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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Yep, chevy question, sorry. I'm getting to the point of refreshing a camaro and can't decide whether to refresh the 350 that's in it or drop in the 454 from my rusted farm truck. The 350 has the basics including:
Vortec heads - machined for dual springs, screw in studs, guideplates, stainless valves....
Performer RPM intake
6" I-beam scat rods
stock crank, balanced
Manley forged flat tops (JE small dished would be replacing these in the refresh)
short headers
Crane gold 1.5 rockers
Comp XE282H hyd roller (may get XE294H during refresh)

454 is a basic rebuilt engine with cast flat tops and large chamber large oval port heads. It'd get headers, Performer RPM intake, and a somewhat lumpy cam. May also get higher compression pistons to better match the cam.

Transmission is a decently upgraded 700R4 and the rear is the Borg 9 bolt (which is quite strong) with 3.70:1 gears.

The car is quite fun to drive with the 350 and the power is ample until around 50mph. After that the rush slows down and it takes a while to get to 170mph. Would the 454 help out quite a bit in the 50-100mph range or would it take lots of $$$ to make it really sing and reach full potential of hot street car engine status?

I have the JE pistons already for the 350 and other than that it'll just need gaskets, bearings, rings, and valve seals. So that'd be cheap and will make for a solid 400+hp little small block.

I have the 454 and it's a very low mile engine but much more tame than the 350. It now has an "rv" cam and rips pretty good considering it's in a 3/4 ton dually. I'd think with some more cam, headers, and intake it'd really make the 3200lb camaro roll. I'd go ahead and also port the heads and back-cut the intake valves while it's apart.

It will only be street driven and rear tyres are 315/35-17.
 

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Big Block headers are a pain on those cars. I have a friend who had one and they turned forward and went down through in front, very odd. With that said I feel that the 454 would work well and go faster for less money. Since your engine has flat top pistons I would probably try to find a set of the early 396 or 427 oval port heads with the smaller closed chambers. Even though they don't flow as well as the open chambers the 1.5 points of compression ratio will work in your favor and with a street cam level of lift I doubt the loss would make any real difference. I believe a "cowl" hood will be mandatory if you run a big block.
 

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Obviously it's not a restoration so, I'd put a 393 Cleveland Ford in it.
 

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Build a 383!!

There is no substitute for displacement. Saying that, the smallblock will be much easier. If you add an inexpensive Eagle crank to 3.75 stroke, you will have a better engine. I own -cough cough- a 383 chevy smallblock with World heads -10.25/1 compression. All the bolt on stuff- hyd. cam @ 212 @ .50- .470 lift, roller rockers. It is such a better engine than the 350 it replaced. Even with the small cam, this engine sounds good. Have owned several 350's( I have 4 more in my shop steel) and while the BBF makes my stuff go fast, The small block is what it is. Have a 69 4x4 step side short box chev, and an 86 gmc 4x4 fleet with 90k miles. Also have a 96 f150 4x4 with a 351w that hauls me around daily. :) Tres...
 

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Sorry to hijack, but have a question for you (Tres) about shoehorning that BBF into a falcon - PM me if you can please.

I still agree with Randy, SBF it!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
It takes a good bit of time to get from about 120 up to 170, but it'll do it. Not that I'm nearly that crazy/stupid anymore. On public roads, even with a wide open view and great road, I don't think I'd ever take it beyond a quick blast to 120 or 130 and then right back down to 60. As for the 393 cleveland, I don't have one, but I do have a fresh 351C with forged flat tops in the garage. I've also a set of closed chamber 4v heads set up with stainless valves, dual springs, and 7/16" studs... and a Torker intake. But, I was wanting something that would be a bit less custom than that since I've got my '69 mustang that's been modified to a great extent that I can tinker with making unique. Besides, with the oil pump in front it'd take a bit of fitting to make work with the camaro steering. The rear sump BBF pan doesn't even clear it all that well (yes, I've looked and thought of dropping the 514 in it). This car is more about getting it done for cheap and having a low cost car that's still somewhat fast and fun but still ultra reliable for daily driving. So the 454, even in milder form than the 350, will be worth the extra effort because it'll be that much more fun?

Thanks for the suggestions! I'd think a set of domed pistons would be a lot cheaper than some early heads for the 454. If my engine had the peanut port heads, then I'd be looking for heads. But these are the larger oval ports and the heads are in great shape. Clearly, the 454 as it is would be a great match to my 85mm TV81 turbo, but I don't want that much power or hassle since the turbo would have to be put in the back and the trans won't last with that. Then again, that little trunk well area is pretty useless otherwise and the big turbo would fit back there with no problem
 

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Pistons would be less expensive yes. I was just thinking that route because that's what I did on the last 454 I built for a customer. His core engine had a set of the "peanut" heads and I had a friend with a nice set of 396's. I installed some hardened seats, valve jobbed, resurfaced and used them, worked great on the flat top 454.
 

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I see all kinds of Ford engines in street rods with a totally rear sump oil pan using a belt driven single stage Moroso EXTERNAL oil pump; looks cool, too.
 
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