Big Block Advice?

Big Block A body Tech

  1. BigWilson87

    BigWilson87 70 Plum Crazy Dart

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    So, I've been debating for quite a while now about what engine to put in my car. It's a '70 Swinger. Hopefully, it will be getting painted during the Summer. I'm hoping to build up a stout big block during the time it is in the paint shop. Does anybody have any suggestions as to what block to use? 383, 440? Also, does anybody have any specific advice for building a big block? Does anybody have any suggestions for what parts to use? I'm only 16, so I have a 16 year old's budget. It's mostly going to be a street car, with occasional strip use on the weekends. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Andrew
     
  2. rumblefish360

    rumblefish360 So close, yet so far away FABO Gold Member

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    Well, first I have to say is, GREAT AVATAR!!!!!

    Secondly, what is a 16 YO's budget?

    If it is lean as mine was, stick with a stock engine and fuss with it from there. Theres tricks to scootin preety quickly with stock engines. It just take s a creative mind to do so.

    If you can get a runnig big block drivetrain complete, you'll be well ahead of the game. Bigger the better. More cubes the merry.
     
  3. 72ScampTramp

    72ScampTramp Scamp Tramp

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    Can I ask a few questions? Is it in your budget to upgrade brakes, expensive specialty headers, and rear end? Not to mention new/shortened drive shaft?
     
  4. BigWilson87

    BigWilson87 70 Plum Crazy Dart

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    I honestly am not sure of an exact number for my budget. Obviously, I'm going to want to build it on as low of a budget as possible. I'm hoping to have a part-time job by the summer, but I don't know about that with the way the economy is right now. I've got motocross stuff that I'm probably going to sell, so that money is going to go towards it. That should give me between a $1200-$1800 budget for right now.
     
  5. 67valiant 100

    67valiant 100 go fast or go home

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    Welcome!!! I too am a 16 year old. I'm doing a big block swap in my '67 Valiant (same engine bay as yours). I'm using a 413 engine (basically a 440 block). The 440-413-426 wedges (RB blocks) are taller & wider than the 361-383-400 wedges (R blocks). The R blocks fit better with more room making it easier to do the swap. If you can get a running drive train for cheap then your way ahead of the game. Automatics are also easier to do. You are definitely going to need a breaks & rear upgrade. You might also want to consider stiffening up the frame with frame connectors. Schumacher makes engine mounts (~$160) and headers (~$700) to make this conversion. Hope this helps.
     
  6. dodgedifferent2

    dodgedifferent2 Well-Known Member

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    stick with a small block and get her driving around. 318's are plentiful.

    Then slowly collect the parts that are needed and slowly install them as time goes on.
    Build up rear end to 8 3/4 (find in junk yard) get frame connectors installed. Then when everything is built up. Put the big block in.
     
  7. Rice Nuker

    Rice Nuker Let the Coal Roll!

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    I would recommend a 360 with J heads and also if you can get the parts, look into running a 904 transmission cause the 904 is lighter and has a better low gear ratio. Will hold up behind a mild 360 motor fine.

    Like the others said, focus on solid suspension and brake upgrades such as disc brakes up front, good steering and suspension parts and bushings, the rear end mentioned. You will want your car to handle and stop just as much as it hauls ace! Like the folks said, a small block can be fairly economical to perform, a big block will burn up your money in change over parts just trying to make the motor fit properly and run well in an a-body.

    Later on, slowly, when you have more money to burn, you can be building a big block conversion setup on the side, while you are still driving your car all over the friggin place and enjoying it.

    I wish someone would have told me that when I was young so I did not blow all my money shooting for the moon on a big block dart and coming up short rather than just putting a modest package together to enjoy, while shooting for the moon at a later date..
     
  8. Mrmopartech

    Mrmopartech Well-Known Member

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    In this case,put the best suspension and brakes on the car and tires and rims you can afford.After all the safety item are over and done with,look into a complete tune and motor uprades,better ignition system,headers,carb,etc.In your case you have to go slow,do to cash flow,been there and done that a few times.I would get a book to make all the things you wish to do and check them off 1 by 1.Go slow but sure,it will take time,but you have friends here to help you out,mrmopartech
     
  9. 1968 Valiant

    1968 Valiant Well-Known Member

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    Way to be different man!!

    I give cudo's to any youngster who likes old cars, especially mopars. Dont feel bad for your budget man. We all have to play the waiting game with our toys and dreams for them. My wife and kids always take priority so I understand the budget concerns.

    Speaking as a guy who has spent the last year chasing down and saving for all the pieces needed for the swap I would say the guys are right. Either buy a full running big block drivetrain or build a fun small block car.
    I am all for bid block a-bodies but I have had quite a few thrilling and hairy rides behind a warmed up 318.
    Also any healthy V8 will draw the attention of friends (and not friends) when you park next their small economy cars
     
  10. Purple Haze

    Purple Haze Well-Known Member

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    440
     
  11. bOb shingler

    bOb shingler Well-Known Member

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    what is in the 70 swinger for a rear now?
     
  12. Jim Lusk

    Jim Lusk Well-Known Member

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    As stated above, suspension and brakes first. That may take all of your first big wad of cash. The most reliable way for a newby to lose interest in cars is to tear out the drivetrain and run out of money. After the car corners and stops well, turn your attention to the drivetrain. Build up a heavier duty rear end first and set it aside. Then get your engine and trans built. With help from someone with experience, the entire drivetrain can be swapped and running within a matter of weeks (or less) if you plan correctly.
     
  13. dustoff440

    dustoff440 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a good plan...make it look good first. Decide whether you want a bruiser or a cruiser and go from there. I've been collecting parts now for 20 months and am very close to a total motor, tranny and converter, rearend , driveshaft transplant.
     
  14. SGBARRACUDA

    SGBARRACUDA ROY FABO Gold Member

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    I would go 440. A stock build with a little work will run circles around a little engine. Welcome, I'm in Plant City Fl. I have a few BB if you need a starter engine.
     
  15. BigWilson87

    BigWilson87 70 Plum Crazy Dart

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    Well, I would build a small block for it if I already had a 318, 340, or 360. But I have a slant in it right now. As for the rear, it's stock (I believe that's an 8 1/4?). I should have the disc brakes within the next week or two. Thanks sgbarracuda. I might take you up on that offer if I can't find anything a little closer. Thanks everybody for all of your advice, I really appreciate it.
     
  16. 1 Bad Duster

    1 Bad Duster Pro Street Duster

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    Big Block go 440ci and small block I now there hard to find and pricey go 340ci.. I'am doing a 440 swap in my 73 duster Slanted 6. I bought the motor mount kit for 173 dollars..
     
  17. efriedrich

    efriedrich 69 383S

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    You might want to look for a member named strokerscamp, I think he has the engine mount conversion for sale to put a bigblock where a slant six once lived.
     
  18. skypower

    skypower Well-Known Member

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    All good advice just plan your build and work your plan sometimes it's easy to get side tracked. Big blocks are fun and make crazy power but they do require more supporting hardware so if thats your plan be patient I'm sure there are plenty of members here who will help you along.

    Good luck with your project.
     
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