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Old 09-22-2010, 03:56 PM
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454 build need some advice

Hey everybody I am in the planning phase for my engine build. I am no expert and that's why I have turned to all of you. Well its a 454 with 049 heads I want to keep the stock crank and rods I would like to use a hyd cam with some roller rockers and get some work dones on the heads. Its going into a 72 cutlass with an automatic tranny built for performance applications. It has 342 gears and I will be having a shop do a lot of the work and ill try to be involved as much as I can. I won't be using for the track it will be a street motor and hopefully a nasty one. I want something that I won't have to worry too much about maint but I can have a lot of fun with on the street. Like I said cruise on the weekend and maybe to work on a nice day. I also want a good sounding cam. So any combos you guys have or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:52 PM
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I think it will be really important for you to set your budget ahead of the build and work backwards off of that. Nothing is worse than running out of money mid-build and waiting a year to pick back up.

re: cam choice - my opinion is that the smartest move you can make is to call the cam help tech line at comp cams and tell them the specifics about your engine/trans/gear etc - they will set you up with the right cam for your combo and you wont be disappointed. Plus, it's a free call


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Originally Posted by 72olds
Hey everybody I am in the planning phase for my engine build. I am no expert and that's why I have turned to all of you. Well its a 454 with 049 heads I want to keep the stock crank and rods I would like to use a hyd cam with some roller rockers and get some work dones on the heads. Its going into a 72 cutlass with an automatic tranny built for performance applications. It has 342 gears and I will be having a shop do a lot of the work and ill try to be involved as much as I can. I won't be using for the track it will be a street motor and hopefully a nasty one. I want something that I won't have to worry too much about maint but I can have a lot of fun with on the street. Like I said cruise on the weekend and maybe to work on a nice day. I also want a good sounding cam. So any combos you guys have or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:52 PM
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I would se my budget between 2500 and 3500 I leave that gap for any suprises that might come up. With that in mind what do you think I could do to the motor the cam call sounds good just wondering what other people have used and how it worked out for them. I have heard a lot about comp and lunati but not much about anyone else out there. Thanks againg for the info.
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:55 PM
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BBC in an Olds - to each his own

With the 049 heads
353049
1970-73
402/454
Open Chamber
113.0cc

You are at low compression with stock pistons - however using dome pistons (like I did KBs -25cc) you can easily have too much compression for a street engine.

With low compression you need to avoid the long duration cams, they tend to reduce your dynamic compression. The Comp Magnum 280 cam I'm using helps me get my static compression of 10.5 to 1 down to a dynamic compression < 9.5 to 1. This works great for my engine, in your case it would lower your dynamic compression more than you would like.

Lopey cams sound great, but generally introduce drive-ability issues that you don't need. Consult with the comp cams techs and discuss at length what you are building and how you will be using the car. Picking the right cam is key. I do like the hydraulic cam with roller rockers (a little more than needed, but helps with higher lift cams).

Also, match the intake and carb to your build - tunnel rams look cool, but in most cases they run like heck. For street cars, dual plane intakes offer the best performance. The extra 10 horses you might get with a Torker (or such) only come in at high RPM (>5500), which on the street is a very rare occurance. In the search for 10 extra ponies you'll sacrifice much of your low rpm torque, which is the bread and butter for a street car.

Also the budget idea is a good one, and include the cost of installing your engine in the budget. I have spent almost $5k building my BBC, it'll cost me another $3k by the time I've upgraded the exhaust, suspension, brakes, etc. Not to mention the hoses, belts, brackets ...
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Old 09-23-2010, 02:36 PM
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I would also add that if your budget allows I think that a good set of aluminum heads is some of the best money you can spend on a rebuild of a BBC or SBC. You don't need the over the top Dart heads either just something like the edelbrock oval port RPM heads will add considerable power per dollar spent - and I would even argue a head upgrade is quite possibly the best bang for the buck you can do to an otherwise stock engine.

Also, dont make the mistake of over sizing your carb, I would suggest that a 770cfm 4150 or 4160 style Holley is plenty for your application - perhaps even a 700. I am personally not a fan of the Edelbrock carbs but lots of people are so the bottom line is not over sizing which ever brand you choose.

As already stated the edelbrock dual plane performer RPM is a great intake for the street and it will match the performer RPM heads perfectly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by starnest
BBC in an Olds - to each his own

With the 049 heads
353049
1970-73
402/454
Open Chamber
113.0cc

You are at low compression with stock pistons - however using dome pistons (like I did KBs -25cc) you can easily have too much compression for a street engine.

With low compression you need to avoid the long duration cams, they tend to reduce your dynamic compression. The Comp Magnum 280 cam I'm using helps me get my static compression of 10.5 to 1 down to a dynamic compression < 9.5 to 1. This works great for my engine, in your case it would lower your dynamic compression more than you would like.

Lopey cams sound great, but generally introduce drive-ability issues that you don't need. Consult with the comp cams techs and discuss at length what you are building and how you will be using the car. Picking the right cam is key. I do like the hydraulic cam with roller rockers (a little more than needed, but helps with higher lift cams).

Also, match the intake and carb to your build - tunnel rams look cool, but in most cases they run like heck. For street cars, dual plane intakes offer the best performance. The extra 10 horses you might get with a Torker (or such) only come in at high RPM (>5500), which on the street is a very rare occurance. In the search for 10 extra ponies you'll sacrifice much of your low rpm torque, which is the bread and butter for a street car.

Also the budget idea is a good one, and include the cost of installing your engine in the budget. I have spent almost $5k building my BBC, it'll cost me another $3k by the time I've upgraded the exhaust, suspension, brakes, etc. Not to mention the hoses, belts, brackets ...

Last edited by SS66chevelle; 09-23-2010 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 09-23-2010, 02:59 PM
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Good info on the compression issues. That is my biggest concern I was told flat tops would be good but I was under the impression they aren't that great. The only reason I'm rebuilding the engine is I have used the car in 3 years got a new job and move out of town cars is in san antonio. The budget is just for the engine build it already has the tranny and gears . The car was running great but since I'm gonna tear it down might as well make some upgrades. I know aftermarket heads are good but I don't think I need them for what I'm looking at doing. I have heard nothing but good this about the 049s which I have on it now. I am planning on changing the pistons and keeping th crank and rods it has. How is tha 750 holly dp gonna do in it that's what I have on it before but it does need some fine tuning every now and then. I know the 454 is a little odd for a cutlass but got a great deal when my dad took it out of his t bucket. I love the 454 and it seems there is a lot that can be done with a lot of advice. The 455 would be nice but twice the cost. I love the 454 thanks again for any advice.
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Old 09-23-2010, 03:56 PM
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Flat top pistons are actually the way to go, you'll get the best flame pattern using them. Crane used to make a cam it had 278 intake duration and about .500 lift on a 114 LSA, I've ran that cam in a few 454's and it ran great!!!!.

I say clean up the heads, put some 2.19 and 1.88 valves in them, if they don't already have them. I know crane is out of business, but you can find other cams from other companies that will have similar specs. Go with the roller rockers and top it off with an Air Gap intake and a 750 carb. I like the Professional Products intake, it's cheaper and out performs the others. But that is up to you.
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Old 09-23-2010, 04:27 PM
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Sounds good I just want too sure about the flat tops looks like all the info is about there. What do you think that engine would put out number wise. Thanks again for the info.
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Old 09-23-2010, 05:18 PM
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Flat tops and 049 heads puts your compression ratio pretty low only about 8.2-1 if the block has been zero decked, only 8.0-1 if it is a stock deck block.. Flat tops are a great idea in a SBC, a poor idea in a BBC because the combustion chamber in a BBC is so large.

One easy to use Compression ratio calculator can be found at www.wallaceracing.com.
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Old 09-23-2010, 05:32 PM
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Wow now I'm a little confused your saying flat tops aren't that great of an idea what would you recomend on the engine I'm open to any suggestions. Also where do I want my compression to be on a bb street motor. I've seen some rebuild kits on summit that say it can put the comp ration at about 9.8 to 1 is that too high for my combo?
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Old 09-23-2010, 05:55 PM
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Without knowing more about the car it is hard to say how much compression you could use, but 9.5-1 is a generally safe point, 9.8-1 can be done with correct cam, converter, and rear gearing.

Don't rely on a published compression ratio spec, there are too many variables(chamber volume, gasket volume/thickness, block deck height). Catalog listings often don't tell you what values they used for those factors for the published compression figure they give.Get the dome volume for the piston you are considering, and the head cc volume and use a compression calculator.

The volume of the 049 head is usually greater than 113cc, closer to 118cc, so you should measure it to be sure. Most factory published volumes are incorrect, that is the "blueprint" minimum volume, they are always bigger when actually checked.

If it was easy, everyone would have engines that run like a raped ape. Actually doing the small detail work is what seperates the real good runners from the average dogs.
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:12 PM
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Thanks for the advice I guess the only way to find out for sure is to take it apart. What other info would you like to know about the car if I can ill get for you so I can get you all the info so you can help me out.
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:20 PM
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Rear gear, converter stall, intake used, carb size, header size, fuel octane to be used, rpm range you want to run the engine in, . Don't be afraid of giving too much info, there is no such thing
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:48 PM
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Ok gonna give you as much info as I can without the car here its in another town. Gears it has 342 I believe stall will be put on depending on what combo I go with it will need to be pretty good for the street not long distances just to cruise around or take to work on a nice day. Carb is a holly 750 dp intake will be a performer rpm. Car has headers just can't remeber the size right now. Rpm range well looking for more low end tourqe I guess something to put you back in you seat a little when its floored. I don't want it too low either like I said its to cruise around and I don't want it streesing if I'm on the freeway for 10 to 15 mins. Like I said I'm no expert that is why I have turned to you all the info you have given so far has been great. Anything else you would like to know just tell me and ill try to find out. Oh its and automatic tranny to it was built for performance so it should handle everything really well. The guy who put the motor in will be helping me with the build I was just trying to see what all of you have used or would use. Thanks again
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Old 09-23-2010, 07:11 PM
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Oh and for octane I have no proublem running 91 93 pump if its needed.
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