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Old 09-10-2019, 05:56 PM
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BBC Engine Novice Tips

So I'm relatively new to the whole engine building side of racing. I have my dad's 1974 454 BBC, he passed away last year so I'm trying to get it built on my own and with my uncles help. When he got it, I'm not sure how much he got it for but it came with 2 mismatched heads on it, 1 being an 049 head and the other being a 781. I know based on research that they're relatively the same, but not sure if it'd really make a difference since this will be a race motor hopefully by next year. It's going into a 1958 Chevy Apache, so I'm going for as much HP as I can possibly get out of this 454, so any general tips on which head I should go for or to just get the most out of this motor in the long run would be greatly appreciated. Thank You

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Old 09-10-2019, 06:24 PM
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The heads you have were never meant to be the "end all" of cylinder heads for the BBC. They have oval intake ports and were meant to flow well for a truck or motor home that is operated from idle to maybe 5500 rpm's, making power in the area of 500-600 horsepower and about the same torque with some larger valve work and cam to match the static compression ratio in a 454 to 466 cubic inch motor. Fuel used will dictate the static compression ratio limit and the cam specifications to match.

If I really wanted to have some fun at the drag strip, I would not begin with a pickup truck. They are ungodly heavy and it takes a lot of motor to get them down the track, like driving a barn door. I would build something lighter that would go maybe low 10's in the quarter mile and just go out and have fun every weekend. When you drop into the 9's, it begins to get really expensive. One of the slickest little hobby cars I ever saw was a Datsun 260Z with a mild BBC. The car went 10's consistently and never broke anything. Wind resistance-wise, it was as slick as a licked popsicle and there are aftermarket parts to make 'em even slicker.

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Old 09-10-2019, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by techinspector1 View Post
The heads you have were never meant to be the "end all" of cylinder heads for the BBC. They have oval intake ports and were meant to flow well for a truck or motor home that is operated from idle to maybe 5500 rpm's, making power in the area of 500-600 horsepower and about the same torque with some larger valve work and cam to match the static compression ratio in a 454 to 466 cubic inch motor. Fuel used will dictate the static compression ratio limit and the cam specifications to match.

If I really wanted to have some fun at the drag strip, I would not begin with a pickup truck. They are ungodly heavy and it takes a lot of motor to get them down the track, like driving a barn door. I would build something lighter that would go maybe low 10's in the quarter mile and just go out and have fun every weekend. When you drop into the 9's, it begins to get really expensive. One of the slickest little hobby cars I ever saw was a Datsun 260Z with a mild BBC. The car went 10's consistently and never broke anything. Wind resistance-wise, it was as slick as a licked popsicle and there are aftermarket parts to make 'em even slicker.
Thank you for the tips.

Yeah the truck is my option right now at the moment, my dad built it from the ground up and always wanted it to be a bad *** race truck, so that's kind of my goal to do what I can with it at the moment and to fulfill that. I've always wanted a Nova so eventually that'll be another one I fork some money into.
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:23 PM
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get a pro to work the mismatched heads for you. You cannot do it yourself. 9.5:1 cr, 850 double pumper on an rpm or Victor oval port, tune for 6k peak power

should be an easy mid 12 second truck. 60' times will suck. 100-105 mph trap speed depending on how much you follow techs part list and who assembles the engine
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:08 PM
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get a pro to work the mismatched heads for you. You cannot do it yourself. 9.5:1 cr, 850 double pumper on an rpm or Victor oval port, tune for 6k peak power

should be an easy mid 12 second truck. 60' times will suck. 100-105 mph trap speed depending on how much you follow techs part list and who assembles the engine
yeah I'm gonna have the heads taken to a machine shop and have them resurfaced and maybe have them look at the CC of them and valve size cause I don't know if the guys before did anything to them or what, but I want to find a matching 049 or 781 head to go with the corresponding one.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:49 AM
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See how much all that may cost with the heads, you may be very close to the budget aluminum heads, if the class you intend to run allows them. Because something will be different, something not good enough for you, etc.. $50 here, $100 there, $25 over yonder, get where i'm going, it adds up. And that may be close in price to the budget aluminums.
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Old 09-11-2019, 04:57 PM
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Jimmy you are not looking for a resurface at a local machine shop.I said "pro" as in a race head preparer.
you will get pocket porting and new valves,,, 2.19 or 2.25 intakes and 1.88 exhausts. These heads can flow up to 335 cfm. Theoretically thats enough for 700 hp in race configuration.

Look at AFR 290 ish cfm oval ports. They flow 360 cfm and are Al.
More than 3k$
your wallet
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:27 PM
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See how much the truck weighs. Some of them were surprisingly light. My brother had a Chevy C30 that came in at 3600 lbs. This is with the 8-lug wheels and 9-ft long bed.
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454 bbc rebuild, chevy big block, cylinder head, new builder, racing

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