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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
1962 Chevy II - 3:73 Posi - 4 Speed. Will be a street / strip car not a show car.

As luck would have it, I've been accumulating some motors / parts. My current motor is perfectly fine - first gen solid lifter 350. It will last several more years so I have time to decide on next build

Options / Parts:

-have one high nickel original bore 350 3970010 block 4 bolt
-have another already bored 350 3970010 block 4 bolt - needs to go 30 over
-have another 3970010 350 2 bolt, this one may go on craigslist
-This is where my life got misconfused, I also have a really nice 400 block and crank!

I love the high winding small blocks, so was dreaming of a 377. Then got realistic and thought just build a 406 with a new 400 rotating assembly, then I'd still have parts to build a 383 with the OEM 400 crank and one of the 350 blocks.

Would the 406 just be too torquey for the lightweight Chevy II? Would I be better off even with slicks if that power was down the track a little bit on the RPM's? Let the "there's no replacement for displacement lectures begin! :D
 

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Like you said....no replacement for displacement. lol. I’d do a 406. Awesome little small block. Awesome torque but can still twist to 7,000 or better. I love the 421 in my 66. Ridiculous torque as soon as I smash the pedal but still makes power past 7,000. Peak power on mine is at 7100. Rev limiter is set to 7500. I shift at 7400.
 

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I did stick shift drag racing for 13 years. Hundreds of passes.

The more gear the better. 4.56's were much easier on parts than the 4.10 or the 4.30. In fact the 28" 3055S tire and 4.56's made 6000rpm clutch dumps "gentle" in comparison to the horrendous 4.10/26" combo. Much faster too!


Slicks are a 100% must with a stick. That's where your shock absorption comes from and they recover and hook up with traction after just a couple of rotations. The goal is not a dead hook, its just enough slippage to keep the engine rpm up and the car moving. I can't emphasize tires enough. Drag radials with a stick just flat out don't work if you're serious about getting down the track.

The engine is the fun part to think about, but the real deal with a clutch car is getting the tires, suspension, and launch rpm dialed in. Oh yeah, and fixing all the broken parts. :eek:

I vote on running the solid lift 350 and putting in lots of track time!
 

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6" rods and everything forged? Seems like a lot of R's for a 400! Tell me the secret sauce!
6” Callie’s rods and crank. Forged. A great bottom end is well worth it. Scat makes a real nice crank and rods also for the money.
 

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Suspension upgrades should be the first thing you spend money on, even if it is just frame connectors and shocks. Most everyone goes right for the engine mods but if you hang around the track and ask the old guys what to do first most will say suspension. If you put slicks on a stock 62 Chevy II suspension, 383 and get it to dead hook a couple of times, no one will have to tell you where you should have spent the first couple of dollars. This is assuming you haven't already upgraded the suspension, I over read that part if you stated it. Anyway enjoy it and there are a lot of life long friends to be made at a drag strip, some very good people and willing to share what they know. RTR
 

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If you are really trying to keep it a street car, then I think any of the engine combos you have listed are fine. With todays knowledge and head gasket sealing a 400 is as good an option as the others. Everybody used to be scared of the 400 because of head gaskets and overheating but I don't see that really anymore. Yeah, the blocks are kind of weak for HIGH hp but that is not what you are after so you'll be fine. I agree, whether it be a 383 or a 406, you would want to upgrade the rods to either a 5.7 or a 6, and to me Eagle, Scat, compstar, whatever your budget allows will be fine. I like the Scat Pro Comp I beam rods for a street small block. And I've used Eagle H-beam rods to 1000 hp so if you go that route its just as well. I think I WOULD recommend though, by the time you magnaflux, cut, polish, a factory 400 cast crank, maybe a Scat 9000 would be a better choice. You can already get it with the mains cut down if you choose to do the 383. I think you'll be fine whichever way you choose to go. I am trying to get away from the racer mentality myself where every engine has to have an aftermarket block, and all aftermarket internals. My Nova had an $8000 355 in it by the time I was done. And for what? A 400+ hp engine that drove around town. The only GM part in that engine was the block when I was done.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
There's some wisdom in this thread guys thanks! Subframe connectors are installed but I really should focus on the suspension before I worry about the motor. The motor is the fun part but I will indeed get to work on traction first. Especially considering the fact my current motor is plenty healthy.

But - it will be a 406!:D
 

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There's some wisdom in this thread guys thanks! Subframe connectors are installed but I really should focus on the suspension before I worry about the motor. The motor is the fun part but I will indeed get to work on traction first. Especially considering the fact my current motor is plenty healthy.

But - it will be a 406!/forums/images/smilies/biggrin.gif
Good suspension is great for both the track and street. I went 10s with a bone stock front suspension and drum brakes on all 4 corners. Traction bars and stock 10 bolt with 3.36s. Since then I’ve done Viking coil overs up front, wilwood 13” disc brakes with 6 piston calipers, CBR 4-link rear and a narrowed ford 8.8 with 4.10 gears and disc brakes. Much better setup now!
 

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Bracketchev, I get and understand your comments about a "racer mentality". I used to think I had that addiction.
However, I will never have a Chinese rotating assembly.....no matter how adequate they may be. Maybe I have a "quality addiction", (or worse, an elitist attitude, ha!)
 

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If you like revvers put a 327 or 283 crank in the big bore 400 block, maybe no off the shelf combos available but SBCs have to be the easiest to get custom stuff.
 

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I decided I'm going to go with the 406 build. But I don't want it external balance so that I can use my other existing parts. Does anyone have experience with a budget 400 internal balance rotating assembly?
Scat makes a nice rotating assembly I’ve had 1st hand experience with. Internal balance. 350 mains. Was a 3.875 stroke instead of the 3.750 that you will probably be doing. Engine seen 7000 rpm a lot!
 

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I would have to check, but I know a 6" rod combo is able to be done as internally balanced. Get it with the long rod, short piston skirt combo and it is easy to put bigger counterweights on the crank to internally balance. It has been a while since I built one, but I THINK the 5.7 rod is able to do the internal balance. That would have to be checked.
 

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And you can tune how much and where the engine makes torque with cam timing. You can never go big enough displacement wise.
 

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Good luck. If I can’t find a forged Chevy 454 crank for my chevelle, I will be going scat 9000 in a 600 hp 496 most likely. Can’t go wrong with scat parts. The 565 had a forged scat crank in it when I sold the race car.
 

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Like ray said...that scat 9000 series crank is a great piece for the price. I had one that seen 7500 rpms a lot! And zero issues.
 

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This one is a spare engine and it's a 400 sbc. It'll be internal balance as my forged crank 383 is. My buddies 383 and my last 383 I went with the Scat 9000 and external balance. I have a new Scat forged crank for a 6" rod and have the Scat stroker rods with the 7/16" ARP cap screws. They clear up to a 3.800" stroke and no small base circle cam needed. I run the Scat stroker rods in all my builds now. I have a Howards's .545"/.565"-240*/247*@.050" hydrualic retro roller cam, lifters and Crane Gold race rockers. I have a Hughes 3500 converter for it and a Holley 300-36 dual plane intake. I need some AFR 195 heads and a Quickfuel/Brawler/Proform 750 race carb for it. I saved $200 between my cam/lifters and rockers. I find the part number I need at Summit then find them on Ebay cheaper and no taxes. Haven't bought any parts in a while for it.
 

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