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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks,
I’m getting ready to start purchasing parts for either a 383 or a 400. I’m under the impression that I should by the block first. I’d like to go with a roller cam. What would be my best option in regards to the block ? I’m leaning towards the AFR 195 heads, and an internally balanced crank. I’d like to start buying parts for it but don’t want to buy incompatible parts.

Thanks,
Sean
 

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Pure American Muscle
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For the internal parts buy an engine kit. If it will only be a street engine you can get some really good parts for a decent price 700-1200$
Of course if you want high power then be ready to up the price tag.
Search the site for this it has been gone over many times.

The AFR's will work well with the 383 or 400 if you want more TQ for the 383 you can go with the 180cc heads.

If you want to use a roller cam then I would suggest you find a block that was a factory roller. It will make life much easier to put a new one in.

Can't make any cam choices till you know what you want out of the engine. If your not sure you can call comp. cams, crane, isky they will all help you. *The more you tell them the more they can help*


You can also get a new aftermarket block from world or dart.
For the 383 if you use a foactory block you will have to clearance the block to fit the crank.

Just a start here...

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #5
For now it will be going in a heavy old chevy pick up 4x4. It has 4.11 axles with detroit lockers. The 350 tranny was already rebuilt before I thought about doing the engine, or I would probably have went a different route.

From what i've been reading on different posts you head and crank can be used over on diffent builds. Theres a good chance down the line the engine will be put into a car. My thinking on the crank was go with an internaly balanced one so if I needed to put the motor in front of a manual trans it wouldn't much of an issue.

So in your guys opinion it would be better to get a block after 87 so it would already have a roller cam? I was unsure of this. I looked at a few websites that sold blocks (RPM, Gustaf) and it looks like they can make a pre 87 block able to do the roller cam also.
 

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Pure American Muscle
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It is true that an older block can have a roller cam however the kits to do so are MUCH more expensive. You need to add a spyder (keeps lifets in their bores) retofit lifters (with tie bars) and in some cases a diffrent timeing cover so the cam button won't push it out.

You can re use heads though you may want to port and polish them up if they are stockers.
A crank can be used too but if you are really upping the power of the engine it would bea good idea to go with a new cast or forged crank mainly because they are much stronger and the cast ones are within most price ranges (150-300) An int. balanced is the way to go if you buy a crank. Some places offer balanced kits that come ready (besides checking and cleaning) ready to install. (Eagle has these kits at summit or jegs)

With a heavy truck you will want as much TQ as you can get so you want to build the engine so that it makes lots of low end TQ. Even if you put it in a car later it will only make the car a real tire pealer and in most cases you won't run it to a high enough RPM where the top end power would be an issue.

Also keep in mind that when you get a block you will most likely have to bore it out to make the cyd. walls smooth and true. Normal rebuilds call for a 30 overbore (355 cid) So when you get it it would be a good idea to have a machine shop flux it and if all is well bore it over.
In order to make a 383 you must have the block bored at least 30 over. So when you get your kit for the 383 the pistons will be 30 over or if you had to bore further you can easily select 40 or 60 over pistons.
This is why most people build a 383 when rebuilding a 350 because they have to bore the block anyways and the price for a 355 kit and a 383 is so close that the gained grunt of the 383 makes up for it.

Hope this helps.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks for the replies guys....

What do you think the price difference between the two would be? I’ve been pricing it but I’m may be pricing apples to oranges…

For example RPM sells blocks. A regular SBC is 475 (2 bolt) or 525 ( 4 bolt). For a LT-1 block ( 2 bolt) it’s 625. Is the LT-1 block that accommodates the roller cam? The same site sells the roller lifters for 199.

Other questions about this subject… Heads.. Is there a price difference between the AFR heads for either engine?

My last consideration is I already have a set of Mickey Thompson aluminum valve covers and a edelbrock intake for the pre 87. Would having these components make up the difference in the engine.

I think the newer LT-1 engines are reverse cooled, I’ve been told this is a good thing. Do they need different water pumps?

Sorry for the scattered thoughts. I’d like to figure out which way I’m going so I can get the heads on order. I’ll worry about the actual cam specs when I reach that bridge.

Sean
 

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Go with a 4 bolt if you are going with the 350 and the two bolt if you are going with the 400. I have heard that 400 four bolts are not good because (and I may not have this exactly right) two of the bolts restrict water passages or something like that, again, I am not sure what the exact problem is. If you want more strength, you should splay the main caps on a 2 bolt. This is actually stronger than a stock 4 bolt. I would not go with the LT-1 block because from what I have seen the standard chevy heads are a better design than the LT-1 heads (which is what you would have to buy with an LT-1 block), I am not sure if there is any real difference between the two, that just seems to be a pattern that I have seen. If you went with a 400 with the 195cc heads or a 383 with the 180cc heads, the price is the same for the heads except that you will have to get steam holes drilled in the heads for the 400. If you are looking at a place that will give you good work and customer service for a reasonable price, I would consider Revolutionary Performance www.revolutionaryperformance.com I have done a little dealing with them, and they have been very helpful. Sorry for all the "i have heard"s and "I think"s, you should get a second opinion on the things that I was not sure about.

Adam
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm still a bit fuzzy on which blocks are roller cammed from the factory. If I found one of these blocks would I just reuse the lifters that are in it?

On the older style blocks is there any special machining that needs to be done to accept the roller cam?


thanks for the help and patience,
Sean
 
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