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Old 09-29-2009, 06:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Any Tips for Building SBC 400?

I've got a 84 Jeep with a very mild SBC 350. I'm looking to swap on some 44" Boggers for mud racing and would like a little more displacement under the hood. I'm running full width 60/14 and a WB of 108". Some tips I've found (by doing a search) are:
1) the steam holes that need to be drilled if the aftermarket heads don't have them
2) max bore of .030 over due to the siamese bores
3) can use a 6" rod with custom pistons for a longer stroke.

Any reason not to use an iron head like Dart or World vs. an aluminum head? Any tips on building a 400 cu. in.?
Not really looking to stroke my 350 out to a 383 since the cost of a few more cubes is nominal.

Last edited by roadwarriorsvt; 09-29-2009 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 09-29-2009, 07:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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1st thing is ignore everybody who will tell you not to build it they are great engines just remember the steam hole issue thats the biggest thing you need to remember.
2nd Stay away from the 4 bolt main blocks weaker then the 2 bolt.
3rd keep a close eye on what head gasket you use I have heard that some gaskets are not big enough to be on the out side of the bore this may be just a myth but better safe than sorry like I said I have never seen it but when it comes to some of these parts coming from over seas anything is possible.
4th If you can get a copy of John Lingifelter book on modifying a small block Chevy great info on strengthening the block and goes into detail about dispelling the myths of over heating.


Hope this my help GOOD LUCK AND KEEP US POSTED
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Old 09-29-2009, 07:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I had a 406 long rod (30 over and 350 rods) it was a great motor. Never had any thing go wrong. Its now on the stand for more power there is never too much hp!!! Lol
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Old 09-29-2009, 07:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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the new dart shp shortblocks are very tough to match
I wouldnt bother with a 400 core now that dart is selling their shortblocks
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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yeh, make sure you sonic the block, last 400 i did took three blocks in, all were junk, finally the fourth one sonic checked o.k., still had to sleeve one hole.... they are great engines, just getting rare, i would seriously consider a dart short block set up..
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Throw some AFR 235 heads on it a 292 comp cam, bore .030, stud everything, a RPM air-gap intake and any decent 750 carb shound do, those are my 0.02. With those parts I would guess power to be around 400HP or maybe greater. I totally agree with the1208 SBC 400s are awesome motors, too bad their hard to find now a years. Happy Building.
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'll definitely check in to the Dart shortblocks vs. building one from scratch. Thanks for the tip on sonicing the block. Open to more info. Thanks.
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Did you check out the 400 you told me about?

Here's my 421 SBC that runs on propane with a Pro Shot NOS setup
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:16 AM   #9 (permalink)
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what is a long rod? 350 rods are the same 5.7" that the 400 are.
400 are a shorter rod then a 350, 5.56" off the top of my head but look it up
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Old 09-30-2009, 07:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
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1st thing is ignore everybody who will tell you not to build it they are great engines just remember the steam hole issue thats the biggest thing you need to remember.
2nd Stay away from the 4 bolt main blocks weaker then the 2 bolt.
3rd keep a close eye on what head gasket you use I have heard that some gaskets are not big enough to be on the out side of the bore this may be just a myth but better safe than sorry like I said I have never seen it but when it comes to some of these parts coming from over seas anything is possible.
4th If you can get a copy of John Lingifelter book on modifying a small block Chevy great info on strengthening the block and goes into detail about dispelling the myths of over heating.


Hope this my help GOOD LUCK AND KEEP US POSTED
i'm sorry, but i have to know. How is a 4 bolt main block weaker than a 2 bolt main block? Please elaborate.
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:38 AM   #11 (permalink)
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What are the rules in your class? Typically, any class around here that allows 44's is going to be dominated by 1,000+ HP full-race big-blocks. And none of 'em are going to be running 60/14 bolt combos in their 3,150lb rigs. Do you guys have some sort of "street" class for 44's?
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:41 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by roadwarriorsvt View Post
2) max bore of .030 over due to the siamese bores
Mine's .040 over


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Originally Posted by roadwarriorsvt View Post
3) can use a 6" rod with custom pistons for a longer stroke.
Increasing rod length doesn't change your stroke.
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:59 AM   #13 (permalink)
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what is a long rod? 350 rods are the same 5.7" that the 400 are.
OOOOOOOOOOOPPPPPPPPs...


400 rods are 5.565 centerline as opposed to the 350 5.7
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:11 PM   #14 (permalink)
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What are the rules in your class? Typically, any class around here that allows 44's is going to be dominated by 1,000+ HP full-race big-blocks. And none of 'em are going to be running 60/14 bolt combos in their 3,150lb rigs. Do you guys have some sort of "street" class for 44's?
Good question. The classes are determined by mainly by their engine combos, number of cyl., power adder, etc. Tires/lift are not factors. I know the 60/14 is a little heavy for a mud bog, but the rig was originally built for the rocks.

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Did you check out the 400 you told me about?
Going with a friend and a mic to check it out this weekend.

Last edited by roadwarriorsvt; 09-30-2009 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:19 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
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i'm sorry, but i have to know. How is a 4 bolt main block weaker than a 2 bolt main block? Please elaborate.
The 400 doesn't have enough meat in the main webs for factory 4 bolt, and given enough power/punishment the web will crack at the outer bolts. If your dead set on a 4 bolt use Milodon splayed caps.
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:03 PM   #16 (permalink)
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The 400 doesn't have enough meat in the main webs for factory 4 bolt, and given enough power/punishment the web will crack at the outer bolts. If your dead set on a 4 bolt use Milodon splayed caps.
The strongest oem 400 block will be a 2 bolt that is converted to 4
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:13 PM   #17 (permalink)
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The strongest oem 400 block will be a 2 bolt that is converted to 4
That's what I've learned thru the searching. Not sure I need that much beef for my application though. A stock 2 bolt will work for me.
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:16 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Mine's .040 over




Increasing rod length doesn't change your stroke.
It does decrease the operating angle of the crank/rod which helps transmit more usable torque and improves longevity. Only worth it in a full on race engine IMO.
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:31 PM   #19 (permalink)
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It does decrease the operating angle of the crank/rod which helps transmit more usable torque and improves longevity. Only worth it in a full on race engine IMO.
Agreed
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:32 PM   #20 (permalink)
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SBC tips....

Go bigblock and don't look back
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:32 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Good question. The classes are determined by mainly by their engine combos, number of cyl., power adder, etc. Tires/lift are not factors.
Odd
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:05 PM   #22 (permalink)
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The 400 doesn't have enough meat in the main webs for factory 4 bolt, and given enough power/punishment the web will crack at the outer bolts. If your dead set on a 4 bolt use Milodon splayed caps.
Well then, you learn something new every day.
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:28 PM   #23 (permalink)
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i would term it as decreasing piston thrust, which reduces friction, improving part life...

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It does decrease the operating angle of the
crank/rod which helps transmit more usable torque and improves longevity. Only worth it in a full on race engine IMO.
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:32 PM   #24 (permalink)
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i would term it as decreasing piston thrust, which reduces friction, improving part life...
Yeah, what he said.

Eveyone likes to use the word "thrust"

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Old 09-30-2009, 03:39 PM   #25 (permalink)
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The 400 doesn't have enough meat in the main webs for factory 4 bolt, and given enough power/punishment the web will crack at the outer bolts. If your dead set on a 4 bolt use Milodon splayed caps.
I sencond that, from experience.
Built a pretty healthy 406 a while back and it blew up,cracked at the main webbing. No good
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