FOUND my 400sbc

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Jbug.jbone

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Jan 6, 2020
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Alright fellas, so I got the motor on the stand today. They we’re definitely 3/8-16 just had to blow them out. Took the oil pan back off clean out what ever I could find, flipped her over to spray down the pistons/rods with air to make sure nothing was left. Flipped her again, sprayed down the walls with penetrating oil. Let it sit a while while I killed a beer or two, came back to it. And was able to turn over. So not locked up.. it also helped once I pulled out the rest of the lifters..
the bottom end of the engine looks good. Gave it a few revolutions as I sprayed more penetrating oil. Might just slap some head on her and a cam, and send it till she blows.
 

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ELCAM

Royal Smart Person
Jun 19, 2021
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Start working those lifter bores like you did the cylinders they are pretty rough. Start with a brass wire brush with lots of oil and then a 7/8" (.875") hone.
 
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86LK

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Jul 23, 2018
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Alright fellas, so I got the motor on the stand today. They we’re definitely 3/8-16 just had to blow them out. Took the oil pan back off clean out what ever I could find, flipped her over to spray down the pistons/rods with air to make sure nothing was left. Flipped her again, sprayed down the walls with penetrating oil. Let it sit a while while I killed a beer or two, came back to it. And was able to turn over. So not locked up.. it also helped once I pulled out the rest of the lifters..
the bottom end of the engine looks good. Gave it a few revolutions as I sprayed more penetrating oil. Might just slap some head on her and a cam, and send it till she blows.
either use it as a beater until you get a good motor in it, or use it to practice other skills such as head porting
 
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Jbug.jbone

Apprentice
Jan 6, 2020
63
32
18
Start working those lifter bores like you did the cylinders they are pretty rough. Start with a brass wire brush with lots of oil and then a 7/8" (.875") hone.
Hell yeah I’ll be getting some wire brushes later today or sometime this week. What’s your thoughts on me soaking the block in diesel?
either use it as a beater until you get a good motor in it, or use it to practice other skills such as head porting
Yeah that’s the plan as of now. Speaking of better engines I actually have a 6.0 in my garage
 

Jbug.jbone

Apprentice
Jan 6, 2020
63
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Soaking the block will get debris in the oil passages.
I stuck a flat head into the water passages? Not sure what else to call them.. scraped off the gunk in there, then spent like 15 minutes blowing the thing out
 

Texas82GP

Just-a-worm
Apr 3, 2015
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At a minimum, I'd tear it down, thoroughly clean the block and carefully inspect it. I'm not there and I can't see those pictures real well but I'd run a hone in the cylinders and see if they clean up. If they looked ok, I'd consider refreshing it on the cheap with a basic overhaul (rings, bearings, freeze plugs, gaskets, seals). Whether to go this way or not depends on your confidence in being able to sufficiently inspect and recondition the parts and get it back together right. It's possible to do a quite acceptable job yourself with the investment of the time, attention to detail, some parts and a few tools. There are numerous good books out there on how to do this to a small block Chevy. Study up on the do's and do not's before you tear it down (stamping caps, taking pictures, etc.) I don't see any value add to putting it in the car without tearing it down and reconditioning it first.

A mild cam, dual plane intake and headers will wake it up. It won't be a big powerhouse in relatively stock form but will feel good (better than anything they put in these cars stock except the intercooled Turbo 3.8) with 3.42 gears and an overdrive transmission. Vortec heads would be nice but the right rear gear, the overdrive transmission and a good tune up are more important in my view. It would get the car running on a budget and so long as the crank and bores look ok, you can avoid the machine shop like you want to. Even if the bores don't clean up perfectly, who cares if it uses a little oil? It's a hobby car. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't be satisfied with it if it smoked or fouled plugs.

I was going to refresh my 400, but it needed an overbore and had already been bored 0.030" over. I didn't want to hassle with it and was in a hurry so I bought a crate engine and sold the 400.

If you want to build it up with high dollar parts, take it to the machine shop.

Otherwise, go with your 6.0, but LS swaps are typically neither fast to perform nor cheap to execute.

Just my $0.02.
 
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DRIVEN

Geezer
Apr 25, 2009
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It looks a whole lot better than I expected. Might be able to get away with a rings and bearings refresh. I still wouldn't use those heads. As others mentioned, a nice mild cam. I think a decent used pair of Vortecs would be a great addition. They aren't expensive or hard to come by.
 
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Ribbedroof

Comic Book Super Hero
Supporting Member
Jan 4, 2009
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Does anyone even hot-tank anymore? Everything I see says they bake them and sometimes blast to remove scale
 
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CopperNick

Comic Book Super Hero
Supporting Member
Feb 20, 2018
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Bell housing bolts are 3/8ths NC x 2" ? long. ARP makes a kit for chasing Coarse threads that only cleans out the crud. A tap is designed and meant to cut new thread in a bore or hole. Used as a thread chaser it will shave the peaks off the existing threads and make them loose. Makes it easier to strip 'em out.

Before you go trying to run a bolt into any hole, be sure to clean it out. Deep Creep works, CFC Brake Cleaner does too. For a brush, try a gun bore brush from an Outdoors Shop. They come in various diameters.

The value of the 400 depends on what use you plan to make of it.

For an out and out g-machine, don't even bother with a 350, go straight to stroker. The 383 has the torque; the 377 the top end.

The 400 was designed as a heavy vehicle motor; trucks, R-V's Chevrolet Impalas, 70-72 Monte Carlos. The proverbial two tons of fun.

As built, their components were selected for the purpose of making torque, not horsepower.

Contrary to some schools of thought, they can be built. A lot of them got raced to death on the dirt short tracks way back when.

The major considerations here are, having the block cleaned and magnafluxed. That will expose any external damage and internal issues. For a decent street motor forget the stock components They will give you the factory values, no more.

Once it is clean and checked for cracks, have a bore gauge taken to it to check the size and shape of the cylinders. That will disclose any previous overbores and tell you if there is room to grow left.

For the reciprocating assembly, Scat, Eagle, ?? This is a homework thing. Their catalogues offer all the info you'd need to pick a combination that will do what you want. They also have 800 numbers for questions.

If you elect to convert the heads into paperweights, then be sure that whatever replacement you acquire is compatible with the steamhole circulation design of the block.

All the rest, cam, valve train, intake, etc, are whatever will work best for what you want.

As anyone here can testify, if you want a good motor, you pay good money and buy good parts and use a good machine shop or builder to assemble it. This is one case where Cheap in equals Cheap Out.



Nick
 
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