You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. We work with the Summit Racing tech department to help you tackle your auto-related conundrums. In this week’s Mailbag, we’re helping a reader find low-end power in a rebuilt Olds 350.

Q: A friend and I are rebuilding an second-gen Olds Cutlass. It has a 350 engine with 111,000 miles, and we want to add a little more low-end power. Here are our ideas:

  • Mill the heads and get a three-angle valve job.
  • Bore the block .020 inch over and rebuild with new cast pistons, moly rings, and new bearings and bolts.
  • Add an aluminum intake and four-barrel carburetor, high volume oil pump, new water pump, and double-roller timing chain.

We also need a recommendation on a camshaft and rocker arms. The Olds will be a basic, daily driver street car.


A: Here’s what we recommend for your Olds 350:

  • Don’t mill the heads more than is necessary to square up the block-mating surface.
  • Bore the block .0303 inch over and use a .030 over piston—they’re easier to get than .020 inch pistons.
  • Since you’re looking for low and midrange power, we’d stick with a standard oil pump.
  • For a camshaft, use a COMP Cams Magnum 270H hydraulic grind (224 degrees advertised duration, .501 inch lift). We also recommend a COMP Cams rocker arm kit that includes 1.6 ratio Magnum rockers, High Energy pushrods, and guideplates.
  • Add an Edelbrock Performer intake and Quadrajet replacement carburetor, a set of headers, and a 2-1/4 inch dual exhaust.

This combination should give your Cutlass plenty of low and midrange power.