383 Stroker, Beer, Camaro Motor, Rusty, SBC, Thunder Racing Engines -

Rusty the bastard Chevy small block and a 30 pack of beer.

A few days ago a friend and I got to talking about car parts (as usual), he told me that he would be building a new home next spring and that he had a few things lying around that he wanted to get rid of before the move. Being a Ford man myself and he being of the Chevy persuasion his list of parts for sale wasn't of much interest to me, that is until he started to talk about an old small block he had laying in the back of his garage. Now I'm sure you're wondering "What in the hell is a Ford guy going to do with a chevy engine?" (Insert joke here chevy guys). Well the answer to your question lies at the very end of the How to do a Burnout video here:

I happen to own that 79 Camaro and although the burnout was real the badass engine sound was a dubbed over Thunder Racing Engine sound we used to make my car look like less of a wuss. It's actually packing a tired 350 with a 2 barrel and stock EVERYTHING! *Shameful*

Back to the story, my friend told me that he had an 010 casting (supposed to be a stronger casting) small block 350 that he'd picked up at the junk yard several years back that he wasn't planning to use and he wanted it gone! Now this was just the type of thing to take my interest, this would be a GREAT candidate for a stroker build and would allow me to retain my factory air conditioning in the Camaro, how could I possibly go wrong?

Here's how:

Rusty chevy short block

There was a "small" issue, the heads and intake manifold had been taken off the engine and it had been stored OUTSIDE for an unknown amount of time.



Not one to back down from a challenge, afterall how bad could a little rust be? I began negotiating a price for this incredible find. We went back and forth for a while and finally settled on an amount, a 30 pack of Bud Light! What a deal! Off to the gas station I went to secure payment for my new project engine.

Here's where the story takes a little turn. When I got the engine home I immediately started douching it with WD40, "rust won't stand a chance against an all night soak in this stuff" I thought to myself.

2x4 block of wood for removing siezed chevy pistons

"Bull Shit" said the rusty small block.

damaged 2x4 from rusted cylinder

Take a moment and appreciate what's going on here. I shit you not, that hammer is a solid 10+ pounds and it's full of sand, it's essentially the same one Thor uses to control the universe! The mutilated 2x4 is the 4th one I used, the other 3 are in splinters in the corner of the room. This photo was taken after 2 full cans of WD40, a night of soaking, and a dozen heating and cooling cycles. Three of the pistons are still in the f*#&*ing block at this point!

For those of you who don't know me personally I'm a big guy, a former Champion Powerlifter for hells sake, I broke 13 state weightlifting records in 3 different states and before I met this bastard block I thought I was pretty strong. I fought with this son of a bitch for 3 full days, swinging my giant hammer, crushing 2x4's, sweating my ass off, smashing my fingers as I yelled obscenities and hurled tools and various objects across the room (I'm still looking for a few end wrenches). If not for the good deal I'd gotten on it I would have taken the piece of shit and thrown it off a cliff. "I should have just taken that 30 pack home with me" I kept thinking to myself. It had become a matter of principal that I get these rotten pistons from the clutches of Satan's evil mistress. I lost count of how many times I graced the flesh of my mangled fingers with Thor's hammer and how many new ways I discovered to use the long list of swear words I now know but in the end I finally beat the bastard and this is what I found:

rusty small block chevy 350 pistons and rods

Just look at all that rust! The one on the end will probably end up as a shop decoration as a reminder that sometimes these projects turn out a little different than you'd planned.


After I got the pistons out I ran a hone down the cylinder bores to try to clean up some of the rust so I could see exactly what it was that I actually had. Here you can see the difference:

rusty cylinders vs honed cylinders



before and after cylinder honing

When I'd finished honing the cylinders I grabbed a flashlight and inspected the entire block for cracks, as luck would have it I didn't find a single one! It turned out that I'd made a GREAT deal on this block and I couldn't be happier! The next (and most exciting) thing I did was contact Thunder Racing Engines about turning this thing into a fire breathing, nitrous sniffing 383 stroker for the Camaro....... I guess you'll have to stay tuned to see what happens next. ;)


Thank you for reading this weeks blog post.

Clint J. Grover


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