Suggestions please...600hp sbc buildup

General engine tech -- Drag Racing to Circle Track

Moderator: Team


Suggestions please...600hp sbc buildup

Post by lowflyr » Wed Feb 14, 2007 6:03 pm

Hi everyone,

This is my first buildup of an engine with this power suggestions/critics are welcome. My goal is a 600hp pump gas (91 octane here in NS, Canada) engine which will see regular street use and weekend dragstrip duty likely on 5-6 weekends a year. I do not want to use NOS either. Having said that, here are the items I have already or are already ordered; these are items which will be used in this engine regardless:

casting 330817 400 small block, 2 bolt, bored 0.030" Minimum wall thickness checked - 0.220" on non-thrust face, 0.224" on thrust face
Scat 3.75" crank (cast steel)
Scat 6.0" rods (I-beam)
SRP forged aluminum pistons, yeilding 10.8:1 with this setup.
AFR 210cc eliminator (75cc chambers) heads (these will have a minimum estimated flow of 300cfm at .600 numbers to be confirmed once heads are delivered and flow tested)
Victor Jr intake 2975
Rotating assembly balanced

The rest of the combo is up for debate....My planned parts are listed below:

Comp cam: 12-773-8 solid roller (0.582/0.588 lift w/1.5's, 254/260 at 0.050, and 292/297 advertised at 0.015)
Comp solid roller lifters and matched springs.
Jesel 1.6 ratio shaft mount roller rockers
double roller timing chain
roller cam button (bearing type)
standard volume oil pump
standard chevy oil pan (in a 3rd gen camaro with no room for more)
Total seal (gapless) top rings
race demon RS 850cfm mechanical secondaries
MSD billet distributor and 7AL-2 Plus
Royal Purple oil to be used after break-in.
Hooker shorty 1 5/8" primary headers, true dual 3" exhaust
Possible splayed 4-bolt main cap upgrade
ARP studs everywhere
Stock 400 sbc balancer

This will all be going into a 3400lb street trim 87 IROC with 4.10 rear gears and a 3000 stall lockup torque converter in front of a 700r4.

This car will not be running slicks any time soon, so quick launches are out of the question anyway, so I'll stick with the 3000 stall for now. Besides, I do not wish to run faster than 11.50 right now anyway...I do not want to 'cage the car.

Anticipated power numbers: 600hp@6500-7000rpm, 540lbft@5000-5500rpm. I figure my shift points will be somewhere around 7000-7300rpm.

Thats more typing than I was planning....anyway please poke at this setup if you see anything you figure to be wrong (engine combination) or if you think I am way off the mark on anticipated power numbers... I would appreciate all the feedback you have to offer. I would also appreciate any suggestions on bearing clearances. i figure this engine will be built and dyno'd by May.

Thanks guys


Post by longrodsbc » Wed Feb 14, 2007 6:09 pm

I would ditch the stock 400 balancer, i use TCI (rattler) but Ive also used ATI with good results..


User avatar
Posts: 674
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:57 pm
Location: Houston Tx.

Post by 67RS502 » Wed Feb 14, 2007 6:19 pm

if you shooting for 600hp then a Super Victor would be a good choice, also 1 3/4" x 30" headers.

But if all you want is 11.50 then build it with a mild cam and aruond 450-475hp will get you mid 11s easy. 600hp will put you in the low 10s.

Choose what you want 600hp or just mid 11s?
67 camaro
girly rollers on pumpgas:
420 - 641hp BretBauerCam, 1.39, 9.79 @ 137.5
383 - 490hp 224/224, 1.56, 10.77 @ 124.6
502 - 626hp 252/263, 049s 1.44, 10.08 @ 132.7
62 Nova cruiser
383/200-4R/12-bolt w 373s
224/224 HR cam
1.57 10.97 @ 121.2



Post by lowflyr » Wed Feb 14, 2007 6:57 pm

mid 11's is ok for now. But I am interested in building hp for the fun of it. And 11.50's on street tires is impressive to me. I can't do that with 475hp and a full weight car on my street tires (not cheater slicks either). If and when I decide to go super pro, I will already have the experience with the power level required from the engine standpoint.

I guess I'm saying I want 600hp AND 11's is ok for least until the speed bug bites again and the car gets a cage, trans and rear capable of handling slicks.

The super victor may be a good option, but is it more than I need for this? I thought the vic jr was well capable of supporting this power level.

1 3/4" longtubes make it hard keep ground clearance too, but I agree that they may be a better option. I initially figured the fact that this engine will spend most of its life under 5000rpm, the 1 5/8" shorties may be better for this, but 600hp is alot to ask for, and less torque down low may help to launch right now 1 3/4" could be the way to go.


The stock balancer was ok I thought unless circle track racing or sustained high rpm was invloved.....sounds like I may be wrong on this point.

Thanks for the input guys, keep it up.

Posts: 539
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 7:46 pm

Post by Eric68 » Wed Feb 14, 2007 7:17 pm

1-5/8" shorties would hurt IMO. 1-3/4" long tubes would be ideal if you can possibly find or build a set that fits your chassis.

I would forgo the gapless top rings personally. A good conventional plasma moly top ring would be fine IMO.

I would also seriously consider a tougher tranny -- 3 speed with closer gear ratios and a converter that will flash up to 4800-5000 rpm.

On the carb I can tell you an 850 AD Mighty Demon and an 825 AD Mighty Demon were too big for my 410. My fastest ETs have been with my old reliable 750 Speed Demon (mech secondaries). I know that sounds small for 7,000 RPM but I did an incredible amnount of tuning with an LM1 and "the facts is the facts . . ."

With those changes you should be in the high 10's pretty easily if the chassis hooks halfway decent.

Hope that helps.
E85 racer and E85 carb builder

68 Camaro 427" E85 powered small block, 9.95 @ 133 mph best motor ET through the mufflers. 1.319 best sixty foot.


Another for the 1 3/4"......

Post by lowflyr » Wed Feb 14, 2007 7:59 pm

Sounds like the 1 3/4" primaries are the way to go....i'll have to custom make them to fit my car and have the ground clearance remain acceptable. A tubular k-member will help with that as well.

It does seem odd that you found the 825 or 850 too big. Interesting point, I should dyno the engine with a few carbs on lend to see what happens before buying one.

The gapless rings were chosen not based on what I'd gain from a fresh engine. But rather once the engine begins to show its miles, the end gap on conventional rings opens with time as they gapless rings would maintain better compression for longer would they not? If this is not the case, then the added cost of the gapless rings may indeed be unnecessary. Are these rings simply no better for the cost?

Show Guest
Show Guest
Posts: 6199
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:16 pm
Location: santa ana calif-92703

600 HP on the street

Post by bigjoe1 » Wed Feb 14, 2007 8:51 pm

I have been doing this for way to long, but 600 HP at 3400 lbs would get you to about 11 flat with big slicks and a looser converter.You need at least 1 3/4 headers and more camshaft. The cam you picked is a street grind. A more aggressive grind will net you 40 to 50 more HP.Check out the 615 HP buildup in Hot Rod mag a few months ago. It is very similar to what you want to do. JOE SHERMAN RACING


actually, I have that article....

Post by lowflyr » Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:32 pm

Wow, to receive a response from Joe Sherman himself :shock: ....holy crap, I'm overwhelmed. For a small town rural Canadian fellow like myself struggling to get together the money to just go racing this board is an absolutely amazing opportunity to bounce questions off the best of the best.

Ahem...=shaking my head= back to subject...

It sounds like the 1 3/4" headers are the way for me to go. Thanks everyone.

I have no problems with putting a larger cam in the engine, but the cam grind used in the article concerned me with valvetrain life......I do not know how long it will last, but the shaft mount rockers should help keep things under control. If this means I have to do a valvespring swap every year, then I can live with that....The car will see likely no more than 25,000 kms per year. However, if a larger cam means I need to replace valves, lifters, pushrods or rockers on a yearly basis, then it is too much cam I think for my purposes. Like I said in the original post, this is my first attempt to build this level of power.

I noticed the article uses a 383, and the 195cc eliminator AFR's. Where I am using the eliminator 210's on 406ci. I wonder what sort of 'street manners' that cam would give? I am not looking for a car to commute through rush hour traffic or anything, but I would like to have the car not fall flat on its face or stall when trying to leave from an idle. I have no experience running a cam that size on the street, so if you have any input as to what I can expect.....that would be great. My opinion of streetable is quite loose....if I can drive it as my secondary 'play' vehicle which will only occasionally get stuck in mild traffic and spend most of its life in 80kph or higher zones....I can live with that. With the torque converter locked up and in overdrive, I will be likely spinning close to 2500-2800rpm down the highway here. I suspect poor combustion due to low velocity and fuel separation will not be a problem at that range (2500-2800), but what about extended idling (say 15-25 mins) would this cause the engine to load up with such a large cam?

I saw in the article that you used split 1.6 intake and 1.5 exhaust rockers and that you had to machine the heads an extra 0.1" deep to accomodate the springs....will the machining be necessary on my 210's as well?? They are good for .660 lift from AFR.

The cams specs from the article are as follows for those who have not seen it: comp cams 12-860-9, adv. 287/296, 0.050 259/264, lift .645/.630 and 106 lobe sep. with 1.6's

Again, I am in awe of the talent on this board...

New Member
New Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2007 4:49 pm

Post by alex77c3 » Wed Feb 14, 2007 11:12 pm

You might want to check out schoenfeld and stahl headers, although the stahl headers are a little expensive. Ive heard nothing but good things about both. Whatever you decide good luck.


Show Guest
Show Guest
Posts: 6199
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:16 pm
Location: santa ana calif-92703

600 HP on the street

Post by bigjoe1 » Wed Feb 14, 2007 11:14 pm

If you plan to drive this setup any more than a few hundred miles per year, you will have to make some compromises.Your first choice cam would be a better choice. My idea of a street and strip hotty is no more than 500 miles a year. A loose converter (3500) or so makes a more radical engine more driveable. I dont like you idea of the overdrive trans, but it is your car. Low rear end gears also would help with the driveability. One last thing, a rear 600 HP engine would need a freshenup somewhere at about 500 to 1000 miles,Maybe you should rethink your engine JOE SHERMAN RACING


Post by lowflyr » Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:28 am

Stahl headers would be nice, but my budget is already about $1000 over what I had planned to spend (with all the work done, not as is of course). I think I will be building my own headers for this one, at least for now. I have heard nothing but good things about the Stahl's as well, I'd love to get them later on. Interesting you mentioned schoenfeld, I had not heard of them until now...I will check them out too.

It sounds like you would not attempt build what I am looking for....and thats ok, but as mentioned this is a street car, with only 5-6 weekends per year at the track. Hence my original cam selection. I have heard that this (12-773-8)cam will allow a 900rpm idle and good street manners on a 383 which was running the old AFR 210's. And to top that, it ran in the high 10's at 128mph in a 3200lb Camaro. This reinforced my original cam decision. Actual power was unknown on that combo. With my 4.10's out back a high stall converter and a three speed my car would be an absolute pig on fuel for the mileage the car will see (not that it will be that great anyway), and the overdrive with lockup will help to keep the trans temps low and keep the revs down to promote a somewhat longer engine and trans life as well.

You say that a 600hp (bhp) engine will require a freshening at 500 to 1000 miles......I believe you, it just seems like an awfully short lived engine to me. I am looking for an engine I can freshen maybe every second 50,000kms (about 31000miles). Being at absolute peak performance for this full time is rediculous I know, but if it is within 40hp or so of its peak performance, then thats ok. I am not a professional racer, but rather just a guy who enjoys building power for the fun of it and to have alot of fun on the occasional weekend surprising a few people with a (nearly) stock appearing car.

User avatar
Posts: 3579
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:39 pm
Location: Mendocino County, Northern CA

Post by Wolfplace » Thu Feb 15, 2007 2:11 am

The first thing I would do is have that cam ground on a billet core with the cast gear option if you are planning on using it.
All -8 Comps are on a cast core & I really hate these things.
I think there are some better lobes for what you want & it does not cost any more for a custom grind from Comp.

That said, an honest 600HP 400 is a pretty serious street engine & it is not as easy as bolting parts together.
The new AFR heads are looking real good but the 210 is not available just yet.
Should be in the near future but you have to remember AFR runs in a slightly different time zone with the small block heads :lol:
So,, near future may be a while.
The 195 street heads are running about 16 weeks & I have had two sets of 195 comp ported ones on order for about 5 months now.
It will get better as they are now settled in their new digs & hopefully catching up.

Couple of other things.
Ditch the stock damper & use ATI. You will find this is the damper of choice by most
Have the engine internally balanced.
I personally do not like anything on the end of a crank that squishes, rattles or goes bang in the night

Conventional type rings would also be my choice but I have no experience with the gapless top.
It just does not make any sense to me though as you have almost no gap as soon as the engine is warm anyway so I find some of the claims a bit over the top.
Lewis Racing Engines
4axis CNC block machining

A few of the cars I have driven & owned
A tour of my shop
The Dyno
And a few pics of the gang

"Life is tough. Life is even tougher if you're stupid"
John Wayne


Post by lowflyr » Thu Feb 15, 2007 2:45 am


It appears no one is backing the gapless rings yet, so I'm leaning away from them now. The ATI damper will go on the front now as well. I did forget to mention I ordered an internally balanced crankshaft.....guess that would merit changing the damper along with the flywheel anyway.

I have had an order in on the 210's since Sept? or Oct? now. I called near the end of January and they said to expect delivery in February....come to think of it.....they did not say 2007 though..... :lol:

Yes 600 hp is very serious, and I take it serious, but when I called comp cams techline for a cam suggestion, they pointed me at the cam I had already chosen....when I asked about a custom grind they said there was no need. hmmm...guess I'll go leafing through their profiles and see what else I can turn up. Could be interesting.

Billet core prob costs more, but I'll check that option out too. I want this cam to live for a while.

Thanks for the info Wolfplace


Post by Ed-vancedEngines » Thu Feb 15, 2007 2:47 am

I hate to tell you this, but I feel that you might be over-reaching in your horsepower quest for a street engine that you will race too.

I also read that you are using an overdrive tranny. For your sake I hope it is not a 7004R. I have never seen one hnadle any kind of power once the slicks are on the car, regardless of claims. I do not have one customer that had one and got it to live once slicks are on the car. They are cool and I like them when we are just burning rubber and driving. Once the slicks go on, not one custmer made it past the first trip to the track.

I would suggest to think about using a hydraulic roller and to set the springs up like I do, and if that is not enough you can always buy a rev-kit and install it.

I like the Canfield cylinder heads for street/strip use. I have several cars using the 195 cc versions after some port work on them, and they work good. Now Canfield is making that same head in a larger runner version that does look promising but I have not yet tried it. That one is called the 215 cc. With the 195 or the newer 215 Canfield you can use factory style 7/16 rocker arms and valvetrain.

I have one car out there now in Kansas City, which I built over 4 years ago, that is daily driven, street raced several times per week, and is driven to the track usually every two weeks. He is using a small 150 shot in street racing and track usually. That engine was built over 4 years ago and is run quite a lot of street miles. It is a 385 cu in 11.20-1 with a TPIS Mini-Ram using an aftermarket efi control system. He did have to get a strong 400 built for it and is using a lock up torqe convertor that he can control. His engine was not built to the max for horsepower it was built for the way he uses it. Of course I had to leave a bunch of horsepower on the table to get reliability while using pump gas and street driven.

It can be done, but it can not be done by squeezing the hp you are seeking from a street driven SB Chevy. Street driven engines just will not run like a similar engine that is for racing only and live.

I am one of the very few on this forum that likes the Total Seal Rings. That Car in Kansas City I mentioned is using the Top Gapless set with a standard tension oil ring. Several of my street and bracket engines are using them too. I like them. For what it is worth. Be sure to buy the Total Seal Quick-Seat and use it.

I can give you a grind and cam specs of one of mine that works very well in a 406 with good heads using higher ratio rocker arms. Actually I can give you two of them that would work well in what you have in a hydraulic roller set up by using a 6,800 rpm rev limit. They don't sound as radical in the engine as they look on paper though.

I also suggest to dis-regard what Comp Cams tells you about valve springs and for sure do not buy a matched kit.



Post by lowflyr » Thu Feb 15, 2007 3:32 am

Thanks Ed, points noted. I am very interested in knowing what cam specs you would suggest, solid or hydraulic. Why not go with the matched springs?? Do the comp cam recommendations not perform as expected??

As mentioned the AFR heads are on the way....

As for the hydraulic roller, I can visualize very bad things at 7300rpm....maybe I'm wrong about this as well, but the added weight of the hydraulic roller lifters just can't be good up there. I take it you have had success doing this, but to me I don't mind keeping my lash in adjustment if it gives me a better chance of avoiding valve float or bounce. I know rev kits do alot in this area, but can the added pressure on the roller cause problems in the long run? I can be convinced otherwise, but I can not see any benefit to going to the hydraulic other than avoiding the lash adjustments. On any other comparison I understand the solids are better.

I am running the 700r4 and I am very aware of its limitations. Hence another reason this car will not get slicks until the rest of the driveline is built up. My current 700r4 is likely to have problems with these power levels on a good day, and honestly may not last a week even on the street tires. If it does survive a little while good, but my tranny selection to follow it depends on the budget once I get to that point. I really do not want to even entertain the 3 speed autos as an option....th350 or 400. but I may end up there if only to get the car going again while I save for a jericho 5 speed.

A 600hp pump gas monster that is somewhat reliable is a definite challenge. If I hit 580hp, no big deal, but 600 is just so close. Of course we all know here the importance of torque in a street driver, and I am not willing to sacrifice every last bit of streetablilty to get to the magical 600hp barrier either. Its a tough goal to reach, but who has ever made anyone sit up and take notice without pushing the limits? :D I am willing to be a risk taker. Maybe this will pan out, maybe not, but one thing is for sure, I'll sure give it my all. This could end up in being an awful painful financial lesson..... but I sure hope not.

Overall, It would seem that there does not appear to be many that believe this can be accomplished for a street driver... Here's to breaking new ground....or just breaking. :?

Thanks again.

Post Reply