posted June 06, 2004 08:38 PM
Ya, a stock '78 motor will probably have 882 heads on it and around 8:1 compression... 8.5 at best. No way in the world a stock '78 motor had 10:1.
Depending on your budget, there's alot that could be done to it. Although, if the bottom end is totally stock, I'd upgrade the lower end components before throwing a big cam and better heads at it.
At the least, get ARP main bolts, Clevite or Federal Mogul/Speed-pro rod & main bearins, a set of stock recon'd rods w/arp bolts and a set of Speed-pro flat top claimer pistons and moly rings. With a reground stock crank and balancing, you should be able to put the short block together for around $1000.
Throwing a cam in and trying to rev it past 5500 is just going to blow the thing apart in very short order. With 8:1 compression, what you'd gain in top end you'll lose twice as much at low rpm with a bigger cam.
You could also invest in a set of gears, a LW spool and run the tranny in 3rd. That'll save a couple HP compared to running 2nd.
Although, if the 350 runs and you have the 400, I'd spend the money on fixing the bearing/rod knock in the 400. Then you can still race while fixing it right the first time.