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Kelmark V8 Engine Build Questions
Posted by: MikeBuongiorno ()
Date: January 13, 2013 05:52PM

Hello World,

First post ever. Revisiting a project started in the 90s by another, bought by me in 2004, worked on feverishly, then left to sit while raising kids, moving/saving bigger house, etc.

I've got a little bit of a war chest rebuilt and need to finish this project for my soul.

Its a 1965 Corsa setup for a Kelmark V8 conversion. Radiator plumbed in the front with copper tubing, disk brakes, 15" wheels, etc. Missing one critical component. The Engine.

Reaching out to the team (long time reader, first time poster) to help with engine selection / build recipe.

Want to build a fun to drive, decent mileage, decent power v8 car that doesnt brake my driveline. I understand the diff and input shaft are weak links. I'm running the hardened, 1" longer aftermarket shaft, and a 66 saginaw. Spider gears in the diff. Even still, what I've read is to keep hp and torque under 300hp to be safe.

What I'd like to build is something that will reliably rev to 6-7k, making good power between 2-7,000 rpm happily sacrificing low end torque to keep my driveline alive.

To do this I'm weighing these options (budget for finished motor is <$5k).

1. Get the 350/290 from jegs, run it for a while, see how it does, then move to aftermarket heads and longer duration cam to meet my goals.

2. Get the 350/330 and do as above, hoping with the torque that motor puts out, I'm not replacing my shaft and diff straight away.

3. Get the vortec truck motor (L31), deal with the electric fuel pump issue, but benefit from the better heads and roller cam setup, change out the cam down the road and see how much I can squeeze before I find a weak link.

[www.jegs.com]

All that being said, what do you guys think? Am I on the right track? Got some money burning a hole in my pocket and dying to get to driver status. What can I realisitcall get away with hp and torque wise if I'm mildly "careful" before I brake parts? Or should I just say screw it, save more money and lose (way) more time and just go LS1 and some other driveline altogether. Would love that obviously, but a driver within site if I go Gen 1 SBC, way out in dreamland if I go LS1.


Thanks in advance for the wisdom.

-Mike

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Re: Kelmark V8 Engine Build Questions
Posted by: VairKing ()
Date: January 13, 2013 06:00PM

Keep the HP high and the torque low if you can. I would build a high reving 283 or 327 and get it on the road! Knock on wood I have only ruined a few transmissions over the years, my original 4 spiders and Kelmark shaft are holding up good.

_________________________________________
Ryan Counterman (Moderator)
1965 Corsa Kelmark V8 400 HP ///1965 Monza Sedan 110/PG /// Ultimate Corvair Hauler/// Don Eichstaedt's 1965 Corsa Racecar
West Michigan Corvair Club /// 1966 Corsa GTP Convertible Mid Engine 3.8L Supercharged project stalled

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Re: Kelmark V8 Engine Build Questions
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: January 13, 2013 06:05PM

You're Late! You MUST post pictures! We'll train you if needed!! ggg


It's a loser...

Go find a nice looking Gen 1 Vortec 4.3 v6.... 200 real hp at the rear wheel...


The "problem" with the KelMark / Mid-Engineering systems... you are running on the back side of ALL gears!!

A couple of 215 v8's I know of have over 20k miles on them with no problem..but not one v8.. even a few 283's...

MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

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Re: Kelmark V8 Engine Build Questions
Posted by: MikeBuongiorno ()
Date: January 13, 2013 07:38PM

283 or 327, I like it, less CID, less torque, just less convenient to source and build than a phone-call-away 350 from jegs.

What is the current thinking for sourcing one? Is there a reputable shortblock builder anyone recommends online?

-Mike

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Re: Kelmark V8 Engine Build Questions
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: January 13, 2013 07:44PM

Mike... Corvair people are mainly DIY's

Tell us where you are located and we may know of a good shop

MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

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Re: Kelmark V8 Engine Build Questions
Posted by: ManxManiac ()
Date: January 13, 2013 07:45PM

A "bone stock" 350/2bbl would push it along pretty well, though it has a bit more torque than the 283 or 327!
Where are you located?


Have Fun, Fun, Fun... ManxManiac

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Re: Kelmark V8 Engine Build Questions
Posted by: MikeBuongiorno ()
Date: January 13, 2013 07:45PM

Santa Cruz, CA

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Re: Kelmark V8 Engine Build Questions
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: January 13, 2013 07:48PM

Bay Area.... PM Sethracer here... he run's a Camaro in SCCA events... he'll know where to go..

MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

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Re: Kelmark V8 Engine Build Questions
Posted by: gnvair ()
Date: January 14, 2013 06:35AM

I agree with Matt on the 4.3 V6. Great engine. If you want a cheap and easy V8 then look for a 99-up 4.8 out of truck. Edelbrock and others make carbureted intakes for them now so if fuel injection is out of the budget you have other options.
350 would make too much torque for the trans running Kelmark style.
If it was running it Crown style it would be doable.

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Re: Kelmark V8 Engine Build Questions
Posted by: MikeBuongiorno ()
Date: January 14, 2013 09:28AM

Great advice guys, please keep it coming. Will post pics this weekend of current shape of vehicle.

Gen 1 4.3 v6 is not a bad option, I like the reduced weight for sure, just gets me out of "v-8 vair land" where I so badly want to be. ;-)

If I found the right bump stick for a 350 that put the torque down around 300, still dangerous for the kelmark configuration? Diff is setup with a reciprocating oil pump dumping through a hole in a 1/4" steel top plate in an effort to lube the reverse spinning ring gear.

-Mike

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Re: Kelmark V8 Engine Build Questions
Posted by: MikeBuongiorno ()
Date: January 14, 2013 09:36AM

Also, already have engine mounts welded to subframe for gen 1 v8, and have the kelmark adapter for the gen 1.

Going with a modern block (LSX or otherwise) would require new adapter and new motor mount locations correct? I feel like the car is so close to drivable should press forward with gen 1, otherwise, its a longer term project and if were to change mount location and adapter, would be inclined to change diff and trany as well.

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Re: Kelmark V8 Engine Build Questions
Posted by: gnvair ()
Date: January 14, 2013 10:17AM

It sounds like you already have your mind set on the 350. Problem is IF you break that input shaft you probably would be VERY hard pressed to get another one as they have not be produced in many years and you will once again be back with an immobile car.
I personally would also consider a later model 305 HO from an 83-88 Monte SS. 180 horse stock pretty easy to get to 200 OR a Vortec 5.0 from the mid to late 90's.
www.car-part.com should yield some results.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/2013 10:18AM by gnvair.

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Re: Kelmark V8 Engine Build Questions
Posted by: Caraholic4life ()
Date: January 14, 2013 03:42PM

My Kelmark Corvair had a '66 327 in it when I got it but it was worn out.

I had an opportunity to get a high mileage 305 4bbl engine from a 1979 Malibu that had been well taken care of prior to being rear ended so I put it in my car.

I ran the old center dump cast iron exhaust manifolds with the 2-1/2" exhaust into a 2" down pipe and through a mid '70's Firebird style single muffler.

The stock 305 provided all the get up and go that I needed even with a 3:27-1 rear. I also eliminated the positraction differential from the car as I found the car wanting to go straight when accelerating hard through a curve.

IF you plan on running the car hard, stock up on differentials (unless you can find a reverse ring and pinion) and be sure to have a spare input shaft. I had a spare that never needed to be used but it went with the car when I sold it.

1962 95 F.C. Van
1965 Monza Coupe
1965 Monza Convertible
Westminster, Maryland

MID ENG enthusiast &
prior Kelmark owner.

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Re: Kelmark V8 Engine Build Questions
Posted by: MikeBuongiorno ()
Date: January 14, 2013 04:38PM

Thinking the same, ram horn manifolds (the engine is in the middle of the car). I have a spare of the "hardened" kelmark shafts. Anyone consider having a shop turn a new shaft out of stronger than tool-steel steel? Or is that crazy talk? I have a machinst friend that thinks that could improve durabily / handle more torque.

Also, not against 283 or 327 at all, just seduced by the simplicity and price of a GM 350 short block delivered for $1500 that is brand new.

My other car is a 1963 Nova with a salvage yard 327, thinking about pulling that and putting the 350 crate in the nova. there is an idea. Only thing is, not sure how well put together that 327 is and kinda feel like starting with a known good engine for something I have to shoehorn through the door of the vair. ;-)

-Mike

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Re: Kelmark V8 Engine Build Questions
Posted by: VairKing ()
Date: January 14, 2013 05:11PM

Take the door off, it actually goes in/out pretty easily.

_________________________________________
Ryan Counterman (Moderator)
1965 Corsa Kelmark V8 400 HP ///1965 Monza Sedan 110/PG /// Ultimate Corvair Hauler/// Don Eichstaedt's 1965 Corsa Racecar
West Michigan Corvair Club /// 1966 Corsa GTP Convertible Mid Engine 3.8L Supercharged project stalled

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Re: Kelmark V8 Engine Build Questions
Posted by: Ed Dowds ()
Date: January 14, 2013 07:42PM

I had a 295 hp 350 in the rear of my first Corvair. Spit a set of spider gears and went to 4 spider set.
Then I sheared the MID shaft. My dad worked at a place that could weld the shaft better than new.
In my opinion the 350 was too much.
My present car is a rear engine 4.3.
Your mileage may vary!

Ed
Hamilton, NJ
66 500 rear 4.3 V6 Corvair
69 350/350 TH Camaro was RS
30 Model A Ford Streetrod 350/400 TH
88 Celebrity Wagon (Daily Driver)

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Re: Kelmark V8 Engine Build Questions
Posted by: bill darcy ()
Date: January 14, 2013 08:26PM

Just to further confuse the issue.I think I'd look seriously at a 4.8.Good HP, torque peaks pretty high(4600rpm)so it shouldn't be a parts breaker,cheap and light.Should be reliable and give good fuel economy while retaining that V8 rumble we all love.May be a bit more work but long term it should be easy to live with.Just my 2cents.Whatever you choose I'm sure you'll have a ball with it.

In the Hub City, Belen NM

Lead from behind..... get left in the dust
"I have not failed I've just found ten thousand ways that won't work" Thomas Edison

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Re: Kelmark V8 Engine Build Questions
Posted by: MikeBuongiorno ()
Date: January 14, 2013 09:04PM

Some pics attached to give you guys a feel for the project.

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Re: Kelmark V8 Engine Build Questions
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: January 14, 2013 09:13PM

You've got your work cut out for you!

MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

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Re: Kelmark V8 Engine Build Questions
Posted by: 66cv8 ()
Date: January 15, 2013 04:22AM

You are going to love the 350 untill you break it which you will. The temptation is too great. Start with a less powerful mill. You will enjoy it and it will be more drivable.

Mine started with a stock 2 bbl 307 and I still managed to break spiders, then I learned how to drive and put the 350 in. I don't break much today but failures are commin.

Enjoy the project.

Joe

66 500 Crown 350/4 on road
66 Corsa Convertible 140/4 rough
69 Monza Convertible 140/4 in progress (original 95/3)
Nu Joisey

" A LITTLE KNOWLEDGE IS A DANGEROUS THING"

"STUPID is the NEW SMART"

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