SBC 400 Cylinder Head Showdown

Discussion in 'High Performance Modifications' started by 1980RS, Jun 3, 2021.

  1. 1980RS

    1980RS Veteran Member

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    SBC 400, turbo 400 with 8in. TCI converter, SSM bars, CE 3 way shocks front and rear,4.10 gear with a 30" tall tire. This is just a street engine and I did not think it would run in the 12's at all, so a little surprising there, runs in the high 10's with my other 406.
     
  2. 1980RS

    1980RS Veteran Member

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    Junk 400 coming out this week for Vortec head swap and a clean up with some new shiny Chevy orange paint. This week is much cooler with no other new projects for me to do. After this test, Project Dart 215 406 goes in for a little fun.
     
  3. Bandit723

    Bandit723 Veteran Member

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    would love to see pics of this.
     
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  4. 1980RS

    1980RS Veteran Member

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    Of the head swap?
     
  5. Bandit723

    Bandit723 Veteran Member

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    sure or after the engine is cleaned up
     
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  6. 1980RS

    1980RS Veteran Member

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    I sure can do that. The 400 is out on the stand right now, I love working on old stuff.
     
  7. 1980RS

    1980RS Veteran Member

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    Well here is something super interesting with the heads off this 400. Back when I got this engine it was bone stock so in 1991 I decided to give it a re-ring. After the short block was done I had a nice kid going to automotive machine school do the heads for me. Got them back and plopped them on the 400 and the rest is history, or so I thought. Fast forward to today as I just removed them and looked at the casting number I though was a 487X heads nope, the last 3 digits are 598, Huh.... So I pull them both off flip them over and another surprise, they say 441X on the bottom WTH?. When I look them up these heads are supposed to have 1.6 exhaust valves and you know what? they do, weird. Anyway The 400 engine looks super clean inside so the Vortec's are still going on the 400 with the GM Vortec intake, this engine might be worth a few bucks after all when I go to sell it next month. I will post some pictures later.
     
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  8. biker

    biker Veteran Member

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    Nice. So, what is the deal with steam holes on the 400. Any issue using vortec heads on the 400 block? I've never actually used a 400 block for anything.
     
  9. 1980RS

    1980RS Veteran Member

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    I just drill the ones at the bottom of the heads, never had any trouble with them getting hot. The top holes that go in at a 30° angle can get blocked off you are running longer bolts.
    here it is with the new old heads (last years 906's) on this junk 400
    20210622_235426.jpg
     
  10. biker

    biker Veteran Member

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    Looking good!
     
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