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Old 10-31-2017, 01:20 AM
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Post SBC 600hp+ pump gas hyd.roller - Proven recipe?


Ok you have spec'd various engines on this forum but I can not figure out an engine that would be the absolutely best small block for everyday and occasional strip use. Either they fall short of 600hp or they have 13-15:1 CR which is not desired for street. This build thread is because I can not reduce weight of the car (will be ~3500lbs) and also these must be of-the-shelf parts! I am planning to do this only once. Price probably around 12k+ to reach this, that is not a surprise.

So please do not come back with an answer that 10's can be done with less hp, weight reduction, suspension, tires, gears, etc.. Let's just assume that they are OK and car weights 3500lbs, AND the goal is to make 600+ on the engine, Do not even worry about the 1/4mile times. Just make it 600+ with pump gas.

Requirements: N/A SBC, CR around 11:1, max.7000rpm, has to be Hydr.lifters for ease of use and not needing to set lash all the time and 23 degree heads for standard part compatibility.

Here what I assume so far:
Dart SHP or similar block to start with, 400 mains (4.125 bore)
Forged stroker assembly, to bring it up maybe 421-427cid
Compression has to stay ~11:1
Heads AFR, Brodix, RHS, Dart Pro 1 or similar. Has to be standard 23 degree and flow ~310+cfm ?
Hydraulic roller
Duration ~.650 lift or more
Super Vic or Strip Dominator, single plane
Carb I would like to try Quick fuel 950
1 3/4 headers (I have looked well into these, no point going up to 1 7/8)

So now to question part. Please share your insight on all areas.

Heads: How big runners needed, 220, 227, 230, 235??? I think all of these could work if they are CNC'd. But how big do you really need to make sure to get to goal and how much they really need to flow? And one more requirement, the heads can not have 60/40 valve setup because I do not want to use offset rockers. Remember 650hp is better than 599 so make this big enough. AFR 227 and 235 both have 60/40 valves so only thing left is their 220cc. Is there a better option or are they the best?

Hydraulic roller: I am thinking somewhere 262/268 int/exh @ .50. Is this enough? I would assume that this is still remotely streetable. Does it need to be even more? This is actual, not advertised figures.

Lift: I am quite sure that we need to go at least .650, but preferably closer to 0.680-0.690 on the intake. Exhaust a little less. This is easy to do with 1.6-1.7 rockers, so duration could be a bit less when duration/lift are in balance.

The last issue which is as important as others above: If we do build a Hydr.roller setup with 11:1, How many cubes is really needed to make 600+? I have seen numerous claims about some 355-383's and they must be utter BS. No ****ing way without Solid roller and even then the dynos are off or the engines are drag engines revved to 8000rpm. But when we stay with Hydr.roller and limit that to 7000rpm, what does it take? 406? 421? 427? I would like to avoid 434 since I want to be able to hone/renew the engine after a while if needed. This needs to be a street engine but a monster on the strip also.

Thank you all for your interest and please share your experience what does it really take in the real world to produce the magic hp numbers.
If you can share your dynoed combos that would be great!


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Old 10-31-2017, 04:51 AM
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My opinion is that you will be skunked (unable) to pull this off without $20-30K. I'm basing this off from what I've been around - 6-700HP dirt circle guys. These guys are running reliable (one motor per season hopefully), race gas, compression over 12:1, solid roller cams. The cams are not crazy large drag racing cams, but all of the cams are designed to run anywhere from 4500-7500 rpms consistently. Most all of these guys tune for weather. Pump gas is not even a remote consideration.

Another consideration they pay close attention to, and you will have to as well, is proper sizing of the intake, heads, and headers to work with the cam they are using. This is quite difficult to do on a budget IMO. If I was attempting though, I would go with all the cubes you can get - 414 or 427 on a standard 4.125" bore.

I'd strongly recommend losing two letters from your build plan - NA. If you did, then you should be able to come in well under budget, and be both streetable and ready for the track.

Good luck (no sarcasm intended) - Jim
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Old 10-31-2017, 04:56 AM
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Easy to achieve 600 to 800 with a Supercharger but if it has to be n/a your looking for the top of the scale for a street/strip engine with moderate compression. I would go with something proven instead of mixing a bunch of parts together

Pretty reasonable if you went with something like this and then hit it with a little sub zero (n20)

Blueprint Pro Series Small Block Chevy Crate Engine 427ci / 540HP / 535TQ
Blueprint Pro Series SBC Crate Engine 427ci / 540HP / 535TQ | JEGS

Alot more money for an extra 35 HP but there's always this

Blueprint Pro Series Small Block Chevy 454ci / 575HP / 560TQ
Blueprint Pro Series SBC 454ci / 575HP / 560TQ | JEGS
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Old 10-31-2017, 06:08 AM
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Hello Jim and Rob,

thanks for your replies. As you guessed the build HAS to stay naturally aspired. No legal way of turbocharging or NOSing the engines here where I live.

I have read a lot of 406-421 engines that have a solid roller to make 640-680hp. The only difference here seems to be really the hydraulic roller setup. Then on the other hand the 23 degree heads seem to be a limiting factor but also that has to stay. And I do not want to go to BB due to already heavy weight and price of parts.

I just don't see why you could not build a reliable 600hp out of lets say 421 sbc.

For example CNC Motorsports makes:
562hp pump gas hydraulic roller / AFR210's / 383cid
585hp pump gas hydraulic roller / AFR210's / 427cid
675hp pump gas with solid roller / AFR 235 heads / 427cid: SBC Dyno

For sure these expert builders use mostly Solid rollers in high HP applications and also have honed and polished every corner of these engines but it still seems that 600 could be duplicated with similar selection of standard parts and HR.

So if you can make 675hp with of the shelf heads, does it really eat up 75hp when changing from SR to HR?
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Old 10-31-2017, 07:15 AM
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you may want to read this...

Sherman's Small Block Hybrid - Super Chevy Magazine

Joe Sherman got 615 HP from a 383 with AFR 195 heads but had to use a very agressive cam.

IF I was going to try this I'd build a 427 SBC,AFR 2 competition ported heads and a cam in the high 230's. Might make close to 600 HP with a few optimizations like a high end valve train and distributorless ignition.
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Old 10-31-2017, 08:16 AM
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Obviously you live outside the US.
What kind of petrol is available to you consistently, wherever it is that you are?
What RPM are you going to turn? Its one thing to say an engine makes 600hp; but if it does it in an RPM range you can't ever get to on the street, you'd probably be happier with a lower peak number, but a fatter midrange.

If it were me; I'd knock on Mike Jones' door and get his input. You'll probably get a little more out of less cam from him - and Im sure he's been elbow deep in exactly what you're trying to accomplish.

I'd stick with 421-427cid. This will keep the block very stable and allow you to go to a 434 later on, if the block takes a little damage. I recently had a customer with a 434 end up with a junk block; just not enough room to go oversize after he broke a piston ring in his particular block.
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Old 10-31-2017, 08:51 AM
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This sounds fine and doable from a power and cost standpoint if you're really careful. As usual the devil is in the details so building for this power is one thing but keeping it together through the rigors of racing is something else. So showboat motors for dyno shootouts and racetrack motors are not necessarily the same in the details of what it takes to not only produce 600 hp at 7000 RPM but what it takes to stay there in track completion for minutes to hours.

I think your weak spot is the cam and perhaps the valve train; hydraulic rollers are heavy beasts and expecting a season of racing from these is asking a lot. Solids are much more consistent time after time and allow another source of tuning by playing with the lash lets you juggle the duration a little to compensate for track conditions.

Unless you have an unlimited Visa card behind you, your first goal is to build to stay together. That means worrying a lot about oil pumps and their necessary support, windage and oil drain back, balance which has got to be internal at these power levels, etc. Like I'm trying to emphasize, making power is one thing keeping it together is something else. In that regard I try to minimize bore diameters to maximize wall thickness for fatigue resistance and to keep some rebuild capability in the block.

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Old 10-31-2017, 10:06 AM
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A 427 with Dart Pro 1 230's will get you there if you can find a HR camshaft big enough.

Most off the shelf HR's stop at .630ish lift and [email protected] duration which will leave you about 15-20hp short of 600hp. If you can get one ground to .660 or so lift and [email protected] duration then you're in the ballpark.
BSE Racing Engines
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Old 10-31-2017, 11:57 AM
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I believe you're in Finland? Out of curiosity, what is the law against forced induction or spray in your neck of the woods?
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Old 10-31-2017, 01:13 PM
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Hello all,

now we are getting somewhere. Thank you all for your appropriate advice and links. 68NovaSS you are correct, I live in Finland. I use usually 98oct fuel (standard pump gas here), but we have also 95 and E85 in case want to go that way.
For power adder question NOS is strictly forbitten to be hooked up to street use cars. And if you add turbo or charger you have to take your car to authorities and run a series of emission test and power tests and that costs 6000$ each try if you make it or not, and takes years even if you get the emissions right. But here it is best to take a car with a standard block and just stroke it internally without making a big fuss about it.So ifthe car is originally big block you can stroke easy to 496 and still do not have to worry about police on the road. And obviously I have a small block 1971 Camaro, which now has 355cid 400hp, and that is just not cool or fast enough.

I want to do small block that I use on the street, and definately make more than 600hp. The use is 95% street and only occasional 1/4mile. And if I go through all the trouble and pay big bucks for a killer sleeper I do not want to end up with less than absolutely possible.

Ihave picked up some advice from your comments, and I think that AFR 235 competition heads, .650+ HR and lots of lift (1.7 ratio on intake) I could make it perhaps over 600 mark.
Of course not easy to do butI do not plan to whine it up more than 7000rpm and only couple of times a year. I just want to build a car that I can use and appreciate for the next 50 years and know that I have it all.

Perhaps I would be easier of if I traded for a big block car and stroked that, but still I like my SBC and want to see what it has to offer.

Thanks guys, keep the part lists coming!

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Old 10-31-2017, 01:34 PM
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Please don't fall for the hype type stuff and build a engine cause it is not "cool and fast enough" as to me that falls into the crowd who builds an engine and want it to sound racy with the big thumping idle sound and the trend of getting stuff like comp thumper cams etc. Take it from me don't let people tell you and make you feel your build is not good or cool enough or fast enough. Build your engine for what you want out of it and not build it so you can get other people to say what you want to hear as I did that once with a nice 350 400 plus horse power build that was nicely matched over ten years ago and I had a nice running build and a guy made a comment that my motor sounded like a stock old 350 chevy and my build was way far from stock and I let his comments get to me.

I ended up spending $300 dollars for a new big thumping comp cam and on other parts and then after it was all said and done and I brought it back for that guy to see and hear it he then said "wow now that sounds good etc" I ended up making a change just to get comments to have others make me feel like I had a sweet build. I ended up changing back very close to what I had before I was dingy and did the build to please others. I learned build it so please yourself and do you homework and be realistic on what your going to do with it and not over kill it. If you end up getting something in that range that is great but always remember do it for you and not others.

Nothing wrong with a 350 making over 400 horse power and that to me in my book is still nothing to be ashamed of. Look at it this way how much is enough?
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Old 10-31-2017, 02:00 PM
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Hi Eric,

Well noted and be assured that I do my engines only for myself. I do not have any friends here who build american muscle. Only persons who has seen/heard/commented my current engine are my engine builder and the dyno guy. And we all agree that my 355 making 403hp/420ftlbs is pretty good for a daily driver. But that is a mechanical flat tappet and I definately want to step up the game and now I am going for a HR. 7000rpm max, and preferrably I would go with 421 or 427 for future repairs etc. P.S I picked up all the 355 parts and my builder thought that it would make 350-360hp. Maybe because he is a Ford guy himself And also he does not want to make empty promises.

My goal is set up for 600hp+ period. The car will not be reduced in weight, I want to have all original steel body parts but with wheels, suspension, tranny, shocks, frame etc all upgraded so that handling on 1/4 mile is up to power levels. I think that I can do high 10's or low 11's with that weight so 500hp will not do.

As said no turbo, no NOS, no Solid roller but Hydraulic and the build is just for me. If I wanted 500-550hp I would do any of 383 builds that are out there plenty. But that does not satisfy me, I want to do more than 400 cubes to reach next level in power. It seems that not many people go this way because big blocks are so much easier and probably cheaper in the long run.

But I will not let that stop me. I have read David Wizards books and Joe Sherman posts, Grumpys Garage etc and these guys do make engines that are amazing. So if theres a will there is a way but first I want to understand What are the best parts to start with, then I will plan this build with my builder and dyno guy and they will fit, hone, adjust all perfectly to make the engine best it can be.
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Old 10-31-2017, 03:48 PM
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Why not just put a BBC in your Camaro?? There is nothing in the VIN that codes it as big or small block, the VIN only tells 6 cylinder or 8 cylinder.

How do the authorities know what size engine was original??
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Old 10-31-2017, 03:56 PM
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Don't shoot me for this because I mean no sarcasm, but the term 'everyday use' and/or 'streetable' is not synonymous with 250-260 degrees of duration - TO ME, repeat, to me. With that thought though, I'd love to see a 600hp hydraulic tappet SB that is reliable. Reliable implying 10K miles (16K km) between tear downs.

Three things, you've mentioned either a 421 or 427, but you want to keep the 4.125" bore - a 421 requires a .030" overbore of 4.125 so I believe you're referencing either a 414 or 427. Second, assuming the exchange rate and shipping from the states to Finland is plenty, I cannot see the 12K budget getting it done. Third, you've mentioned an rpm range of 7K - what are your lifter options in link bars at that range? I believe hydraulic lifters to handle the lift and rpm that you're going to need are going to be an expensive adventure in the US let alone Finland. Thoughts?

Are you getting parts from the US? If yes, then what's the expense of, say, a Dart SHP block?
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Old 10-31-2017, 04:32 PM
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I can't say how much overall it would cost but 600 hp is not cheap. I am in the U.S and I am building a small block chevy 377 (4.155 bore x 3.480 stroke) that is based off of a dart 372 ci small block that made 470 horsepower and 470 ftlbs of torque and that was with just a mild low 220s @50 hydraulic flat tappet cam and dart pro 1 180cc aluminum heads 9.1 compression.

My build is going to make a little bit more as I am going to use a set of dart pro 1 200cc aluminum heads and 9.7 to 1 compression ratio and a custom hydraulic roller cam which I had made for good power and also some manors for street use at 278/282 228/232 @ 50 547/547 lift is costing me in excess of $8500 and that is not including machine shop work and any labor since I will be building with my Dad and its all top end stuff and I could not imagine how much it would cost to make that much power and still be street drivable.

Would be a nice build though but any street manors will be thrown out the door.
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421, 427, hydraulic rollers, pump gas, sbc

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