Category: Engine Builds

450 Horsepower – 480 LB-FT Torque 396 Big Block Chevy

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Block and Cylinder heads

The build started with a rare factory 4 bolt main 396 block # 3855962.

The block received the usual machine work: magnaflux’d , bore and honed .030 over with a torque plate, decked, and line honed.

I always use ARP main bolts for added strength

You can tell it’s a 396 block by the intake valve reliefs machined into the deck to help eliminate cracks all the extra casting flash was ground off

Before

 After

 

The oiling holes were smoothed and lifter valley was cleaned up.

Cylinder heads

Stock # 3872702 cylinder heads with a 98 cc closed combustion chambers were used. They received magnfux’d, decked, new valve guides, 3 angle valve job, and Manley 2.07″ intake and 1.725″ exhaust stainless steel valves.

Because the 396 has a small 4.125″ bore cylinder I resisted the temptation to install larger valves.  I did use a .100″ longer valve to accommodate the taller lift of a bigger camshaft.

The cylinder heads received a pocket porting where the bowl under both valves were opened up, valve guides were narrowed, and the exhaust ports were polished.

In the 60’s gasoline had lead in it, not so much in 2017. To accommodate running on unleaded fuel harden valve seats were also installed.

To ensure no oil gets into the combustion chamber the guides were cut so Viton oil seals could be installed.

The Bottom End

This 396 already had a great factory forged steel crankshaft. It was turned .010 under on both the mains and the rod journals, polished, oil holes were chamfered, and balanced.

Stock size 6.135″ Scat full floating connecting rods with ARP bolts, forged Icon pistons, and Hastings single moly piston rings were used.  Piston to wall clearances were set between .0035″ – .004″.

The pistons have a small dome which creates a total of 9.5/1 compression with the 98 cc combustion chambers.

Main and Rod clearances were set to .00275″and .0025″ respectively and the crankshafts end play was set to .005″

The oil pump is a standard volume, standard pressure Mellings.  Unless you’re planning on running a 7 quart oil pan or larger a hi-volume pump is not recommended. The oil pump received the usual blue printing to ensure the relief valve worked properly and the cover to gears clearance was correct.

Notice the oil pickup is tack welded to the pump to ensure it does not come loose

The pistons were set at .015″ below the deck

The Valve Train

The heart of the valve train is a Comp Cams custom grind billet hydralic roller # 2640-16 Intake .510″ lift 230 @ .050 –  exhaust .520″ lift 236 @ .050 on a 110 lobe center.

Note: because this is a 1966 block the rear camshaft main journal and the rear cam bearing both have a groove machined in them. Using a non-grooved camshaft and rear bearing in the earlier block with result in engine failure!!

Finishing the rest of the valve train are Comp Cams hydraulic retro-fit roller lifters, Comp Cams one piece push rods, and Scorpion 1.7 ratio roller rocker arms

A double roller timing chain with a Torrington bearing a long with a nylon cam button was installed.  Because the block was line honed a .005″ smaller timing chain had to be used.

The cam was set at 2 degrees advanced

Induction, fuel system, and ignition

A Quick Fuel 750cfm double pumper carburetor, Weiand duel plan intake manifold, Edlebrock hi volume mechanical fuel pump and a HEI distributor was used.

The HEI distributor was recurved to have 14 degrees of timing at idle and 38 degrees of timing at 3800 RPM

This engine has the performance needed to be successful at the drag strip or auto cross but has the manners to be a great street cruiser

Click on the link below to see and hear it run on the engine stand

396 big block Chevy 450 horsepower – 480 Lb-ft torque

468 Big Block Chevy – 624 horsepower – 590 lb-ft torque 

A Gen V four bolt main 7.4L block and all the parts that will go into 468 build

Forged SRP Pistons, Scat 6.385″ connecting rods with ARP bolts

An Iskenderian hydraulic roller cam, Cloyes double roller timing chain,  a pair of Profiler 290cc aluminum cylinder heads

The beginning

A Gen V – 4 bolt main 7.4L (454) block hot tanked, magged for cracks, line honed, bored .060 over, decked to zero deck height

  

Removed the extra casting flash and cleaned all threads with a thread chaser, installed new dura bond cam bearings, the top and bottom of the cylinders were chamfered to improve ring installation reduce scuffing of the piston skirts

 

Checking bottom end clearances

I cleaned and deburring verifying the quality of the bearing finish and ensure they are burr free before installation

I torqued the ARP main cap bolts to 100 lb-ft  verify the crank main journals (2.748″)  then checked to journals (2.751″) to get our (.003″) bearing clearance The rod journals were (2.194″), torqued the ARP rod bolts to 63 ft-lb, verify the connecting rod bearings (2.219″)  to get our (.0025″) bearing clearance  Note: The first set of rod bearings yielded a (.003″) clearance after installing a slightly under sized bearing we got our (.0025″) clearance

    

checked the crankshaft end play with a few taps of the rubber mallet it was (.006″)

Bottom end installed

 The forged SRP piston diameter (4.277) the cylinder diameter was (4.281″) gave use (.004″) piston to cylinder wall clearance

To insure proper cylinder sealing and minimize oil consumption the ring end gap needs to be set.  I used a set of Total Seal file fit rings which are (.005″) larger than the bore diameter. This allows the builder to cut the rings to the exact size for each cylinder.  The ring manufacturer calls for a  (.019″) top ring and (.016″) second ring end gap.  Each ring is hand filed and fitted to its specific cylinder.

  

The pistons are installed and I check the deck height (.000″)

   

After the pistons and rods are torqued down the rod side clearance is checked (.023″ – .024″)

Camshaft and oiling system installed

 I installed an Iskenderian hydraulic roller cam 396282/293 installed it +3 degrees advanced

  

I installed a timing chain with a Torrington bearing the Gen V Big Block timing chain covers are hard to come so I modified the existing cover but I welded on an additional plate to stiffen it up, the camshaft end play is (.005″)

     

I installed a 7 Qt. Moroso pi; pan with an oil scraper

  

The oil pump pickup to oil pan clearance was set at (3/8″) I tack welded the pickup to the pump

   

Heads, valve train, and induction system installed

The rocker arms, lifters, and push rods were installed, piston to valve clearance on the intake (.220″) and exhaust (.200″)

The valve train geometry and push rod length was verified the push rods lengths ended up at (7.650″ and 8.650″)

Installed an Edelbrock Performer RPM Air-Gap intake manifold, Speed Demon 850 CFM double pumper carb and MSD billet distributor

Dyno Testing – Judgement Day

I ran the 468 on a DTS Powermark dyno at Saddleback Community College in Mission Viejo Calif.I did a 20 minute break-in verify timing and set the air/fuel ratio and after a quick cold down period we let the 468 go pulling it to 6500 RPM

624 horsepower – 590 lb-ft torque on 91 Octane pump gas

Click here to view the JMac Performance built 468 on the dyno

 

 

This engine is a great example of what can be done when the proper parts are used and the proper engine building techniques are implemented

Contact John@JMacPerformance.com if you’d like more details on this engine build

 

383 Small Block Chevy 440 Horsepower – 473 Ft-Lb Torque 

The goal with this build was to make a strong engine that has good street manners and enough power to be competitive at the track or for off-roading.

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“Block Prep”

The build started with a good factory 4 bolt main block that was magnifuxed, bored and hone .030″ over with a torque plate, line honed, then decked. All the block casting flash was removed and the oil return holes in the lifter valley were cleaned up and radiused.

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The block was cleaned, all the bolt holes chased and chamfered to ensure the heads would sit flush on the deck. The oil galley holes behind the timing chain were tapped and threaded pipe plugs were installed.

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The bottom of the cylinder bores were sanded with emery cloth to eliminate the sharp edge to reduce scuffing of the piston skirts

Bottom of cylinder radiused Block clearanced

The galley plug under the rear main cap was removed and replaced.  Dirt and small metal shavings from the machine work usually hide behind this plug, this is the best way to clean it out

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“The Bottom End”

The bottom end needed to handle 600+ horsepower so a SCAT bottom end kit was used. It has a cast steel 3.75″ stroke crankshaft, 6.0″ connecting rods, KB pistons with floating wrist pin, Speed-Pro moly piston rings, and Clevite bearings. All bearings were deburred before installation.

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I installed Dura bond performance cam bearings.

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The main bearing clearances were checked, all of came in at .0025″. The main cap ARP bolts were torqued  to 75 lb-ft on the inner bolts and  65 lb-ft on the outer bolts

The crankshaft end play which was set at .004″

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The pistons rings were cut to .026″ top – .022″ Second, .015+” oil ring, The piston to cylinder wall clearances were verified at .0026″ – .028″, the connecting rod bearing clearances were set at  .0022″. After installing the pistons on the connecting rods the ARP con-rod bolts were torqued to 45 lb-ft. Connecting rod side clearances were at  .017″ – .019″

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A standard pressure/standard volume Mellings oil pump and hardened oil pump shaft was used. The oil pump was disassembled, cleaned and clearances were checked before installation The oil pump pickup was tack welded to the pump after the oil pan to pickup clearance was set at 3/8″.  A crankshaft oil scraper was installed and the clearances set at  .060″

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 The clearances specification sheet

383 build sheet

“Valve Train  and cylinder Heads”

A Comp Cams 12-212-2 valve train kit was used: camshaft, lifters, push rods, valve springs, retainers, and locks. The cam timing was degreed to 2 degrees advanced. The block was line bored so a  -.005″ timing chain with a Torrington bearings was installed

Comp Cam street 383

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“Cylinder Heads”

Iron World Product Sportsman II 200 cc cylinder heads were used.  They were pocket ported in the bowls below the valve seats and the intake valves received a 52 degree back cut  to help increase the low lift flow numbers.  Stainless steel 2.02″ intake and 1.60″ exhaust valves were used. The  combustion chambers were checked and came in at 78cc. With a flat top piston and zero deck height the static compression ratio was 9.25/1. The heads were placed on the flow bench see the spec sheet below

World heads flow numbers

After checking spring retainer to valve guide seal clearance the valve spring height was set to 1.800″. The rocker arm geometry was checked. Notice: the use of Crane Cams full roller rocker arms and poly locks.

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“Induction and Ignition

An Edelbrock RPM Performer intake manifold was match ported to the heads and the dividing bar between the dual planes was contoured to ensure equal distribution to all the cylinders. You can see the intake runners before and after match porting.

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“Ignition system”

An aftermarket HEI distributor was used. To help increase torque and low end horsepower I recurved the distributor timing.  I closed up the mechanical advance slot to reduce the distributors total advance so more initial timing can be added at a lower RPM. About .080″ was removed from the slot to reduce the total mechanical timing by 6 degrees. The initial timing can be set at 14 degrees instead of the usual 8-10 degrees while keeping the total timing at 38 degrees. I installed lighter advance springs to have all  timing in by 3500 RPM.

On the dyno this added 8-10 Lb-ft of torque between 2500 to 3500 RPM

HEI Distributor curve

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“Carburetion”

A Mighty Demon 650 CFM double pumper carburetor with Idle and high speed air bleed jets was used

An Edelbrock 650 carburetor was initially used during the dyno testing, the Demon carburetor was worth 20 horsepower 20  lb-ft torque throughout the entire RPM range.

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“Judgement day” 

The 383 was tested on a DTS engine dyno at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif. After a 20 minute initial break-in  I did a few low rpm pulls to set the timing to 38 total degrees. I tuned the carburetor with a few main and high speed air bleed jet changes.  

It made 473 lb-ft torque @ 4100 and 442 horsepower @ 5600.  It made 418 lb-ft torque @ 2500 and never made under 400 lb-ft torque through the entire rpm range.

Street 383 Graph  Street 383 dyno sheet

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Click the link below to see a close up of the engine on the dyno

440 HP – 473 TQ Street 383 close up on the dyno

This engine is the best of all worlds!  With it’s pump gas friendly 9.25/1 compression it can be a daily driver. 442 horsepower and 473 lb-ft of torque will get the average muscle car or street rod into the 11’s at the drag strip or dominate the off road in a 4 x 4 truck.

455 Oldsmobile Fuel injected “Stump Puller” 

The goal with this build was to create an engine with exceptional low RPM manners, run well on 91 octane, and have muscle car performance

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“Getting to the bottom of the 455 Olds build”

A stock “F” 455 block, stock iron crankshaft, and stock connecting rods was used.  All the parts were magnifux’d, the block was bored and honed .030 over with a torque plate, the connecting rods were resized and had ARP bolts installed, the crankshaft had the oil holes chamfered, and the journals polished.  

455 Oldsmobile engines have a poor oiling systems with a history of low oil pressure and bottom end oil starvation so a Mellings standard pressure/standard volume oil pump was used. it was blue printed to ensure proper clearances and an .080 shim was added to the relief spring for more low RPM oil pressure  

Melling M22F - Melling Oil Pumps

Many people try adding a high volume pump to address the Olds 455’s oiling issues but in stock form these engines have a very poor oil return from the heads to the pan.  A high volume oil pump increases the problem by pumping more oil up top and potentially draining the oil pan in the process.

The oil passages in the Olds 455 block are quite large. Because of the way the oil flows in the block more oil is directed to the camshaft, push rods, and rockers arms leaving less at the bottom end.  So I added oil restrictors to the # 2, 3, and 4 main oiling passages between the main and cam bearings which limits the oil up top increasing oil to the mains bearings.

     

 

The rule of thumb is .001″ of clearance for every 1″ of crankshaft journal diameter. However, the Olds 455 has a 3″ main journal diameter and 2.5″ diameter on the rods, making for .003″ main and .0025 rod clearances which is too wide for a street engine. So the clearances were closed up to .0025″ mains and .002″ on the rod bearings.

  The return holes in the heads were opened and radiused. A slight groove was ground in the lifter valley below the heads oil return holes to get the oil back in the pan quicker. The lifter valley was polished aiding oil returning to the pan

Before

    After

Before

After

A 5 quart oil pan along with a crankshaft oil scraper was installed to keep as much oil in the pan as possible and freeing up horsepower in the process.

 

The rest of the bottom end

Olds 455’s are not known for their robust main caps so ARP main cap bolts were added. Sealed power forged pistons, moly piston rings, and clevite bearings completed the bottom end along with balancing everything before installation.

“Cylinder heads and valve train”

Cylinder Heads

We used a set of 455 “G” cylinder heads, they already have harden exhaust seats which is needed with unleaded pump gas

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The “G” heads have small 2.00″ intake valves so we upgraded to stainless steel 2.072″ intake valves and 1.625″ exhaust valves. The seats received a 3 angle valve job and the intake valves were back cut to 52 degrees which proved to increase the low lift flow numbers quite a bid. The heads were pocket ported under the valve seats and the intake and exhaust ports were cleaned up. With the 80 cc combustion chamber and dished forged pistons the static compression ratio is 9.25/1 which works well with 91 octane pump gas.

Before

After

 

Olds 455 cylinder have a history of running hot and cracking the heads between the two center exhaust ports because of the exhaust crossover port that runs under the intake manifold.  To reduce heat and help direct the hot gasses out of the head I filled the crossover with zinc. This reduces the heat absorbed in the head and increases power eliminating the potential for heat related cracks

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   Camshaft and valve train

The car will be a freeway cruiser with 3.20 rear end gears and an overdrive transmission so the camshaft had to be pretty conservative. A hydraulic flat tappet Comp Cams XE256H with Comp Cams lifters, push rods, valve springs, locks, retainers, and double roller timing chain was used.  

  

Olds 455’s have pedestal type non-adjustable rockers arms, so a set of adjustable roller tip rocker arms, ARP rocker studs, and Comp Cams push rod guide plates were used

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Induction system and ignition

For low RPM drivability an Edelbrock Performer intake manifold was used matching the camshafts RPM. A FAST EZ fuel injection system was installed for better drivability.

The FAST EZ system was by far the best and easiest system I have ever use and tuned!

  

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 Ignition system

The ignition system is a basic HEI distributor with an upgraded coil. The distributor was recurved adding higher initial timing but keeping the total timing at 36 BTDC this helps low RPM drivability.

Finishing off the ignition system was a set of MSD 8.5 mm plug wires and Autolite sparkplugs.

Exhaust system

A set of long tube 1 3/4″ x 3″  headers and a pair of Magnaflow mufflers were used during the dyno session.

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404 HP – 521 Ft-Lb Torque

Big Block 455 Oldsmobile Judgement Day

 On the dyno connecting the FAST EZ EFI system was actually easier that I had anticipated. I ran the engine for 20 minutes to break-in of the flat tappet camshaft and to allow the EFI to learn what the engine needed. We began tuning with a couple of quick low RPM pulls to find the best timing at 36 degrees and ensure proper oil pressure.  The oil pressure at idle was a solid 30 PSI and climbed to a stable 50 PSI at 2500 RPM

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After 8 pulls the engine made 404 horsepower @ 5200 and a “stump pulling” 521 Lb- Ft torque @ 3300.  It made 460 Lb-Ft torque at 2500 and never dropped below 400 Lb-Ft torque from 2500 to 5200 RPM!

Click on the link below to view the dyno pull

455 Oldsmobile 404 Horsepower – 521 Ft-Lb Torque

     455 Dyno Sheet  455 Dyno graph 1

With that much low RPM torque this engine will make any Street Rod, Muscle Car, or Ski boat run extremely well!

Contact John@JMacPerformance.com if you’d like more details on this engine build.

A budget 496 Big Block Chevy.  The goal is to assemble a pump gas 500 + horsepower,  maximum torque big block on a limited budget.  A SCAT bottom end kit – Comp Cams flat tappet camshaft  –  Brodix Race Rite oval port head  –  Edelbrock Air-gap manifold and  –  Demon 850.

 

550 Horsepower 496 Big Block Chevy  The Beginning 

A standard 2 bolt main 454 block;  bore .030 over, decked a SCAT bottom end kit with a cast steel crank 4.25″ stroke crankshaft, 6.835″ connecting rods, KB pistons, Clevite bearings, and a Mellings high volume oil pump.

    

 

Heads – Valve train”  

A Comp Cams XE284H flat tappet camshaft and lifters with Comp Cams push rods, and Crane Cams 1.7 ratio rocker arms.

A Cloyes double roller timing chain with a Cloyes aluminum timing chain cover. The timing chain cover has a built in cam button to eliminate cam walk and a removable plate to allow cam timing changes with out removing the timing chain cover.

 

Cam was degreed with 4 degrees advanced.  We used the Brodix Race Rite oval port heads to help with the low end torque and because we already had an oval port Edelbrock Air-Gap intake manifold.

 

     

 

   The rocker arm geometry was checked, notice the witness line directly in the middle of the valve stem

Carb – Intake Manifold

   We already had a Demon 850 CFM speed demon carburetor, which worked well with this combination.

 

 

Judgement day

The 496 was bolt on a DTS engine dyno after the standard 20 minute break-in we did a series of pulls optimizing the ignition timing and jetting.

549 Horsepower and 609 LB-FT torque all below 6000 RPM

       

With 550+ Lb-Ft of torque from 3000 to 5200 RPM this would is an excellent street engine, especially for a heavy car like a Chevelle or Impala.

Ford 351W (393 stroker) 450 horsepower – 500 Lb-Ft torque 

A 450 horsepower – 500 Lb-Ft torque 9.75/1 Fuel injected 351 Windsor/393 stroker small block Ford. The goal with this build was low RPM torque that could move a 4000 pound 56′ Mercruiser, have great street manners, and run on pump gas.

Ford 351W (393 Stroker) “The Foundation”

The build started with a mid-1980’s non-roller 351 W, 2 bolt main, 1 piece rear main seal block. A non-roller block was used because some of the newer late 80’s/early 90’s roller blocks can have stress cracks in the valley above the cam bearings. The non-roller 351W blocks can be easily converter to roller blocks and have proved to be crack free.

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The block was hot tanked, magniflux’d,  bore and honed .030 with a torque plate, line hone, and decked. The extra casting flash was ground off and the oil holes in the lifter valley were opened up to ensure the oil returns to the oil pan without restriction.

Before – from the factory

 

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After it has been opened up

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Grinding off the excess casting flash makes the engine easier to work on and helps eliminate stress cracks.

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Ford 351W (393 Stroker) “Bottom End”

Over 500 Lb-Ft of torque can put quite a strain on the bottom end so a cap girdle was used along with ARP main cap bolts to ensure everything stayed tight and in-line.

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The 3.850″ stroke of the crankshaft didn’t clear the main gridle so it needed to be opened up at the big end of the connecting rods

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A forged SCAT 3.850″ stroke crankshaft, forged SCAT 6.2″ connecting rods with ARP bolts, forged 4.030″ ICON Pistons, Speed-pro single moly piston rings, and Cleveite bearings completed the bottom end.

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Ford 351W (393 Stroker) Oiling System

A Mellings high volume oil pump was used but the pump was to large for the main girdle. To keep the integrity of the oil pump it’s better to grind the main gridle not the oil pump

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From the factory the cylinder heads oil drain back holes can sometimes be mis-aligned. To ensure oil flows freely they were opened up and chamfered

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The oil pump was disassembled to ensure the clearances were within spec and the pressure relief value worked properly

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Ford 351W (393 Stroker) “Cylinder Heads and Induction System”

AFR Renegade 185 cc heads were used they’re CNC ported with excellent flow numbers. The small 185cc heads were used to ensure good low RPM torque over higher RPM horsepower. The smaller heads help increase the intake velocity at lower RPM creating more responsive at low RPM

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To ensure a maintenance free fuel system the FAST EZ fuel injection system was used it’s a self learning and easy to install

 

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An Edelbrock RPM Performer dual plane intake manifold matched the camshafts 2500 – 6500 RPM range. Most fuel injection systems do not like full dual plane intake manifolds so 1/2″ was removed from the center divider

Before                                                                                            After

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Ford 351W (393 Stroker) Valve Train

An earlier a non-roller block was used so I needed to install a Comp Cams conversion kit for the hydraulic roller cam. A lifter valley and “wish bones” are used over the heavier more costly linked lifters

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Two small 1/4″-20 holes are drilled and tapped into the lifter valley floor to hold down the lifter “Spider”. The area around the lifters needed to be opened up to ensure full movement

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A set of Dura-Bond high performance camshaft bearing were installed.

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A Comp Cams XR264RF-HR10 small base circle camshaft was used. A small base circle camshaft is required to ensure proper oiling to the lifters. If a standard base circle camshaft is used with the non-link bar style roller lifters they extend to far out of the lifter bore blocking the oil passages and reducing the oil moving through the system

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Because the block was line honed a -.005 smaller double roller timing chain with a needle bearing thrust washer was used. Notice the flat head Allen screws used to hold the thrust plate in place they are needed to create a flat surface for the timing chain thrust bearing.

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A set of Trick flow 7.600″ .080″ thick push rods along with a set of 1.6 ratio Harland Sharp full roller rocker arms were used

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Ford 351W (393 Stroker) “Test run”

A quick test run on the engine stand ensured all systems were worked.  After setting the parameters in the FAST EZ EFI the engine started quickly. Timing was set to 14 degrees at idle of 850 RPM and 36 degrees total all in at 3500 RPM. The air/fuel ratio’s begin to reach their target settings the longer it ran. The engine is ready to install in the 56″ Mercury Mercuriser and after about a tank of fuel will be fine tuned for many years of trouble free driving.

   Click here to see the engine on the run stand

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450 Horsepower – 500 lb-Ft Torque Ford 351w / 393 stroker engine.

Contact John@JMacPerformance.com if you’d like more details on this engine build.

383 Small Block Chevy 560 Horsepower pump gas 

JMac Performance put together a 550 Horsepower pump gas 383 Small Block Chevy. Here are the details from the parts selection to the dyno testing.

550 Horsepower pump gas 383 Small Block Chevy “Parts selection”

I started the build with a good factory block; a 4 bolt main roller block out of a mid 90’s Chevy truck. The mid 90’s truck blocks have thicker castings, 1 piece rear main seal, and are fitted with hydraulic roller camshafts from the factory.

Knowing the 383 would be pushed to its performance limit I used all forged bottom end parts:

CP Bullet pistons, forged 3.75″ stroke crank, and 6.0″ forged connecting rods.

      

The key to making good horsepower is in the heads, camshaft, intake manifold, and carburetor. I used a set of Airwolf 220e’s, a Dr. J’s match ported single plane intake manifold, custom ground hydraulic roller camshaft from Iskendrian, and a 750 Mighty Demon carburetor.

     

550 Horsepower pump gas 383 Small Block Chevy “Block Prep”

 I had the block cleaned (hot tanked), bored and honed  .030 over w/torque plate, decked, and line honed. I installed new Durabond performance cam bearings. The performance cam bearings are a little harder that standard bearings so they can with stand higher loads brought on by higher valve spring PSI.   The block was thoroughly cleaned with soap and pressured hot water. All the bolt holes were cleaned with a thread chaser and the camshaft oil galley plugs were taped for allen head plugs.  

      

The bottom of the cylinders and the oil pan rail had to be clearanced to make room for the  3.75″ stroke crank and 6.0″ rods. The bottom of the cylinders were also chamfered to help reduce friction and piston skirt scuffing. 

    

To ensure maximum flow out of the oil pump I put a radius on the rear main cap oil hole.

 

550 Horsepower pump gas 383 Small Block Chevy “bottom end work”

To ensure the 383 will live a long and happy life I mocked up the bottom end and checked all the clearances.

I started with the main journals.  After having the crank polished I got 2.477″ on the main caps and 2.48″ on the crank giving us a solid .003″ clearance. I did the same with the connecting rods; 2.097″ on the rod ends and 2.100″ on the crank giving us the same .003″ clearance.

         

Next I checked the piston to cylinder wall clearance;  4.026″ on all the pistons, 4.0302″-4.0303″ on the cylinder walls giving us a little over .004″ piston to cylinder wall clearance. All the piston rings were hand filed to top -.019″, second – .023″ , oil ring – .015″ . 

Note:  To help reduce internal friction and free up a little extra Horsepower the CP Bullet pistons had a 1.5 mm, 1.5 mm, 3.0 mm ring pack.   

   

Before torquing everything in place I set the crank end play at .005″  

 

After all the clearances checked out I assembled everything together torquing the mains to 65 ft-lb. and the rods bolts to 63 ft-lb. Notice I used ARP bolts on both the rods and the main caps.  

Double checking the deck height we got -.005″ out of the hole.  This set us up with a quench of .036″ which helps reduce the chance of detonation on 91 octane fuel.  

    

550 Horsepower pump gas 383 Small Block Chevy “Oiling system”

 Leaving nothing to chance I always disassemble the oil pump (Mellings 55HV) and check all the clearances.  Notice the hardened oil pump shaft and welded on oil pump pick up. 

To help reduce windage and free up some more Horsepower I used a 6 qt. oil pan with a built in oil scraper and windage tray.  before bolting on the oil pan I set the oil pump pick to oil pan clearance to 3/8″.

    

550 Horsepower pump gas 383 Small Block Chevy “Valve Train”

At the heart of this 383 is a list of quality valve train components, starting with the custom Iskendian hydraulic roller camshaft. It is a single pattern camshaft with .595 lift,  244 degrees of duration @ .050 and an advertised duration of 290 all on a 110 lobe center. 

Because of the roller block the factory style hydralic roller lifters (I used Comp Cam lifters), guide plates, and holder were used in place of retro fit lifters.

       

     

 To take advantage of the free flowing heads I wanted as much lift as possible so I installed Harland Sharp1.6 ratio rocker arms.

Using custom length Comp Cam one piece push rods allowed for the proper rocker arm geometry.

   

550 Horsepower pump gas 383 Small Block Chevy “Completed”

 Here’s the completed engine waiting to be tested on the DTS dyno.

After completing a series of tuning pulls here’s a copy of the final numbers

 558 Horsepower @ 6300 – 510 ftlb @ 5000

 

Click on the links below to watch the this engine on the dyno

558 Horsepower – 510 LB-FT dyno pull

Idling on the dyno

 

 

A mild street 383 Small Block Chevy that was intended for a 41 Ford pickup street rod made for pulling a trailer. The goal was Max torque while keeping mild street manners and daily reliability

 

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A standard 010 350 block bore and hone .030 with a torque plate, decked, magniflux’d, and line honed. A balanced SCAT bottom end with KB hypereutectic dished pistons for a pump gas friendly 9/1 compression, 3.75 stroke cast steel crankshaft, 5.7″ connecting rods, and clevite bearings

 

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A factory windage tray, Mellings HV oil pump, and 5 quart oil pan

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A pair of Pro Topline Vortec style aftermarket heads design was intended to increase torque which fit this build perfectly. They were pocket ported and had stainless steel Ferrea valves added to ensure good flow numbers

 

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The valve train was a 264/270 Iskenderian Mega camshaft, lifters, valve springs, steel retainers, and clips.  Custom length one piece Comp Cams chrome moly push rods along with self-aligning full roller rockers.

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An Edelbrock Vortec Air-Gap RPM Performer intake manifold, Edelbrock 750 Carburetor, and HEI distributor

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Bolted up to the dyno a 20 minute break-in period then a few pulls to the optimize timing and jetting we had 380 horsepower @ 4900 RPM and 460 lb-ft torque @ 3400.

The engine had over 400 ft-lb of torque from 2500 to 5000 RPM.  

  383 dyno sheet  383 dyno graph

This 383 has that muscle car sound without being over the top. It will work for any street rod, muscle car.  Pump gas friendly it is mild enough to be a daily driver

Budget 350 build 

The Beginning

   

 

I had a 350 Chevy in the garage for several out of a 1971 Corvette (VO609CJK) unfortunately it was a 2 bolt main block, stock cast iron crank and, and 3973487 casting heads  

 It was bore .030 over, the connecting rods resized, decked, crankshaft polished, line honed, installed Keith Black pistons and moly rings on the rods a new 8″ stock harmonic balancer. then the rotating assembly was balanced  

A little head work

I had the heads decked about .020″.  (with the new pistons the compression ratio was now 9:1) updated to new stainless steel Ferrea (1.94″ intakes, 1.50″ exhaust) valves and did a 3 angle valve job.  I placed a 52 degree back cut on all the intake valves to help with low lift flow numbers. The 487 heads were got hardened valve seats on both intake and exhaust making them compatible with unleaded fuel. They were pocket ported in the bowls about 1″ under the valve seat, reduced the valve guide, blended in the new hardened seats, opened up the exhaust ports, and cleaned up the casting inside the intake port then  Comp Cams valve springs, steel retainers, and clip were installed 

Dyno testing 

The 350 was bolted together using Fel-Pro gaskets, a Mellings standard PSI and volume oil pump, 6 qt.oil pan, stock push rods and rocker arms, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake manifold, MSD street fire HEI distributor, and a Demon 625 carburetor

 

Performing the usual 20 minute break-in on the DTS powermark dyno I was able to get the Budget 350 to pump out 356 horsepower @ 5300 RPM and 386 lb-ft torque @ 4300 RPM. Not bad considering this engine was rated at 270 horsepower new from the factory. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Budget 350 gets a 50 horsepower tune-up

Making 356 horsepower from the Budget 350 was acceptable for its original purpose, crusing to car shows in a 1930 Model-A Ford.  However, 1.0 horsepower per cubic inch isn’t exactly going to set the performance world on fire. There was definitely more power to be had so I set out to find it. 

Here’s what I did: 

  • Upgrade the rocker arms from stock pressed metal to full roller rocker arms with poly locks.

 

With the added pressure from the new rocker arms I needed to upgrade to a bolt in stud.  Not wanting to have the stud bosses machined I stopped by my local machine shop (Engine Supply in Santa Ana Ca.) for some help. They recommended a bolt in stud used as a direct replacement for the press-in type currently in the heads. All that I needed was a stud pulled, course thread tap that matched the studs, and of course 16 studs. The use of a  rocker stud removal/tap alignment tool from Comp Cams made the job easy.    

 

 

 

  • Upgrade the camshaft and lifters

I needed to add a little more lift and duration to fulling utilize the ported heads.  I happened to have a Comp Cams XE268H flat tappet cam on the shelf.

  • Increase the size of the carburetor

The last upgrade was increasing the size of the carburetor from a 575 Speed Demon to a 650 Speed Demon.

 

Budget 350 gets a 50 horsepower tune up “Dyno testing again”

After upgrading all the parts I took the Budget 350 back to the engine dyno.

Click on the link below to watch the engine on the dyno:

Budget 350 dyno pull

 

In order to get real world numbers  I used the Hooker Super Competition headers and the Magnaflow mufflers from the car it was going in, my 69 Chevelle.   

      

After setting the timing and re-jetting the carburetor the junkyard 350 made 403 horsepower @ 5700 and 426 ft-lb of Torque @ 4200.

Wanting to get all I could out of this combination I tested several carburetor spacers.

 

I found the 4 hole 2″ spacer made the best power curve .  It made 400 Horsepower @ 5700 and 430 ft-lb torque @ 3900.  Not a significant change at the peaks from the non-carb. spacer pulls, however the average torque numbers went up quite a bit from 2500 to 4500.  Knowing the car weighs 3500 lb. with the driver that extra torque was worth the loss of horsepower up top.

Here’s a copy of the graph with both dyno pulls.  You can see the difference in the  torque from 2500 to 4500.

Budget 350 gets a 50 horsepower tuneup “Testing in the real world”

After all the upgrading and dyno testing it was time to test the Budget 350 in the real world. I installed it  in the JMacPerformance 69 Chevelle.

A few details on the car:  4:56 gear, 28 x 12.5 x 15 Mickey Thompson ET street rear tires, Turbo 400 transmission, 2800 Stall converter, 6 point roll cage, 3500 lb. with driver. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I ran it at the PSCA “Spring Break Super Show” held  March 11th – 13, 2011 @ Auto Club Dragway in Fontana Ca.  

It ran a best 12.486 @ 107.43 mph and the engine never went over 6000 RPM.  In fact the shift points were set at 5750 RPM.

 

The Budget 350 is a solid economical Street/Strip engine. It is a  good example of what can be achieved with good engine building techniques, focusing on the parts that make power (Camshaft, valve train, and heads), and putting together a combination of parts that work together.

JMacPerformance dyno tunes a 600 horsepower 350 small block Chevy

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The 350 was built by a high school friend of mine Rodney Reimer.

His 68′ El Camino which was featured in the pages of Car Craft January 2009 has a turbo 400 transmission with a 5500 RPM stall converter, 12 bolt rear-end with 4.30 gears, and 10″ wide Hoosier quick street DOT rear tires.

The goal of the build was to make 600 Horsepower on E85 fuel

The build started with a stock GM 4 bolt main block that received the usual machine work: Bored .030 over, decked, and line honed.  It received a full fill of blok-hard to increase the integrity of the block and for a little added security

The list of major compentents: 

357 ci
4.030 forged pistons – 12.2/1 compression
RPM LIGHTWEIGHT 3.50″ STROKE CRANKSHAFT
RPM 6.0 RODS
Heads Profiler 210cc and 2892 Super Victor manifold prepared by Juan Mendoza / Flow Technology
Pro Systems Carburetor E85 950
Custom Comp Cams XE 292
solid roller / steel billet  108 lsa
1.6 intake / 1.5 exhaust rockers
Schoenfeld 1 3/4 headers
Thru 3″ magna flow mufflers

After running the engine for 20 minutes on the dyno the valve lash and all the fasteners were checked. We did a few quick pulls to optimize the timing at 38 total degress and ensure the air fuel ratio was in a safe 12.5/1 range.

The engine ran flawlessly making 601 Horsepower and 497 lb-ft of Torque

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601 horsepower will get his El Camino well in the 10 second quarter mile ET’s

450 Horsepower – 480 LB-FT Torque 396 Big Block Chevy

JMac Performance built a 450 Horsepower – 480 LB-FT Torque 396 Big Block Chevy. The goal with this build was a solid street engine that could be a weekend cruiser with enough attitude to perform well at the track.

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The Foundation
Block and Cylinder heads

The build started with a rare factory 4 bolt main 396 block # 3855962.

The block received the usual machine work: magnaflux’d , bore and honed .030 over with a torque plate, decked, and line honed.

I always use ARP main bolts for added strength

You can tell it’s a 396 block by the intake valve reliefs machined into the deck

To help eliminate cracks all the extra casting flash was ground off

 Before

 

 After

The oiling holes were smoothed and lifter valley was cleaned up.

     

Before                                                                    After

Cylinder heads

Stock # 3872702 cylinder heads with a 98 cc closed combustion chambers were used. They received magnfux’d, decked, new valve guides, 3 angle valve job, and Manley 2.07″ intake and 1.725″ exhaust stainless steel valves.

Because the 396 has a small 4.125″ bore cylinder I resisted the temptation to install larger valves.  I did use a .100″ longer valve to accommodate the taller lift of a bigger camshaft.

The cylinder heads received a pocket porting where the bowl under both valves were opened up, valve guides were narrowed, and the exhaust ports were polished.

In the 60’s gasoline had lead in it, not so much in 2017. To accommodate running on unleaded fuel harden valve seats were also installed.

To ensure no oil gets into the combustion chamber the guides were cut so Viton oil seals could be installed.

The Bottom End

This 396 already had a great factory forged steel crankshaft. It was turned .010 under on both the mains and the rod journals, polished, oil holes were chamfered, and balanced.

Stock size 6.135″ Scat full floating connecting rods with ARP bolts, forged Icon pistons, and Hastings single moly piston rings were used.  Piston to wall clearances were set between .0035″ – .004″.

The pistons have a small dome which creates a total of 9.5/1 compression with the 98 cc combustion chambers.

 

Main and Rod clearances were set to .00275″and .0025″ respectively and the crankshafts end play was set to .005″

 
 

The oil pump is a standard volume, standard pressure Mellings.  Unless you’re planning on running a 7 quart oil pan or larger a hi-volume pump is not recommended. The oil pump received the usual blue printing to ensure the relief valve worked properly and the cover to gears clearance was correct.

Notice the oil pickup is tack welded to the pump to ensure it does not come loose

The pistons were set at .015″ below the deck

The Valve Train

The heart of the valve train is a Comp Cams custom grind billet hydralic roller # 2640-16 Intake .510″ lift 230 @ .050 –  exhaust .520″ lift 236 @ .050 on a 110 lobe center.

Note: because this is a 1966 block the rear camshaft main journal and the rear cam bearing both have a groove machined in them. Using a non-grooved camshaft and rear bearing in the earlier block with result in engine failure!!

Finishing the rest of the valve train are Comp Cams hydraulic retro-fit roller lifters, Comp Cams one piece push rods, and Scorpion 1.7 ratio roller rocker arms

A double roller timing chain with a Torrington bearing a long with a nylon cam button was installed.  Because the block was line honed a .005″ smaller timing chain had to be used.

The cam was set at 2 degrees advanced

 

Induction, fuel system, and ignition

A Quick Fuel 750cfm double pumper carburetor, Weiand duel plan intake manifold, Edlebrock hi volume mechanical fuel pump and a HEI distributor was used.

The HEI distributor was recurved to have 14 degrees of timing at idle and 38 degrees of timing at 3800 RPM

This engine has the performance needed to be successful at the drag strip or auto cross but has the manners to be a great street cruiser

Click on the link below to see and hear it run on the engine stand

JMac 450 Horsepower – 480 Lb-ft Torque 396