small block chevy drag car motor, budget competition
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small block chevy drag car motor, budget competition

  1. #1
    Senior Member Smallblocksperry's Avatar
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    Default small block chevy drag car motor, budget competition

    so my company is paying for us to build drag cars, i scored a 500$ 1962 studebaker and im putting a SBC/turbo 400 with 8" 5,000 stall converter, 12 bolt with 4.88 spooled, and a 29" slick, wanted to get some opinions for sbc combos, here are the rules
    no dome pistons
    no forced induction
    no roller cams
    factory cast iron heads only, modifications unlimited
    no strokers

    what factory heads are my best bet?
    definately solid flat tappet, any size recomendations?
    350 or 400 ci ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smallblocksperry View Post
    factory cast iron heads only, modifications unlimited
    no strokers

    what factory heads are my best bet?
    ?
    So you can run GM Iron heads, Bowties? No strokers but you can destroke? 3.48" stroke in a 400 block?
    Chris Straub
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    Loose Nut on the Wheel michaellone's Avatar
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    sb 400, vortec heads, forged crank and pistons, good set of rods, and fogger

    I would look at these heads as a good starting point:


    http://www.summitracing.com/parts/na...4445/overview/

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    SLOW MEMBER slowboy's Avatar
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    Ditch the turbo 400 and run a glide or a TH350. TH400's are quite heavy and take an absurd amount of power to turn. Try to keep your drive line efficiency good (light).

    As far as engine size, I would go with as much cubes as you can, although the 377 engine combos sure do run good and hard!
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    OEM heads are limited on runner volume. Using a shorter stroke will take some piston speed out of it, allow it to rpm higher, and be easier to hook.
    Chris Straub
    Straub Technologies

    3HP is an A$$ Whooping!!! JW

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    noob kingtal0n's Avatar
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    Is this engine for one-time use then take it apart? Or is this something that will be run repeatedly until it blows?

    If this is a one time thing then the build will be massively different. parts integrity will not matter. the build will be cheaper and more likely to fail but thats the point of "run once".


    On the other hand, I am thinking you want to keep what you build. You want it to last for as long as possible. Peak power and being the fastest is NOT the important thing here, then. Integrity and longevity, repeatable dependable performance is what you want, then here is my suggestions for the build:

    #1 and most importantly use the most displacement you can get. You didn't say that its against the rules to build a small block 454 cubic inch engine, I would go that direction if its allowed. If it takes something away from your peak rpm then some quick math of engine flow capability (cidxrpm/3456 = Cubic feet / minute of airflow) will decide whether the loss in RPM is worth the additional flow due to displacement. I can give some examples if you are needing help with that.

    #2 quality machine work is the winner for long block longevity. A good align bore with mains torqued to spec you will be using and then measured with a dial bore gauge with the bearings installed for instance. Use a deck plate torqued to the specification you will be using to get nice round cylinders. I am not an engine builder but I know from experience that one of those commonly overlooked aspects of building an engine is the quality control of machine work. I would run a vacuum pump and dry sump if it is allowable as well, and this plays into the machine work, such as piston ring selection and cylinder wall finish. These small % gains will add up in the long run.

    #3 I see OEM cast iron heads, and I am wondering if you can use ANY oem cast iron head. In other words, can you find the best flowing cast iron head in the world and port it the way they all get ported for maximum potential? Somebody that has ported the same exact head casting 500 times and knows exactly what to do with it to make the best flow happen- the right size valves, the right shape combustion chamber, as your engine will be seeing a high RPM continuously, you are more concerned with overall flow, least restriction, large ports, and less concerned with fuel puddling and port velocity and "fuel economy/drivability" type casting quality. Im NOT a head expert- but somebody out there has done this hundreds of times and its as easy as picking up a set of "finished" castings for the right price.

    #4 I agree that a Th350 would be less rotating mass and give you more to the wheels. But the TH400 if built right, can be truly bullet proof. If you are using nitrous to move from the line, (which I think is ridiculous they exclude blowers but not nitrous) and a trans-brake then the th400 would probably be a safer choice in the long run.

    #5 fuel quality limitations? Can you use "C16" leaded race fuel? if so, why not just use the smallest combustion chamber possible and jack the compression as high as you can get it without a dome. I am sure you know already, higher compression makes everything better- it just requires higher quality fuel. And then then I remembered the nitrous. I have never used nitrous before so I do not know if that is such a good idea, given that nitrous will certainly raise your cylinder pressure and you do not want a head gasket related failure due to compression ratio. It might be safer just to keep the compression lower (10:1), use a high quality fuel, and spray the nitrous all the way down the track, maybe a progressive shot to keep the nitrous out of the engine during peak torque as much as possible. Typically your highest cylinder pressure should be around peak torque (if ignition timing is right) and that would be the best spot to blow something up with or without nitrous.

    #6 The chassis itself should be as light as possible to give the best power/weight. probably an obvious fact, but take out the spare tire and replace some of those out-dated components with newer, stronger, lighter versions.

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    gn7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingtal0n View Post

    #1 and most importantly use the most displacement you can get. You didn't say that its against the rules to build a small block 454 cubic inch engine, I would go that direction if its allowed. .
    The "no strokers" shot right over your head didn't it.
    If you can built a 454 with a 3.75 crank on a SBC platform, I loved to read about it.



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    Last edited by gn7; 04-10-2013 at 10:51 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gn7 View Post
    The "no strokers" shot right over your head didn't it.
    If you can built a 454 with a 3.75 crank in a stock SBC block, I loved to read about it.
    Well, I wouldnt call a custom 454 small block using an aftermarket block a "stroker". Its more like a designer engine. It could easily be a 428, 476, 508, 457 if you catch my drift.

    besides, who is going to open it up and measure the crankshaft? Can't you dress a 454 sbc to look like a 327? Some ancient looking dusty old valve covers.
    With a dry sump standing by it would look pretty!!
    Last edited by kingtal0n; 04-10-2013 at 10:54 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingtal0n View Post
    Well, I wouldnt call a custom 454 small block using an aftermarket block a "stroker". Its more like a designer engine. It could easily be a 428, 476, 508, 457 if you catch my drift. who is going to open it up and measure the crankshaft and yell stroker? Can't you dress a 454 sbc to look like a 327?
    define stroker.

    Remember you will be boltiing stock heads to this block. What block would you use to built a 508 sbc.



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    Last edited by gn7; 04-10-2013 at 10:55 AM.

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    I would listen to Straub on this one, by the way I want a job were I get paid to build my drag car!

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    noob kingtal0n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gn7 View Post
    define stroker.
    In 1980's a stroker was for people that didnt have access to aftermarket forged crankshafts that wished to increase their displacement significantly, reliably if possible.

    things have changed since then. When choosing crankshafts these days, I doubt anyone is using a cast oem 3.75" from a 400 sbc to make their 383.

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    Remember you will be boltiing stock heads to this block. What block would you use to built a 508 sbc.
    A good question, I've never built anything over 383 cubic inches myself. No experience there. But I would say, any aftermarket block with fineprint that reads "may be used to give displacements as large as 508..." since thats what you asked for. If the bolt pattern is the same, and the engine builder knows about the head and block combination, then I do not see a problem. The trick is finding someone thats done it before. I should have this:

    #9
    use an existing combination if possible. Copy somebody elses build, cookie cutter it. That way, you get reliable, expected results. DO not go testing a new random combination of parts; everything has already been done for you, why reinvent the wheel.

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    gn7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingtal0n View Post
    In 1980's a stroker was for people that didnt have access to aftermarket forged crankshafts that wished to increase their displacement significantly, reliably if possible.

    things have changed since then. When choosing crankshafts these days, I doubt anyone is using a cast oem 3.75" from a 400 sbc to make their 383.
    If the largest crank GM makes for any SBC is 3.75, then any crank larger than that would be a stroker. A 3.75 crank in a 4,00 bore 350 block would be considered a 383 stroker.
    Give me the recipe for a 3.75 stroke 454 or 508 SBC that you can bolt stock chevy heads to the block



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    Quote Originally Posted by gn7 View Post
    If the largest crank GM makes for any SBC is 3.75, then any crank larger than that would be a stroker. A 3.75 crank in a 4,00 bore 350 block would be considered a 383 stroker.
    Give me the recipe for a 3.75 stroke 454 or 508 SBC that you can bolt stock chevy heads to the block
    thats a contradiction. You said anything larger than a 3.75" stroke would be a stroker. THEN you said a 3.75" stroke in a XXX engine IS a stroker. See what I mean about the terminology?

    The moral is to build the biggest engine. there was some talk of "destroking" the engine; I wanted to put that down right away. unless you goal is to spin ridiculous rpm, it just doesnt make sense to remove displacement. Thats ALL I am getting at.
    Last edited by kingtal0n; 04-10-2013 at 11:05 AM.

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