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

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PARTS LIST
DESCRIPTION PN SOURCE PRICE
Used 400 short-block used junkyard $120.00
Vortec iron heads, pair 12558060 Scoggin-Dickey 619.90
Vortec iron, SD-modified SD8060A Scoggin-Dickey 779.90*
Vortec Bow Tie, large-port 25534446 Scoggin-Dickey 985.70*
Summit piston rings, std. 133-661-00 Summit Racing 35.95
Summit oil pump, std. pressure 121155 Summit Racing 22.95
Federal-Mogul oil pump pickup Z2241246 Summit Racing 11.95
Federal-Mogul main bearings Z4926MA10 Summit Racing 51.95
Federal-Mogul rod bearings Z82555CP10 Summit Racing 29.95
Federal-Mogul cam bearings Z1235M Summit Racing 17.95
Federal-Mogul oil pump drive Z2246146 Summit Racing 8.95
Sealed Power gasket set R2601016 Summit Racing 45.95
Fel-Pro Vortec intake gasket set 1255 Summit Racing 24.69
Summit Racing camshaft kit K1107 Summit Racing 100.95
Summit Racing valvespring kit 174000 Summit Racing 71.95
Summit timing set G6501 Summit Racing 13.95
Summit stock pushrods G6400 Summit Racing 26.95
Sealed Power brass freeze plug kit Z381 Summit Racing 18.95
VHT Chevy orange paint DE1620 Summit Racing 6.95
GMPP self-align 3/8-inch rocker arms 12495490 Summit Racing 61.95
Edelbrock Vortec Perf. RPM intake 7116 Summit Racing 187.95
Weiand Speed Warrior dual-plane 8501 Summit Racing 209.95*
Holley 750 mech.-secondary carb 0-4779 swap meet 150.00
Oil pan, timing, and valve covers used swap meet 10.00
Used 15/8-inch headers used swap meet 50.00
HEI distributor used boneyard 25.00
Summit Racing plug wires 868836 Summit Racing 29.95
Bosch Super + spark plugs 7975 Auto Zone 15.92
Wix oil filter 51069 Summit Racing 5.95
Comp Cams break-in oil, 10W-30 1590 Summit Racing 26.25
PARTS SUBTOTAL $1,792.86

Comp nitrided Thumpr hyd. cam 12-601-20 Summit Racing 274.95*
Comp Pro Magnum hydraulic lifters 858-16 Summit Racing 94.95*
Comp oil, semisynthetic, 10W-30, 5-qt 1594 Summit Racing 39.75*
Comp break-in lubricant 159 Summit Racing 10.95*

MACHINE WORK OPERATIONS Cost
Hot-tank block $60.00
Install cam bearings 50.00
Resize big ends of rods 100.00
Torque-plate-hone cylinders 190.00
Grind crankshaft 240.00
Machine valveguides and reassemble 80.00
MACHINE TOTAL: $720.00
GRAND TOTAL $2,512.86

*Not included in Grand Total
While this total may seem expensive, it is a true accounting of all the costs incurred including carb, ignition, and headers. Most "budget" magazine stories from our competitors rarely include these numbers. The critical point that should be emphasized is that investing a few more dollars for good oversize pistons would have created a very solid motor that would make a ton more power and could be counted on to survive for years. The durability of this "shortcut" engine is debatable, at best, and its lack of compression also will make it a fuel guzzler.

SOURCES
Chevrolet Performance Parts
P.O. Box 33170
Detroit
MI  48232
800-577-6888
www.gmperformanceparts.com
Holley Performance Products
1801 Russellville Rd.
Bowling Green
KY  42101
270-781-9741
http://www.holley.com
Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center
5901 Spur 327
Lubbock
TX  79424
800-456-0211
www.sdparts.com
Barrington Engines
Van Nuys
CA
818-442-9409
Comp Cams
3406 Democrat Road
Memphis
TN  38118
800-999-0853
www.compcams.com
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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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