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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys im still new here and i need some advice for my project...I know this topic has been discussed ALOT but i haven't found the answer i am looking for...so i bought a 76 Monte Carlo, came with a 454 BBC from a 94 Suburban (Gen V; i think they're pp heads ill have to check the casting #) and a th350..im taking the engine out nxt week and going straight to the shop for a rebuild...I have spent countless hours reading over threads that go over this topic...some dont recommend this combo and others have done this for many years...my goal is to reach somewhere between 400-450 hp and hopefully later in the future drop some better heads on the engine and reach the 500 mark..now i hear the th400 is recommended for this engine but also heard they are heavier and take about 26-30 hp while the th350 takes about 15 hp...any advice?? should i rebuild my th350 so it can handle this HP (since i already have it), if so can you guys give me an approximate cost for this rebuild? or would i be spending less by just buying a new/rebuilt th400? Sorry for the long message and thanks for any knowledge you guys share with me :thumbup:by the way the purpose of this car is for street use...maybe take to the strip once to try it out...thanks
 

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to rebuild or not.

You can easily have the t350 stand up to the 454, but it will take a bit to get that 454 to 500hp, lower copm pistons to start with and crappy heads, so spending way too much on that motor in particular plus it weighs a lot more than a small block. The T350 has a lower first gear than the T400 and you are right on the parisitic Hp loss between the two trans, just a choice and matter of driving style. Some people just have to have a Big block, some don't, all in the money and matter of weight to consider. Still confused, your choice, personally i like a Big block, just a better year with 781 heads.
 

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Sure, you can make a T-350 strong enough to stand up to a 500 horse BB, but the money you put into it would buy a T-400 that will take the abuse out of the box, other than a drag strip beating with a high stall converter. If you have serious budget constraints, that's a different story. Like you said yourself, there are a lot of different opinions, and add driving styles to the list. I guarantee you not all of those opinions are from guys who have actually felt 500 real hp and torque from a BB.
 

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T350 /stong enough?

That is the thing as 68Nova mentioned, depends how you drive and financial part, if you really will have an honest 500hp big block no matter what i would use a T400, why waste money on an inferior trans, then at least nothing to worry about in the future, kind of personal choice. I know I abuse my 454 so i tend to over build everything.:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah I guess it would depend on how I drive but here nd there ill be burning a lot of rubber :) there is this guy who is offering me a th400 for $200..I'm going to take a good look at it this week...and about the motor and crappy heads...u are damn right...I heard the pp heads can be torque monsters but its going to cost me an ARM and a leg to reach my goal...I decided to maybe take another approach to this project..I'm thinking of the 781 or 049 heads...I'm aware that I'm required to buy special gaskets due to a coolant mismatch from the gen v block and the mark iv heads..I was speaking to my manager about getting this engine rebuilt...he told me that if the block is in good condition/ working order...perhaps I don't need to getvthe block rebuilt and just buy me a new set of aluminum heads along with a better crank, pustons, rods, and springs? Is this true? Or would you guys recommened a complete rebuild? By the way...I'm fairly young, I just turned legal last month(21) and I do have a budget, but have been saving tons of money...thanks for the help you guys rock! :thumbup:
 

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to rebuild or not?

You know if the engine runs fine just use as it is because most anything can be done to it at a later date, thats the thing I rebuild engines so I would take the time if it has quite a few miles on it and do a basic rering/rebearing on it and cam/dbl roller t. chain and if i could afford it swap to lrg oval port heads if I couldn't then use the heads I have and change out as money allows. Thats me though, the trans I would not trust but have rebuilt the way I want even if I had to wait on the project for a while and use at least a 2,55 stall torque convertor which will help any cam work better that is more than stock and then your done with the trans and can forget it and putter on engine in car as funds allow. I know darn choices. It is nice to get a runner to drive and as most people without a lot of cash do add as you go over time, it's a project not a daily driver, all about fun and hotrodding. good luck.:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well the only reason why I want to take the engine apart is because there is one bolt stuck one each side of the heads(where you bolt on the headers) just figured it would be a pain in the *** to take them off like that...plus I got the engine and car for 1500 altogether....told me the engine had 150k miles and was good for another 150k..I had intentions of rebuilding it anyways...but if the short block is just fine and not warped...might as well spend the money I'm saving up for some new and better heads and save a few hundred bucks and spend it on my posi :) by the way what gears are you running on your big block?
 

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I am running a 3.73 gear on my 71 4x4 with a 454, it has about 525hp, lots of torque. The tire size I am running is a 35" that is 14.50 ratio wise wide, so prob about 12.50" actual width, a real heavy tire though, so without figuring it out formula wise would be running closer to a 3.23 ratio because it would have come stock with a 29" tire. Hp is nice but really all about the torque. Sounds like your engine may be alright, just drill out the broken bolts and get the trans done and install both and enjoy for a season, save for some parts then pull the engine and rebuild as you want too, don't have to rush and at least you can use it. Oh by the way my truck is a manual trans, sm465 so pretty much don't use 1st gear at all, just take off in 2nd and with my tire and 3.73's run about 2,400 at 60mph in 4th gear. Good thing about a big block is don't need to rev like a small block around town but sure rips the tires up at low rpm.
 
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