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Old 08-12-2019, 10:15 PM
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400 SBC Street Strip Ignition Recommendation Needed

Hi guys, I've got a 400 chevy small block, Stock cast crank turned .020, 10.5:1 comp, Eagle 5.7 I beam rods, speed pro hypereutectic pistons, balanced rotating assembly, Performer RPM 64cc heads and regular Performer RPM intake Lunati Voodoo p/n 10120704 dur @.050" is 233/241 and lift is .505/.526 comp roller tip rockers poly locks, and magnum chrome moly pushrods. Engine is in a 1980 malibu. Took it to the drag strip last week and ran a best of 12.90 @ 106mph through a 600cfm Edelbrock and a stock HEI.

Running an $89 Summit HEI that I bought because I needed to get the car running. I gotta believe there's a better option out there. What do you guys use for something like this? Better HEI system? MSD with a 6AL box? I would like a rev limiter since I'm still column shifting it(sleeper car). Let me know what you guys have used before that has worked well.

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Old 08-12-2019, 11:27 PM
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add an after market external coil to the stock hei, for now. Put a 750 cfm carb on it. Also use a performer rpm intake or something better. The ordinary performer is no where near enough.

as is you are not making much power,,, a little over 300 maybe
mph should be 113 plus in that car with a mild 400
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by vinniekq2 View Post
add an after market external coil to the stock hei, for now. Put a 750 cfm carb on it. Also use a performer rpm intake or something better. The ordinary performer is no where near enough.

as is you are not making much power,,, a little over 300 maybe
mph should be 113 plus in that car with a mild 400
I've got an 800cfm Edelbrock carb I am going to put on. I already have a Performer RPM in take, it is just the regular version not the air gap is all. I will look into the external coil for the HEI. I didn't know they had such a thing. I do think something is weak with the whole HEI setup though because if I don't cool the car down between runs it will sometimes nose over above 5,000 rpm in 2nd gear. Once I shift to third it is fine. If the car is cooled down between runs it pulls strong to 6200 rpm where I'm shifting no problem. Also, I've got 3:73 gears and a 700R4 trans.

Last edited by callmewaylon; 08-13-2019 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 08-13-2019, 10:42 AM
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put the 800 on it yesterday,,,
try the 1-2 shift at 5800
If you have a stock fuel pump it might not be keeping up
report back with the new mph?
good luck, lets see some 12.0s
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callmewaylon View Post
If the car is cooled down between runs it pulls strong to 6200 rpm where I'm shifting no problem.
This sounds like a fuel supply problem, not ignition problem. Also 600cfm is way too small for a 400 with a dual plane turning to 6200 rpm. 800-850 cfm should be about right. Can't say if Edelbrock carbs are good or bad - never had one as I have always used Holleys or Quick Fuel carbs. RPM Air Gap would be more cold blooded - but make a bit more power. In addition to the separation of the intake runners for heat purposes, the center divider on the Air Gap manifold is cut out (letting the two planes communicate some - good for some things and not others). It's only the same manifold in part of it's name. You didn't mention your torque converter..... your cam is big enough to need some converter. What was your 60' time? Are you on slicks? HEI is an OK distributor. Only real reason I can see to go to anything else is if you really want more adjustability and control over your mechanical advance - or if you are at a high RPM that requires current through the module in excess of the HEI's design. A good HEI will go 6200 rpm easily, and Hipo modules are available to go higher. Your 3.73 gears are about right for street/strip on 28" tires.

Last edited by 2001Blazer4x4; 08-13-2019 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by vinniekq2 View Post
put the 800 on it yesterday,,,
try the 1-2 shift at 5800
If you have a stock fuel pump it might not be keeping up
report back with the new mph?
good luck, lets see some 12.0s
Stock fuel lines from the tank but the pump in an Edelbrock Performer RPM

https://www.jegs.com/i/Edelbrock/350...SABEgJxc_D_BwE
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by 2001Blazer4x4 View Post
This sounds like a fuel supply problem, not ignition problem. Also 600cfm is way too small for a 400 with a dual plane turning to 6200 rpm. 800-850 cfm should be about right. Can't say if Edelbrock carbs are good or bad - never had one as I have always used Holleys or Quick Fuel carbs. RPM Air Gap would be more cold blooded - but make a bit more power. In addition to the separation of the intake runners for heat purposes, the center divider on the Air Gap manifold is cut out (letting the two planes communicate some - good for some things and not others). It's only the same manifold in part of it's name. You didn't mention your torque converter..... your cam is big enough to need some converter. What was your 60' time? Are you on slicks? HEI is an OK distributor. Only real reason I can see to go to anything else is if you really want more adjustability and control over your mechanical advance - or if you are at a high RPM that requires current through the module in excess of the HEI's design. A good HEI will go 6200 rpm easily, and Hipo modules are available to go higher. Your 3.73 gears are about right for street/strip on 28" tires.
60' time on the 12.90 run was 1.9. Converter is 2500 stall, it doesn't bog off the line, I actually have to ease into in on the Cooper Cobras, no slicks but considering drag radials. I'll get the 800 on it as soon as possible.
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callmewaylon View Post
Stock fuel lines from the tank but the pump in an Edelbrock Performer RPM

https://www.jegs.com/i/Edelbrock/350...SABEgJxc_D_BwE
Only way you're going to know for sure that you are keeping up is to put a gauge on it that you can read during the run. I have a large mechanical fuel pressure gauge from Speedway https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Speed...uge,36763.html in the back of my hood scoop with braided line down to my pressure regulator. I have a fuel cell and Holley blue pump plumbed 8an hose through Holley billet pre and post-pump filters to a carb mounted regulator and then 6an to each fuel bowl. I also have a friend who runs 11.0 sec with a mild 400 in his 85 blazer and he is successfully using a stock tank with stock fuel lines, and a mechanical pump. Is mine better? Well, they run the same times and his has been together that way for 5 years! I dunno!

Last edited by 2001Blazer4x4; 08-13-2019 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 08-13-2019, 12:33 PM
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There is a thing called drop-back RPM. This is the RPM where you wind up after each shift. Converter is still working during 1-2 and 2-3 shifts (in addition to off of the line). You want RPMS to stay in the vicinity of peak torque after each shift - which means that drop back RPM should probably be around 4500 for your chosen camshaft. You can tell for sure where your peak torque is using a chassis dyno. A good converter is built specifically for your vehicle, power, and weight and can give you the stall speed that you want/need without creating excessive slippage under light throttle.

That said, like Vinnie says you really seem to be down on power for a 400 in a light car. Ideal stats for 106mph trap speed is 1.74 60' with a 660' of 7.89/86.18mph and a 1/4 mile of 12.50 sec. Consider you are on street tires, taking 0.15 sec from the 60' and adding to the ideal 12.50 and you come up with a 12.65 sec 1/4 mile (really pretty close to where you are at). It seems to me that you are down on power in general. Even if you hook using slicks, you might improve to the 12.50 but that doesn't seem where you ought to be with a 400 in a 3100# car.

At this kind of weight and ET/MPH, it takes around 10 hp for each 0.1sec decrease in 1/4 mile ET. You seem about 100 HP shy of where you should be. Not that familiar with the Performer RPM heads but I would think they would be at least middling.....

If you have a 3100# car, I would actually up Vinnies stated MPH to 116 (which should be independent of any spinning off the line). That would ideally equal an ET of 11.42 on slicks. solid mid-11's is where you should be and you only seem to be losing a couple of tenths by being on street tires.

Diameter of primary tubes in headers?

Last edited by 2001Blazer4x4; 08-13-2019 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:25 PM
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Just looked up the flow for the Edelbrock RPM heads and ouch! Flow numbers on the exhaust side are around 70-75% of the flows seen for AFR 195 Street or Pro-filer 195 heads. The heads you are using may be a little small for making power at 6200 RPM in a 400. Certainly OK for the street at lower RPM, but definitely not optimal heads for power. Sorry
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:43 PM
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Just looked up the flow for the Edelbrock RPM heads and ouch! Flow numbers on the exhaust side are around 70-75% of the flows seen for AFR 195 Street or Pro-filer 195 heads. The heads you are using may be a little small for making power at 6200 RPM in a 400. Certainly OK for the street at lower RPM, but definitely not optimal heads for power. Sorry
Headers are full lenght 1 5/8" Flowtech. I know the Edelbrock heads aren't the best flowing but I actually bought them for a pick up truck 350 that I built a few years ago that wasn't going to see any serious track use.

This isn't a serious track car, more of a driver. I can easily drive it to work and back. That's why only the 2500 rpm converter and 700R4. Also, I am a big guy who weighs over 400lbs. I should have the car weighed with me in it but it probably weighs 3600-3800lbs with me in it.
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:59 PM
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Headers are full lenght 1 5/8" Flowtech. I know the Edelbrock heads aren't the best flowing but I actually bought them for a pick up truck 350 that I built a few years ago that wasn't going to see any serious track use.

This isn't a serious track car, more of a driver. I can easily drive it to work and back. That's why only the 2500 rpm converter and 700R4. Also, I am a big guy who weighs over 400lbs. I should have the car weighed with me in it but it probably weighs 3600-3800lbs with me in it.
Weight is about 0.15 sec slower/100 lbs. So maybe not quite as bad as you might think. Headers I would rather see 1 3/4 but 1 5/8 is better than 1.5". Really doesn't sound like much other than the heads are holding anything back. Maybe you would benefit a lot from tuning both ignition and carburetor?? Not sure if the 800cfm or 6200 rpm makes sense for you though, with the exhaust not flowing so good. Guess you already have the carb, so it costs you nothing to find out. Good luck and best wishes.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:36 PM
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Weight is about 0.15 sec slower/100 lbs. So maybe not quite as bad as you might think. Headers I would rather see 1 3/4 but 1 5/8 is better than 1.5". Really doesn't sound like much other than the heads are holding anything back. Maybe you would benefit a lot from tuning both ignition and carburetor?? Not sure if the 800cfm or 6200 rpm makes sense for you though, with the exhaust not flowing so good. Guess you already have the carb, so it costs you nothing to find out. Good luck and best wishes.
Yes, I haven't done any real tuning at the track. It's hard when you can't put down back to back passes. I'm thinking a set of drag radials should help get consistency out of the launch, but I need to solve the problem of losing power at 5,000 rpm intermittently.
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Old 08-13-2019, 04:26 PM
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Yes, I haven't done any real tuning at the track. It's hard when you can't put down back to back passes. I'm thinking a set of drag radials should help get consistency out of the launch, but I need to solve the problem of losing power at 5,000 rpm intermittently.
I should mention that the losing power above 5k only happens when I run back to back runs without a cool down or the temp is up in the 190-200 range.
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:20 AM
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Although I'm far from an authority on this, it makes sense to check the fuel situation just to make sure the pressure isn't dropping at full throttle. As far as the dizzy, I bought a summit brand distributor about 15 years ago and after a couple trips up the tach to 6000 RPMs it exploded. The weight pins came out and parts went everywhere. Summit stood behind it and I traded it in on a pertronix. The only issue with pertronix is making sure the mechanical advance system is installed correctly. The center piece was installed upside down in mine.
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