Welcome to Retroman40's World!

Project 406

Several years ago I acquired a 406 cubic inch small block Chevy short block as part of a big parts trade.  Looking back I probably got the worst end of the deal as I traded away a couple really nice parts but at the time I just didn't have time or space to continue working on those pieces.  I obtained a nice set of Dart heads and finished up the engine.  It wouldn't start!  I guess I should have completely taken it down since when I did break it down I found that whoever did the assembly did a really bad job on installing the rod bearings.  I replaced all the bearings, reassembled it and it ran just fine.  Without a car to put it in, it has sat on a stand for quite a while now and I decided it was time to get the thing running right.  I mean who knows?  It just might come in handy to have a "spare" 406 Small Block Chevy that is ready to run.

As it sits, the engine actually has a lot of nice parts.  When I bought the cylinder heads I was just going to get a set of stock heads (drilled for 400 block) but my good friends at Aerohead (a great source of affordable cylinder heads) convinced me to upgrade to Dart S/S heads with 1.94/1.50 valves and 72 cc combustion chambers.  With this set up I have estimated the compression ratio to be right around 9:1 which is perfect for running pump gasoline.  The block itself is a standard 400 bored .030 over (4.155 x 3.75) to give 406 cubic inches.  I have put a set of Summit Roller Rockers I already had in stock on the heads.  The camshaft is a Comp Cams 252H.  This is about as big of a cam as I dare install and still hope for a streetable idle.  Using a Edelbrock Performer RMP Air-Gad intake and Holley 1850-O (both already "in stock") I am hopeful for around 250 hp out of the combination.

Below is a gallery of a couple pictures I took while I was installing the new cam.


Speaking of the camshaft, below is the actual camshaft spec card.

The idea was to put in a cam that would produce some power, but would still have a "streetable" idle.  The .425 lift should provide plenty of power but with the 206 degree duration the idle should still be fairly smooth, particularly in the larger 406 cid engine.
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