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Old 08-06-2012, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by rusthater89 View Post
What parts would I need to build a 500 horsepower 350 chevy. I don't want any forced induction. I want it to run on pump gas.
This type of question gets asked several times a week. Invariably it involves a lot of bench racing among the 'regulars' as to how to "best" go about it. Best means different thing to different guys.

It's been said that you can only choose two from the three options:
• build it fast
• build it cheap
• build it reliable
So going fast for cheap- for very long, anyways- is a REAL trick. To pull it off requires the kind of knowledge and intuition that only comes from experience.

If you want a dependable engine w/a long life expectancy, build it around an aftermarket block, crank, rods, valve train, heads, ignition, and induction/exhaust systems. The more stock or low end parts you use, the less potential power or reliability will be the result.

Power is in the cylinder heads. Reliability is in the valve train and short block, and should be as stout as your hp goal requires, not just what your budget allows. You would be better off lowering the hp goal to a number that matches the budget than to try to push the limits on cheap. For instance, I'd consider aftermarket rods as a necessity at 500 hp levels. And a 4-bolt bottom end, preferably splayed caps. But after doing that to a stock block, you're getting close to the cost of a Dart aftermarket block that will be stronger than ANY production SBC block. Obviously a forged crank and pistons are advisable- but not an absolute necessity. Keeping the tune correct- as in NO detonation- is as important as anything else you may do.

But in the end, I find myself wondering... why 500 hp? What makes THAT number the target? Because I can tell you from experience as can others here, that making 500 hp is the easy part. Putting that hp to the ground effectively is harder and more expensive in many cases as just building an engine that makes 500 hp.

Be realistic. Set obtainable goals based on a realistic expectations. Because if all you do is build yourself a bad-A 500 hp SBC w/o any plan as to what you are really going to do w/it is not a plan. It's a whim.

Last edited by cobalt327; 08-07-2012 at 12:02 AM.
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