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Anyone care to weigh in on an old school build?

Myrtle

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Hello everyone,

Dad is pulling out an older 440 he used to race back in the 80s and we are gonna give it a refresh and possibly install a new cam. Dad said he never ran any zink in his oil and he worries that it is toast. Anyways, I was hoping if people would not mind weighing in on the build and possibly giving some opinions on things to change/upgrade with the various advancements in racing over the last 35 or so years. This is also from memory so please forgive me if it does not make sense. Also, he indicated that he pulled this recipe from mopar magazines from the late 70s/early 80s so it may be a somewhat popular build?

440 bored .60 over so it had 452 cubic inches
Stock steel crank
Hyperteck silicon pistons 11.5 - 1 compression
Factory 6 pack rods
Custom spec ultra-dyne cam and he thinks the specs were a .613 lift and .312 duration
516 heads (the good ones) that were milled 60 or so thousandths and were ported and polished by some guy who advertised heavily in the mopar publications. Dad thinks he went on to work for Pontiac and helped create the induction system for the newer GTOs? Dad thinks the valves are 2.19 in and 1.82 ex.
Dad also thinks the pushrods are custom ones cut by an older company called arrowhead and he ran 1.5 Indy roller rockers.

Anywho, if anyone has any comments or suggestions, I am all ears. I don't know a whole lot when it comes to these builds and would like to just know enough to have a conversation with my father on this stuff.

Budget is whatever, I have a several thousand to play with but I just don't want to "erase" his build if that makes sense. When its all said and done, I wanna be able to look back and say I "complimented" his build instead of reworking it all together. So no need to reference the indy cylinder head and stroker kit combos.

If anything, I'm open to 440 source heads (cuz the look stock) as dad and I wanna run a 6 pack setup and unfortunately, the milled 516s won't seal right with a 6 pack intake.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read this and weigh in.
 
Don't throw that cam out.... I would actually buy it from you.
 
Dad said he never ran any zink in his oil and he worries that it is toast.

The oil in the eighties might have had enough zinc or like properties that it didn't hurt anything. Plus the fact if he raced it he might have used a racing oil that was still using zinc formulated ingredients. The cam and lifters would have suffered the most if he hadn't used a zinc type oil. You're refreshing everything anyway.

Good luck and keep us posted.
 
Don't throw that cam out.... I would actually buy it from you.
Came off sounding like a leech lol, but I think you get my point..... that could be freshened and is probably still a great stick.

I would consider losing the six pack rods in favor of some lighter modern ones.... also, I would spend the extra on some modern Forged pistons like from Ross or Diamond ( wiseco, icon, je, etc.) I would worry that the 60 over block may not be worth saving...But another one is ez to find. Sounds like fun, good luck....I did an old school 383 a couple years back.
 
The oil was great back then, had everything we car guys needed, he didn’t hurt anything Because we didn’t need any additives then. Shelf oil was good oil.

freshen what’s there or start over.

aftermarket has better parts available today over what’s in that engine. But it will still do what it did so run it!
 
Use 10W30 or 20W50 Valvoline VR1 Racing oil and you’ll have plenty of that “old school” zinc. I use the 10W30 in EVERY old engine I have: A12 Bee 440 6bbl, Daytona 440 4bbl HP, 216 Chevy 3100 pickup, Model T, (2) Old Farm Tractors, (5) Small Engines.
Heads: chuck the milled ones so you can run the six pack. A lot of high flow choices out there. I like the 906 heads, port matching them is all I do.
The six pack rods are heavy, I like the stock LY rods. Again, a lot of choices available. Losing weight on the reciprocating assembly is always good!
OR:
You could keep the bottom end as-is with the six pack rods and 11.5 pistons and run Fel Pro permatex blue gaskets which not only would drop the compression ratio a half point but would gain you back some if not all of the head/deck height that was milled off and you may be good to go with the six pack intake.
An adjustment in the cam to keep the cylinder pressures down would enable you to use pump gas.
I “make” good old Sunoco 260 by adding 1qt Cam2 purple 110 racing gas to each gallon of Sunoco unleaded no ethanol 91 octane.
The result is ~.4grams per gallon of lead which is plenty to lube the valve seats and a 5 point bump in the octane number. I run this in both my A12 bee(10:5-1CR, Isky 280H cam, 906 heads) and my Daytona(stock 440 HP 10:1-1CR, 906 heads, stock cam)
You can gain a couple more octane points by a 3:1 ratio mix.
Been doing this for the better part of 40 years now! No issues they run like they should and the exhaust smells “right” just like with the old 260!
 
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If It ran good then it should run good after a refresh. At 11.5 with an iron head you will need race fuel to get the most out of it though. What did Dad used to run? Pics would be nice of the old Girl, before and after tear down please.
 
That is a big cam and not street friendly. Same with the compression ratio. What do you want to do with the car? Street? Strip? Long distance cruising?
 
Are you building this to primarily race, or for old car cruising? Like others have said, 6 Pack rods are heavy. .613" lift sounds like a lot. There are likely better heads out there that can breathe well enough without extreme lift. If you are thinking of modifying " 906" heads, you might as well use " 452" heads. They are pretty well the same head, but with induction hardened valve seats. Like others have also said 11.5 compression is too high for pump gas. You can likely make more power with the right cam and head combo, than with high compression. If your block is already at + .060" , you better hope it is still good, because that is the limit on these. Another option might be a stroked 400, with 440 crank. Little bit stiffer block, and you can tell everybody it's just a 383. LOL.
 
This sure spun out of control.
You said no strokers, heads etc.

What you have there is fine. It sounds like you're going to race it. Take it apart carefully and organized, see what parts good or not.
 
[1] Some of the specs seem questionable. 2.19/1.82 valves? Not sure if they would fit iron heads.
[2] The 516 heads can be used if you mill the intake faces the reqd amount for lining up with the intake.
[3] Since this goes back to the 80s, I presume the cam is a FT. The quoted specs would, for a street engine, turn it into dog status.
[4] New H beam rods a good idea. Better metal, lighter & stronger bolts.
[5] The newer GTOs had LS engines.
 
The oil was great back then, had everything we car guys needed, he didn’t hurt anything Because we didn’t need any additives then. Shelf oil was good oil.

Sure was, I ran Quaker State 20-50 back in the 80's>'91, first in my 340 Cuda street/strip car and then in the 446 '69 Cuda race only car, Changed SFT cams twice with correct springs and no issues, things were made well back then. I ran a stock 440-6pk motor with an 850DP and BV 906 heads 2.14/1.81 with a juice .650"[email protected] sft cam, 9.5:1, yes I know it needed 12.5:1, that was the plan but never happened, it made 525fwhp for weight/mph. That cam ticked over@900rpm with HS r/rockers, was a baby in my eyes but pulled to 7k+ and thats where the power was down the 1/4 with my 4.88's/32's and a 4800 stall 8" verter.

It all depends what you want to do with the car, street/strip/race?...refresh it as it is, nothing wrong with 6pk rods, heavy yes, are there better rods etc. of course, my mate has been beating on his street/strip challenger with 6pk rods down the 1/4 over here for 5yrs+, no probs, I turned 7600rpm with them with spray, would I want to do that regularly, NO. Easy to make big power with todays parts, it was harder to do it back then but with the right parts not that far off, I had no issues with any of my old school parts at all in 10yrs of racing but it all depends on what your aiming to do and what your goals are.
 
[1] Some of the specs seem questionable. 2.19/1.82 valves? Not sure if they would fit iron heads.
[2] The 516 heads can be used if you mill the intake faces the reqd amount for lining up with the intake.
[3] Since this goes back to the 80s, I presume the cam is a FT. The quoted specs would, for a street engine, turn it into dog status.
[4] New H beam rods a good idea. Better metal, lighter & stronger bolts.
[5] The newer GTOs had LS engines.
I think a 2.14 is about as big as you can go on stock heads. Have them on my 906s.
 
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