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Old 07-04-2010, 04:56 AM
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400 sbc piston recommendation

i am building a 400 sbc to go in my 55 chevy truck. got my hands on a 509 casting 2 bolt block standard bore .need help and advice on crank.rods. heads and pistons. was thinking of a nice street engine. low compression i can run on pump gas. not so much for the strip and coming out of the hole quickly but mainly haulin *** and taking out those chevy haters on the freeway. was thinking 4340 crank{not sure of stroke} and h beam rods {not sure 5.7 or 6"}and was thinking air flow research sbc eliminator aluminum heads since i got a buddy that works there and gets a good deal on them. not too sure which ones to get, they come in{ 180cc,190cc,195cc and so on} with {65cc or 75cc} chambers also what is the right piston to use to go with these heads and to keep my compression low. any advice or help would greatly be appreciated thanks

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Old 07-04-2010, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cazadores69
i am building a 400 sbc to go in my 55 chevy truck. got my hands on a 509 casting 2 bolt block standard bore .need help and advice on crank.rods. heads and pistons. was thinking of a nice street engine. low compression i can run on pump gas. not so much for the strip and coming out of the hole quickly but mainly haulin *** and taking out those chevy haters on the freeway. was thinking 4340 crank{not sure of stroke} and h beam rods {not sure 5.7 or 6"}and was thinking air flow research sbc eliminator aluminum heads since i got a buddy that works there and gets a good deal on them. not too sure which ones to get, they come in{ 180cc,190cc,195cc and so on} with {65cc or 75cc} chambers also what is the right piston to use to go with these heads and to keep my compression low. any advice or help would greatly be appreciated thanks
HI New Guy,
Sounds like you're planning something sensible. I predict that you will enjoy it much more and for much longer than anything else above the build you are thinking of.

To me horsepower doesn't mean much on the street; we just can't go that fast on the streets. Look at a Dyno 2000 or similar software; you'll realize that when horsepower actually manifest itself that the RPM is above where you were going. And if we build a horsepower engine we have to trade off some of our bottom end/mid range(street-power) to do it.

I think it was Lingenfelter who said torque wins races, not horsepower. If that is true then it's even more important on the streets. With street gears/factory converter, and pump gas we rely on torque. Your 400 is all about torque anyway, with the factory 1529 crank it has in it.

It's external balanced which has advantages and it's tough as nails. The factory cast crank is not a weakness in a 400sbc. You'd be surprised how many of those 1528/29 cranks make it 2 or more seasons on the ashphalt and dirt tracks.

I do like the 5.7 rod piston combo for it. We grade/inspect/ and ship balanced/blueprinted sets of rods for that engine almost every day.

The toughest thing come up with is a set of 8 short rods < factory 400 rods 5.565". . We grade for sizing and overall quality and group up sets of rods, mostly 5.7", and then balance bottom and top separately to well inside of a gram. Install on balanced pistons/pins with a bobweight card for the crank specs and ship<< Which I believe is one of, if not THE critical components. A near perfect rotating/reciprocating assembly unlocks lots of power and minimizes fear. It protects the crank from stress, takes power off the main bearings and directs it into the drive-line.

Wednesday week we had to go through nearly 2 dozen 400 rods to get a set of 8 excellent sized rods. The center to center on them has a tenancy to be + or - .003 even .004".
Factory 5.7s are that way too but it never takes as many to get a perfect set. We avoid re-sized because we like all the rods to be the same length, and in my experience, that is rare in a re-sized rod.

I got off subject but rods that start out weighing all the same and being a good blueprint for size have a tenancy to stay that way.OK here you go IMHO, realizing that others will have different visions.

Biggest cc heads possible. 75 or 76?
but deck block to have tight quench .040"ish
Forged 2vr flat tops or D cup with flat area in quench
200ish heads with the smaller 2.02 valve option <1.5 ratio
1.60" exhaust valve w 1.6 ratio
Melling MTC1 RV cam
good headers

with 10.25/1 CR It makes almost 400hp with mufflers a little over 400 with open headers.
It makes 475 ftlbs of torque with mufflers 485 open headers.

We build this motor or variations of it all the time.
You shift at 4700 rpm and it trashes almost everything it runs into on the street and they never see it coming. Idles almost like stock.

Bigger cams hurt the power where you need it .........bad.........

use well balanced and blueprinted rods though. they're delivering a lot of torque

Hope you end up doing this build. They last for years and everyone will be talking about it within a month and for years. Duntov
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:32 AM
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how much compression ratio do you want?

what gears, stall, trans?

the most common piston for a 400 are made for a 5.7 rod (standard 350 rod). However, much easier to use stock rods and a stock piston and select the cylinder get the proper compression ratio.

a mild gas mileage type cam with aluminum heads can go as high a 9.5:1 cr.

a cast piston is what you should use for a mild street engine.

without looking at piston cc. I would think a 180cc, 64cc head would work with the stock 400 bottom end and make 9 to 9.5:1 cr.

give me some time. I'll look at the stock piston selection (for stock 400 rods) and and figure out the cr with 64cc heads.

power is all in the heads. spend most of the money there. afr is a good head, but you would get more low speed torque with a set of vortecs.

if you don't have a stock crank and rods then consider getting a 400 stroker kit and make something big. (420 cid, 427.....). the bigger the better, but I would avoid forged pistons on a mild street engine.
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:44 AM
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[QUOTE=cazadores69]was thinking 4340 crank{not sure of stroke} and h beam rods {not sure 5.7 or 6"}QUOTE]

Save yourself some money and take your stock cast crank to the machine shop and have them check it out. If its still straight and doesn't need too much work it will be fine for your power goals. No need for a forged crank. Most of the people I have talked to say that ABOUT 500hp and 5000rpm is a good limit for stock cast cranks. You are building for torque so wont hit that rpm and wont be running enough cam or head for 500hp. Also no need for h beams rods at this power level. Just get a set of 5.7" i beam rods and you will be fine. That will help save you some money.
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:58 AM
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here is a kit for 1000.00

http://www.jegs.com/i/Eagle/356/B134...oductId=763943

run this kit with a 180cc intake AFR 76cc chambers head and it will make 9.75:1 cr. a little high for a really mild cam. but you could run a compcam 260 or 268H with pump gas very easily. would work well with stock gears (2.73 to 3.08) and a stock converter.

get a RPM intake and holley 750 3310.
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Old 07-04-2010, 09:11 AM
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I see there are a couple of guys still on site...

Can you tell me how to attach
a file from my dyno software to a page here so he can see the results of a specific build? Thanx
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Old 07-04-2010, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duntov
I see there are a couple of guys still on site...

Can you tell me how to attach
a file from my dyno software to a page here so he can see the results of a specific build? Thanx
Put it in a zip file and then attach it where it says manage attachments
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Old 07-04-2010, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zildjian4life218
Put it in a zip file and then attach it where it says manage attachments
Working on it. Will he have to have dyno software to view it?
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Old 07-04-2010, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duntov
Working on it. Will he have to have dyno software to view it?
yes. Other than that you can maybe try taking a screen shot of the program PAINT and then open notepad and paste it there and save it as a .gif or .jpg

Like the attachment untitled
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Last edited by zildjian4life218; 07-04-2010 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 07-04-2010, 09:32 AM
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400sbcd

couldn't make it work invlaid files
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Old 07-04-2010, 09:33 AM
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Sorry it took so long. This is Duntov's girlfriend. He is the engine wizard, but I am the computer wizard.
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Old 07-04-2010, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duntov
couldn't make it work invlaid files
Im sorry i had notepad written instead of paint. Brain fart. Heres a step by step and see if it works. Open the dyno program full screen and then hit the prtsc button. Usually located around the delete insert keys. And then open paint and hit control v. Then go to file save and change file type to jpeg

alt printscreen will only do the window that is clicked. and not include the whole screen/desktop
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Old 07-04-2010, 10:15 AM
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Thanks 218,
I think That's what KK did.
By the way I'm not a wizard of any kind, and I know it,

She just talks like that; the Pep talker..
I think she did it but not sure. Probably your software is similar to dyno2k It's interesting to use the same specs I did with an MTC1 camfile and then try any other cam and watch the power drop. We stumbled on this a few years back.
Thanks for your help.

Last edited by Duntov; 07-04-2010 at 10:21 AM. Reason: mistake
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Old 07-04-2010, 03:55 PM
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Edelbrock

Hey F Bird,
On the performer intake... You been taking the time to window match those?
I admit I've installed a bunch over time and if the bolt holes seem centered up I torqued 'um down.
Anyway they end up on Ebay a lot and usually cheap enough.
Here a while back, we but together a 350 for one of our trucks and just threw an Ebay performer on it and painted it in.

That 350 just wouldn't run, and it was built close to the same formula we believe in for trucks and street in general... Good balance near zero deck, 993 heads and flat tops. 1.94 valves.

Well the cam turned out to be some odd grind that measured like an RV so we mis identified and installed it. I'm sure that was a lot of it.

But when we pulled it down to go with a standard rv cam, I noticed the shadow in the intake was really off bad on #7, 5 and #8 also. I mean like .180" of shroud on one vertical side, some on the top and other ports to a lesser degree.
So we put the intake back on with the same gaskets(they were riveted to the heads)
Drilled 1/8th holes four corners for dial reference. And got out the porting tools cutting heads and then intake to the same gasket openings re the 4 holes.
I never cut so much from an intake in my life. The thick lip on the performer intakes lost as much as 3/16ths on half the ports,.100" on the other half and all had top and some bottom shroud. So after putting it together we expected a good difference but it was night and day. That thing screams now.

So in the course of research I stumbled on an old article talking about performer manifolds being "Thick Lipped" and being designed to be custom cut. I suppose I'll never just throw one together with an Performer again.
Wonder if anyone else knew this and I had just missed out on the info??
I never bought Performers new. Was for years just buying used any brand and stocking up for truck applications. I'm talking maybe a hundred ftlbs and that much HP here.

Anyone else?
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:26 AM
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400 sbc piston recommendation

thanks everyone for all the input. i guess i didnt make it clear . all i have is the block not a shortblock. want to run maybe 9:5 compression was looking for info on what pistons ,crank and heads thanks guys
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