Help Building Big Block

Malibu Monte

Frequent Racer
I am building my first ever big block this winter and need some help. I have always been a small block guy and don't know a lot about big blocks. This is not for a malibu, but for a '69 Nova I am building. I want it to be a streetable car that can run high 11's easy on E85. I have an '88 four bolt main "high perf pass" block that will need to go .30 over.

I need help picking a rotating assy. I want it to be of good quality and made in USA, but I don't want to spend an arm and a leg.
I found this on ebay http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=300450941078&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT
I am going to call them tomorrow to ask some q's but, does anyone know if that is a good kit? Or should I go eagle or scat.
I heard that eagle and scat cranks are made in China now, is that true?

Next on to heads what can I do that is affordable that will make my power goals? Would a set of old oval ports with some bigger valves and port work done do it?

Like I said I am new to big blocks. let me know if I am out of line on my et estimate or if it is do able?
 

toxicbu

Frequent Racer
Feb 25, 2009
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romeoville il
years back i had a 40 over 454 stock
truck short block , i installed a 622 roller
and edelbrock big port 6055 heads
on 87 octane it ran an 11.80.
then the rings gave out .
that was a bad year.
 

MalibuRacing

Top Fueler
May 5, 2003
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Do you know which heads your are going to use? Like Robert said, your CR may be a little low depending on chamber size. High 11's should be a breeze with a 454. I ran that with a stock cast crank, stock rods (bolt upgrade) and hydraulic flat tappet cam.
 

Malibu Monte

Frequent Racer
Thread starter
I called the company today and yes the crank is imported as well as the rods. They also claimed that eagle and scat are also. I plan on taking the motor, stock cast crank, rods, and heads to the machine shop tomorrow and will hopefully find out on the condition and buildibilty of them early next week.
MalibuRacing said:
Do you know which heads your are going to use? Like Robert said, your CR may be a little low depending on chamber size. High 11's should be a breeze with a 454. I ran that with a stock cast crank, stock rods (bolt upgrade) and hydraulic flat tappet cam.
That sound like a build I would be more happy with Phillip. I could buy forged high compression domes, arp rod bolts, a flat tappet cam, roller rockers, and probably balance the crank and rods too.
As far as the heads I am not sure. I will try to run the casting numbers tonight. I think they are mid 70's truck oval ports. So probably not the best. I am going to check with my machinist to see if he has any that are better or knows of any. The good thing is if I don't buy a rotating assy I can afford better heads.
 

Robert1320

Pro Stocker
Eagle, Scat, Cat, PEP, and several other are all import from over seas, Ohio Crank as well.
American parts very well may bust you budget. If you can afford them I always recommend supporting American Made.
The large Oval port would be fine stay away from the little peanut ports.
10.5-1 is a good E-85 compression ration. And you can still add boost to it at 10.5-1.
 

Malibu Monte

Frequent Racer
Thread starter
Called my machinist today on his cell, His wife is sick and he will not be back in until monday. So If I can get the motor up there then I would know if it is all good later next week. I also ran the casting numbers on the heads tonight. They are 70-73 Lt. Truck 400/402 heads. Larger oval ports. Would these be good builders since they are from the early 70's?

Some info on the car and the rest of the drivetrain. It should weigh around 3400 pounds. The motor will be backed by a 400 turbo "switch pitch", 3.73 gears, and proably a 255/60 drag radial. So what do you all think? Is this a good combo for my goals?
Thanks for everyone's help so far.
 

abigda

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May 19, 2007
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Springfield, MA
I'm running 80's oval ports that my machinest fully worked over, and 11-1 compression. Makes awesome torque. Aluminum heads would have been nice, but $900-$1,100 a head is pricey
 

Robert1320

Pro Stocker
Something to think about on your rebuild. Since your looking at buying Crank, Rods, Pistons.
Throw a little stroke in it and take to 0.060" over with a good block and make it a 496cid.
That with the smaller heads will make a VERY torquey motor. Then you could go to an even
lower numerical gear.
 

Malibu Monte

Frequent Racer
Thread starter
Robert1320 said:
Something to think about on your rebuild. Since your looking at buying Crank, Rods, Pistons.
Throw a little stroke in it and take to 0.060" over with a good block and make it a 496cid.
That with the smaller heads will make a VERY torquey motor. Then you could go to an even
lower numerical gear.

Robert,
If I do buy a roating assy I will buy a 496 kit, but I am dissapointed because all of the "affordable" kits are from overseas. I have never built a motor with any parts that weren't American and I don't know if I can compromise my moral standards like that and I know I probably can't afford a kit that would be completely American. For example I google searched American 496 assy and came up with this http://www.competitionproducts.com/HRC-Track-Smart-Race-Assembly-Chev-BB-496-Dome/productinfo/RATB496D/. $2600 for what is supposedly America made parts, also found a Howard's cam kit on Summit for 2900 that is American. I just don't think I can spend that much. So if my machinist thinks my crank and rods are usable I will probably reuse them for now. I do appreciate your information and agree a 496 would be a great setup for this car.
 

Robert1320

Pro Stocker
I appreciate your stand on the the parts. All too often people only purchased based on price without concern or understand on the big picture.
For a street car 450+ cid is fine. 10.5-1 would be the a great ratio and still allow a power adder should desire to go down that road as well. Because this will be an E-85 build, discuss this with whom ever you are getting parts. If does make a difference in many things. Cams specifically, an E-85 cam will be different for pump gas. Also E-85 has good resistance to detonation but can be susceptible to pre-ignition. Keep the plugs cold and NO projected tips.

If you need more help........
 

Malibu Monte

Frequent Racer
Thread starter
Robert1320 said:
If you need more help........
Thanks for all the help so far Robert and I will let you know if I need anything else.
 

bracketchev1221

Dragway Regular
Apr 22, 2009
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Mountville Pa
A basic open chamber oval port head would be a great head for what you are doing. I ran 781 heads on a 408 BB that went mid 11's in a 71 camaro. That was 10.6-1 compression too. I know they are not USA made, but Eagle and Scat are reputable companies. I have Eagle rods and crank in my 540. Some of the others are really offering lookalike junk though. That being said, a cast crank and GM rods with 7/16 bolts is all I had in the 408.
 

Malibu Monte

Frequent Racer
Thread starter
I took the motor to the machine shop yesterday and he told me for my goals he reconmended aftermarket rods. He also said that the particular castings of oval ports I had (70-73 396-402 Truck heads) weren't very good. So he is checking for some better heads and I am shopping for rods and pistons.
 

Malibu Monte

Frequent Racer
Thread starter
353049
 

Malibu Monte

Frequent Racer
Thread starter
He said they wouldn't flow to meet my goals (the ones stated earlier in this thread). But I didn't really understand why, I figured any head made before the mid 70's 'gas crisis' emissions war or whatever ought to flow well and be a good performance head, right? Do you think I should go ahead and use them?
 

Al

Pro Stocker
May 25, 2003
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Harker Heights, TX
For the E.T. goal that you stated earlier the stock rods and crank will do fine. The 049 head is a good head. You might want to find another machine shop because it sounds like this guy is trying to make more money off you.
 

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