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how to build a stroker

Discussion in '40- & 55-Series Tech' started by rusmannx, Jan 26, 2004.

  1. rusmannx

    rusmannx

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    1979 350 (4 bolt main): $100.00
    400 crank with rods: $100.00

    now to adress some issues.

    i've been told 3 different things.
    Thing 1: 350 bored over = 383ci
    Thing 2: 350 with 400 crank = 383 stroker
    Thing 3: 350 with 400 crank bored .30 over = 383 stroker

    which is true?

    next, i've been told that people have had problems with 400 cranks banging on the inside of the 350 block. is this true, common, false?
    do i need to have any grinding done to clear the crank?

    next, what about an rv cam? is something like this recommended, possible, stupid?

    next, how much rebuilding should i do?
    i'm figuring new rings, gaskets, etc.

    what about pistons, lifters, headwork?

    FYI, i'm planning this for my next fj40, big axles, big everything else, 39" boggers.
     
  2. Poser

    Poser Oh...Durka Durka Durka. s-Moderator Supporting Vendor

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    Your best bet would be to find a engine/speed shop close to you, and talk with the machinist.


    Thing three is what I have been told.

    Something else to note...

    400 engines are externally balanced, so you will need the front balancer for the 400, and the flexplate or flywheel for a 400.

    If it were me, I would just go this route...

    http://www.paceparts.com/product.asp?0=239&1=241&3=917

    Good luck!

    -Steve
     
  3. Gumby

    Gumby Supamod Staff Member s-Moderator

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    Honestly, you should buy the kit and have an experienced engine builded put it together. What you need for sure is a 400 crank turned for 350 mains and a 350 block.

    personally, I would just build a 350, or if i had to have a 383, buy a GM crate one. In fact, a GM crate 350 is a hell of a motor and often ends up costing the same or less than a well built scrapyard motor after you do all the machine work to it.
     
  4. rusmannx

    rusmannx

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  5. tewlman

    tewlman

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    if your not experienced with engine building, I would pass on the stroker and leave it for someone with the know -how. There is a lot to consider, you could use a 400 crank or have a 350 crank re-ground. Like Poser said the 400 is externally balanced and will cost more $$ to build yata yata yata......

    Save yourself the trouble and go 350 bored with a good torgue cam. :D
     
  6. tewlman

    tewlman

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    same thing with heigher compression (don't really know the pros/cons of this though)
    store.summitracing.com/partdet...%2DMHP133%2D300

    this equals 93 octane only for the higher compression
     
  7. rusmannx

    rusmannx

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    won't actually be ruibuilding it myself. have friends that will rebuild it for me. i've read up on external balancing and all that.

    this produces same/better HP,torque then a 383?
     
  8. Poser

    Poser Oh...Durka Durka Durka. s-Moderator Supporting Vendor

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  9. rusmannx

    rusmannx

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    lets see if we can keep this project below several grand poser :)
     
  10. TonkaC

    TonkaC

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    Also you have to have the block machined so that the 400 crank has enough room to spin and it doesn't hit the side of the block. Think you asked about that but not sure.

    Chris
     
  11. Poser

    Poser Oh...Durka Durka Durka. s-Moderator Supporting Vendor

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    Put down the bong....

    "FYI, i'm planning this for my next fj40, big axles, big everything else, 39" boggers. "

    All this, and any reliable engine that you plan on using is going to cost you several thousand dollars...reality, come back to it..

    Good luck!!!

    -Steve
     
  12. rusmannx

    rusmannx

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    i was refering to the stroker, not the whole land cruiser as costing several grand
     
  13. Poser

    Poser Oh...Durka Durka Durka. s-Moderator Supporting Vendor

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    thanks for klearing that one up....

    Have fun!!
     
  14. MoGas

    MoGas Central Scrutinizer

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    That is a great price on the block and crank if neither have been machined before.
    The rod journal sizes are the same for all small blocks 68-85 (2.100) However, the mains for 350's are 2.450 versus 2.650 for the 400. When installing a 400 crank into a 350 block it is necessary to grind the main journals to 2.450. You must use a 400 dampener and flywheel/ flexplate and 5.565 rods from a 400 for a basic 383 that is for low end (up to 5500 rpm) assuming a 4.030 bore.

    You can use 350 rods to attain a higher rpm plant but you would have to get custom pistons that have a shorter deck height.

    You do have to clearance the block so the rods wont contact the bottom of the bores, but if you have decent ability with a die grinder you should be able to accomplish this. If not, I'm sure that any competent engine machine shop can do this for a nominal fee.

    Good Luck,
    Dave

    PS This shouldn't cost much more than a regular rebuild except for the extra labor to clearance the block and cutting down the mains, Ask your machinist about Nitrile hardening the journals after grinding also.
     
  15. lone gunman

    lone gunman

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    1. 350 bored 30 over is 355, 2. 350 with 400 crank is 377 3. 350 bored 30 over and 400 crank is 383 as far as the crank hitting the block yes it can, you will have to have the bottom of the cylinders machined to clear the crank and rods and you will have to have the 400 mains turned to fit the 350 mains. rv cam is good for the grunt at low end so it wont be a problem. as far as rebuilding its easy as long as the 400 rods are in good shape (have them checked) you will need new pistons for the 350 (dont go more then 10 to 1 flat tops) or you can use the 350 rods and custom pistons ( better RPM, but have to have crank turned to fit 350 rods) as far as head work, for just a low end grunt motor stock 194 heads are more then suficient unless building race motor stay close to stock. you might consider a kit from performance atoumotive wholesale (crank rods, pistons) they will balnce it for a little more money to within a few grams of each part(rods, pistons etc) the best thing to do is go to the parts store (napa) and buy or order smokey unnicks HOW TO HOT ROD THE SMALL BLOCK CHEVY and how to rebuild the SBC, and follow it to the letter i did this and built a 331 sbc (350w/327 crank) i had it balanced and blueprinted and heads flow benched (ported and polished) with 10 t0 1 piston and big cam and big block oil pump and 7 quart pan for my 69 Z28 and man did it scream!! GOOD LUCK sorry so long!!
     
  16. MoGas

    MoGas Central Scrutinizer

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    If you want to keep it dependable on pump gas you won't need more than an Edelbrock Performer type cam grind and go no more than 9.5:1 compression.
    You should be able to find heads at your local wrecking yard look for casting #3998993's look for "HECO EN MEXICO" cast into them as well. they are decent heads and inexpensive, 1.94 intakes and 1.50 exhausts, probably the best small spark plug 74cc medium performance head out there. Few failures due to it's heavy casting.

    Stay away from 333882 heads they are thin cast and have 2 exhaust crossover passages (read: runs hot)
    2.02 intake heads are great but hard to find and if you just want to keep it simple, you will be happy with the 1.94's

    Hope this helps,
    Dave
     
  17. Rice

    Rice SILVER Star

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    Like others have said there is some clearancing that needs to happen to build a 383 but there were a couple omissions. If you are building this engine on a budget it may be best to do one of 3 things already recommended:

    1. simply buy a stroker crate engine
    2. stick with a 350 (355 if bored 0.030 over)
    3. go to a true 400

    Reasons:
    It's true that a 400 crank with main bearings turned down can go into a 350 block and that it is externally balanced meaning new flywheel and a front balancer (called a dampner on a 350). Keep in mind 400 cranks are getting a little harder to find. Still, it's not true this is the only option. There was enough aftermarket interest in strokers that companies started grinding 3.75" stroke cranks with 350 mains. A cast crank will either need externally balanced stuff or will need heavy metal (mallory) added to the crank bobs. A forged crank for a 383 can be internally balanced without the addition of heavy metal and allow you to keep your 350 dampner and flywheel. A forged crank cost more but you can see where the savings come in elsewhere. Longer rods have their place in the race world but for a street engine are of little use. A longer rod slows the piston down a little at TDC and helps the cylinder fill plus provides a little better crank angle for torque, but they also push the piston pin up into the oil landings. A 5.565 or 5.700 inch rod will do fine. Stay away from Eagle brand stuff. This is 100% chinese and over half of the rods and cranks being tested for specs are out of spec enough they're having to be reground ... many of these reground cranks are now showing up on Ebay. Sadly the journals are now the right size but many of them still are not straight. Regardless of what brand crank you get be sure to have your machinist check for size, tapper, and out-of-round on all journals ... mains and rods.

    Machining a 350 block to clearance the crank is part of what needs doing. There must also be at least 0.030 clearance between the rods and the cam. The "buy the kit and bolt it in" days are simply not here yet unless using an aftermarket block.

    Most important after the engine has been clearanced is having it balanced. If they say "this is a balanced crank" when you buy it, don't listen. Balanced means it's balanced as a total package with the pistons, pins, rods, flywheel, pressure plate, and dampner/balancer.

    The only satisfaction I get out of building my own strokers over a crate engine is knowing what parts are in it, liking the challenge of it all, and knowing it wasn't built by someone waiting for the 5:00 whistle to blow on a Friday afternoon. Otherwise I'd opt for the crate engine. Enjoy building it but like almost every project you may run into a couple unpredicted items that send the budget over the top.

    Good luck
    Rice
     
  18. TLCObsession

    TLCObsession

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    Remember to add cooling to your budget - a stroker puts out more heat than a 350. Forget the 400 they are hard to cool because of the siamesed water passages.

    If you have someone with the know-how, a stroker is a lot of fun, and since you have some of the parts, cheaper than buying a crate stroker.

    Just remember: If you have a heavy right foot, a stroker will snap almost anything you put on a wheeling rig.

    Jim
     
  19. Rice

    Rice SILVER Star

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    The folklore of overheating 400's was mostly a function of people bolting on 350 heads and not drilling steam holes into them. Almost all aftermarket blocks such as the Dart Iron Eagle, Little M, and even some aftermarket GM 350 bowtie blocks (PN 10185047) now use them because they allow for larger bores and have a high resistance to cylinder warping.
     
  20. rusmannx

    rusmannx

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    after all of this i'm still interested in building my own. i don't have a problem with spending the extra money to make sure everything comes together smoothly.

    i'm going to call around to some local machine shops (local to utah) and see what it would cost me to have one built verses doing it myself (my friend and i).

    probably what will happen is i will do all dissasembly and reassembly, and have the machine guy check all the stuff for clearance, milling, whatever.

    this crank i have came right out of a 400 with rods. i'm not sure what the length of those rods are though... is there a standard size that came from those engines?