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Old 07-17-2007, 09:17 AM
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engine selection

i have a 67 camaro rs and i think the engine that is in my car is on it's last leg
so i want to build an engine myself for the car. But the problem i am having is i am not sure what i want to put back in it. The car currently has a small block 305. So my question is what should i build a big block or a small block? I am not looking to go the strip i just want a street car that has plenty of power. I would say that the most important thing that i am looking for is if i am at a red light and a new mustang or corvette pules up next to me and wants to play i will have something for them. Basically i don't want any of the new cars to leave me in the dust. So please give me some options.

thanks

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Old 07-17-2007, 09:32 AM
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LS1 series smallblock, carbureted
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Old 07-17-2007, 09:53 AM
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There are plenty of high power crate engines from GM that will bolt right in with minimum hassle. They also come with a warrenty, and after what you`ll pay to build it yourself, you`ll likely come close to breaking even. If you`ve never built one yourself, you`ll be doing yourself a favor by taking the crate engine route.
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Old 07-17-2007, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rphillips
i have a 67 camaro rs and i think the engine that is in my car is on it's last leg
so i want to build an engine myself for the car. But the problem i am having is i am not sure what i want to put back in it. The car currently has a small block 305. So my question is what should i build a big block or a small block? I am not looking to go the strip i just want a street car that has plenty of power. I would say that the most important thing that i am looking for is if i am at a red light and a new mustang or corvette pules up next to me and wants to play i will have something for them. Basically i don't want any of the new cars to leave me in the dust. So please give me some options.

thanks
Playing with a full house new Corvette or Mustang will take a lot of expense and work for either a small or big block.

Before we get to the engine what is the transmission? Old automatics don't take kindly to fresh engines, so if you have one, better include its replacement in your cost estimates.

If you want a drag car that's sudden but can't be made to give sports car handling a big block is the way to go. You can recover considerable handling with a BBC by going to aluminum heads, which you'll need to run with modern Vettes and Stangs. These days it takes a lot of Chevy just to run with an Audi or Beemer.

If you want competent handling and reasonably sudden to very sudden a small block is the way to go. The advantage of today's technology is that you can get a very large displacement in a small block giving that tremendous torque advantage that comes with large displacement and long strokes while minimizing weight over the front axle and reducing the forward biased polar moment of inertia which limits cornering and weight transfer ability. Plus building a small block, even a big small block is a lot less expensive. More bang for your buck kinda deal.

Bogie
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Old 07-17-2007, 10:28 AM
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i am planning on buying a new trany or at least going through the existing one i think it is a 350 or a 400 turbo i also plan on a new rearead for the car and yes i would much rather have sports car handling so it sounds like the way to go would be the small block. If i need to get a new trany to get up to the power that i want then that is what i will do. What is the approx hp that i would need to look for in order to meet my requirements?
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Old 07-17-2007, 01:07 PM
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i also would like to use unleaded gas or should i say pump gas.
So if i am going to go with a small block which one would be the best.
I have been looking for a 400 small block, some people believe that the 2 bolt is stronger than the 4 bolt. If i was looking for a 400 is there anything that i should look for?
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Old 07-17-2007, 01:40 PM
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The 2 bolt 400 has stronger main webs. These were made from 73-80, and very difficult to find. Next best thing would be a 383 stroker.
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Old 07-17-2007, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rphillips
i also would like to use unleaded gas or should i say pump gas.
So if i am going to go with a small block which one would be the best.
I have been looking for a 400 small block, some people believe that the 2 bolt is stronger than the 4 bolt. If i was looking for a 400 is there anything that i should look for?
400s are getting pretty scarce on the used market, but if you can find one pick it up. The 2 bolt is reputed to be stronger in the bearing webs because the same webs with 4 bolt mains cause the outboard bolts to fasten into an area not beefed up for them. Which is a way of saying that 4 bolts on a typical 400 case isn't buying any additional stiffness in the bearing cap. Generally a 2 bolt SBC case is good for about 500 hp which is more than you can use continuously on the street. So the concept of Duty Cycle gives you some safety as 500 hp as continuous out put has a different meaning than going there now and then. The 400's crankcase can be helped a lot with internally balancing the engine. This will require the balancer put Mallory Metal in the counter weights, this is a bit pricey but a lot less expensive than replacing a blown engine. I make it a habit never to build an externally balanced engine. Balancing the engine main bay by main bay greatly reduces out of plane stress and resulting strain on the mains, for bulkheads, caps and bolts this greatly improves engine life.

But given the lack of 400 engines you may want to consider a 350 block with a stroker crank to 383. It's mighty easy these days to get 400-450 hp from a 350 and certainly from a 383. The difference being the RPM range where the power peaks. For a 350 it will take about 6200 to 6500 RPM, for a 383 that will come in around 5600 to 5800. The 383 set up like this is very automatic trans friendly. A 350 can be run with an auto but you've got to give some on stall, a manual is a better solution as the power peak gets up over 6000 revs as this usually indicates a loss of bottom end torque which an auto really likes. This drives you toward high stall converters and all the heat related problems that can create when driven in traffic.

If your looking at an automatic a beefed up TH350, 700R4/4L60 will work well behind the 350. Getting into a 383, 400 or bigger you need to look to the TH400. Unfortunately in an OD gearbox you should hold out for a 4L80E, but that takes a computer, available from GM or the aftermarket to operate. Otherwise you need to look toward a beefed up 700R4/4L60. The 200R4 with a beef up is popular having better gear ratios than the 700R4/4L60, but it's a touchy box to set up and regardless of the beef, it's really working over the cases design limits with a big engine and heavy car so it gets to be a problem if you get in the engine much. While racers may pull this stuff down once a week or so for maintenance and repair the average guy doesn't want to spend that much time under his car, so thinking about something stronger under the seat is a good way not to see the underside of the floor boards so often.

Bogie
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Old 07-17-2007, 04:21 PM
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Engine Selection

Adding torque is a good way to go faster but don't forget to shed as much weight from the car as possible. All the torque in the world will not do you any good if you can't get it to the pavement. Think about some frame connectors and suspension mods and maybe a 4 point roll bar. Back to your question. If you can afford it look at the LS7 427 crate motor with carb. The heads for the LS7 are hard to beat for flat torque curve. Meaning you have a higher torque number at a lower rpm. I wish I would have made this decision when I started my build. See my journal.

Bob

Last edited by Quarter Flash; 07-17-2007 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 07-18-2007, 02:39 AM
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As Oldboogie said playing with a new Vette or Mustang will require some horsepower. A few months ago I took a ride in an old friends new new Z06 427 Vette, absolutely the fastest car I've ever been in.......scary. I don't think anyone asked you how much money you have to spend. A new LS7 crate motor is $13,900 or so, too rich for me, so I would look for a 400 small block and build a 406. With the right part combination you could build a very healthy streetable engine, probably smoke a standard Mustang but I doubt an LS7.
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Old 07-18-2007, 06:21 AM
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thanks for all the great help!

ok so now i have decided to go with the small block, so the only question that still remains is what size some say the LS7 427, some say the 400 and some say the 350 or should i say the 383 stroker. So i guess my question would be which motor would be the best for an constant driver 2 or 3 days a week?

I aslo wanted to ask should i look for a cast iron block or should i purchase one of the aluminum blocks from motown?

what are the pos and cons of an aluminum block?

Last edited by rphillips; 07-18-2007 at 06:28 AM.
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:06 AM
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The only thing you get with an aluminum block is weight savings and a serious potential for stripped threads. Go for the cast block.
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:28 AM
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If you want the baddest ride around, that has excellant street manners, and ridiculous tire frying torque throughout the curve spend 6500 to 9000 bucks and build yourself a nasty BBC. My makes 250 horse at 3000, 500 at 5200, and 600 at 6500. Torque starts out at 350 at 3000 and peaks at like 650 at 5000 rpm and I only spent about 7000 for the whole thing from pan to air cleaner including exhaust. Oh and it runs on 91 octane
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Old 07-19-2007, 10:31 AM
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so now i have decided to go with the small block, so the only question that still remains is what size some say the LS7 427, some say the 400 and some say the 350 or should i say the 383 stroker. So i guess my question would be which motor would be the best for an constant driver 2 or 3 days a week?
So does any one have any comments on the above
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Old 07-19-2007, 11:00 AM
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This gets down to how much money do you have to spend, the $3000 solution is different from the $20,000 solution.

Bogie
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