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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

I hope everyone had a good holiday season first of all, and I hope your future racing programs are going as planned.

Ok, here is my question to all who have built a 540 big chevy, I would like to know, outside of the block, what parts would you buy, and why, what cam profile would you use, what size heads and brand of intake, crank, rods and pistons, comp. ratio and so on.
I want to build a 540 in the future and I would like to see what it will take to build a 540 with around 950 hp and as much torque as possible, so let me have it, what parts would you select and tell me why, and if not on here, send me a pm. This is a budget type build up, so I can't afford titanium rods, $4000.+ dollar heads, Roller bearing cam stuff and so on.

Here is what I have to use, a good tall deck block that will go to 4.500 with billet caps and a stud kit, Melling Billet oil pump(wet of course), with a Jesel belt drive setup, a good 4.250 crank, and good 6.800 H-beam rods with the best bolts money can buy, and Probably JE pistons, unless there are lighter pistons available on the shelf. ATI balancer
I have DART 325 Pro 1 alum heads, and a Brodix intake tall deck style, and shaft rockers with 1.75 int ratio, and 1.72 exh. ratio.

This engine needs to move a 3500lb slug as quickly as possible naturally aspirated first, then spray will come later.

So, what will it take?, give me your BEST choice of parts and the max rpm will be 8000 rpm's, maybe a little less, no need to spin this thing to 8000 rpm's if I don't need to, used with a glide trans with a 1.80 gearset on 14 x 32's, rear gear can change if needed, but currently a 4:88 set. I am open to all thoughts. Thanks to all who reply.:)

John
 

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Why build a 540 unless your block won't bore 4.625, in which case I would build a 565. (4.250 x 4.600)

Heads will need lots of professional work and potentially may not be the best choice to start with.

Wiseco (and I'm sure many other great piston manufacturers) make shelf pistons (maybe not in the compression height you'll need) with the thin ring package and gas porting, and of course a vacuum system would be required for the really low tension stuff, all worth HP. 14:1+ compression ratio.

Lots of cam choices out there, something in the 28x/29x @ .050, .800 lift, 112 lobe sep is a good starting point, may as well get the 4/7 firing order swap while you're at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi rustbucket,

Well, that's the kicker to this 540, it won't go bigger in the bores as it is only a GM tall deck block with thick bores, so I was just thinking of adding some hardblock, rebore it to 4.500 and use what I have as far as the crank, rods, and just buy pistons and get the heads worked on to make the power wanted. I wish I had a Dart Big M block, then I would just build a 598 and be done with it, but, the big money just isn't there to do this build. I need to win some races, then I could afford that block and internals:) Thanks for your thoughts and reply.;)
 

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$carface
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Keep on with the 540 or so, just spend your money right the first time on the cylinder head, intake, and valve train (shaft mounts, custom camshaft, good pushrods, Ect..)
 

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Not to be a dickhead but, if 950 Hp out of a 540 BBC was easy and cheap everyone would have one.
If you say 850 Hp on a buget thats more in the range. For 950 hp out of a 540 we are talking heads, manifold and cam combo that all sing together.
 

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my 540 dart block, wiseco 14-1 pistons
eagle rods w/ l 19 bolts
eagle crank 4.250
ssre/comp cam 785/779 279/[email protected] 112lsa
dart 325 heads dart 4500 intake
t350
5200 stall
486 gear 31x10.5w tire
3,640lb car
run 9.60s
just letting you know where you may be if you build one
 

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Mine 540 is
12.8:1
bmf 350 heads out of the box
prosystems 1050
280/288, 774/725 lift, 110 lsa
glide
3500 lbs

Went 9.47/146 with only a 1.41 60' on one of its first passes. More this year
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Not to be a dickhead but, if 950 Hp out of a 540 BBC was easy and cheap everyone would have one.
If you say 850 Hp on a buget thats more in the range. For 950 hp out of a 540 we are talking heads, manifold and cam combo that all sing together.

BINGO:) That is what I am looking for, the head, cam & intake info, the rest just spins around in the block;) I was actually looking at 14:5:1 comp. myself, and with the right cam, head work, and intake work it is very doable, but like you said, not on a cheap budget, but doable.

I would think also, that roller cam bearings will help, and a dry sump setup, but again, not cheap, and another way would be to lighten up as much as possible, ie crank weight, possibly run alum rods, but I like steel rods for longevity, and a set of heads that love the cam & intake combo. This info is out there and I know someone can make it happen with the right attention to details, and that's the hardest part, the details.

I'm sure Chris U. could build one, and many others on here too, and a friend of mine just got 945 out of his and he had some pretty good parts also and they were not cheap, but then again, they are NOT the best that can be baught either. I know it will take some R&D to make this happen in a small budget, but if the money is spent in the right places, it is very affordable to build. I would be pretty happy with anything over 900hp and some big torque numbers to match, so this is why I am asking this question to see who has the combo of the best working parts and what parts were used, that's it.

Thanks for the reply's guys, and some nice stuff you all have too;)
 

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Not to jack your thread bu I have a question. If you were to do a 540 out of a tall deck block with a 6.385 rod, does this piston become to tall to be effective? Meaning, does the extra piston height make it too heavy and cause more excessive friction from a bigger skirt??
 

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RED ROCKET
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Not to jack your thread bu I have a question. If you were to do a 540 out of a tall deck block with a 6.385 rod, does this piston become to tall to be effective? Meaning, does the extra piston height make it too heavy and cause more excessive friction from a bigger skirt??

good point...i had a tall deck 540 with a 6.535 rod and the piston was massive...i think it was a 1.52 ch..
 

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How does a larger diameter core affect power?
thats a easy one less cam flex=more actual lift.the bigger the cam the more it would come into play.
 

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thats a easy one less cam flex=more actual lift.the bigger the cam the more it would come into play.
Not only that but with a larger core the cam will not twist as much at the rear and the cam timing event for the back cylinder will be better as well, meaning the opening/closing will be closer to the theorical spec!
 

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I have a 540 also. Here's what's in mine,

scat crank
eagle rods w/arp 2000 bolts
srp 13:1 pistons
dart pro 345's ported
super vic intake
comp cam .286/.296 @ .050 .800/.785 on a 112 l/s
pro systems 1250
th400 w/ 8" conv flashes 6200
4.11 gear
3400 lbs nova w/ 10.5 tire

shift @ 7,300 and goes threw traps @ 7,000
best et 9.18 @ 147

Hope this helps.
 
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