im stuck with should i go stock again,
later down the road when i buy a truck in early winter i wanna build a 351 for it and i dont really wanna spend alot on this but i dont wanna keep blowen it up and yes i no its all controled by ur right foot but its fucken hard not to drive it hard cuz its so fun (i dont smoke cigs or do any drugs this is how i let off steam)
Being the way the #1 cap broke, it looks like the balancer just started to shake to death. At least its a stock block...I know its still money out, but it could have been MUCH worse if you had done this to a high dollar block. I TQ the Bal stud to 95-100ft lbs. Its a 5/8 thread bolt....it can take some TQ. I check mine every once in a while...don't ask how I came to know this !
I say stick another stock bottom end in it and keep up the learning curve before you invest in a nice engine. There are hundreds of cars just like yours that have gone 9's for years on the stock bottom end. I have to agree with the others and guess that the balancer bolt backing out or just improper installation of the balancer caused all this.
Chalk it up to learning the hard way and move on.