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Old April 16th, 2013, 11:50 AM   #1
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Default 400 sbc build

Any recommendations on what makes a good build point for a 400 sbc?

Tore mine apart yesterday. Would like to go with different heads (currently 993 heads). Compression seemed pretty high?

More looking for what makes a good cam for these motors for low end too, this is a trail truck. Good target for compression?

Besides replacing the consumables, the intended list is carb, fuel pump, crank, heads, maybe cam, maybe others depending on what I can come across and what makes sense.
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Old April 17th, 2013, 07:32 PM   #2
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Trying to gather more info. I really want reliability, and torque and power at lower rpm. This truck doesn't need to see anything over 5000 rpm.

Most things I see are for high hp applications and higher budget/builds for going fast.

Anything you guys can enlighten me on would help me out a lot.

Block should hopefully go in to the shop for initial stuff next week... hot tank, and checked for deck, bores, cracks, etc.
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Old April 17th, 2013, 08:35 PM   #3
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The simple fact is those heads are junk. You can port them out but at the end of the day it is a waste of time.
You can toss on some vortec heads, a rv cam, a torqued intake, and make torque around 400 lbs around 3800rpm if you are dead set on keeping the sb400.
Or you could save yourself some cash and buy a used BUILT 383 or 454 with low mileage. The things are everywhere if you look hard enough and a good one can be found for less then 3k. Depending on how much of the work you do yourself you may be able to stay under 2k. But for 3k you can have a running motor completely built that will make close to(383) or more torque(454) then a "built" 400 will for less money. These are general terms. If you like the 400 and don't mind spending the extra cash build it.


This guy has had this truck for sale for a while. I was tempted to buy it for the 468/465 alone before I stumbled onto a 472.

http://www.greatlakes4x4.com/showthr...ight=468+truck
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Old April 17th, 2013, 08:43 PM   #4
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The simple fact is those heads are junk. You can port them out but at the end of the day it is a waste of time.
You can toss on some vortec heads, a rv cam, a torqued intake, and make torque around 400 lbs around 3800rpm if you are dead set on keeping the sb400.
Or you could save yourself some cash and buy a used BUILT 383 or 454 with low mileage. The things are everywhere if you look hard enough and a good one can be found for less then 3k. Depending on how much of the work you do yourself you may be able to stay under 2k. But for 3k you can have a running motor completely built that will make close to(383) or more torque(454) then a "built" 400 will for less money. These are general terms. If you like the 400 and don't mind spending the extra cash build it.


This guy has had this truck for sale for a while. I was tempted to buy it for the 468/465 alone before I stumbled onto a 472.

http://www.greatlakes4x4.com/showthr...ight=468+truck
I have a buddy that wants to sell me his 600+ hp 383 for 3k, but I want to see what I price out since I'd still need some things for the 383 that I would need for the 400 anyways.

I was looking at either double hump or vortec, just trying to figure out good options.

I do like the 400, it's a little uncommon so I do like having it. I've been wanting to learn to build a motor, so that has been biasing me towards keeping the motor with the truck.

The other route is to hide away the 400 to convert to a 377 for a future 2wd project...
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Old April 17th, 2013, 08:45 PM   #5
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I really want reliability, and torque and power at lower rpm.
If you want the above mentioned things I would just get a nice used 6.0.
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Old April 17th, 2013, 09:19 PM   #6
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If you want the above mentioned things I would just get a nice used 6.0.
Isn't the stand alone harness and computer more than the price of a rebuild?

And why does it say your post is from before the internet was invented? Or is my tapatalk acting up
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Old April 17th, 2013, 09:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cerial View Post
The simple fact is those heads are junk. You can port them out but at the end of the day it is a waste of time.
You can toss on some vortec heads, a rv cam, a torqued intake, and make torque around 400 lbs around 3800rpm if you are dead set on keeping the sb400.
Or you could save yourself some cash and buy a used BUILT 383 or 454 with low mileage. The things are everywhere if you look hard enough and a good one can be found for less then 3k. Depending on how much of the work you do yourself you may be able to stay under 2k. But for 3k you can have a running motor completely built that will make close to(383) or more torque(454) then a "built" 400 will for less money. These are general terms. If you like the 400 and don't mind spending the extra cash build it.


This guy has had this truck for sale for a while. I was tempted to buy it for the 468/465 alone before I stumbled onto a 472.

http://www.greatlakes4x4.com/showthr...ight=468+truck
Why would he want a 383 or a 454? He has a 400 and wants to use it. A 383 would be good but a 454 would open up a whole new can of worms. If your not aware a 383 is a small block and a 454 is a big block. Meaning every accessory bracket is different etc etc.
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Old April 17th, 2013, 09:49 PM   #8
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Build a 406 very good dependable motor if built right

Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk 2
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Old April 17th, 2013, 10:04 PM   #9
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I like my 408. Just all gone through and .040 over with a suit 1103 cam and roller rockers.

Great power and super torqy around 3700-4000 rpms.


Sorry bout the loudmouth girlfriend lol. (She's a red head lol)

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Old April 17th, 2013, 10:26 PM   #10
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You could build something similer to whats in my camaro right now. It's so bottom dollar it's hard to believe it runs as well as it does.

Bored 30
5.7 rods
100/1000 cc domed pistons for long (350) rods
Junk smog heads 194/160 valves
comp extreme energy hydraulic cam 490ish lift forgot duration, its off the shelf
1.5 roller rockers
Performer rpm airgap

I have no idea what kind of numbers it makes but it runs very well. My car weights 3420 with me. The only time I ran this motor at martin I was very happy. With 373 gears on stock suspension and junk radials it went 13.001 at 113 with a 2.02 60 ' . With no traction and a junk t5 I had to granny shift I was happy with my junk.

If you want to stop by next week I should have some tires on the back of it and insurence on it. I'll show why you might want to keep those junk heads if you are on a budget and staying below 5000-5500.
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Old April 17th, 2013, 10:47 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by bdd1469 View Post
You could build something similer to whats in my camaro right now. It's so bottom dollar it's hard to believe it runs as well as it does.

Bored 30
5.7 rods
100/1000 cc domed pistons for long (350) rods
Junk smog heads 194/160 valves
comp extreme energy hydraulic cam 490ish lift forgot duration, its off the shelf
1.5 roller rockers
Performer rpm airgap

I have no idea what kind of numbers it makes but it runs very well. My car weights 3420 with me. The only time I ran this motor at martin I was very happy. With 373 gears on stock suspension and junk radials it went 13.001 at 113 with a 2.02 60 ' . With no traction and a junk t5 I had to granny shift I was happy with my junk.

If you want to stop by next week I should have some tires on the back of it and insurence on it. I'll show why you might want to keep those junk heads if you are on a budget and staying below 5000-5500.
I've been meaning to stop by and see how the tj is coming. I'll shoot you a text Monday and see how your week is sitting. This commuting to Muskegon to work takes a lot out of my daylight
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Old April 17th, 2013, 11:26 PM   #12
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I've been meaning to stop by and see how the tj is coming. I'll shoot you a text Monday and see how your week is sitting. This commuting to Muskegon to work takes a lot out of my daylight
What are you getting old? Im working in ludington with Dick, Muskegun is almost halfway....
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Old April 18th, 2013, 05:10 AM   #13
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What are you getting old? Im working in ludington with Dick, Muskegun is almost halfway....
Laying tile? Driving together?
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Old April 18th, 2013, 07:17 AM   #14
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Isn't the stand alone harness and computer more than the price of a rebuild?

And why does it say your post is from before the internet was invented? Or is my tapatalk acting up
If you buy a aftermarket harness and comnputer, then yes they are very ewxpensive. Most people just use the OE harness and have the computer programmed.

Dont get me wrong the 400 SBC is a great motor. If I was building a monster motor that was only going to be trailered to parks, dunes, etc. I would build a old school motor.

But there is a reason everyone is switching to LS motors. New technology is just better. If you want something you can leave running all day on the trail, fuel injection, and reliability I think a newer motor is the way to go.


Also not sure why the date thing was messed up.
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Old April 18th, 2013, 06:22 PM   #15
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Laying tile? Driving together?
Yes doing a bath in a house right on lake michigan. Im driving back and forth and Dick is staying there, yesterday he rode home for a day. Id stay but I have my dogs and gota keep up on my other job. (One man and a bunch of broke shit, I mean tractor) lol
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Old April 18th, 2013, 07:45 PM   #16
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[QUOTE=Bleay;3376749]If you buy a aftermarket harness and comnputer, then yes they are very ewxpensive. Most people just use the OE harness and have the computer programmed.

Dont get me wrong the 400 SBC is a great motor. If I was building a monster motor that was only going to be trailered to parks, dunes, etc. I would build a old school motor.

But there is a reason everyone is switching to LS motors. New technology is just better. If you want something you can leave running all day on the trail, fuel injection, and reliability I think a newer motor is the way to go.

x2

If its Just a trail rig, I cant agree more with building a old school motor, Have you thought about LP, Propane.

I tossed around the same ideas you are thinking about, and decided just to keep old school, cheep, 3 wire setup, full LP conv, no computer/or wiring, something I could fix if problem came up.

I settled for a 472 cad motor, all the low end torque you will ever need and it will never see over 5500 rpms
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Old April 18th, 2013, 08:05 PM   #17
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I'm not sure about shelling out the cash for propane... but now that you think about it, the only thing I have for the fuel system right now is a cell...

Dammit, now I gotta look into that too.
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Old April 18th, 2013, 08:13 PM   #18
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finding used propane stuff that will work is the key, working on a LP evap/mixer combo only takes a screwdriver and a few rubber 0-rings

most used LP kits go for $200-$500
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Old April 19th, 2013, 09:01 AM   #19
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No mystery here, a good 406 can be built for cheap, you can buy the 210 pro comp aluminum sbc heads from skip white for like $650 in think. Any 450-500 lift hydraulic flat tappet cam and lifters for like $200. Scat 9000 series crank for like $170, not worth turning one for that price IMO. Speed pro hypereutectic flat top or mild dish depending on what compression your looking for. Stock 5.7 rods. Not really difficult to make 400hp, no need to spend a bunch on forged internals for a trail rig application. Seems like people have had pretty good luck with the truck avenger series carbs.
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Old April 19th, 2013, 01:21 PM   #20
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Here is the build I was going to use if i was building a 400. the build and dyno specs are in SA design "how to build big inch chevy small blocks."

stock vortec heads "have to get steam holes drilled" 1.94/1.50 valves

9.5 to 1 compression deep dish pistons

lunati hyd. cam
230/230 @.050 .455/.455 lift 114* lobe sep
rpm airgap intake 750 holly
1 5/8 headers 2 1/2 exhaust

525 ft/lb @ 3500 427hp@ 5100
the vortecs make sweet low end expecally with stock valve size they just fall short above 5500 compared to larger runner aftermarket heads. I believe the vortecs are a fair bit better than the old camelbacks both in stock form. my .02
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