400 Head question.. - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 10th, 00, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
 
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Location: Fairfield,CA
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I just bought a 4 bolt main 400 block for my wifes 69 Camaro..Don't boo me but I am not a Chevy guy .My question is do I have to run a specific cylinder head with this engine? I thought I had heard once upon a time you needed to run a certain head because of the steam passages in the 400 block!! If that is true what casting number head or what would I look for in that head? Next can I run a set of aftermarket heads instead,been looking a World Products stuff or maybe something better? Any suggestions are appreciated,thanks in advance for the advice and this is a great site!!!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 10th, 00, 04:42 PM
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You can run aftermarket heads. All you need to do is drill the steam hole in them. Use the 400 head gasket as a template, if you aren't sure ask your machinist. Good luck.

Steve R.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 10th, 00, 05:49 PM
 
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Drilling the steam holes into the head will allow you to use any 350 head. Just be sure that the holes are drilled at the proper angle into the water jacket. Lingenfelter's book on modifing Chevy small blocks has a great discussion for 400 head and block prep.

Joseph
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 10th, 00, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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Okay..sounds great...Know what do you guys recommend to do to make this a good streetable combo...I mean cams,pistons etc..I have the block and a new crank. What rod do you recommend the 5.565 or the 5.7 rod.What else do you recommend???
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 12th, 00, 05:30 PM
 
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The 5.7 rod works great.Pistons and cam will depend on what the car will be used for.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 12th, 00, 07:20 PM
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What is the car going to be used for? Is it a daily driver, cruiser, racer, is it going to be used for cross country driving? What gears and trans does it have. Without a hint as to use it is not easy to make suggestions.

Steve R.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 13th, 00, 07:22 AM
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400's are MEAN!!! I love em. For a good streetable combo, keep everything fairly small. Edelbrock 70cc performer heads will give about 11:1, stay away from early 64cc heads, way too much compression. Late model 76cc will give 9.5-1 or so. 650 CFM carb, high rise dual plane intake, mild cam ([email protected]/.450-.480, 110/112 LSA, will give you a 6000 rpm motor that will idle like a stocker and have a torque curve reminiscent of montana, high and flat as a board.



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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 13th, 00, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
 
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Okay some more info...The car will be used as a daily driver and as our car for the Power Tour(went 2 years ago and I must say it is awesome!!).I am looking for an engine to make pleanty of torque. If it would run mid 12's that would be nice also. The tranny is a TH350 for know but will be upgrading to a 700R4 when time allows..The rear is being replaced with a 3.73 9" Ford..I raced small blocks about 10+ years ago and then changed brands on the race car and am just getting back into this for her car. I am wondering if there are any new tricks out there for a small block.. I am building a 400 with either a 5.7" or 6" Rod and a set of Hypuertectic(SP?) pistons. All I have so far is a 400 4 bolt block and a STD/STD crank that has been polished and the oil holes chamfered. I am open to any ideas from there. Money is no real concern here,just want a bulletproof combo that is reliable as heck. I am more interested in piston,head amd cam type recommendations that people have used and that work..My machinist that does my race stuff is primarily an Outlaw Sprint Car engine builder and has given me many good ideas I am just fishing for some real world experiences here. You know what works and what does not. Thanks again for the help..
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 13th, 00, 10:30 AM
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In response to her69. Since money is not much of a prob i would call JEGS up and order myself a performer RPM setup. IE/heads, cam, lifters, intake and carb. They'll fix u right up. As for the rods I'd go with the 6.0's. They will give u a little more torque.# is 1-800-345-4545 or http://www.jegs.com/
Hope this helps,

71 Camairo
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 13th, 00, 11:33 AM
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I just assembled a 400 over the Christmas break that I'm really happy with. It's basically very close to the "Bad to the Bone" 406 that was featured in one of the mags last summer (do a search to find previous posts on it). I used Speed-O-Motive's Strong Arm kit which incl. a crank, hypereutectic pistons, 5.7" rods, rings and bearings. All good quality stuff.

I'm sure you could order a kit less the crank if you wanted. I specified dished pistons to go with Performer RPM 64cc heads - this gives you about 10-1 compression. This is generally OK with aluminum heads and it works just fine at higher altitudes like Denver. Also used the RPM intake and Edelbrock carb (still deciding between the 600 and 750). The cam is Comp Cams Extreme Energy 274 - 230/236 duration @ .050. Great power, vacuum for the brakes, and a slightly lumpy idle.

The magazine engine cranked out 425hp/450 ft-lbs of torque. Mine is probably pretty close to that - and I have been getting about 20 mpg on the freeway (if I keep my foot out of it and try for mileage). It's definitely got gobs of torque down low and it's a blast to drive.

Items to note: the 5.7 kit I got did not require any block or rod clearancing which I believe you will get into with 6" rods. Summit and several others recommended the CC cam(same as in the mag motor) over the Edelbrock. Be sure to check your block now for the proper starter bolt pattern and a threaded boss for the clutch linkage if you have a manual trans.

E-mail me with any questions you have.

------------------
Scott
'69 400SB, Richmond 5-speed; '99 HD Road King Classic
www.geocities.com/sdenning1
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 13th, 00, 07:48 PM
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I would look at an Isky Mega cam, either hydraulic or solid. These cams are ground on 108deg. lobe center. This will you more mid range torque, perfect for a long stoke engine, and provide a really lopey idle. I would stay away from the one size fits all cams such as the Edelbrock, besides their cams mirror those of 30 years ago. If you look at gross duration and that at .050 you will see that most name brand cams are much tighter, open quicker. This will give you more effective valve lift, thus more airflow. Good luck.

Steve R.
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