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The Buildup begins: Project BowtieBigBlock

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by BowtieRed, Jun 25, 2003.

  1. BowtieRed

    BowtieRed 1/2 ton status Author

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    Alright, well I've worked on engines before, BUT. . .I've never BUILT an engine, and I sort of need a small list of things to get, I mean the little tihngs, bearings, etc. . . cam bearings? I'm going to get a block from a scrapyard, a 4 bolt and i've decided NOT to bore and stroke it like i previously planned. i'm aiming for around 450-500hp before i drop a blower on, so i need to stay abour 11:1 compression. i do mostly mud runs and little or no rock crawling, so super low end torque is not what i need. basically i'd like to get an idea of the little things i need and then i'll go from there. also- should i go ahead and sandblast and paint the block before i start building it, once i know the block is good? also- i have an offer for some ported rect. port LS6 head with titanium retainers and oversized valves for $700, but someone else said the oval port heads flow better, so should i try and get the LS6 heads, because we all know they are awesome? ok. . .before i ramble too much, i'm trying to stay pretty lost cost here, so i'm thinkin stock crank and new rods with some forged flat top pistons, and a pretty high lift cam. what spec do you think i should look for? i know that's a lot of questions but any that you could answer would help immensely, and any other advice is greatly appreciated
    thanks,
    red
     
  2. Don

    Don 1/2 ton status

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    If You're gonna add a blower, the compression will have to be around 8, 8:.5 to 1, otherwise it'll blow skyhigh!

    UNLESS, Your'e gonna run race gas, and a cam with alot of overlap.
     
  3. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Your going to need ALL the pieces to rebuild an engine. You can look at "kits" for what components you may need, but yes, all bearings, timing stuff, pistons, and so on. If you have a machine shop already chosen, you might ask them what they can do for parts, sometimes they are just as cheap as summit or jegs, or maybe less.

    IMO I wouldn't sandblast a block. (sand gets wedged into the metal, and can come out later) Media blast MAYBE, but most shops now probably "shake and bake" the block, dunno what all is involved, but sounds like a big dishwasher for blocks. Mine came back and it wasn't dirty at ALL...nothing came off on clean fingers from anywhere on the block. Like $40. Look real close at crevices and corners, such as the lifter valley. Even after cleaning, leftover sand(?) from when GM cast the blocks, will sometimes be built up in the corners. Baked in place, hard, but still removable.

    I'd say wait for paint until you have the bottom end and heads all bolted up, make it a little easier to mask off what you DON'T want painted that way. I did my oil pan and timing chain seperately, but I was bored. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    If you are talking about making power, low cost is going to go out the window, get ready for that now. Every time you think low cost, something else will need to be done you didn't plan on. Look at it this way. Pay the money now and know it is built correctly. Or, wait until it blows up, scattering all your time and money on the ground.
     
  4. slimlynn1

    slimlynn1 1/2 ton status

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    If you're going with a blower I would recomend a forged steel crank instead of a stock crank. Also if you are looking for cheap, nitrous is much cheaper than a blower, but I would still recomend a steel crank.
    Just my $0.02.
     
  5. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    "Low cost" and "big block" are seldom used in the same sentence. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    Unless you plan to run this rig as a race-only truck running on 110 octane racing fuel, 11:1 compression is gonna be WAY too high for what you're planning. Everything that I've ever read about big blocks has said that they are much less forgiving of high compression ratios than small blocks are. Add forced induction (or nitrous) and the problems will just be compounded.

    Serious blower motors are built with low compression ratios (in the 7.5-8.0:1 range) so that the boost can be cranked up. With much higher compression the boost will be limited to the 3-5 PSI range before severe detonation sets in. If you're serious about the blower, you should wait to build the engine when you can really afford it all at once. You can buy cams that are designed to work best with the extra efficiency of a blower, but they aren't the best for normally aspirated applications. If you want to run a lot of boost, then you start getting into some fancy stuff like o-ringed heads, mounted to the engine with studs, to minimize the chance of blowing head gaskets when the boost comes up. You'll also need a bulletproof bottom end to deal with the stress, or as Dorian pointed out, you'll look up in the rear view mirror one day and see engine parts following you down the road. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    Based on what you plan, I would look for a 2-bolt main block and then have splayed bolt 4-bolt caps installed. It will be stronger than a stock 4-bolt engine. As for the heads, those LS6 heads are great in a light car with really low gears, but they are weak at low RPM's and are not the best for getting a heavy truck moving. But they would work pretty good in a mud racing truck with a very loose torque converter. They make massive power at high RPM's, making them great for drag racing type stuff. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
     
  6. BowtieRed

    BowtieRed 1/2 ton status Author

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    Alright, all good, points. . . .screw the blower-
    by low cost i didn't mean 1500, i was thinking around 3-4k over ther course of 6-12months, and i've been lookin around for rebuild kits and pistons and rockers and its been adding up to around 2800, but i know i'm missing stuff and things will come along. right now i'm on a different computer that's slow, so on saturday when i get home i'll post a list of part i'm wanting to buy and maybe ya'll can tell me what i'm missing, and what i should change. if i get a 454 with stock heads, and port and polish them pretty good, what kind of power could i pull from them with some nice roller rockers, retainers, bigger valves, springs and a decent size cam? is 500 possible without a blower? 600. . . eventually? thanks ya'll are tons of help. . .
    thanks,
    red
     
  7. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    The heads are the most important part in making really big horsepower. LOTS of flow is required to run with the big dogs. If you want to get lots of engine building info on 454's, try poking around over at www.454ss.com Some of those guys have built some pretty nasty stuff. Making lots of torque is fairly easy with a 454, but getting the HP into the 1.5 HP per cubic inch range is gonna mean winding it up, which requires a lot of air to be moving and a very stout bottom end that is balanced really well.
     

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