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540 BUILD Carb engine

Old 01-13-2022, 06:50 AM
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Default 540 BUILD Carb engine

Hello All,
I will be starting a brand new engine build from scratch. I would like to purchase a 540 short block and go from there. I dont want to go over budget just make a nice high HP big block. Any suggestion on blocks dart merlin GM . It would be nice to get a completed kit to assm. Any suggestions?
Thanks Jeff
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Old 01-13-2022, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by alecsammy View Post
Hello All,
I will be starting a brand new engine build from scratch. I would like to purchase a 540 short block and go from there. I dont want to go over budget just make a nice high HP big block. Any suggestion on blocks dart merlin GM . It would be nice to get a completed kit to assm. Any suggestions?
Thanks Jeff
End goal HP? NA build I assume? Id start with a search right now on any block you can get and then revaluate the situation.
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Old 01-13-2022, 09:46 AM
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You might want to check someone like Blue Print Engines. They make several options for marine applications.
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Old 01-13-2022, 09:47 AM
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Engine parts can be hard to get right now. I buy a lot of parts through summit and most heads and other higher end parts are months out right now. I am building a 496 and have had to use other brands I normally don't use (like bearings) because of availability. Some good motors and short blocks show up on here and facebook marketplace sometimes if you are in a hurry. Summer comes fast when there is no motor in your boat LOL
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Old 01-13-2022, 10:01 AM
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OP mentioned KIT however that may or may not be the way to go. More often than not those kit companies leave an open window when coming to parts. Many years ago Ive heard of people getting what they paid for and the builds last. Everyday use stuff. Not so sure Id gamble on today. If you could find a local reputable builder and piecemeal it together might be an option. Let him be the general contractor so to speak. Your machining, tolerances, specs, balancing etc will be much more desirable and trusted over a KIT. IMO.

As far as assembly it is fun to build your own engines but assembly is rather inexpensive even with a reputable builder. Just went through that with my 565s.

All the recipes are on OSO going way back if your looking for cam, induction etc. Not taking away from your thread however do a search here on 540 builds or 540 recipes. Lots of good info.
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Old 01-13-2022, 12:18 PM
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First question is what do you expect out of your builds? Hp, how are you going to run them? Short burst to top speed or extended pulls 5- 10 minutes at top rpm? Budget? Your comfort level of service intervals? Being honest here can save you much aggravation down the road also lots of $$$
you can build a nice high hp budget engine that will serve you well if you don't operate it like you are in a poker run on every outing. I guess what I'm trying to say is hp cost money but endurance hp is very expensive.
my apologies if this sounded rude just trying to be honest. God knows enough of us have been burnt by trying to cut corners.

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Old 01-13-2022, 02:12 PM
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Blocks, cranks, rods, pistons, cylinder heads, cams, lifters, intakes for most part are very difficult at moment to come by, its became a get anything you can at any price , not search for good deals any more. So chances of rounding up all the parts you will need before summer are slim. One thing I will say about a "typical" 540, most builds are focused on a 5600 to 6000 rpm peak, do NOT go too big on cylinder heads, IE, dont buy 340, 335, 357 heads for a sub 6000 rpm build, even a 540 or you will be giving up tq and drivability, BIGGER IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER. I recently dynoed a pair of 540s with 340 cc heads, they had very weak torque numbers for the cu inches and poor fuel distribution, I did NOT have any part in the planning or choosing of any parts in these builds, they came to me with all new parts in boxes and I simply did pushrod geometry and assembled top ends, dyno tuned them. Too much cam, too big of heads and fairly big intakes, results were disappointing for the customer, Smitty
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Old 01-13-2022, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by articfriends View Post
Blocks, cranks, rods, pistons, cylinder heads, cams, lifters, intakes for most part are very difficult at moment to come by, its became a get anything you can at any price , not search for good deals any more. So chances of rounding up all the parts you will need before summer are slim. One thing I will say about a "typical" 540, most builds are focused on a 5600 to 6000 rpm peak, do NOT go too big on cylinder heads, IE, dont buy 340, 335, 357 heads for a sub 6000 rpm build, even a 540 or you will be giving up tq and drivability, BIGGER IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER. I recently dynoed a pair of 540s with 340 cc heads, they had very weak torque numbers for the cu inches and poor fuel distribution, I did NOT have any part in the planning or choosing of any parts in these builds, they came to me with all new parts in boxes and I simply did pushrod geometry and assembled top ends, dyno tuned them. Too much cam, too big of heads and fairly big intakes, results were disappointing for the customer, Smitty
305 to 315 plenty big for a 540 at those rpms......I ran AFR 305's on my 540's they made just shy of 660 tq
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Old 01-13-2022, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by F-2 Speedy View Post
305 to 315 plenty big for a 540 at those rpms......I ran AFR 305's on my 540's they made just shy of 660 tq
Yep, I dynoed those 2 540s with 340 heads and they made tq similar to most 502s I build, had a terrible afr delta too, anywhere from 10s to high 14s, lack of signal!
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Old 01-13-2022, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by articfriends View Post
Yep, I dynoed those 2 540s with 340 heads and they made tq similar to most 502s I build, had a terrible afr delta too, anywhere from 10s to high 14s, lack of signal!
What intake? Just curious. Can you pm me your ph number.
Tks
john
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