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Old 03-22-2011, 11:20 AM
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SBC 409 camshaft question

Hi, new to the site. I have a question for the guru engine guys. My car runs great but it seems I might be missing some needed power. What I have is:

1969 Chevelle
409 sbc
10.1 hyper pistons, 5.7" rods
Stock crank
Procomp 210 heads...(Don't beat me up)
Eton posi with 3.73 gears
Camshaft is a Blue racer 234/244 488/510 lift with 112 sep (hyd flat tappet)
2800-3200 stall converter

My questions are is the lobe separation too much, is this camshaft a good combination, and is the stall converter correct?

Thanks for your help guys!!!!

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Old 03-22-2011, 12:22 PM
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Your right, lobe seoeration is a bit much for the large 400, would be a lot better in the 106-108 area in a 400.

Nothing wrong with the Procomp heads that can't be fixed with a a bit of time with a grinder, I have used them. If they are installed right out of the box unported you are giving quite a bit away, they really need a small amount of clean-up in some very obvious places where there is too much material in the intake port. The second generation castings are better in this regard than the first generation.

Stall converter is about right if it stalls to the higher side of that 2800-3200 rpm rating.

A solid flat tappet lifter cam in the 252/260 @.050", .530/.550" lift, 106 or 108 lobe seperation would really wake this engine up compared to the generic early 70's tech hydraulic grind you have.

What carb and intake are you using?? What header size and length(full or shorty)??
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Old 03-22-2011, 01:09 PM
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Hi, thanks for the reply.

I have a Holley 80508 750 vacuum sec/electric choke. I converted to a 4150. Headers are the Patriot Clipper mid length 1 5/8". I have 2 1/2" exhaust and an Edelbrock Rpm air gap manifold. Also to mention I am using 1.5 roller rockers.

Being a novice I seen the heads for a good price, so I got'em. I did buy them bare and put good quality springs, valves...etc on them.
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Old 03-22-2011, 01:28 PM
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Shorty and mid length headers are not as good power producers as full length header are, if you wanted to make that switch. If you did I would go with 1-3/4" primary's at the same time.

Carb size and manifold are good.

A cam change would really wake things up. Pulling and porting the heads is about the only other thing beyond a cam swap that would return a big gain.

400's really like bigger cams. You are feeding nearly Big Block size cubes, the 400 will swallow cams that are very radical in a 350 and make them seem pretty mild.

If you want more from this engine a cam swap would be the first thing on the list.
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Old 03-22-2011, 03:46 PM
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Is it optimum -No. Can you make it work better --yes.

Degree the cam to verify the .050" valve timing. Advance the cam to a 106 intake C/L. (you have to degree it to determine where it is , then move it).

Remove the heads and cc them to determine the real chamber volume and piston TDC deck clearance to calculate the real cr.

Mill the heads and or swap head gaskets to get the cr up (10.5:1)

Port the heads while they are off.

The converter and gears are just ok.. much better with a 10" 3600 stall and 4.10's (short tires) 4.30 or 4.56 (tall tires (28-30")

With 3.73's use the shortest sticky tires available.

This cam will have no low end grunt until you recurve the distributor.
First try with the mechanical advance locked out.(34-36 fixed timing)..... then try 26deg at idle and 34-36 at max advance (short limited 10deg advance curve. This will make a dramatic difference in throttle response and off the line acceleration and idle quaiity.

Then verify the timing pointer tdc point using a piston stop.
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