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Chevy 400

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by anjieandjohn, Oct 27, 2005.

  1. anjieandjohn

    anjieandjohn Registered Member

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    Alright Bow Tie experts....I need an educated opinion. I have the opportunity to pick up a Chevy 400 for a decent price. First off, I am an idiot when it comes to what engines were built by who...The only 400 I have ever dealt with was in my 70 LeMans and it was a Pontiac. Should I go ahead and pick up the motor? How does it compare as far as performance to the other "common" motors i.e. 305, 350, and not so common 383? I know performance is a good portion of what parts you install but just looking for a general overall view. Thanks. :confused:
     
  2. 3 on the tree

    3 on the tree 1/2 ton status

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    Built with the same parts as a 350, more bottom end, won't rev like a 350.
     
  3. pauly383

    pauly383 Daddy383 Staff Member Moderator

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    Build it as any motor , strong bottom end , matched top end .

    Just make sure any heads you use are drilled for the steam holes , 400's are siamesed cylinders .
     
  4. koldsimer

    koldsimer 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    If the motor is in good shape, snag it up. Good 400 blocks are getting harder and harder to find. If it is a two bolt main, get it as these are actually stronger than the 4 bolt mains. I love my 400. It has some performance parts- rv cam, 10:1, edlebrock dual plane, headers, flows... everytime I get on it, it makes me grin. Awesome power and torque at idle, and big-block muscle car sound when stomping on it! The other small blocks really dont compare when it comes to torque... unless thay have a ****-ton of cash in them.
     
  5. 1977k5

    1977k5 3/4 ton status Vendor

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    There are Chevy and Pontiac 400's. They have trouble with overheating (poor cooling design), the 4 bolt main caps are not very good (they crack), their rods are too short, and you have to drill holes into any other SBC head to make them work. Other than that, they are ok motors. Stock (in the Chevy trucks) they made about 10 more horsepower than the 350, but if you slap some better heads, an intake, and a cam you will significantly wake the motor up. I don't know what you can get it for, but a 350 will be cheaper and probably cause you less headaches.
     
  6. anjieandjohn

    anjieandjohn Registered Member

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    I can pick up the motor w/matching heads for $200. I would, of course go through the motor to replace all the seals, bearings, etc and have the heads worked as well. Thanks for the input.
     
  7. muddybuddy

    muddybuddy 3/4 ton status

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    buy it, and send it out to me, ive got a 350tbi i know would suit u much better ;)

    haha i didnt even realize u actually are really close to me :D
     
  8. anjieandjohn

    anjieandjohn Registered Member

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    I am going to go tommorrow morning and get it. Figure I cant pass up a decent deal like that. My current engine is getting extremely tired w/222K on it. I also went looking at a local wrecking yard and found a couple of K5's that arent in to bad of shape...One has a 305 and the other has a 350 w/3 inch lift and bunch of other stuff...I can pick both of them up, clean title and all, for $1500. Both run and drive well....Dont know if the wife will tolerate having 3 K5's sitting in the driveway though...I would love it and so would my 3 year old daughter and 14 year old son but, we got to sleep somewhere semi-comfortable even if it is the couch!!! :D
     
  9. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I have one for sale too...

    The 400 SB is a good motor--they dont like high RPM's in stock form,but neither does a 454,or any other long stroke motor..lots of low end grunt though..I noticed little diference from the 454 I removed to put the 400 in ,on my 74 K20..

    I've been trying to sell my 400 SB I had in my 74 K20 for 200 bucks,complete,carb,altenator,etc..runs,but should be rebuilt.(Originally came from a 78 suburban)....only one guy showed any interest so far..NOTHING is selling up here in the northeast,tons of cars,trucks,hot rods,and anything else you could want is for sale here,but nobody has any money to spare to buy any of it..

    I might have to waste 50 bucks on gas,and admission to a swap meet in NH sunday,so maybe I'll have a prayer of selling the motor AND my 79 C10--thats where the people who are looking for things like that will be..if any of them have any money too,that is.. :doah:

    I kind of hate to go that far and spend money I'll have to borrow to get there,then face the possibility neither might sell...I'm going to call the guy who was interested locally--if he isn't buying,then I'll have to try the swap meets I guess..one more in november in CT,thats it for this year.. :mad:

    I just cut up a 73 K10 chassis that was in decent shape for scrap! :( --hated to do it,but I need money,and its cluttered up my yard long enough..next thing I'm going to sell is a huge 80 gallon,7.5 HP 3 phase indistrial compresser I cant use (no 3 phase current here,or money to pay electric bills either!)..its a 45+ CFM--I hate to junk it,but I will if I have too...the 500 Caddy motor and TH400 I have might be looking for a new home too.. :( :crazy:
     
  10. Shawn

    Shawn 1/2 ton status Premium Member Author

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    400's are a good engine.

    The only time they overheat is when people use them and expect their stock 30 year wimpy radiator to handle the job. As long as you use a large radiator, you should be fine. The simese cylinders actually make the block stronger. You can get more power out of a 400 than a 383, all things being equal. I have a virgin 400 sitting in my garage now, complete. Paid $75
     
  11. sweetk30

    sweetk30 professional hooker Premium Member

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    my 400 sbc specs: 30 over / flat tops / full polish debur and balenced / knife edged crank / good 76cc heads performer intake and rv cam. was in my 1 ton with 38" tires. never had power problem and ran 210 temp all the time. 3 core rad with shroud and 7 blade fan.


    pulled friend at 60mph dead on highway and didnt even know he was behind me. old 350 moter was o.k power but not like 400.
     

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