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Old 11-24-2009, 12:15 PM   #21
yellow wagon
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Default Re: 409 Aluminum Block

[borat]She's a nice!![/borat]
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Old 11-24-2009, 12:46 PM   #22
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Default Re: 409 Aluminum Block

Well, I guess I'll weigh in. Other than Lamar, his son Rob, and possibly Bill Mitchell, I probably know more about these blocks than anyone in the country. Actually, I probably know more than Mitchell because he doesn't know that much about the original blocks and their shortcomings.

I was at Lamar's when he was prototyping the first one on his CNC machine, and I did the story on them that's in Super Chevy (last month or this month... don't know).
Passenger car 409 blocks start at $3,000, and that's a deal. Truck 409 blocks aren't far behind. I have yet to see a complete 409, (truck, passenger car or irrigation pump) for less than $2,000--and the heads, intake and water pump are throw-aways. Lots of blocks are worn out, need sleeves or a really big overbore. Complete 348 are still a dime a dozen... and just like every early Hemi is "a 392," every W-motor is a 409, even if it's not.

All 348/409 blocks have a few weaknesses: run them too hot, or get them too cold, and the block cracks below the deck from the middle of the front cylinder all the way to the middle of the rear cylinder. That area is too thin.
They are also weak between the lifter galleys.
Lamar addressed this, plus he put a thicker deck in it for strength, so the head bolts won't pull out in boosted or sprayed engines.

Pan Rail: It's the same pan rail as a BBC... prices for original 348 and 409 pans got a little silly for a long while. There are repops available, but they're still expensive. And other than a Stef's pan, you're SOL if you want a deep sump, a road race pan, or a pan with kick-outs. In other words, now you can call Milodon or Moroso and get a decent pan, rather than an expensive stock repro or a piece of rusted, dented original shit that needs to be restored.

Timing chain cover: Again, 348/409 covers are unique, and expensive. There are also different covers for the different sized dampers (placement of the timing tab). I don't know if anyone is making reprops of those. Rusted, pitted and dented original, or pay a lot for a nice one. OR now, get any number of modern covers, including finned aluminum.

Water Pump: it's as big a visual cue as the valve covers--Lamar kept it, rather than a BBC pump.

Cams: 348 and 409 have BBC cam length, and SBC cam bearing sizes. It's a unique core. Guess who was the only source in the country for 409 cores? Crane. The supply all but dried up last year--Lamar got the last couple from COMP (incidentally, Lamar was the very first racer to run a Competition Cams sticker and cam in his race car... he goes back with them to the beginning). Lamar has a guy supplying him now, but with BBC cams, the options and supplies are wide open. Also, with a larger cam bearings, you can put higher lift lobes on it. Someone tell me how that's a bad thing?

Lamar didn't give me a price on the blocks, but he's shooting to have them available for about the same money as a prepped iron block can be had...

So for all you "trad" doofs, these blocks weigh less, will support more CI (509 stock, 609 possible), are lighter, are stronger, will use better and more readily available parts, and every one in a race car or hot rod is an iron block that can go back to a resto car. So it's made out of aluminum... big fucking deal. So's that old Tattersfield or Edmunds intake. What about new cast iron Fenton headers? They're repops too, but they get a pass because a magnet sticks to them?
Paint the block if the sight of cast aluminum bothers you.

Incidentally, I've spoken with Bob Walla a couple times. Nice enough guy, but... there's a reason I go to Lamar's.
Lamar's first race car was 409 powered, and he ran a blown/injected '09 in a '33 Willys gasser back in the early '60s. Eventually, he took delivery of the 51st ZL1 '69 Camaro, directly from Vince Piggins, and raced it in Pro Stock. He's been Chevy his whole live, and he's done more with the 409 than anyone on the planet, and he's done more for the 409 than all the other guys out there have TALKED about doing.

-Brad
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:04 PM   #23
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Default Re: 409 Aluminum Block

It also occurs to me that the things that make a 409 mechanically unique are the port design and layout, the valve arrangement, and the fact that it's a flat head with the combustion chamber in the block. Visually, the heads, valve covers and water pump are what really sets it apart.
Sneering at the pan rail, timing chain cover, cam journals, etc. is really pretty dumb.

I wonder how these same guys feel about the French flat heads, Donovan hemi blocks or Bob Walker's aluminum hemi heads... after all, they're not the "Trad Triple Nickel" heads.

-Brad
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:35 PM   #24
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Default Re: 409 Aluminum Block

well I dont see an issue here. I welcome the new one.. can't wait!
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Old 11-24-2009, 02:07 PM   #25
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Default Re: 409 Aluminum Block

new technology is a good thing. It helps advance our hobby! We all benefit from that!
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Old 11-24-2009, 02:16 PM   #26
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Default Re: 409 Aluminum Block

I've run into the same kind of thinking on new Harley "Panhead" engines. Some folks think that if you don't use the original stuff it's a fake. That's not really a problem for me unless you're working with an original, numbers matching vehicle. But hey, I've got nothing against aftermarket hot rod bodies (steel or fiberglass) either.
As far as Edelbrock vs. BWR vs. Lamar Walden, in the end they all have to make a profit or they won't be around very long. So do your research, figure out which products work best for your application and get after it!
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Old 11-24-2009, 02:31 PM   #27
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Default Re: 409 Aluminum Block

She's real fine
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Old 11-24-2009, 05:15 PM   #28
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Default Re: 409 Aluminum Block

Thank you BRAD54
very informative. I like to add allso I love the sound of the 348 I am running. Nice deep voice. They hear me coming 2 blocks away
My avatar is my new intake
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Old 11-24-2009, 05:30 PM   #29
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Default Re: 409 Aluminum Block

I sure wish someone would cast a 392.....
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Old 11-24-2009, 05:35 PM   #30
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Default Re: 409 Aluminum Block

Quote:
Originally Posted by sixpac View Post
Thank you BRAD54
very informative. I like to add allso I love the sound of the 348 I am running. Nice deep voice. They hear me coming 2 blocks away
My avatar is my new intake
The only problem I see with that intake is your avatar is that the picture isn't nearly big enough! Come on man, post up a big one! I'd love to see it!!!

I'm currently lusting after a stroked 348 with Edelbrock heads for my '62 Suburban. I'd freakin' love to have that thing in there... all painted and hidden like it came that way from the factory.

-Brad
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Old 11-24-2009, 06:13 PM   #31
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Default Re: 409 Aluminum Block

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Norwell View Post
I sure wish someone would cast a 392.....

or make one out of billet and requires a chevy oil pan! they already use the water pumps!!!!!
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:06 PM   #32
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Default Re: 409 Aluminum Block

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad54 View Post
I'm currently lusting after a stroked 348 with Edelbrock heads for my '62 Suburban. I'd freakin' love to have that thing in there... all painted and hidden like it came that way from the factory.
I saw a nice pickup with a 348 tri power at Milan Michigan. He also used a steering wheel and Sun tach from a 62 Impala. It looked really cool.



You can make a lot of power with a stroked 348. Here's a link to a fairly radical one that makes 650 hp on pump gas. http://www.hotrod.com/techarticles/e...ild/index.html
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:17 PM   #33
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Default Re: 409 Aluminum Block

Here she is my feeble atempt at posting pics Hey I did it. This intake is an Edelbrock. I have the 2 centers hooked up and running. I just got 4 new carb kits from Darrel Wilch. The ceters are the primarries and the 4 outside corners are secondaries. I have progessive linkage from Vintage Speed. Thats my winter project and its all in a 29 Ford 2 door sedan
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:33 PM   #34
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Default Re: 409 Aluminum Block

Looking forward to seeing one of those blocks in Barry Camp's 62 bubble top.............one fine NSS Racer.....

Mark
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:44 PM   #35
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Default Re: 409 Aluminum Block

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Originally Posted by texoutsider View Post
Looking forward to seeing one of those blocks in Barry Camp's 62 bubble top.............one fine NSS Racer.....

Mark
HA! Yeah, I think Barry will have one. He's a freakin' riot to be around. And his car is great... runs 9s with a bench seat!

Jim--that's EXACTLY what I'd like to do with my '62 Suruban--I've got a '60 grille in it, and I'm hunting the '60-'61 hood with the '61 bowtie inserts.

sixpak--I haven't seen the Edelbrock intake up close... does it have the low-horse or the hi-horse ports? I like those Chevrolet script covers, too. I found a really nice set of Edelbrock valve covers, and two years later Edelbrock re-released them. I'd like to find some no-names now.

-Brad
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:21 PM   #36
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Default Re: 409 Aluminum Block

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Originally Posted by Brad54 View Post
Lamar's first race car was 409 powered................. and he's done more for the 409 than all the other guys out there........
UH, actually, I think Brian Wilson did more for the 409 (and the '32 Ford coupe) than anybody out there.
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:37 PM   #37
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Thumbs up Re: 409 Aluminum Block

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad54 View Post
HA! Yeah, I think Barry will have one. He's a freakin' riot to be around. And his car is great... runs 9s with a bench seat!

Jim--that's EXACTLY what I'd like to do with my '62 Suruban--I've got a '60 grille in it, and I'm hunting the '60-'61 hood with the '61 bowtie inserts.

sixpak--I haven't seen the Edelbrock intake up close... does it have the low-horse or the hi-horse ports? I like those Chevrolet script covers, too. I found a really nice set of Edelbrock valve covers, and two years later Edelbrock re-released them. I'd like to find some no-names now.

-Brad
It has the low hp ports I am running the 333 heads. I like the stacks they are 4 inchs high and 4 1/4 inch at the widest part of the mouth. They are steel stacks
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:39 PM   #38
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Default Re: 409 Aluminum Block

Its great to see such a cool motor re-mfgd. Cant wait to break in to my 348'' when i got the $$
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:39 PM   #39
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Default Re: 409 Aluminum Block

oooh me wanty,wanty!
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:43 PM   #40
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Default Re: 409 Aluminum Block

Quote:
Originally Posted by yellow wagon View Post
new technology is a good thing. It helps advance our hobby! We all benefit from that!
You might have a hard time selling that idea to the traditionalist here.

Bob
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