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Hello there. I've got a complete small block Chevy top end off an engine that I threw a rod through. I am now entertaining the thought of another build. The parts I have include...

•AFR 220 Eliminators, 1110 competition ported heads, 8027 spring upgrade, titanium retainers, 65cc
•Crower stainless steel full roller rockers, 1.5 ratio
•AFR stud girdles
•Comp Cams 300BR-6 solid roller, 260/270 @.050, .630/.630, 106° lsa
•Comp Cams roller lifters
•Weiand Team G 7531 single plane manifold with 2" raised plenum, port matched
•One complete virgin Chevy 400 2-bolt engine (never disassembled)

•Rotating assembly... to be determined

I'm looking to build a high compression 406 cu in full race engine for nostalgia bracket racing.

-My first option is to have the Chevy 400 block machined for 4-bolt splayed main caps, punch it out to 4.155, and drill steam holes in the AFR heads.
-Next option is to purchase an aftermarket block and have the required machine work completed

If this was your build...
-Which option would you choose?
-Which aftermarket block would you choose?
-What are the pros and cons of each?
I did almost exactly what you are thinking of doing and I regret it. Sell the 400 and buy an aftermarket block.
 

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1973 Camaro Z/28, 434, NETO/N
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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Speedmaster block would be a better start.

i know of someone putting 1300-1500 hp through two of the Speedmaster blocks, for several years now(Multiple nitrous stages, and now Twin Turbos (Wuhan war whistles). 406 and 421 cubic inch.
You'd be one of the few that has any good words for Speedmaster blocks.
 

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There’s a lot of complainers that really are whining about things made in China and have no real hands on experience, they‘re busy making political statements dressed as technical statements.

The simple facts are that when you’re looking at castings and forgings their origins are most likely from some foreign location, Mexico or China being high on the list. Even Japan gets their castings and forgings from off shore to them sources. Wait till the powers that be dam the Zambize for hydro electric and the world moves its filthy manufacturing to Africa where nearly half the world’s iron ore is mined. This is just the way things are it isn’t the 1950’s anymore and there ain’t no way back anytime soon, if ever.

Bogie
 

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On the stock block question. I had a 509 2 bolt under my bench for 20 years and put it to use in similar circumstance. My build was ,stock caps,KMJ for the head and main cap studs,,block filler up to the water jacket hole when each side was vertical. The block was bored .060,,zero decked,eagle steel crank int balanced,Scat pro 5.7 rods w/8740 cap screws, flat top forged pistons, 5/64th std tension riings file fit,,Iron EQ 225 heads with 2.08s, 50cc chamber,,.040" ML head gaskets, 14.3 compression calculated, stock volume oil pump massaged and high pressure spring. 7 quart wet pan. Cam solid lifter circle track( ELGE1090P) with 560sh lift,256/264 @.050 duration and 105 ls,1.6 rockers, stud girdle,,Hilborne 2 7/16 injection,MSD. Methanol fuel. Installed in front engine dragster for bracket racing in super pro box class. Times showed about 560 hp,, went through traps at 7100. More power was there if I switched to a larger roller cam I'm sure,,,but at the time I had $3000 total in long block(minus inection and ignition) and the cam was only $80, with $80 valve springs, cheap solid lifters to match it,,,and stay in my $3000 budget. I went rounds each night bracket racing with this engine in front of me- as I looked between the stacks. The 509 casting is a 2 soft plug one with thicker webs,,it is mid 70s made and better than a early one with thin webs above crank. The studs,and block filler where my insurance,, and made the bottom end solid,,and reinforced the cylinders to within 2" of deck if I remember correctly,,,the head studs was there to help the weak link of cracking deck from bolt hole to cylinder. I had that happen on another SBC with 14/1 compression and bolts. This was/is still a good cheap combo. I did much of the machine work like decking/boring at my friends shop , and all the blue print assembly work at home. Clearances where exacting.Methanol is cooler to bracket race and work with the 14-1 compression. I did not drill steam holes either in heads if asked.
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Nice dragster! And very cool engine build on a tight budget. What's your dial-in? If you ever run it in the Northeast, let me know.
Thank you. I dialed about 5.30/130mph. It went a quick 5.26,,I held a couple numbers often as bracket racing goes. I launched real soft at 2200 on 1st chip,,then it flashed up to the 5000 stall,,and finish line at 7100/7200. Powerglide. I only ran Lakeland FL with it while they where open, 15 minutes from my house. When they closed(about 2013) I parked it. I scaled about 1371 empty,,then I added a tiny radiator/water pump as I got better and made more rounds closer together each time,,, and ladder bar to the weight. I myself weigh 150,plus 3 gallons fuel it used per run. Probably was 1580/1600lbs at very end. With the motor,,everything was a discount purchase,,heads where new/but $400 on racing junk,,pistons on sale SRC,crank was a online price match at $500,,bearings/ street Kings I hand chamfered,, rings 5/64 ductile though, valves Competition Products .....It was all just to see if I could build it at the $2500 mark and beat my brothers $20,000 upgrades on his nova. I blew the budget when the stock crank came back from shop cut too far on loose side(.004-.0045"") and I couldn't get tolerances I wanted...so I broke out and bought the new eagle crank. I went 5-6 rounds on my best night for a semi final finish. It was a blast to drive and decent consistent(when we went ladder bar). Youtube 'Lakeland dragster' to see this motors very first hit. Defeated a BBC dragster 540 with aluminum heads LOL
 

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1973 Camaro Z/28, 434, NETO/N
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34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #28 ·

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I did almost exactly what you are thinking of doing and I regret it. Sell the 400 and buy an aftermarket block.
We
I did almost exactly what you are thinking of doing and I regret it. Sell the 400 and buy an aftermarket block.
Hey ChopperScott, sorry about the delay, busy busy. My answer to your second question ( which block?) would be … it depends. Your first message said you wanted to “nostalgia” race. To me that would have to be an all GM car. I would opt for a new version of the GM 400. Take a look at what Scoggins-Dickey has to offer on their web site. New 400s, iron, aluminum, raised cam etc. If none of that matters to you then shop for the best deal you can find. All I’m saying is if you are looking for more that 550hp don’t waist your time with the old 400s.
 

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My last two builds have been done with a Dart SHP block. I had one as a 4.155 bore and now a 4.00 bore regular 350 build. I have always used the same machine shop and I one bought a new GM block and by the time I got stuff done to it and after now having done two SHP blocks I have had no more then $500 to $600 dollars at the most of a cost difference between the two blocks. And that was getting extra stuff done to my Dart blocks that I did not have done on the GM block. They have always been spot on for me and the massive thick cylinders are really nice and the splayed mains and super thick.
 

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My last two builds have been done with a Dart SHP block. I had one as a 4.155 bore and now a 4.00 bore regular 350 build. I have always used the same machine shop and I one bought a new GM block and by the time I got stuff done to it and after now having done two SHP blocks I have had no more then $500 to $600 dollars at the most of a cost difference between the two blocks. And that was getting extra stuff done to my Dart blocks that I did not have done on the GM block. They have always been spot on for me and the massive thick cylinders are really nice and the splayed mains and super thick.
Well there you go. You may have just answered your own question. Good luck whichever way you decide to go.
 
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