Vortec 400 SBC - Hyd. Roller Cam specs req'd

Discussion in 'High Performance Modifications' started by Enroute, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. Enroute

    Enroute Veteran Member

    Nov 1, 2001
    S. Ontario
    So it seems my project has taken yet another turn...a turn for better.

    I'm finally building what I know my heavy 81Z needs... a 400 SBC! :smokin::smokin::smokin:

    Basic parts list:

    Stock 2-bolt 400 block @ 4.125" bore. Will keep overbore to minimum.

    Stock 400 crank.

    5.7" rods.

    Vortec heads. Factory iron. Reworked to handle high lift roller camshaft.

    Pistons: Will be forged. D-dish (or similar) to get desired C.R.

    GMPP dual plane Vortec intake. Q-jet carb. Headers.

    Build Specs:

    9.5 - 10.0 Comp Ratio.

    0.045" - 0.055" quench height.

    5800-6000 rpm MAX.

    Street driven car only.

    3.42 gears with 700R4 and 2500 stall with lockup (existing setup).

    Characteristics that Hydraulic Roller Camshaft must be/create:
    1. Camshaft will be hydraulic roller (retrofit).
    2. Lifters will be retrofit type.
    3. Needs good vacuum for power brakes.
    4. Good idle. A slightly menacing sound as if it sounds like it's got a stick in it would be cool. But nothing too lopey or crazy.
    5. Car is emissions exempt.

    I have done a great deal of searching on this site of owners who have/had a 400 SBC with factory iron Vortec heads. Many of you here have had great success with iron Vortec heads on a 400 SBC. Several user profiles come to mind. The Vortec sticky atop the Engines section has proven invaluable; thanks Dirt!

    Many have stated that a 400 will swallow a lot more cam than one would expect when upsizing from a 350. Almost every cam I've seen spec'd out for an iron Vortec 400 was either a hyd. FT or solid FT.


    I'm having a hard time specing out a hydraulic roller camshaft for my 400 SBC.:confused:

    Anyone want to take a kick at the can and recommend/suggest a hydraulic roller cam for my iron headed Vortec 400???


    Thanks :)

    Project thread link soon to be updated.
  2. hhott71

    hhott71 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Mar 30, 2001
    Joplin Mo. 64801
    The Crane Powermax Part # 119841 Cam is a really good cam.
    I have 12-14" of vacuum in a 350 with it.
    So in a 400 it will be tamer.
    It pulls to 6500 easy in the 350

    .539 /.558"
    234º / 242º
    112º LC
    2500-6000 w/6500 valve float (it goes higher with better springs but there isn't really any extra power, especially with Vortecs, up that high)

    HP/TQ I have no clue, best times are in Sig.

    Any other motor/car answers are in my profile.
  3. rustbucket79

    rustbucket79 Veteran Member

    Something like a Comp 270HR would be my choice. Biggest thing with the 383/406's with roller cams is they need considerable rod clearancing. This is one situation where I would highly recommend buying the Scat 2-ICR5700-7/16 rods, they are a Pro Mod copy with a very short capscrew, giving lots of clearance for the cam. (may still need a little grinding) These rods need a full float style piston. (retaining clips for the pins)
  4. DesmoEd

    DesmoEd Veteran Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    Frisco, TX
    My understanding of vortec's is that they are small runner heads and done at .500 lift so I don't see much point in using a cam beyond that..........

    112LSA will keep the idle nice, provide good vacuum, and broaden the tq curve.

    I just bought a Howards hyd roller for my 355 - its .501/.509 and 280/292 adv duration (224/230 @ .050) on a 112LSa
  5. onovakind67

    onovakind67 Veteran Member

    Jul 8, 2001
    Fairfield, CA
    I agree on the Comp HR series. I used a Comp 280HR in my daily driver 406 and it worked extremely well. It's 224°/224° @ .05", .525" lift, about 16" vacuum at idle, phenomenal torque, got 18 mpg on the highway and pushed my 3450# car to 11.75@117 thru the muffs.
  6. 1980RS

    1980RS Veteran Member

    Jun 17, 2006
    A small cam on a 106° LCA with a mild duration will make that 406 a stump puller. I have read that vortecs can make as much as 500 lbs. tq. Boys that is Big block tq. in a small package. Remember one thing, A given cam will act smaller in a larger displacement engine.
  7. Enroute

    Enroute Veteran Member

    Nov 1, 2001
    S. Ontario
    Big block torque out of my small block :smokin::smokin::smokin:

    This is the motor I have been waiting for.

    Thanks for the input.
  8. BLKnBad71Z

    BLKnBad71Z Veteran Member

    Sep 20, 2000

    I have the cam you need. Lunati Voodoo hyd roller-

    .535 int / .500 ex Lift
    231 int / 239 ex Duration @.050 lift
    110 centerline
    2400-6200 rpm range

    Nice lope at idle. Great all around street cruiser or strip action. Includes cloyes double roller timing chain set too. Only has about 600 miles on it. Also ground on a short base circle for stroker rod clearence. Let me know if your interested. Thanks
  9. Enroute

    Enroute Veteran Member

    Nov 1, 2001
    S. Ontario
    PM sent

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