I just purchased what looks to be a clean original used 428 block. I'm going to build (or have built if I can find an experienced builder in the Jackson, MS area) from scratch so I'm looking for opinions on what will improve the motor without getting too expensive or too radical to be reasonable for a non-racing street car. The motor will go in a 67 GT500 tribute and I'd like to keep the appearance pretty close to original so the intake will be dual quads but the exhaust will probably be headers. Since I'm getting all new internals I figured a stroker kit will be cheap horsepower through a few extra cubic inches. I know scat offers various levels of stroke but haven't seen much on the pros/cons of more or less stroke. I guess that would be the first major decision? Sounds like I can go to 10.5:1 compression on pump gas without issues so that's my current target. Next will be cam and lifters? Again I don't want to be too radical since it's a street motor and I still need vacuum for brake booster etc. so how much lift is reasonable? Are roller rockers needed or are they worth the extra money? What will fit under the Cobra Lemans valve covers? I've seen several posts that say the edlebrock heads are the best bang for the buck so that's my starting point. How much benefit should I expect by spending extra to have the heads worked by another shop? Also see lots of recommendations for High volume oil pump and mixed recommendations on the need for restricting flow to the heads in order to maximize flow to lower end so are modifications to oil galleys really necessary for street use? The trans will be a toploader and other options include power brakes, power steering, and probably will add AC if that has any bearing on the motor advice.
Sound off experts!!
You sure fired off a lot of questions, let me sort of group them
Stroke or not stroke an FE?
- No reason not to stroke and go the full 4.25 from a reliability standpoint. You can even go 4.375 but the pistons get shorter and although the stability is better than a SBF or SBC most guys usually go 4.25 to get a little more piston skirt stability. FYI, the FE supports the piston very well at the bottom of the stroke at 4.25 with a 6.7 BBC rod, with barely .200 of the skirt hanging below. So no reason at all, unless you get some sort of special deal on shorter stroke stroker crank to go less than 4.25 for about 462 cubes.
- From a cost standpoint - Pistons are the same cost for custom zero deck 428 pistons or 462 pistons, so it's a wash. BBC rods for the stroker are cheaper than rods for a 428, although if you had a good set of CJ rods already, that would be cheaper assuming they are good. A 428 crank, STD/STD sells for about 400 bucks, the stroker, 600-ish. The 428 crank with 428 flywheel is cheap to balance (250-300 bucks), using an internal balance, add 100, if going with a 4.25, add another 150-200 to balance due to the need for a bit of Mallory metal. So if you add a basic build and add 30 cubes, you will likely add about that much in HP and torque for about 400-500 dollars over the same in a 428, assuming you have the 428 parts and sell them afterwards
That being said, the strokers do very very well and I never heard anyone say "I wish I didnt"
As far as your other questions
Most of us when running hydraulic cams or hydraulic roller have returned to the stock hydraulic non-adjustable rockers. They tolerate more lift than you would expect and they are so much lighter, you end up gaining valvetrain control. You just need good shafts and end stands to make it stable. A good maintenance free hyd roller would be a nice combo with what I am hearing here.
As far as the cam, plenty of recommendations out there, as you get closer, you can hone in. As far as compression, 10.5 is about max, but with good assembly and parts choices you can do it. My 489 FE is at 10.7:1 and will run on pump fuel, my 445 is at 10:1 and was more fussy due to iron heads and a shorter cam, and I am doing two 462s this winter, one 9.5:1 and one 10.5:1, the difference being the cam and use, (one in a 4x4 the other in a 68.5 Mustang 4 speed)
FWIW, my Mustang is EFI, A/C, PS, but manual brakes. Also recommend snooping around Jay Brown's site, fepower.net. Certainly good people here, but most of us there have been on the net doing FE stuff since about 1995 and long before that without the internet