Big Block Chevy Advice

Discussion in 'Engine Topic' started by JordonRS355, Mar 17, 2019.

  1. JordonRS355

    JordonRS355 Member

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    Hey guys, first post in a long time! Been real busy with work and life and what not. Been working on my latest project in the building of my 79 drag car by doing a little engine retrieval. Pictures below of the mayhem I caused to the front of an RV in order to get said engine :crazy:

    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AnhcUvYxpNLNiwKx1Q6rx1uZbXL9

    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AnhcUvYxpNLNiwOiOwbsCHbJCGGR

    So The engine pictured is a big block 454 with casting 14015445. This tells me, if I'm not mistaken, that this could be either a 2 or 4 bolt main. My question for the more experienced guys is would there be a way, short of pulling the pan, to identify this engine as a 2 or 4 bolt main before pulling it? I'm going to pull it either way, was just wondering.
     
  2. krabben1

    krabben1 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I would say no.There was some speak of an outside tell,but then it didnt pan out always.I would say it probably is a 4 bolt main,just because of the application.
     
  3. 1980RS

    1980RS Veteran Member

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    I know a lot of 4 bolt mains have the 2 big oil cooler holes on the LH side of the block above the oil filter. It really does not matter, a 2 bolt main is strong enough for most anything you can through at it. 5445 is a good block.
     
  4. RS1979

    RS1979 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Even if it's a 2 bolt main you can get 4 bolt splayed mains for it. Personally I feel they are stronger than factory 4 bolt mains.
     
  5. Rich Schmidt

    Rich Schmidt Veteran Member

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    2 bolt mains will handle 800 HP easy. You can identify a 4 bolt by looking at the size of the threaded plugs above the oil filter. The 4 bolt has larger holes.
     
  6. JordonRS355

    JordonRS355 Member

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    So I pulled the 454, halfway done with tearing it down and got the oil pan off, 2 bolt main. Picture is attached.

    My next question is now that we know the mains answer, if I go with 4 bolt main splayed caps, what is the process needed to make this work? It will be my first build involving splayed caps. I would imagine that after the block is tapped and threaded correctly, the main journals would have to be ensured to be symmetrical correct?

    *Fun Fact* The engine has had someone inside of it at some point in its life, the main caps were in in the incorrect order
     

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    Last edited: Mar 28, 2019
  7. jeff swisher

    jeff swisher Veteran Member

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    I would like to know what kind of power and RPM you are going to build into this BBC to require a 4 bolt main conversion.
    625HP and 200HP of nitrous and the 2 bolt will live happy for a long time.
    800 HP and 300 shot then probably 4 bolt but not stock caps at all
     
  8. 80NastyZ

    80NastyZ Veteran Member

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    Use the block as is with the 2 bolt mains , it'll be fine .

    The 496 in my car has been to 7500 many times on the 1-2 shift , 2 bolt block , even has a cast Scat crank ........ :rolleyes:

    If the caps were in the incorrect order , I would have your machinist check the mains for straightness , possibly it was line bored in the past and the machinist at the time moved the caps to make the removal of material in the process minimal.

    TOM
     
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  9. JordonRS355

    JordonRS355 Member

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    Wow, I’m only looking to take mine up to around 6800-7000 MAX! That’s good to hear from some whose experienced it firsthand, do you mind elaborating in your setup?

    The mains were definitely out of order, I’m not SUPER worried about because I looked at the journals and caps and all and everything seemed have normal wear patterns. But I will DEFINITELY be having my guy I have do my blocks check to to make sure everything is concentric or not. Like I said not super worried but fingers crossed!

    I’m estimating it to be in the 625-650 range so you’re right on the money. I’ve just mostly had experience with small block builds and have had the “backwoods experts” here in Kentucky tell me if I’m gonna run a stock stroke then my 2 bolt will be fine, but I’d i run a 4.250 then I’ll need a 4 bolt. My plans are to shoot it with at MOST a 200 shot, but just wanted to pick your guys brains on here and see if there’s any first hand experience unlike the hearsay from my neck of the woods.

    I appreciate the input guys, first big block build here, just looking to do it right so as to get the best performance and longevity I can out of it. It’s going in my 1980 and this car is LIGHT WEIGHT. Got a lot of projects going on with it, mini tubs, rear end swap, roll cage modifications, waiting on plexi-windows.
     
  10. rotinrob

    rotinrob Member

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    Unless you plan on making really serious HP save your money on the cap conversion and spend it somewhere useful like quality rods, a good steel crank and cap studs. However since it has mixed caps I would also have the mains dusted with a light line hone to true them up. I also like to use the corvette pan when it fits. And it does on my Monte Carlo and on my 70 Camaro, though it is tight on the Camaro.
    I started my 70 Monte Carlo SS454 for the first time this year yesterday. LS6 style 454 but with a ZL1 camshaft. Regularly goes beyond 7000 rpm with a 2 bolt block and LS6 internals. This motor was built in the early 1980s and has never been apart. I used to drive it 30 miles to Milan dragway for Friday street car night never a problem, with 4.56 gears too. This car would run low 13s at 110 mph all day long in street trim with terrible 60 foot times due to the lack of traction and too tight of converter. It now has a much looser converter and BFG drag radials, much better but that combo has not been on the clocks so I don't know if I can get into the 12s or not, I think so though.
    I am hoping that the weather will hold so that I can start the Camaro RS/SS L78 car this weekend.
     

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