400 build - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old Jan 1st, 09, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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RJ
 
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400 build

Hi guys,
just picked up a 400 cubic inch bare block for $50. Interested in putting it together for my 69. Looking for good solid info on where to go with this project, or if it is even worth it. Don't know much about the 400's. What's the biggest c.i. you can get out of one, thought it was something like 434.
I have a Vic Jr lying around and have 195cc aluminum heads, 1.5 roller rockers, Quick-Fuel 750 dp, 1 5/8 headers, MSD 6AL and Pro-billet mech advance dist. on my present 350 which currently runs 12.50s. It is a 4-speed car. Would like good suggestions on an engine combo that would be "streetable", but haul ***, so to speak on pump gas. Depending on you guy's recommendations, would like to use the above mentioned parts on the 400 build to save some cash. I would then have to buy the rotating assembly.
What horsepower might I be able to achieve with a combo such as this, and considering it's a 4-speed car and I could get the power to the ground, what might be a reasonable expectation for drag strip ET.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions. You guys rock.

RJ
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old Jan 1st, 09, 04:20 PM
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Re: 400 build

Look at my very streetable 406. 475 HP @ 5800 /495# @ 4400
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old Jan 1st, 09, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 400 build

I'm already running 12.64 as it is now with my 360", seems like yours should be better than what you said.
Thanks
RJ
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old Jan 1st, 09, 05:13 PM
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Re: 400 build

I think 421" is it for a GM 400 block ?
2 bolt mains are said to be stronger than 4 (unless splayed)
Mine is a 2 bolt and been 7000 a few times.
My old combo was 10.2:1 (I think), 280H CompCam, 200cc heads, and with a 3000 stall,3.73's it went 12.3's @ 110 (better air could have been 12.0's ???
Have a solid roller now with not much dial-in time so not sure what it will run... hope to find out this spring/summer. Not something I would drive daily.

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1.54 60'--6.95 @ 98.45 660'--10.96 @ 121.53
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old Jan 1st, 09, 05:59 PM
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Re: 400 build

Quote:
Originally Posted by DOUG G View Post
I think 421" is it for a GM 400 block ?
2 bolt mains are said to be stronger than 4 (unless splayed)
Mine is a 2 bolt and been 7000 a few times.
My old combo was 10.2:1 (I think), 280H CompCam, 200cc heads, and with a 3000 stall,3.73's it went 12.3's @ 110 (better air could have been 12.0's ???
Have a solid roller now with not much dial-in time so not sure what it will run... hope to find out this spring/summer. Not something I would drive daily.
421 is a easy combo witht the GM block, a lot of guys even make 434,s out of them. Even with the 3.875 stroke crank for the 421, it involves quite a bit of grinding at the bottom of the bores and pan rail, it kinda depends on whos rod you use.
My old 421 S/C engine has Carrilloo Rods and a cola 4340 crank, splayed caps etc. Not that hard to build, and I did not use a small base circle cam FWIW.
I think that the "509" casting is the desirable 400 block.

2002 Jerry Bickle Cavalier, 446" Small Block, Brodix Canted Valve, lenco 5 speed, 7.54 @ 180. mph,1.06 60', 2235 lbs for 2014. GM Canada Docs, Highly Optioned 69 RSZ28 , Hugger Orange, White Stripes, 42,000 mile survivor, owned since 1973.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old Jan 1st, 09, 06:23 PM
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Re: 400 build

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJBaileyrn View Post
I'm already running 12.64 as it is now with my 360", seems like yours should be better than what you said.
Thanks
RJ
The times listed are running on street tires......no drag radials. My avg 60' times have been 2.20's.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old Jan 1st, 09, 06:42 PM
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Greg
 
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Re: 400 build

I recommend sticking to a 406 which is stock stroke and a 30 over bore. There are lots of ways to go depending on budget. My first build used an engine rebuild kit from summit with forged pistons but a stock crank and rods. The stock crank and rods never failed but I kept RPMs to about 6,000 and HP was about 430. For the next build I went with an Eagle forged crank and 6" H beam rods.

To go fast with a 400 you only really need 2 things engine wise, good flowing heads and a roller cam. Throw those on it and you will be knocking on 500 HP.

The bigger thing is getting the power to the ground. They are torque monsters which ca lead to some serious traction issues. I could offer advice if you had a slush box but am no good with stick cars!

69 Camaro, 3650lbs., 400ci, TH400, Coan 10" converter, 3.50 gear
D1SC, pump gas, street car, Water/Meth injection
1.302 60', 5.956 @ 116.4 Super Sniper EFI 2019
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old Jan 1st, 09, 07:13 PM
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Joe
 
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Re: 400 build

I am toying with the 400+ sbc idea. I don't want the most expensive build. Will it stay together at 6000rpms with just a balance and some eagle rods and forged pistons? Can we go 6000 with the cast crank? I have run cast cranks in a 350 at 7000. Anybody who's tried it, feel free to pitch in.

Last edited by OK69; Jan 1st, 09 at 08:36 PM.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old Jan 1st, 09, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 400 build

Thanks for all the good info guys. i really wanna do something with this 400 block. My buddy is picking it up for me if he thinks it's ok, so I havent seen it yet myself. Would like the bigger inch build, but have no idea what machining would run me cost wise. would like it to run in the 11's for sure. Like the idea of it making alot of torque. Keep the suggestions coming.
RJ
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old Jan 1st, 09, 09:46 PM
Bruce
 
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Re: 400 build

Why not destroke it with a 327 crank and make it scream! I just looked up a old magazine article from 1980 and a guy did this combination with ported Turbo heads, 12.5 pistons, roller rockers, .612 roller cam and a tunnel ram and was making close to 600hp. With a 4spd and 5.38 gears, launching at 8000 and shifting at 8200 on 11.5x28.5 slicks ran 10.62 through mufflers. Car was street driven.


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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old Jan 1st, 09, 10:29 PM
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Re: 400 build

RJ...my old set up ran great and was super streetable. Best pass was 11.8's at 115 with 0 tuning. Sucker got 15 mpg to boot! You already have most of the parts!

408
9.8 to 1
AFR 195's...old style
RPM air gap....1" open spacer
Comp XS274S solid flat.....236/242...534/544...110 lsa..(1.6's)
1 5/8" longtubes
2.5" exhaust
3.50 gear
26" MT DR's

69 Camaro
491/AFR 315'S/Straub hyd roller
TH400/GV OD
9" 3.50
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old Jan 1st, 09, 10:39 PM
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Joe
 
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Re: 400 build

Quote:
Originally Posted by killintime View Post
Why not destroke it with a 327 crank and make it scream! I just looked up a old magazine article from 1980 and a guy did this combination with ported Turbo heads, 12.5 pistons, roller rockers, .612 roller cam and a tunnel ram and was making close to 600hp. With a 4spd and 5.38 gears, launching at 8000 and shifting at 8200 on 11.5x28.5 slicks ran 10.62 through mufflers. Car was street driven.


Now you got me thinking! My book says thats a 348 in std. bore. What balancer would you use, and would it be balanced like a 327, or a 400?
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old Jan 1st, 09, 11:04 PM
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Re: 400 build

i say stay w/ the 350 block u can stroke it out like 383 or 391 u can get the same tork save some money u already got money in the 350 something to think about,
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old Jan 1st, 09, 11:06 PM
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Michael Gekko
 
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Re: 400 build

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJBaileyrn View Post
Hi guys,
just picked up a 400 cubic inch bare block for $50. Interested in putting it together for my 69. Looking for good solid info on where to go with this project, or if it is even worth it. Don't know much about the 400's. What's the biggest c.i. you can get out of one, thought it was something like 434.
I have a Vic Jr lying around and have 195cc aluminum heads, 1.5 roller rockers, Quick-Fuel 750 dp, 1 5/8 headers, MSD 6AL and Pro-billet mech advance dist. on my present 350 which currently runs 12.50s. It is a 4-speed car. Would like good suggestions on an engine combo that would be "streetable", but haul ***, so to speak on pump gas. Depending on you guy's recommendations, would like to use the above mentioned parts on the 400 build to save some cash. I would then have to buy the rotating assembly.
What horsepower might I be able to achieve with a combo such as this, and considering it's a 4-speed car and I could get the power to the ground, what might be a reasonable expectation for drag strip ET.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions. You guys rock.

RJ

If you build a 400 factory production block take it to a race engine builder so they can look it over good. Some aren't good candidates for HP. Notorious for cylinder sealing problems and cracking in the lifter valley/cylinder wall area. I have a 434 in the shop now, will have it in a month or so. When it was a 406 it made 548 HP on the engine dyno on pump gas. It has a vic jr intake, 850 DP carb,solid flat tappet lifters/cam (256 [email protected] 50 thou lift) and Dart 215 iron eagles. I got a little worried about using a stock cast crank and 'pink' 5.7 rods and hyperuetectic pistons so I bought a Scat crank and rods(6 inch) with JE pistons. The cost of clearancing the block for a bigger stroke was only 125 bucks, the parts were the same cost as 3.75 stroke stuff so I went with the stroker set up. I think it will dyno this time around 600 on pump gas. It has a Pete jackson gear drive too.

My car is all steel 68 camaro, 410 gear, 3500 converter in a THM350, 1.75 headers, 3 inch exhaust, full interior, hoosier Quick Time Pros and went a best of 10.92 @ 122. the cam is a little rowdy but I drove it on the street without any problems.

I think you can go a little bigger than 434, but then you have to run more hard core race stuff like a small base circle cam, and the clearancing of the block might hit water. To optimize your larger CID you would be well served to get some bigger heads, carb, and headers. But even if you use what you have now the torque will certainly improve even if HP doesn't increase much. 454 CID and even 460 is attainable in small block form, but I think only aftermarket blocks can pull that off (472" even!)

The factory 400 cranks weren't real strong, and the rods were terrible. The rods were also 5.5 inches which makes a terrible rod to stroke ratio.....ends up side loading the pistons and wearing out the cylinders much quicker than if you use a '350' rod (5.7") or even better, a 6.0" rod.

All things being equal a larger engine will make more power than a smaller engine. There is no replacement for displacement!

1968 Camaro NHRA/IHRA SS/C 'Super Stocker' 396/Jerico
1968 Street/Strip Camaro 350 w/PG
1968 Caprice NHRA/IHRA Stock ELiminator O/SA 327-250 HP



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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old Jan 2nd, 09, 07:48 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 400 build

Thanks much for the details on your car. That's what I'm ;looking for. I do love big inch big blocks, but wanna stick with the small block in this car. I would like to go the 434 route if possible, but really wanted to swap over my 197 aluminum heads, Vic Jr, keep the MSD stuff, run the slicks I have with the 4.10 gear, all of that to keep costs down, but maybe with the bigger build and more radical solid roller cam, those heads wouldn't be big enough.
With either block, I plan to go with stroker setup, so if I kept my current 350, my 197 headds would probably be OK for now. They are JEGS (Canfield) heads, and while I like their performance, they have some issues in quality I think.
If I went to 406, 421, 0r 434, would that make my 197 heads senseless to use? Guess i could sell them and use that money toward bigger ones.
Well, I'll quit rambling now haha. Any other opinions welcome. Thanks guys
RJ
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