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Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

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Old 03-16-2017, 02:57 PM   #1
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Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec



We have an '89 RS with a sweet little 305 (all stock). She runs good, but we want more HP. My uncle gave us a 350 engine from 1992 Chevy truck. It is all stock with original Vortec heads; no intake. It is a little rough, but we are totally rebuilding it. Our goal is 400 hp. We need some help on this task and we have a lot of questions. He also gave us some cast heads (3970126), port and polished 2.02 int.-1.95 ex. Are these heads worth putting money into to rebuild or should I keep the rebuild the votecs or buy new heads?

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Old 03-16-2017, 03:20 PM   #2
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

Rebuild the stock vortecs but make sure they are not cracked. Machine shop will let you know

Ditch the 126 heads

Good intake manifold and a decent sized cam will get you 400 crank hp
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Old 03-16-2017, 03:26 PM   #3
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

It is fairly easy to make 400Hp on Vortec heads with new springs. The 96-2000 vortec heads are the best iron head chevy ever made stock. Ditch the 126 heads they are not nearly as good, bring the others to a shop, have them checked for cracks and have screw in studs installed and good springs installed leave the valves the stock size.

Keep the cam roller maybe something like comps 12-432-8 and you will have a great machine.
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Old 03-16-2017, 03:40 PM   #4
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

We are doing a complete rebuild with new bearings, lifters, rebuild the heads, etc...I was going to install a 488 cam - then have the cylinders bored over .030.
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Old 03-16-2017, 03:42 PM   #5
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

And put in a new TBI ...thought about a Holley 4 barrel carb and regulator. What do you think?
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Old 03-16-2017, 03:43 PM   #6
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

Can you post a link to the cam. Either way it will make more power with vortec heads vs the 126 heads. Make sure you get proper pistons not crapper re builder pistons that sit too low.

Grab an RPM performer or Air gap or clone of either one if you are going carbed.
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Old 03-16-2017, 03:50 PM   #7
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

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Originally Posted by Orr89RocZ View Post
Rebuild the stock vortecs but make sure they are not cracked. Machine shop will let you know

Ditch the 126 heads

Good intake manifold and a decent sized cam will get you 400 crank hp
Thanks Orr89...I have been hearing the same from others.
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Old 03-16-2017, 03:54 PM   #8
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

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It is fairly easy to make 400Hp on Vortec heads with new springs. The 96-2000 vortec heads are the best iron head chevy ever made stock. Ditch the 126 heads they are not nearly as good, bring the others to a shop, have them checked for cracks and have screw in studs installed and good springs installed leave the valves the stock size.

Keep the cam roller maybe something like comps 12-432-8 and you will have a great machine.
Thanks! We want to go 400-425 HP and I been hearing the same...dump the old 126 cast heads. Do you think .030 over bore is good or should we go .060?

We are not using anything from the 305. All new or rebuilt.
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Old 03-16-2017, 04:04 PM   #9
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

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Can you post a link to the cam. Either way it will make more power with vortec heads vs the 126 heads. Make sure you get proper pistons not crapper re builder pistons that sit too low.

Grab an RPM performer or Air gap or clone of either one if you are going carbed.
This is the cam we were looking at...but not into it far enough. I will get better informed from guys like you before I buy the kit.

http://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS-Performan...00106/10002/-1
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Old 03-16-2017, 04:07 PM   #10
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

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Can you post a link to the cam. Either way it will make more power with vortec heads vs the 126 heads. Make sure you get proper pistons not crapper re builder pistons that sit too low.

Grab an RPM performer or Air gap or clone of either one if you are going carbed.
Maybe more like this cam set...

http://www.jegs.com/i/COMP-Cams/249/08-535-8/10002/-1
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Old 03-16-2017, 09:12 PM   #11
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

Needs to be bigger to make 400 hp. Extreme energy series to start amd around the 276hr or 282hr
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Old 03-16-2017, 09:18 PM   #12
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

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Not enough check the 282HR I posted earlier
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Old 03-16-2017, 09:20 PM   #13
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

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Thanks! We want to go 400-425 HP and I been hearing the same...dump the old 126 cast heads. Do you think .030 over bore is good or should we go .060?

We are not using anything from the 305. All new or rebuilt.
Stay 30 it is safer. Besides the vortec heads will make way more difference than 5cuin

Think of it this way stock 170CC vorted heads flow better than some of the older large port bowtie "performance" heads. They can support 400hp with zero porting or valve changes.
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Old 03-17-2017, 09:39 AM   #14
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

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Originally Posted by Orr89RocZ View Post
Needs to be bigger to make 400 hp. Extreme energy series to start amd around the 276hr or 282hr
Thanks again! I found a 282 on the Summit site. Looks like a winner.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/c...nVvBoCWLHw_wcB
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Old 03-17-2017, 09:43 AM   #15
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

No that is mechanical flat tappet

Use the hyd roller
https://m.summitracing.com/parts/cca-08-432-8
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Old 03-17-2017, 09:46 AM   #16
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

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Stay 30 it is safer. Besides the vortec heads will make way more difference than 5cuin

Think of it this way stock 170CC vorted heads flow better than some of the older large port bowtie "performance" heads. They can support 400hp with zero porting or valve changes.
Thanks midias! We are going to get the Votec Heads reconditioned, add a 282hr CAM, bore it out .030 and get a good RPM Performer Intake.

~What kind of pistons and ring set should I look for?
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Old 03-17-2017, 09:54 AM   #17
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

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No that is mechanical flat tappet

Use the hyd roller
https://m.summitracing.com/parts/cca-08-432-8
Great! I need the set (with lifters). Wow, you guys are helping me a lot. We will have an awesome machine when we're done. My 20 yr old son and I are building this engine together.
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:25 AM   #18
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

You want a set of pistons with a 1.56 compression height not a 1.54 Shoot for a 9.5:1 compression and it should help you stay away from other issues.
Here is a calculator.

https://www.summitracing.com/popup/c...ion-calculator

I am using these but they are discontinued

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/stl-h345ncp

You can get lifter kits from comp but you may be able to reuse yours. Give comp a call I am sure they have a kit. Make sure to tell them it is not a retrofit

Looks like these are the lifters the recommend

http://www.compperformancegroupstore...ct_Code=850-16

http://www.compcams.com/Company/CC/c...?csid=189&sb=2
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:36 AM   #19
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

Gm ls lifters
12499225
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:11 AM   #20
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

Make sure those are actually vortec heads. Vortecs didn't come until 1996, so they would have to had swapped them over if that block is a 92.

I made about 420 hp with my vortec setup. Vortec heads, with beehives and a comp 280xfi/hr, on a low compression l98 factory block.

86mph in the 1/8 with a 3524lb car.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:19 AM   #21
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

The will have one of these two casting numbers.

10239906 (#906) or 12558062 (#062)

A lot of them can be identified by the saw tooth pattern on the front.

http://www.onedirt.com/tech-stories/...k-chevy-heads/
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:20 AM   #22
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

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Make sure those are actually vortec heads. Vortecs didn't come until 1996, so they would have to had swapped them over if that block is a 92.

I made about 420 hp with my vortec setup. Vortec heads, with beehives and a comp 280xfi/hr, on a low compression l98 factory block.

86mph in the 1/8 with a 3524lb car.
I was told it was a 92 engine...I am checking the block number tonight. The engine might be a mid to late 90's. You're right about the Vortec heads though...1996 and up. Thanks for your input. We are just getting started and I am not made of $ so, this will take a year or so to complete. Thanks irocman7!
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:29 AM   #23
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

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I was told it was a 92 engine...I am checking the block number tonight. The engine might be a mid to late 90's. You're right about the Vortec heads though...1996 and up. Thanks for your input. We are just getting started and I am not made of $ so, this will take a year or so to complete. Thanks irocman7!
No problem, love helping and seeing how other people do with similar setups. There are quite a few vortec guys on here. Nothin better than cheap power.

The block casting number should be 10243880. Also known as the 880's.

I am now running an 880 4 bolt main 383. Good motors.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:40 AM   #24
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

Quote:
Originally Posted by midias View Post
You want a set of pistons with a 1.56 compression height not a 1.54 Shoot for a 9.5:1 compression and it should help you stay away from other issues.
Here is a calculator.

https://www.summitracing.com/popup/c...ion-calculator

I am using these but they are discontinued

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/stl-h345ncp

You can get lifter kits from comp but you may be able to reuse yours. Give comp a call I am sure they have a kit. Make sure to tell them it is not a retrofit

Looks like these are the lifters the recommend

http://www.compperformancegroupstore...ct_Code=850-16

http://www.compcams.com/Company/CC/c...?csid=189&sb=2
We are starting to pull the heads this weekend (hopefully). I will see what needs replaced and what can be used from this engine. The original owner of the engine replaced it due to a tick inside somewhere. We won't know until we start taring into it. It is still cold here in Ohio, but when it warms up my son and I are jumping into it.

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Old 03-17-2017, 12:43 PM   #25
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

Totally missed the 92 vortec engine thing. Definately get a head casting number. If its not a vortec head then you will need to reconsider this approach lol. Stock tbi heads likely will not support 400 hp
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Old 03-17-2017, 01:36 PM   #26
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

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Totally missed the 92 vortec engine thing. Definately get a head casting number. If its not a vortec head then you will need to reconsider this approach lol. Stock tbi heads likely will not support 400 hp
Yep, checking the numbers on the heads and block tonight. Thanks guys.
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Old 03-17-2017, 06:52 PM   #27
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

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Originally Posted by irocman7 View Post
The will have one of these two casting numbers.

10239906 (#906) or 12558062 (#062)

A lot of them can be identified by the saw tooth pattern on the front.

http://www.onedirt.com/tech-stories/...k-chevy-heads/
We pulled the heads tonight and they are vortec heads 10239906. I checked the numbers on Chevy's website.
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Old 03-17-2017, 06:57 PM   #28
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

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Old 03-18-2017, 03:49 PM   #29
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

We removed the heads today. Some forums say the heads I have shown here (10239906) are good and others say they should be replaced with new aluminum vortec heads to reach the 400 to 425 horsepower we are looking for.

http://www.superchevy.com/how-to/97458/


Last edited by AKA Greg; 03-18-2017 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 03-19-2017, 03:22 AM   #30
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

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We removed the heads today. Some forums say the heads I have shown here (10239906) are good and others say they should be replaced with new aluminum vortec heads to reach the 400 to 425 horsepower we are looking for.

http://www.superchevy.com/how-to/97458/

That article was denunked a few years back, surprised its still floating around.. I'm running the 906s myself. Same flow numbers between all of them

Plan on upgrading the valve train, I went with beehive valve springs comp retainers, and arp screw in studs. It was less than 300 with the machine work.

All the ones I have seen cracked, were cracked right in the middle between the two water jackets. When you pop those off clean that area with a wire brush and check.
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Old 03-19-2017, 07:42 AM   #31
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

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That article was denunked a few years back, surprised its still floating around.. I'm running the 906s myself. Same flow numbers between all of them

Plan on upgrading the valve train, I went with beehive valve springs comp retainers, and arp screw in studs. It was less than 300 with the machine work.

All the ones I have seen cracked, were cracked right in the middle between the two water jackets. When you pop those off clean that area with a wire brush and check.
I am taking these 902 to be machined, valves and springs, replace the pressed studs with threaded, and the deck skim cut. Also having the cylinders bored .03 over. Thanks for clearing that up for me.
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:56 PM   #32
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

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Originally Posted by midias View Post
It is fairly easy to make 400Hp on Vortec heads with new springs. The 96-2000 vortec heads are the best iron head chevy ever made stock. Ditch the 126 heads they are not nearly as good, bring the others to a shop, have them checked for cracks and have screw in studs installed and good springs installed leave the valves the stock size.

Keep the cam roller maybe something like comps 12-432-8 and you will have a great machine.
From what I have been reading as I research the vortec heads, the comp 12-432-8 will not work. It has too much lift. With new beehive springs on the 906 vortec I will only have .5 lift, so .47 intake (gives .030 clearance). I would need a different cam for this head...right?
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Old 03-19-2017, 01:16 PM   #33
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

Get the heads machined for the lift
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Old 03-19-2017, 01:24 PM   #34
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

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Get the heads machined for the lift
What needs machined to add lift? I know the machinist wouldn't know what to do, but I would like to know for my own edification.
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Old 03-19-2017, 02:02 PM   #35
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

Guide boss gets cut down for different type of seals.
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Old 03-19-2017, 02:06 PM   #36
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

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Old 03-19-2017, 02:49 PM   #37
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orr89RocZ View Post
Guide boss gets cut down for different type of seals.
Good news. So I just tell the engine machinist what cam I want to use and he will provide me with the lift. Thanks!
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Old 03-19-2017, 05:38 PM   #38
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Re: Building a 400 hp Engine from a 5.7L Votec

Something like that lol
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