Constructing a vehicle from the ground up is a labor-intensive process that can be extremely rewarding if done right. The engine is a key component because it provides power and drives the vehicle. If you’re planning to build a car around a 350 engine, you’ll need to know its weight to ensure that the rest of the components are properly balanced.
The weight of a 350 engine depends on the specific line and version. On average, it will weigh around 700 pounds, with the heaviest 350 engine weighing around 1,000 pounds.
In this guide, I’ll provide a brief history of the 350 engine, as well as explain t which 350 engine years to look for.
A Brief History of the Chevy 350 Engine
The Chevrolet 350 engine was first introduced in 1967 as part of the Camaro model. Over time, this engine became widely used in passenger cars and trucks, with various levels of tuning. The 350 was based on the 327 blocks and featured a new crankshaft with a 3.48-inch stroke.
The first version of this engine, known as the L-48, produced 295 horsepower and 380 lbs.-ft. of torque. The 350 engine became available in the Nova in 1968, and in the following year, it became an optional feature across the Chevrolet passenger car line. In 1969, the 350 engine replaced the 327 as the base engine in the Corvette.
During the 1970s fuel crisis, the power of the engine fluctuated, but it regained its reputation as a powerful engine with the introduction of new versions, such as the L-46 and LT-1, which produced 350 and 370 horsepower, respectively. The LT-1 came with solid lifters, 11:1 compression, high-po camshaft, and a 780 CFM Holley four-barrel carburetor.
Nearly 15 years after the introduction of the 350 engine, it received a power boost with the L98, which was equipped with a new tuned-port fuel injection system. By 1991, the engine produced 245 horsepower in the Camaro and Pontiac Firebird and 250 horsepower and 345 lbs.-ft. of torque in the Corvette.
How Much Does a 350 Engine Weigh?
The exact weight will depend on the line and version. Over its extensive history, Chevrolet has developed several variants—the ones mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg!
On average, you’re looking at an engine block weighing around 700 pounds on average. The lightest variants are the LS9 (530 pounds) and the LT-1 (465 pounds).
Best 350 Engine Years
If you’re looking to build a new car around a 350 engine, you should first know which 350 engine to get. There were at least 15 variants developed since the 1970s, with many of them being highly popular among Chevy fans.
1. LT-1 (1970-1972)
The Chevy 350 LT-1 engine made its debut in 1970 and quickly became popular among car enthusiasts. This high-performance engine was a marvel of engineering with its camshaft, solid lifters, and carburetor designed with an aluminum intake. The engine’s power output of 350 horsepower made it a popular choice for the 1970 Corvette.
However, the engine faced emission regulations and had to reduce its power from 370 horsepower to 255 horsepower in 1972 and eventually to 145 horsepower in 1975. Despite the reduction in power, the Chevy 350 LT-1 remains one of the best engines of its generation, offering exceptional fuel efficiency. If you are looking for high-output power, the L46, 1971 LT-1, and the 1969-1970 L48 are also great options, with a horsepower of 350, 330, and 300, respectively.
2. L98 (1985-1992)
The L98 engine was a standout among the Chevy 350 engine line-up. Its popularity was cemented in 1992 when it became known for its high performance, fuel efficiency, and eco-friendliness. The engine featured a tuned-port fuel injection system and aluminum cylinder heads, which helped it reach up to 230 horsepower.
This engine was designed to cater to the growing demand for vehicles that were environmentally responsible. The L98 engine remained one of the most popular Chevy 350 engines ever introduced to the market.
It was used in Corvette, Camaro, and Pontiac car models and was highly regarded by car enthusiasts. The L98 engine was an excellent choice for street performance and won many races. Its high torque output, fuel efficiency, and low emissions make it one of the best Chevy 350 engines available. The engine was so successful that it served as the basis for the Callaway Twin-Turbo package.
3. L31 (1996-2000)
The 2002 L31 engine, also known as the Vortec 5700, is a highly recognized version of the Chevy 350 engine. It was used in General Motors trucks and vans until 2002 and was considered the most reliable engine, with a 100,000-mile warranty on the entire engine block.
The L31 engine features cylinder heads with combustion chambers and intake ports similar to those in the LT-1 engine, making it compatible with previous versions of small-block engines. It’s also easily upgradeable and can be fitted on various models of trucks, vans, and SUVs with the help of a professional mechanic.
The L31 engine is known for its strength, reliability, and durability, producing 255 horsepower at 4,600 RPM and 330 foot-pounds of torque at 2,800 RPM. You can either choose a used L31 engine or opt for a half-finished crate version, making it readily available and a popular choice for those looking to upgrade their vehicle.
350 Engine Specs Chart
Whether you opt for one of the three engine variants listed above, it’s still worth knowing what each 350 engine variant has to offer. Take a look at the following chart to understand the basic specs of each 350 engine type.
|Variant||Years||Displacement (liters)||HP||Torque (lbs.-ft.)||Fuel type||Bore (in.)|