Kill a few birds with the same stone. GM ls engines are becoming available and no more distribution its all coil on plug, and aluminum. Even a 5.3 puts down a healthy kick. A manual trans will be lighter than an automatic. shop around and do some searching.
I haven't actually had both on a scale to call it concrete, but have heard that a SBC and auto(th350/700r4) is about the same weight as a 4.0l auto. I'd guess the 350 would tip a touch more but the increase in power would make up for the difference.
84 xj 350tbi, sm465, 203/205, 60/70. links and other junk.
what size sawzall blades does it take to fit 40's?