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building a 400 sbc

  
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building a 400 sbc

 
kylekamikaze19 kylekamikaze19
I love my Chevy Chevette! | Posts: 6 | Joined: 12/12
Posted: 12/10/12
11:51 AM

I recently got my hands on a 400 sbc that was rebuilt about 10k ago. looking to change out the heads and cam and looking for other advice on what i should do with it. I havent got to tear it down yet but looking to keep the bottom end thats in it. It is a 2 bolt main block and i am going to use the arp stud kit on the main caps. mostly looking for suggestions on cam and heads. was looking at the dart shp 2.02/1.60, 200cc intake, 64cc chambers? I am on a bit of a budget so looking for the most bang for my buck and any help with a cam to match would be great. Thanks  

68scott385 68scott385
I have an SS396 tatoo | Posts: 325 | Joined: 07/09
Posted: 12/10/12
12:31 PM

An engine, any engine, is an airpump. Any improvement on the flow of air through an engine will help it make more power.

Modern heads are always a good improvement for the money spent. Match the cam & intake to the heads and smiles will follow. Don't forget exhaust airflow, headers help as much as an intake manifold.

What kind of vehicle are you going to put this in and then what do you expect that vehicle to do?  
68scott385 68scott385 68scott385

kylekamikaze19 kylekamikaze19
I love my Chevy Chevette! | Posts: 6 | Joined: 12/12
Posted: 12/10/12
12:45 PM

its going in an 89 chevy fullsize pickup, it has dual exhaust and i'll definitely get a good set of shorty headers. i also have an edelbrock performer rpm intake for it as well. the vehicle is just a nice little summer cruiser that will hit the track from time to time, if its reliable and over 350 hp i'll be happy. i know to get the steam holes drilled in the after market heads and i'll get some port and polish work done as well while they're there.  

kylekamikaze19 kylekamikaze19
I love my Chevy Chevette! | Posts: 6 | Joined: 12/12
Posted: 12/10/12
03:43 PM

this is my first real engine build so im definitely looking to get it right the first time so any advice is good advice to me  

JTH55 JTH55
I love my Chevy Chevette! | Posts: 6 | Joined: 12/12
Posted: 12/10/12
06:02 PM

Hey kyle good score on 400 if your on a tite budget then the cheap route is to go with a set of vortec heads "425.dollars" and a 280 cam it makes tremendous lowend torke  supposedly about 525 ft.lbs that is a whole lot of fun on the street with out breaking the bank.  

kylekamikaze19 kylekamikaze19
I love my Chevy Chevette! | Posts: 6 | Joined: 12/12
Posted: 12/10/12
07:56 PM

ya ive heard alot of good things with the 400's being torque monsters, im pretty excited to get this thing together. ive heard aluminum heads are more the way to go with helping disipate heat as these motors seem to be very common with overheating, i'll do anything to help keep this thing cool  

redneckjoe69 redneckjoe69
Everything in my driveway’s a Chevy | Posts: 612 | Joined: 02/10
Posted: 12/11/12
02:34 AM

youll need hardened pushrods to go with the guideplates on those heads.   id get a set of headbolts designed for your aftermarket heads too.   make sure to use some kind of anti-seize wherever you put a bolt into aluminum.

  i disagree about using a 280 cam,...from experience.   i used a 280 cam in a full size, 93 gmc truck.  it had an aftermarket stall and 3.73 gears.   the motor felt lazy til around 3,000RPM, then came to life.   id keep the cam selection around 262-268.  

  what pistons are you running?   some flat-tops would be nice with the heads you mentioned.

  what tranny and rear gears do you have?  

kylekamikaze19 kylekamikaze19
I love my Chevy Chevette! | Posts: 6 | Joined: 12/12
Posted: 12/11/12
07:22 AM

For now it still has the 700R4 in it and putting in a 2,500 stall, has the 454 SS rearend in it so its a 14 bolt 9.5" ring gear with 4.10 gears. The guy I bought the motor from tells me it has flat top pistons in it but I'm not 100% sure yet since haven't had time to pull the heads off yet  

pepsi1 pepsi1
Big Block power for the win | Posts: 940 | Joined: 03/11
Posted: 12/11/12
06:18 PM

kylekamikaze19

If the 400 hasn't been installed in the truck yet. You said it has 2 bolt and has studs for the mains.
Just a little FYI. Pull the pan and recheck all the main bearings. If the block was not line bored after the studs were installed (Especially if cheap studs were used) the main caps will not seat correctley in the block. You will see scuffing and on the edge the bearing or bearings. They will have the highest wear. Even at 10K miles. Nows the time to check them.

Bob  

kylekamikaze19 kylekamikaze19
I love my Chevy Chevette! | Posts: 6 | Joined: 12/12
Posted: 12/11/12
06:34 PM

thanks for the info, i'll definitely check that out. im not sure if they have been installed yet or not but im definitely getting them installed if they arent. do you think the dart shp's are a good way to go with this motor?

was thinking about the SK12-212-2 for a cam? any thoughts?  

JTH55 JTH55
I love my Chevy Chevette! | Posts: 6 | Joined: 12/12
Posted: 12/11/12
06:42 PM

Just wondering redneckjoe69 what Cid.the motor was that the 280 cam was sluggish in till 3000 rpm the 406 iam currently running
Is a beast off idle.those. 406's with the longer stroke tame a cam down for sure.

                           
   

_  

redneckjoe69 redneckjoe69
Everything in my driveway’s a Chevy | Posts: 612 | Joined: 02/10
Posted: 12/12/12
01:48 AM

Icon QuoteJTH55:
Just wondering redneckjoe69 what Cid.the motor was that the 280 cam was sluggish in till 3000 rpm the 406 iam currently running
Is a beast off idle.those. 406's with the longer stroke tame a cam down for sure.

                           
   

_


it was a 350 with flat-tops and 65cc heads, headers, geardrive, roller rockers, etc.    im not saying it didnt run or sound good,...just coughed up alot of bottom end power with the 280 cam.   ran like a scalded dog above 3,000RPM.   im just giving my opinion, nothing is etched in stone.  

redneckjoe69 redneckjoe69
Everything in my driveway’s a Chevy | Posts: 612 | Joined: 02/10
Posted: 12/12/12
01:59 AM

Icon Quotekylekamikaze19:
thanks for the info, i'll definitely check that out. im not sure if they have been installed yet or not but im definitely getting them installed if they arent. do you think the dart shp's are a good way to go with this motor?

was thinking about the SK12-212-2 for a cam? any thoughts?


yep, thats the same cam specs i ran with poor results in my truck.   maybe youll have more luck with the 400 and 4:10 gears?    

  the SHPs seem like a good deal.   ive been considering a set myself.  

JTH55 JTH55
I love my Chevy Chevette! | Posts: 6 | Joined: 12/12
Posted: 12/12/12
07:03 PM

Redneck 69.           No I hear what u are saying.just was thinking how differently those 280 cam's sound and perform in smaller cube motors as opposed to a 406. That is a totally different animal in a 327.  

pepsi1 pepsi1
Big Block power for the win | Posts: 940 | Joined: 03/11
Posted: 12/12/12
08:52 PM

Icon Quotekylekamikaze19:
thanks for the info, i'll definitely check that out. im not sure if they have been installed yet or not but im definitely getting them installed if they arent. do you think the dart shp's are a good way to go with this motor?

was thinking about the SK12-212-2 for a cam? any thoughts?


There is NO reason to install Main Studs on a Small Block Chevy. If you do install them you will need to line bore the engine. Thats an added expense. Grin  Cool

Bob  

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