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Thread: cooling a 400 sbc block

  1. #1
    Senior Member MASTER BUILDER
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    Mar 2008
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    173

    cooling a 400 sbc block

    i have a 377 cu in sbc (400 block), professionally built around 400 hp.. block is filled to the water pump hole level. previous owner(my buddy) ran alcohoil, so there were no coolikng issues. i am going to run racing fuel. i am concerned about cooling this nice engine. it has aluminum heads(brodix). it has a victor jr intake, so there is not the 4 port water port setup to help cooling and i really dont want to get the newer intakes with the 4 water ports. my block had 2 holes drilled up near the top of block, just above the cement filler upper level, right between the two center cylinders(on each side) i can tap- ,into my electric water pump on each side and run water lines from the pump to these 2 holes(fittings) to get cool water into the center of the block. i think this is an old stock car cooling trick.also i can bur a spacer about 1 inch thick with two tapped holes)(Jegs) , that mounts between the thermostat hole in the intake and the water outlet piece( wherte radiator hose connects). these 2 hoses would run to a tapped hole in the rear of my head on one side and the front hole on the other side. these holes are cast into the heads and plugged when you buy them. this setup gets the hot water out of the engine faster into the radiator(i think). could any of you guys tell me if i do one or both of these options would it help a potential overheating problem. i have a good radiator ane electric water pump, but i just dont want any overheating thanks art

  2. #2
    Senior Member MASTER BUILDER
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    Mar 2008
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    400 block

    on first line i said it is a 400 hp engine. that is a typo. it is 600 hp. thanks art

  3. #3
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE
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    You can't drill an outlet into the manifold at the front and back water ports to the heads?, most stacks injection donot have crossovers either, mine included. We put lines from the back to the front and tee them into the upper hose on the rad. and run the electric pump from the bottom hose. I've ran several 377" motors both on gas and alcohol with no overheating problems. In fact the engine in my Malibu is a 377" but it's on alcohol, which doesn't need any cooling between rounds. However when i did run gas with a 377" with a tunnel ram, i turned on the pump and fan on the run and made the run 1/4 mi. and drove it back too the pits, i let the fan and pump run a few min. and it was ready to run again. Yes i've alwayed filled the block to the bottom of the water pump holes and still do today.

    JMO

    Zip.

  4. #4
    Senior Member MASTER BUILDER
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    Mar 2008
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    173

    cooling

    thanks zip my intake has port holes in front and not in rear to drill and tap. rear looks real touchy. there is a coil holder cast in the manifold, and long , thin parting strips(raised up) right where the holes would go, the factory victors that have the right provixions have large , raised buhgs on the casting, right where the factory holes are cast. dont want to take a chance doing my manifold to get the two water p;orts. what about the other two ways i asked about thanks art

  5. #5
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE
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    I've never seen anyone drill 2 holes in the block before except to drill steam relief holes, but all the original 400 blocks are over 30 yrs. old. I have seen people drill the block and then drill 1/8" hole between the simese cylinders just below the deck to relieve the steam after plugging the steam holes on top of the deck, then plug the outside block holes, this may be what you have. As to using the block holes to transfer the water, i don't see how that would help cool the heads which is the purpose of the top water exits. I think if i were to do it i'd turn the manifold upside down and drill the the coolant hole from the manifold mounting surface, then use a spot facing tool to get a flat suface on top to put the 3/8" pipe thread into the manifold, all you need is 4 or 5 good threads to seal it. It doesn't matter if the holes are drilled on an angle as long as the fittings clear distributor and the carb mounting base. I think you would need a good drill press or better yet a bridgeport milling machine and be able to clamp the manifold solid before drilling or spot facing the top of the holes. Fortunately i have that equipment available to use.

    Zip.


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