parts cache for a Gen 1 block and I've never built one before so I want to try it. Seems like everyone has built one of these before except me!

Its a horrible comparison considering my goals but I always see the high power drag cars with turbos and choppy idle so I assumed it was also possible on a street engine. Silly to compare the two but thats how my mind works I guess. I'll just have a chat with a cam shop and let them work their magic for me. Good thing I can leave the camshaft till almost last in parts selection.

I think I'll take my 327 parts down to the machine shop this week and see if they are buildable. I'll keep you guys posted while I figure out how to make this happen. Thanks!


Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:27 am
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:52 pm
Posts: 35
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Part of TN: East
Post Re: Need advice, Turbo 327 Build
I was just reading up on the Vortec heads and it was said they require a matching intake manifold. Can old style manifolds be adapted? If not then I cant run those. I'm attaching a picture so you guys can see what I'm working with. Thanks

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Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:21 am
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Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 9:40 am
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Location: Maynardville, TN
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Post Re: Need advice, Turbo 327 Build
Can't see the pic but old style manifolds don't adapt well to vortec head. Aside from the bolt hole issue, the ports don't align very well.

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Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:04 pm
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