360cu Engine Upgrades

Engines, Exhaust and Fuel Systems

  1. Trivium91

    Trivium91 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Guys, i have a 360 LA engine installed, it was rebuilt by the previous owner...i''ve attached the information card with all the measurements and specs.

    Currently i was able to determine the following:

    BRC WG-1161 Camshaft
    Keith Black 107-040 Pistons

    I believe the heads are stock, can anyone recommend some nice heads to increase performance? I also want to change the camshaft eventually down the road to get more power but maybe just heads for now if thats possible.

    What about the ignition system? including the ballast resistor and all that stuff. Everything is stock except for the lean burn which was removed. Can anyone recommend a decent ignition system?

    IMG-20200501-WA0000.jpg
     
  2. Mikes5thAve

    Mikes5thAve Well-Known Member

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    For ignition I always use a mopar performance distributor and ECU, ballast resistor setup similar to this.

    Proform Mopar Licensed Electronic Distributor Conversion Kits 440-426

    I don't know if that is the real MP distributor or a normal one.

    What heads are on it now? You can pop a valve cover to check the part number. Both sides should be the same.
     
  3. Trivium91

    Trivium91 Well-Known Member

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    Ill take a look and get back you, the car is a bit annoying to start for sure and needs a bunch of fuel to spark after sitting for a while(pumping)...runs fine other than that. I already have electronic ignition with the ballast resistor and everything, im not sure if its worth upgrading to the Proform one from what i currently have which i assume is stock. The car is a 1980 Volare roadrunner... I guess i was hoping there was a cheaper MSD ignition system that eliminated the ballast resistor.
     
  4. Camtron

    Camtron Well-Known Member

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    Got a couple grand for heads? Order up some Trickflow heads.
    Trick Flow® PowerPort® 190 Cylinder Heads for Small Block Mopar TFS-61417801-C00
    Otherwise grab some heads off a 5.9 Magnum. Better design and compression without question.
    MSD ignition box cost more than that Proform kit. Jegs makes their own ignition kit too that honestly looks better quality.
    https://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS/555/40500K/10002/-1
    FBO makes a nice ignition box with coil and ballast resistor delete. Ignition box even has a programmable rev limiter.
    FBO Ignition Box / REV Limiter, with Chrome Coil
    There’s another ignition box called the, Rev-N-Nator, but it’s been unavailable for nearly a year. So almost not worth the mention, but hopefully they return to market one day. The guys that have it, love it. It’s another programmable rev limiter box. Here’s a video of Chris Birdsong ripping up a drift track in his 69 Charger. You can hear him bouncing off the, rev n nator limiter.



    I currently have the Proform ignition kit with a MSD Blaster 2 coil and 0.8ohm MSD ballast resistor. Car always starts like a top regardless of being cold or hot.
     
  5. Mikes5thAve

    Mikes5thAve Well-Known Member

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    Summit has a similar kit with billet distributor.

    Summit Racing® Billet Electronic Mopar Distributors SUM-851003-1


    Quality wise you'd need someone familiar with each to know. Quality on all those ecu's seems very sketchy these days.

    The MP distributors used to be built by Mallory and had Mallory guts. I don't know if the ones that are being sold now still do or its a regular one with mopar branding on it.

    Since you already have a vacuum distributor you should be able to recurve it yourself and then just get whatever ignition box you want to run. I'm going to try msd or similar next time.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2020
  6. Trivium91

    Trivium91 Well-Known Member

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    Damn those Trick Flow heads are pricey, i thought that was for the set. What about the Edelbrock Performer RPM's though? Im sure those should make more power than the magnum heads, no?
     
  7. Camtron

    Camtron Well-Known Member

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    I’m not a big fan of Edelbrock heads myself. They can be good heads with some machine work. But when you add the $1,400+ price for a set and the money spent in labor to open them up, you may as well have bought trickflow or EngineQuest heads to begin with. The Edelbrock heads may flow better than magnum heads at higher rpm but, magnum heads have a smaller compression chamber than the Edelbrock heads out of the box so, theoretically magnum heads would have more compression, more power.
    Really just depends on your budget and what you’re trying to do.
     
  8. Trivium91

    Trivium91 Well-Known Member

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    I dont really have a budget to be honest, Im trying to make around 400HP at the crank. The block is bored to 30 over when it was rebuilt im told. Magnum heads would be alot cheaper for sure. I think im at around 10.5:1 compression ratio. Not trying to build anything crazy, just a cruiser for the street that being said im looking to get under 6 seconds 0-60MPH which can beat most vehicles on the road. I have a rebuilt 3.91 posy rear end paired with a rebuilt 727 tranny with shift kit. The thing i like about edelbrock is they sell a top end kit with all parts confirmed, so down the road i could just add in the camshaft later when the engine gets pulled or at least thats the plan. Thats also assuming the heads are compatible with my current Crane Cam.
     
  9. AJ/FormS

    AJ/FormS Well-Known Member

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    Are you wanting 400hp to go racing, or is this gonna be a street car?

    214/224 is a heck of a torquey cam, when combined with a decent cylinder pressure. It can be the foundation of a heck of a street combo.
     
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  10. Duke5A

    Duke5A Well-Known Member

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    If you really have 10.5:1 compression already with those J heads then Magnum or even Edelbrock heads are going to put you at almost 11.5:1. Waaaay too much compression. As it is I don't know how you keep from detonating with that broomstick camshaft. Do you know how far under the deck the pistons are? Assuming a .039" head gasket and .016" below deck puts you at 10.45:1 with those J heads; which have 73cc chambers. The Edelbrocks are 63cc and will bump your compression a full point. Promaxx alloy heads are also 63cc. Those pistons are really screwing you. I'd hate for you to dump money into porting iron heads.
     
  11. 79410aspenrt

    79410aspenrt Well-Known Member

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    5cca54d3-6ec4-4cb6-9e09-113d441af2cd-jpeg.jpg


    ported iron heads:D:D:D:D:D:D
     
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  12. M_Body_Coupe

    M_Body_Coupe Well-Known Member

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    Yikes!!!

    That cam has got to go my friend.

    So here is the thing, it's an older style design with a lot of advertised duration delivering very little duration @0.050". It reminds me of one of my first "performance cams", which was a SpeedPro CS-1019R. Oh, cmon, yes tiny bumps on that thing, but we all gotta start somewhere!!!

    Bottom line, I would recommend getting into some newer tech. The un-needed longer advertised duration is what's going to bleed your street manners...lower vacum, poorer throttle response, etc., mind you, we are talking here street behaviour.

    I once ran a Crower 282-HDP CompuPro (#31243), which was a .480/.503 lift, 228/238 @ 0.050 and 282/292 duration, on 112 LSA. Great street grind. Compare that to your specs and see what the Crower gains you.

    Can't push strongly either way on the heads thing since I've got a heavily ported set of factory iron, they needed to be patched with epoxy once, but still working. In hindsight, knowing where I've gone with them I somewhat agree with Duke's comment: a modern day aluminum head puts you way ahead.

    Still, it's nice to be able to look at a bench flow readout and say "yup, that's my work right there baby"...doin' it old style!
     
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  13. Duke5A

    Duke5A Well-Known Member

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    Given the cost, all things being equal it's typically agreed that putting money into iron heads is not worth it. If you can't a set of alloy heads that have 73cc chambers and you don't want to tear into the motor to change pistons, porting those irons are your only choice. @79410aspenrt is absolutely right though, iron heads are every bit as capable as alloy. The big thing with alloys is they're more resistant to detonation and weigh a ton less.

    To port those irons you'll probably put somewhere around the same amount of money as you would into brand new alloys. I'd bank on about $1400 for 2.02 valves and port work.

    Either way, if you want 400 HP you need to do head work and replace that camshaft.
     
  14. AJ/FormS

    AJ/FormS Well-Known Member

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    #1) you don't need 400hp to do this
    #2) 400hp and 3.91s does not a good cruiser make

    you can do sub 6 seconds with 330hp, and 3.23s, and a 223* cam.
    3.23s will get you 60= 6000 in first gear, with 28" tires and 5% TC slip.
    6000 with a 223*cam is a bit of a stretch, but you will get to 60 in under 6.0 seconds with it.

    You can do it with 2.94s for 60=5600 with 27" tires and a 223* cam, but you will need more than factory stall, and traction. If you burn up 2.5 seconds just to get moving, well yur gonna have to really hustle after that. And the nice thing about 2.94s is; 60mph =2200 cruising at zero-slip.

    A 400 hp 360 is likely to burn the tires all the way to 60, and spinning ain't winning. And just try and get fuel economy at 60=2900 @zeroslip with 3.91s;

    Now; 32 mph with 3.91s is pushing 4250 in first at WOT, and 2250 cruising in second.. That looks pretty sweet. But on the downshift, at WOT, the tires will light up, and you will have to shift at about 44 mph. And when you do, the Rs will fall to 3250, and the power is gonna drop like a rock ................ just when you need it the most.

    With 3.23s; 32mph becomes 3150 at WOT, in first gear, and 44 will be 4300 now, which is just after peak torque, so the engine is cooking! Yes, sometimes less is more. So with this combo, you will have less problems with wheelspin, and don't need monster tires.

    Here's the deal ;
    to hit 60mph at 5600 requires a gear ratio of ~7.15 with 27" tires.
    The engine doesn't care how you get it. It could be with 3.91s and a trans ratio of 1.83.. Or it could be with 3.23s and a trans ratio of 2.21s.. Or 2.94s and a trans ratio of 2.43.
    Of these, only the 3.23s and 2.94s can be controlled with TC-stall speed to not go up in tiresmoke off the line. The 3.91s even at 330 hp are gonna smoke the street tires, most if not all the way to 60mph.
    And the good news is a 330hp 360 practically builds itself. And with the 2.94s and a 223* cam, you might get deep into the teens or early 20s mpg from point to point.
    I'm assuming your F body scales normally at 3450 to 3600; you in it.The downside to 2.94s is a bit of sluggishness in first gear, at Part throttle, with too low a stall. You can get some of that back with a slightly higher stall, more cylinder pressure, a DP carb,or possibly a better head; in other words; careful selection of parts, biased for torque..
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2020
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  15. Oldiron440

    Oldiron440 Well-Known Member

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    If spinning isn't winning get better tires!
     
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  16. M_Body_Coupe

    M_Body_Coupe Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't agree more.

    I have a 4k stall converter in my coupe, that's behind a pretty hot 360 motor. The switch from 3.91 to 4.10 made things worse, but the sticky street legal Nitto NT555R rubber out back is plenty good to prevent the tire hazing!

    Point being: you can't just think of it in terms of IDLE/WOT terms. Yes, even with sticky tires you can still "surprise" the machine and break 'em loose, but that's not using your driving skills, is it now?
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2020
  17. Trivium91

    Trivium91 Well-Known Member

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    Did some thinking here, the edelbrock top end kit is going to put me in the 440hp territory... way to much for a street car with 3.91 gears so you are definitely right. I don't have a tach but I suspect im a smidge over 3000 RPM's at 60 MPH. The final drive ratio in 3rd gear in the 727 should be 1:1 before it reaches the rear end so 1:3.91 for final. At this point im planning on skipping the heads since I just pulled the valve cover off and they are stock mopar 587 iron heads ported at 1.88. Restricted yes, but im not sure its worth a big jump in money since i realized i dont need 440 HP. At any rate im looking for around 350ish HP, im guessing im at about 250-275 now. Im interested in changing the Cam, and I really like the sound of a lumpy cam...can anyone recommend one I know edelbrock makes one, not sure if its any good.

    With the cam, im going to need new:
    -Valve springs
    -Lifters
    -Rocker Arms

    Am I missing anything?

    Im already running 29" Tires in the back, they have a width of 255. I didn't choose the rear end, if I had a choice I would have went with 3.73's or 3.55's. Its a TRUE Posi auburn locking rear end so I think at this point to rebuild would cost too much, because yes i would choose a taller gear if i didnt have to spend a bunch of money on it. I also don't do long highway driving, I keep it short and not more than 60MPH for extended periods.

    I should also mention I have a 3000 stall, it might be 3800 I cant remember but i know its at least 3000 since the tranny was rebuilt with a shift kit.

    Im also guessing with the compression, i recall the previous owner telling me it was around 10 to 10.5:1, i guess i should test it myself?
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2020
  18. Trivium91

    Trivium91 Well-Known Member

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    yeah no idea of the deck height. Sounds like when the engine was rebuilt he cheaped out and used pistons and rods to get the compression up rather getting different heads. At this point im thinking i just want a cam and shoot for +/- 350 ish HP, I already have a 650 Edelbrock carb which should be good up to 400HP. Maybe i can add some MSD ignition down the road with the money saved for a few extra horses. Do you have a recommendation on the CAM i need? What else would i have to change to accommodate the new cam?

    At this point i just want to add power on the cheap, since i dont need more than
    350HP there is no point in spending a bunch more money.

    What about this Comp Thumper Cam here?
    COMP Cams Thumpr Hydraulic Flat Tappet Cam and Lifter Kits K20-600-4

    Read an article that with stock heads it made 330HP, and its gives that lumpy idle im looking for.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2020
  19. Duke5A

    Duke5A Well-Known Member

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    This is tough, because we're working with unknowns. I'm not certain what you say you have in that motor is correct to start with. With 10.5:1 compression, iron heads and a 214@.050" cam shaft that thing would ping/spark knock/detonate until the pistons were swiss cheese. I don't want to recommend anything and have you spend money unless you know for sure what you have. You need to know exactly what pistons and the compression ratio before you buy parts.

    Anyways...

    I ran this in a 360 for a few years: COMP Cams XE274H Dyno Results

    It's not crazy with it only being 230@.050" on the intake side. You'll get very noticeable, choppy idle from it and still have enough vacuum for power brakes.

    Here is an OLD video of my car with that cam in it.



    Very mild build, but still tons of fun. The video is is just an exhaust comparison of going through the mufflers vs open dumps. Mufflers were Flow Master 40 series and the headers were run-of-the-mill full length pieces with 1 5/8" primary tubes. Motor probably made 400 HP with the Edelbrock heads.

    Full motor details are in the opening frame of the video.
     
  20. Trivium91

    Trivium91 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah so it looks like that one and the one i posted need aftermarket heads for the new springs, or get the existing heads machined to fit the larger springs. I was also looking at the XE268H-10, this one should be able to use stock springs and rocker arms? Maybe the compression is closer to 10:1 than? I know i have to run premium as told by the previous owner and there is definitely no knocking or pinging.