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Old 06-04-2006, 03:46 PM
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Budget 400 SBC build up

So far I've seen lots of great info.

First my project car is a 1974 SS El Camino
Factory 400 sbc with 2 barrel carb/intake
2.78 gears and factory posi.

Its just a weekend playtoy to fuel economy, smooth idle, etc arent a priority. So far I have collected a performer intake, hooker headers, a pair of 40 series flowmasters, an MSD Streetfire HEI (so I can ditch my points set up), and also have an edelbrock/qjet 795cfm carb.

I'm looking for some suggestions on heads & cam. My budget has me leaning towards just keeping the heads on it and maybe have some mild work done but I know they will limit the max hp.

I'd love to get a nice lope but maintain driveability. Most trips will just be cruising with maybe the rare trip to a local 1/8th mile track.

I've heard a 400 can take more cam than a 350 but was hoping for some real world experiences.

Any suggestions?

Thanks

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Old 06-04-2006, 05:09 PM
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budget 400 sbc build up

sounds like a good start, get a performer rpm intake and a holley 750m double pumper and a set of vortec heads( by the time you rebuild your heads it will cost that much), an extreme energy comp cam 268. if you have some money left over put studs in the mains and run it!
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Old 06-04-2006, 05:11 PM
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Be careful with what pistons you use with vortecs on a 400. Vortec heads on a 400 won't have much top end.
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Old 06-04-2006, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hause
sounds like a good start, get a performer rpm intake and a holley 750m double pumper and a set of vortec heads( by the time you rebuild your heads it will cost that much), an extreme energy comp cam 268. if you have some money left over put studs in the mains and run it!

agree, head work is necessary to use lots of lift, but Vortecs also must be modified to use more than .470 lift. Scoggins-Dickey offers Vortecs ready to go for about $ 650 I heard.

If you are not in a hurry, there are lots of guys upgrading heads and you might find a set of aftermarket performance heads that you can pick up for $600. Even if they need a touch up, that is half price, and the price of worked Vortecs.

Lots of guys on here like the XE 274H cam. But with either cam you will probably need 22-2400 stall speed.

Generally speaking each 50 cube increase can stand another 6* duration @ .050 with the same idle/ power range effect. If you are adventuresome, a 108* lobe center makes an exciting idle. Talk to CompCams for a recommendation.
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Old 06-04-2006, 06:36 PM
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On top of the heads and the 268 or 274 cam, I would say shoot for 9.5 to 10:1 CR, any other suggestions?

You are definately gonna need some lower gears (numerically higher) with either one of those cams. What tranny do you have in it or plan to use? With a TH350 or 400 I would recommend 4.11 gears or with a 7004R a set of 3.73. You're 2.73 will definately leave you waiting for your RPMs to get up in that powerband.
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Old 06-04-2006, 07:01 PM
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I agree with the vortec setup. Below is a 406 with vortec heads and a lunati hydraulic flat tappet with pretty much the exact same specs as the comp xe274h cam. It makes some serious hp.

Vortec head kit. all you need to put them on.
http://www.sdpc2000.com/catalog/2172...former-RPM.htm

Plus valve covers:
http://www.jegs.com/webapp/wcs/store...tegoryId=11355

An article on this setup
http://www.chevyhiperformance.com/te.../148_0306_406/


So.... ~$1000 = 428 hp @ 5000 RPM 525 ft-lbs @ 3500 RPM and over 470 ft lbs from 2300 to 4700 RPM = lots of tire smoke

Also, if you could shell out a few more bucks, I think a set of 1.6 rockers would result in a measurable hp gain.

Adam
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Old 06-04-2006, 07:20 PM
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Didn't he say fuel economy?

My 400 sb powered 77 chevy truck with 35" tires gets 15 MPG! It has 193 heads, flattops (9.8-1 comp), a summit 1102 cam, performer manifold, holley headers and a quadrajet that I did a few mods to. It runs like a dream and makes 450 ft-lb of torque at 2000 rpm and 300 hp at 3900. If I hog out the heads a little and step up the cam it will easily see 350 hp, but the fuel mileage will drop off considerably. As it is, It will pull my heavy boat around the Oregon Mtns effortlessly. Imagine what this engine would do in a high geared car.
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Old 06-04-2006, 09:02 PM
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For now since it is running well would it be worth it to put on the headers, intake, carb, and hei and then change the head/cam/tq converter/etc when $$$ allows?

Thanks for all the great advice so far.
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Old 06-05-2006, 09:52 AM
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sure would, even with a stock cam it will make a difference you can feel.
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:10 AM
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How about 490 hp and 529 ftlbs of torque on 87 octane with 180cc afr heads

Or 428hp and 525 ftlbs of torque on 91 octane with vortec heads.

Could get your 2.73 geared el camino in the low 13's very easily.




http://chevyhiperformance.com/techar.../148_0401_imp/

Or

http://chevyhiperformance.com/techar.../148_0306_406/
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:24 AM
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I agree, those parts should make a noticeable difference. I had a ~375 hp 355 and swithched from stock exhaust and exhaust manifolds to headers and a better sytem and a stock points ignition to a GMPP HEI and it made a huge difference. Just make sure that the parts you buy now will work well when you get the new heads. The vortec heads require a different intake manifold. You could buy a standard intake manifold and go with the AFR's which would make the most power in the end, but they are over twice the price of the Vortecs. One other thing, AFR just came out with a new "eliminator" line of their heads and they are the same price as the old ones. As an example of the flow difference, the old street CNC ported 195cc heads flowed 262 cfm and the new street eliminator CNC'd 195's flow 286 for the same price. Also the Comp package eliminator heads flow 300. All thses numbers are at .600 lift. Here is a link to a conversation with Tony Mamo from AFR.


http://www.thirdgen.org/techboard/af...tor-heads.html

Adam


Adam

Last edited by firestone; 06-05-2006 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 07-09-2006, 02:24 PM
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Just an update.

I picked up a set of 906 vortecs that have 2.02 valves, had a 3 angle valve job and been port/polished on both intake and exhast for $150. They also already have screw in studs for the rockers installed.

Now I have to decide on some springs, rockers, cam, and intake.
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:16 PM
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400 Small Block Chevy

I worked at a service station in the late 1980's. At this time 400 small blocks were avoided like crazy. They had the reputation of not making any power and overheating. People did not like the shorter rods. One of the owners of the station had a 400 small block he got out of a 73 station wagon in his 3/4 ton 70 truck. It even had the 1 ton axle. The motor was basically stock. The cam was so wimpy it may as well be stock (260 Comp Cam). One night he raced a friend with a 5.0 Mustang and beat him. I was in the Mustang. We went from a dead stop to about 70mph and the truck pulled about 2 car lengths on the 5.0. I was a convert for 400's after that. I dropped one in my 81 Chevy pickup. It had plenty of power, got pretty good mileage and did not get hot ever. It would pull to 5000 rpm with a 268H cam. I later dropped in a 280 cam and it ran even better and still had excellent street manners. The power brakes were unaffected with the 280 cam. I have since dropped the motor in my 77 Vega with 292 cam and have never looked back. The last guy I beat in my Vega had a 69 Nova with a healthy 454 and 700-R4.

350's are great motors but only a 400 small block will give you big block power in a small block package.

Scott
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:14 AM
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Old 02-02-2011, 02:44 PM
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