Project Update – 500 Miles Later


So I’ve put about 500 miles on the truck since it reached the point of being driveable. I don’t say completed because the truck still has massive changes in store. The 355 has been running pretty good considering it’s a $250 score. It easily lights the 555r’s up at will. Though I desperately need to find a 9.25″ or Dana 60 rear end. The transmission has been working great as well, though I plan on installing a manual valvebody this winter. The brakes work excellent, even from high speeds the Hawk pads work great, no brake fade and the pedal feels solid. The MSD Grid has quite the learning curve, but I have pretty much gotten it sorted out. I still need to finish wiring up the launch and stage switches. The biggest bug has been the alternator. I rebuilt the one wire with a 100 amp one wire kit from Jegs. It still isn’t enough as driving at night when the electric cooling fan kicks on it heavily pulls down on the system.  So I plan on installing a 150 amp alternator this winter also. 

Here is the list of changes and upgrades I plan on making this winter.

  • Install a manual/auto valvebody
  • Upgrade to 150 amp alternator
  • Rewire the control panel and finish wiring switches
  • Custom make fiberglass shifter console
  • Install dual widebands
  • Install serpentine belt setup and re-install A/C
  • Send block to machine shop to be prepped, splayed caps installed, clearanced for 3.75″ stroke crank, .030″ bore

I am also beginning the build of the 383 that will be replacing the 355. It will be half-filled, steel crank, H Beams, Forged pistons, all ARP studs, Comp turbo cam. Not sure of the heads, most likely Darts. It will be fed by a s480 and a pro-systems blow-thru carb. I have no plans to go back to EFI this year. If I decide to, it will either be a MS3 or Holley Dominator system.