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Discussion Starter #1
I'm knee deep into my ground up 71' Chevelle 454 restoration. This will be a pump gas street car and want it to go fast, stop quick, corner as good as possible, and sound mean as hell. The chassis (powder coat doner frame) is mostly done (thx Mark @ SC&C- AFX suspension kit, V2 Verishock, 14" Baer 6P brake F/R, Track 9 Currie 9", Hellwig FX frame kit & F/R swaybars, Hydroboost, etc..), Bonspeed Malibu wheels, Cooper tires 305/35/20 & 245/40/19. So it's time to move on to engine and Trans.
I know I'm going to replace the TH-400 with a true Art Carr 200R4 to add O/D and the lower 1st gear, and put on EFI or Fast fuel injection.
My dilemma is- what to do with the engine - go down the rabbit hole path of a rebuild or just replace it with a crate engine.
The current 454 had ok power but it didn't run all that great before I started breaking the car down, it could have been due to the cheezy carb, who knows..
The previous owner claimed to have rebuilt engine recently (Engine: 454 +.30 = 461) w forged pistons, H-beam rods, & roller rockers (unverified).
I don't exactly trust the work ethic of previous owner since he decided to hack into the front frame section to clearance ridiculous 22" wheels which is why I replaced the frame.
I am fairly mechanical but not so much with engine science.
I'd like to be in the 450-500 HP/torque, 10:1 compression ballpark.

So here are the numbers I got off the engine and heads.
Engine Pad ID# *TO127 TSD T5A505
Cylinder Heads - 862 Casting #-336781
Other head markings-
A15076 (PASS X) GM1 OT K26 / 79 *GM11T.

I'm looking for some advise on which direction to go and/or success story details- reliable engine builders to go with, what types of heads, cam, etc.. Or a good crate vendor solution.
 

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Boldly procrastrinating
66 El Camino 57 Chevy pickup 2004 Tahoe
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rebuild it as a 496 in that block and enjoy life. You can even re-use the heads. Just be sure to a roller cam to dispense with all the drama about flat cam lobes.
 

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As Tom said above build it bigger,its easier to make more power.
If you want to do it yourself it wouldn't hurt to contact Mike "Wolfplace" Lewis for help with a rotating assembly.
Lewis Racing Engines
Mike has been known to save TC members a buck or two.
He can supply a balanced kit matched to your budget & needs.
He has helped me with a couple of projects and he knows his way around a big block Chevy.
Guy
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thx Guy and Tom.
What the big difference between what you get out of and alum head vs steel? Does the cost justify the means?
I'm in Cali about 8 hrs south of Lewis Racing. I'll shoot Mike an email to see what he thinks.
More to come..
 

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Brian,
one big difference is app 80 lbs off the front end of your car.
Plus you get all new components versus rebuilding/upgrading old heads,ie;new valve guides,bigger valves,valve job,springs,are just a few things your old heads may need to bring them up to spec.
And a quality set of heads,AFR,Brodix,etc .,will outflow a stock set of OEM heads.
And they will have flow #'s which will help greatly with camshaft selection.
Guy
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Found out my current 454 engine is only a 2-Bolt. Figures as much :( If I'm going to do this it's going to be a 4-Bolt. Thought I at least had a good starting point. Need to do some more research on a complete setup or finding a block and putting one together. Emailed Mike "Wolfplace" and he seems to be backed up on complete engines but was helpful and did offer to help suggest what to use for roller assembly. My uncle is pals with a couple of the NHRA A-Gassers, so I'm going to start there first. The more research I do the more complicated this becomes. I've got a decent budget but some options are not in my ballpark. That Edelbrock EFI 555 is nice but more than I need including the $19k price tag. Ever check out Nelsons Racing here in CA? That Alien intake setup is nasty ($15k add on). They did some amazing stuff with just adding their Alien intake setup to a GM 502 crate. I also PM'd VortecPro - Mark Smith in Colorado I think. Seen some great feedback on his work, guess he use to be close to me in CA at one time, just haven't talked yet but plan to.
More to come...
 

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Found out my current 454 engine is only a 2-Bolt. Figures as much :( If I'm going to do this it's going to be a 4-Bolt. Thought I at least had a good starting point. Need to do some more research on a complete setup or finding a block and putting one together. Emailed Mike "Wolfplace" and he seems to be backed up on complete engines but was helpful and did offer to help suggest what to use for roller assembly. My uncle is pals with a couple of the NHRA A-Gassers, so I'm going to start there first. The more research I do the more complicated this becomes. I've got a decent budget but some options are not in my ballpark. That Edelbrock EFI 555 is nice but more than I need including the $19k price tag. Ever check out Nelsons Racing here in CA? That Alien intake setup is nasty ($15k add on). They did some amazing stuff with just adding their Alien intake setup to a GM 502 crate. I also PM'd VortecPro - Mark Smith in Colorado I think. Seen some great feedback on his work, guess he use to be close to me in CA at one time, just haven't talked yet but plan to.
More to come...
I would deal with whichever engine builder you decide on, then take their advice. Even though your uncles friends may have race cars that doesn't mean they are up to date when it comes to a street engine.

Steve R
 

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Build the two-bolt Brian...this isnt a small block with the same limitations. It will be plenty durable at and above your expectations. I would also not rule out cast iron heads...you will be rewarded with ease of header fitment. A efi set-up will put a grin on your face every time you get in the car.
 

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Boldly procrastrinating
66 El Camino 57 Chevy pickup 2004 Tahoe
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>>> Build the two-bolt Brian..

What he said. A 4-bolt block buys you nothing.

build it as a 496, .060 over with a 4.25" stroke. have the block decked to zero deck clearance with the rotating assembly you get. Buy a set of the Edelbrock 100cc chamber heads. use a hydraulic roller cam with 280 duration ground on a 110 LSA. run the Edelbrock Perf RPM AG and a ZZ4 dist with an 850 type carb.

It'll feel like you got rear-ended by a freight train. with OD trans and 3.50 or so gear it'll loaf on the freeway at 80, roast any street tires you can get, run 130 on the top end.
 

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Found out my current 454 engine is only a 2-Bolt. Figures as much :( If I'm going to do this it's going to be a 4-Bolt. .
Brian.........A 2-bolt block is fine. My 289 casting block is 2 bolt, with ARP studs. It sees 7k rpm often ;) with zero issues. :yes:
 

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Fwiw, I too have a 289 two bolt block with ARP main studs, 496 rotating assembly, 781 heads, rpm air gap, Comp cams solid flat tappet 294s, 850 holley d.p.
More power and tire smoking torque than you'll ever need in a street car, trust me. :thumbsup:
 
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