Let me tell you a little about our kits.
After selling and building 400's for many years now, we have developed a "formula" that out of the box make 340 HP and 440 TQ. With options it goes up from there. We have tweaked the component of the kit over the years.
Here's what our get:
TMeyer 400 piston that will give you about 9.3:1 C/R
Hasting ring set.
ACL aluminum rod and main bearings
TMeyer grooved cam bearings
Brass expansion plug set
gasket set and intake gasket
Springs, retainers and locks to match the camshaft
assembly lube, ZDDP oil additive and plastigauge
We get about $911 for everything.
I will bet if you buy everything in our kit on-line from the big part stores, it will be tough to match this price.
We email customers a spreadsheet that outlines all the parts and the options that they can also choose.
To date I think we have sold about 5000-6000 pistons.
Now the bad news...we are out of pistons for a couple months.
Thank you for the post Tim. $911 isn't too bad at all. I like those numbers of 340hp and 440tq. My machine shop quoted me about $700 for a rebuild kit with an RV cam. For a couple hundred bucks more it looks like I could get a TMI kit. I would really like to bump up compression and would love to use your pistons. I thought it would be out of my price range, but maybe not. Unfortunately money is very tight at the moment, so I don't think I will be rebuilding my engine any time soon. I was hoping to rebuild it this fall, but life got in the way and the money got used in other ways. I guess that's just how life goes.
. Tim's pistons/rings (and the needed .030" overbore) alone could give you a good boost in performance/snappiness... go back to driving the truck and add other stuff as money materializes... of course, Tim's pistons are out of stock at the moment...
. The pistons in the other kits will give a lower compression ratio than they claim... and little beneficial quench effect... compression ratio used to be determined by simply dividing head cc's into cubic inches of displacement... now we know distance the piston sits down in the bore at TDC (too far with other pistons), dish and eyebrow cut cc's, piston top edge champfers, etc., and head gasket thickness can't be ignored in the equation...
Well it's been a while since I've posted on here, but the time has come. I've been slowly saving up money, doing my research and I'm ready to start ordering parts. I've got quotes from a well known machine shop in the area for the machining and rebuilding of the heads. My next step is to pull the motor and probably get in contact with TMI. I'd prefer to order as many parts as possible before pulling the engine so I have as little down time as possible. Tim has me sold on the kit above, my machine shop quoted me ~$700 for their basic rebuild kit with an RV cam. I'd rather spend another couple hundred and get some better parts.
. Good deal on the headers if they fit... 1 5/8" or 1 3/4"tubes?
. 108,000 doesn't seem like a lot of miles... were they snowplowing or other hard use miles? Snowplowing can involve a lot of backing up that doesn't show up on the odometer/erases miles... my C6 tranny went at 98K miles showing w/ snowplowing...
. I found low priced 1 5/8", but the low priced 1 3/4" says doesn't fit with 4WD... 1 5/8" prolly adequate for my budget performance build...
. I don't think TMI is any more, maybe less, for equal quality parts... like I said before, the right PISTONS are the key to good quench and a satisfactory 400 build...
These are the headers here. So 1-5/8" which should be more than enough for my build. I'm probably going to repaint them with some high temp paint. Maybe even look into ceramic coating if it's not too crazy expensive. http://www.summitracing.com/parts/bi...-250/year/1979
Make sure you talk to Tim before assuming he'll have the pistons and tearing your engine down. He ordered 20 sets from Keith Black recently and only got 10. KB is hurrying up an order for another 10, so it won't be all that long before he has some. But, don't assume.
Having said that, please don't think I'm down on Tim. He's "the guy" on 400's and I've ordered everything I can from him just so he makes some money as we need him to stay around. I'm well aware of what can happen - just look at RJM Injection Tech. Ryan used to have good prices on 3G alternators, cables, connectors, etc. And now he's out of business and we've lost a valuable resource.
Well I got my quote from Tmeyer Inc. It's all starting to come together. My next step is to tear down the engine so I can give him the piston, ring and bearing sizes i'll need. Here's the list of parts I'll be ordering from him.
As I previously mentioned, I will also be adding an Edelbrock 1406 4bbl and a Weiland intake. Is there any ignition system that you guys recommend using? Ignition is something that I don't know a whole lot about on these older trucks.
First, the 1406 might be a bit light for a 400. Tim usually uses the 1806, which is a 650 CFM Thunder series - originally an AVS. But, if you aren't winding it up then the 1406 should be fine. It works well on my warmed-up 351M.
On the ignition, most guys go with something like an MSD. But I'm going with a genuine NOS Ford DS-II unit, although I may go to a hotter coil. Bill Vose/85LebaronT2 ran a carb & ignition shop for several decades and he says the DS-II is more than adequate for the 500 HP I'll see on my 400.
I'm not sure if I need the extra 50 cfm or not. I really like the 1406 because I know it was based off the old AFBs. The 1806 may be also, I don't know. I'm looking for more around 350HP so I think the 1406 should be adequate, but if Tim thinks the 1806 would be better I'm willing to fork out a little extra cash. I just want the thing to run well and be reliable. Those are my two main concerns.
Talk to Tim about it since you are buying parts from him.
But here's a bit of info on the carbs. The 1405 is the performance carb and the 1406 is the leaner economy carb. Both are 600 CFM and are essentially Cater's AFB's - Aluminum Four Barrel.
The 1805 and 1806 are the 650 CFM performance/economy versions of Edelbrock's Thunder series. They are essentially the Carter AVS - Air Valve Secondary. That carb was a revised version of the AFB and one of the upgrades is that the opening point for the secondaries is easily tuned with a screw driver and and Allen wrench. That's a big help in tuning since the only way to do that on the AFB is to grind weight off or add weight to the secondary weight.
I run a 1406 on the 351M and love it. But for a 400 I'd go with the 1806 for the adjustability on the secondaries as well as the additional CFM. Having said that, I'm actually considering a 750 CFM Street Demon, which is a new carb designed by a guy who was an engineer for Carter for many years, and he took the best bits from the AVS and the Thermoquad and merged them into a new carb. Tim has one he's just about ready to try on a 400 on the dyno.
Next time I E-mail Tim I'll ask him about it. I'm not opposed to the 1806, I just don't want more than I need (or to spend more than I have to). Thanks for the input. I'll ask him his thoughts on ignition systems too. I started looking into it a bit and was surprised by how much it all costs. I may just run OEM ignition for a while.