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Who thinks someone with absolutely no experience fixing cars can pull and rebuild a 454?

  • Anyone can do it.

    Votes: 1 8.3%
  • You probably could with a ton of research on the interwebs

    Votes: 10 83.3%
  • No chance, wannabe mechanic.

    Votes: 1 8.3%
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'72 Monte Carlo, 454 bbc, Sniper EFI and Hyperspark ignition, 4:11 TH400
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I purchased TrickFlow's top end kit for my stock big block 454 Chevy (kit specs below).

Anyone want to give some much needed advice on what to do with the bottom end while I've got it out? Adding inches and/or porting is possible.

My problem is I don't know all the math involved to figure out a solid build. I'm a novice and a rebuild virgin but I ain't scared!

I need to be in the 500-600 horsepower range. Reliability is important. I'm snipping the bone stock 454 out to turn into a hotrod. This is a 1972 Monte with 4:11 rear end, gear vendors, Sniper EFI.

Top end kit specs:
  • PowerOval 280 cylinder heads 113cc
  • hydraulic roller camshaft
236 int./242 exh.
Advertised Duration: 286 int./292 exh.
Valve Lift with Factory Rocker Arm Ratio: 0.600 int./0.600 exh
  • Hydraulic roller lifters
  • Chromoly pushrods
  • Roller rocker arms with a 1.7 ratio
  • Billet steel timing set
  • Cylinder head bolts

Also bought Edelbrock Torker 2 intake, 2.5" long headers, water pump, oil pump, awesome tall valve covers, balancer, and all of David Vizard's books.

Any advice or references to another build would be awesome!

Thanks!
 

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I guess I would ask what is the condition of the short block you plan to bolt all this onto??
Don't expect a stock cast piston engine to last long.
Basic rebuild would be appropriate....over bore block, regrind crank, resize rods after having ARP bolts added, and FORGED pistons.
If you've got the money, a 489/496" stroker kit would be the ideal ticket, rather than refurbishing tired old rotating assembly

The Torker 2 was about the worst intake choice you could have made.....awful intake for power production.
Performer RPM or a Victor would have been a much better choice.
 

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'72 Monte Carlo, 454 bbc, Sniper EFI and Hyperspark ignition, 4:11 TH400
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I haven't pulled the motor yet so I don't know for certain the condition of the block. The Torker is single plane which is best for the Sniper, and is very low profile allowing me to not cut a hole in my hood. You have experience with the Torker I take it?
 

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It is common performance knowledge that the Torker series of intakes are poor power producers.
Edelbrock devised them so they would have a single plane to sell to 1970's Corvette and Camaro owners to fit under a stock hood....power production was not a design high criteria.....it will be 30-40 hp down from most any other intake.

It will hold the Sniper up above the engine and the engine will run....but you are giving up a big chunk of power.

Even the stock 163 factory hi-po aluminum dual plane off the solid lifter big blocks like the LS6 454 and L78 396 is a better intake.

You should pretty much bet on rebuilding the stock short block.
 

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'72 Monte Carlo, 454 bbc, Sniper EFI and Hyperspark ignition, 4:11 TH400
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Definitely planning to rebuild the short block. Just a matter of matching the components best. Do you know of an excellent low profile intake?
 

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'72 Monte Carlo, 454 bbc, Sniper EFI and Hyperspark ignition, 4:11 TH400
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Available new....nope, nobody makes one.
Wieand Accelerator maybe if you can find a used one. Not a whole lot better power-wise than the Torker though.
With the right drop base air cleaner one of the Victor series should fit.
Thanks I'll check the Victors out.
 

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You should pretty much bet on rebuilding the stock short block.
Back to the important stuff. Are you planning on tearing this bottom end down, and carrying the pieces to a machine shop to be measured and refreshed?
Or maybe get the block machined, and install a new rotating assembly with some killer parts for more cubes, and good reliability?
Not saying getting your stock parts refurbed is bad, but costs add up quick at the machine shop when bringing old parts up to snuff.
 

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'72 Monte Carlo, 454 bbc, Sniper EFI and Hyperspark ignition, 4:11 TH400
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Back to the important stuff. Are you planning on tearing this bottom end down, and carrying the pieces to a machine shop to be measured and refreshed?
Or maybe get the block machined, and install a new rotating assembly with some killer parts for more cubes, and good reliability?
Not saying getting your stock parts refurbed is bad, but costs add up quick at the machine shop when bringing old parts up to snuff.
Planning to purchase whatever it takes to make the bottom end match up well to the top. But that's why I am here...to hopefully get help getting together a great plan for a very reliable 600hp. There is an engine builder/machine shop right down the road that has excellent reviews. I visited and was very impressed with his shop. I will get his advice as well but I need to do as much homework as possible to make sure he knows what he's doing. Anyhow, I probably would like to have the block bored and buy mostly new parts. Whaddya think?
 

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This guy seems to have the best deals going around.


Of course you will be working closely with your machine shop to get the final bore size on your block. Also the CiCi's in the combustion chamber of your cylinder heads are going to have a lot to do with the compression. There are many different variations of this kit. Many different piston choices oh, but this will give you a rough idea of all the new parts that are included. Others will definitelychime in and point you in the right direction.
 

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'72 Monte Carlo, 454 bbc, Sniper EFI and Hyperspark ignition, 4:11 TH400
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This guy seems to have the best deals going around.


Of course you will be working closely with your machine shop to get the final bore size on your block. Also the CiCi's in the combustion chamber of your cylinder heads are going to have a lot to do with the compression. There are many different variations of this kit. Many different piston choices oh, but this will give you a rough idea of all the new parts that are included. Others will definitelychime in and point you in the right direction.
Really appreciate the thoughts...
 

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I don't know if this will work for you or not, but there is another option. The 3963569 is a low profile dual plane rectangular port intake that will fit under the hood. Replicas of this intake are about 340 bucks. Running a rect on an oval head is not new, came factory on some marine big blocks. Seems to work. For the EFI you could maybe cut the divider down to make a poor man's single plane?
 

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'72 Monte Carlo, 454 bbc, Sniper EFI and Hyperspark ignition, 4:11 TH400
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Let's get back to the block...if it is in excellent condition, would you bore it or keep it stock?
 

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Only the Machine Shop can tell you if it needs to be bored or not. But, chances are it will need to be bored a little bit.
Also, I'm not super familiar with Big Blocks, but the deck surface will usually need to be trued up too.

You will want to find out exactly what the block needs before you order the rotating assembly kit.

Then, what I do is have that kit shipped directly to the machine shop so they can double-check all the clearances. I put mine together myself, but you could pay them a little extra to have them assemble it for you for an extra peace of mind.
When you choose the right cam to match your vehicle and heads, you will be ready to rock and roll!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Only the Machine Shop can tell you if it needs to be bored or not. But, chances are it will need to be bored a little bit.
Also, I'm not super familiar with Big Blocks, but the deck surface will usually need to be trued up too.

You will want to find out exactly what the block needs before you order the rotating assembly kit.

Then, what I do is have that kit shipped directly to the machine shop so they can double-check all the clearances. I put mine together myself, but you could pay them a little extra to have them assemble it for you for an extra peace of mind.
When you choose the right cam to match your vehicle and heads, you will be ready to rock and roll!
Awesome advice!

The TrickFlow top end kit comes with a cam that is perfectly match to the heads. Maybe I should be smart and decide on a cam as a last step? I've been waiting 7 months on this cam to arrive so I can still cancel it.
 

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Well some times a machine shop will have a few engines sitting around. They might not be exactly what you are looking for. But you never know unless you ask.

I am a firm believer in letting the previous guy dump cash into a engine and run it for 5000 or 20,000 miles before selling it to me for half or even a quarter of what it cost to build. Usually they decide to swap it for something better (LS) or you get the sob story of how they cant afford to drive it now that gas is $4.50 a gallon.

You need to be smart about inspecting things and learn/ask as much about what your actually buying. But it is better then finding you wiped a cam or did something wrong (where is that shop rag/bolt) along the way.

As for your hood. I would consider going down cutting into/fabricating the crossmember and modifying the oil pan. Really opens up your options as far as intakes go.
 

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If we are starting with a fresh piece of paper to build this? Start with oval port aluminum heads from AFR or profiler. Bolted to a 496 or better short block, vic jr oval port intake, 950 Holley HP or better, 2" long tube headers. Need the CR at 10.5:1. Then we will pick your roller cam,,,
Hydraulic roller can get you there
Solid roller can surpass that
 

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If we are starting with a fresh piece of paper to build this? Start with oval port aluminum heads from AFR or profiler. Bolted to a 496 or better short block, vic jr oval port intake, 950 Holley HP or better, 2" long tube headers. Need the CR at 10.5:1. Then we will pick your roller cam,,,
Hydraulic roller can get you there
Solid roller can surpass that
The Trick Flow 280's aren't that far off the AFR's.
He can definitely hit the 600hp target with them, especially if he is willing to do the stroker.

Could still do 600 hp with the stock 454 crank and rods, etc but the cost of refurbishing/remachining them for 600HP duty gets close to stroker kit price anyway....so smart move is to add the 40 more cubic inches
 
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