How-To Tear Down a Chevy 350 V8 Small Block Engine

Uploaded by motorztv on 26.03.2012

I'm Chris Duke and today on Motorz we're tearing down our Chevy small block to get it ready for

Presented by AMP Research. For the past four seasons
of Motorz, we've shown you how to modify the suspension for both cars and trucks
improve your vehicles performance by showing you how to install everything from an air intake
all the way up to a supercharger. Add a ton of aftermarket accessories
and maintain your vehicle, but one thing we've yet to touch is
the heart of it all. The show is called Motorz afterall so it's about time we
started working on one of these things. We picked up this old Chevy 350 small block
V8 engine online, for under $100. Now the great thing about
working on an engine like this is that it is very common, really cheap, they're easy to work on
plus there is a lot of parts and information available on them
when shopping for an old vehicle to rebuild the biggest question is whether or not the frame is
straight, similarily when shopping for an old engine the biggest question is whether
or not the block is usable. Now whether you saw the engine running and then pulled it out
of the vehicle, or pulled it out a junkyard, the only way to truely know if the block
is usable is by breaking it down and taking a closer look at the block itself
Over the course of several episodes this season we're going to show you how to rebuild an engine
on a budget that performs well on pump gas. On todays episode
we're going to show you how to tear down this Chevy 350 engine and what to look for
along the way, before we head off to our local machine shop to get it all cleaned up
So what do we know about this engine already? Well, we pulled it out of a
1969 Chevy pickup, but we really have no idea if that was the original vehicle
for this engine. The previous owner told us that it has a blown head gasket so
we're already expecting some trouble from this 350, but the price was right, so
it's worth a shot. It goes without saying that you're going to need an engine stand, some basic wrenches
and sockets, and an engine hoist. You can rent an engine hoist for the day like
we did, and you can pickup an engine stand for around $100
Try to get one that exceeds the weight of your engine, ours is rated at 1500 lbs
and one that rotates 360 degrees. Upon initial inspection
we can already tell that it has some aftermarket parts added such as the valve covers
and the intake manifold, so we can assume other modifications have been made to this engine
we really won't know more though until we start ripping it apart.
But before we start the disassembly of our engine we can look at the casting numbers which are
in plain sight, although there might be a bit of grease and grime in the way. Now if you have trouble
reading them, even after cleaning them off with some brake clean, try smearing some paint over the
top of the numbers. Now right here located on the front of the engine are the letters
and numbers, V0325CMR, the V tells us
it was made in Flint Michigan, the 03 indicates the month, the 25
is the day, so we know it was manufacturered on March 25th
the suffix code CMR tells us the engine was made for either a
1974 or 1978 Chevy, based on this information alone
we can already determine that this engine wasn't the original engine in the 1969 truck
we pulled it out of. Digging a little deeper on the back of the engine we found a
casting number of 3970010, again looking
online we found that this number is associated with a 327 from
1968, since this is a 350 we can ignore that one, but that number
is also associated with 350 engine manufacturer between years
1969 and 1979, at the time it had a maximum horsepower
rating of 370 and could have come from a car, truck, or Corvette
Now that we know as much as we possibly can about our engine
without actually tearing it apart, lets start digging into it. Now as we remove each part
we'll look for potential problems and once we have it down to just the block we'll
take it to NuTech Engine SYstems in Ramona, California to learn the process
of machining a block. Then once we get that back we'll start the process
of rebuilding our engine using pistons from Mahle Motorsports and parts
from Eagle Speciality Products, Holley Performance Products, and other manufacturers
The tools you're going to for this project from the Sears Blue Tool Crew
include some basic ratchets, sockets, extensions, wrenches, and a
swivel adapter, a rubber mallet, a speed wrench, a breaker bar
a pry bar, and a harmonic balancer puller. Now when we come back
from our break, we'll start tearing that engine apart.

Now before we start removing all the parts on our engine we need to drain out
our oil, so we're going to grab a 13/16" wrench to remove out drain
plug, and after we've drained out our oil we're going to use an oil filter wrench to
remove our filter.

That's funny, I've never seen green oil before!
This is what oil looks like when it's full of water
if your oil looks like this, you definetely don't was to be running your engine with it

There's some oil.
Now although we can use a ratchet to remove all the bolts for our oil pan
we're going to use this speed wrench, it will make it go a lot faster so we're going to use this
7/16" socket to remove the 14 bolts along the side and then a 1/2"
socket for the two and either end.

with all of our bolts removed, we can remove our oil pan
well it looks like we've got a 2 bolt main, now lets go ahead and remove our oil filter
adapter, and oil pump flip it around and we can start removing stuff from the top of this thing
We're going to use a 7/16's socket to remove these two bolts
right here for our oil filter adapter and then a 5/8" wrench for this
bolt here for our oil pump.

It looks like we're going to need a breaker bar for that, so we're going to use a 5/8" socket and our breaker bar
to loosen it up

Now to remove the one valve cover that we've got left, we need to remove this breather cap
normally there is four bolts holding this thing on, but the two that are on the bottom are already missing
so we just have these two wingnuts up here on top

To remove out intake manifold we've got
twelve of these 9/16" bolts to remove, to get the two out from the middle
you're going to have to get one of these swivel adapters

now with those 12 bolts removed, you're going to need a pry tool
to get this guy off of there

to remove
our head, we've got a total of 17 1/2" head bolts, we've got 8 down
here on the bottom and 9 up here on the top

before you loosen or remove your last head bolt
you want to loosen these 5/8" rocker bolts as these are applying some
pressure on the head and you don't want it to fall off on you
Pull our last head bolt out here, now you might
need a pry bar to remove your head, but this one is pretty loose already so we're not going to need
to do that.
Well this doesn't look good, hopefully all it is is a blown head gasket
so lets clean this up and see if we can get the engine to turn over
The coolant worked its way into the cylinder head bolt area and then worked its way into
the cylinder from there. Now if you're only taking the intake manifold off
you can tell that there was water in the oil right here in the lifter valley.
We'll be right back after the break with more Motorz

Hey welcome back to Motorz, now during our break we removed this cylinder head
and everything looks fine over here, now before we get to the front of our engine
we need to remove all of our lifters and then we're going to take a closer look at this cylinder head to see
if it is reusable because of the damage caused from this cylinder. Well there doesn't
seem to be any significant damage caused by the blown head gasket on this head
so with some proper cleanup and some replacement parts it should be ready to go again
To dissassemble the front end of our engine, we've got to remove this pulley
the harmonic balancer and this timing chain cover. Now once we get those
three off, we can get to our timing chain and the camshaft
We'll start with a 5/8" socket on a breaker bar to remove this center bolt right here
next using a 9/16" socket
and a short extension and your breaker bar, remove the three bolts
that are holding the pulley onto the harmonic balancer

Remove the
harmonic balancer, you're going to need to get a harmonic balancer puller

Now with our harmonic balancer removed, we can remove our timing chain
cover with a 7/16" socket we're going to use our speed wrench to speed things up

Now use a 7/16" socket to remove the fuel pump mounting plate

Using a 1/2" socket remove these three
bolts holding the timing chain cam gear in place

Now put these three bolts back into the end of the cam shaft so you can pull it out

Now if you're going to reuse your crank you're going to need to remove your timing
chain gear using a gear puller. Now we've got our engine turned back upside
down so that we can remove out connecting rod bolts using a 9/16" socket
you're going to have to turn your crank a little bit to get to some of these guys that are buried way down
in there.

With the nuts still loose, use a rubber mallet to separate the cap from the
connecting rod, then you can remove the two nuts, the cap and then carefully
remove the piston and the connecting rod without damaging the crank

Now that our pistons are removed, and before we can remove out crank, we've got
to remove our 5 main bearing caps using a 5/8" socket and a
breaker bar

with those five main bearing caps removed
we can remove the crank
Well now that we're done stripping our engine
down to the block, we can take a closer look at our pistons and our bearings to
determine what else was wrong with our engine besides the blown head gasket
All 8 of our piston showed good signs of wear, but these two
were in the worse shape, this one here has a broken compression ring, and if you look
on the side you'll see scratch marks indicating that this one was rubbing against the cylinder
wall. Now this piston came from our cylinder with the blown head gasket
and you can see that these rings are cemented in there due to all the rust
and corrosion and just like this guy you'll see those scratch marks on the side indicating that it
too was rubbing up against the cylinder wall. Now the rod and main
bearings show inconsistant, uneven wear as well as scratching
and the plating is worn all the way down to the copper. Now that we've taken a look at all of
these parts, lets grab our crank and take a closer look at it
Like our bearings, our crank shows signs of uneven wear, scratches and
some heat damage. Now you can take this to your machine shop and they can fix it up
but you're going to get new, thicker bearings, now that we know the condition
of our bearings, our crank as well as our pistons, we can take
a closer look at our cylinder. When checking out your block
you want to do a visual inspect of each cylinder, checking for cracking or other
damae. Now these cylinders are in the worst condiiton the one here on the right
because of our blown head gasket which caused all that rust and corrosion on the inside
and the one next to it due to the piston that was rubbing up against the cylinder
wall. Now after doing our inspection we've determined that this block is
reusable after some machine work. One of the things that we discovered upon
closer inspection of our pistons is the .030 stamped right
on the top. What that tells us is that our cylinders have been bored over
.030 of an inch. Which means each of these cylinders has been machined
.030 of an inch larger in diameter over stock.

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Our history with AMP Research goes all the way back to
Motorz season 1, episode 8. That was 55 episodes ago
and you know what we installed in that episode? It was the original BedStep from AMP
Research. It was easy to install, sturdy as heck because it's made right here in the
USA, and it tucks up out of the way so you don't have some big old eyesore of a step
hanging off the back of your truck while you're driving around town. Well they've done it again
with the BedStep2. Whereas the original BedStep was designed
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It supports up to 300 lbs and features a high traction composite step
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by a 3 year warranty. Now stay tuned for an upcoming episode of Motorz
this season where we're going to show you how to install all of AMP Research's products
on a Chevy Silverado, including the BedXtender, the incredible
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engines up to 2000 horsepower. Now for more information visit the Partz
page at our website, Letterz - brought to you by E3 Spark Plugs
Born to Burn.
Hey, are you on Facebook? Cause if you are you should check out our Motorz TV Facebook
page at, every month we're giving away free
tools from the Sears Blue Tool Crew, so you don't want to miss out on any important announcement
plus we're always uploading photos and videos from behind the scenes
while we're filming the show. And of course you don't want to miss out on any important
news updates. So head on over the Motorz TV facebook page and click that
big ol' like button at the top. Now our first letter comes from Nick who writes -
Hello Chris, your show is one of the best, most in depth shows I have ever watched.
I like it so much I watched all four seasons in two days.
Next month i will be getting a 2006 trailblazer and I was wondering
what would be some cheap but powerful upgrades? [Chris] Well Nick, of course you can do
the intake and exhaust combination, you want to do both because you want to open up both ends
now those are inexpensive, you can do it yourself and you will feel the difference
the other upgrade you should do to give you a little bit of added performance and it's really simple
to do is upgrade your spark plugs to E3's.
Next up is Wayne Shaw who writes - Hey Chris, I've been all over the Motorz
website looking to purchase one of those dapper shirts you wear on the show
Do ya know where I coudl buy one? PS. I love the out-takes at the end of the shows. Keep it up!
[Chris] Well Wayne, we don't have them there now but we are going to have them soon.
some shirts, so just click that store link at the top of our website, if it's not there just
keep checking back. Now as far as the outtakes, those are fun, man.
We have so much fun on this show it's great being able to share that, we've been doing that since
episode 1. So if you guys out there haven't seen the credits
in any episode of Motorz, I beg you, check it out, they're funny and I
just make a fool out of myself. Now Leon Davis writes -
Hi Chris, I've got a 2007 Mustang 4.0 and I would like to install
a side exhaust kit and can't find a kit anywhere. Also do I need to have my computer
reconfigured if a cold air intake is added?
[Chris] Leon, check out Cervini's, they have one for the V8 as well as your
V6. The other one to check out is one called Blowby Racing
as far as the intake it depends on the manufacturer. Some do and soem don't
so I recommend that you give them a call or check out their website to see if you need a program
to install their air intake. Now a viewer named
Tom asked - Where did you buy the Hella lights on the 2005 Ford F-150?
[Chris] Well Tom, if you head on over to and you scroll down
to a linked called where to buy, click that
and you'll get a huge list of retailers that sell Hella Lights. Now if you
or anyone else that is watching is interested in the installation episode where we featured
Hella Lights, check out episode 5 from Season 2, episode 2 from
season 3, and episode 2 from season 4.
Anthony wrote - Hey Chris, First I just want to say
that I Just found out about Motorz, I'm hooked! I finished all three and a half seasons
in a little over a day. I'm currently considering buying an air compressor and some air
tools and I was wondering what kind you guys might recommend?
[Chris] Well Anthony, we've got a 27 gallon Craftsman air compressor right over here that we use for the show and we love that
thing. Now what most people don't realize is that air tools and air compressors
aren't really that expensive, especially if you get them on sale. Now theres a wide range
of tanks you can get too, you don't have to get a big ol' hurkin thing either
you can get one that fits your budget, what I recommend is that you head on over to the Sears
Blue Tool Crew and have them show you what they've got.
And finally John writes - I've got a Toyota Camry with a V6
I want to change the spark plugs, but the ones in the back are tough to reach are there any
tools or tricks that will make the job easier? [Chris] Well John, if you rewind
this episode a bunch back when we were removing the intake manifold off the top of
our small block Chevy, we used this litlte swivel adapter, I recommend
you get one of those as well as an extension to use with your sockets. WIth those
two things you can pretty much get anything in weird situations inside your engine compartment
with it. Finally, just take your time and remove any plastic
covers or anything else that might be in the way. Now John you might also want to
hold off on that, because you're going to get new spark plugs for sending in your letter
and everybody else who's letter I read on the show today gets a new set of E3 Spark
Plugs for your ride. Now to find out more information about E3's
technology or to see if they're avaialble for your ride, just head on over to Tearing down
an engine can be kind of messy, but with the right tools and the help of a buddy
you can knock it out in just a few hours. now the next step for our small block is to take it to
NuTech Engine Systems in Ramona, California we're going to have our friend Britt
walk us through the entire process of machining a block step-by-step
now for more information on all the tools that we used from the Sears Blue Tool Crew
just head on over to our website. We'll catch you next week on Motorz!