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Old 12-31-2008, 09:17 PM   #1
billjharris
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Default identify 400 small block chevy

anyone know of a simple, quick way to identify a 400 small block vs 350 small block chevy?
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:20 PM   #2
JohnEvans
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Default Re: identify 400 small block chevy

Normally 3 freeze pulgs per side, also crank balancer has a releaved area on the OD [externally ballanced]
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:21 PM   #3
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Default Re: identify 400 small block chevy

3 freeze plugs of the side of the block rather than 2.
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: identify 400 small block chevy

If you are talking about bare blocks, the 400 has steam ports between the cyclinders.
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: identify 400 small block chevy

The freeze plugs don't identify a 400 vs 350, if a 400 has only two freeze plugs on the side of the block it's a two bolt main, if there are three plugs on the 400, it's a four bolt main. The above identifiers are correct, the larger, relieved harmonic balancer, and the steam holes are giveaways. If you can see the flex plate, the 400 has weights on it, again for external balancing.
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: identify 400 small block chevy

I stand corrected..
There's a bit of info i didn't know, and i've built or had my hand in a bunch of them..
It was a long time ago, but evidently, they must have been 4 bolt blocks.
I've learned something
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:57 PM   #7
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Default Re: identify 400 small block chevy

the harmonic balancers are different, the 400 has a section removed as it is externaly balanced.
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:57 PM   #8
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Default Re: identify 400 small block chevy

But, I "think" the 2 freeze plug 400's have a cast area for the 3rd freeze plug that's not drilled for that freeze plug. So, you can still I.D. it as some sort of 400.
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Originally Posted by Bellytanker View Post
The freeze plugs don't identify a 400 vs 350, if a 400 has only two freeze plugs on the side of the block it's a two bolt main, if there are three plugs on the 400, it's a four bolt main. The above identifiers are correct, the larger, relieved harmonic balancer, and the steam holes are giveaways. If you can see the flex plate, the 400 has weights on it, again for external balancing.
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: identify 400 small block chevy

cast no ending with 509 both 2 and 4 bolt, 511 , 817 and the last is 609 I think . These engines are externaly ballanced, if apart larger mains steam holes in the deck, The cyl are wedged together as in siamise {sp} no water flows between the cyls. Bore size of 4.125 . If in doubt try the web site MORTEC. I hope this helps... Bobby..
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: identify 400 small block chevy

Groucho is correct. I have a 400 small block with 2 freeze plugs on each side and a cast area between them that was not machined. Indicates a 2 bolt main which many engine builders consider stronger. Also as mentioned the steam holes on the block deck. The FOGGER
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:14 PM   #11
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Default Re: identify 400 small block chevy

Also look at the rear crankshaft flange....it will have a dowel pin sticking out to locate the flywheel .
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:18 PM   #12
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Default Re: identify 400 small block chevy

Yes, some like the 2 bolt 400 blocks better, claiming the outer bolts on the 4 bolt 400 block go into a thinner area of the block than other small blocks. If 4 bolt's desired, splayed main caps are recommended
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Groucho is correct. I have a 400 small block with 2 freeze plugs on each side and a cast area between them that was not machined. Indicates a 2 bolt main which many engine builders consider stronger. Also as mentioned the steam holes on the block deck. The FOGGER
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:35 PM   #13
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Default Re: identify 400 small block chevy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bellytanker View Post
The freeze plugs don't identify a 400 vs 350, if a 400 has only two freeze plugs on the side of the block it's a two bolt main, if there are three plugs on the 400, it's a four bolt main. The above identifiers are correct

I have had several 2 bolt main 400's with 3 freeze plugs per side.
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:04 PM   #14
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Default Re: identify 400 small block chevy

I have only seen the 511 block with 4 bolt mains, though they can also be 2 bolts. Every 509 and 817 block has been a 2 bolt main block, and I have seen hundreds. I have a buddy that has been collecting them for about 20 years and he has hundreds and hundreds of them.
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:18 PM   #15
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Default Re: identify 400 small block chevy

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyv View Post
I have had several 2 bolt main 400's with 3 freeze plugs per side.
I got my first 400/4 bolt in 1980 and at that time was told about the 2 or 3 freeze plug identifier, sorry if it's incorrect.
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:19 PM   #16
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Default Re: identify 400 small block chevy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drive Em View Post
I have a buddy that has been collecting them for about 20 years and he has hundreds and hundreds of them.
WHY?
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:23 PM   #17
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Default Re: identify 400 small block chevy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
WHY?
He, his wife and son all circle track race, so he uses some of them, but he'll never use them all. He also has hundreds of Muncie and Super T-10 4 speeds, he runs and add in the local newspaper saying that he wants aluminum 4 speeds, he pays $50.00 for them and not a nickel more.
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:45 PM   #18
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Default Re: identify 400 small block chevy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drive Em View Post
He, his wife and son all circle track race, so he uses some of them, but he'll never use them all. He also has hundreds of Muncie and Super T-10 4 speeds, he runs and add in the local newspaper saying that he wants aluminum 4 speeds, he pays $50.00 for them and not a nickel more.
WOW, I wonder if that'll work for me? Wanted-aluminum 4-speeds, will only pay $50. I wonder if I too will get hundreds of em?. I think I'll start that Ad right now in the HAMB want Ads. Hope your friend's not already advertising there
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Old 01-01-2009, 02:29 PM   #19
k9racer
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Default Re: identify 400 small block chevy

whoa I would like to get some of those texas deals. The last 3 400's I got possession of came from cars that were running and driving. All Impalas after I pulled engines Ithen sold the rest of the car to derby guys. Last month a fellow I have known for many years came by my shop selling some transmissions. I got 2 muncie 4 speed, a ford t10 . a saginaw 4 speed and 4 muncie 3 speeds all for 1500 dollars and I felt like I took advantage of his bad luck. All of them around here have been used up or being hoarded by restorers... If anybody within 3oo miles of huntsville alabama has any 400's Chevys that is. I am very intersted in buying them. Thank You.. Bobby..

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Old 01-01-2009, 04:39 PM   #20
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Default Re: identify 400 small block chevy

I have a real oddball then....two freezeplugs and only two freeze plug "bulges" from what my memory tells me (Motor is at the machine shop now). I ground off the casting number on the side of the block to hide the fact that it was a 400. It took a while to find a good 2 plug block to build as the bottom end had to be stout.

I semi-filled the block (up to the freezeplugs), studded and clearanced the oilpan rail for H-beam rods and an aftermarket crank before I sent it to the shop and only remember two cast areas for a freezeplugs and both had freezeplugs in them????

And yes the bore is WAY bigger than a 302/327/350 4" I just wanted the two plug motor so I could tell people it was an "old school 327" that runs real good
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