Building a 454 SBC, need help with parts - Third Generation F-Body Message Boards

Go Back  Third Generation F-Body Message Boards > Tech Boards > Engine Swap
Reload this Page >

Building a 454 SBC, need help with parts

Engine Swap Everything about swapping an engine into your Third Gen.....be it V6, V8, LTX/LSX, crate engine, etc. Pictures, questions, answers, and work logs.

Building a 454 SBC, need help with parts

Reply

Old 01-12-2018, 03:15 AM
  #1  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 7
Building a 454 SBC, need help with parts

Hey everyone. New member here. Been planning on completely revamping my '87 Trans Am (with a carb'd 305 and a manual transmission) for the past year since i got it, and soon I'll have the money to do so. The biggest job in my opinion is going to be building a new engine.

I play on building a 454 SBC. Extreme, yes, I know, that's the point. I basically want suggestions for parts, because... I'm actually really new to this. I've never built an engine before. I'm 25. A year ago, I didn't even know how a carburetor worked. I've always known the basic things like changing oil, and tires, and air filters, but never any of the complex parts. I've been learning a LOT since i bought this car.

I have a few friends who have told me very basic things that I need for this, but I don't even know where to begin with getting specific parts.

I don't know brands or anything, so please, all recommendations welcome.

So, what I know of what I want is that I plan on boring the cylinders to 4.25", and giving it a 4" stroke.
Forged Pistons, Rods, and Valves, Crank, and Cam.
Aluminum Heads, Intake, and Oil Pan
and Roller Rockers.

My stock 305 has a 600CFM Edelbrock on it. But I think I'd need higher CFM for what I plan on? What would a good number be? 1200?
EDIT: I'm actually planning on using a blowthrough carb for a supercharger. Still have no clue how much CFM I need, or what size super I'd need.

Other work I plan on doing includes putting Coilover suspension on. (I dont even know if that's supposed to be for all 4 wheels? or only a specific 2?)
a LT1 T56 6-speed (this is probably the only specific part i know) which I'd add a twin disc clutch to.
4.10 gear on the rear end (no clue what i would need to change to achieve this... Rear Diff and Axle??)
MSD ignition (i dont know why, but its what everyone is recommending to me)
245/45/16 tires for extra traction and more torque to ground without spinning.

Again, this is my first build. I'm supposed to be graduating as an Engineer soon, and as soon as I do, and get a contract, this car is getting a storage unit where i can work on it to my heart's content.

If anyone can find parts they can recommend to me, or videos/how-to's, it would be most appreciated!

Last edited by seanmcg182; 01-12-2018 at 01:39 PM.
seanmcg182 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2018, 05:54 AM
  #2  
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 198
Re: Building a 454 SBC, need help with parts

First step, ditch that carb and get a Holley.
Make sure you don't get the MSD street fire line it's not good for anything but a stocker.
Jacobaxeman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2018, 12:46 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Brainerd, MN
Posts: 534
Re: Building a 454 SBC, need help with parts

Well I think the first question is... What are your goals? What is it that you would like to accomplish? Are you targeting a track time, a 0-60 time, a certain HP\Torque figure?
Jorlain is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2018, 01:37 PM
  #4  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 7
Re: Building a 454 SBC, need help with parts

Originally Posted by Jacobaxeman View Post
First step, ditch that carb and get a Holley.
Make sure you don't get the MSD street fire line it's not good for anything but a stocker.
When I got the car, it had a Holley I believe. It was a feedback carburetor, and that was messing a lot of things up for me. Went with the Edelbrock at a friend's recommendation because there was no feedback, pure mechanical. Solved my issue.
Granted, new engine might just correct whatever was causing the bad feedback anyways.
May I ask why you recommend Holley over Edelbrock? They both seem to be reputable brands, and both seem to be amazing manufacturers.

(Also, I'm about to edit my original post, because I forgot to mention that I wanted to use a blowthrough carb for a supercharger)


Originally Posted by Jorlain View Post
Well I think the first question is... What are your goals? What is it that you would like to accomplish? Are you targeting a track time, a 0-60 time, a certain HP\Torque figure?
My main goal is making a show car, that gets as much bang as possible out of the stock appearance. Will I take it to the track for fun, yes definitely. But I don't plan on competing.
So I'd say my goal is to bring it to a car show, and be able to say "yeah, biggest possible displacement without going to a big block (or any other engine)"
Granted, track time and 0-60 time would be a bonus.
As I said, I'm fairly new at this. My goals are very... basic.
Step 1) acquire badass car
Step 2) make it more badass
Step3) ???
Step 4) Profit
seanmcg182 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2018, 01:48 PM
  #5  
Supreme Member
iTrader: (15)
 
Street Lethal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 9,559
Re: Building a 454 SBC, need help with parts

Sean, the 454 SBC concept has been around for quite awhile. Bill Mitchell I believe started it back in the day, but then there were other engine companies putting out similar packages soon afterward. It is very expensive gathering the right parts to build a 454 SBC on your own, and when it is all said and done, you better have that tune dialed in otherwise you've wasted a lot of time, effort and money. My suggestion, save your money for a 454 SBC crate engine with warranty if you have your heart set on that engine. Either that or just get your hands on a used 454 BBC that needs rebuilding and build a cast version for a lot less using some of the stock parts. Here's an old article to help you on your way...

- Rob

http://www.hotrod.com/articles/454-s...-crate-engine/
Street Lethal is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2018, 02:23 PM
  #6  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 7
Re: Building a 454 SBC, need help with parts

Originally Posted by Street Lethal View Post
Sean, the 454 SBC concept has been around for quite awhile. Bill Mitchell I believe started it back in the day, but then there were other engine companies putting out similar packages soon afterward. It is very expensive gathering the right parts to build a 454 SBC on your own, and when it is all said and done, you better have that tune dialed in otherwise you've wasted a lot of time, effort and money. My suggestion, save your money for a 454 SBC crate engine with warranty if you have your heart set on that engine. Either that or just get your hands on a used 454 BBC that needs rebuilding and build a cast version for a lot less using some of the stock parts. Here's an old article to help you on your way...

- Rob

http://www.hotrod.com/articles/454-s...-crate-engine/
I know the concept has been around for a while, and it's been built before, and is available as a crate engine.
That's actually the article I saw that made me want the 454 sbc. and yeah, i could buy it as a crate.
But what do I learn that way? Part of the reason of why I want to build it is because I want the experience. I want to learn. =D
seanmcg182 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2018, 02:56 PM
  #7  
Supreme Member
iTrader: (20)
 
Orr89RocZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 23,706
Re: Building a 454 SBC, need help with parts

Need to talk to carl from cnc blocks on this site. Hinksonauto i think

This wont be that cheap cuz you will need a dart raised cam block imo like the iron eagle. Only can get 4.185 bore which means 4.125 stroke. Requires spread pan rail pan and remote oil filter. This is racey stuff

Much better off doing a 420-422 sbc or maybe a 4" stroke 434.
Orr89RocZ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2018, 03:05 PM
  #8  
Supreme Member
iTrader: (15)
 
Street Lethal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 9,559
Re: Building a 454 SBC, need help with parts

Originally Posted by seanmcg182
I know the concept has been around for a while, and it's been built before, and is available as a crate engine. That's actually the article I saw that made me want the 454 sbc. and yeah, i could buy it as a crate.
But what do I learn that way? Part of the reason of why I want to build it is because I want the experience. I want to learn. =D
Sean, it is going to be a very expensive lesson, and I hope you're ready for the possibility that something might break, and you'll be at a loss. I say this because you mentioned blow-thru carb, and this is what I meant when I stated that your tune better be dialed in. Not going to try and deter you from what you want to do, but at least just try to listen to the folks that have been there and done that. Like Justin mentioned, why not go for something with less cubic inch displacement which is more feasible. Also, does it really have to be a 454 if you're planning on boost? I mean seriously, check out this 380-SBC with a blow-thru carb, are you seriously planning on this much power for your first learning build lol?

Gotta miss being 25 years old fella's, I had some insane ideas too myself lol.

- Rob

Street Lethal is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2018, 05:32 PM
  #9  
Supreme Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 20,843
Re: Building a 454 SBC, need help with parts

I plan on boring the cylinders to 4.25"
Can't do that with any stock block. Not even a 400 block, which starts out at 4.125". You MIGHT get to 440 if you can find a 400 block that'll go .060" over (4.185"), and run more than a few minutes like that. Not too many of those left.

Carl Hinckson is a good resource to start with; a no-nonsense kind of guy, that won't EVER be the cheeeeeeepest, but also, you won't be sweeping up his shrapnel out from under your see-through block either.

About as big as you can reliably go in a stock SBC block, is 434. And that's pushing it... lots of people, Carl included, will tell you the horror stories out of their experience with trying to max em out like that. 420 is a better idea, because the problems with the piston pin getting up into the ring package, aren't NEAR as severe.

If you want to learn about building motors, do acoupla stock rebuilds first. Ideally, observe, help, clean parts, sweep the floor, etc.; spend no money right away. Your buddies' projects will work fine for that: hang out with em, help em, learn the process. See what can go wrong, what to do to make it go right, what ONE small mis-step can cause, what things pay off in RESULTS and what things don't. THEN AND ONLY THEN, bite off on some monster mountain motor out of your own pocket. I can assure you, this hobby is LOTS of fun; but the fun goes away REAL QUICK, when you pour acoupla $$$$1000s into a motor, and (a) it grenades the first time you push it hard, or (b) you get your a$$ handed to you by somebody that has less than half in theirs as you have in yours because they did some critical thing right that you didn't even know about, or (c) you end up with a pile of parts you get sick of looking at sitting in the corner of your storeroom after 5 years or so and sell off at pennies on the dollar. And that's assuming you buy each part only ONCE... you have NO IDEA how many times I've seen people with ideas like that, buy stuff (cams especially) OVER AND OVER AGAIN because their finished product is a moving target.

Listen to the voice of experience. We all started somewhere (me, it was 283s, that's what we had back then...) but it's ALOT tougher to start at the TOP than it is nearer the entry level. There's a reason it's called "entry-level". It's because that's where you're supposed to ENTER.
sofakingdom is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2018, 07:16 PM
  #10  
Supreme Member
iTrader: (20)
 
Orr89RocZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 23,706
Re: Building a 454 SBC, need help with parts

I would not even consider a stock 400 block
Orr89RocZ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2018, 07:59 PM
  #11  
Member
iTrader: (4)
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: pa
Posts: 391
Re: Building a 454 SBC, need help with parts

Imho, in this day and age I don't think I'd ever build another gen 1 small block unless I wanted to keep a car mostly original looking. Only reason I'm not putting an LS in my IROC is in case sometime down the road I decide i wanna sell it. But if you're set on a big inch small block I wouldn't go over 434. That combo has been around since the 80's. Just my 2 cents...
zya5point0 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2018, 02:54 PM
  #12  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 7
Re: Building a 454 SBC, need help with parts

Sorry for the delay,In addition to my research for this project, I got wrapped up in work and haven't had time to get on here to reply.

Originally Posted by sofakingdom View Post
Can't do that with any stock block.
Dart has their Iron Eagle SBC block where the cylinders have been spaced out to 4.5" to allow a 4.25" bore.

Originally Posted by Street Lethal View Post
Sean, it is going to be a very expensive lesson, and I hope you're ready for the possibility that something might break, and you'll be at a loss. I say this because you mentioned blow-thru carb, and this is what I meant when I stated that your tune better be dialed in. Not going to try and deter you from what you want to do, but at least just try to listen to the folks that have been there and done that. Like Justin mentioned, why not go for something with less cubic inch displacement which is more feasible. Also, does it really have to be a 454 if you're planning on boost? I mean seriously, check out this 380-SBC with a blow-thru carb, are you seriously planning on this much power for your first learning build lol?

Gotta miss being 25 years old fella's, I had some insane ideas too myself lol.

- Rob
My best friend of 11 years and I kinda just want to see what we can do. We're doing all our research and know a few mechanics which we've been going to for advice. As far as being 25... I'm enjoying it while i can haha. No kids, which is how i'm able to afford this project!

Honestly, I'm not sure If we will actually decide on a Blow Thru or not later on. We might settle on a 4.185" bore instead of the 4.25". This whole thing is still in the planning stages. Which is why I'm here.

Originally Posted by Orr89RocZ View Post
Need to talk to carl from cnc blocks on this site. Hinksonauto i think

This wont be that cheap cuz you will need a dart raised cam block imo like the iron eagle. Only can get 4.185 bore which means 4.125 stroke. Requires spread pan rail pan and remote oil filter. This is racey stuff

Much better off doing a 420-422 sbc or maybe a 4" stroke 434.
My plan is indeed to get the Iron Eagle block. While the Tech sheet does say 4.185 is the "largest recommended" the actual product page does specify that it allows for up to 4.25" bore. It's the whole reason why the Iron Eagle has the 4.5" cylinder spacing.
seanmcg182 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2018, 03:07 PM
  #13  
Supreme Member
iTrader: (20)
 
Orr89RocZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 23,706
Re: Building a 454 SBC, need help with parts

4.5 bore space you will need special heads and likely intake manifold to match, none of which is cheap or really meant for street
Orr89RocZ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2018, 03:29 PM
  #14  
Supreme Member
iTrader: (2)
 
dennisbernal91z's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Milford, postal code: 01757
Posts: 4,155
Re: Building a 454 SBC, need help with parts

Seanmcg182: Welcome to the site. There is a lot to learn from TGO. There is also a lot offline. It sounds like you have very ambitious goals. That's a great thing. From reading your original post and others you have put up, it sounds like you are very very new to this. Not in a bad way. But if you want to build this engine yourself, I would buy an engine building handbook first. Read it twice. Then shop for parts and see what the general ballpark for pricing is.

A motor is not just a block, and some parts. There will be a lot of money gone towards machining the block to take any setup. Something to keep in mind.

Not to mention if we want to make crazy power (always a good goal) you need to back it up with a trans that can take it, a driveshaft that can handle it and a rear that won't explode. Not to mention rims and tires. 245s that you mentioned above are pretty thin if you plan on really putting down big cube power. I would go with, at the very least, a 275. I have 315s on mine and plan to go wider (but that is just for the look).

I have been on this site for well over a decade and I recognize some of the screen names of people posting. They will give you VERY sound advice. When they say watch out, watch out. It's not like you will avoid these hidden issues. By the way, I am 34 and started out JUST LIKE YOU. I am a mechanical engineer and wanted to get a job and make a crazy monster of a camaro. I sort of did, but I did a crappy job and am now rebuilding the entire car from scratch a second time and getting a crate LS3/T56 combo unit.

Anyways, you will do what you want and that is life. Just realize that we have seen people come and go from TGO wanting the same thing as you and disappear after who knows what.

Take it slow, a build up to what you want.

I would recommend starting with a "normal" 383, forged bottom end, AFR heads and see if you can get that to run well once built. If it does and you have some cash with the motor all broken in, then add some boost. By then you will have accumulated the few thousand dollars worth of tools you will need to do all this work.

Good luck and hope your project goes well.

Link to my current build if you want to see what it looks like to make mistakes and then get your head on straight.
https://www.thirdgen.org/forums/memb...z28-build.html
dennisbernal91z is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2018, 04:10 PM
  #15  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 7
Re: Building a 454 SBC, need help with parts

Currently my design is including the Dart Iron Eagle, with Cylinders spaced to 4.5" allowing a 4.25" bore. I'd be getting the model with the 9.325 Deck Height. Specifically this part number "31522322 – 4.500” Bore Space +.391” BBC Steel 400 9.325 4.180"
http://dartheads.com/dart-product/ir...-sbc-4-500-bs/

With a 4 inch stroke, it puts my Rod/Stroke ratio at 1.5:1 which is in the acceptable range from my understanding.

The Pistons I'm currently looking at are these
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/j...33-8/overview/

or
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/u...-017/overview/

EDIT: After Looking at Heads for the Dart Block, I needed to select Dish Pistons to lower my compression ratio from ~14.75:1 down to an acceptable range (now 10.2:1)
These are the updated Pistons I selected:

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/u...-017/overview/

I'm Looking at these Crankshafts
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/l...0001/overview/
or
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/c...make/chevrolet

These Rods
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/o...make/chevrolet

EDIT: This head with a 68cc combustion chamber
http://dartheads.com/dart-product/ra...es-9-castings/

I still need advice on a camshaft.

Last edited by seanmcg182; 01-17-2018 at 05:25 PM.
seanmcg182 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2018, 04:20 PM
  #16  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 7
Re: Building a 454 SBC, need help with parts

Originally Posted by dennisbernal91z View Post
Seanmcg182: Welcome to the site. There is a lot to learn from TGO. There is also a lot offline. It sounds like you have very ambitious goals. That's a great thing. From reading your original post and others you have put up, it sounds like you are very very new to this. Not in a bad way. But if you want to build this engine yourself, I would buy an engine building handbook first. Read it twice. Then shop for parts and see what the general ballpark for pricing is.

A motor is not just a block, and some parts. There will be a lot of money gone towards machining the block to take any setup. Something to keep in mind.

Not to mention if we want to make crazy power (always a good goal) you need to back it up with a trans that can take it, a driveshaft that can handle it and a rear that won't explode. Not to mention rims and tires. 245s that you mentioned above are pretty thin if you plan on really putting down big cube power. I would go with, at the very least, a 275. I have 315s on mine and plan to go wider (but that is just for the look).

I have been on this site for well over a decade and I recognize some of the screen names of people posting. They will give you VERY sound advice. When they say watch out, watch out. It's not like you will avoid these hidden issues. By the way, I am 34 and started out JUST LIKE YOU. I am a mechanical engineer and wanted to get a job and make a crazy monster of a camaro. I sort of did, but I did a crappy job and am now rebuilding the entire car from scratch a second time and getting a crate LS3/T56 combo unit.

Anyways, you will do what you want and that is life. Just realize that we have seen people come and go from TGO wanting the same thing as you and disappear after who knows what.

Take it slow, a build up to what you want.

I would recommend starting with a "normal" 383, forged bottom end, AFR heads and see if you can get that to run well once built. If it does and you have some cash with the motor all broken in, then add some boost. By then you will have accumulated the few thousand dollars worth of tools you will need to do all this work.

Good luck and hope your project goes well.

Link to my current build if you want to see what it looks like to make mistakes and then get your head on straight.
https://www.thirdgen.org/forums/memb...z28-build.html
Thanks for the advice! The reason why I'm being ambitious with this build is that my friend who I mentioned in a previous post has a lot knowledge, and I have a cousin who builds engines as a job. So everything that I decide on, I plan to run by him before I actually do anything. I'll definately look into wider tires. The 245's were in keeping with a goal to keep an original style rim, however if that needs to change, I would change it.

As for transmission, I believe i posted originally I'm looking at an LT1 T56. Nearly everyone I have asked agrees that I can't go wrong with that transmission.
I do plan on uprading the rear gear to 4.10, and i believe that's in the Rear Diff? So I do plan on replacing that assembly.
I will say, I never even considered driveshaft.

As I've stated many times before though, this is all still in planning and design. I'm not planning on jumping into things. I'm doing my research getting opinions, watching people build engines. I'm not planning on purchasing a single part (let alone actually assemble anything) until I am sure I have all the knowledge I need. I also plan on flying my cousin into town to help with the assembly since he has years of experience.
seanmcg182 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2018, 06:31 PM
  #17  
Supreme Member
iTrader: (20)
 
Orr89RocZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 23,706
Re: Building a 454 SBC, need help with parts

You need a special custom 4.5 bore space crank. Probably a custom billet piece, gonna be 3-4 grand

You need 4.5 bore space heads. 4-5 grand finished easy

This is far from simple and picking parts out of a catalog
Orr89RocZ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2018, 06:57 PM
  #18  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 7
Re: Building a 454 SBC, need help with parts

Originally Posted by Orr89RocZ View Post
You need a special custom 4.5 bore space crank. Probably a custom billet piece, gonna be 3-4 grand

You need 4.5 bore space heads. 4-5 grand finished easy

This is far from simple and picking parts out of a catalog
already thought of the heads, however, i forgot that the crank needs to be 4.5 as well. This is why i post and do research
seanmcg182 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Reply
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
85iroc80k1owner
TPI
4
12-20-2016 04:39 PM
futureff
Engine Swap
10
04-08-2009 08:12 PM
roughskinjrz
Engine Swap
6
08-30-2007 06:14 PM
WS6Formula305
Engine Swap
5
03-26-2002 09:23 PM


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Advertising
Featured Sponsors
Vendor Directory
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: