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I bought a 1978 trans am with the 400ci pontiac engine. The engine had water in it so i decided to pull it. I found that the rotating assembly is all stock; stock cylinder bore and stock bearing sizes. Its all in very good condition. The car has been sitting for years and it has low miles. So with this in mind, I would like to save the money of buying new pistons and having the block bored. The heads im running are 110cc with 2.11 intake valves and I believe the engine ran in the low 8's for compression, im not sure though. I would like some advice on what I should run for a cam, carb, and exhaust system, rear end gears, and ingnition system for a really fast street car with out changing the heads, and maybe a suggestion of a good set of pistons that would work well with my heads. The engine already came with an edelbrock performer intake and large tube full length headers. I will be running a 4 speed tranny and a 3.23 gears for now in a posi 10 bolt rear end. Let me know if i would need a high performance clutch, or different gears, or if balancing of the rotating assembly is really needed. Some suggestions would be really helpful. Thanks.
 

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First of all, you got the wrong year models to try to hop up without new heads. 110cc is really too large for having good compression. You need something like 75cc - 85cc. One thing you can do is have the heads milled to take some chamber out. A good professional machine shop can do this without causeing problems, have them port the heads while you have it apart. I suggest not going over 450 hp if you plan on making this a performance daily driver, my 600hp 351W is hard to drive every day. A good shop can build you a 450hp motor from a 400ci displacement for about the same as a stock rebuild, except for the machining on the heads and any on the block. Call Crane cams or Comp cams for suggestions on what cam you will need. Be honest with them or else you are going to get one too radical for what you need. You don't need the lift of an 800hp racer motor if you are going to street drive. Cam also depends on what transmission you have. You need one less radical for automatics, and can get by with one a little bit higher lift with sticks. As far as pistons and con-rods. Only go forged if you want to spend big bucks on highest quality parts and want more than 125hp Nitrous or more than 6-8psi boost. Don't pay more for what you don't need. Hypeuretetics are good for 400-450 hp motors but not much more. You can increase compression by having domed pistons too. Stick with stock or aftermarket stock replacement valvetrain. Like I said before, don't get crazy with forged rockers and titanium valves and pushrods used for racing if you are going to drive on the street primarily. This is all good basic advice but you need to get on the phone with a good machine shop and/or engine builder (not one of these jerk-leg cheap reman places) and the people over there should be able to help you out alot, most of the times they will give somewhat of a warranty too.

[ May 12, 2002: Message edited by: blown69stang ]</p>
 
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