picking up a 400 soon. got a few questions. - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old Jan 5th, 09, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
Senior Tech
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: San Bernardino, CA
Posts: 1,082
picking up a 400 soon. got a few questions.

a friend of mine is moving soon and needs cash, so im picking up a standard bore 400 long block off of him. i never messed with a 400 before. i know there is a huge debate over the whole steam holes but that is where my question lies.

i want to throw some budget aluminum or iron heads on it, but i am unsure if i should risk having a machine shop drill the holes for me. is it necessary if i am using an upgraded cooling system?

also, the 400s come in a 2 or 4 bolt main correct? i have no idea what the casting numbers are but i was told the engine came out of a 72 chevy caprice. it has an unknown camshaft as well.

i guess i will give you guys more details when i pick it up. im kind of excited to build another gen I sbc.

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old Jan 5th, 09, 10:43 PM
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Sean
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: N.W. Washington
Posts: 7,964
Re: picking up a 400 soon. got a few questions.

You'll love the 400, it's an awesome little motor!
The one recomendation I can give is before you do any major machine work to the block have it thoroughly checked out, as with any factory block (thats 36 years old) they are subject to cracks etc.
The two bolt main blocks are stronger than the 4 bolts in 400 blocks, but thats not to say a 4 bolt won't hold up quite well, it depends on your power level. When selecting parts (such as heads) you want to lean on the slightly large side compared to say a 350 of the same build.
And, most importantly....... You do not need steam holes! (and let the debate begin ) Trust me, unless you are building a motor for a taxicab with a stock cooling system for use in Arizona, they are not necessary.
Good luck with it, you'll love it!

Sean

1968 rs with an old school 354" SB2.2 pump gas motor.

Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 09, 02:22 AM Thread Starter
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Re: picking up a 400 soon. got a few questions.

awesome. it will most likely end up between the fenders of my 68 skylark. i have a bunch of buick 455 stuff im going to unload in favor of the 400.

or i just might hold on to it for future builds.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 09, 06:21 PM
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Chet
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northern Ohio
Posts: 106
Re: picking up a 400 soon. got a few questions.

I do not have any steam holes in my heads, so far no problems. I have been told that you could get away with just the bottom holes that are drilled straight in and that would suffice, but I have not done that yet since I have no issues at this point.
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