Blueprint engines has a 396 small block produce over 500hp and torque for about $5 grand.Heres the low down on why I asked about the top end kit.
I am in the middle of rebuilding my vette and it will not be a original restore but a do what I want restore. This is how I like to drive, cruising at highway speeds being able to pass someone without effort and the occasional burnout. Would like to get decent gas mileage kind of like a modern day automobile. I have a 350 that I dont know the history of. It runs very good burns no oil seems real tight with no rattles and seems to produce the rated 190 hp or so. I have weighed all my options and here are my thoughts but keep in mind that my vette will never see a drag strip or a road course and I am not into street racing. I could buy a crate engine and spend $6000 after all is installed. Do a LS swap and have a used engine and still spend $6000 after all is installed. Take my original engine check the short block for wear and if it is in good shape install a top end kit and still have a used engine for $4500. This would allow me to spend more on the rest of the car. These figures are ball park but would include fuel injection and a overdrive transmission. I am thinking in the 400 HP range would make me happy.
I have read and thought about this and any opinions from fellow members is greatly appreciated. I know there are members that have gone through the same dilemma and would do things differently if they had it to do over Thanks Mark:cheers:
Do what you WANT for the car. Don't try to rationalize saving money. We build these cars for our enjoyment, and any compromise we make will eventually be a waste of money.
Hey Marks, I was in the same position. I did not have the space or time to so a full rebuild. So I put on a new top end and cam and drive train. I plan on putting in a new engine later and can use all of these parts I put on the top. Here is the thread.
Time for my standard advice.
Rebuild a 400 with stock crank, forged pistons, moly rings, mild hydraulic cam, full balance job but can still be external. This is all stuff a competent local machine shop can be trusted with. You're not asking for anything more than a standard plow truck motor in the northern states. Pobably 1500-2000 depending and it's a quality shortblock you can trust for 50k+
The reason people go to crate motors is they don't trust the local guy with a boutique style engine. A small block chevy's biggest strength is it's not a boutique engine unless you're running a sprint car.
Buy larger but mild aftermarket heads like dart iron eagles, edelbrock performer RPMs etc. Look for volume around 190-200. Tailor your compression with head choice to enable cheap TRW flat-tops. Put a single plane intake and 50-75cfm more carb than a similar 350.
Don't spin it past 5500. It's gonna make an honest 360-400hp depending on cam, even with that RPM limit. And it's gonna have the torque production and flat power curve you expect from a modern motor. Use a mild gear, exploit the torque, try not to buy stock in tire companies.
This is the best engine nobody builds and will push a heavy, mild street car into high 12s without many sacrifices. I've dumped similar into stick and auto cars and lemme tell ya, there is no such thing as being in the wrong gear. If the track would let me I'd love to run a small trailer, as I don't think it'd affect et more than a tenth or two.
I think the notion of using stock 400 parts just doesn't sound cool enough. Most guys would rather watch my taillights disappear and be able to effectively bench race about their $950 crankshaft.
IMO if you're spending more than $3500 on a small block chevy it better go elevens. Because if it don't this 400 would've been a better choice. It exploits everything good about stock block SBC. Exceed this power level and you have to spend the extra. But at 400 streetable hp there is no need for parts that'll earn bragging rights. All you need is the largest displacement small block offered, and enough head to make it a performance motor.
Long post. I got an itch for 400s & speedy typin fingers
Am I correct in stating that 350 parts like heads and intake will not fit on a 400 block?:agree: I feel like I use this a lot with you.
I replaced my old tired 350 with a 405. I too love the 400s.
I found a '74 400, bored it +.020, and starting building.
Three plan changes later and I have a very unique engine.
405 (Roller retrofit.)
Aluminum Vortec Heads, 2.02/1.60, 190cc, 64cc Chambers.
Am I correct in stating that 350 parts like heads and intake will not fit on a 400 block?