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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-09-2018, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
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428 build advice needed for newbie

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.


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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-09-2018, 08:03 AM
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Re: 428 build advice needed for newbie

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Originally Posted by plunkett View Post
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.


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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

70 Sportsroof, 427 FE/489 cid, TKO-600, 31 spline 4.10, A/C. modified Mass-flo EFI/reprogrammed A9L/CnC ported Victor.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-09-2018, 08:28 AM
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Re: 428 build advice needed for newbie

My427Stang is a GOOD person to listen to when dealing with the FE.

I built a similar 454ci engine to what you are taking on... a 427 with a 428 crank, and Barry R was an excellent resource. His stroker kits might seem slightly more expensive, but they are COMPLETE, and already come fully balanced. He is also a worth of information, competes with FE's in Engine Masters competitions, and has written his own book on the FE. However, he is NOT race only, and puts together more top quality STREET engines than race stuff. Check out his website for more info, and don't be afraid to call him on the phone, as he's a worth of information.

Survival Motorsports Home Page

Good Luck!
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-17-2018, 07:41 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 428 build advice needed for newbie

Lots of great info. Thanks. I'm convinced that a 4.25 stroker kit is the way to go and roller lifters with stock rockers sounds good too. This is a bare block so I don't have ANY stock internals to cloud my decision. I did find a local builder that seems to have plenty of FE experience. He's not a fan of Barry because of a previous experience in which a project was held up for months waiting on parts (wouldn't return the money, wouldn't return phone calls, etc.) so he's recommending BBM heads and Keith Craft rotating assembly. Any thoughts?

Maybe I should rethink my power brake plan since this isn't a large car and the vacuum needed for brakes may have a negative impact on my engine build options. I was planning to replicate the disk front, drum rear Shelby package but could go with rear disk if needed. Thoughts?
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-17-2018, 10:12 AM
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Re: 428 build advice needed for newbie

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He's not a fan of Barry because of a previous experience in which a project was held up for months waiting on parts (wouldn't return the money, wouldn't return phone calls, etc.) so he's recommending BBM heads and Keith Craft rotating assembly. Any thoughts?

Maybe I should rethink my power brake plan since this isn't a large car and the vacuum needed for brakes may have a negative impact on my engine build options. I was planning to replicate the disk front, drum rear Shelby package but could go with rear disk if needed. Thoughts?
Wow... That is the very FIRST negative review I've EVER heard about Barry. If pushed to choose, I'd consider that a red flag against your builder. lol

I only had one dealing with Craft... and that was with a set of heads. The valve job was bad enough you could see daylight between one of the valves and seat. This was 10+ years ago, so take it for what it's worth. All dealings with Barry have been 100%.

Maybe your builder wants to do the balance job, detail work on the heads, etc? ...all stuff that comes already completed on the stuff from Barry...

I'd at least give Barry a call on the phone, and discuss things with him. He will also have a solution for your brake issue. (vacuum can, maybe?)

He will also be able to guide you on your 2x4 carb setup.

This is a good source for the shaft rocker End Stands. They sell a lot of other FE (and other) stuff as well.
http://stores.precisionoilpumps.com/...upport-stands/

Good Luck

Last edited by n2omike; 09-17-2018 at 10:16 AM.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2018, 04:13 AM
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Re: 428 build advice needed for newbie

Another good guy is Brent Lykins. He'll bend over backwards to help someone.

Lykins Motorsports, LLC

No negatives in my book with Barry, but there was a time where he had some stuff going on that made it hard to get in touch with him, plus some parts supplier problems.

Regardless, two very good guys, both friends and either can get you what you need

70 Sportsroof, 427 FE/489 cid, TKO-600, 31 spline 4.10, A/C. modified Mass-flo EFI/reprogrammed A9L/CnC ported Victor.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2018, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 428 build advice needed for newbie

I'm still interested in talking with Berry. This may just be a matter of holding a grudge too long. With all the good that I hear about Survival I can't afford to scratch them off the list over one person's bad experience.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2018, 05:28 PM
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Re: 428 build advice needed for newbie

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I'm still interested in talking with Berry. This may just be a matter of holding a grudge too long. With all the good that I hear about Survival I can't afford to scratch them off the list over one person's bad experience.
I bought a stroker kit from him in January for a bare 390 block I bought to swap in place of my fairlane's stock 390, and got it about two months later. There was a hold up with either pistons or cranks, I can't remember, but it was his supplier backordered, not him. I ordered heads, a cam and roller lifters in April. I got the heads and cam in July and he admitted he was backed up then as a smaller shop (I think there's only a handful of employees). He texted me this week that he finally received my lifters as they were backordered from Morel, again not his fault.

You should definitely give him a call. He's an FE guru. The only thing I can say bad about him is that he is EXTREMELY hard to get ahold of, but he will get back in touch if you leave him a message. I've seen him admit that himself on facebook. I'm sure he's being pulled in a thousand directions trying to work in the shop, order or chase parts, and sell parts too.

I'd not hesitate to order from him again in the future if I build another FE though. His stuff is top notch!

Sent from my HTC6545LVW using Tapatalk

67 Fairlane GT, 390, 4 speed
78 F150 rockcrawler truggy, 351M, 4 speed, 42" tires
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