260 HP GM Crate motor?

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260 HP GM Crate motor? Empty 260 HP GM Crate motor?

Post by SSTOOLMAN on Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:10 pm

A while back someone bought and installed a 260 hp GM crate. I suddenly am in the market for a  motor.  
I wondered how its running? I looked at the 290 hp crate but after talking to a tech at GM performance I don't know if I want to live with the poor idle quality he warned me about.
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Post by pila on Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:09 pm

The 290 engine likely has a bit of a lumpy cam. And thinking back some decades, the 300 HP Chevys in the 60s didn't idle all the good either !
The 260 engine seems like decent power if it's driven almost as a daily driver.

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Post by ant7377 on Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:20 pm

You arent going to be happy with that for a little more get a 383 from gm performance parts or talk to a engine shop local to you. Check out blueprint engines,they build them for jegs and I know of a guy that works for them,they are a reputable place to get a motor.
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Post by pila on Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:33 pm

I haven't heard of the 383 crate idle quality. It likely depends on which engine it is. More power is also gonna get a rougher idle, regardless of the engine size.

The 383, in my opinion, is the best thing that's happened to the small block Chevy  Very Happy 

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Post by Pontichev327 on Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:50 am

I have the 260 horse Goodwrench engine in my 75 Laguna. I think it's a decent smooth running engine. If you want to do anything other than cruising around it is a bit weak though. It is more than the factory gave us, but not enough to turn much tire on a 4000 pound 'Guna. I think I would go go 383 if I had a choice. It was in the car when I bought it.
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Post by Pontichev327 on Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:54 am

The idle quality depends on a number of things, but cam selection is the most important for that. You can have a 383 idle as smooth or lumpy as you want depending on how you set it up, and your carb choice and ignition choice, and so on.
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Post by Hawk03 on Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:55 am

I put one in my car too although the car is still in the process of being put together so I can't give any input on how it performs. I got the one from Jegs with the intake and chrome package.
I thought about going with more horsepower but decided the extra money would be better spent buying other parts in need. I can always go back and upgrade the engine and it will give me something to look forward to in the future. Plus my stock 305 was probably pushing 100hp when I took it out so the added horsepower with the new engine will feel like a major upgrade.
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Post by JB2wheeler on Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:36 am

GM Performance has a 383 made for trucks with an RV cam. It has tons of power without the lumpy idle. I forget what the title of the engine is, but if I remember right (it's been a while) it's just barely over 300 HP and is fairly reasonably priced. That is the engine I wish I had put in mine
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Post by bracketchev1221 on Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:58 am

If you want stock idle than the 260 hp is fine. If you want the 290 hp, the cam is mild that you may really only even notice it on a cold startup day. Otherwise, it won't be enough to affect the power brakes or drivability. It is similar to the old Comp 268 high energy cam.
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Post by SSTOOLMAN on Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:25 pm

I went with the Jegs GM 260 hp it has more torque than the 290 hp. it has a 3 year parts warranty and it was $500 cheaper. I am only looking to squawk the tires once and a while and drive to an occasional car show. My last motor had a 488/508 cam ( I know that's not huge ) but didn't''t like the lope especially at stop lights, it and a lot more horse power but not a ton more torque than the Jegs motor, not to mention the 10 miles to the gallon I got. The power didn't really pull on that motor until higher rpm's and just wasn't for me. I get it next week I will let you know how I like it.
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Post by bracketchev1221 on Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:45 pm

The cam you had was apples to oranges to the cam in the 290hp engine. If the cam you had was most likely the generic .488/.510 cam with 234/244 degrees duration @.050" lift.   It is highly radical in a mild 350.  
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Post by 77mali on Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:31 pm

If I had to do it all over again (ESPECIALLY with the time I spent on my engine build) I'd get me this one or something fairly close to it.  

http://www.blueprintengines.com/index.php/products/bp-gm-crate-engines-landing/gm-355-main/item/gm-355-base-bp3550ct1

Check what they consider a "hi volume oil pump".  Melling 'Select' has a 10% and 25% over stock volume.  I put mine back to OEM specs, unless you're racing, I wouldn't bother with a Hi-Volume pump. Vortec heads are the way to go- they breathe much better than the one's you'll get from GM on either the 260 or 290 "Goodwrench" crate motors.  Ask the builders what they would charge extra for a set of Comp Cams Magnum Roller Rockers & Magnum Pushrods (or something equal quality to those items).  Also, consider the Comp Poly-Locks for the Rocker Arms, they are so easy to lash it's not even funny & are very sturdy on the rocker studs.  Stock flat tappet rockers & nuts are sh!t IMHO.  They might also have a better cylinder head option for a little more $$ too.  My heads are not "Swirl polished" Vortec's they are a clean-straight flow (later design).

The motor I built is getting a bit less HP but a bit more Torque.  They might be able to upgrade the Cam too to get it right around 400 HP/ 400-420 ft lbs.

Good luck!
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Post by SSTOOLMAN on Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:18 pm

bracketchev1221 wrote:The cam you had was apples to oranges to the cam in the 290hp engine. If the cam you had was most likely the generic .488/.510 cam with 234/244 degrees duration @.050" lift.   It is highly radical in a mild 350.  

I guess all I can say is that when I called  GM  performance Tech line, the Tech said if you don't like the rough idle of the 488/509 you're not going to like the 450/460 in the 290 HP. he said its more pronounced in a compression ratio of 8 to 1 and it is the biggest  complaint they get for that motor.  The next complaint is the low vacuum of 8 to 10 Hg. (GM published a 10 -12 Hg in the specs) he  said in heavier cars there was a small concern for the vacuum accessories, mainly braking.
The 260 hp has torque rating of 350 ft/lbs. 25  more  than the 290 and comes in at a lower RPM so its good for my my style of driving. I am sure I won't like passing power (now thats a term older guys will remember) but a lot of times life is a tradeoff.
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Post by pila on Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:08 pm

What's that old saying...........ya can't have yer cake and eat it too...?
We always have to settle with what we can afford, how we want the engine to idle, gas mileage etc.
My Malibu gets around 9 MPG, but it sure is fun spending that gas money Very Happy  And I mix avgas with 92 octane too.
What we all need is a fun car, and a daily driver ! Very Happy 

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