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400 block, wrong caps - worth it to align hone it or just get new block?

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  • 400 block, wrong caps - worth it to align hone it or just get new block?

    The standard bore 400 block I just picked up has the wrong main caps on it - which we found yesterday night while at my engine builders. They are off quite a bit and it will obviously need to be align bored to work. Its an 817 casting with 2 bolt mains. I paid $175 for it which is a little below the going rate for these around here ($250 ish usually - which was what he was asking originally until I talked him down). I am going to sonic check the block after it gets out of the "dishwasher" and is all clean. Some initial checks were showing over .300 average wall thickness on the cylinders :o - we will see what it looks like after I have properly checked the block.

    The thing is, I can pick up another block (a 509) for $250 or have this one repaired. This is a low compression mild street motor for my 57'.

  • #2
    Re: 400 block, wrong caps - worth it to align hone it or just get new block?

    I'd say that's a perfect opportunity to add aftermarket four-bolt caps, but for a mild, low-compression engine that's not worth it. If you can get a 509 block for that cheap I'd get it either way (we pay $400 around here). However, be prepared that the 509 block COULD also need align-honing. But probably not.

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    • #3
      Re: 400 block, wrong caps - worth it to align hone it or just get new block?

      That 509 is where I would put my money
      2007 SBN/A Drag Week Winner & First only SBN/A Car in the 9's Till 2012
      First to run in the .90s .80s and .70's in SBN/A
      2012 SSBN/A Drag Week Winner First in the 9.60's/ 9.67 @ 139 1.42 60'
      2013 SSBN/A Drag Week, Lets quit sand bagging, and let it rip!

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      • #4
        Re: 400 block, wrong caps - worth it to align hone it or just get new block?

        I can get a 509 2 bolt mains block for $300 with crank, and another complete 509 shortblock that has rust in the bores for $250. Or a couple of 817 blocks for $250ish. They are all standard bore.

        Align boring will be a couple of hundred which will put me at $375 into a known good block. Talked to my engine guy this morning and he says theres no cracks in the block. At this rate I will have around $1000 invested in this motor.

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        • #5
          Re: 400 block, wrong caps - worth it to align hone it or just get new block?

          It's a good idea to line bore when rebuilding anyways so I would just do up the one you have. Now if you were going to lean on it (like 450+ HP) then I would suggest Program 4 bolt caps with the splayed outer bolts. If memory serves they were only about $80 for the caps plus the line hone.

          Funny how this sport works . . . "just a couple more $$'s to XXXX"

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          • #6
            Re: 400 block, wrong caps - worth it to align hone it or just get new block?

            $80 for caps? Wow. Dirt cheap. Just the center three, I presume? Still cheap. The Milodons that I've used are $244.95 at Summit, but come with the drill fixture, bolts, and studs/nuts.

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            • #7
              Re: 400 block, wrong caps - worth it to align hone it or just get new block?

              Oops. Good catch Dave -- try $180 for the ProGRam.

              http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Chevy...sid=p1638.m118

              You can get Eagle for $80

              http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/NEW-S...spagenameZWDVW

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              • #8
                Re: 400 block, wrong caps - worth it to align hone it or just get new block?

                Originally posted by Eric68
                It's a good idea to line bore when rebuilding anyways so I would just do up the one you have. Now if you were going to lean on it (like 450+ HP) then I would suggest Program 4 bolt caps with the splayed outer bolts. If memory serves they were only about $80 for the caps plus the line hone.

                Funny how this sport works . . . "just a couple more $$'s to XXXX"
                Its a good idea to align bore when rebuilding? I never have done it before unless I was replacing the caps. I have had a few mopars align honed when I went to studs however, but not bored.

                With the time to go and find and buy another block, I think I might be money ahead to just get this one fixed.

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                • #9
                  Re: 400 block, wrong caps - worth it to align hone it or just get new block?

                  Agreed, and as DF stated-the other block may need to be honed as well, who knows?

                  What you use for caps depends on what you consider mild.
                  9.5:1 compression, streetable solid roller, 215/230cc heads, with RPM A/G and 850 Demon is 450-500hp.

                  I would say the splayed caps would be a good idea, at this point. Now would be a good time to upgrade to studs, and a good windage tray/screen and oil pan as well. Again, it's all going to cost you, but depending on what you want it can also be done smartly, saving you big, down the road.

                  What is the intended usage(be honest), realistic maintainence objectives(do you mind lashing the valves ocasionally?), do you want to race it, how fast you wanna go?

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                  • #10
                    Re: 400 block, wrong caps - worth it to align hone it or just get new block?

                    Might I recommend the cheapo eagles.

                    I have them on my 350. I bought the caps on ebay. Then I fit, drilled, tapped, registered, and chamfered my block. Sent it in for align hone and 6 years later it still together. When i had my old 268/[email protected] howard grind in there i spun it to 8 grand out of the hole at the track. These caps are a good buy for the money. Oh and just for reference I went right into the water jacket on 5 of the 6 splayed holes. When i final assembled them i used locktite white thread sealer on the bottoms of the bolts and its worked flawlessly!

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                    • #11
                      Re: 400 block, wrong caps - worth it to align hone it or just get new block?

                      I have a set of 400 nodular iron 4 bolt caps - the block was junk left outside by a previous owner here in -30 deg winter - no anti freeze .. junked the block - kept the caps. $40 + shipping..?

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                      • #12
                        Re: 400 block, wrong caps - worth it to align hone it or just get new block?

                        Originally posted by 73Nova
                        Oh and just for reference I went right into the water jacket on 5 of the 6 splayed holes. When i final assembled them i used locktite white thread sealer on the bottoms of the bolts and its worked flawlessly!
                        You'll hit the water jackets on the ProGrams too so the spendier caps don't help you there.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: 400 block, wrong caps - worth it to align hone it or just get new block?

                          Originally posted by efi-diy
                          I have a set of 400 nodular iron 4 bolt caps - the block was junk left outside by a previous owner here in -30 deg winter - no anti freeze .. junked the block - kept the caps. $40 + shipping..?
                          I mightbe interested in them, since it might be a good upgrade. Are they splayed or straight bolts? Its my understanding the straight bolt ones are weaker than a 2 bolt block because of the lack of meat in the mains.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: 400 block, wrong caps - worth it to align hone it or just get new block?

                            Straight... I run a 434 stroker that makes 500+ hp with the same type block these caps came off of with no issues.

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                            • #15
                              Re: 400 block, wrong caps - worth it to align hone it or just get new block?

                              A friend might be giving me a set of splayed billet center caps. If he doesn't, I am interested in these.

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