My new project just reared it's ugly head...

bobs409

 
Administrator
#1
Usually I get to pick the project but this time, it picked me. :mad5

My daily driver (well, almost daily) 71 Cheyenne 20 pickup developed a good sized oil leak. I've been chasing it for a few days now and found it was dripping from the back of the oil pan. I figured it was probably just oil pan gasket/seals so I spent 2 days lying on the driveway replacing it. WRONG! Leaks just as bad after all of that. :tantrum (this is the most irritating part! I hate wasting time)

My best guess is probably the rear main seal. ??? The engine served me well but it's time to move on, not worth tearing it down to replace a main seal so my first thought is to yank this one and toss in a good used 350 I've been saving for just such an emergency. Then, build a nice new 350 over the winter for it. That is until I discovered a crate engine at Summit:

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/nal-10067353/overview/make/chevrolet

This truck is a work horse. It has the sm465 4 speed so it's no racer by any means. :D It currently has a 305 from a 1984 camaro I got from a junkyard. (was a rebuilt unit and fresh at that time) I'm only looking for reliability and not high performance so the crate engine sounds like the best choice for this truck. Agree???

This way, I can do the R&R once and avoid all the hassle of magna fluxing, machine work, heads, etc. (although I wouldn't mind putting another one together, I'm weird I guess but I have fun doing things like that) :D


So unless someone has something better I should consider, I may go this route. I like to seek the wisdom of "my people" on things like this first. ;) ( you have until tomorrow to talk me into or out of this!) :D
 

blkblk63ss

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 5
#2
Are you sure of rear main and not thinking of rear intake or distributor gasket, leaking down side of engine!!!!!
 

blkblk63ss

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 5
#4
You might try Lucas oil treatment. I t will soften seal's and they say it work's. I once used a gm similar product for a low mileage pickup i had with front seal leak on auto tran's and it stopped it.
 

Last 60

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 1
#5
Go for the crate Bob. Probably quicker, easier, and not that much more expensive, if any, and your favorite part------FREE SHIPPING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lonnie
 

Jim Sullivan

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 8
#6
That's sure a great price on the Summit engine.

The leak could also be the rear cam plug. Sounds like the engine will have to come out no matter what.. How many miles have you put on the engine? Is it really due for an overhaul or just fix the leak?
 

bobs409

 
Administrator
#7
Didn't think of the cam plug! Just checked and I put 46,643 miles on this $400 dollar engine. :D

I wonder how they ship these crate engines and if they have lift gate service? Hmmm. :rub
 

Don Jacks

Well Seasoned Member
Supporting Member 3
#8
Spend a little more and get the L-30 or l-31 crate engine. these engines have the good Vortec heads[better gas mileage,more power],the roller cam[no "trick" oil additives,or oils required],and will last longer.
 

Don Jacks

Well Seasoned Member
Supporting Member 3
#12
Yes,that's the Vortec 305[L-30] engine.The l-31 350 is just a little more,but well worth it.Either way you'll need an intake manifold and attaching bolts,but I've seen aftermarket "Performer"style intakes for about a hundred bucks.The only other thing would be a "Melonized" dist gear ,or the stock dist gear from a late model [87-2002] roller cam engine.Since it's going into that truck it'll likely be able to have a 3 year,100,ooo mile warranty on it.
 

bobs409

 
Administrator
#13
I'm leaning to the L30. There will be a LOT of "I might as wells" to add in too. Like new headers, maybe a new distributor, and all new everything else... Maybe a new clutch "while I'm in there". Get the Visa card out!!! :back
 

blkblk63ss

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 5
#15
Every body has suggestion's on spending your money!!:laughingIf the engine run's good why not just fix the leak.My question is when you had pan off,why you did not replace the rear main seal while you were that close ,???Or was it a circular rear main engine??? PS ,,,,,, a circle seal mean's one piece and tran's and flywheel has to come out to replace,sorry i did not state this earlier.
 
Last edited:

1961BelAir427

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 3
#17
Bob, if you go the L30 or L31 route, get the L31 (350). It may cost slightly more, but will be worth it.

On the other hand, you either of the Vortec engines will require a new intake manifold to fit the vortec heads AND a new flywheel for a 1 piece rear main seal.

Since it's a daily driver you may just want to stick to the first one you linked which is the standard old "Goodwrench" or "Targetmaster" 350. Another option is the 87-95 truck 350 # 12568758, but it would still require the new flywheel for the 1 piece seal style crank.

I'm pretty sure that Summit charges a $99 oversize shipping fee on their engines. I could be wrong about that.

Those are genuine GM engines and carry a 3 year or 100,000 mile warranty. Just call a few local GM dealers with those part numbers and have them give you their best price. I can match or beat Summit's pricing on Chevy crate motors, but I'm too far away to help you.

According to the Locater - Fred Bean Parts in Doylestown, PA has discounts on them. Even if they are not close enough to you to make pick up easy, they may partner with a dealer near you. For example, my COST from GM on that engine you mentioned is higher than Summit's sale price. They buy them in bulk a truck load at a time and get a big discount. A couple of big dealers near me (one in GA, one in AL) do the same thing and sell to surrounding dealers at 20% to 25% below COST. That's how we can turn around and sell the engines at such a good price.

One more thing - some of these engines have a core charge and some don't so don't forget to figure that also. Heck, most of the 350's that do have a core only have a $100 core so it's often better to just keep your old one.

In your case, since the old 305 is still running okay, just leaking oil bad.....I would see if someone wants it for $200 to $250. I bet plenty of people would slap some new gaskets on it, give it a rattle can rebuild, and use it.
 

bobs409

 
Administrator
#19
Well I thought I knew what I was doing until Jason replied! :tantrum :poke :taunt

I don't know what the heck to do now. I do know the L31 has a $100 dollar core charge. What is the differences between the L30 and L31 anyway? :dunno

I could check with the local Chevy dealer for the heck of it. First I have to decide what one to buy. Thanks JASON! :D
 

boxerdog

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 5
#20
I hate to be a wet blanket, but I have seen several of the GM "crates" in recent years that had serious quality control issues, rings wouldn't seal, sloppy guides, garbage in the oil pump, etc. The dealers have been pretty good about standing behind them, but I have seen one guy do 3 r&rs until he got one that was OK. I believe they were all south-of-the-border built. I don't really know anything about ATK or Blueprint but I might look into them too. I agree with the others on getting the roller cam version, though.
 
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