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-   -   Odds of finding a junkyard 400 sbc (http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/odds-finding-junkyard-400-sbc-211951.html)

usaweapon777 01-07-2012 01:38 PM

Odds of finding a junkyard 400 sbc
 
Hey guys, I'm currently doing my first serious project, a complete redo of a 1978 Chevy nova. I pulled its running 250 I-6 so that I could put a v8 in of some sort. I would like to put in a 400 sbc as opposed to a 350 since the extra cubes would be nice and that at least it wouldn't be the billionth 350 swap. however, upon spending hours at my local junkyard, I couldn't find 1 vehicle with a 400. Cars like monte carlos and caprices where completely non existent there leaving me to look through probably 20-30 c/k series trucks,blazers, and suburbans and vans. At the end of the day only probably 5 of the vehicles had engines even in them and all were 350's. It's a 150 dollars for an engine at the local yards and I doubt I'm going to be able to find one who sell me a 400 for around that. The cheaper the better since I'm 17 and this will be my first engine build. However, I just can't seem to get over how common the 350 swap will be, I figured the 400 would be a great torque cruiser but it seems like its extinct. Any good suggestions as to where I should look? do I have any shot whatsoever of finding a cheap 400 or should I just pull a plain jain 350? Any help appreciated.

swvalcon 01-07-2012 02:16 PM

There should be some 400's left in the junk yard. Try some of the smaller out of the way yards that deal in older stuff.Llook at the front balance wheel and if it has a noch out of it about half way around it should be a 400. If you get a choise go with the 2 bolt main over 4 bolt. It's the stronger in the 400. They only made a 4bolt main for a couple yrs. If you cant find a 400 go with a 4 bolt main 350 block you can always build a 383 out of it and be as good as a 400.

joelster 01-07-2012 02:48 PM

You would be much better off with a later model 350 with a factory roller cam and vortec heads. Thos late 90's pickup trucks will have those engines in them. During the rebuild you can easily make it into a 383 with a moderate amount of work.

usaweapon777 01-07-2012 03:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joelster
You would be much better off with a later model 350 with a factory roller cam and vortec heads. Thos late 90's pickup trucks will have those engines in them. During the rebuild you can easily make it into a 383 with a moderate amount of work.

hmmm now that you mentioned it, there were a ton of the later gen silverados in the yard. I'll look up when they started using roller cams and vortecs. The yard is full of many more 90+ vehicles then earlier. There is also one small yard locally besides the main one I looked at, I will check there this week for a 400 also. Thanks for the info guys.

Blazin72 01-07-2012 03:26 PM

Try Craigslist.

usaweapon777 01-08-2012 08:58 AM

alright so what I've found is that the L31 was the last gen of the old 350 small block. It was also named the vortech 5700. It was used in silverado trucks from 1996- to the silverado generation change in around 2000. This appears to be the 350 I would want to find if I went that route. It would already have a roller cam and vortech heads. Potentially allowing me to make a powerful budget motor. Motors in silverado's between 1987-1995 are a gamble. From what I've read the engines did not have vortech heads, and whether or not they were probably setup for a roller is complete hit and miss. Also when looking for silverado's with the vortech car craft says to avoid the cast # 10239906. It has hardened exhaust seats that limit flow supposedly. If anyone can validate this info that would be great.

Would you guys agree that going this route to achieve around 420hp would be much more affordable than a comparable 400 build?

joelster 01-08-2012 09:40 AM

Vortec heads are simple to spot. The intake manifold bolts to the heads with vertical bolts. It was a pretty powerful little engine too. Swap a decent roller cam into it and get an edelbrock performer rpm intake with a holley carb and it will make around 350hp no sweat.

boothboy 01-08-2012 09:41 AM

Are you planing a re-build or just a drop-in? Either way start asking about engine milage when your out looking. Also do a little more book investigating and find out how to identify a 4-bolt main engine.

Chevrolet4x4s 01-08-2012 11:13 AM

http://car-part.com There are a few with in 250 miles from you,a couple within 100 miles.
Shane

usaweapon777 01-08-2012 11:29 AM

The engine is going to be rebuilt. From what I've read the only way to know is to pull the pan and look, I'm going to see if casting numbers affect it at all.

krooser 01-11-2012 01:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by usaweapon777
The engine is going to be rebuilt. From what I've read the only way to know is to pull the pan and look, I'm going to see if casting numbers affect it at all.

400's have three freeze plugs per side... as was mentioned the stock dampner is different than a 350.

SSedan64 01-11-2012 10:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by usaweapon777
Also when looking for silverado's with the vortech car craft says to avoid the cast # 10239906. It has hardened exhaust seats that limit flow supposedly. If anyone can validate this info that would be great.

This Info has been debunked. Some of these have a small lip where the Seats were installed, if so it's easily removed. Hardened Seats are a ++ to me.

SSedan64 01-11-2012 10:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by krooser
400's have three freeze plugs per side... as was mentioned the stock dampner is different than a 350.

Most all 4-Bolt 400's have 3-Freeze Plugs.
2-Bolt Main 400's have 2-Freeze Plugs.

I have one 4-Bolt 400 that has the 3rd-Boss but, no Hole/Plug in the center Boss. An oddball.

400 Block Info:
http://www.chevytech.info/2c42o4.html
http://www.chevytech.info/2c42o1.html
http://www.chevytech.info/2c42o2.html

400 Balancer ID:
http://www.chevytech.info/2c44o5.html machined out section.

usaweapon777 01-12-2012 11:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SSedan64
This Info has been debunked. Some of these have a small lip where the Seats were installed, if so it's easily removed. Hardened Seats are a ++ to me.

Alright thank you for the information that will definately help. Would have been a bummer to disregard one because of that.


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