Reader's Performance Engine Build Suggestions - Garage

Letters

I'd also like to see what kind of power a 283 and a 305 are capable of making. Let's build a 11:1 305 with a cam with 292 duration and 0.525 lift, a good set of heads, and a 150 shot of nitrous. Imagine getting your butt kicked by a 305. How embarrassing would that be? Let's see what happens when you build a 283 with14:1 compression, a 300-duration solid-lifter cam, and a set of ported-out double-humps. I would imagine about 500 hp at 8,500 rpm, then add a 200 shot of nitrous with money left over to invest in good ARP bolts and a tach that goes past 10 grand.Bert Richardson

I read your $5,500 small-block buildup, and I would have probably built the 383 version. I think I will build something similar if and when the 350 LT1 wears out in my Monte SS. However, a motor buildup that I've always been curious about was to destroke a motor. Start with a 400 block and use a 3.25-inch stroke crank. If I did the math right, this will give you about 350 cubes. But with the shorter stroke you can get more revs out of it, as well as larger valves with the slightly larger bore. Use a compression of 11.0:1 or higher, long rods, a solid-roller cam, and roller rockers. Also, I'd like to see it with a short-runner, fuel-injected intake similar to the LT1. TPIS makes one that's similar but will work on a standard Chevy bolt configuration as well as flow extremely well. Fire the plugs with an MSD distributor and expel the gases with 131/44-inch primary headers. I'd probably end up well past the $5,500 limit, but I would be curious to know what kind of power it would make.Scot McKittrick

In response to your engine build request, I have a wrinkle I've thought about for a long time. It seems that several sources produce, sell, and market 500-plus-horsepower big- and small-block engines. I would like to see the 502/502 big-block crate engine revisited (I think they run for $7,500), set it up with an attitude toward friction reduction, including a larger oil pan, an electric water pump, and roller rockers. How much horsepower and torque is really in there? Maybe stuff into second-gen F-body?John Schulte

I'm a 13-year-old enthusiast/CHP subscriber, and I'm trying to rebuild a '66 Chevy 327 with camel-hump heads. I plan on paying for the rebuild myself, but my dad is being nice enough to help me out. I want to put it in a '66 A- or X-body, an Impala, a '67 Camaro, or a '70-72 Monte Carlo. If I had $5,500 to rebuild it I would get it bored another 0.030 over like it needs, buy new rods, pistons, an Edelbrock Performer intake, some Hooker headers, a new cam, and-if I had enough left-maybe I would even buy the car to put it in. I was wondering if you guys could do an article on a 327 like mine so I would know what to do.Mike LewisWentzville, MO

A Swedish SaluteI have been a subscriber for a little over five years now, and when I recently got the Sept. '06 issue I suddenly felt the urge to show my appreciation to you hard-working guys!

First of all, I like the face-lift of the mag. Easy to follow, more pics, and lots and lots of information. The mix of tech, readers' rides, and articles is perfect. Second, the three-way small-block showdown was one of the most interesting articles I've ever read. Period. Brilliant idea, three different solutions to the same catch-22 every gearhead faces daily: If I go for that cam, I better get those heads, but then the carb will be too small, and will the converter be up to it? Nah, can't afford a new carb anyhow, so if I just stay with the cam, new lifters...and so on. The $5,500 limit was realistic, and yet one could cut some dollars off the total bill, depending on your own salvageable parts. As a small-block fan I liked the high-revvin' 355. Too bad technology hasn't been able to solve the mystery of "live sound inserts" in paper magazines; it would have been wonderful to hear them roar on the dyno.

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