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Old 10-09-2010, 08:34 AM
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400 ci SBC info please

Chances are the answer is on the server but,,, I am considering a 400 chevy build so wanting to learn some more on them. I am ignorant to the actual size difference. These are considered large journal engines but still in the same family as the typical small block I have now aka 383 using a 3970010 block. If memory serves me correctly the valve covers (400) are like a 396 so what gives. I may have it all wrong

Will a 400 drop into my existing config as far as eng mounts, tranny (700R4), will I need new headers, water pump, starter etc etc.

What about the 402 chevy are we talking about the same thing as a 400 here. I am out to lunch on these mills, someone school me thanks.

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Old 10-09-2010, 08:44 AM
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400 is a smallblock
396/402 are big blocks

400s use the same heads as any other smallblock, valve covers included
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Old 10-09-2010, 08:48 AM
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answers

The 400 is a small block and shares the same exterior dimensions of the 262-400 engines. The 402 is a big block the shares the dimensions of the 396-502 engines. The 400 and 383 strokers that are popular will swap easily and all mounts will interchange however they are balanced externally where as the 350 and below are internal. So just make sure you use the harmonic balancer and flywheel/flexplate from the 400 and its a snap....

hope this helps
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Old 10-09-2010, 08:56 AM
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OK thanks for clarification

my 383 is internally balanced with neutral damper and flexplate so is the flexplate bolt pattern and damper bore going to work on a 400? is the only difference between my 383 crank and the 400 crank the journal size?
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Old 10-09-2010, 10:29 AM
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There ARE GM factory (manuals and such) references to the "396/402" BBC being called a "400"- this was before there was a SBC 400 cid engine to confuse the issue.

Bottom line is to be sure that the "400" engine in question is a "Small V8" or a "Mark IV" engine, if using GM factory literature.
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Old 10-09-2010, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Custom10
OK thanks for clarification

my 383 is internally balanced with neutral damper and flexplate so is the flexplate bolt pattern and damper bore going to work on a 400? is the only difference between my 383 crank and the 400 crank the journal size?
Yes they will fit however as noted above if you mount the 383 flexplate and harmonic balancer on a 400 the engine would now be out of balance. Why do you want to build a 400 if you already have a 383? The 400 just has a bigger bore and same stroke as your 383 and typically you run into more problems with a 400 block in regards to cracking.
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Old 10-09-2010, 05:01 PM
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Air boat makes a great point. It sounds like a lot of trouble for just 17 cubic inches if you all ready have a 383.
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Old 10-09-2010, 09:29 PM
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A freind is considering my 383 for either his 69 camero rs or his 67 nova , just swap'n ideas right now. The 402/400 thing had me threw for a bit of a loop, but I am catch'n on. So if I am going to build a BBC then a 402 would qualify, what is the difference between this and say a 396.
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Old 10-09-2010, 09:30 PM
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402 is a 396 bored 0.030 over. the factory did it like that
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Old 10-09-2010, 09:42 PM
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DeLorian was trying to get some ryme and reason to the GM inventories. Which at the time had several engines with bore sizes within .020-.040" of each other. Why?. So John changed the procedures and simplified the system..Changed bore sizes but still called the original cubic inch. Thus later 396 were actually 402. Plus the 400 sm block. Confusing to the public and the parts guys of the era.
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Old 10-09-2010, 10:29 PM
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I would take that 400, bore it to a 406 , and leave that 383 @ the tree and never see it again. That's the difference between a 327 and a 350. You know the old saying about displacement. . .there is no replacement If it is built right, you don't have to worry about cracks. Just my opinion though. Here is a thread for your enjoyment if you are not confused yet.

Ok, here's the debate of the century: 383 or 400 chevy!! Cast your vote and reason

Last edited by Fast 4 Door; 10-09-2010 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 10-09-2010, 10:55 PM
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thanks all I am enlighten'd at least to some degree,

well at least doc brown found some use for one of john delorian's ideas,,, given some chicken wire, a flux capacitor and a few gigga watts from the bell tower.

Fast door I'll get back to you next week sometime when I am done reading that linked thread lol, its all good but perhaps this winter I am leaving the mice in the shed and turning loose a rat come spring we will see.
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Old 10-10-2010, 11:40 AM
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He's right.. There is no replacement for displacement so start with a 454 for your big block project.
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