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400 Small Block: How To Build A Torque Monster For $2,500!- Hands On

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The low peak-rpm numbers are also indicative of the low static compression. The deck height's being more normal would have created roughly 9.5:1 compression, which would have kicked the power curve up in the rpm range, and all the power numbers (both torque and horsepower) would have been drastically greater. Because the pistons were sunk so far down in the hole, there was no way to machine the block to repair that problem. The correct way would be to add a 5.7-inch stroker rod and custom piston with a D-shaped reverse-deflector-style dish that would create somewhere around a 10.0 to 10.5:1 static compression ratio with a tight quench to the head using the zero deck approach. That would drastically improve the compression, the quench, and the power.

THUMPR CAM SPECS
CAMSHAFT DURATION AT 0.050 LIFT LOBE SEPARATION
Comp Thumpr hyd., intake 235 0.490 107
Exhaust 249 0.475

POWER CURVES

TEST 1 TEST 2 CHANGE
RPM TQ1 HP1 TQ2 HP2 TQ HP
2,600 401 198 402 199 - 1 - 1
2,800 395 210 392 209 - 3 - 1
3,000 391 224 389 222 - 2 - 2
3,200 407 248 410 249 - 3 - 1
3,400 428 277 433 280 - 5 - 3
3,600 441 303 447 307 + 6 + 4
3,800 448 324 457 331 + 9 + 7
4,000 447 341 458 349 +11 + 8
4,200 443 354 452 361 + 9 + 7
4,400 434 363 444 372 +10 + 9
4,600 423 370 438 383 +15 +13
4,800 410 375 430 393 +20 +18
5,000 394 376 418 398 +24 +22
5,200 375 372 404 400 +29 +28
5,400 356 367 390 401 +34 +33
5,600

375 399

5,800 355 393
6,000 333 380
Peak 448 376 458 401
Avg. 412.6 320.4 414.0 336.3

Column averages used the entire curve with data every 100 rpm, which does not appear on this chart.

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68 comments
Michael Guirey
Michael Guirey

Hey Ford people...................Way to go Chevy ! # 1

Justin Patch
Justin Patch

I agree the torque numbers will never be outstanding, but our argument was about HP. Saying you could not get a 302 over 400hp with out power adders was just not correct.

Zachary Morris Fick
Zachary Morris Fick

If you guys are getting 450hp out of a iron an head ford 302 mine must be making 500hp.. which it's not it makes maybe 350hp.. it has Ed Curtis worked AFR 165 heads, F cam, 10:1 static, ported air gap 4bbl intake, and a Holley 650 w/ a 1" open spacer..

Robert Paul Holmstrom
Robert Paul Holmstrom

Crib stock rules...my 451 hp 302 had stock rods and crank...when we had it on the dyno, we went through 90 gallons of gas...pump gas, iron heads, went 11.13 at 121mph in a nearly stock 1990 Mustang the first time down the track...

Robert Paul Holmstrom
Robert Paul Holmstrom

In October of 1992, SuperFord did an article on one I built that made 451 hp that was a 302 on pump gas with iron heads.

Robert Paul Holmstrom
Robert Paul Holmstrom

With 302 cubes, don't expect 500 lb-ft without a blower or adder. Back in October of 1992, I built a pump gas Ford 302 with Iron Heads that made 451 HP at 7000 rpm, 368 lb-ft of torque and went 11.13 at 121 mph in a nearly stock 1990 notchback Mustang, the first pass down the track...we got thrown out by tech, given we only had a single hoop. Had a blow proff bell housing, c-clip eliminators, a drive shaft loop, 410 gear, and slicks...SuperFord did an article on the engine and called the article "Poor Man's Boss 302". After the ink, I built several copies after.

Peter Lehmann
Peter Lehmann

+1 Rob, it's all about torque and let's keep in mind this after all, is a no frills budget build that was salvaged junk.,. I doubt a 302 would even come close to those TQ numbers :)

Carl Stjernqvist
Carl Stjernqvist

Really, is this still news in 2014? Do it with some other makes, we see Chevs EVERYDAY!

Cam Beaton
Cam Beaton

You could do it with a Windsor, but you would need two of them.

Justin Patch
Justin Patch

Many a 302 has bested 400 HP with iron heads and no super charger or turbo. Who does your porting? Find someone else...

Donald Burley
Donald Burley

Still like the small block 400 over the big block 400

Jordan Nutt
Jordan Nutt

I read long time ago in Chevy high performance mag that the most power and torque they could get out of a vorteq headed small block was 500 lbs and 400 hp

Rickey Driskill
Rickey Driskill

@ Zachary . A Ford 302 will make 400up with iron heads. I have had one. 10to 1 compression. Nice beefy cam and with 2.02 1.60 valves in the heads. It will make it all day.

John Denker
John Denker

Alexander SkiourisPut this in the ranger

Zachary Morris Fick
Zachary Morris Fick

I'm not going to argue ... a Ford 302 won't make 400hp with iron heads with out boost..

Jesse DeGaro
Jesse DeGaro

Well that 400hp Ford did make that number as I bought the shortblock from Matt King who wrote the article and built the motor. He still has the cam and the heads that went with it and won't part with them. ;) I do agree not everything you read is true but some stuff is.

Kug Mag
Kug Mag

Two bolt, Vortex heads, and with all the accessories it makes that power all day long!!! With a little more aggressive top end will make close to if not 600 hp and torque and still be under $3,800 I'm loving this build...

Carroll Smith
Carroll Smith

why do these build ups go down the track ,minus 120 horsepower?,and are these numbers corrected air? 60 degrees zero humidity?AND NO MOPAR EVER SAW HEADERS like that except on a "RAIL" LOL

John Hinant
John Hinant

When you are done with it send it to me

Zachary Morris Fick
Zachary Morris Fick

Lol ya 400hp with an electric water pump and no accessories mounted just like the stock 87 Mustang 5.0 that made 400hp when it was closer to a 250hp motor..

Steven Bechler
Steven Bechler

Meanwhile a 50's Chrysler small block, will give you 650+ ft lbs!!!

Ken Howell
Ken Howell

Why does anyone use a chevrolet as that is french for crappy equipment.

Matt Derosia
Matt Derosia

think people search the globe for these blocks,

Matt Derosia
Matt Derosia

dream on 400,s got much more low end grunt than a 327 or a 350 why do you y

Jeff McMillan
Jeff McMillan

Why do people build 400 motors when there are much better and more reliable ones out there. My 327 could take this without breathing hard;)

Mark Glowacki
Mark Glowacki

Come on. It is tuff over here just to find a 400 let alone one that isn't cracked from freezing or way too expensive. We don't have any mines near me I can scavenge for one either. All the junkyards crushed everything when scrap was high back around 2008. I was hopin for the best with this article until I saw it was for a 400.

Lee Henderson
Lee Henderson

A 335series Ford 400 would DEMOLISH this thing with a budget build :D

Gunnar Larsson
Gunnar Larsson

I run with the same values on the camshaft the same pistons, 64cc combustion chambers 462 camel hump heads. but I've also run single turbo intercooler and 750 blowthru carburetor 6psi boost 32 degrees locked ignition. work well might be something for you to try on the car craft. I have tried with GTECH 0-60 4.2 sec engine sits in a 1964 impala

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