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Mean Mouse: Chevy 406

Have A Look At What It Takes To Construct A Streetable Fire-Breathing Small-Block

Photography by Tony Nausieda

It used to be a rule that building a high-horsepower engine meant compromising streetability, but that’s no longer the case. When we set out to build this 406ci Chevy small-block, parts selection was based on the end result of a strong, torquey street motor. Heck, the term “street” doesn’t even mean much these days, as some 7-second cars even claim “street car” status. Well, “street” to us means a manageable idle speed; decent vacuum to operate power accessories; detonation-free combustion on pump gas; and cool, steady operating temps. With that in mind, we retained the 400 small-block’s stock strobe, bored it 0.030-over, settled on a 10.0-10.4:1 compression ratio, selected a relatively mild hydraulic roller cam, and spec’d a set of heads to yield adequate port velocity for snappy throttle response. And we had the whole package meticulously blueprinted and assembled by Brad Lagman of Bob Lambeck Enterprises in Northridge, California.

Well, we got the streetable idle (750 rpm), good vacuum (13 inches), and stable temps (160 degrees) that we were looking for, but when we pinned the throttle at WOT, the resulting dyno graphs were unexpected icing on the cake. Have a look at what it takes to construct a streetable fire-breathing small-block, but realize that this particular engine build isn’t something that a novice should tackle. Every piece of this engine, save the block and the rearmost main cap, was an aftermarket piece. The carb and heads bolted up without any massaging, but practically every other component needed some type of modification before it could be used. The results obviously speak for themselves, but we’re just advising you to realistically assess your own skills before you think about duplicating Lambeck’s 406. With that in mind, we included a few of the more challenging mods—a few that you might even have overlooked—that Lambeck performed on our big-inch Mouse.

SOURCES
Mr. GaSket Automotive Racing Products (ARP)
531 Spectrum Circle
Oxnard
CA  93030
805-278-7223
Bob Lambeck Enterprises CAl Auto Transpeed Power Engine Parts
www.catpep.com
Fel-Pro, A Division of Federal-mogul
www.federal-mogul.com/felpro
MSD (Autotronic Controls Corp.)
Edelbrock
Dept. 5.0
2700 California St.
Torrance
CA  90503
310-781-2222
www.edelbrock.com
Scat
www.scatcrankshafts.com
Milodon
2250 Agate Ct.
Simi Valley
CA  93065
805-577-5950
www.milodon.net
Sportsman Racing Products (SRP)
www.srp.com
ATI Performance
www.atiperformanceproducts.com
Crane Cams
530 Fentress Blvd.
Daytona Beach
FL  32114
3-86/-252-1151
N/A
www.cranecams.com
Dana Clevite Engine Parts
www.clevite.com
Holley
Air Flow Research (AFR)
Valencia
CA
N/A
www.airflowresearch.com
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