Originally Posted by cycloneman
Allright someone who has been there.
I had built a 3.8 years ago and planted a holly 450 on it. Looks to me they dont make that carb anymore.
I liked the little engine and if I choose it again i would drop in an isky 252 cam in and edlebrock intake with one of their 500 cfm carbs on it. I am not looking to haul heavy loads with it. I want something to run around with maily on the highway from job to job. I have a 3/4 ton 4x4 i use for hauling. I am looking for another truck so i stop putting all these miles on the 3/4 ton. I want the truck to be free of most of that electronic crap that is why i am looking into early 80's technology. If I could get around 200 hp out of it and get it geared right i will be happy. It needs to run around 70 mph usually not hauling anything more than tools and a portable generator in the back.
SO what do you think about my thought?
I think the best suggestion so far is the 4.3 Chevy. Way more plentiful, and they made a 4bbl carb manifold for it.
Whichever engine you choose, leave the cam alone. There is always a trade-off with cams in the loss of drivability, low end torque, and fuel mileage, unless the whole system is optimized to work together. A cam big enough to make any difference in power needs the proper carb, intake, port work, headers, converter, and gearing to work right. Most of the time, a cam in a combination like you're describing does nothing more than kill off low end torque and drivability, and idle like crap.
I've had hundreds of those "projects" show up at my shop over the years, and they NEVER run as nice as it would if they had just left the damn thing alone. There is a reason the manufacturers spend millions of dollars to get a combo right, and rarely does some guy in a garage make it better.
Not trying to burst your bubble here, but what you want won't come in a camshaft. If you want more power for your truck than the 231 makes stock, then you really want a bigger motor. A nice stock 4.3, or 350 will be nicer to drive, and get BETTER fuel mileage than an overcammed, mismatched 231.