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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for some criticism on my setup that will point me in the right direction for more torq. I'm a cruiser, but want to be thrown back in the seat through the first few gears. So here's what I have so far; Stock gen IV 454 with peanut ports, rpm air gap intake, Dougs headers, comp roller rockers and springs, Lunati 280/288 stick on the way, Fitech 600hp with FCC and MSD timing control. What's really holding me back? My low compression? head air flow? I think my end goal is a 500-550Hp car
 

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Here is how my current engine started out
TSC engine Code= 75 Truck 454ci 215hp

it is now a punched out 467.62 ci with 91 Unleaded Pump Gas
Dyno Info = 5,000rpm .... 509.9ft/lbs TrQ ............ 5,700rpm .... 535 HP

CARB Square Bore Holley Double Pumper on top of Dr/Thottle Linkage Side GR 7921 B
On Pas. Side/Chokeless Side 4150 / HP /HOLLY LIST / 134 300C / 0286
Spacer Phenolic & Plastic / 4 hole plenum design / ½” thick
Moroso 64943: Phenolic Carburetor Spacer 1/2" Thickness | JEGS
INTAKE Manifold Weiand Stealth HiRise Dual Plane 4150 Carb Flange/Sq Bore/OvalPorts# 8019
Weiand 8019: Stealth Intake Manifold BB-Chevy 396-502ci - Oval Port | JEGS
HEADS Edelbrock Performer RPM Alum Heads # 6045
290cc Oval Intake Ports ............. 110cc Combustion Chambers
2.190'' Int/1.880'' ExhaustValves 1.550'' ValveSprings, .700'' Max Lift 7/16'' Rocker Studs Stroke = 4.000
HEADERS - Hookers # 2455-1HKR Ceramic Coated
OD#s 2” Tubes x 30” Long / Collectors 3.5” x 10” Long
COMP CAMS – 'Xtreme Energy' XE284H Hydraulic Flat Tappet MS-COM 11-250-3 SN# VW4520-13
COMP Cams 11-250-3: Xtreme Energy 284H Hydraulic Flat Tappet Camshaft Only Lift: .574" /.578" Duration: 284°/296° RPM Range: 2300-6500 | JEGS
STre/STrp 2,800+ stall rough idle 9.5:1 compression Operating Range: 2,300 – 6,500 RPM
Duration Advd: 284* Intake / 296* Exhaust Duration @ .050'' Lift: 240* Intake / 246* Exhaust
Valve Lift w/1.7 Rockers: .574” Intake / .578 Exhaust Lobe Separation Angle: 110

See my sig for Track Results from a Stock Weight/Type Street Car
better times coming this new year with some more Frontend Suspension Tuning
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for detailing your build! That's right were I want to be. It seems like I'm lacking in the compression and head flow area compared to you... When you had the machine work done, what did you put back in to get your compression up? Are you still running the stock crank?
 

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Mike, if you simply want the "thrown back" feeling, your rear gears will fix that. If you want quick and easy power, throw a procharger or blower on it
 

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stock heads is what is holding you back followed by compression.
If it was me and I didn't want to touch the shortblock other than the cam,I would pick up a pair of closed chamber heads (215,063 or 290 castings) have the 2.19/1.88 valve installed and the chambers relieved to take advantage of the larger valves followed by some port work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Mike, if you simply want the "thrown back" feeling, your rear gears will fix that. If you want quick and easy power, throw a procharger or blower on it
Ehhh, well the rear was one of the first things I did. Between the cost of the rear, having it setup with a limited slip, I think I'll stick with the 3.73 for now. I acutally sold my procharged off my daily driver and bought a Fitech, non-power adder version. So I don't want to take steps back..



stock heads is what is holding you back followed by compression.
If it was me and I didn't want to touch the shortblock other than the cam,I would pick up a pair of closed chamber heads (215,063 or 290 castings) have the 2.19/1.88 valve installed and the chambers relieved to take advantage of the larger valves followed by some port work.

I think machine work is pricey in my area. When I brought some heads to a few shops in my area they wanted close to $1400 after all said and done. This was for larger valves, guides, decking, and hardened seats. I gave up on that since aluminum heads aren't too far off from that.



CRANK Cast Steel MS-EAG104544000
Eagle 104544000: Chevrolet 454 Cast Steel Crankshaft 4.000" Stroke | JEGS
HaD a local engine builder tear down old 468 that had multipule sized Pistons
machined work done to make them one size

PISTON SET - SEAL2399NF60-8 Speed Pro Powerforged 454 4.310" Bore / Comprn Distance 1.645"
Sealed Power 8KL2399NF60: Forged Piston Set w/Prem Rings | JEGS
Could you have used your stock crank if it was in good shape?
 

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I think machine work is pricey in my area. When I brought some heads to a few shops in my area they wanted close to $1400 after all said and done. This was for larger valves, guides, decking, and hardened seats. I gave up on that since aluminum heads aren't too far off from that.
This I will tell you,you don't need hardened seats..period. Money saved right there. Also, weigh the cost of the machine work on the used heads vs. what it would take to buy those aluminum heads which still have to be checked out (more $) before being installed and in addition, the cost to buy pistons and have a shortblock done to get the compression up.

FWIW,you could buy the valves,springs and retainers for $200 at Competition Products.

reconditioned GM heads and a cam look pretty cheap if you current shortblock is sound.

And leave the 3.73 gear,more than plenty for what you want to do :thumbsup:
..and a stock cast crank is fine too.
 

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1969 Chevelle 2 Door Sport Coupe Malibu COPO clone
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Stock gen IV 454 with peanut ports,
:cool: You say "peanut ports" but your signature says "oval ports." Peanut ports are truck heads that are really small. Oval port heads are the heads you want for street usage.

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This I will tell you,you don't need hardened seats..period. Money saved right there. Also, weigh the cost of the machine work on the used heads vs. what it would take to buy those aluminum heads which still have to be checked out (more $) before being installed and in addition, the cost to buy pistons and have a shortblock done to get the compression up.

FWIW,you could buy the valves,springs and retainers for $200 at Competition Products.

reconditioned GM heads and a cam look pretty cheap if you current shortblock is sound.

And leave the 3.73 gear,more than plenty for what you want to do :thumbsup:
..and a stock cast crank is fine too.
Where's a good place to look for reconditioned heads? The short block is sound as far as I know. It has about 80k miles on it, but compression was even across the board, at about 147#, if I remember correctly..


:cool: You say "peanut ports" but your signature says "oval ports." Peanut ports are truck heads that are really small. Oval port heads are the heads you want for street usage.


Yeah, I've been trying to figure out how to updated my sig with no luck. I definitely have the peanut port truck heads.
 

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Where's a good place to look for reconditioned heads? The short block is sound as far as I know. It has about 80k miles on it, but compression was even across the board, at about 147#, if I remember correctly..
I would do some research and visit in person some machine shops.

You need a good shop that understands what you want and won't screw you. Give them this for parts:Head Improvement Kit, Chev BB, 2.19-1.88" Valve, Hyd/Mech FT - Competition Products a pair of closed chamber heads and tell them to install the valves,no hardened seats,clean up the chambers. Check with any drag racers in your area on who might be the good guy/go to shop.
 

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ehhh, well the rear was one of the first things i did. Between the cost of the rear, having it setup with a limited slip, i think i'll stick with the 3.73 for now. I acutally sold my procharged off my daily driver and bought a fitech, non-power adder version. So i don't want to take steps back..

I think machine work is pricey in my area. When i brought some heads to a few shops in my area they wanted close to $1400 after all said and done. This was for larger valves, guides, decking, and hardened seats. I gave up on that since aluminum heads aren't too far off from that.

could you have used your stock crank if it was in good shape?
yes
 

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The heads are what is killing you. Get some aluminum aftermarket heads. Forget spending any money on used 50 year old iron heads. Get smaller chambers to get the compression up and don't go crazy with the runner size and kill the torque.

New BB aluminum heads can be found as cheap as $1000 now a days.
 

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Well more than $1000 a piece festooned with the right stuff, $1000 a pair if you want crap that wont work without another machine shop bill. Iron maybe at that low price point can be done - and even they run just north of $1000.
 

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There is no Chicom cylinder head that has a 101 cc chamber to get the compression up on a flat top 454
Ain't nothing wrong with GM cast iron in this application. It's called old school hot rodding-it will get the job done.
 

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1968 Malibu sport coupe, 489 ci. 590 hp 600 tq, RV T-400 Freakshow 3200 stall, 3.73 12 bolt posi
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I bought a set of 063's $300, comp products big valve & spring kit $200, butcher shop to install valves & springs because they been around for 75 yrs ( didnt know the floor sweep had bought the place) $506, then GOOD shop re-installed everything for $320 ( where I should have went in the first place) so I think it can be done under 1K, also watch for piston / valve clearance and quench
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The heads are what is killing you. Get some aluminum aftermarket heads. Forget spending any money on used 50 year old iron heads. Get smaller chambers to get the compression up and don't go crazy with the runner size and kill the torque.

New BB aluminum heads can be found as cheap as $1000 now a days.
I looked a bit online at the cheap heads, but my head was spinning with all the neg and pos reviews. It seems like its a real gamble, unless you go with a set that has been gone through by a reputable seller. Skip White appears to have a good rep, but there now seems to be multiple skip whites? You can buy his low dollar heads with quality parts for 1000, but still need studs and adjustable guides for another 100. Then you're most likely gona have the heads inspected by a local shop for more money and fingers crossed they don't need work. I'm sure there are a lot of success stories, but unfortunately I feel like more people come to the internet to complain about the product. So we don't know the true success to failure ratio with the offshore castings


There is no Chicom cylinder head that has a 101 cc chamber to get the compression up on a flat top 454
Ain't nothing wrong with GM cast iron in this application. It's called old school hot rodding-it will get the job done.
I'm not concerned about weight by any means, so cast iron is fine with me. I bought new BB springs and those aren't coming out any time soon.

If people are concerned with investing money in 50 year old heads, what about Merlin heads or chevy performance heads? Or is the 119cc chamber too much?
 

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Edelbrock has a head with 100cc belive around 1200$ each. Afr 265 and brodix race rites can be milled so the chamber gets smaller I dont remember how much think 102-104 or so gor the afr's check with wolfplace aka Mike Lewis. Anyway dont belive you can get a pair of quality alu heads for much under 2500$ if you want around 100cc chambers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks Marcus

Hey, is there any reason 454 isn't listed for the 215 and 063 heads?


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