Hey everyone! Okay.. I'll be building my first 440 in the next few months! I have a 73 charger that came with a 400 bb from the factory. Last year I put a 73 440 out of a motor home in it. It runs great but I've decided to finally make it the way I want. My goal is to run mid 11s while having a very strong, reliable street car. It currently has 3.91s in the rear and I'll be rebuilding the 727 tranny with an aftermarket torque converter once i know what I'm doing with the motor (compression.. Cam.. Etc.). I'm going to use the stock crank and rods but let my machine shop clean them up/redo them if needed. I'll take the block .30 over and more if needed. Now the fun part!! Ill be buying new aluminum heads, pistons, intake carb etc etc. could I please have some ideas from someone who has done it in the past to give me a set up that will get me where I want for under $5,000!? I live 20 minutes from summit racing in Ohio if that helps! Thank you so much for the help!
Hi Charger, My name is Gary, and welcome to MMF. I just built a 451, which is a 440 crank in a 400 block. I used 906 heads, 509 cam, Holley street dominator intake with a 700 Holley dbl pump carb. The Ross 14 cc dome pistons get me a C/R of 12.2 to 1. With 88 cc heads and a .020 head gasket. This Road Runner runs high 13s at 5400 feet. I use an 11" torque converter that has been modified for a higher stall speed, and 3.91 gears. Also using stock ex manifolds. All of these parts help determine what your final horse power will be. Probably the biggest factor is the cyl heads. My experience says high airflow with alot of compression will make power, other parts being up to the task. If your budget will allow it, consider a stroker motor. Like a 400 block with a 4.15 or 4.25 inch stroke crankshaft. Then you can keep C/R within pump gas limits, while still making alot of torque and horsepower. I'm sure you will get alot of suggestions on this site. Good luck!
You can also do a similar build with the 440, just wont have as much room in the engine compartment.
I guess you mean slower than 11.50 so you don't need a roll bar?The '71-'74 Chargers are heavy cars, so anything to get the weight down will make it easier to go fast, and be easier on the drivetrain.I think you will need about 450 rear wheel HP if the car weights around #4,000+You will need slicks or DOT drag tires and a limited slip diff for traction, plus something to prevent the rear axle from rotating/hopping like an adjustable pinion snuber or cal-track bars. The trans will need a 3,500 or higher stall converter, and some good clutches, plus a shift kit or manual reverse valve body. A trans blanket would be a good idea if using the stock front clutch drum, and check the front planetary gear splines for cracking/stripping.I would replace the rods with aftermarket 4340 rods with the larger 7/16" ARP 2000 bolts, and go with the 0.990" pin size because most of the popular forged pistons are in the 0.990" pin size. I would look at forged flat top pistons. Looking at Summit racing, the ROSS 82010 for the stock piston pin size is $594.95 is the least expensive piston set for the stock pin size. For the 0.990 pin size Summit is listing the Wiseco 6373R/LA55 (4.375" bore) for $59.50 each = $476.00/set, but they sit about 0.020 below deck? SRP has a flat top in the 0.990" pin for $561.20/set, then ROSS 99764 for $594.95, 440 source pistons are $599/set and I am pretty sure they are the KB ICON brand (at least from the pistons I got in my stroker kits?) that summit is selling for $662.00.If it's in the budget, a stroker kit is not much more expensive than reconditing and balancing the stock stuff, but I think it would kill a $5,000 budget?When I built my 505" stroked 440 with a 4.25" stroke crank, 7.1" rods, and 0.030" over pistons, the stroker kit was about $2,000, but also included rings,bearing, and was balanced. The only machine work I needed done was to the engine block to align hone the mains, square and zero deck the block, and the bore & hone of the cylinders with torque plates. You may need the machine shop to install the cam bearings too. Anyhow, you will need good cylinder heads. You might be better off starting with the Indy 440 EZ head as it will flow what you need out-of-the-box, and can be further ported if you want more power later, and they are priced just slightly more than the Edelbrock RPM heads.