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Old 01-18-2010, 09:57 PM
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Which pistons?

There is no shortage of selection when it comes to sbc pistons. My plan is to build a 383 or 400 small block, with Aluminum heads, roller cam, to run on pump gas, no nitrous, streetable. What advice can you offer first timers like me on brand, material(cast vs forged), type and thickness of rings, style(flat vs dish), and any thing else that comes to mind. Thanks, Rob

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Old 01-18-2010, 10:46 PM
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There is a "large supply" of advice on how to build engines too For a street engine I would preferably start with an engine that came from the factory with a roller cam.Better choices of cams and make life simpilier too. Lotsa good Al. head makers also. Pick one with chambers that will give you approx. 9.5-100:1 cr. using a flat-top piston.No need to go crazy on huge runners and valves. For a street engine you want the fuel/air mixture flowing FAST. That comes from smaller valves and runners. Hyperutechnic material is fine for the street no Nitrous or blowers. 6" rods work well in 383 or 400 application. IF you stick with the stock rods get ARP rod bolts installed and have the big end re-sized. No need for high volume oil pump unless you run a deep pan. The stock replacement(Melling) works fine. Camshaft is a REAL personal pick. IF you like the rumpity-rump sound get something with a 106/108LSA and duration in the 230-240 range. Street rod...nothing wrong with plain cast iron rings...Moly rings are fine too. just alittle more expen$ive. Headers...dual plane high rise intake(edelbrock/Wiend) 700-isn cfm carb(Edelbrock/Holley) 400+ HP very do-able. Check around THIS site there is an article that has about 50 different cam/head combinations and the dyno figurestoo. GREAT info.
6sally6
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:26 PM
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Thanks 6sally6. What's the deal with different ring groove sizes? Some list 5/64 5/64 3/16" and others have 1/16 1/16 3/16" grooves. In a flat top hyper piston, are there any brands to avoid? Am I safe to just open the summit catologue and look for a good deal? As far as hyd roller cams, is anyone's retro kit better than the others? Are different brands compatible with each other? Is the factory roller setup good enough to pay more for when I already have a couple non-roller engines to build?
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stovepipe699
Thanks 6sally6. What's the deal with different ring groove sizes? Some list 5/64 5/64 3/16" and others have 1/16 1/16 3/16" grooves. In a flat top hyper piston, are there any brands to avoid? Am I safe to just open the summit catologue and look for a good deal? As far as hyd roller cams, is anyone's retro kit better than the others? Are different brands compatible with each other? Is the factory roller setup good enough to pay more for when I already have a couple non-roller engines to build?
Seal Power is a really good hyper piston and a great price last time I looked. Summit has(pretty much) good stuff. I have used their house brands on some things with no worries. Think hard about going to a roller for a street engine. Here's why. There are MANY more grinds for a flat tappet than a roller. Price is better too. With the sorry oil(no Zinc) its hard on flat tappets unless you put the Zinc additive in each oil change.Not a problem with the roller. The initial break-in CAN be tricky with a flat tappet not a roller. You may need a small base circle roller (retro) cam. That makes even less variety of grinds . A roller and lifters is easily triple the price of a flat tappet and a street engine won't know the difference!
You choose! I have a roller in my street engine...makes cool bragging rights/but pretty expensive brag.
Can't remember about the 1/16 rings I think they are low-tension. I remember I always use the other rings 5/64 for street app.
I have had good results with Clevite...Mellings...Seal Power...Fel-Pro products
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:08 PM
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Pretty tough to beat at this price...
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/ESP-B13405L03053/

Lots of rotating assy. kits available with diferent options and this is the lowest price Summit has for a balanced stroker assy. I would go with 5/64" rings for the street. I dont think you can beat what you get for the price! Full floating rods with cap screws for better cam clearance and you don't have to pay to get the pistons installed! Have pin clearance checked though, I think quite often they are to tight from the factory.. There are some rotating assy. kits from manufacturers other than eagle and scat however I have not herd much good about them.
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:59 PM
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Thanks again guys. I see the price of roller cams is high, but the power gain is tempting. We'll see how much $$ is left after I have something to drop it into. . I was planning to use stock cranks and rods I already own, but I'll have to see how much the machine shops charge to redo them, compared to the new rotating assembly kits. (The kit you linked me to is pretty well priced, they must sell a lot of them)

Rob

Last edited by stovepipe699; 01-20-2010 at 09:06 PM.
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