Mild 400 build on a budget

Engine, Trans & Driveline

  1. 1967coronet440

    1967coronet440 Well-Known Member

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    It is expensive, but you know what it takes a lot of money to build other brands as well. A lot of Chevy guys are using the sb2 heads and for a set of those bare ( and I mean bare, no seats or guides) it’s about $5000 dollars, just for the heads! The old saying applies to all brands, you get what you pay for
     
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    • 451Mopar

      451Mopar Well-Known Member

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      I think that I get where IQ52 was coming from. Alot of people throwing stuff out there that may be how they would want to build their engine, and not how you want to build your engine. Also, knowing that it is likely your not going to follow anyone recommendation anyway.
      Sorry if I sound negative, but it has happened many times before.
      Last year I was asket to help a "friend of a friend" deal, build his 440. Went through all the calculations, simulations, priced out the best-bang -for-the-buck parts and combination, and then he goes to the machine shop and has the cheapest rebuilder low compression pistons put in (I think Badger pistons), buys a Mopar 292 0.509" cam, stock heads and springs with 70# seat pressure, and he wants me to put it together. Guess who will get blamed when it runs like crap. I even pitched in some new valve springs and a few other parts, being a "friend" deal, so really din't make any money out of the deal either.
       
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      • XCELLR8

        XCELLR8 Well-Known Member

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        IQ52 thanks for the link. I never came across this in my searches on the iron vs aluminum debate. I have a 400 block machined for a stroker in the garage, but after being laid-off two years ago, its been sitting. My new job does not pay as good (60K year to 25K), but I have adjusted and have a little free money to put into the stockish 400 in the Cordoba. I have been thinking on the 75cc E-streets to bump the C/R, now it looks like it WILL work will no ill effects.
         
      • 400Magnum

        400Magnum Well-Known Member

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        Be that as it may be, he doesn’t know me or my situation. He could have asked without being sarcastic and critical of everyone’s post. As I said earlier, that’s the whole idea of these forums, to exchange ideas, get help, provide help, etc. He didn’t need to be snide or rude to everyone here. If he doesn’t like doing this, then he doesn’t have to comment, no one is forcing him.

        I’m sorry that you spent your time and energy on someone that didn’t listen to your advice, but that’s not me. I want to do this as right as I possibly can, but I won’t be able to do it like I’d really like to do it just because the money isn’t there.
         
      • 451Mopar

        451Mopar Well-Known Member

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        I'm sympathetic to both your situations. This is a fun place to bench race and throw around different ideas.
        Maybe me mentioning the B1 B/S heads made IQ52 think I was recommending them? I just wanted you to know that there are heads with smaller chambers, although they are outside the stated budget.
        That, and I have a rebuilt set of B1 B/S heads on the shelf that I am thinking of putting on my old 383 engine.
        There are alot of ways to approach the build, but not that many that really make sense.
         
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        • Garys1969RR

          Garys1969RR Well-Known Member

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          9 to 1, if you are conservative. 9.5 if not. 10 is probably too much, but since Crane said a max of 9.5, I would go with that. Make sure you run a tight quench of .035 for best results.
           
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          • scot

            scot Well-Known Member

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            I apologize if it has been stated, and I'm not being nosey, but what exactly is the "budget" for this build ?...$40 ? $400 ? $4000 ? Everyone's low dollar budget is different. If we knew how much you could spend on it we might be able to give better advice/solution.
             
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            • BSB67

              BSB67 Well-Known Member

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              This.

              What is your budget? Maybe wait until you save some money, or get a better job. Buying a used running motor would probably be cheaper than building your block
               
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              • Garys1969RR

                Garys1969RR Well-Known Member

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                There is a guy, Mopar Mafia that has a complete 400, re built, with 500 miles on it. $1250. You can't build one for that. You may want to PM him, see if he still has it. He is always selling motors and parts. Located in Ky.
                 
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                • 400Magnum

                  400Magnum Well-Known Member

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                  “Budget” is whatever I manage to save for the part that I need. I manage to save about $20 a month on average. I was saving up to get my 452 heads rebuilt when I saw there was a rebate for the E-street heads and got to thinking that for about the same price as getting my iron heads rebuilt, I can get these heads that are lighter, better flowing, and have smaller combustion chambers. It seemed like a nice, tidy solution for me, so I was about to order them and thought I’d better ask some questions from guys that are more experienced than me before I spend all my money on something that may or may not be the right thing to do, so I did. So, right at the moment I’m sitting on about $800, and then I’d just make payments to pay off the rest of the costs for the heads and the other parts I was getting. I’m not sure if that’s the answer you were looking for, but that’s about the best I have to offer.
                   
                • 400Magnum

                  400Magnum Well-Known Member

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                  How much would shipping costs be from him to Michigan?
                   
                • 400Magnum

                  400Magnum Well-Known Member

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                  Ok, I found his ad. Looks like shipping would be $225, plus $1250 for the engine, so roughly $1500 total.
                   
                  Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
                • Garys1969RR

                  Garys1969RR Well-Known Member

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                  Yea, or you could do a Road Trip:bananadance: I would PM him, and have him call you
                   
                • 400Magnum

                  400Magnum Well-Known Member

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                  As much as I’d like to, a road trip to Kentucky isn’t going to happen.

                  I might pm him to get more info, but I don’t think this is the right option for me.
                   
                • 1967coronet440

                  1967coronet440 Well-Known Member

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                  You don’t want to drive to pick up a motor that COULD easily solve your budget build woes, you don’t want to pay for machine work, You don’t want to do anything really except have a reliable motor that’s built right and will last. Can you see how all this doesn’t add up? Maybe it’s time to reconsider your plans.
                   
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                  • 400Magnum

                    400Magnum Well-Known Member

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                    I fully realize that I don’t have the tools and equipment and money that it takes to do this the absolutely right way. I know that. You think I don’t want to be able to send this engine to the shop and tell them to make it right? I’d love to do that. But I can’t. The money simply isn’t there anymore. Anything that I do to this project will have to be done by me because that’s all I can afford. I don’t have the income that I had when I started this project 20 years ago. I was simply looking for some feedback on whether my plan would work or not. I do know that you don’t have to spend a fortune to put together a decent engine that will last for a good while. My dad did it many times. And that’s all I’m trying to do, put together a basically stock engine with a few aftermarket parts that I hoped would improve it’s performance and efficiency over stock.
                     
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                    • 1967coronet440

                      1967coronet440 Well-Known Member

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                      I hear ya, it’s hard man and don’t take it the wrong way I just would hate for you to put so much time, effort, and money only to be disappointed with the outcome. Best of luck to you hope everything works out.
                       
                    • 400Magnum

                      400Magnum Well-Known Member

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                      I’m sorry if I sound like I’m being hard to deal with. It’s not that at all. It’s just that I’m in a tight spot now financially, and I’m not in a place where it’s easy to work on the car physically. So swapping engines is a big ordeal and it’d just be easier if I worked with what I already have. Long story short, my life did not go very much like I’d have hoped, and I started this project back when things were going better for me.

                      FWIW, I just pm’d the guy about the 400 he has for sale asking for more information. I can’t drive to Ky and back for the $225 he says he can have it shipped. I’m not completely opposed to the idea of getting a different engine, but you never gave me a chance to even see if it’d work for me or not. For all we know, it’s the same short block that I’m planning to have. If that’s by the case, then there’s not much point to spend $1500 for something I already have, right?
                       
                    • 1967coronet440

                      1967coronet440 Well-Known Member

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                      I hear ya, just went back to work myself after being laid off for since September. Had to put my project on hold and I’m so close to finishing it. Hope things get better for you soon!
                       
                    • 400Magnum

                      400Magnum Well-Known Member

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                      Thanks. My last good paying job was in 2009, I was out of work until 2014 when I managed to get my current part-time, minimum wage job. That’s a real step down from being a design engineer. Between 2009 and 2014 I used up a lot of my savings, which is why I have practically no money now for this project. I’m too embarrassed to tell how I earn money for my car now (no, it’s nothing illegal or X-rated!), but it’s all I can get. I’m too old to be hired by a company doing what I have a degree in, and I’m too young to collect any retirement. I’m stuck in the middle with no good options. The upside is that I do have some time now that I can put towards the car. So that why I said that anything that gets done to this car will have to be done by me. I have extra time to put into it, but I don’t have much money. So, there’s my story in a nutshell.
                       
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