400 vs 350 - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 3rd, 04, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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68 vert came with the 400. Smokes a bit, but starts right up and compression is OK. As a first project, I'm thinking I should go with a 350 instead of the 400. Seems like there is more info on the 350 and the 400 has some quirks that I may not be up to dealing with. What do you guys think? Anyone in N. VA want to swap?
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 3rd, 04, 04:47 PM
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Lee
 
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The 400 is a good motor and since you have a running one then you have all the pieces to put it back together. They are different because they are balanced different than a 350 other than that they are pretty much the same. I believe they are externally balanced and require a flywheel made for 400's and since your car is running, you have all of that.

If you have a two bolt block then those are considered stronger than the 4 bolts.

I would rebuild it because 50 cubes are 50 cubes and that's horsepower/torque. Just get bored out .030 over to make a 406 and a real stout motor.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 3rd, 04, 05:16 PM
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Since you're talking 400 motor, I guess the car is a Pontiac?

Steve W
1968 Camaro Convertible
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 3rd, 04, 06:02 PM
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hmmm, ya, we talkin a camaro wit a (non-orignal) 400 SBC? or a bird?

Assuming a Camaro, by all means, do up dat 400, they run great. Lots of guys here runnin 400's or 383's, I'm sure they'll give ya all the help/advise you could wish for. 400sbc is a torque monster.





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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 3rd, 04, 09:07 PM
 
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Indeed, the 400 sbc is the way to go if this is really what you have on hand. Since your car is apparently equipped with the 400 out of the box, the rad will naturally be enough to cool the unit, which can sometimes be a problem when putting a 400 where a 350 used to be. I didn't think they started making the 400 sbc until the mid 70's though, so either your engine isn't stock, or you are perhaps referring to a Pontiac block?
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 04, 05:50 AM
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400 all the way! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

They are a little more expensive to build than a 350, but not much (especially depending how you build it) and make WAY more torque.

69 Camaro, 3650lbs., 400ci, TH400, Coan 10" converter, 3.50 gear
D1SC, pump gas, 9:1, 10 PSI, Water/Meth injection
1.325 60', 5.988 @ 115.4 (carb)
Switched to Super Sniper EFI 2019
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 04, 10:46 AM
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Go with the 400. Lots of torque is what you want and need.

68 Camaro~LSx ~all motor
1.54 60'--6.95 @ 98.45 660'--10.96 @ 121.53
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 04, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice. Car is a Camaro. As you guessed, it's not the original motor. VIN says it started life with a 6 cyl. I checked the numbers from the block and the heads and it's a 400. Don't know about the cooling system. Radiator has an outlet for the overflow bottle, but no bottle. Looks like it was thrown together to sell it. It's got a 2bbl and stock ex manifolds. Where do I look (other than inside) to check for 2 or 4 bolt? Other issues I won't go into here. I guess I'll keep it either way and rely on you guys to take me through it. I don't plan to build it too much, just enough to smoke the tires a bit. Thanks again.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 04, 02:42 PM
 
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I can try to lookup the casting number for you in this book I have beside me, just let me know what it is and I should be able to tell you the year of the block and whether it is 2 bolt or 4 bolt main (if you can spot the casting number that is).
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 04, 04:04 PM
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Hey Shredder, welcome to the club! I am just south of you in Richmond.

I agree, go with the 400... I would of if I could have afforded the extra $ at the time.

John

- '68 Chevy Camaro (sort of done, but always subject to improvement)
- '63 Pontiac Tempest (work in progress)
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 04, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Blocl is 3951511. Heads are 8973493. As I think about it, I seem to recall reading that the block isn't the best to have so it may be a 4 bolt. Heads are just average heads I think. Thanks
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 04, 06:12 PM
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4-bolt? Who cares! When we say that a 2 bolt is stronger than a 4, it's on the way of splitting hairs. It's gonna hold up, unless if maybe you're running lots-o-boost or nitrous. Build it and have fun! You wont regret it!

Matt Jones
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 04, 08:13 PM
 
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#3951511 is a 1970 - 1973 400 c.i.d. block, 4 bolt main, used in heavy duty trucks and passenger cars.

Don't worry, the 4 bolts will hold up just fine. David Vizard mentions nothing about 2-bolt mains being superior, and actually hints at the 4-bolt main blocks being stronger if the caps are in good shape. I for one doubt it matters at all, despite rumors that the 4-bolt caps tend to break. I have not seen this personally.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 04, 08:59 PM
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actually i've got a 511 block thats a 2 bolt, some were made, i belive they were replacements or something.
and even though vizard doesn't mention it, 2 bolt 400's are preferred in performance applications, and the best way is a 2 bolt drilled for splayed 4 bolt caps, but thats only if your looking at lots of horsepower ( over 500, and higher rpms imo) or nitrous. with the larger bore of the 400, the extra holes (drilled straight, as factory) just weaken the main web, since there isn't much meat left there with the 4.125 bore. you end up with the main caps moving around and flexing, with bearing failure not far behind. ask around with guys that build 400's a lot, like the 410 class sprint car guys and such.
but really, as silver69 says, the 4 bolt is just fine to certain horsepower levels, but if you start exceeding 450+, a 2 bolt with studs, or a splayed four bolt is the ticket with a stock block.
and oh yeah, there is no way i would consider anything but the 400, you will make more power with all else being the same, and the torque is awesome [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

Sean

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

Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.

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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 04, 12:10 AM
 
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Actually, yes, he (David Vizard) does metion here (in this book) that using 4 bolt caps on a drilled 2-bolt block will work. He seems to stay away from judging between 4-bolt, 2-bolt, and hybrid blocks, but he does make it quite clear that the 400 is his choice; in more sections of the book than one. Interesting how so many of us revere David Vizard as a teacher of sort, and no doubt we have all learned a lot from his wisdom. With this in mind, I feel it is safe to advise other to go out and buy some books by David Vizard. The books are undoubtedly of great help!
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