400 sbc vs. LT1 (long) - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 22nd, 02, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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I am starting on my winter project. I have a 400 sbc in my garage and was planning to buy AFR195 heads, balanged rotating assembly with flat tops and 5.7 rods (havenīt decided from whom) and was aiming at 400-450 hp. I am hoping it will not cost more than 3000-3500 USD.

I know I have to upgrade my 10 bolt and the TH700R4 so it can take the torgue of the 400 sbc and that will ad to the cost. I know I have to let some money into that stuff because: It has 2.7x rear diff and a broken limited slip AND the TH700 dont hold on the car in Park so I think I have to have it rebuilt to.

Last friday my cousin was trying to convince me not to sink those money into it. That made me think of if there where cheaper ways to have a quick street car and perhaps an EFI.

If I will buy a LT1 and drop into the car I am sure it will not destroy the 10 bolt. It will not give me all this performance but perhaps it will be equal on the street (though the 400 should destroy it on the track). LT1 will get me more MPG.

The car is:

1986 Pontiac Firebird Transam,
305HO with carb, TH700R4, GM 10 bolt, I dont need to think about cats and emision stuff on that old car in my country (so I could put a big block into it if I wanted to), I use it daily over the summer time but I have other cars to use to so MPG is not so importand.

Can you tell me how much a LT1 with harness, computer and everything costs in USA?

It would be great if you could help me comparing those choses, building the 400 or swapping in a LT1.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 22nd, 02, 11:32 AM
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Location: Wilton, Ca. USA
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I really like the LT1's but the stock engine will not be the equal of that 400 on the street or track; two completely different engines. It will get better mileage and can certainly be built up in the future.

I'm not sure you can do the 400 you want for your budget though. The heads alone will be half your budget or more and you'll still need a lot of parts to finish the engine. Closer to $4500-$5000 would be my guess.

If you're firm on the budget I'm leaning towards the LT1, only because I don't think the 400 can be built for that amount unless you already have most of the parts.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 22nd, 02, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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Perhaps $3500 is not enough for the 400 but my budget is rather flexible.

The AFR 195 cost around 1250 USD from AFR, I was hoping I could get them cheaper from somebody like Jegs.

I have seen kits with cranks, rods and pistons for under $1000 for 350, I know it will be more expensive for the 400 but I was hoping it was not much different.

I have Holley 750 and the 400 block and lot of other stuff. Perhaps there is no need to bore, then I use the OEM pistons, crank and rods, but if I can get new rotating assembly for ~$1000, I will do that.

So I was hoping,
heads 1250,
pistons, crank and rods $1000
Camshaft and lifters $500
Work $500 (have a friend with professional shop)
Other $500
So that will be 3750-4000

I would like to know how much it would cost my to buy the LT1 (used of course), will I need to buy 4L60 (and then, how much is that) because of the PCI or can I use my TH700.

Is it perhaps best to use my 350 4 bolt block because I dont have to rebuild the bottom of it?

I know those are many questions and there is not ONE true answear but I would like to get your point of view


P.s. please excuse my spelling and grammar, I am not from the USA and dont have a spell checker
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 22nd, 02, 06:07 PM
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www.strokermotor.com sells AFR heads a little cheaper than direct from AFR. Good luck with the buildup, whichever way you go.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 22nd, 02, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 22nd, 02, 11:15 PM
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Location: Leroy, Ohio, USA
Posts: 54
If you don't mind rebuilding a high mile motor you can find LT1's complete with trans computer harness and accesories for around $1500. Actualy, I just sold one I had laying around for that amount(99,000 miles). You can find a decent milage Corvette (4 bolt main) engine trany combo for around $2500. They are on ebay all the time. Hope this helps.

95 6 speed Trans Am
69 X22 D80 w/TT LS1 Terrorizing the streets of N.E. Ohio....in a year or two.........mabey
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 02, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
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Is it wise to buy an engine of ebay? Isnīt there a big change I will get robed?

I havenīt purchased anything from them, perhaps it is ok.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 02, 11:15 AM
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Don't apologize for your English, you speak better english than alot of Americans.

As for the engine choice, EFI conversions go way beyond buying the engine. I installed an EFI BB in my 69 Camaro, and ended up spending a fortune plumbing the fuel system. $200 for a fuel tank sump, $300 for a high pressure pump, $140 for a pusher pump, and who knows how much for the fittings.

In an 86 you have the benifit of factory installed EFI as an option, so you'll probably only need a pump, but be prepared for the gotchas that will come up.

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