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Old 10-07-2002, 01:58 PM
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Post Best grunt for the green?

here's a small dilemma for your consideration. I'm getting ready to rebuild an engine for my '85 4X4 suburban. I have available a complete 400 SB and 2 complete 350 SBs - if I count the TBI engine in the 'burb now. I got the 350 that's not in the truck now from a buddy, but found out that the main bearings need replaced. I'm looking for possible combinations here, and recommendations on which direction would give me the best bottom-end torque for the dollar. I've read up on the "350 Chevy should have built" article, and heard good stuff about 383's and 400's both. Always wondered though, why does the 400 have such a bad rap for cooling, but you never hear that with 383's? Curious. AFAIK, all the "hard parts", i.e. cranks and blocks are re-useable at this time. I haven't had anything checked, though. I'm planning on running vortec heads and TPI with whatever combination I end up with. I like the idea of a fairly high compression motor - <a href="http://www.motortecmag.com" target="_blank">www.motortecmag.com</a> has a really intriguing article on that. "Just toss in a big block" isn't really an option for me either. I'm just trying to get some experienced opinions on what would be a good combo for best bottom end power. Yes, I know about the stock TPI limits of ~5500 RPM, I figure if I end up that high, I've got a broken U-joint somewhere. I know it's not really hot rod material, but in having read through the archives of this forum, there seems to be a solid knowledge base here. Anybody?

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Old 10-07-2002, 05:17 PM
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Based on what you have available and that you want the torque, build the 400. It will cool just fine if you drill the steam holes in the heads and have a good coooling system.
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Old 10-07-2002, 09:10 PM
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As a matter of fact last months Hot Rod has an excellent illustrated article on 400 head steam holes. I sometimes understand things better with some visuals and this was simple enough to explain to a pre-teen.

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Old 10-08-2002, 08:41 AM
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Put the 400 crank in one of the 350 and build a 383 stroker. Just anther thought. <img src="graemlins/mwink.gif" border="0" alt="[mwink]" />
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Old 10-08-2002, 09:00 AM
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And why pay some extra to ground 400 crank to 350 main dimensions and lose some cu/in at same? If i had stock 400 engine i would build that. It can produce very good torque at lower rpm:s, and wont have no more cooling problems than 350(if steam holes are drilled). stock tpi might get little confused with those added cubes anyway. if its 5500@350,then i guess its aprox 5000 for 400cu/in
By the way, that torque likes to eat th 350 transmissions if used like i used to...(upsifts at full throtle at 5000)
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Old 10-08-2002, 09:21 AM
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If it was my truck, I would use the 400 and retain the TBI. The TBI can be upgraded with a larger throttle body and intake manifold. There is a low restriction version of the inlet tube and used with a low restriction filter should perform very well. Of course you will need an upgraded chip as this is speed density.

The TPI would mainly be a conversation piece on this application.
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Old 10-08-2002, 10:57 AM
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Cool. That's the kind of stuff I'm looking for. Just wanted to get some experience behind the decision. I'm taking the 400 block and crank to the machine shop on Thursday to get checked out and ready to go if there are no problems with it. I don't have TBI on the truck right now - the engine itself started life as a TBI motor, but I didn't convert my older truck over to it at that time. Admittedly, there is some of the "gee-whiz" factor behind the TPI, but to my understanding, they make great bottom end, with the aforementioned higher RPM limitations. I already know of 2 other TPI converted Sub's that have been really happy with it.
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