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400 cid sb chevy
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violator423
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Joined: 29 Aug 2006
Posts: 13

599.58 points


1978 Chevrolet Caprice

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:39 pm    Post subject: 400 cid sb chevy Reply with quote

hi everyone my name is tone this is my first post Rolling Eyes im 24 been working on cars and anything with moving parts since i was 11. and i work as a diesel mechanic.well enought about me. anyways i used to be into imports mainly but have owned a 1978 impala for about 2 years. well when i got the car it wasn't anywhere near running i got that part done. now the other day i bought a 400 sb for 500 bucks cash and carry to replace the 305 thats in the imppy now. i have been tearing at the motor to make sure eveything is ok only thing i have found so far is that one pushrod was bent ever so slightly. everytime i pull apart of the engine i find out more and more stuff. the engine was painted chevy orange and black well i scraped some paint of the timing cover and low and behold chrome. scraped some paint of the freeze plug and they all looked new so im thinking someone has rebuilt this motor before. yep pulled the oil pan newer main caps double roller timing chain (ha and i just bought a brand new one) lol also the piston aren't stock from what a coworker has told me there flat top pistons he said the stocks were domed. is this true?? all the lifters look good and so does the cam no wear at all so im thinking this motor was almost completely rebuilt. i intake was stock and has weathered as for the carb also. i planed on getting a edelbrock performer intake and a performer 650 carb. good combo???? only thing the engine didn't come with is a distributor or a oil dipstick everything else was there. i will more thank likely have a million questions so ill just ask a few.

stock length pushrods?
piston size?
what would be a good carb to run? ( 78 impala 2 door with 20" spoke rims dayton type. car is mainly a cruiser but i wanna be able to get on it if i have to Wink .

thanks in advanced tone



400ci and 283ci chevy.jpg
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the motor i bought is the one in the back gorund the motor in the front is a 283 wich the guy sold for 500 bucks also

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techie
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Joined: 20 Aug 2006
Posts: 7
Location: Park Falls, Wisconsin
335.98 points



PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My best advice is to go ahead and strip the motor down to the last bolt and nut and measure everything. You'll never be able to cam the motor properly until you know the exact static compression ratio and you'll also never know that until you know the chamber volume, head gasket thickness, deck height and volume in the pistons.

These motors were popular in the early to mid 70's during the Arab Oil Embargo when gas was equal to cat piss, so I think that whoever told you the pistons are domed never lived through that era like I did. They will have a negative dome (dish), but they won't be domed unless someone put some aftermarket domed pistons in the motor. If that's what is in it, let us know, 'cause they are junk when trying to use pump gas in the motor.

Several years ago, I wrote this paper on static compression ratio. I'd like you to read it and measure your motor, so you can be intelligent in your choice of parts......
http://www.streetmachinesoftablerock.com/php/viewtopic.php?t=124

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Too much of a good thing is a good thing.
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af2
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Joined: 01 Sep 2003
Posts: 5558
Location: grassvalley, ca
71227.76 points


1933 Willys Coupe

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bent push rod? Scraping paint off the block? I would be Leary as hell! The stock 400's had dish pistons not domed! The bore would be the next thing I would check along with the casting # on the block to make sure it is the correct one!
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af2
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Joined: 01 Sep 2003
Posts: 5558
Location: grassvalley, ca
71227.76 points


1933 Willys Coupe

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

techie wrote:
My best advice is to go ahead and strip the motor down to the last bolt and nut and measure everything. You'll never be able to cam the motor properly until you know the exact static compression ratio and you'll also never know that until you know the chamber volume, head gasket thickness, deck height and volume in the pistons.

These motors were popular in the early to mid 70's during the Arab Oil Embargo when gas was equal to cat piss, so I think that whoever told you the pistons are domed never lived through that era like I did. They will have a negative dome (dish), but they won't be domed unless someone put some aftermarket domed pistons in the motor. If that's what is in it, let us know, 'cause they are junk when trying to use pump gas in the motor.

Several years ago, I wrote this paper on static compression ratio. I'd like you to read it and measure your motor, so you can be intelligent in your choice of parts......
http://www.streetmachinesoftablerock.com/php/viewtopic.php?t=124



Damned Richard I have to get faster at the light Shocked Laughing
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violator423
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Joined: 29 Aug 2006
Posts: 13

599.58 points


1978 Chevrolet Caprice

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow thanks for the speedy reply that artical is nice even thought i got lost acouple of times. i dont plan on cam'ing thsi engine hell i dont even know if the cam in it now is stock or aftermarket. but the 400 will be a big step up above the 305 wich is tired anyways. lol
is there any way to measuer the inside dia of the cyl wall to tell if the engine has ever been bored?? a calipar mabey? btw this is my first engine build-up for my old school ride thanks for your help in advanced
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10sec.et
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Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 3473
Location: Houston,Texas
346658.74 points


1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the best advice i can give is... Edelbrock intake nod . Edelbrock carb Head Bang . get a Holley.
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af2 wrote:
It seems we can look at our magical Balls and come up with a fix?

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violator423
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Joined: 29 Aug 2006
Posts: 13

599.58 points


1978 Chevrolet Caprice

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

af2 wrote:
Bent push rod? Scraping paint off the block? I would be Leary as hell! The stock 400's had dish pistons not domed! The bore would be the next thing I would check along with the casting # on the block to make sure it is the correct one!


i found the pushrod today like i said it was a slight bend light the rocker was a litle to tight mabey nothing major. i dont know about the pistons as far as what the 400 cam with stock but i do know for a fact that its a 400 sbc 2 bolt main. also im not gonna drag this car and it will never ever hit a strip just a crusier with a lil pep thats all. for 500 i got my money's worth either way. as for the paint the freeze plug are new. i saw a shiney spot and pealed away the paint and saw that they were new. humm the casting number from the block is gm 330817 400sbc 2 bolt main and i belive it is from eithe a 73 caprice or a truck not sure but im happy with what i got its a solid starting point either way again thanks
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af2
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Location: grassvalley, ca
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1933 Willys Coupe

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

violator423 wrote:
wow thanks for the speedy reply that artical is nice even thought i got lost acouple of times. i dont plan on cam'ing thsi engine hell i dont even know if the cam in it now is stock or aftermarket. but the 400 will be a big step up above the 305 wich is tired anyways. lol
is there any way to measuer the inside dia of the cyl wall to tell if the engine has ever been bored?? a calipar mabey? btw this is my first engine build-up for my old school ride thanks for your help in advanced


A pair of calipers will get you in the ball park. A micrometer will tell you exactly! Always remember calipers are only for reference as my machinist told me and lives true!
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violator423
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Joined: 29 Aug 2006
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599.58 points


1978 Chevrolet Caprice

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

is there a formula i need to use or do i just measure the inside dia. tha stock bore is 4.125 i belive i will have to get some time in after work or mabey this weekned to realy go throught it to make sure everything is ok and find out whats what.
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af2
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Location: grassvalley, ca
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1933 Willys Coupe

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Measure the bore across and measure the stroke tdc to bdc. (top to botom) I checked my block and I am running the 817 also. It will have a very good nickle content. That is why I picked it. Mine is stamped 1976.
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violator423
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1978 Chevrolet Caprice

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thats another thing i noticed the date stamp on my loc says 1975 but i have also pulled numbers from site syaing the block is from 1972 to 1978 but most of the site say the cast number is from a 73 caprice or truck all i know is that its a gen 1 and its a early 70's motor lol oh well ill have to measure everything and work with what i got like i said for 500 bucks i dont think i can beat that deal anywhere
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af2
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Location: grassvalley, ca
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1933 Willys Coupe

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

75 is a good one! Are you going to rebuild it or do a re ring?
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violator423
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Joined: 29 Aug 2006
Posts: 13

599.58 points


1978 Chevrolet Caprice

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

se the thing is i need to find out what been done to it since its been rebuild and not runn to long after everything looks to be in very good condition. so i dunno yet . well im off to bed ill find out more info tommor night after work again thanks
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af2
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Location: grassvalley, ca
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1933 Willys Coupe

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

violator423 wrote:
se the thing is i need to find out what been done to it since its been rebuild and not runn to long after everything looks to be in very good condition. so i dunno yet . well im off to bed ill find out more info tommor night after work again thanks


The thing to check if is a real rebuild or a re ring. Backyard rebuild from where I'm from! Shocked
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Big Dave
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Joined: 04 Dec 2005
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Location: Tampa Florida
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heads off pistons should look like this stock.

http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f63/3454545/?action=view&current=DSC02619.jpg&refPage=100&imgAnch=imgAnch110

If you find flat tops then I would suspect aftermarket pistons.

http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f63/3454545/?action=view&current=DSC02763.jpg&refPage=80&imgAnch=imgAnch100

Because of the stroke and small combustion chamber (compared to the 396 big block that these things share bore and stroke with) you get into high compression quickly with even flat tops. If there are domes then it was built as a race only hot rod motor; because it will only run on race gas.


Big Dave
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