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Building Survival Motorsports 445 Block...
445 Engine Build
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Building Survival Motorsports 445 Block Engine
A Strong And Affordable Big-Inch FE From Survival Motorsports
By Dale Amy, Photography by Dale Amy
Modified Mustangs & Fords
July 01, 2010
You can choose between flat-top (left) or dished pistons for your 445. With 72cc heads, the dished versions provide a very pump gas-friendly 9.8:1 compression ratio, while the flat-tops bump this by a full point to about 10.8:1. It's best to discuss your application with Survival. The pistons used are sourced from either Probe or Diamond and, while both are quality forged pieces, the Probe versions are only available in 0.030-over size, so if you have any other bore diameter, you'll need to opt for the Diamonds, at about a $150 premium.
You can choose between flat-top (left) or dished pistons for your 445. With 72cc heads, th
The 6.700-inch rods allow for a 1.330-inch piston compression height, meaning a regular 1/16-, 1/16-, 3/16-ring package gets the call, with no pin intrusion into the bottom ring groove. Both the Probe and Diamond forgings use a 0.990-inch floating pin.
The 6.700-inch rods allow for a 1.330-inch piston compression height, meaning a regular 1/
As mentioned, one of the great aspects of the 445 stroker hardware is that there is no block clearance machining necessary for the crank or rods. This is a time and money saver, whether Survival is building a short-block for you, or you're doing it yourself.
As mentioned, one of the great aspects of the 445 stroker hardware is that there is no blo
When it comes to cams for Survival's 445, Barry personally favors the attitude of solid-lifter variants. His favorite all-round choice for street-going 445 strokers is the flat-tappet Comp Cams 282S Solid Magnum-"a very streetable, tractable cam." On the general topic of cams, Barry says, "The FE has, I guess, a public reputation for bad exhaust flow and needing split-pattern cams, but the truth is almost the opposite. The exhaust is far better than you would expect on a flow bench, and they were in fact intake limited, and it turns out that single-pattern cams like the Comp 282 work really well." Naturally, if your preference runs to hydraulic and/or roller bumpsticks, they are also available, and for many of which Barry will already have dyno results.
When it comes to cams for Survival's 445, Barry personally favors the attitude of solid-li
Please don't waste a stout 445-inch short-block on something like restrictive factory 390 passenger-car heads. A lightweight alternative to trying to find Cobra Jet or 427 medium-riser castings is Edelbrock's affordable aluminum Performer RPM which, out of the box, Barry considers to be superior to any of those factory heads. In layout, the Performer RPM is designed as a direct bolt-on replacement for factory heads.
Please don't waste a stout 445-inch short-block on something like restrictive factory 390
If you'd like, Survival can improve the Performer RPM's airflow with its "Stage X" hop-up. This includes larger intake valves (2.20 vs. 2.09), smaller valve stems (11/32 vs. 3/8), a CNC-cut valve job, some hand blending in the bowls, and double valvesprings to withstand the rigors of bumpier cams. "We pick up somewhere between 20 and 30 cfm pretty much everywhere on the normal curve for the camshaft on airflow, and that has a direct translation to power potential," says Barry.
If you'd like, Survival can improve the Performer RPM's airflow with its "Stage X" hop-up.
Survival's ultimate hop-up for the Performer RPM castings is a complete porting job, including CNC-whittling of the intake and exhaust ports, as well as the combustion chambers. This adds about another 50 cfm (beyond the Stage X) to airflow, so that the heads will support in excess of 600 hp. Which means such porting may also be overkill for most any 445 application-remember, that 390 block is only good for about 600 hp-but is very useful for more exotic FE build-ups.
Survival's ultimate hop-up for the Performer RPM castings is a complete porting job, inclu
The next step up Survival's cylinder head food chain comes from Blue Thunder, in either medium-riser or high-riser configurations. Again, these are likely way beyond the scope of a 445-relevant discussion, but are pretty much the top dog in FE race applications. Their chief advantage is huge flow capacity-out of the box, they'll flow considerably better than even a fully ported Performer RPM-but because of port positioning they are incompatible with either stock or common aftermarket FE intake and exhaust hardware. Once ported, they can easily support upwards of 900 hp.
The next step up Survival's cylinder head food chain comes from Blue Thunder, in either me
A Blue Thunder casting is on the left; a Performer RPM on the right. Check out that difference in port height. Says Barry, "There's probably a guy out there somewhere putting Blue Thunder heads on a 445, but realistically they're used on 427-based motors, 482 inches and up . . ."
A Blue Thunder casting is on the left; a Performer RPM on the right. Check out that differ
Before we leave the cylinder heads, one final comparison between Blue Thunder (foreground) and Edelbrock shows that the Blue Thunders are machined and intended for mounting race-style T&D Machine Products rocker arm setups. There are eight additional bolt holes on top of the head provided for that purpose.
Before we leave the cylinder heads, one final comparison between Blue Thunder (foreground)
That brings us to the topic of rocker arms, the factory FE shaft-mounted versions, of which are hampered by the fact that the outboard (exhaust) rockers at either end of the shaft are unsupported-cantilevered-and tend to break off when dealing with heavier valvesprings or high-lift cams. There are different stop-gap solutions available, but for something like his 445 stroker, Barry likes this roller setup from Erson. These have billet bases with full shaft end support and mount to the same points on the head as factory rockers.
That brings us to the topic of rocker arms, the factory FE shaft-mounted versions, of whic
This is the notably more expensive and decidedly race-oriented T&D rocker setup. Its immensely strong, yet utterly unique, mounting and base system requires considerable machining of just about any head but the Blue Thunder. It is also pushrod-lubricated, so requires sealing off the normal FE rocker lubrication holes on the block deck. This setup would make no economic sense whatsoever on a 445.
This is the notably more expensive and decidedly race-oriented T&D rocker setup. Its immen
When it comes to intakes, Survival offers a number of single- and dual-plane options for one or two carbs. For the budget 445, Barry really likes Edelbrock's dual-plane Performer RPM. "For about $340, it's hard to beat." He has successfully used this intake at FE power levels up to 600 hp. Blue Thunder also makes a very viable alternative with the added advantage of a front-mount oil filler tube port (for those '65 and earlier applications), as well as all the factory vacuum ports.
When it comes to intakes, Survival offers a number of single- and dual-plane options for o
Dual-quad fans will gravitate to Blue Thunder's faithful aluminum replica of a factory dual-plane intake casting (notice the provision for the oil tube, and that there are only factory-style markings on the manifold). There are racier alternatives available from the likes of Dove, but again, they are likely beyond the scope of a 445 stroker discussion.
Dual-quad fans will gravitate to Blue Thunder's faithful aluminum replica of a factory dua
When it comes to dressing your project's FE, Survival has many available options including the familiar chromed stamped-steel pent-roof rocker covers in the background, as well as Blue Thunder's cool cast-aluminum version in front.
When it comes to dressing your project's FE, Survival has many available options including
If your FE wish list exceeds the 445 stroker's typical 475- to 500hp range, or if you're wanting 427-, 428-, or aftermarket (Genesis) block-based build-ups, or even (gulp!) 427 SOHC stuff like this, Survival can help you there as well, and has built naturally aspirated FE combos of 900 hp and more. Naturally, as things get more exotic, so do the prices, yet even race-level FEs can these days be constructed at prices that are pretty much competitive with any other big-blocks out there.
If your FE wish list exceeds the 445 stroker's typical 475- to 500hp range, or if you're w
4202 Pioneer Dr.
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By Dale Amy
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