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Old 11-09-2011, 07:39 AM
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400 sbc

Im starting to build a 400 sbc and I want to know whats the best build for the buck...i want a very strong street motor...406 or 415...and how much more would it be to build a 427...I'm a beginner so all info would be greatly appreciated

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Old 11-09-2011, 11:54 AM
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OK first of all let me welcome you to our 'friendly teaching' forum. Were here for hotrodders of all ages and we do welcome anyone. So before anyone gets the wrong idea like i have when i came here for suggestions just letting you know... ok so your wanting a 400 cube sbc? I would do the 400 sbc simply bc i am doing it, and stroking one to a 427 would require professional status build... Clearancing the cam/rod ends. Now the thing about SBC is the heads.
Flow and port velocity ARE major things. Cubes need more air volume ect ect. So we will start on heads. O and the Compression Ratio your wanting is for pump gas since most dont like going to the airport to flip 25 dollar bill for a gallon of gasahol.... 10.1:1 should be the safest on 91, 92 octane with cast iron heads.
So that you know now the 427 or 434 isnt worth it bc you would only have to feed more cubes plus keep the rods from touching the cam every revolution....
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Old 11-09-2011, 03:52 PM
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Okay so what type of heads and cam should I use to make it mean..i want 500+ horses and 500+ ftlbs of torque give or take...5.7 rods or 6.0 rods..i think flat top pistons is what I'm going with so I could raise the compression and still run off pump gas...
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Menjiou1
Okay so what type of heads and cam should I use to make it mean..i want 500+ horses and 500+ ftlbs of torque give or take...5.7 rods or 6.0 rods..i think flat top pistons is what I'm going with so I could raise the compression and still run off pump gas...
Application has to be streetable, if its running high compression ratio, the load on the engine has to be made up with numerous things. so you dont have detonation (Spark knock).. You want a good 'flame front' (controlled spark by spark plug) in the cylinder chamber, so youl have to have aleast 0.041 quench.. If you ran to high of a CR. its real optimistic looking for 500 horses but 500 ft pounds is achievable
5.7 inch rods theres more piston/rod combo selection, You dont want flat tops, more like a race thing there or stock sbc smogger heads (which arent very great) a dish piston with 64 CC combustion chamber would be great since deflection of the flame front would be better hence better Quench and more cooler pistons ect... You could get 6.0 inch rods, but... Theres more piston rock at TDC, which cuts off engine life.. More a race thing, since you would most likely have to clearance a rod like this WITH stock 3.75 stroke. Atleast i think but i could be wrong.
Your power search could be in some head/cam combo like a howards cam max torque...
And all depends on how much you wanna dish on heads, vortecs are great start in sbc but have alot of disadvantages.. But there is the budget small block large port vortecs.

Last edited by chevy302builder18; 11-10-2011 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 11-10-2011, 01:02 PM
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"IF" I had a 400 block, I'd do something totally different. Check out this link, it might be interesting to you!!!

http://www.purplesagetradingpost.com...%20engine.html
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Old 11-10-2011, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 11echo
"IF" I had a 400 block, I'd do something totally different. Check out this link, it might be interesting to you!!!

http://www.purplesagetradingpost.com...%20engine.html
possible but why destroke an engine? Theres no use to it. Why did they stroke 350s? They did it for more torque. If you want 500 ft pounds, and budget sbc id go for summits reman block 355 or 383, its actually for $632 not including the clearancing they did for the bigger crank and H beam rods. To do what they did with 327 crank looks a little optimistic for a begginer
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Old 11-10-2011, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Menjiou1
Im starting to build a 400 sbc and I want to know whats the best build for the buck...i want a very strong street motor...406 or 415...and how much more would it be to build a 427...I'm a beginner so all info would be greatly appreciated
Have you priced any 500/500 400 crate engines? Trying to get those numbers from a build being a beginner can be big trouble with just one small mistake.
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Old 11-10-2011, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
chevy302builder18 Quote:
Originally Posted by 11echo
"IF" I had a 400 block, I'd do something totally different. Check out this link, it might be interesting to you!!!

http://www.purplesagetradingpost.co...y%20engine.html


possible but why destroke an engine? Theres no use to it. Why did they stroke 350s? They did it for more torque. If you want 500 ft pounds, and budget sbc id go for summits reman block 355 or 383, its actually for $632 not including the clearancing they did for the bigger crank and H beam rods. To do what they did with 327 crank looks a little optimistic for a begginer
...Generating decent H.P.s and still burning cheap gas would be my goal ...especially for a street machine. That and having something different then everybody else.
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Old 11-12-2011, 01:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 11echo
...Generating decent H.P.s and still burning cheap gas would be my goal ...especially for a street machine. That and having something different then everybody else.
true but he would would have to make his destroked engine work harder... More of a race thing. Wheres cobalt at??? 327nut? Techinspector? Theres the ones who could tell ya. If you wanna run smaller crank in a i big bore block go ahead. Dont forget the drive train enhancements either. Thats gonna leave a hole in the wallet
he wants a decent street engine, with The more bang for his buck. Id stick with nice and simple easy pickings 400 sbc or go to a 383 sbc. Those will put you in the back seat through out the whole power rang
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Old 11-12-2011, 01:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sqzbox
Have you priced any 500/500 400 crate engines? Trying to get those numbers from a build being a beginner can be big trouble with just one small mistake.
true thats why i strongly suggest he goes to an engine builder to have his lower end built. If he can pull stuff up then itll be worth his time in the end. 450/500 isnt that hard, 500/500 stuffs gonna get fairly complex with amount of cam and breathing required for that power in a sbc. Im not an LS sbc fan, but you want anything better than 500 horses better pick you up one...
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Old 11-12-2011, 10:55 AM
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If I were going to invest the $$$ that it will take to build that strong a horse I would consider starting with something like a Dart fully assembled SHP short block. The SHP comes with splayed 4 bolt caps, priority main oiling, is machined for SBC factory style roller cams and the associated hardware for the roller lifters. Dart builds them in 372, 400, and 427 cubic inches. I doubt you could do one yourself for much less. These would all make a good base for a strong engine that will live.

Dart 372 short block $3,955.96 at Summit

Dart 400 short block $4112.22 at Summit

Dart 427 short block $5,397.73 at Summit

Last edited by BigEd36; 11-12-2011 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 11-13-2011, 12:01 PM
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This would be my recipe for a street/strip truck motor.
400 block bored 0.030" and zero decked to the piston crowns, align honed main bearing bore.
Scat #9-400-3750-5700 cast steel Pro Comp crankshaft: [11].
Scat Forged I-beam 5.7" rods: [12].
Keith Black #UEM-KB168-030 hypereutectic pistons 22cc dish to make 9.8:1 static compression ratio with 64cc heads: [13].
CompCams #CCA-12-430-8 retro-fit hydraulic roller cam installed 2 degrees retarded: [14].
Howard's retro-fit hydraulic roller lifters: [15].
CompCams #CCA-200 thrust button: [16].
CompCams #CCA-201 wear plate: [17].
Edelbrock #EDL-7101 RPM intake manifold: [18].
Dart Iron Eagle Platinum 215 cast iron heads #DRT-10521123P: [19] (price shown is for one head).
Barry Grant Speed Demon 750: [20] (BG is now defunct, so a similar carb would be substituted).
Jegs air filter base: [21] Run a hose from the base to your PCV valve.
Jegs air filter lid: [22].
14" x 4" paper element: [23]. Snag the correct length stud and a wing nut from your local Ace Hardware.
Hedman Elite headers, 1 3/4" primaries: [24].
RPM HP TQ 2000 154 405
2500 195 410
3000 250 438
3500 319 479
4000 386 507
4500 446 521
5000 486 511
5500 511 488
6000 515 451
6500 490 396

L31 Vortec heads need a lot of work to get them to the point that you can make any power with them and use enough cam to make that power and it will take a lot of money. Start off with the correct heads to do the job in the first place. I did manage to make 450 hp and 482 ft/lbs of torque with a set on a 406, but that's a long ways from the 515/521 made with the "correct for the application" Dart heads.

Use 16 degrees ignition lead at the crank and put another 18 degrees in at the distributor weights for a total of 34. If the motor needs a little more total, move the lead at the crank to 18 degrees. You will not need some Super-Slick, Double-Throwdown ignition system. A rebuilt GM HEI will work nicely. Roller lifters are heavy and will limit the RPM's to just over 6000 anyway, so you don't need fire above that anyway.

Run a nylon or copper line from the carburetor inlet back to the firewall and up past the hood lip to the cowl of the truck. On the cowl, temporarily mount a mechanical fuel pressure gauge (0-15 psi) so that you can view it through the windshield as you drive. Regulate fuel pressure down to 5-5 1/2 psi. If you have too much fuel pressure, it will blow past the needle and seat in the bowl and into the intake manifold as raw fuel. This will cause you untold tuning nightmares, so get this under control first thing. DO NOT TAKE ANYBODY'S WORD FOR THE AMOUNT OF PRESSURE THEIR PUMP PUTS OUT. MONITOR THE GAUGE AND CHECK IT YOURSELF OR SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES.

The 400 block will require that you drill steam holes in the heads. Any manufacturer you buy from will drill them for you before they ship the heads to you. Install the heads with a head gasket that is designed for installation on a 400 block because the gaskets will also have steam holes in them from the manufacturer. Here is the procedure in the event you want to know how to do it: [25].

Use a composition gasket that compresses to 0.039" to 0.041". With the zero deck of the block, this will put the piston crown at 0.039" to 0.041" from the underside of the cylinder head with the piston at TDC. This establishes your "squish" dimension at 0.039" to 0.041", which will optimize the motor for detonation-free operation on pump gas.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:38 AM
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I actually agree with tech I just had my 400 dynoe'd and was disappointed to say the least. it's a truck motor and I know it is plenty of gusto but I was expecting more here is my build and results, ( I dont have dyno sheet in front of me;
400 (509 casting)
holley 650 mech.
edl perf rpm
1.5 roller tips
062 (vortecs) minor port job
.040 stock dish piston
5.7 rods
compcams xe262h cam (.462 .469 lift
65000 volt distributor (from kmj perf) these are junk by the way
this motor put out a measly 349 h.p. and 427 lb ft of torque
the thing that chaps my *** is the dynoe "GOD" here in southern wi got pissed off at trying to tune it right and only gave me 4 or 5 pulls and gave up so I DID NOT get my money's worth so with more tune I'm sure we coulda got more out of it and My, total investment was under $2500 incl.dyno so not all was lost I had a Modest goal of 375 h.p. 440 lb.ft this engine is screaming for more cam,bigger valves ,and More carb but Im leaving as is and running it
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