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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the initial stages of building a 406. I have a 511 block with the stock crank and rods. My initial plan was to go with edelbrock rpm heads and cam, air gap intake and 850 holley dp. Looking to be around 10.5:1 cr. I already have the intake and carb from the 350 thats in the car. My biggest concern was the 170 runners in the rpm heads. I was thinking I should go bigger. Is there a better head and cam choice I should think about? It's somewhat of a budget build but I'm willing to spend the usual for new heads.

It's going into a 73 Nova SS with a M-20 4pd and a 4:11, 8.5in 10 bolt. Street car with occasional strip pass. It would be nice to get into the mid 12's when done

Any and all thoughts are more than welcome.

Thanks in advance, Joe
 

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That motor will be a torque monster with those heads...those heads will keep the velocity up really well, which is what you want for a street motor..imo that will be an excellent street motor and if you hook i would say 12.30-12.40's are very possible....i ran the rpm heads on a 385 and went 12.19 in my 78 nova with 4.10's. The car ways 3550 with me in it......:D
 

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If you're looking for more performance, there's definitely better heads and cam options out there:yes: But I'm pretty sure the combo you have thought up already will meet you goals.
The first thing I would spend money on is a set of better rods!! The stock 400 rods aren't exactly the strongest.:no:

If you just want the performance, then a set of AFR 210 Eliminators (or the new Pro-Filer 210's with a little work done---might be cheaper too), Voodoo solid Flat tappet #60143 and a Victor Jr. would have quite a different attitude!!:devil: And would work quite well with your 4.10 gears and 4 spd (unlimited stall).
 

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I've run that cam in a 391" small block, but it's an ancient design--there are better choices out there now. As mentioned, one of Lunati's Voodoo series would be a good choice.
As for the stock rods, they are no different in strength than any other standard stock rod; some people just don't like the short rod/long stroke combo which is how ALL stock 400's were equipped.
Read the specs on Dale's old combo to see how well a mild combo can work:
http://www.maxchevy.com/features/2008/iii_1-snoke-1.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm not at all opposed to using a different intake, cam or heads. Especially if it'll up performance to low 12's. I just can't spend 2k on heads. I figure about $1200 is my head limit. Still need to keep the street torque up!
 

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I've run that cam in a 391" small block, but it's an ancient design--there are better choices out there now. As mentioned, one of Lunati's Voodoo series would be a good choice.
As for the stock rods, they are no different in strength than any other standard stock rod; some people just don't like the short rod/long stroke combo which is how ALL stock 400's were equipped.
Read the specs on Dale's old combo to see how well a mild combo can work:
http://www.maxchevy.com/features/2008/iii_1-snoke-1.html
The 400 rods use a different shorter rod bolt than the 350 and have less beef around the top of the rod bolt for camshaft clearance.
They're not quite as strong as even the typical "X" or "O" 5.7" rod.:no:

I'm not at all opposed to using a different intake, cam or heads. Especially if it'll up performance to low 12's. I just can't spend 2k on heads. I figure about $1200 is my head limit. Still need to keep the street torque up!
Like I said earlier, Low 12's can be attained with your original posted combo but there's a LOT left in it. The Pro-Filer 195's can be had for under $1k completely assembled!! The 210's are a couple hundred more of course.
With a different set of heads and intake and a more modern cam grind, Mid-11's shouldn't be a problem.:no: That all boils down to what YOU want. A mild-mannered mid-to-low 12 second ride or a little more nasty sounding mid 11 second ride?
With 4.11's and a 4 spd, torque isn't going to be your problem.:no: Traction will be!!:devil:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Ok, I definately prefer the nasty sounding 11's!!! If only a cam and intake change will get me into 11's, I'm all for it and open to ideas.
 

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Ok, I definately prefer the nasty sounding 11's!!! If only a cam and intake change will get me into 11's, I'm all for it and open to ideas.
I'm not gonna say it's not possible but a better set of heads would DEFINITELY make it easier!!

Someone was wanting to get more info about the Pro-Filer 100% American made aluminum heads a little while back so here ya go.

Profiler is a US company and a US casting and their current head designer is Darin Morgan, formerly the Reher-Morrison head of cylinder head R&D. Darin recently redesigned the head.

Here is some info on Darin:

http://www.darinmorgan.com/dmch.html

They are also known to consult with Ray Franks and Carl Foltz among others.

Their 195cc offerings are priced (under a grand completely assembled) to compete with the imported crap that's trying to flood our market with "Ok for the price" parts and are fresh runner designs and not just copies of older heads.

Here a video link of their production facility.
http://ywnv.vidiac.com/search/profiler/0/2b367f3d-a273-4542-9e06-9b4101859345.htm
 

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same cam

I've run that cam in a 391" small block, but it's an ancient design--there are better choices out there now. As mentioned, one of Lunati's Voodoo series would be a good choice.
As for the stock rods, they are no different in strength than any other standard stock rod; some people just don't like the short rod/long stroke combo which is how ALL stock 400's were equipped.
Read the specs on Dale's old combo to see how well a mild combo can work:
http://www.maxchevy.com/features/2008/iii_1-snoke-1.html

I helped my brother build his 383 , i wanted him to use a lil bit bigger cam and so did Lunati but he wanted the same cam in this 400 so thats what he got , with the short 400 rods. It did great. Got almost 20mpg ( 4 speed ) with a 700dp with 67cc dart torker heads with a TM1 intake. The short rod wonder saw many trips past 6500 and never had a problem.

I believe the story on this 400 shows the night and day difference what a person can do with a 400 compared to a 350 or 383 for that matter. That bigger bore really changes the ball game.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Been doing a bit of homework checking out the Pro-Filer heads. I've actually read alot about them in the last couple hours. They sound like the real deal. I'm going to give them a call and get a feel for them. I might just have to give them a try. Price is real good. Flow numbers seem a bit skeptical but other than that, probably worth a shot. Now for a cam......
 

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292h comp

i know its ancient , but i saw a 292H comp cam do great in a 406 if your wanting to keep it under 7000, it didn't sound that great , but it ran really good in a very heavy car with 373's , TCI street 3500 stall , and drag radials,,, biggest thing that pissed me off about that engine is that I sold him the block and how great it ran , :mad:,lol
 

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Been doing a bit of homework checking out the Pro-Filer heads. I've actually read alot about them in the last couple hours. They sound like the real deal. I'm going to give them a call and get a feel for them. I might just have to give them a try. Price is real good. Flow numbers seem a bit skeptical but other than that, probably worth a shot. Now for a cam......
Voodoo solid Flat tappet #60143
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow! That cam is huge! A couple questions regarding it. It lists operating range as 3000-7200. I have heard it's not wise to rev the 400 much past 6000. Is there any truth to that? I do want that rough, lopey idle but is that cam going to effect vacuum? Prior to this thread, I have also heard good things about the 292H and Comp Cams Big Mutha Thumper. Going with a cam of this nature, would i be better off with a taller, single plane intake. Sorry for all the questions, just getting back into the car thing. I haven't put a motor together since high school. Mid life crisis I guess.......
 

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7.40's at 2700 altitude

that 406 i knew with the 292H ran 7.40's at 2700ft altitude ( subtract .4 compared to sea level ) with a weiand 8004 intake , 750 holley dp , 292H with 186 double hump 202 heads in a 86 ss monte that weighed 4200lbs, still had the a/c on it
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I saw a few videos on youtube of the big mutha thumper and 292h cams. They sound fantastic. Thats the sound I'm looking for. I'm assuming the voodoo sounds about the same. But then again, I've been told never to assume.
 

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Typically to get a comparable solid cam to a hydraulic cam, you add 8 degrees. So a 248 @ .050" solid would be comparable to a 240 @ .050" hydraulic cam. Soooo, they actually look pretty close and should be pretty comparable. With the wider LSA, the Lunati should pull a bit more manifold vacuum than the Thumper but either one will make power brakes struggle.

Comp Thumper
Int Exh
Adv duration 295 313
Duration @ .050 243 257
Lift .500" .486"
LSA 107
ICL 102

Lunati Voodoo 60143

Int Exh
Adv duration 296 306
Duration @ .050 257 265
Lift .560" .580"
LSA 110
ICL 106

Note how much more "Area under the curve" the Voodoo has and how much more lift!! :yes:

I don't know anything about the seller but this isn't too bad:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/LUNA...emQQimsxZ20090312?IMSfp=TL0903120010003r32329
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have 1.6 roller rockers I was going to use. Would that be ok with this cam or would I need to go back to the 1.5's?
 

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I have 1.6 roller rockers I was going to use. Would that be ok with this cam or would I need to go back to the 1.5's?
As long as your valvetrain is set up correctly it shouldn't be a problem with either cam. On the Voodoo it would make it .597" on the intake and .619" on the exhaust. Kinda starting to sound like street roller numbers.:D and the Thumper it would be .533" and .518". :rolleyes:
 

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I have a similar Lunati cam in my engine, it's an older grind, they hadn't put out the solid voodoo line yet when I ordered it.

Mine is 292/302, 256/268 @ .050, .550/.571 w/1.5 rockers 110/106

In my 383 it only has about 6 lbs of vacuum at idle in gear. Of course you have a 406 and a 4 speed so you'll probably be in much better shape, at well over 10 lbs.

Also that advertised rpm range is for everything from 327-406. Your 406 will peak a little earlier. I bet it will be done by 6500 for sure.

I also wanted to comment on possible head choices. I've watched this thread and it looks like you're getting bit by the performance bug. I can say from experience, just buy the afr's now or you'll wish you did later. They aren't that much more but it's hard to find anyone that's ever dissapointed they got them.

I bought brodix ik200's because they were a great deal, Complete for under $1000 when I got mine. And they work fine but I know I've left something on the table.

Just my 2 cents. It'll be a fun and winding road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Using the voodoo cam, I gather that I would get better results with a single plane intake. Or use a dual plane to keep the low end up? I got some unexpected retro pay from our last contract today. I'll probable spring for the AFR 210's now.
 
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