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If you get a deal on a shortblock you might be able to pick one up off ebay for like 1200 bucks or so (as long as you're confident in the machine work, mine was fine). Some decent aftermarket heads will cost you maybe 7-800. 3000 for the whole motor is probably a better low-ball estimate. Becasue then you've got cam, ignition, exhaust, carb, intake and gaskets etc.

K
 

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i bought a book from SA design, called "how to build Big inch small block chevy's" in the back of the book they have several "builds" one i'm making is a 400 "torque monster" making 427 hp at 5100 rpm with 525 ft.lb torque at 3500 rpm. its basically a stock lower end with 64 cc chamber vortec heads to get the compression up to 9.5:1 slap on an edelbrock airgap with holley 750. with 1.5:1 roller rockers, the cam grind is 230/230 @ 0.050, 0.455/0.455-inch,114' lobe seperation (flat tappet hydraulic) ignition is hei and has 1 5/8 headers and 2 1/2 exhaust. now this is engine dynoed now what you'll get at the wheels but still a pretty bad dude and i have less that 2,000.00$ invested counting the machine work( 30 over bored and crank polished). the book is a great source of info for anyone wanting to build large small blocks.

heres a link to it at amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Build-Big-Inc...ef=sr_1_2/102-6281568-1767340?ie=UTF8&s=books

was worth the 14.00 bucks to me.
 

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i bought a 400 sb for 500.00$ was stock everything roughly 75,000 miles on it. tore it down bored it 30 over. polished the crank. replaced the pistons with aftermarket oem slugs 100.00$. bought a set of gm vortecs off summit for 550.00$. performace products crossflow intake 160.00 bucks. hei distributor 200.00$. holley 750 remanifactured from summit 250.00. cam is lunati flat tappet hydralic 230/230 @ 0.050, 0.455/0.455-inch 114' lobe separation 125.00$, 1.5:1 rocker arms 53.00$, 1 5/8 headers (already had but cost about 150.00ish$) the build is from a book called "how to build big inch smallblocks" book is 14.00$ off amazon and worth every penny. it is one of the 7 complete builds they test in the back of the book. they dyno test each and this one makes 427 hp @ 5100 rpm and 525 ft/lb. torque at 3500 rpm. (machine work cost me 225.00$) so far the total cost of build is just over 2,300.00$ figure in a few odds and ends and you should still have one bad motor for less than 2500. i'm sure their are stonger motors and cheaper motors out there but this is the strongest cheap motor i have been able to find. kinda the best of both worlds.
 

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stewartcannon said:
i bought a 400 sb for 500.00$ was stock everything roughly 75,000 miles on it. tore it down bored it 30 over. polished the crank. replaced the pistons with aftermarket oem slugs 100.00$. bought a set of gm vortecs off summit for 550.00$. performace products crossflow intake 160.00 bucks. hei distributor 200.00$. holley 750 remanifactured from summit 250.00. cam is lunati flat tappet hydralic 230/230 @ 0.050, 0.455/0.455-inch 114' lobe separation 125.00$, 1.5:1 rocker arms 53.00$, 1 5/8 headers (already had but cost about 150.00ish$) the build is from a book called "how to build big inch smallblocks" book is 14.00$ off amazon and worth every penny. it is one of the 7 complete builds they test in the back of the book. they dyno test each and this one makes 427 hp @ 5100 rpm and 525 ft/lb. torque at 3500 rpm. (machine work cost me 225.00$) so far the total cost of build is just over 2,300.00$ figure in a few odds and ends and you should still have one bad motor for less than 2500. i'm sure their are stonger motors and cheaper motors out there but this is the strongest cheap motor i have been able to find. kinda the best of both worlds.
Thanks Stew, I'm inspired. Just picked up my first 400 sbc today!
 

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stewartcannon said:
i bought a 400 sb for 500.00$ was stock everything roughly 75,000 miles on it. tore it down bored it 30 over. polished the crank. replaced the pistons with aftermarket oem slugs 100.00$. bought a set of gm vortecs off summit for 550.00$. performace products crossflow intake 160.00 bucks. hei distributor 200.00$. holley 750 remanifactured from summit 250.00. cam is lunati flat tappet hydralic 230/230 @ 0.050, 0.455/0.455-inch 114' lobe separation 125.00$, 1.5:1 rocker arms 53.00$, 1 5/8 headers (already had but cost about 150.00ish$) the build is from a book called "how to build big inch smallblocks" book is 14.00$ off amazon and worth every penny. it is one of the 7 complete builds they test in the back of the book. they dyno test each and this one makes 427 hp @ 5100 rpm and 525 ft/lb. torque at 3500 rpm. (machine work cost me 225.00$) so far the total cost of build is just over 2,300.00$ figure in a few odds and ends and you should still have one bad motor for less than 2500. i'm sure their are stonger motors and cheaper motors out there but this is the strongest cheap motor i have been able to find. kinda the best of both worlds.

Thats cool that you were able to build one for that much, but you didn't pay to have any of the machine work done? Hot tank, align hone, cam bearings freeze plugs, rods etc?

K
 

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all it needed was a .030 over bore and the crank was in good shape so just need a polishing. this was lucky on my part. some will need the crank turned and will cost 75.00$ more than my polishing. as for hot tank i prefer just a good powerwasher and chemical paint remover. hot tanks always seam to rust the heck out of everything. wire brush on a gringer is another good option when compared to the "Dip tank". the rods i used were the original GM stockers. this motor builds all its HP below 5100 rpm no need for forged high dollar parts when your shift point is 5500 rpm, and only 9.5:1 compression = cheap gas. forged is nice but not always needed. still a cheap strong build any way ya look at it. remember 350's are nice but there is no replacement for displacement.
400 = more bang for the buck. and for the price 400 skinnies will run circles around a big block. (think their punching out smallies to around 454 cubes know anyways)
 

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brian12c said:
could I build a SBC that makes 400+ hp for around $2500? I have a block but I would need about everything else. would it be best to go with a 383 or 350? thanks BF

Starting with a running donor 5.7 Vortec engine, 400 could be done using the factory heads, without revving it to 6000+ and killing the low end power. :cool:

freshen it, deglaze and rering, valve job, cam kit, intake and carb, ignition recurve, and DUI coil. Many of the donor parts/bolts, water pump, etc could be reused.

Of course, if money is good, 383 with Engine Quest Vortec heads are better. :thumbup:
 
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