Author Topic: 71' Cuda engine selection help  (Read 616 times)

Offline Soy bomb

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71' Cuda engine selection help
« on: March 08, 2017 - 09:32:34 am »
Sorry in advance for any stupid questions but this is not in my true wheelhouse !!! I think it's the most interesting part so I'm looking to learn. I'm looking to power up my 71' Cuda. I would love to install a Hemi but I'm not rich. I think it will be a 440-6 setup. I understand having a date correct engine retains the cars value better even though this is not a numbers matching vehicle. There is something unexplainable about having the power plant from the actual era. Maybe it's just me. Having said that, are there any real differences between a period 440-6 and a crate 440-6 set up. Advantages outside of collectibility ??? And if I were to go with a Crate setup, who should I go to to purchase said engine ? Who's fairly priced? I'm also looking for an automatic tranny with an OD so I'd try to get the whole thing.  Secondly, if I go the crate route, does the Hemi stay outside the realm of purchase or are the 440-6 and Hemi setups so close in cost ???




Offline ChallengerHK

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Re: 71' Cuda engine selection help
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2017 - 09:45:00 am »
This doesn't directly answer your question, but it'll give you something else to think about. IMO, the value of a six pak is the wow factor at a show when you open up your hood. Aside from that, I doubt you'd be able to gauge the difference on a "butt dyno." If I recall correctly, in the quarter a 440-4 is .2 seconds slower than a 440-6, if both are in stock form. In other words, if money is an issue, consider rethinking the six pak option.

Also, it's clear on your other posts that you're also somewhat interested in handling. A big block adds a couple hundred pounds, which sits up relatively high. Personally, I'm a big handling person, and having driven both I can feel the handling difference between a big block and a small block. You can stroke a small block to produce some serious power without the weight gain that comes with a big block.


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Offline 1 Wild R/T

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Re: 71' Cuda engine selection help
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2017 - 10:44:31 am »
This doesn't directly answer your question, but it'll give you something else to think about. IMO, the value of a six pak is the wow factor at a show when you open up your hood. Aside from that, I doubt you'd be able to gauge the difference on a "butt dyno." If I recall correctly, in the quarter a 440-4 is .2 seconds slower than a 440-6, if both are in stock form. In other words, if money is an issue, consider rethinking the six pak option.

Also, it's clear on your other posts that you're also somewhat interested in handling. A big block adds a couple hundred pounds, which sits up relatively high. Personally, I'm a big handling person, and having driven both I can feel the handling difference between a big block and a small block. You can stroke a small block to produce some serious power without the weight gain that comes with a big block.


Go for a ride in a good running Sixpack and tell me again.... When six barrels are open some crazy magic **** happens... 

I will agree on the handling & considering a stroker small block.....    Maybe a stroker small block with a Sixpack.... :bigsmile:

On the date codes & such, at this point your talking clone which I think is smart, build what you want how you want & drive it like ya stole it.... A 70 440 block is the same as a 76 440 block other that a couple cast in date codes.. Don't worry to much about it, if a correct date code comes along great, if not it sure wouldn't stop me from  :burnout: :burnout: all over town...
JS27N0B 70 Challenger R/T Convertible  FJ5 Sublime, Show Poodle w/90,000 miles since resto
WS27L8G 68 Coronet R/T Convertible  PP1 Bright Red, Project
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Online dfrazz

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Re: 71' Cuda engine selection help
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2017 - 12:15:48 pm »

Go for a ride in a good running Sixpack and tell me again

A 70 440 block is the same as a 76 440 block other that a couple cast in date codes.. Don't worry to much about it, if a correct date code comes along great, if not it sure wouldn't stop me from  :burnout: :burnout: all over town...


The key is a "good running Sixpack" - unless you are very mechanically inclined a Sixpack is a PITA to keep tuned for optimal performance.  I had a 340-6 bbl, given at altitude, but had to constantly mess with it.  Other than the "wow factor" David mentioned, I would not go with a Sixpack.

A 70 440 is not the same as a 76 440 - see this article from 440 Source  http://www.440source.com/blockinfo.htm

I would avoid a crate engine at all costs, ask me how I know.  Find a good local engine builder, look for where the local racers get their engines built, because if/when there is a problem you can take the engine to them to fix.  Crate engines build half-way across the country are not going to get fixed cheap.
IMO - I would get a 75+ 440 block, buy a stroker kit for a 505-512 ci and have a local shop build it.  Call the 440Source guys, Hughes Engines is also a good source.  Build it for TQ not HP and you will be very happy. With Hotchkis/PST/QA1/Magnum Force/etc parts, you can make your car handle VERY well unless you are building a auto-x car then go small block.

Here is the list of parts for my 505 ci that I would put up against any 440-6 pack engine any day.  http://www.cuda-challenger.com/cc/index.php?topic=115817.msg1140348#msg1140348

Of course you could also go for a very fast and highly reliable engine and drop in a 2016 392 Hemi.  http://www.cuda-challenger.com/cc/index.php?topic=116865.msg1149079#msg1149079

Offline Soy bomb

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Re: 71' Cuda engine selection help
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2017 - 12:33:17 pm »
A lot to consider,... I'm getting a headache. Even so, the possibilities are interesting. I will say I'm planning on a shaker hood. I know there are after market components which make tuning a six pack sooo much easier. I also know they can be a PITA !!! But if dialed in correctly can really hum. I'm not really looking for a pro- touring type car so top heavy block height would'nt seem to be an issue although in all fairness I can't say I've had opportunity to experience the difference.

Offline 1 Wild R/T

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Re: 71' Cuda engine selection help
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2017 - 12:50:59 pm »
The key is a "good running Sixpack" - unless you are very mechanically inclined a Sixpack is a PITA to keep tuned for optimal performance.  I had a 340-6 bbl, given at altitude, but had to constantly mess with it.  Other than the "wow factor" David mentioned, I would not go with a Sixpack.

I ran a Sixpack for close to 20 years, it rarely gave me problems... But back then we could buy real fuel not the crap sold today...)

A 70 440 is not the same as a 76 440 - see this article from 440 Source  http://www.440source.com/blockinfo.htm

I didn't say a A 70 440 is the same as a 76 440 I said a 70 440 block is the same as a 76 440 block other that a couple cast in date codes.. I notice you also suggest grabbing a late block for a stroker..

I would avoid a crate engine at all costs, ask me how I know.  Find a good local engine builder, look for where the local racers get their engines built, because if/when there is a problem you can take the engine to them to fix.  Crate engines build half-way across the country are not going to get fixed cheap.
IMO - I would get a 75+ 440 block, buy a stroker kit for a 505-512 ci and have a local shop build it.  Call the 440Source guys, Hughes Engines is also a good source.  Build it for TQ not HP and you will be very happy. With Hotchkis/PST/QA1/Magnum Force/etc parts, you can make your car handle VERY well unless you are building a auto-x car then go small block.

Agreed 100%

Here is the list of parts for my 505 ci that I would put up against any 440-6 pack engine any day.  http://www.cuda-challenger.com/cc/index.php?topic=115817.msg1140348#msg1140348

A 505 vs a 440-6 yeah I'll give that to the stroker too...   Same reason I have a 505 on the stand for my 68 Coronet.. Though I'd give the 400 block a hard look before choosing knowing that high HP 440's can split the main saddles

Of course you could also go for a very fast and highly reliable engine and drop in a 2016 392 Hemi.  http://www.cuda-challenger.com/cc/index.php?topic=116865.msg1149079#msg1149079
JS27N0B 70 Challenger R/T Convertible  FJ5 Sublime, Show Poodle w/90,000 miles since resto
WS27L8G 68 Coronet R/T Convertible  PP1 Bright Red, Project
RM21H9E 69 Road Runner Coupe R4 Performance Red, Sold...
5H21C  65 Falcon 2 dr Wagon... Dog Hauler...

Offline Soy bomb

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Re: 71' Cuda engine selection help
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2017 - 02:36:01 pm »
I'll look into these suggestions. Can they support a 6 pack manifold and subsequent shaker ?

Offline Soy bomb

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Re: 71' Cuda engine selection help
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2017 - 07:08:46 pm »
Also, how much would a custom built engine change the stock sound?  I just love that sound and wouldn't want to mess with that junk.

Online Chryco Psycho

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Re: 71' Cuda engine selection help
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2017 - 07:07:30 am »
Personally I would never buy a crate engine from anyone , get one built by a reputable builder your way
 too many horror stories with crate builds
 # matching means Nothing to me the wrong engine is still the wrong engine .
I have built numerous engine & a 440 4bbl will out run the 6 pack

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Offline ChallengerHK

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Re: 71' Cuda engine selection help
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2017 - 07:16:27 am »
Also, how much would a custom built engine change the stock sound?  I just love that sound and wouldn't want to mess with that junk.

There will be a change, but you can get a cool sounds with aftermarket mufflers.


"She'll make point five past light speed. She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, and I've made a lot of special modifications myself."

- Han Solo, Star Wars

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Online dfrazz

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Re: 71' Cuda engine selection help
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2017 - 09:47:16 am »
Also, how much would a custom built engine change the stock sound?  I just love that sound and wouldn't want to mess with that junk.

The cam will have a big impact on the sound of the engine, so if you want the mild stock sound just pick a cam that is close to the stock specs.  However, you will be giving up some performance.

Offline Soy bomb

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Re: 71' Cuda engine selection help
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2017 - 10:09:43 am »
OK. Sounds good. Thanks !!!