400 rebuild help

Coronet67guy

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I found an old similar thread but figured best to start a new one. I'm currently experiencing no oil pressure on a manual gauge in my 74 Charger SE. I'll cross my fingers and have an oil pump put on next week, but need to prepare myself for the more likely motor failure. I'll have someone else doing the rebuild but will be able to supply my own parts. I would probably want to do new bearings, pistons, rods, lifters, possibly cam, etc. Curious as to any good kits or if it's best to buy it all separate. This is not a drag car, so cruising capability is a must.

Car has duel plane intake, TTI headers, 3.23 posi, rebuilt tranny with just over stock new converter, and more. Not sure what hp it's putting out but if I did a stroker kit I would probably need to keep it on the mild side, like the 451. The car is still running stock 14 inch tires. I think I would need to change that just to keep them on the ground. All thoughts and advice are appreciated. I'll update Wednesday after the oil pump install.
 

1 Wild R/T

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Beauty of a stroker, your right foot controls it... Building a 451/470/500/512 costs the same... Your choice...

I like the 470 as it still has a reasonable skirt height...
 

Tman100

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When I built the engine for my charger I almost went with a b block and stroked it to 500. If you build a 500 with raised port heads and a reasonable flat tapper hydraulic cam like a 276 or 284 voodoo you’ll make huge torque #’s at lower rpm. Perfect for a street car. I just only had 383’s and 440’s at the time so I built a 440.
My engine is a stock bottom end with perf world aluminum heads and a 276 voodoo cam. Dual plain intake. Makes 550 ft/lbs torque at 3500 rpm and over 500 at 3000. With 3.23’s just touch the throttle and tire smoke with 12” wide tires.
Dad built a 493 with a 440 and a 284 voodoo cam. Same top end as mine. Makes 558 hp
621 ft lbs torque at 3300 rpm. He runs 2.94 gears with a 2000 stall converter. Car is still pretty quick out of the gate.
They are mild mannered for driving but if you want to go they move. And we don’t have to turn them fast. Both shift about 5500 rpm max. After that due to the small cams they run out of power at the top end. But their allot of fun to drive. I’ve had my car up to 155 mph and it still has allot more. But the car feels quite light at that speed so was time to slow down.

.... hopefully a pump will fix yours so you’ll be able to run the 400 longer
 

Coronet67guy

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Great info so far. The car has Hughes Performance 24-20-400BAL convertor, so 2000 stall. Probably would wish that I had chosen the 2500 stall if I did this kit. Current cam is an Erson Cam is E 410322. Cam sheet shows 284 duration. .472 valve lift. 220 duration at .050 tappet rise. Has a 1800-4800 rpm range. 440 source seems to be mentioned often as a place to get the stroker kit if I go that route.
 

1 Wild R/T

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Honestly your convertor is probably fine... Two reasons, Strokers make torque down low.... The torque causes the convertor to flash higher than it would with less cubic inches..

Now if you start throwing serious heads & a really big cam all bets are off but it doesn't sound like you want to build a race car...

Stealth heads or Edelbrock heads and a cam of 240ish @.050 will be fun...

Victor heads or Big Indys and a cam around 265 @ .050... Oh, it'll be fun buttttt...
 

Tman100

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Great info so far. The car has Hughes Performance 24-20-400BAL convertor, so 2000 stall. Probably would wish that I had chosen the 2500 stall if I did this kit. Current cam is an Erson Cam is E 410322. Cam sheet shows 284 duration. .472 valve lift. 220 duration at .050 tappet rise. Has a 1800-4800 rpm range. 440 source seems to be mentioned often as a place to get the stroker kit if I go that route.
440 source makes nice kits. It’s the best bang for for buck I believe. I really like my perf world heads. They were less $ then Edlebrock and have really nice stainless valves. The valve sprung they came with were perfect for my cam.
I put a 2500 Hughes converter in my
Car.. I wish I would have put a 2000 stall in it. With that much torque I don’t need that high of a stall. Once you get to that 420+ cu in with good compression you’ll have all the torque you could ever hope for.
 

Coronet67guy

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Honestly your convertor is probably fine... Two reasons, Strokers make torque down low.... The torque causes the convertor to flash higher than it would with less cubic inches..

Now if you start throwing serious heads & a really big cam all bets are off but it doesn't sound like you want to build a race car...

Stealth heads or Edelbrock heads and a cam of 240ish @.050 will be fun...

Victor heads or Big Indys and a cam around 265 @ .050... Oh, it'll be fun buttttt...

I would lean toward the fun, not the fun buttttt. lol
 

4mulas

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I just did a 451 with edelbrock 75cc heads, valves un-shrouded and mild port, Hughes seh3236bl hydraulic cam, and am very very happy with the results. Also Adjustable valve train h beams rods balanced etc.... Nice and driveable/streetable but when you wack the throttle it really wakes up fast.

Highly recommend the 451. Only extra cost over what your already prepared to spend is a crank and rods or cost to rework a 440 crank and used 440 rods to fit.

You’ll need a lot more than the 14” tires you have now though. :-/

DO IT!
 

1 Wild R/T

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I just did a 451 with edelbrock 75cc heads, valves un-shrouded and mild port, Hughes seh3236bl hydraulic cam, and am very very happy with the results. Also Adjustable valve train h beams rods balanced etc.... Nice and driveable/streetable but when you wack the throttle it really wakes up fast.

Highly recommend the 451. Only extra cost over what your already prepared to spend is a crank and rods or cost to rework a 440 crank and used 440 rods to fit.

You’ll need a lot more than the 14” tires you have now though. :-/

DO IT!

Sounds like a great combo...The 451 is great, I like the 470 a little more but both have allot in common... I like the 512 just fine too.. Of all the common 400 strokers the 500 is the one I would rate as the least likely to build... The super short piston & the need for oil ring support rails doesn't lend itself to being a long term street engine...
 

66Satellite47

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In the '80's I built two 400/451's with cut down 440 steel cranks for drag racing. With the parts available today I'd do a 3.91 or 4.15 .035 over. I also think you'd be happy with the 3.91 & the shorter rods. Never heard a bad word about the Source kits, although I haven't used one myself.
 

hunt2elk

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I have both a 451 and a 500 stroker. Great motors for street cars with 3.23 rear gears. Plenty of torque down low and you can still cruise at 2900 rpm at 70 mph on 28" rear tires.
 

Coronet67guy

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I just did a 451 with edelbrock 75cc heads, valves un-shrouded and mild port, Hughes seh3236bl hydraulic cam, and am very very happy with the results. Also Adjustable valve train h beams rods balanced etc.... Nice and driveable/streetable but when you wack the throttle it really wakes up fast.

Highly recommend the 451. Only extra cost over what your already prepared to spend is a crank and rods or cost to rework a 440 crank and used 440 rods to fit.

You’ll need a lot more than the 14” tires you have now though. :-/

DO IT!

I was going to wait till the final diagnosis, but was going to ask about what you guys would recommend for tires and if the 3.23 gears with the Dr Diff power-lok would be sufficient. I almost went 3.55 when I did the gear change, and I'm wondering with bigger tires if 3.23 is enough. I like the sounds of your set up. What is the goal compression on a build like this? I also liked the performance world heads I looked at earlier.
 
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Coronet67guy

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In the '80's I built two 400/451's with cut down 440 steel cranks for drag racing. With the parts available today I'd do a 3.91 or 4.15 .035 over. I also think you'd be happy with the 3.91 & the shorter rods. Never heard a bad word about the Source kits, although I haven't used one myself.

Sorry, never built an engine and not always up on the lingo. 3.91 or 4.15? At first I thought gear ratio but there wasn't a 4.15. I dealt with 440 source before when I put CVF racing brackets on the car. I had to change out the water pump. They were very helpful, quality parts and good price. I've also heard nothing negative so far about the kits. Thanks!
 

Xp29h

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Great info so far. The car has Hughes Performance 24-20-400BAL convertor, so 2000 stall. Probably would wish that I had chosen the 2500 stall if I did this kit. Current cam is an Erson Cam is E 410322. Cam sheet shows 284 duration. .472 valve lift. 220 duration at .050 tappet rise. Has a 1800-4800 rpm range. 440 source seems to be mentioned often as a place to get the stroker kit if I go that route.
I have a 400 / 512 in my charger. I was going the 470 route because I thought a 512 would be way too much for what my plans were for the car. I just planned to have a good cruiser. I spoke to the guys at 440source and as mentioned by 1 Wild R/T it’s the same price for all their kits. They talked me into the 512. It made sense to me. If for the same money I can get a big stroker kit that can cruise around like the 470 kit, why the heck not. I was a great choice! It cruises like a champ! I got a lower CR kit for pump gas put a good Revmax converter in. I had no idea what I had so rather than mess around, I replaced it. I also used the 440 source CBC stealth heads with the valve upgrades and locks etc... the motor has been great and when your foot hits it...
:lol:
Good luck and have fun with the build!
 

PRND21

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So, back to your original problem. Check to see if the oil pump driveshaft hasn’t been sheared. If so go ahead and pull the pump to make sure it hasn’t locked up for some reason.
 

Coronet67guy

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So, back to your original problem. Check to see if the oil pump driveshaft hasn’t been sheared. If so go ahead and pull the pump to make sure it hasn’t locked up for some reason.

Yes, have a Melling high volume pump coming tomorrow, and appointment to do just that on Wednesday. That could be all this is, but I know it usually isn't. Pumps don't create oil pressure, and I have none!
 

PRND21

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Be sure to use a hardened drive shaft if you’re using a high volume or high pressure pump.
 

Coronet67guy

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Be sure to use a hardened drive shaft if you’re using a high volume or high pressure pump.
Thanks for the heads up. I was thinking more for the rebuilt motor if that's what I end up doing when I got the high volume. Would a regular volume pump feed the stroker just fine? I put a HV in a 318 and didn't have issues, but never thought about a hardened drive shaft.
 

4mulas

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I was going to wait till the final diagnosis, but was going to ask about what you guys would recommend for tires and if the 3.23 gears with the Dr Diff power-lok would be sufficient. I almost went 3.31 when I did the gear change, and I'm wondering with bigger tires if 3.23 is enough. I like the sounds of your set up. What is the goal compression on a build like this? I also liked the performance world heads I looked at earlier.


You’ll probably want some more gear, 3.55 or ideally 3.73 with the cam I used and around a 28” tall tire, I have 3.54 which acts nicely with this combo, but for bracket racing or more time at the tracks 3.7 or 3.9 gear would be ideal, just not the best on the highway for cruising. The ideal thing would be a 3.91 or a 4.10 gear with a gear vendor over drive giving you a final drive ratio of 3 - 3.2

10 to 11 on the compression. You’re builder can help you with this

Sorry, never built an engine and not always up on the lingo. 3.91 or 4.15? At first I thought gear ratio but there wasn't a 4.15. I dealt with 440 source before when I put CVF racing brackets on the car. I had to change out the water pump. They were very helpful, quality parts and good price. I've also heard nothing negative so far about the kits. Thanks!

He is referring to the stroke of the crankshaft. Stock 440 stroke is 3.75”

Keep in mind the larger 500 + cubic inch engines benefit well from bigger heads like Indy etc.... you already have the tti headers, I assume 1 7/8” primaries, so like 1 wild R/T says I’d probably stick a 470” or like me, a little less, a 451”motor.

Big cubic inch motors mean big exhaust, big carburation, big everything which also usually equates to more money.

Dollars to donuts, the 451 or 470 will make you very happy.
 
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Runcharger

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If it was mine and I had to rebuild it I would keep the 3.23 gears and build a 470 as well. Hopefully a new oil pump or oil pump drive will fix it and save you a few thousand $$$$.
 
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