I know how you feel about your Suburban and progressing on the 39. My 71 Pickup has a tired 402, a leaking, squealing water pump, and I use that truck weekly. I have a 454 almost ready to go in, but I don't look forward to the downtime. I know me. Once the engine is out, I'll want to clean and paint the engine compartment, and that will lead to other stuff. I bet I'll wind up painting the truck while I'm at it. I, too, have thought about buying a beater truck to get me by, but, I know me, and I'd probably wind up building the beater when the 454 swap is done. It never ends..............
I dunno Vall - I'd think going back with the same setup would be the quickest, if not the lesser expensive of the two options...but I'm a carburetor kind of guy.
I've watched that '38 video several times already...
I agree. The fastest is staying with a 350 SBC. If I can save this one I will. If not I wont take a chance on used unless I can hear it run and do a compression test prior to buying it. Local engine builder sells rebuilt with warranty for $1530 exchange, so not worth chancing a bad used motor.
I got lucky today!!! I made my little chisel with a very sharp tapered point, and tapped it in on one corner just barely, and then pried with my 3' prybar and the passenger head popped loose. Did the same with the driver's side but it needed more wedging to finally break loose also! So both heads are off and at the machine shop.
The head gaskets weren't leaking, as I figured, but they actually tore in half when I did get them loose. Took forever to clean the block surface, and the machine shop will surface the heads so I wont have those to do. I checked all the combustion chambers and valves for leaks by pouring brake cleaner into each chamber. No leakage, so valve surfaces are good and no cracks. But three exhaust seats looked pretty bad as the valves sat deeper into the seats. So I told the machine shop to put in all new hardened valve seats and guides. He'll save as many valves as possible, and replace any that need to be. He told me it will run around $300, unless it needs all new valves, which will up it to around $375. I gave him the OK to replace them all if more are bad than good. He'll rush them through and get them back in a couple days.
Spent another 4 hours cleaning the block, intake, valve covers, etc. to get ready for reassembly. The engine looks really good with no ridge on the cylinders, and not much built up on the pistons. I cleaned the tops a little and vacuumed out everything to get the debris from cleanup.