do it right the 1st time, strong 400 short block budget build, stock parts? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 11-23-2006, 08:23 PM
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do it right the 1st time, strong 400 short block budget build, stock parts?

Ive screwed up a build by "not doing it right in the first place" So I am now thinking about going to go all out on a short block assembly so I never have to do it again, at least for a long time, then add better heads, cam, intake as more money comes.

Basically I need to build a 400 short block on a 17 year old "budget" that will hold for a future goal 500/500hp/tq 6000-6500 engine. This way I wont have to spend more time and money to do it again.

The only thing I have is speed pro hyper pistons that I bought for $90. Im not sure if properly prepped stock cast 400 crank and 5.7 rods will be enough for my future goal. (Will "selected 5.7 GM castings oven baked to remove all impurities, shot peened to remove any stress risers, resized to assure roundness and straightness, 190,000 PSI chrome moly rod bolts installed." Handle my goal? BTW these cost 135 shipped from ebay and are also cam clearenced)

So If the crank wont handle it or if what it takes to prep it is alot, then I was thinking the Eagle "ESP" cast steel crank for $178.

If the rods aren't sufficient, then I was thinking some 5140 rods from powerhouse that are bushed and will be cam clearenced, balanced, and shipped for around 200. (135 for stock rods + 40 for pistons to be pressed on versus 200 dollar stronger rods where I can hang the pistons myself is a 25 doller difference...need opinions here )

Eagle ESP Crank -------- 178
Powerhouse 5140 rods -- 200
Speed Pro Hyper Pistons - 90
King Rod & Main Bearings - 47
Perfect Circle Moly Rings - 57
Balencing Rot. assemb. --- 175-200?
Block Maching ----------- 500-600?
ARP main studs? --------- 40 (not sure if Ill need these)

Thats $1287 to $1412 for the shortblock, it could be cheaper with if the stock crank and 5.7 rods would work. (ofcourse Im leaving out smaller stuff like the oil system, freeze plugs, etc.)

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Old 11-24-2006, 01:09 AM
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I'm not an SBC expert, but I don't think 500/500 is too much to ask from stock components as long as GOOD hardware is used. I like the hypereutectic pistons, but a good rod resize with ARP wav loc bolts, ARP main bolts (or studs if you want), and quality machine work you should be fine. I would even skip the balance part on a tight budget. Speed Pro pistons are packaged within x grams of each other so they don't change the bobweight enough to really worry about.

Talk to a local machine shop. Mine will reman a 350 for $632 with pretty good stuff. That's with cast pistons, moly rings, brand name parts, true double roller timing chain, stock replacement cam, reground crank, new lifters, FelPro gaskets, brass freeze plugs, your choice of Melling oil pumps, ARP's base model fasteners... good stuff for a stock engine. Then they let me add or subtract things at exact cost. For instance on my last build I already had a cam so they took off $34. I wanted to upgrade to wav loc bolts and main studs so they added $112 which was just at cost, no crazy prices. You can expect to pay a bit more for some things since bearings and stuff for a 400 might be a few dollars more than a 350. You already have pistons so they can subtract that cost out.

Your prices are spot on, I'm just thinking you can probably get it done without all the special stuff like balancing and aftermarket cranks and rods. Good quality machine work on stock parts should be fine. If you had money to throw around I'd say go for the overkill, but I'd run 500 horses on a stock bottom end if I knew it was well done.

... but SBCs aren't my forte
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Old 11-24-2006, 02:26 AM
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Thanks for the replay curtis, From what Ive been reading, it looks like the "accepted" HP limit for a stock crank and rods is 450HP. I also would think that these can be pushed more and still be reliable. In the budget sbc build book by David Vizard - he states that cast cranks are fine for a 450 Hp engine.

Car craft has taken a completely stock 350 (cast everything) that has has ran 12s and been nitroused with I think 70,000 miles on it and made upwards of 470HP and spun it 6900rpms and although the rings leaked badly, it didn't break. (June 2005). They also nitroused a completely stock cast 350 from the junkyard I believe, and hit it with 200hp shoot making 521HP and 587TQ! Then with a 300hp shoot and it made 599HP and 655TQ!! It finally came apart with a 400 shoot. Of course it isn't gunna last long if it was ran longer or under load in a car. But it does show what stock parts can do. BTW the rods or crank didn't break, it was 3 pistons that broke and the engine "Survived Remarkably well" (June 2004).

This makes me wonder that 500-550HP/TQ is surely not to much to be asking for.

But having extra ensurance of a stronger crank and rod is worth it, but then those would be stronger then the hyper pistons? so I might as well get forged? Or hypers strong enough?

Thanks
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Old 11-24-2006, 07:11 AM
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that cast build imo at 500hp and 6000 to 6500 RPM is a big chance with no balanced rotating assembly. the rods might be ok . but I would re think ebay parts on a rotating assembly you don't want to do again and do right the 1st time, why chance ebay parts. look at summit scat rods not much more after you add ebay shipping. your GM stock crank is prob as good as a Eagle "ESP" cast steel crank for $178. 6000 to 6500 on stock 400 parts even with good fasteners is scary.

ask some builders here, Machine shop tom and CNC Blocks N/E get some other views & advice from guys that do it everyday. yeah that cast GM stuff might hold up with good machine work & good fasteners 4 awhile. but it will come apart at those #s your wanting, especially unbalanced. as someone else said, a 17yr old with 500hp that motor will spend 90% of its life at WOT 90% of the time, yup I was 17 once. if you bore that 400 block 30 over this will be about its last build.

theres some 400 dyno combos here, you might need to go through them all to see all the 400 builds
http://ryanscarpage.50megs.com/combos1.html




SPEED COSTS MONEY, HOW FAST YOU WANT TO GO ?

Mustangsaly
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Old 11-24-2006, 02:10 PM
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The pistons are .020 over...I have been looking for 10 over but cant seem to find them and I cant pass the deal I got on these ones.

A eagle crank is not stronger than the stock one? Also, by the time I get it checked for cranks, turned, polished, etc. How much would I been in for? might as well buy a new crank for 60-70 bucks more?

Here's the rods Ive been looking at
http://shop.enginekits.com/osb/itemdetails.cfm?ID=185 (stock ARP bolts)
http://shop.enginekits.com/osb/itemdetails.cfm?ID=135 (5140)
http://ohiocrank.com/street.html (4340)
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/SBC-C...spagenameZWD1V (stock rebuilt with good bolts)
Or the scat ones...found a deal on those the "3ICR" ones with arp wave loc 12 point bolts for 180. I think I will do that and either use a small base circle cam or clearance the rods myself.

Just worried about the ebay scare but he has over 11000 feedback and its 99.5%

Perhaps I will spend 30-50 dollars more and get a scat 9000 crank. Then Keep an eye out for a deal on forged pistons.

Yes the rotating assembly will definitely be balanced which ever way I go.
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Old 11-25-2006, 07:23 AM
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I have ran 400's for years using speedpro hypers and stock 5.7 rods, we race in a claim low budget class, spun her to 7000rpm regularly at 12.5 comp . It lasted 5 years doing this weekly till it got into detonation, these parts should easily meet your goals, the stock crank and rods are far better than the import junk don't waste your money. However either order the rods that have been shotpeened and resized with good bolts or do it to yours.Speedway ,Midwest and other circle track mailorder houses have complete sets already done for around $100.00 .just be sure not to detonate it or the hypers will fail this is their achilles heel.
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Old 12-03-2006, 01:34 PM
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Well this isn't going to be as "all out" as I had hoped but it sounds like it will work well .

K, Ill use my crank, its $89 to get it inspected, turned, and polished. Alot cheaper than $178.

Then Ill use Stock rods that have been rebuilt and cam clearenced with ARP bolts. Should be around 140ish I believe.

Use my $90 speed pro hyper pistons.

Use $47 king bearings

Everything Balanced $200

other machine stuff $500

But I have 3 more questions:

What block operations should be done apart from boring, honing, clean and inspection, cam bearing install?
Decking? is resurfacing the same and does it cost the same as decking?
Align honing? I read that this is not necessary and is a waste of time and money from david vizards budget sbc book. He states "forget it"
use of deck plate?

Also, what rings? Speed pro molys? hasting molys? perfect circle? cast iron? file fit? gapeless?

And should I add in a set of ARP main studs for $40, are these necessary? (Im thinking yes)

Looking like a short block for less than 1200 - thats alittle better
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Old 12-04-2006, 02:22 PM
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For your application cast rings are fine moly is better, your call, hone with the deck plate is worth it, let your machinest guide you on decking the block, he can tell you if needed, studs not needed the caps will break before the main bolts usually.Make sure the rods you buy have been shotpeened most are.And one thing to keep in mind when comes to many so called must have machining operations such as align honing and boring if this is a well used high milage block most stuff is ok or it would have already broke.
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Old 12-04-2006, 04:24 PM
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Your stock rods should work fine as you plan to prep them. I've got stock rods in my 377 small block. Resized with arp bolts beams ground and shot peened.Have well over 350 1/4 mile runs on them at 520 hp. Every run tops out at about 7600 and on a few broken rear end gears has hit 8000 on rev limter.
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Old 12-04-2006, 07:29 PM
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Lets put it this way, your rods, rod caps, and rod bolts are some of the most highly stressed parts of an engine. I would place my hard earned bucks on quality components in this area and the build around that. It takes quite a bit of stress to twist that cast crank to the point of breaking it. Most cranks are built with some amount of overlap of the main journals and the con rod journals, so they are pretty strong from the get go. Granted there comes a time when you must upgrade to stronger materials. If you want to know how much stress a cast crank can take look at most 360 mopar drag engines, they didn't make forged cranks for these until just a few years ago. Either way, the longer your arc (crank throw) and the faster you spin it the harder and quicker that crank is going to push that rod, pin, and piston up and yank it down on the intake stroke putting much stress on the rod cap and rod bolts. Hope this helps.
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