Please let me know what you think about this 455 build

Discussion in 'Street/strip 400/430/455' started by 67Skybird, May 6, 2019.

  1. 67Skybird

    67Skybird Josh - Minnesota

    I have a 1967 Skylark that I am building a 1972 Buick 455 for. I am in the planning part of the build and don't want to make too many mistakes or put the wrong pieces together. Block is bare and has been cleaned by the shop that was going to do the work until he passed. Crank was turned .010 on the mains, .020 on the journals. This is a street vehicle that will never see an official 1/4 mile track or have slicks on it. I also do not want to be slow.
    Need to run on pump gas mostly 91 around here with or without ethanol.
    Hone bores .008" to 4.32 and use autotec forged dish pistons and total seal rings (are they worth it?)
    TA stage 2 SE heads assembled with level 1 porting
    dual plane intake
    oil mods and pump kit from TA
    rod reconditioned with arp bolts
    cam ideas? TA 212 or TA 288-92 or something else? Do not want to spin much past 5500 as this is a street car.
    TH400 with gear vendors down the line or possibly a 2004r transmission
    stock 8.2" rear end with stock 2.91 gears and a lunchbox locker that replaces spiders.
    have enough vacuum for power brakes and be reliable enough to drive across county, hence over drive.

    Am I on the right track? Also has anyone purchased the lower quarter panels that are being sold online for the 67 skylarks?
  2. hugger

    hugger Well-Known Member

    Consider the Molnar rods,...its only about $300 maybe a little more,..than fully prepping stock rods and you will have a very versatile shortblock. I'm a big believer in stock rods but for the money and the quality of the Molnars its just a wiser choice

    I'd go with a Bullet Cam or Steve Jones custom cam myself
  3. cruzn57

    cruzn57 cruzn57

    those are pretty big cyl heads for only 5500 rpm,
    others may know better than I,
    but TA heads are usually used in higher rpm motors, (more than 5500 rpm)
    but then bigger valves, springs, cam, etc all figure into it,
  4. 67Skybird

    67Skybird Josh - Minnesota

    Thanks for the info on the rods, I will check them out.
    If I go with the aftermarket rods how many rpms is the combo safely good for with the stock crank? 6500? 7000?
    What is a reasonable street rpm range? 2000-?
    If the stage 2 heads are too big, should I go with the stage 1?
  5. hugger

    hugger Well-Known Member

    Stage 2s will out perform stock irons from idle to whatever rpm you wish,...stock rods are plenty good for up to 6k , the molnars will swing much higher than any street engine will see as will the crank, but peace of mind and build options are better
  6. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD" Staff Member

    The Stage2 heads are not too big. They are the right choice. Just make sure you run the static compression for the cam you choose.
  7. FJM568

    FJM568 Well-Known Member

    Stage2 heads in a 67 will allow you to run headers that fit better than stock heads or TA Stage1 heads with headers. Stock exhaust manifolds fit better with stock heads. Stage2 heads require headers.
    ravensbud likes this.
  8. Bens99gtp

    Bens99gtp Well-Known Member

    x2 on the molnar rods, I have them in my race motor......I have billet caps and postons girdled pan, I have no worries this thing would live at 7000. I ran my well prepped and balance stk rods with stk main caps at 6500 for years and never had a rod stretch.

    I would ditch the dual plane intake though. you will have enough bottom end to not worry about it.......dont choke the top end out............get a single plane and let it breathe on top end when you do want to visit there. also dont put too much carb on it with that 2.91 gears........if you had a set of 3.73ish I would say at least 950-1000, but with those gears not sure it will rpm fastest to swallow it that fast.

    also not sure the 2.91 and od is wise......might cause a lugging in od at highway speeds from too little rpms.

    that 8.2 might not be fully up to all the torque either?????
  9. cruzn57

    cruzn57 cruzn57

    he wants a stout STREET CAR, thru mufflers, with Overdrive,
    I have OD with my 430, and 2,56, and its very nice on the hwy.

    stay with the smaller cam, so it'll be enjoyable to drive,
    I still feel the Stg 2 heads would be to big, and cause sluggish DRIVING , (poor velocity, allowing fuel seperation)
    big cam, big heads, over size headers, single plane intake,all create very poor bottom end, and lousy
    street driving, (especially with 2.91 gears)

    increasing rpm, needs stronger valve springs, stronger pushrods, stronger rocker arms, etc, etc

    all ALOT of extra dollars !!

    I feel some of you are misleading this guy, with BAD information, FOR A STREET CAR!!!!!

    to the OP, if you want valid info, call Mike at TA, he will give you REAL info,
    that would help you choose what parts you REALLY need,
  10. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    The SE Stage 2 BBB heads with mild stage 1 porting is just right for his car. Basically they are very similar to the SE Stage 1 heads but with superior exhaust flow.

    The "SE" stands for Street Eliminator while the "TE" stands for Track Eliminator, seeing how he choose the SE Stage 2 heads means they ARE a good choice a hot street engine. PLUS being that they are Stage 2 means there is more clearance for headers in his '67 Skylark chassis because the exhaust exits way closer to the chamber than the Stage 1 heads that exit like the common BBB heads do.

    I'm sure if in he called Mike he would recommend the SE Stage 2 heads for the '67 if he wants to run headers because it would fit the chassis better and he would probably recommend the SE Stage 1 heads if he just wanted to run exhaust manifolds.
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
  11. hugger

    hugger Well-Known Member

    Have you ever driven a hot 455+?? This isn't a 231cid V6 or a stock 430 we can afford to give up some bottom end to gain MUCH more mid range and top end,...if you build a stock engine it will perform like a stock engine which was never fast,...

    With the 2.93 gear gear I wouldn't even consider an overdrive tho,..just a th400 and go, could run 80mph all day,..just keep the cam overlap low to avoid lugging at low rpm
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
    446370 likes this.
  12. Bens99gtp

    Bens99gtp Well-Known Member

    seeing this is a from scratch build, alot of parts cost almost the same money to standard and sage 2 headers and heads. if almost same money why not get the better parts for later on incase you wan more. the high dollar springs and stuff you are referring too.......the heads will already come with enough springs to handle either if he pops cams mention above.

    the very low 2.91 will do far more for making the bottom end sluggish than a good breathing set of heads and single plane intake will.

    with as cast stage 2 heads and either of those cams, 10:1 compression is very easily pump gas friendly, it will make over 500hp, and at least 550ftlbs of torque. in a rough ball park guess. with those numbers giving up some bottom end torque to get the midrange and top rpms gains the single plane would give you is a no brainer. you will never miss the bottom end and will enjoy I where you want it when do wan to go play.

    the gears in this setup will be the bigger factor in the seat of the pants and bottom end performance.

    true example here. buddy had an early 90s mustang gt.....plain stk the track it would run mid 15s with stk gears...something in around the low 3 high 2 numbers........cant fully remember now. we put a set of 4.10s in and ran 14.20s. he said b4 in od on the highway almost every hill it had to downshift, after almost never.

    with 2.91 gears.......assuming a tire size of 27" tall. 70 mph would be somewhere near 2600 rpms. put of on that assume a .7 of ratio for od, your down to 1800ish. but with od your also going to cut your torque output by the same if your motor makes 450 ft lbs at the 1800 area .....wide will have barely 300 going to the drive shaft...........but at highway speeds it wont be making 450ftlbs at light throttle.

    if you were a customer at my shop I would promise you on a money back, that 2.91 with od 90% of he ppl wouldn't like that setup........if you ever do put od on it do yourself a favor and put some gear to it at the same time.

    on a performance car it's as much about how you use the power usefully as it is about how much you make. going fast is alo more than make brute numbers and getting fuel mileage is more than just low rpm

    I have a customer with about a 450hp 383 SBC in a 51 chevy coupe, he is running 3.73 gears with of from a 700r4. on highway trips he is getting very close to 20mpg. can and had driven from ohio to Florida many times in does as good ss many modern cars going up hills and gets almost he mpg.

    we have another one with about 650hp 502 in an ss pickup truck getting 14 mpg on the highway running also 3.73 but a GV od behind his th400. and he is running a 1000 cfm 4150 carb.
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
    johnriv67 likes this.
  13. johnriv67

    johnriv67 Well-Known Member

    700R4 with 3.73s. You’ll thank yourself later
  14. Bens99gtp

    Bens99gtp Well-Known Member

    give us some more info here. do you plan on doing all of highway driving, on the highway do you normally prefer to drive 65. or 80. do you have alot of hills, mountains, or is it all flat. will this thing rarely see the interstate and mostly be only 45 and 55 mph. this all will effect the overall balance of a build.

    if this will live most of it life at 55mph using the same 27" tire you will barely see 2000 rpm with 2 91 gears
  15. 67Skybird

    67Skybird Josh - Minnesota

    Thank you to everyone that has responded, your input is great. I am sold on the molnar rods, it seems to make sense. I figure compression should be close to 10.5to1 if the printed numbers are accurate.
    TA heads 64-66cc
    Autotec pistons with a 1.98 compression height should leave it down approx .020
    .027 compressed head gasket.

    In response to some questions:
    I live in Minnesota, so mostly flat. I cruise on the highway usually 75ish. Car will split its time pretty equally between 30-45mph town cruising and highway cruising. I am not opposed to changing rearend gears if it makes sense. I definitely want more than a stock engine.
  16. Bens99gtp

    Bens99gtp Well-Known Member

    unless you are cutting the block you wont be .020 in the hole.

    your .027 gaskets will get you roughly .25 compression but cost about 200 bucks. you can get regular .040 gaskets for about 50 bucks.......that extra 150 can be used to go towards rods or anything else and wouldnt effect power out put alot.

    just carefully with your builder calculate the dynamic ratios to make sure your where you need to be. weight out all the pris and cons, figure out the heft way to spend your dimes......there are lots of 100$ things that go into a proper built motor.....but they add up, so some a little saved is a good thing

    around here premium gas us like + .080 cents a gallon over regular. depending on how much you plan on driving it that can be a decent savings each year. total cost of operation and maintenance should be figured into every build
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
  17. StfSocal

    StfSocal Well-Known Member

    It would be worth it to put some money into the rear end. At least some gears to bring the RPM's up a little. Well I guess that depends on how soon you are getting the gear vendors. Look up board member Monzaz on here and see what he recommends for the rear. A 200r4 is a good trans but would probably need some work to go behind that 455. The TH400 is going to be a little easier I would think.
  18. cruzn57

    cruzn57 cruzn57

    I own a twin turbo 522 cu in BBC 1/4 mi car, so yea, some experience,
    my back ground is designer for hooker headers .10yrs
    and dyno operator for David Vizard, 6 yrs,

    having seen many of the mistakes many people make, ( to much cam, to big of heads, to big of headers)
    I think I have an idea on MATCHING the combo to the intended use.
    I see so many key board warriors giving wrong information,
    and the end user ends up with a car that is no longer fun to drive,

    expert? not me, but I've made many of the errors I'm talking about,
    and have dyno sheets to prove what works and what doesn't.
    not starting a war here, just stating facts .
  19. StfSocal

    StfSocal Well-Known Member

    As for the cam I think with the route your going having a custom ground cam from Scott Brown would be better than an off the shelf. He could really get you something that would take advantage of the flow in the Stage 2s while keeping it streetable. In fact i would highly recommend going that route and dropping an off the shelf cam from the table.

    Also i second the idea of ditching the dual plane in this build. Unless you really want it for clearance issues.

    Dont forget that aluminum heads theoretically change the compression due to the ability to absorb (could be wrong term here) more heat allowing higher compression. I would say, if local fuel allows, shoot for 10.75-11:1. Although someone else might be able to give better clarity on this.
  20. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD" Staff Member

    I agree with too big of a cam, and possibly headers too big. I just don't understand what you mean by the heads being too big. If you hog them out, sure, but from my experience, there are absolutely no down sides to the TA aluminum Stage 1 and Stage2SE heads. I bought my TA Stage1SE heads in January of 2006. I bought them from Greg Gessler and he did his level 2 porting to them. They flowed 313/225 @ .550 lift. At the time, I had a 9.4:1 all iron motor with stock Stage1 heads, KB118 cam, and MT headers into a 2 1/2" system. The car was always fun to drive, plenty responsive in all street driving, and went a best of 13.22 @ 101 MPH at 4200 lbs. Greg milled the heads .040 to get my chambers down to 59cc so that my compression was now an aluminum head friendly 10.4:1. With an Edelbrock Performer intake and a 1000 Holley DP carb, it ran in the 12.40's at 108 MPH. Just a head change. Never noticed any loss of low end power and the car now had traction problems on the street. With the SP1 intake added, it ran a best of 12.11 @ 112 MPH. Didn't notice any loss of low end with the single plane intake as well. Engine felt strong everywhere.

    Then in 2010, I pulled the heads off with the intake, and sent them to Jim Weise so he could bolt them on to my new shortblock. Jim did some more porting to them and raised the flow to 334/250 @ .600 lift. With the small roller cam (230/238, 112 LSA and .544/.577 lift), the car has gone 11.50's at 4100 lbs. Still responsive everywhere with even more traction problems and this is with the Q-jet that I use on the street. Absolutely no problems at all cruising on the highway in OD with the Gear Vendors (2.76 final drive). It will kick down into 2nd over at 60 MPH and scare me.

    So I just don't understand what seems to be your bias against the SE heads. Why are they too big? The only difference between the Stage1SE and Stage2SE heads is the better exhaust port. Velocity seems to be right there even with the porting I have. I'd say as long as the OP has high enough static compression matched to a cam that isn't too big, he's gonna have a scary Buick torque monster engine.
    300sbb_overkill, 1972Mach1 and rmstg2 like this.

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