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Ford 400M vs. Chevy 400

 
  #31  
Old 09-26-2009, 07:22 AM
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nice writeup. thank you
 
  #32  
Old 09-27-2009, 12:03 AM
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Just read through this whole thing, interesting, and heated by the looks of it In my opinion both motors are good but only in their own special aplications. 400 fords were good touqe pulling engins that worked great with service trucks and the like or a 4x4 truck. Say you want to hold that throttle down and let that tach go up ways. The smaller rotating mass in the 400SB chev is what you would want. I have one bored out to a 406 in my 71 GMC. Wouldnt expect it to do the work that a 400 ford could muster but I would like to see it catch up! Seen or heard of too many 400 fords being over-reved and grenading. While the ford could be tough as nails for a long time if used properly, my money still goes with the SBC, If you slap a good aluminum rad in and can keep them cool they are awesome.
 
  #33  
Old 07-06-2010, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by kermmydog View Post
One is a big block & the other is small block so what are you comparing? Now if you want to campare a Chevy 400 BB to a 400 M then your comparing apples to apples.
The 400m is not a big block the 351m and 400m are a block of there own... and regardles of big block or small block displacement is what is being talked about here 400 is 400...
 
  #34  
Old 07-09-2010, 12:39 PM
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I've had mostly Fords in the past except for when the family was large and so I bought a used GMC conv van with a 400 eng. We drove that thing all over the country, out west down south and only problems with van were usually trans related and a weird rrearend noise that came and went. I guess it was the small block 400 as I didn't get into gm specs too much. Other van I owned that wasn't Ford was an 84 gmc van with what I think was a 305 and that was a pos.
 
  #35  
Old 08-24-2010, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by 85lebaront2 View Post
I have seen a 402 (400BB) Chevy in a 72 Camaro, it had a Q-jet on it. I would have to give the Chevy the kudos in this match as it was derived from the 325/360 396 engine (AKA oval port) In my experiance the Ford 400 is a real good boat anchor, give me a 390 any day. Built up, with a decent manifold an 4 barrel, maybe. If you really want to get away from engines used in trucks, 401 Buick nail valve, 400 Pontiac, 403 Olds to throw some in the pot, even the AMC 401 used in the later AMXs, etc. after AMC raised their displacement on the 3 V8s. Of these, the Buick was the stump puller, 445 ft-lbs of torque at a relativly low RPM, had to, the Dynaflow needed it.
GMC used the Buick nailhead (322 cube version) in medium and heavy duty truck engines in the 50's. I think they were modified for truck use.
 
  #36  
Old 08-24-2010, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by virgil tatro View Post
The 400m is not a big block the 351m and 400m are a block of there own... and regardles of big block or small block displacement is what is being talked about here 400 is 400...

Big block bellhousing, but you can put Windsor heads on it.
 
  #37  
Old 08-24-2010, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by 85lebaront2 View Post
Holiver, I realise you probably grew up in a Ford parts department, but. From what I remember about Ford V8s, Ford decided to bring out 2 new engines for the 58 Model year, the Ford line received the Intereceptor series, 332 Interceptor, 332 Interceptor special, and 352 Police Interceptor, Edsel Ranger and Pacer models got the Edsel 361 which was a bored out 352 (sound familiar, think 360), Edsel Corsair and Citation got the E475 410 ci engine, Mercury got the 383 and 430 engines and Lincoln got the 430.
This compared with Chevy's new 348 engine. Chevy retired the 348 in 1961 after taking it out to 409. Ford used the 332 only 2 years. The base Ford V8 was the 292, with Mercury getting a 2bbl 312. Ford enlarged the Interceptor series to 390, 406, 427 and 428. After either 66 or 67 Ford discontinued the 352, leaving a hole in the lineup, basically, nothing to compete size for size with the 350 Chevy.
Ford decided to enlarge the highly sucessful Windsor small block to 302 for 68 and 351 for 69. 69 was the only factory 4bbl Windsor until the truck HO engines. In 1970, the 351C was born as a performance engine for the smaller cars. Trucks continued to use the old Interceptor, now called FE engines through the 1976 model year in 360 and 390 ci versions, the latter offered as a "camper special" with a 4bbl. For 77, both were dropped, most likely for emission reasons, they were replaced with a 351M and 400ci engine built on the same block. The 400 had appeared in cars starting in either 71 or 72. They were built on the larger 400 casting to make assembly line easier, you had 4 engine packages, 6 cyl, 302, 351M/400, or 460.
Chevy did much the same, their small block 400 was built to provide a smaller physically and lighter package than the bored out 396 aka 402. Chevy had a hole in their linup between the 350 4bbl and the 396 4bbl. They actually built a 2bbl 396 for station wagons in 69. 400 Ford vs. 400 SBC? to me it's a tossup, neither was a real good engine in my opinion. The Ford was a pig in stock form, the Chevy would spark knock if you looked at it hard. My son had one in 77 C10 4WD he bought, it was sooo good. He finally admitted he should have kept the 77 F150 I had the camper special 390 in, better performance, better fuel economy, all with a 3:25 gear to the Chevvies 4:11s
Very good detail. You're right Chevy built a 396 2bbl for 1969 full size chevies, not just station wagons. My father had one. It was the L35 code, 396 big block, rated at 265 hp @ 4800 rpm and 400 lbs. ft. of torque @ 2800 rpm. Compression ratio of 9:00 to 1, allowed it to run on regular gas.
My dad's had the THM 400 transmission and 12 bolt axle...both larger heavier duty power train components that came with the Rat motors.

In '69 Mopar built a 383 with a 2 bbl. and 9-1 comp. ratio. 290 hp and for torque...390 lbs. ft.

In '69 Ford had a 390 2bbl....9.5 to 1 comp....265 hp, 390 lbs. ft. of torque.

Pontiac had a 2 bbl. 400 cube V8 with 8.6 to 1 comp. ratio with 265 hp, and 397 'torques'.

Oldsmobile had a 455 2bbl. a bit later....Merc a few years later had a 429 2bbl....

There's a pattern here...big block engine, with lower compression ratios...usually high rear end gears such as 2.56 (Chevy)...2.75...etc.
2 bbl. carbs.

The idea by the makers back then was to have big block, big cube engines with lot's of torque and a 2 bbl...with a high gear ratio.

They figured that he cars would have both performance and economy. Most had neither...as drivers tended to open up that tiny 2bbl to get it moving...yes they had lot's of torque, but with a ridiculously high rear axle ratio....drivers tended to hit the gas to counter the gear ratios.

So in many cases...say a 396 4bbl with a 3.08 axle ratio would get better mileage as the driver didn't use as much throttle as he had a decent axle ratio to give satisfactory acceleration and still decent mileage as long as he used only the primary carb. barrels.

Car makers thought these 2 bbl..BB engines with high gear ratios would do well in police cars...but the high rear axle killed any chance.

 
  #38  
Old 08-24-2010, 08:45 PM
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Lets see, we had a 1959 DeSoto with a 361 2bbl, 295hp, then later had a 1966 Dodge Polara with a 383 2bbl. I later owned a 1971 Mercury Colony Park with the 429 2V engine, the only difference between it and the 4V was the intake and carb.

I used to own a carburetor and tune up shop, during the gas shortages of the 70s, there was a common misconception that a 2 barrel carburetor would get better gas mileage. We found that for most cars, if the engine was over 300 ci, a 4 barrel was more economical. The oddball was the Ford 390 2V, they would run so lean efficiently that on the highway they got 19-20mpg in a 2 + ton Galaxie.

The best carburetor for fuel economy, if the engine wasn't too big - Rochester Quadrajet, the tiny primaries are very efficient and the secondaries give lots of airflow. Go to a large engine, kiss the advantage goodbye. If you have any doubt look at the fuel sucking 454 4 barrel Chevy pickup vs. the Ford 460 in a similar vehicle.
 
  #39  
Old 08-24-2010, 08:54 PM
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a 70 year old old schooler agrees witcha
 
  #40  
Old 08-31-2010, 01:11 PM
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The big engine/small carb/tall gearing formula was intended for high speed cruising, not city driving. Two-ton sedans take lots of energy to accelerate, but not that much at a steady 60-70mph, particularly with all that torque available for uphill grades without downshifting. I think both Mercury and Oldsmobile even made "Turnpike Cruiser" sub-models or packages. My only real problem with the formula is low compression, which reduces thermal efficiency. Regular gas vs premium was a powerful marketing decision for the target customer.

"Car makers thought these 2 bbl..BB engines with high gear ratios would do well in police cars...but the high rear axle killed any chance."

That would depend upon the "mission". In the city, no way. But, a Highway Patrol in a Western state with hundreds of miles to cover in a shift and wanting a high top speed it would have been ideal.
 
  #41  
Old 08-31-2010, 06:52 PM
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weight

tonnage ,generally speaking only accounts for about 5% of rolling resistance.
 
  #42  
Old 08-31-2010, 06:57 PM
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Actually, most of these big block 2 barrel setups were 10:1 or higher compression ratio until 71 for Chrysler and GM and 72 for Ford. The Mercury Turnpike Cruisers used Lincoln engines, first the 368 in 57 then the 430 in 58-60 they got their economy with long legged rear gears 2.69:1 in 58-60, 1725rpm at 60 mph. They were still no slouch on acceleration, the 495 ft-lbs torque at about 3100 rpm did wonders for low end. The 400 Ford and Chevy engines built after 71/72 were pigs with 2 barrel carbs, no power, poor fuel economy just basically good boat anchors. I'll take a 390 any day, even a 2V 390.
 

Last edited by 85lebaront2; 08-31-2010 at 06:58 PM. Reason: Typo, more information.
  #43  
Old 09-01-2010, 09:33 AM
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Do understand that 1972 and later hp/tq ratings were net, 1971 and before gross. Some of the "loss" was only on paper. Example, our family had both a 1965 Plymouth Belvedere and 1966 Dodge A-100 van with exactly the same LA-block 318ci/2v single exhaust engine. The SAE gross rating was 230hp (from the Plymouth brochure), net (from the van dataplate) 177hp.

Having said that, my uncle's 1971 350/Quadrajet/TH350 Monte Carlo was a "dog", while mom's 1972 350/Quadrajet/TH350 Skylark is actually pretty quick. Buick was ahead of the game when it redesigned its engine specifically for the new emission standards. What was thought to be good porting and combustion chamber shape in the 1950's turned out to be dead wrong for emissions and unleaded gas. Today, all of that is dialed in so well that we get 10.5:1 compression engines that run well on 87 octane gas, are PZEV and produce well over 1hp/ci. Electronics are vital, but not the only reason.
 
  #44  
Old 09-01-2010, 10:40 AM
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FWIW, I was running a carburetor and tune up shop from 1970 till 1978. I am well aware of the difference in HP ratings. I was referring to the compression ratio change. GM dropped their compression ratio across the board in 1971, Chrysler dropped all 2 barrel engines in 1971 and all 4 barrel engines in 1972, Ford waited until 1972 to drop theirs. Part of the reason for lower compression was NOX emissions, lower combustion chamber temperature = lower NOX. This was further reduced by the addition of EGR.

You are correct regarding the combustion chamber design, the "quench" combustion chamber that made the small block Chevy a strong engine was it's worst enemy when emission standards came out. We used to get pre emission Chevys in for work, even perfectly tuned, the exhaust would burn your eyes.

Regarding the Buick/Chevrolet difference, look at the bore and stroke for part of the key, Chevy 350 is a large bore short stroke engine, the Buick 350 was a small bore long stroke engine. Longer stroke = greater low end torque. Buick long built torquey engines, the 401 nail head was 445 ft-lbs of torque, hence the Wildcat 445 designation. Oldsmobile and Pontiac 350s also had much more torque then the Chevys.
 
  #45  
Old 09-10-2010, 01:38 AM
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You can say what you want, but cam, compression,intake and headers REALLY make a kick or haul as* motor, and I'm really not sure if a 400sbc would have good durability at the same power level.
My Dad had a Chevy Kingswood Estate wagon bought new in 71 w/400 2bbl sbc, and he drove real easy and it smoked/knocked to around 88K mi even though he saw Chevy dealer every 3 months for service. Ford 351M/400 engines had bearing problems around 100K mi, but new bearings and a hi vol oil pump gets you alot more miles.
In a truck the 400 Ford is King for towing(vs. sbc) not for top speed but getting moving and holding speed, even with that 2bbl carb if you hook 7500 lbs behind the 400sbc requires alot more pedal and shifting to keep pace. This is my experience.
 

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