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Old 06-23-2010, 08:58 PM
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400 chevy, balancing and cam?

So I have a 383 rotating assembly thats balanced (for a 4.030 bore hyperteutic piston) and a complete stock 400 thats in amazing shape (doesnt even need bored out). Im pretty cheap and wondering how i can get away without balancing. Its tempting to just hone out the 400 and shove new pistons in, but i like to shift at 6000 rpm and dont think 5.565 rods will like that much. What are some suggestions to build a 400 with the parts i have and avoid having to balance it. My second question is to help me pick out a street/strip solid flat tappet cam for this engine. It will never if rarely see 6500 rpm. Here is my setup 10:1 compression, heads with 2.02/1.6 valves (that i plan port and polish), airgap intake, 750 holley, headers, 3 in exhaust with cutouts, manual trans (hoping to get a th350, not afraid of 3000 stall either), 3.42 gears. 26in tall et streets, all in a 3400lb 78 camaro. All comments are appreciated!

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Old 06-23-2010, 11:48 PM
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If your planning on spinning the 400 to 6500 balancing would be money well spent.
I used to run a Competition Cams XE284H hydraulic flat tappet with 1.6 rockers in a 406 that had hypers with full floating pins and 5.7 rods. Duration @ 0.50 is 240 on the intake & 246 on the exhaust side. The 1.6 rockers give lift of .540 on the intake, .544 exhaust on a 110 lobe separation. Had Street manners and went 11.80's in my 3700 pound 72 Nova with me in it. I know you asked for solid cam ideas but this worked for me. I now run a hydraulic roller.
I've never run the 400 rod. I know people that got away with them but were probably only making 350 -375 horsepower at best. One guy that comes to mind ran those rods for about 4 seasons in an early Nova. As I remember he was able to sneak it into the 11's.
I gained the most with my Sportsman II cast iron heads by working the short side radius and around the guides especially on the exhaust side.
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Old 06-24-2010, 12:00 AM
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Not being able to afford parts or services is one thing...just being plain cheap and not wanting to build an engine properly is well, just plain stupid. You say you have a 383 balanced assembly which to me means crank, pistons/pins, rods/bearings, rings, harmonic damper and flexplate....that is a complete balanced rotating assembly.

If you have the 4.030 pistons they are for a 350 not a 400, way too small...you can't (or shouldn't even try) to hone .030, it needs to be bored to .027 or so then final honed to .030. If you don't have the pistons yet then you don't have a balanced assembly.

So....bottom line is, if you want to build a nice dependable performance engine that won't shake itself to death at 6000 get it balanced with all the parts mentioned above.
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Old 06-24-2010, 12:33 PM
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$200 balance job is a $200 balance job, dolly parton is boobs, and horsepower is money. Ok i got it, i need to balance the thing. I was hoping someome might suggest its possible to find 400 pistons that are within a few gram of 383 pistons, or finding 5.7 rods, pins, and hyper pistons that are within a few grams of stock 400 rods, pins, and pistons. But i suppose that is extremely unrealistic. I think my game plan will be to get 5.7 rods and hyper pistons for the 400 and balance it. Now on to the cam. I was hoping to use a solid tappet because well, ive never tried one. I also dont mind adjust the valves every now and then and like the thought of lifters with an oiling hole on the lifter face. I actually had a 284XE in my stroker for awhile i liked it but was probably to big for my setup at the time. Is the XS282S its solid counterpart. all comments are appreciated, thanks

Last edited by High School Hot Rod; 06-24-2010 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:46 PM
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If you can find 400 pistons and pins within a small deviation in weight from the 383 pistons then you could avoid needing to rebalance the 383 crank then you use it and the current 383 rods in the 400 block. You can safely go 10 grams heavier and 50 grams lighter and be fine.

Don't forget you can get lighter pins seperately if you need to juggle weight somewhere.

The XS282S is pretty much the counterpart of the XE284.

What did you do to get the 78 Camaro down to 3400 lbs?? If you are going off the title weight...don't! Title weight is for a 6 cylinder no options car with manual brakes and manual steering, shipped dry of all fluids.

78 V8 Camaro weighs typically 3800lbs, Z28 more yet.

Last edited by ericnova72; 06-24-2010 at 06:43 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 06-24-2010, 05:10 PM
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3400lbs was a very optimistic ballpark guess with out me in it I have no idea how much it really weighs. Its not a Z28, i actually like the simple look, it does have a spoiler and hood from a z28 though. Im hoping to get a full fiberglass front resembling the 70-73 someday for looks and weight loss. But anyways do you think the xs282 is a pretty good go to cam for me or is there better choices. Are isky cams still what they supposedly were back in the day or are they old technology now? thanks again fellas
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Old 06-24-2010, 06:42 PM
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Isky is still a good name. If you like Comp Cams also check out their Oval Track solids, these also make great street/strip cams. Check out Howard's Cams Oval grinds also, another old school company, and www.competitionproducts.com for all you parts. Great prices and good people
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Old 06-24-2010, 07:25 PM
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I went to competition products web site, and was impressed with their products and prices. The variety of cams is just to overwhelming. Im not sure what duration i should be looking for with my setup and a 400? There is a complete solid cam kit for $200. Cam specs are dur. @ .050 256/264 lift .504/.504, lobe center 105, rpm range 2500-6500. Its an elgin cam which i know nothing about, and its a much different grind from what im used to seeing. Is anyone eager enough to do a desktop dyno for me

Last edited by High School Hot Rod; 06-24-2010 at 11:16 PM.
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