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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok. So I'm trying to build a Chevy engine for the first time. I'm thinking a small block seems to be the trend. Not sure what it's going into yet, but probably older Camero or even Nova if I can find one. I want to builld it for power. It will probably be a drag car. Any suggestions? Tips on books/ manuals to get?
 

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If I was going to build an engine for a drag car, it would probably be a Big Block to start with, initial outlay is a bit more, but you will have more power & durablility. Before anyone gets on my case....yes you can build some mighty powerful small-blocks, but you are going to end up in the same price range as a BB.
 

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Go here: http://www.gmperformanceparts.com/Parts/showcase.jsp

Look around, read, and learn.

THEN - after YOU decide what YOU "want to build"... THEN you bounce YOUR THOUGHTS off of us (and we'll argue amongst ourselves about what is best for you - which, by that time, hopefully you'll be smarter about the engine that you want to build than we are - so you'll ignore our "advice" and build your motor - YOUR WAY.

Come back "later" - Grasshopper.

HTH.

Actually, the best question to start off would be:


How much do you want to SPEND?? :biggrin:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
ok well. its will obviously be a project over time and i would have posted a response sooner but i can only get online at work right now. thanks for the website suggestion. i will definitly do some more reserach on this. i obviously want to know a bit about what i am getting myself into. its basically low budget to start off but as always, the money can be made when i know what i want.

and just to clear up one more thing. It's "she". :wink:
 

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Whatever you budget, factor in at least 10% more for the little crap that we all forget about...until you need it...LOL.
 

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Whatever you budget, factor in at least 10% more for the little crap that we all forget about...until you need it...LOL.
I was going to say 30%, but looking back I would say 50 to 100% more than you expected. There are sooo many things you don't think of. And there are parts that don't work so you have to get the right stuff.

It isn't just the engine, it is everything else too. Exhaust, headers that are supposed to fit but don't until the third set you get, then you need a higher stall convertor cuz your cam is wild.
Then you smoke your transmission because your tranny needed a cooler because the convertor slips all the time because the rear end has stock (super tall) gears and you should have got a add-on transmission cooler but it probably would have gone out anyway since the tv cable wasn't adjusted wrong.
So you get it all together and you break the stock spider gears showing off, and when the car is in the shop you notice that old radiator is leaking.

Point is there is a lot to plan for, and it all costs money.

My advice is to build the strongest and biggest bottom end you can, and use a budget top end right away. When more money comes in later, you can invest in a great set of heads and intake, etc.

Do the top end upgrade all at once if you can, so you dont have a mismatch of parts that don't act well together.

Vortec heads aren't much more expensive the stock crap, and the resale on them, along with the vortec-specific intake, is pretty good.

My biggest regret on my first build: I did a 305 as a compromise. I wanted great power and mileage. And I did get both. But with a 350, I could have gotten simular mileage, and 40 more horsepower, for less money.
And worse, I passed on buying a great running 400 sbc because it cost $350 when 350s were $100-$150.
I should have slapped on an intake and new bearings, and added some wicked parts later. I could have put the initial money i saved into something important.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
thanks for all the help. i have started reading magazines and such that give specific breakdowns on certain parts of the car and engine. i think right now, reading up on what i might want it where its at
 

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I was going to say 30%, but looking back I would say 50 to 100% more than you expected. There are sooo many things you don't think of. And there are parts that don't work so you have to get the right stuff.

It isn't just the engine, it is everything else too. Exhaust, headers that are supposed to fit but don't until the third set you get, then you need a higher stall convertor cuz your cam is wild.
Then you smoke your transmission because your tranny needed a cooler because the convertor slips all the time because the rear end has stock (super tall) gears and you should have got a add-on transmission cooler but it probably would have gone out anyway since the tv cable wasn't adjusted wrong.
So you get it all together and you break the stock spider gears showing off, and when the car is in the shop you notice that old radiator is leaking.
Most of that should have been in the plan to start with. Those were mostly rookie thing's that you overlooked in you effort to go fast....It's the whole package you have to consider.
 

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your right Gregg-O. They were pretty much rookie mistakes. That was exactly my point, since this is his first build.
I had obsessively planned out my first build, but there were a lot of things I missed on budget and time.
Also, I regret not taking other's advice on different things because I thought I knew more than I really did. really, it is hard to decide who's advice to take.

There are still things we all miss on our project plannings. Everything still costs twice as long and takes three times as long as I expect.

By the way, not ALL of those examples i gave happened to me, they are just the most common problems. But MOST of them happened to me. I could never have time to type all my mistakes!

The problem with experience is you get it right after you needed it.
 

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I have a Buick 455 that I'm debating on building up, and I was just told by some old heads, that they were "hemi killers" Especially from the factory. They only came with like 360 hp, but they had over 500 lb fts of torque stock!! The only problem is the motor is gonna cost a lot more money to build up than a small block.
 

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Build a small block. LS1 would be a nice candidate. My buddy has an 04 gto with stock bottom end, heads, cam, and a 125 shot with the rest of the car all stock except for a 1 piece driveshaft, 6 speed transmission, and slicks. He runs mid 7s in the 8th on the spray and round 8 flat all motor.
 
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